(2008 - Sept 2020)
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.
Christmas Eve Sketches - December 24th 2020
Great session. I talked too much, as is my way. My son joined us for a bit on this session. He posed for a couple ones and a two minute with me and he drew too! I’ve included his drawings in their own slideshow (his are the top ones). I think James did a good job with the hands! What a nice Christmas present! Made my night.
Christmas Ornaments! - December 3rd 2020
Jake, Francis, Kathleen, Anthony, Brian, and Gila… a 6 pack of Collectivites. Marker on transparent shrink paper, double coated in resin.
Back to Portraits - November 26th 2020
Familiar faces and even some familiar poses. I’m partial to the 5s and 10s this week. I’ve tried something different with the slideshow ordering this week. Each model is shown in sequence, from their shortest post to their longest. This isn’t the way we draw (we take turns) but it is nice to see the details fill in. At this point, I’ve drawn each of these people dozens if not hundreds of times, so even the ones and twos should capture them a little.
1-3: Brian, 4-7: Jake, 8-11: Anthony, 12: Gila and Francis, 13: Gila, 14-16: Francis, 17-19: Ones of everyone
An Excellent Zoom Model - November 19th 2020
An excellent model over Zoom. He has always been great at giving us interesting angles. Now, he seems to have mastered the art of creating interesting forms within the camera frame. When he took breaks, we jumped back into portraits. This week, I’m partial to the the fives and a few of the later, colour drawings.
Portrait Collage - November 5th 2020
Another comfortable indoor session. I ended up last in the line up this week because we went alphabetical. Worked out very nicely for me because everyone else posed for a ten and then, alas, we ran out of time.
Comfortable Means Colourful - October 29th 2020
I have a new arrangement on Thursday Collectives that puts me comfortably indoors in a spare bedroom. This week, I had actual room to lay out my markers and actual, large paper to draw. Even though the individual drawings are about the same size, the ability to move wherever on the page really frees me up. This is a pretty colourful set. That has a lot to do with having the materials laid out beside me. I think my next step will be to curate the colours. I do tend to just use what I have on hand. Realistically, I can easily create a colour scheme before I begin. It’s not as if any of the colours I choose actually match the reality.
Shout out to the awesome model/artists last night. I especially enjoyed the exaggerated perspective on the butts!
A Loose Line - October 15th 2020
Emotional draws this week. I didn’t put any performance pressure on myself and ended up with overlapping drawings and random compositions. But I do really like the jeans.
Blind Contour Based Portraits - October 8st 2020
This week, I accepted a one time gig where I will be blind contour drawing online. I thought it made sense to do a full session of Blind Contours. If you are interested in Blind Contour Drawing, please visit my Blind Contour Instruction Page. The technique is very simple. With practice, it automates the process of developing proper line flow. It also teaches you to draw what you see, not what you assume.
For the short drawings, I only used Blind Contour. For the longer drawings, I added colour and detail onto the blind contour base. For a few drawings, I layered multiple blinds on top of each other. I tried to switch mediums and colours when I did this. Generally, I found doing a whole session this way very tiring. I will have to keep that in mind for my students. I will be drawing objects using the technique this week and posting them to my Covid blog.
Finally, a Big Monitor - October 1st 2020
This time, when it started to rain, I came inside and stole the family computer. It’s great to be able to see while you draw!
Excuses Excuses! - September 24 2020
Came late after hanging out with a friend. We had a model but then it switched to portrait drawing. It got dark, fast. I was using the light of my cellphone to draw. An interesting night.
Portraits - September 17 2020
This week was a mess for me. I was drawing at my folk’s place and the signal kept dropping. I really like the chatter but this week the sound wasn’t right and I eventually had to mute it. Complaints (and excuses) aside, people did a great job posing. I also had the option of jumping inside without being pounced on by little ones. So my hands didn’t get cold and my lines stayed loose. I fiddled about with framing using painters tape. I do like the result but I think I might just leave the tape on next time and colour it black. When the pictures were taped, you could really tell they were cellphone images. I like that.
