Sunday, September 11, 2011

You've been missed, my friends!

 Wow, did things ever get complicated around here.  Some of you know from our EDM group, or from comments that I've made, that I was in the process of moving to Idaho back in late May.  Well, I'm still here in Houston, having just gone through one of the worst (that would be HOT, HOT)  summers I ever remember.  Oh well, it is a very long story, but the short of it is, I stopped drawing, and when  I started again everything I did was really really bad.   I'm back on track now.  I finished up two sketchbooks and I'm over halfway through a third (huge one, 11 x 14).  It has been too hot to sketch outdoors, so the internet has been my friend. Of all those pages that I've filled, I only scanned twenty five of them because most of them are figure drawings and I don't want to have a blog filled mostly with sketches of nekkid people!   It took me ages to figure out which scans I did want to include in my first post back.  I'm afraid I couldn't resist picking out most of my favorites.  Not that I don't like the rest, but there's a little less color on the other pages. 

This sketch (above) is done directly in ballpoint, watercolor, and on regular drawing paper (as are all of the sketches in this post--in a sketchbook with 'drawing' paper).  The model was on the figure drawing tool here.  At least, that is where I thought I saw her.  I'm on that site a lot though, and I've not seen her again since.  Maybe they took that one off? 

 Hmmm...I can't remember where I got this photo either.  Probably the same site.  What I really like about this sketch, is that I did it directly in ballpoint pen and if you look closely, you'll see that I didn't make many mistakes in my first lines.  I didn't have much to correct.  Her right arm doesn't look quite right now that I look at it on here.  Yep, I think the foreshortening is a little off.  Even so, I'm really happy with it.  That dark looking shadow on her lower back is actually a tattoo. 
Well, since I can't be sure where I got this, here are links to the sites I go to for photo references:

http://www.pixelovely.com/gesture/figuredrawing.php
http://www.female-anatomy-for-artist.com/photos/freeSample/thanks
http://www.posespace.com/shop/books.aspx


 This giraffe was also done directly in ballpoint.  I was going a little faster with it, got tired of making the spots, so I just finished it up with the watercolor.  I like the sketchiness of it and would be very happy if every sketch turned out as well when done this quickly. 

I've sketched so much lately that I've been hitting that zone where everything seems to come easily, the first time.  On these days there is very little need for an eraser. Though I still get days when I'm just off, and everything is a struggle, and I erase, erase, and erase!  Happily, the on days now outnumber the off ones.   I recently went back through some of my older sketchbooks, and I can actually SEE some improvement.  This of course makes me want to sketch even more!  
 Okay, this is a truer idea of how most of my sketchbook pages look.  Mostly pencil sketches, not very much overlapping or unity of the page (I'm working on that!).  These are quicker sketches.  I especially like the two bottom horses.  The bottom right horse is actually a pretty good representation of how most of my sketches start.  Sort of a combination of contour, with gesture for arms and legs.  Then I go back and add in details, make corrections, etc.
 It was quite some time before I realized that the figure sketching tool that I linked to in the second paragraph also had an animal sketching tool.  That is where I got the references for these.  I really like the cat and horse to the right.  I can't wait to get back to a sketchbook that has actual watercolor paper in it.  I think (hope) they would have looked even better had I not had to fight with paper that dried almost as soon as it was moistened. 
Another one that I liked a lot.  Though I had to walk away a couple of times...those spots were driving me nuts.  It is pencil and watercolor

I wish that I could show you my current sketchbook in it's entirety.  It is by far my favorite.  Unfortunately, it won't fit on the scanner.  It is even hard to look at in person because I used it landscape-wise instead of the portrait because of its size.  It is spiral too and I always had the spiral at the top, so every page has to have the book tilt in the other direction  to see it right-side up.  That is something I didn't think about when I started this one!  But I am proud of it.  It has less 'bad' sketches than I have ever had.  And I have NO pages that I hate, unlike every other sketchbook that I have.  You know, those pages that you just want to go away and stop reminding you how bad you were that day?

Well, I hope that I'll be posting more frequently now.  It was hard knowing what to say after being gone so long and having so much happen in the meantime.  My temptation was to come on here and start at the beginning.  But believe me, that would take a week of posting everyday...big, long, wordy posts too!  So, I've hit one giant edit key, and hope I can just take off where I left last time.  Oh, and thank you so much for your emails.  I'm sorry I didn't answer.  It was one of those frozen-because-I'm-overwhelmed situations.  I currently have over 200 edm emails sitting unopened in my mailbox.  The more they backed up, the harder it got to even check my mail!  I'm going to make an honest effort to get through it all.  I'll be around to comment again very soon!

