Thursday, January 7, 2016

January start in the studio - A day of figure drawing to myself.

Something I haven't done lately but must do more often is to have a model in for a day. Pure pleasure to just push conte around for hours and let the time pass.

Happy New Year!
all work conte on 18x24 newsprint.

January 6th Cat Studies

Starting the year with some #sketches of my #cat as he lay beside me on the couch.  I was supposed to be working on the storyboards for a new book book but he was just too tempting to ignore.

8B on 8.5 x 11" printer paper

Friday, August 21, 2015

Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday Morning Pet Sketching

It's Monday and with every Monday comes a long list of what has to get done. 

I decided it could all wait and instead sat outside sketching my cat and dog as they enjoyed the summer shade. 

Best start to a Monday I'd say.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Very Long Concert

A number of years ago I was at a very long concert.  I did this sketch when I got home.

I like my concerts just a bit shorter.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Long ago watercolour

I just came across this photo of a watercolour I did many years ago after University.  

It was an old gnarled apple tree I would pass in a field near a highway I often traveled.  One winter day I stopped, sketched and this came about.  I was sad when years later it finally died.  

I think my fascination with both trees and anatomy that holds me to this day is quite evident in this painting.

The painting is appox 24 x 30 inches and ended up hanging on some office wall at Imperial Oil in Toronto.  I'd love to think it part of the 'Collection' but in reality it was no doubt considered just a part of the office furniture.  Perhaps I should try to get it back one day.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Arm Studies

In preparation for a new Master Class at my studio I  had  my favorite model Ed Cz in for two days of what I call blowing the dust out of the elbows.  Here's one of the the many arm studies I did getting ready.

conte pencil on newsprint.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Rudy and a Tiny Dancing Mouse

It's sometimes surprising what you find when you're cleaning up piles of old drawings.  I found these two from long ago but clearly remembered moments. 

Rudy was the Dachshund belonging to the family of a friend of ours.  Rudy had a unique 'what do I care what you want?' atitude which suited everyone just fine.  Except when they asked me to do his portrait he was a bit hard to pin down to a pose. Being that I liked to draw from life, I tried sketching him but he would give me the cold shoulder and move on.  That was until his owner revealed a family secret that Rudy had a liking for scotch.  It was hardly a half a teaspoon but it was enough to have him settle in for  sketching session, but as you can see, he remained skeptical.


The little dancing mouse wasn't really dancing but sure could hop.  We caught a small family of mice while staying at a friends cottage.  Before we let them go in the woods outside I got a few sketches of them trying to hop out of the container they were in.  This one definitely was a dancer.

Arctic Studies

caribou head study pencil crayon c.1979


caribou skull study pencil 1977

study of wing  pencil 1977

bear skull study 1981

Anatomy Tune Up June 6 & 7 Toronto

The anatomy Tune Up at Studio West was held June 6 & 7 to great success.  Two day overview of the skeleton and muscles of the human as well as comparative to animals.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Thursday, May 7, 2015

10 Things You Want to Know About Anatomy (or want to remember again)

I've been teaching life drawing to animation students since 1986.  That's a  long time and it gives you a bit of overview of what is essential for a good life drawing. Of course there are a number of things, but of all of them anatomy comes out near the top of the list.

Gesture is No. 1 since without gesture there is no life to the drawing.

Close behind is Anatomy.  And looking back to all my classes and now forward to more workshops I wish to present I came up with this list of the 10 things about anatomy I feel all artists, whether student level or professional of many years should know.

My workshops will either survey the list or focus on any of the 10 points, but in the end, I feel they are all important.

No. 1     Skeleton Skeleton Skeleton. Skeleton matters most

                You don’t have to get the skeletons out of your closet, but you should definitely get them into your drawings.  Skeletons are the basis of structure and the root of form in the body. No skeleton – no real body.  Come see how the skeleton really isn’t that scary to draw.

No. 2     Joints define movement – know the different types

                Bones may be long or short, straight or curved, but it’s what at the ends that matters most.  How they move against each other dictates what the body can do.  Whether it’s a simple hinge or ball and socket, or something a bit more complicated, it all makes simple sense once you understand it. 

