It was an art-filled three-day weekend. My big Christmas gift to Joy was a weekend workshop at the Institute of Mosaic Art in Oakland, coordinated with my Wonderful In-Laws so that they took care of Munchkin and we could take the class together. Joy had already taken a mosaic workshop in San Miguel, with results that you can see here. This was my first go at it–another art form, like quilt, collage, and assemblage, that makes things out of other, often broken, things–and I could see myself seriously getting into this medium. I can’t show the results, because our digital camera is broken and putting a 12″x12″ concrete stepping stone on my scanner would probably be a bad idea.
Then I had my figure drawing session on Monday as usual. I can’t miss it every time Joy and the munchkin have Monday off, so off I went while they had a nice morning at home together. I wanted to get a four-mile walk in, which means a circuitous route to the studio since it’s only about 2 miles away. Unsure how hilly the route I’d planned was, I left much more time than I needed, and with over half an hour to spare, I went to Arizmendi, the fantastic worker-owned bakery that has recently opened in the Mission District, and over my second breakfast, thought about what I wanted to do differently in the day’s session. The previous two sessions, I hadn’t liked my drawings much. I decided on a few approaches: be bolder with shading, especially making sure to put in all the small variations in surface; get back to putting in a dark background where that was what made an edge stand out, rather than inventing a line that wasn’t there; focus on just one part of the body with each drawing; and above all be brave. It ended up being a good session.
Another change I made was to bring some sketch-grade paper, which has a rougher texture than the newsprint I’ve been using. I don’t know if it deserves the credit for yesterday’s improvements, but I like the way it grabs the charcoal, and it feels like an achievement to draw on nice white paper without seizing up from a fear of mistakes.
I’ll post one or two drawings a day instead of one big gallery, so here are two, ten minutes each. The second one here is probably my favorite from the day–I like the shading on the belly and thighs.