figure drawing, module 2

Here’s some work from my second week of figure drawing classes – these took about 1/2 hour each.

prismacolor drawings in 11″x14″sketchbook – our instructor provided reference photos

We’ve had to submit a number of shorter gesture drawings as well – here are a couple 3 min drawings:
prismacolor drawings in 11″x14″sketchbook – live model reference

The process is a little frustrating since I haven’t had much formal experience in figure drawing, so right now my grades are pretty mediocre. However, I’m working hard at getting better – hopefully you’ll see the progress here over the next few months!

bouncing ball – first animation assigment

Most animation books/classes start with the “bouncing ball” exercise, since it’s a great way to explore timing & spacing of the individual drawings without having to worry too much about the details of the thing you’re drawing. This is the first assignment for my traditional animation class – instead of using paper, though, I’m using my Wacom Intuous tablet and TVP Animation software.

This runs at 24 frames per second, which is pretty much the standard here in the U.S.

figure drawing – first assignment!

So, my online classes are in full swing. I just finished my first week’s homework for my Figurative Concepts class. Right now I’m mostly drawing from photo references but am planning to head out to some local figure drawing meetup sessions soon.  Here’s a selection from this week’s assignment –

compressed charcoal figure drawings on 18″x 24″ newsprint – our instructor provided the photo references
HB graphite bathing suit drawings in 11″x14″ sketchbook – photo references from flickr

Links to photo references for above drawings: female , male

HB graphite head drawings in 11″ x 14″ sketchbook – photo references from flickr

Links to photo references for above drawings: female , male

Now I’m off to do my homework for Traditional Animation. I’ll aim to get the assignment for that up by early next week.

woodland animal masks

I recently left my full time job at the Museum of Science, but before I did I was happy to work on these masks for the Discovery Center. If you’ve never been there before, you should go – it’s an awesome hands-on science space for kids 8 & under. They had some animal masks they’d been using for woodland animal interpretations but the original company that had made them discontinued the line. I was happy to step in to make the ones they were missing – a rabbit, a beaver, a skunk and a wood turtle. I did a few pencil drafts first then scanned in the sketches & cleaned them up. After that I printed, painted by hand with gouache and then scanned again. 

Rabbit options – original on left, then a more relaxed version, plus an option with teeth.

The discovery center staff chose to go with teeth for a more-rabbit like appeal

The teeth on this beaver looked a bit too tongue-like on the first pass – 
…once I painted it, I straightened the teeth out to make them more like little chisels. 
This skunk originally had white fur at the top, as you see above…

….but when I painted it I decided it looked better to go black all the way up. 
This wood turtle was my favorite of the pencil sketches. 
The painting took a while since I couldn’t hide behind lots of hair!

rooster & hen

This happy couple comes from my “100 birds” project. Someday I’ll get around to scanning & posting the other 94.


Blue-footed boobies, that is. What were you thinking? This is not that kind of website. 
Our neighbors went on their honeymoon in the Galapagos Island. I was kind of jealous (and still am! Maybe we’ll make it there someday). 
I drew these guys for my 100 birds project from separate references. I hear they like to dance – I figured it’s always more fun with a partner.

birds #26 & #82

Two more little birds from the 100 birds project. I didn’t have a chance to color all of them – well, most of them. Maybe one day I’ll compile them into a coloring book! Then you could choose whatever colors you’d like. These guys were sketched freehand from online photo references.

foamcore set

In the 2006 SMFA Illustration class, we built our own sets out of foamcore and small characters out of clay to experiment with lighting and scene setup.

One of my classmates held a slide projector off to the side to create the lovely light while I snapped  pictures on the instructor’s camera. He printed a select few of each student’s work and made a CD for each of us with our photos, but I realized too late, after the class was over, that my CD was blank :(. This photo is the only one that remains – I scanned in the print he made for us.

us or me

In 2006 I took an Illustration class in the evenings at the School of Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
One assignment was to create illustrations for a selection of Ian McEwan’s “Us or Me” from the New Yorker. I created the pen & ink drawing below, of the argument scene, when the men are fighting over the ropes of a rogue hot air balloon.

I painted the piece below as a cover illustration for the assignment.

A few months later I recreated the painting by carving into a ceramic bowl I’d thrown. It’s one of my favorite bowls, although it sits in the cabinet more than it should, to keep it from breaking.

In person, it’s a lovely robin’s egg blue. and the finish on the glaze is almost velvety. I really enjoyed carving that rope pattern into the clay. I should use that bowl more.

colored pencil portraits

I took a couple art classes at Cornell and one of them was a focused independent study on portraiture.  I mostly worked on self-portraits since I was afraid my friends would be offended if I drew them ugly by accident.

cinco de mayo

These models came from magazine photos, so they couldn’t get mad. The original magazines are long lost so we can’t even judge accuracy anyway. Just trust me, they’re spot-on ;).