Playing with Color

I am addicted to drawing live, nude humans. This addiction is not unusual. Every Saturday morning, when we could otherwise have been sleeping in, ten to twenty of similarly afflicted addicts meet at the NH Institute of Art to get our weekly fix. It’s rough when the sessions are suspended from April to September. But in May the weather becomes conducive to playing outside, when plein air painting fills my time.

Because of all those plein air activities, I did not get to the Saturday Life Group until late in October this year. October 24 I tried using compressed charcoal, with disappointing results. Harsh, undifferentiated black, impossible to erase. But I had lost my box of regular charcoal and didn’t realize what a big impact the compressed would have on my drawing. No photos of those results–sorry.

The October 31 SLG session starred my favorite model, Jonathan. For that reason perhaps, I was inspired to bring out my fat colored sticks–a cross between chalk, pastel, charcoal–made by Cretacolor in Austria. I also had a new charcoal sketchbook, with pages of varied different shades. I started on gray paper with a short pose of about 20 minutes, and perhaps I will go back to it someday to finish the background, clean up edges, etc. Here’s that one:

For the second, hour-long pose, I retreated to my comfort zone — just black charcoal — but added white shadings:

But the full glory of color found expression when I turned to a page of green paper for our second hour-long pose:

I’m still running about a month behind, and I’ll probably never catch up. Unless you are waiting with bated breath for each installment (really, is anyone out there doing that?), you don’t care, so I can forgive myself and stop worrying about being timely.

But as a reward for those reading to the end, here’s a bit of timely news: I just signed up for a workshop on painting au plein air in the SNOW, with Stapleton Kearns. Can’t wait for the snow now! Alas, I am giving up one of my Saturday life drawing sessions for this workshop.

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