Welcome to my Art Blog! I paint or draw most weekdays and sometimes finish a painting a day. I fondly call them my "Postcards from Paradise" because it's such a beautiful place the Lord made here for us.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Longer Poses Figure Studies in Charcoal and Chalk

The longer poses at our Artist Salon Open Studio give an opportunity to be a little more careful and develop some detail. By "longer" I mean about 20 minutes rather than the warm-up poses of 3 or 5 minutes.

One still must draw fairly quickly and simply, and concentrate on developing enough shadows and highlights to show the form. Charcoal and chalk work well for this; the charcoal being used for the darks and the chalk for the highlights. Drawn on a medium toned paper, it's enough variety to portray what's happening with the form.

©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

A version of the drawing on the right can be ordered as reproductions in several sizes at this page.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Stretch and a Challenge for a Figure Study

Fifteen minutes is a long time to hold a natural looking pose. Actually, being in one position for only a minute can be a challenge if there is twisting or turning involved. Try it yourself sometime if you don't believe me.

I especially like the posture on the left. At our recent figure drawing Open Studio, our model was finished with one pose and was stretching a bit. I noticed the line of her action and asked her if she could possibly hold that awhile as a pose. 

Lauren is an experienced model for our artists' salon and knows what her body can or cannot do for a certain length of time. She liked the spontaneous challenge and thought she could stay like that for at least a few minutes. At about 15 minutes she told us that's all folks. It was enough to get the pose mapped out and studied. I think this is one of my very favorite drawings from the past few months. I hope you like it too. 

©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Three Minute Charcoal Figure Studies

These quick gesture drawings are mere wisps of what could be with a little more time with the live model at Open Studio. If I'd had even half an hour to work on each of these, they'd be much more developed and finished.

However, the pose and the line of the body are what's important in these warm-ups. Not only are the quick poses excellent practice to keep my drawing skills intact, they are giving me ideas that could be paintings or sculptures one of these days. I'm thankful for the chance to work from the model and get back to the simplicity of studying gesture, form and value.

And these simple pieces have a charm all their own that's quite different from the longer studies.
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

Monday, March 15, 2010

Our March Painting Challenge: Favorite Treat

Challenge Group member Michael Naples chose this month's subject, which was indeed a head scratcher for me.

I have a lot of favorite treats! Choosing just one to portray wasn't easy.

Besides, I've already painted a few of my favorites in the past.

Another thing I had to consider: most of the treats I really enjoy are not something I can get at the store in our little town, so I knew I'd have to take time to bake something before I could do a painting of it.

It was worth it, though. I usually only make pecan pie for holidays, so having a fresh pie in our small household was indeed a treat. (It disappeared surprisingly fast!) I must say, those pecans on the top of the pie were quite a challenge to paint without getting too fussy.

(left) "Tasty Treat" Oil on hardboard 5"x5"
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin
The rest of the Challenge Group's paintings are an inspiration...and make my mouth water! Everyone's work this month is so much fun.

(left below) "Marble Frosted" Oil on Board 8"x8" ©2010 Michael Naples(middle below) "Chocolate Cordial Cherries" Oil on panel 4x4" ©2010 Jeanne Illenye
(right below) "The Usual Suspects" Oil on canvas 24x24" ©2010 Suzanne Berry

(left above) "My Treat" Oil on panel 6x8" ©2010 Robin Cheers
(right above) "One a Day" Oil on hardboard 4"x7" ©2010 Vicki Ross

Our Challenge Group is getting smaller these days. Two members have had to drop out for now to take care of family. We're already missing Silvina Day and Marie Fox in our monthly participation, but family is the most important.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Recent Figure Studies

Two longer poses in charcoal and chalk on cotton paper.

©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Gesture Studies and Short Pose in Charcoal

Two gesture sketches of 1 minute poses and a 5 minute pose, each on 18x12" grey paper.

©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

More of Last Week's Charcoal and Chalk Studies

Two drawings on buff colored cotton 12"x18" charcoal paper and a slightly smaller one on grey paper.

©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Nude Figure Studies in Charcoal and Chalk

Here are two new studies, drawn from our live model at Open Studio. These are charcoal and chalk on 12"x18" grey paper.

I'll also have more to show you as soon as I get them sprayed, photographed and inventoried.

©2010 Diana Moses Botkin