The Collective

The 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

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.

Portrait Gallery

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.

Portrait Gallery

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.

Portrait Gallery

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. 

Portrait Gallery

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.

Portrait Gallery

Zoom Portraits in the Dark - August 6 2020

Portrait Gallery

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

Lifedrawing Gallery

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

Portrait Gallery

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

Portrait Gallery

Switching up the Medium this week…

Zoom Cellphone Portrait Session - June 4 2020

Portrait Gallery

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

Portrait Gallery

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

Portrait Gallery

Zoom Cellphone Portrait Session - May 7 2020

Portrait Gallery

Lots of quick zoom cellphone portraits this week: ones, twos, fives, and a couple tens.

Blind Contour Zoom Session - April 30 2020

Blind Contour

For Blind Contour Drawings, the artist looks at the subject but never the page.

Contour/Blind Contour Mix

These pages contain a mixture of Contour and Blind Contour Drawings. 


For Contour Drawings, the artist may look up and down from the subject to the page. They do not lift their pen from the page.

Collective Zoom - April 23 2020

Lotto Tickets - December 2019


Cut Outs

Figures on Tile

Gallery of Weirdness