Portraits - September 10 2020
Not really sure what to lead with this week. It felt like there were some solid drawings but no real standouts.
Portraits - September 3 2020
Drawing other artists really changes the dynamic. Artist tend to give each other challenges. And there’s a friendly one-upmanship in picking a really great pose. It feels… collaborative. The poses this week were great. Visiting artist (and hopefully regular) Toni was a welcome addition. I do think my portraits would have benefited from some white gel pen highlights though.
Back to Portraits - August 27 2020
At the end, when we saw each other’s work, I thought it was such an exciting show. Really a remarkable evening. My portraits were fairly experimental, especially as night set in. For the second half of the evening, I was using my camera flashlight to see the page while I drew from the screen. This practice is so unusual but oddly fulfilling. And, of course, the chatter is very pleasant as long as I check myself and don’t talk too much.
Bonus Peter - August 26 2020
An extra session with Peter, mostly 10 minute poses.
Peter (Zoom Figure Drawing) - August 20 2020
I really struggle to see the whole figure in any detail on the phone. On the other hand, the camera simplifies the image. I make fewer choices and I am finding that I can fill in many of the details I cannot see. George is one of my absolute favourite models and he could not be more suitable for Zoom drawing. His features are bold and his poses are dynamic and easy to read from a distance. In fact, he has the presence and features of a stage actor.
Zoom Portraits on Grey - August 13 2020
This week, I used gel pens and grey paper alongside my usual markers. I am noticing that I like the work that starts out with a light rough in one colour. I can adjust the placement of features with darker colours and the process gives the work some depth.
Zoom Portraits in the Dark - August 6 2020
I came in late to the session and missed the one minute warm ups. Thankfully, the Collective indulged me and we did some ones at the end. I have always wondered what happens when you do your quick drawings after completely warming up, so it was a real treat for me to try the experiment out. I really like the results! A one minute session at the end feels quite slow. You have lots of time to get in detail. Before you warm up, it feels so rushed!
Cellphone Life Drawing - July 30 2020
Is it really life drawing if the model is a 2 inch figure on your cellphone? Yes. The camera flattens and the angles are oddly exaggerated, but Richard is an inspiring muse in any medium. Unfortunately, the scanner really does a number to neons so the colours aren’t as they should be, but oh well.
Zoom Cellphone Portrait Session - June 18 2020
More black brush pen and white pastel pencil portraits. It’s really odd how easy it is to draw for 3 hours with only modeling breaks breaks on Zoom. It doesn’t seem to matter that I’m straining to see the screen. It doesn’t seem to make a difference if the modeling pose (we take turns) is uncomfortable. It’s easy to just keep going. On the last pose, I’m usually ready to stop for the night, but then sometimes I end up doing a sit down piece with a more imaginative bent. I think the socializing really keeps the energy up. It’s the only really relaxing social interaction I have outside of family all week long. It’s nice to laugh.
Zoom Cellphone Portrait Session - June 11 2020
Switching up the Medium this week…
Zoom Cellphone Portrait Session - June 4 2020
Lots of quick zoom cellphone portraits this week: ones, twos, fives, and a couple tens.
A small group this week so here are some introductions. That’s Brian (with the beard), Francis (with the scruff), and Kim (beardless, ha!).
Mixed Media Portrait Session - May 28 2020
I pre-painted my paper with acrylics this week. The originals are far pinkier but those colours get lost in the scan. Even though the drawings don’t really suit the medium, I wanted to bring some colour back into my work.
I’m finding the Covid sessions have tended toward black ink on white paper. There’s a starkness to my mood – the prevailing mood, really – and it’s affecting the way I express myself. Maybe it’s because I’m indoors so much. This is month three of isolation. We visit my parent’s backyard a few days a week now and it’s doing wonders for my mood. But still. I miss being able to move about.
Zoom Cellphone Portrait Session - May 21 2020
Zoom Cellphone Portrait Session - May 7 2020
Lots of quick zoom cellphone portraits this week: ones, twos, fives, and a couple tens.