Friday, November 6, 2009

Male Nude Art Drawing

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Perhaps you remember some of the copies I have created of famous artworks. Today I want to share with you a copy I made of one of my own figure drawings. I had done a pencil sketch in Florence, Italy, of a model named Gianni (Johnny) on 20 February 2009. It was only a 40-minute sketch (two 20-minutes poses), but I rather liked him.

So recently I decided to redraw the art onto some crème Italian Umbria paper using charcoal and white pastel. These materials give me a greater range of tone to play with than pencil and I was happy that I was able to improve upon my original drawing.

“Gianni 2009”
18” x 8”
Charcoal and Pastel
Umbria paper

If interested in the figure drawing “Gianni 2009” please contact:

The Franklin Barry Gallery in Indianapolis.
617 Massachusetts Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
Tel. 317.822.8455

Contact: Don Elliott

Monday, November 2, 2009

Pastel Art Workshop Rae Andrews

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

I started my Halloween Saturday by attending a workshop on using pastels by colorist Rae Andrews. The workshop was held in Austin, Texas, at Jerry’s Artarama. I still consider myself a novice when it comes to color and the medium of pastel and one can always learn something from another artist.

It is always fun to watch the creative process and interesting when the creator is able to share the thoughts that go along with that process. Rae is more adept than I at being able to speak while drawing. I took these images (with permission) to give you some idea of the atmosphere of the demonstration. In this first image, Rae is reminding us that one must step back and look at our work from a distance. If you move far enough back, you no longer see the details, but simply the design of shapes. I was always taught that if, from across a room, an artwork does not intrigue the viewer enough to pull him towards the piece, what is the point of having details with which to engage him further?

I include this next image because it shows a pastel painting of horses in its frame (my apology for the glare from the fluorescent light above). Rae said that this pastel painting of the horses was sprayed with fixative and then framed very carefully with the pastel art on a board pushed right up against the glass - no mat! It must be secured well for this to work, but she has shipped this work successfully and carried it around for many years now. I was surprised that one could ship glass successfully and had no idea that pastel could be against the glass. She had a name for this time of framing (French something?), but I forgot to record it.

In this close-up shot, you can see how the sandpaper-like Sennelier pastel paper not only offers ‘tooth’ for holding pastel, but also allows for lots of texture. Although Rae’s style is not as tight as mine, one can still clearly recognize the subject matter. Realism is really just a specific arrangement of abstract shapes.

I thought I would include this image of the work of the parrots almost completed - at least for the demonstration. It is a quite colorful and fun composition and I also enjoyed the colorful papers hanging on racks behind the artist at Jerry’s Artarama. I daydreamed about what I could do with those . . .

Rae also spoke about two products that I had never heard of before: an electronic eraser (which Jerry’s did not currently have on hand) and pastel pencils! The electronic eraser is supposed to be a more exact and efficient way to remove the pastel without affecting other areas. The pastel pencils are truly pastels and with the ability to sharpen them, they are great for refining small details. Based on my current projects, I can see that they would be ever so useful for doing portraits, especially around the eyes. So, now I know what I want for Christmas!

Rae Andrews also did a demonstration of ocean waves crashing against some boulders on a shore. It had a very lively energy to it. Check out more of her work by clicking on her name in bold.

Another helpful link: Austin Pastel Society