No. 3     Pelvis is core – all movement comes from the pelvis

                It’s a funny bone (not Humerus at all) with lots of curves and twists, but in the end whether a gut bucket or propulsion platform, it’s vital for the root of movement from the toes to the finger tips. Come see how it works.

No. 4     Spine is not the back – it is the internal stem

                No, it’s not the back. It’s the tree trunk of posture and balance.  How it bends, twists and turns lets the body be either as stiff as a stick man or as rubbery as contortionists.  Which every way you put all 26 of these little blocks together, they make sense and more importantly, make movement.

No. 5     Muscles as cables – puppetry and balloons

                We think of muscles as chunks of mass filling out the body.  But whether a 90lb weakling or a steroid monster, the muscles are the same: like stretched balloons just waiting to be inflated by movement (or steroids).  It’s the cables that move the bones that make for dynamic characters.  

No. 6     Bone, muscle, tendon & fat.  Landmarks or Confusion.

                The body has a lot of bumps, even the smoothest body.   It can be confusing. And as it moves, so too the bumps. Come learn the difference and to know when and where to make more bumps or take them away.  Learn to make sense of landmarks.

No. 7     Muscle trains – how gesture flows through the body

                Change the direction of your head, and if you’re standing, there’s a train of muscles that go right to your toes.  Muscles never work alone.  Learn how this train relates to the flow of gesture through the body.

No. 8     Muscles run in straight lines unless – 

                Unless of course they have to go over or around something.  That something would be bone or other muscle. These straights and curves give grace of form to a body or make for more dynamic pose.

No. 9     Skeletons don’t differ much – bird, animal or human – they’re almost all the same

                Yup, they’re basically the same.  Birds have arms much like us and cows stand on their finger and toe nails.  We win and we lose a few bones, but we’re very much alike.  

No. 10   Form follows function – carnivore or herbivore or human

                Whether you are chasing after your next meal or you’re the meal running from the chaser, or you’re just the couch potato  munching on a snack watching it all, your form from skeleton to muscles is defined by just that – carnivore, herbivore or gamer.  

Monday, March 30, 2015

Studio Waste Paper Garbage Study.

Response 3 to the challenge: why not study the garbage? Interesting shapes and forms.

Foot studies and whale

I was doing some skeletal studies of the foot and lower leg and it struck me that the bones of  the foot were squid or octopus like in their form and rhythm.  So I stuck in a whale only to realize that it would be a sperm whale and not blue that would go after a squid.  Followed by the realization that neither one would go after an octopus, which the heel resembled more.

I'll stick to the bones.

Pets in my studio

Response to another challenge to post work.  Dated March 29 but done this morning instead of answering Monday morning emails.  6B on cheap paper.  time to bring out the better stuff on the shelves.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bear Skeleton at Bone Rooms University of Guelph

I was at the Human Anatomy labs and the Bone Rooms/ OVC /University of Guelph with my Humber and Seneca students for the last two days.  After everyone left today I took an hour to do a study of this black bear skeleton for myself.  8B pencil on mat board. 18 x 24 inches approx.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Inuit portraits

I got a call last evening from Zacharaiasie Nappatok, an Inuit friend living in Akulivik in Nunavik, previously known as Norther Quebec.  Our friendshop goes back many years to a time when I was printmaking advisor to the Inuit artists of Povungnituk and regions around the Hudson's and Ungava Bay coasts.

Of the many drawings and paintings I did of that region I thought I would  post a few.

Inuit hunter from Inukjuak, Regrettably I forgot his name

Zacharaiasie Nappatok. Artist and freind Povungnituk

Kanayook, manager of the Printshop

Abraham Neahok, Artist Povugnituk

Luccasie Tookaluk.  Artist Povungnituk

Markusi Qualingo, Hunter Povungnituk

Moses Tuktuk, Povungnituk

Paulusi Novalinga, Hunter Extraordinaire Povugnituk

Thomassie Irqumiak, Artist and son of Juanisaluk Irqumiak