Charcoal: Onyx (Drawing w/Julie Snyder at McGroarty Arts Center)

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Onyx 12 x 12 Charcoal on Gun Metal Canford Paper
Last Monday, I went to the McGroarty Arts Center in Tujunga to attend Julie Snyder’s Model Painting Workshop, which is Monday’s from 9:30-12:30. If you’re local and you like painting or drawing from life, I highly recommend checking it out. It’s $15/session, the models/set ups are wonderful (see photo below), and the venue is lovely.

Drawing from life is hard, and I am so rusty. For every month without this vital artists’ exercise, my skill set slips backwards a few notches, and I have to stumble through the dimly lit room of my brain till I remember how to draw curved, subtly toned, symmetrical shapes again. I left the session with the drawing above, three hours after blocking in, rubbing down, erasing out, etc. I couldn’t find the model in my drawing, even though I thought she was beautiful and I was having fun (struggling). When I’m more than a few feet from the subject, I can’t see the details enough to duplicate the angles and relationships of the form, and it’s very frustrating. I took a photo of the model (with her permission) and finished the piece at the top of this post in the studio yesterday and this morning. While re-working the drawing with the photo reference, I could see where shapes and angles were off, and I made adjustments. My drawing is still quite different from the model, but at the very least, I exercised sleepy Life-Drawing muscles that needed a good workout. When ever something in art is hard, I think it usually means we need more of it.

At the McGroarty Arts Center with our lovely model M.Y., and Julie Snyder (on the stage, far left) who created a classic, Sargent-esque set up for everyone to paint.

Art Quote
Every Autumn we spent together, the routine was the same: breakfast at 7:30, afterwards work literally all day till the light faded. At rare intervals, an excursion – if very hot, a siesta after the midday meal, but work was the order of the day. After dinner, piano duets & chess, and early to bed. Eliza Wedgewood, on accompanying John Singer Sargent around Europe during the 1900’s

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6 thoughts on “Charcoal: Onyx (Drawing w/Julie Snyder at McGroarty Arts Center)”

  1. Thanks for spreading the word, Belinda. McGroarty Arts Center is a great place to meet up and paint a live model. Drop by any Monday morning, 9:30 – 12:30 and join us again. Love to see you there. Julie

  2. Thanks for the compliments Don, Sarah & Justin. And yes, Justin, working from life requires patience, fortitude and the biggest tray of supplies in the art-brain tool-box, but it’s all good. 🙂

  3. I really like this one Belinda… the mood has a real classic feeling to it, subtle. I enjoyed reading you thoughts about working from life. It really is a different animal isn’t it?

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