Sharpening my drawing and painting skills
Shortly after retiring in September of 2010, I joined the Saratoga Life Studio – a 45-minute drive for me most Monday nights. As with most such studios, artists attend so they can practice their drawing and painting – and even sculpting – from one of the most challenging subjects – the human form. My time there has been very helpful – and is always a pleasure. Organized and run by the very talented Jim Schanz, the Studio has just the right ambience. There is no formal instruction. As many as 12 or even 14 artists – from young students to veteran professionals, get together to exercise and grow their craft. Most nights, a single pose is presented for the full three hours. This enables some of us to use oils and complete a meaningful amount of work at one sitting. Best of all, though, is the atmosphere – there is no competition in the air. Artists are interested in each others’ work and can be induced to offer information, advice and even praise – but are mostly just focused in their own efforts. The intensity of the concentration when all are working is almost palpable.
I mix my efforts – oils when I can and watercolors when I am lazier. I tend to switch back and forth between the entire form and facial portraits. I paint rather than draw – although all of my works begin with drawing – because I want to explore color as much as I can. There are no finished pieces in this gallery, but I am confident that my skills are improving and finished pieces – most likely portraits – will happen when I am ready. Here is what I have been doing over the past 3 years….