43 comments:

  1. Oh, Raena,

    It is so good to "see" you again. My friend Nancy and I were talking about you not too long ago and missing your posts and hoping you'd be back.

    So thrilled with your notebook sketches,

    xoxo

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  2. Wow Raena.... you sure had been gone long enough. =) And to Idaho? I don't even know where that is... but I guess you just gotta do what you gotta do.
    Love the sketches, especially the cute animals.. the cat is brilliant, so are the horses and giraffes. The figure sketches are awesome as well, I am just glad that you're back posting, and hopefully more to come ^^

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  3. Great to see you back!!

    These are great sketches - and I noted, just before reading, your facility with the pen. One perfect line =) I'm really glad you linked your reference sites. I always prefer life drawing, but at 9pm at night, the likelihood of finding a giraffe in my living room is pretty slim to none. (Looooove your giraffe drawings!)

    I do just the same thing when I'm in a funk and stop drawing, even though drawing has more potential than anything else to pull me out of the funk. As for EDM... well, I had a lapse keeping up with posts and just started fresh.

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  4. So happy to see you back in the swing of things. Great drawings posted here, I love the horses and giraffes. You have been missed, as that mailbox at EDM attests... Be kind to yourself, make one post on EDM, say I'm back, thanks everyone for your concern... and then do a blanket delete of all the emails... I must admit I do that sometimes with my regular email box... if it gets to be too much, I just delete them all and start fresh :-)

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  5. Great sketches Raena, glad you're back!! Hope it's cooled down over there..(been hot here too so you have my sympathy)..Capt Elaine has some wise words above

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  6. Yayyy!!! Welcome back! You are right - you are even better than before. It would be worth the wait if we didn't miss you so much. All great sketches - if I had to choose, I really like the hiphopping lady and the cat. I am really impressed by the horses. I know how hard they are to draw. As for watercolor paper, I hope to have some in your hands really soon as soon as I figure out what to draw. :)

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  7. Thank you so much, Vicki! You've all been in my thoughts too! I don't know why I torture myself so much sometimes staying away like that!

    Alex, I didn't actually end up going back, though I desperately wanted to, especially with our unbelievable temps!

    Thanks so much for your comment, Jenna! It made me laugh. I would love, love, love to go to a live figure drawing class, but I'm out in the boonies and I know I would never drive in Houston traffic to make it regularly. Wish I could have a giraffe!

    Elaine, thanks for your comment, and I have to say, your idea sounds very good and I just might have to do that!

    Thank you so much, Debra! I'm liking Elaine's idea too! The heat has finally broken. Well, the humidity is now at record lows, so it doesn't feel as hot. (Even though we broke a hundred again yesterday!)

    Thanks, Dan! I missed this too! I can't wait to have that book in my hands again! Have you any ideas yet on what to do?

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  8. These are all so lovely! So glad you're back. I'm in a bit of a slump too. This is inspiring!

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  9. Gosh, what perfect lines - what incredible gestures and flow. Especially love the horses, but then, that's because I especially love horses! They are all delightful.

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  10. Aha...so you've been sketching in secret...glad to have you back in blogland, we missed you!
    I really love the first sketch, I will check out your links/sites.

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  11. It's nice to see you back in action. I really love the first pose and the second giraffe. Fabulous sketches!
    Hugs and blessings.

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  12. Yay!! So happy to see you are back! These are all fabulous sketches. I am quite inspired.

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  13. Welcome back, Raena. I haven't posted in a while either because I am taking a botanical art course so haven't had much time to sketch. I do read over my EDM digest email regularly though so kinda keep up with the group. Best wishes!

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  14. Yay! Raena's back! I was just wondering about you yesterday.

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  15. Well this is great! Your work is terrific and that last giraffe is to die for! You've been doing some serious sketching going through that many books!

    An idea for pages you really hate and are "wrecking" your sketchbook is to either use gesso or watercolor ground to cover it and start over. With the watercolor ground you can use, of course, watercolor but on the gesso one you ought to stick to pencils or acrylic paints. It gives you a second chance, maybe even a third! I know because I have tried the gesso; I haven't bought the watercolor ground yet though.

    So are you moving still or has that been cancelled?

    Will you be going back to your joint journal with Dan?

    And last but not least, it's good to see you back!

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  16. SO glad to see you back Raena, and with wonderful sketches, too! I love the figure drawings a lot !!
    Don't worry about e-mails, just take care of yourself and enjoy what you do, and we'll enjoy it too !!

