The Collective 2022

The Collective 2022

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.

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

Francis and John

Pencil crayon on brown envelopes

Once again, forgot my drawing materials. Once again, bought a cheapo set of pencil crayons and some brown envelopes.

John posed last which mean he got the two 15 minute poses, so his set is a little better developed. I am particularly fond of the pink one with the red outline and teal background. 

Drawing John is like setting the video game to easy mode. Some people are just easier to draw than others. I’m difficult (not just my personality) and Francis is “Normal” setting. He’s not exactly difficult to draw once you’re familiar, but it’s not as easy to play around with things as it is with John.

Francis interpreted “Creepy is in the eye of the beholder” as a comment on him but I was thinking of it as a dig on the artists, not the model. Still… it’s not the first time I’ve done something like that to him so I’d better make sure not to use him as a model for any other weird comments. Hopefully, he doesn’t check the names of these envelopes!

A Comic of Julia

Pen and Paper

Sometimes, I think ADHD makes me creative by making me forget my materials. I only had my “Lynda Barry” Moleskine and pens. Clearly, that is for comics only. So here is Julia as a comic. It’s the story of the evening minus the other drawers. It would be nice to find a way to pull them into the story too. But I have to sacrifice some drawing time for writing and there really isn’t enough time. The solution is obviously a 6 hour Collective.

I think this week, the 2s, the 10s, and the 15 at the end are the best of the lot. The fives are very loud about being fives though.

Ian and Eva on Envelopes

Brown envelope (or Toronto TTC Map), white and coloured pencil crayon

So, do you think Hallmark will go for our bid to redesign their envelopes? We can call them the Toronto Collective Season’s Greetings Figure Drawing Collection. They’ll fly off the shelves! I really enjoy drawing Ian. He looks at ease in his poses but he never moves. The drawing with Eva involved quite a long stretch of holding his head up without support. I’d die. Eva is extremely easy to draw. Her features are lovely and distinct, so one can lean into the urge to draw exactly as one sees and the urge to create beautiful lines at the same time. There’s no internal conflict drawing her. That’s actually true of both of them. One simply draws as one sees and makes abstractions and creative play at will.

I was a little disappointed in my map drawings this week. The green portrait dominates but I really prefer the reclining nude. There is another pose in blue there that I like but the proportions don’t work because I drew it large and then put the reclining nude in front of it. Ah well.

The Book of Francis

Painted Cover, white and coloured pencil crayon, black paper

Francis on black paper. Loving the paper bu really wanted black sharpie. Felt like I was fighting with the materials and now I’m thinking I need some nicer pencil crayons.

The Book of Valencia

Painted Cover, pen, white pencil crayon, brown craft paper, whiteout pen

Val was easy to draw. Her poses and expressions were natural and beautiful. I like these materials as well. I invested in a better white pencil crayon. Kinda sad that the whiteout pen broke so early on. I like the effect it had but not the complete lack of control. Actual white out would take too long to dry though, and gel pens aren’t as reliable as pencil crayon. I think I’ll be leaning into pencil crayon after this. Nicer pencil crayons aren’t expensive and the look fantastic on brown paper.

The Book of Jennifer

Painted Cover, Aluminum tape, Paper, pen, marker

Another Life Drawing Book. I didn’t love every picture this week but they were all fun to draw and I really like these pages. The cover is its own thing but I like it.

The Book of Ian

Aluminum tape, Paper, and sharpies, pen

Collective 2022, The Book of Ian! The Toronto Collective met at Francis’ place for the first time in YEARS. He is such a good baker! I like this book quite a bit. The sharpie showed through the pages and it feels like there is something drawn on all of them. The right side has ballpoint borders and the left does not. When you read the book, if feels like there is something on both sides of every page. The downside is that I didn’t use an extra page and quite a few of the drawings have dots from the previous draw. Still… it’s nice to have a small book at the end of each session.

More Collective

Aluminum tape, Paper, and sharpies, pen

Another 2022 Collective, another 2022 Collective premade book. I used too much texture and spent quite a bit of time fighting it. On the other hand, I like some of the compositional structure and the second page of Brians.

Music Man


Our model was a first timer, but you would never have guessed if you missed the first 5 minutes of us info-dumping Modeling 101 on him. He was so relaxed and at ease at every stage, from the gesture drawings through to a couple of 15s at the end. He played and sang too! We had a good crowd of artists, with a couple new (and talented!) artists, so I felt like I could experiment and tape over parts, and he would still have beautiful drawings of himself to photograph for the pass around. 

Premade and Prepainted the Book!

We had such a great model AND a great sofa, so I really lucked in with my long, skinny book. The cover is a painted page that I’ve always liked and didn’t have anything to do with. I love drawing on lotto pages because they do have such a bright colour scheme. They are dark though. Fortunately, I had some tainted white paint. Other colours had somehow, magically, made their way into the paint. I watered it down and I like the effect on the pages. I played around with other colours too, and added tape as I went. 

Length and Width

I have to say, this sizing doesn’t work out great when it comes to drawing a full figure. I am so in love with faces that I will choose them 9 out of 10 times over body. Because I generally did two different types of paper on each side of the page spread, I kept cutting off the figures. I’ll do this again with a promise to myself to put a whole figure on both pages together whenever I can. I think it makes the most of the format.

Crystal and MAri

A Book of Nudes

Waxed thread, Neon pink printer paper, green construction paper, painters tape, black electrical tape, sharpie, mechanical pencil.

Life Drawing in Tape

Aluminum tape, construction paper, Painters Tape, and sharpies, pen

Pre-made some backgrounds and spent 2.5 hours drawing but still just a few images. Mixed Media takes time. But I still think I need to be cutting and taping during the session. The immediacy of the session pushes me. The egotistical desire to have something to show for the pass around… 

The first piece was very much inspired by #stanfraydas and his book Professional Cartooning. The second was inspired by drop shadows. I love the idea of faking depth.

All the Tape none of the Nudity

Aluminum tape, Neon Paper, construction paper, thread, and sharpies, pen

More tape art but this time we were Zooming, so no nudity. The drawings tend to be simple because the tape takes forever to remove from the paper. Cut the paper to slightly different lengths to get some multicolour framing. 

Mixed Media Nudes

Aluminum tape, painting sample colours, construction paper, thread, and sharpies

So exhausted this past week AND I have a commission coming up. So I made something creative instead of doing the art I’m supposed to be doing. Good model but I don’t think I spent more than 40 minutes of the 150 actually drawing her.

Button Eyes

AKA Drawing with Pizza and Little Guy

This session, between my little guy crawling on me and a pizza break minus the break, I just kinda went with button eyes. I tried to simplify noses down to a single bump and mouths to a line… The pictures were freaking me out as I drew them. They look WAY more like the people than I thought they would. The first two pages and the last page have actual drawings but the rest are Coralined.

Covid session

Just sketchbook pages for my first day back in 2022

After a run-in with Omnicron, I’m feeling sleepy and small-scale. This week’s Collective pages are, sadly, not nudes. Instead, more portraits of lovely Collective Art members over Zoom.

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