Friday, November 25, 2011


From the final session in this term's drawing workshop. The models have been amazing and I hope the program will continue in the Spring. This week's model was Peggy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

October 16, 2011 - more Parker

Here are some more Parker poses from the October 16 session at CalArts. I am attacking the short poses as a warm up to these longer poses. My hope is I can keep moving quickly through the drawing without getting caught up in too many fussy details. I do move a bit slower and more carefully but, I know if I go too slow, I lose my way and wind up with a drawing of a foot and the back of a knee. I have to maintain a sense of urgency as I move through the drawing or I begin to concentrate on one area and lose track the whole pose.

Monday, November 21, 2011

October 16, 2011

Parker is a wonderful model who mixes grace and sensuality with character in her poses. Many of the drawing workshops in the LA area are appropriately geared toward the artists working in the Entertainment Industry. It can often be quite fun to draw from the costumed model and use the pose as a springboard to experimentation and building your character design or storytelling skills. But, I prefer to use the time I have to study what the model is providing. I make a living drawing out of my head. If I have the rare opportunity to draw from a model, I'm going to take advantage of that opportunity. LA models will sometimes take absurd poses which appear as difficult to maintain as they are difficult to draw. I believe this is intended to create some kind of dramatic animation in the pose. I'm not sure. I am very happy with the difficulties presented to me with classic contrapuntal poses and often ask the model to take a pose as if they were waiting for a bus. For me, it isn't necessary to over-think or over-elaborate the drama of the pose. I'm quite happy to struggle through what some might consider "simple" or "boring" poses as there is inherently so much drama and complexity in the model's body already. I enjoy the time I have trying to understand what is in front of me and trying to make sense of my responses in the drawing. Here are some drawings of Parker's 2 minute and 4 minute poses from October 16.

Friday, November 18, 2011


John, What a great idea for a blog! As usual, your drawings are wonderful and a pleasure to see. I look forward to contributing what I can to the discussion and to see how others have been influenced by McMullan’s High-Focus drawing program.
Here are a few 10 minute drawings of Vanessa, a model from my class at SVA. The things that intrigue me about the poses, (and the dress), are the same things that give me trouble. The on-again-off-again view of the figure underneath the dress makes it harder for me to understand where everything is. It’s particularly hard to understand how the legs are working. At the same time, I love the way the dress can magnify an action and echo the movements of a pose.
Since I don’t have the information of the legs to help set up the balance in the poses, I end up jumping from drawing the feet to drawing the torso and head, trying to see their spacial relationships to each other. I love the distance that the fabric travels as it wraps, folds, and stretches it’s way around in response to each pose. Sometimes it wraps like ribbon around the volumes of her body, describing forms moving in space. Other times it hangs free from her anatomy, moving down until it meets the resistance of the model stand and begins to pile up on itself. I really gave in to drawing the flowing lines of the dress - probably to the detriment of some other aspect of the drawings.

more October 9, 2011

These are probably 5 minute poses. Unresolved as usual. I'll speed up as I progress but right now, my brain and my hand are moving slower than necessary. Looking at these now I can see where I needed to go and have indicated in red some of my thought process. In the drawing on the right, the relationship between his feet (particularly his toes) and the position and weight of his head was most important for me. I'll proceed through the drawing by first identifying what is most interesting or dramatic in the pose and then using my time trying to figure out how he does it. It's a standing pose so, obviously his legs are important. I know that sounds stupid to say that but, I like to use the drawing to investigate the specifics of the operation of the legs and the particular way they are working to stand in this pose. With the weight of the head moving forward, how do the legs and feet need to work to support the pose.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

October 9, 2011

Phil has been hosting a figure drawing workshop at CalArts and invited me to come along. I haven't drawn from the figure in quite a while and I was grateful for the opportunity. The drawing room is a large space with easels (i hate drawing on those benches that always populate drawing rooms). Phil keeps it moving along at a fairly robust pace which can be exhausting but, forces me to move through the drawing with more urgency. These are probably 5 minute poses but for the one drawing with the torn edge. I think that was a 2 minute pose.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

July 16, 2011 part 2

These are probably 7 minute poses. Maybe 10 minutes. While I may be attracted to something more dramatic happening in the pose, I find I have to make sense of the model's legs in order for me to more convincingly address what the pose is "about." Too often, I get stuck in the specifics of the feet and knees and don't get much further than that. But for me, a big part of the fun in this is to figure out the specifics of the direction and compression in the knee and the particular way the feet are relating to the platform (compression and torque). I believe establishing those specifics in the drawing help exploit the drama of the pose in a more holistic manner.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

July 16, 2011

On Saturday, July 16, as one of the programs of the 36th annual Southampton Writers Conference, renowned artist James McMullan of Sag Harbor hosted a live drawing reunion at the Stony Brook Southampton campus with four of his former students who have gone on to achieve great success in drawing and other realms.

If you follow the link and read the article you'll see it was Jeffrey Smith who started the ball rolling. Robert Babboni, Eddie Guy, Jeff and I met with Jim in Sag Harbor, NY for htis High Focus Drawing reunion. These drawings are from that event.