The Collective 2022

The Collective 2022

2022 Sessions

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.

How to Collectivize

(I really love how-to guides.)

The format is easy to create into. Just make a point with every picture! This was a fun one. I drew some simple comics on the subway and then settled in for a nice draw. Since it is a How to Collective book, it’s nice that the model is Francis, since he’s the corest of core members. He’s a great model. These aren’t flattering pictures but at this point, I’ve drawn him so many times, I am at ease playing around.

Materials: green printing paper, tracing paper (thanks Francis), pen, sharpie, markers, opaque paint markers, some aluminum tape, wax string, painted cover.

The Book of Jack (zine)

Leaning into the Zine

I really wanted this one to be a zine that captured the experience of the night. It worked a little. I got some good quotes from people… My favourite is Jakes’ remembered art school drawing advice: “Don’t be so precious. Move on”. I think the layering works in part. I do like a few of the pictures of Jack, who was a terrific model. It feels like a good sketchbook, actually. I love sketchbooks as an art form. Too bad I can’t make a living doing THAT, right?!

Materials: green printing paper, tracing paper (thanks Francis), pen, sharpie, markers, opaque paint markers, some aluminum tape, wax string, painted cover.

Finally! Watercolour!

First time figure drawing with watercolour

Quite a while ago, Francis gave me this awesome set of watercolours. I definitely have not figured out how they work yet but boy was it fun filling in colour in large sections. I definitely hit mud a couple times and ended up with some smudge moments, but I enjoy a few of the longer poses. Honestly, it was just so much fun! 

No book this week. I got a good deal on mixed media/watercolour paper and I used that. 

Zoom Nostalgia

Back to the Basics

Just pen and paper this week. A great Zoom session with artists posing. One, two, five, and ten minute poses. All great poses too… artists make very good models!

No book this week. Just an ordinary sketchbook. I was out on the balcony too, just like in the early Zoom days. Missed some faces but always a pleasure to draw new ones!

The Book of Bruce

Mixed Media

Francis gave me some tracing paper and I have been turning it into overlay for Collective books. It really lets me play with time and distance. Mwa ha… I should start bringing these over as hosting gifts seeing as I rarely remember to grab a gift on my way over.

The single images are okay but they feel like detailed close ups more than complete pieces. Funny how that works.

The Book of Erika

Mixed Media

For this book, I mixed tracing paper and good quality paper so I could layer the images and create some depth. It sometimes worked. I like the overlay with the orange cover paper best, as it creates a fleshy tone. I used Crayola skin tone colours, pen, and sharpie for the drawing. The good quality paper had a lot of tooth so the effect is rough on those pages. Still, I like these pages. I’ll make another book with tracing paper. 

I used the tracing paper to mark the folds for the holes and ended up liking the way it looked.  Added some diagonal folds which work okay. The front cover is quite plain but I kinda like that. I even like the tape on the corners… anything with purpose and transparency is always going to have some appeal for me.

Book of Envelopes

Interactive Iris

This little book is interactive, with envelopes to open and scraps of neon (they scan dull) paper inside. It felt right that the model just so happens to be a ridiculously talented creative. It felt like a good fit of materials and subject. Whether the drawings do their subject justice… 

This week, right off the bat, the scrap images on the ones are my favourite. The later images are more interesting but I enjoy line work above all else and ose are the strongest. Other pages have better compositions, certainly, but for drawing alone, the scrap ones are stronest. Maybe the 15 and the 10 Remainder as well. 

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

Relaxed

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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