The Collective 2021

The Collective 2021

Interested in forming your own Artist Collective? Here’s a zine to show you the way: How to Build An Art Collective.

I am a founding member of The Collective, a Toronto based figure drawing group. The Collective has been meeting weekly since 2009. Each week, a different member hosts. The sessions last three hours, with poses between 1 and 30 minutes. At the end of the session, we pass around our sketchbooks.

My work within The Collective ranges from the conventional to the experimental. During Covid-19, the group has been meeting via Zoom sessions. I have been drawing portraits of Collectivites off my phone in my car parking lot.

Covid-19 Sessions

More Panels

More Panels, more pinks that won’t scan. This was a fun session with lots of people (and therefore lots of ones and twos). 

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These aren’t a zine (yet) but I’m not done with panels. Working with markers on a larger scale was great. I realize that I’m never going to stop being in love with the exact neon yellow and pink that my scanner can’t read, so I took some photos and tried to adjust the colour in Paint.NET. I think these are my best in the last few weeks for sure.

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Eyes & Noses - Pocket zines

Eyes and Noses pocket zines. This week, I ignored the poses and just drew the eyes and noses. I even snuck in a couple of me (blind contour drawings are my friends).

The Book of... Zines

More Zines. This time, I devoted one minizine to each person. I grabbed snippets of the conversations happening around the models. This session was mostly in pencil – mechanical, 6B – with a little colour for the final drawings on the cover. Below are some highlights. To read the zines online, head over to THE BOOK OF…

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Quick Draw Zines

This week, I took a stab at a more comic style. The drawing was too fast paced to get in any good dialogue. I opted for some musings, added in after the fact. Read and download the Quick Draw Zines on their own page or check out the highlights here.

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Zoom Zines

I drew this week’s sketches into zines. They can be saved and printed, folded, and read… or you can just read them online here: Zoom Zines. Below, you’ll find some highlights.

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Awful Lime Green Shrink Film

I ordered shrink film. It was supposed to be white. It is not white. It is this… lime green. BUT it IS tonal paper, when you think about it. So I used green to shade and red for contrast and I honestly like a couple of these portraits. Now I’m thinking that I’ll get some pink paper and some white paint, or maybe a light blue.

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Portraits with Pink

Marker portraits from 1 – 10 minutes. Some on Shrink Film, others on paper.

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This week, I stuck to a 6B pencil. Weirdly, this made every mark more permanent than my usual marker routine. Since I lay down lighter marker layers first and correct with darker colours after, the perspective gets fixed with every layer. But when I went to erase pencil marks, it didn’t work. Maybe I need a different eraser? Anyway, you can see my issue with foreheads. I chronically underestimate the length and then have to correct. But the trade-off with the 6B is line weight. Lots of loose light sketchy marks and then tight black nostril depth blacks. I think the pencil work is better for quick expressions.

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Too much distraction from the family this week. Kept my lines loose but I’d have liked to sit and concentrate on the work.

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I put together a minizine: How to Build an Artist Collective! These are the images of Toronto Collective members that I used for the zine!

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Drawing Outside the Box

I started out with the notion that I would draw boxes and fit the drawings into that space. Seemed to really help me with proportions and relativity. In the 10s, I broke out of the boxes, but only with the sketch. I only worked detail and colour into the boxes. I feel like this has the potential to become an interesting lesson plan, actually. It was very helpful to have rules and then to make modifiers that still upheld the original rules. I can see the lesson in three parts – warm up (no boxes), 5 minute in the box sketches, and then 10s with the modifiers. I ended up breaking the 10 minute pose of John into two fives because he has a second camera. I like the results in the longer sketches and I think the lesson plan has some potential. I’ll return to this again.

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Thinking Community

This week, I’ve been searching for “community” in Rijksmuseum and other galleries that have gone online during Covid. I’m putting together a January zine on the theme. I drew this week’s Collective to fit into some sketches I’ve done of museum artworks. I’m guessing that I’ll use pieces from other weeks instead, just because there are some that I really love… but we’ll see. Here’s this week’s “community collective”

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Sketchy People Jewelry

I’ve been obsessing over shrink film recently. These were drawn and baked on the same night. I think the floating head of John works the best as a necklace pendant. It’s super hipster though. I’m also partial to the Anthony surrounded by Gilas with the blue background. Something about that reads as jewelry to me. The issue with pendants is that it is expensive to make them into necklaces. It’s one thing to attach a piece to earring findings and another huge step to bead or even string a necklace. 

Click on images for isolated view. These images are small. The pieces are a little larger in real life.