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  17. Welcome Home!! We've all missed you, and it's great to see you and your wonderful work. Martine's right - don't worry about the emails! Just pick up and go!! nancy

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  18. I was hoping to get to see you in ID but after the time that has gone by I'm just happy you are ok and still drawing!

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  19. Yah glad you are back. Fab sketches too.

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  20. I'm out of town and following life on a smart phone only, so I missed this post until this AM when I actually have computer access. Great sketches! When I get home I need to look at your links for figure drawing.... See you in Nov?

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  21. Warm welcome to you Raena.. So nice to see you back in action! I had been worried what happened and hoped that all was well..
    Wonderful sketches here! So happy to see your drawings!

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  22. Amazing movement in all of your sketches. well done!

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  23. Oh, thank you! You are such great friends to welcome me back to warmly!

    Shirley...yes! See you in November!

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  24. Sorry your summer was not so good. Hope things are better for you now. In any case your sketches are great! I especially love the first one of the girl from the back and those animal sketches. I had to smile at how the giraffes spots made you crazy. I so get that kind of impatience! ;-)

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  25. It's been a HORRIBLY hot summer, hasn't it? Especially for one of our girls in the Houston area, very pregnant! She had the baby Monday and felt so relieved to give up that "portable heater"! Kansas often has summers like this but Houston, rarely!

    You have lost none of your talent. These are amazing!

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  26. Oh I can sympathize with you dealing with the hot summer you've had. I grew up in Texas and never ever got used to the heat almost year round...and we didn't have home a/c in those days!
    But I'm so very glad to see you back online again. It seems to me your work hasn't suffered a bit! These drawings are fabulous!

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  27. I thought I posted a comment earlier this week but I don't see it... Anyway, great to see you back Raena and I love your sketches - they have a looseness and freshness to them!

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  28. Hooray!!!! Glad to see you back! Your drawings are just wonderful!

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  29. First off: Welcome back
    Second off: Thank you SO much for posting a link to that figure drawing tool. Much better than searching for photos in Google.

    And thirdly: I love all your drawings particularly, you have a particular flair for giraffes. :)

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  30. Lovely work Raena - and how great that you are back in the drawing zone. Look forward to more of your posts.
    Sue

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  31. You're back! And you've been missed too! Lots of awesome stuff on this post. Love the first one, it's my fave, too! All your drawings and studies are great, and I agree with what you say, the more you practise and the easier it gets to get it right (and how good that feels!). I hope things are okay for you and that you'll keep drawing (and posting!).

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  32. Hi Raena. I love these sketches - the last giraffe is wonderful and the movement you got in the horses makes me drool with jealousy.
    Thank you for the comments on my blog and, yes, it is THAT Shirley. I assume you're meeting up in Houston.

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  33. Raenaaaaaa!!! Welcome back, my friend! I really missed your post and your comments, so: glad to hear from you!!!
    By the way: good drawings!
    Cheers!!

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  34. You are definitely back on track. Welcome back--great drawings.

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  35. citra_susanto@yahoo.co.ukSeptember 26, 2011 at 3:12 AM

    Raena,
    Oh I am impressed and thrilled with your works! I am new in sketching/drawing but your works give me lots of inspiration. Well-done and looking forward to seeing more of your drawings.
    citra

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  36. I cannot BELIEVE I didn't comment on this yet! You've come back with a bang! I absolutley love the gesture and colouring in that first drawing...and then the giraffe with his lovely shadow! Hope you are able to draw and paint as well as visiting blogs...I always love your comments!!!

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  37. Love the sketchbooks. I can't believe you filled 2 already. I need to start drawing more!

    Where in Idaho were you headed? I was born and raised in Salmon, and live just over the hill now.

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  38. Raena, glad you're back! I just made my debut back to the internet society as well. Lovely artwork, as always, keep it going, girl!

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  39. Good to see you're back, I was wondering where you'd got to! Thanks for your coment on my blog, and I love the beautiful clear lines on the life model especially- I think you're right to be proud of it!

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  40. Hi Raena ! Thanks so much for being a friend on my blog, i wanted to write directly from google connect, but i'm quite new at blogging ... and i've not succeeded in doind it.
    I'm very impressed by your work, your sketches are gorgeous, even if you say that you've been away for some time and haven't drawn anymore :)
    See you soon, thanks again, Clem.

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  41. All of these sketches are awesome! Glad you got back on track. I know the kind of dry spell we artists can have, me included!

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  42. I know you're alive and drawing because Shirley's blog proves it. So you should update :)

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  43. very good drawings, Raena! : )

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