Payday, when I was working, meant going out to eat that next Saturday, stopping at a bookstore to buy art and writing magazines, then taking in a movie before heading to the grocery store and home. I always liked to go to someplace with good food and a lovely enviornment. China, crystal, silverware, white tablecloths, fresh flowers or candles. Of course, the kids always wanted pizza and games, so we usually looked for someplace to keep the kids occupied. They ate, headed for games, and I watched tv and used my sketchbook.
The pencil sketch above is of a very striking woman who was returning to her table after refilling her glass. I did the sketch, first, which doesn't show the dress or her surroundings. I worked to achieve a sculptural quality as I drew, something that I think was helped by doing clay sculpture of heads and figures. I also wanted to work on the effect of light and shadow on her dark skin, as well.
Later, I did the painting in watercolors, beginning with a pencil drawing of her, then adding the color of the dress, the restaurant, and the sign. There was a little girl, with blonde curls and a big red bow in her hair, playing on the floor. I indicated movement and figures having a good time in the game room, with Indigo Blue and purple in the background. Spatters of bright colors add to the festive atmosphere.
The woman didn't pose for me. She just walked across the room and I captured what I could, then remembered what I could, later.
Observation is something that artists, and writers, need to develop and continue to work on as they grow. There are exercises that one can do in order to improve that skill.
One example is to have a person walk into a room, pause, then walk back out. Then practice drawing, or writing a description, of that person.
Another thing to try is to have someone bring an object into the room. The object should be covered or wrapped so that it can't be seen. Then, have the covering removed, and give a time limit to write a description, or draw the object. When that time is up, cover the object and finish the drawing or description, without looking at it again.
I've done these exercises individually and with groups, and the results are a bit amazing, sometimes.
I hope that you enjoy these two pieces of work. As always, let me know if you see something that is of interest to you. And please share these with others. Thanks for reading. I hope that you will consider subscribing, and send some others who would like to get my blog.
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Have a great weekend!