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Life Drawing in Color

December 15, 2009

Lately I haven’t been posting much life drawing, even though I have tons of it around, because I haven’t been happy with the way my drawings look on line.  The problem is, that out of a two-hour session, I may only like one or two drawings.  Sometimes I like most of them, but I can never predict what kind of a session it’s going to be. So I draw on cheap, large sheets of paper, generally off-white.  These don’t photograph well.  And lately I’ve been working a lot in graphite, which looks good in person, but is horribly dull in reproduction.

Today I tried something new, and I think I’ll keep it up.  It’s lots of fun if nothing else.  I photographed the drawings and corrected the exposure, then printed them out on watercolor paper, in a much smaller size.  I then added color and scanned them back into my computer.

Here are the first three.  I had so much fun that there will be more to come. I’m a little rusty with watercolor, but after the first one (not seen) things started to get better.

28 Comments leave one →
  1. Nina permalink
    December 15, 2009 4:44 pm

    What a great idea! I too think it´s difficult to scan/photograph graphite, it turns into black and white too easily, instead of graytones.

  2. benedictedelachanal permalink
    December 15, 2009 4:57 pm

    It is so interesting to read about the process, the way, the thinking behind the drawing. A very good idea and the watercolors are beautiful.

  3. carolottaway permalink
    December 15, 2009 5:22 pm

    I have the same troubles with trying to capture graphite, so this is a super idea! Your watercolor artwork is BEAUTIFUL!

  4. annie permalink
    December 15, 2009 5:39 pm

    I agree, it is so interesting to follow the process and the results are so satisfying with the addition of color.

  5. December 15, 2009 5:49 pm

    Looks great! I’m signed up for an open studio starting after the first of the year. I’m really looking forward to it. BTW- I love the new banner.

  6. December 15, 2009 6:00 pm

    The top one is absolutely stunning, the colors, the lines, powerful and delicate at the same time!! I’m going to try the process. I did not know we could put watercolor paper in the printer???

  7. December 15, 2009 7:24 pm

    It’s true you never know what you’ll get from a session of life drawing. When I was taking a class I used inexpensive paper mostly too–and usually did my best work of the class on it! This method you have pioneered to show your croquis works wonderfully: all three are lovely: I love the use of both line and washes.

  8. anntnem permalink
    December 15, 2009 7:46 pm

    These are fantastic! What a brilliant idea too.

  9. csgebhart permalink
    December 15, 2009 8:57 pm

    Oops – my comment below was meant for this post. But I like that painting too.

  10. December 15, 2009 9:14 pm

    I love these…love them. Please make me happy and say that one day you’ll consider selling some of your life drawings…even the ones YOU ‘don’t love’…

    • caseytoussaint permalink*
      December 17, 2009 1:04 pm

      Thank you for saying tht, Suzanne. Trust me though, the ones I don’t like, no one would like! But I would sell the other ones.

  11. December 15, 2009 11:31 pm

    These are great Casey – you will have stimulated lots of us to try the technique with our figure drawing output in graphite.

  12. December 16, 2009 12:25 am

    Agree. They are absolutely great. They look so fresh and ease.

  13. December 16, 2009 1:21 pm

    Oh, Cool, Casey! I really like the effect (and the drawings, too.) Do you ever read An Illustrator’s Life For Me! blog – by Lynn Chapman? She has posted on several occasions about methods she uses to alter her original drawings through various applications. You might enjoy poking through some of them.

    • caseytoussaint permalink*
      December 17, 2009 1:07 pm

      Thanks Suzanne! I’ve found her blog, and I’m loking forward to perusing it.

  14. December 16, 2009 9:29 pm

    Great idea and I love the results! Looking forward to more!

  15. December 16, 2009 10:22 pm

    Au secours !… J’ai pas tout saisi de tes explications mais ça a l’air d’être génial pour le rendu de la mine graphite sur ordi !… Peux-tu me le résumer en français ?… Désolée !

    • caseytoussaint permalink*
      December 17, 2009 1:01 pm

      C’est moi qui m’excuse d’être trop paresseuse pour faire un blog bilingue! C’est un processus très simple. Tu prends une photo numérique du dessin, ou tu le scan directement. Avec un éditeur de photos de base, tu l’éclaires autant que possible, et tu l’imprimes sur du papier d’aquarelles (moi j’utilise un papier anglais – Bockingford 190g, puisque c’est souple et pas très épais. Après je colorie en aquarelle, et c’est tout!

  16. caseytoussaint permalink*
    December 17, 2009 12:53 pm

    Thanks for all the kind comments! It’s an easy process – I have an hp 1350 all in one printer/scanner, and I use Bockingford 90lb Not paper which I order in llarfe sheets from the uk. My printer only goes up to letter size, so I can’t do anything very large this way. This is extremely relaxing because you’ve done all the hard work during the life drawing session.

  17. December 17, 2009 5:32 pm

    Hi Casey, Very cool! I like how the texture works with your sensitive, elegant line! Can’t wait to see more…!

  18. December 18, 2009 8:12 pm

    Those are beautiful… i love the way they are done… and they are very thick women… witch is the best kind!!!

  19. December 19, 2009 7:12 am

    What a neat creative idea! It looks great. I’ve been having trouble getting the colors right lately in my scans too, since I got a new computer. I need to figure it out.

  20. December 21, 2009 7:35 am

    La première me plait beaucoup!
    J’avais essayé cette “technique” il y a 2 ans, mais je n’avais pas réussi ce rendu, faudra que j’essaie en augmentant la luminosité… ce que je n’avais pas fait!… mais… après les fêtes!!

  21. December 22, 2009 7:54 am

    What a great idea. These are wonderful!

  22. quirkyartist permalink
    December 29, 2009 9:52 am

    I must say I do love the top one, as a drawing, and also as a watercolour except that I think the yellow is too bright & takes away from the figure (only my opinion). You could try another one with an earthy tone instead of the bright yellow and I think it would be WONDERFUL

  23. February 10, 2010 2:43 am

    Nice lines on your figures. Your color washes are great.


  1. Life Drawing in Color « edm superBlog2

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