At the July MCBA Visual Journal Collective meeting we had a triple treat. Artist Julie Fakler spoke to us about her process of drawing animals from life, and we then got to sketch two lovely dog models—Murphy (who was celebrating his sixth birthday) and Leo.
FIrst I have to say it was really hot that day, and very hot inside the building so I didn't get many photos of anyone or anything. But 20 some people showed up, despite the heat, to carry on!
Julie explained that she liked to work on gessoed boards, making a graphite sketch while observing the animal. Later she added washes of acrylic paint. She emphasized working quickly, but being flexible. With a moving animal there's no guarantee as to how long they will hold a pose so you're going to have to dive in and work fast.
Julie also shared some of her journals with us. She makes her own books and fills them with sketches of her cats and other visual observations. She also created a large journal for a Humane Society Painting project. She painted portraits of animals who were up for adoption. For that project she worked from photographs, keeping her reference materials in the journal.
Next we were basically filing to either side of the flexi-space to one of the two dogs—and sketching for about 45 minutes. Below you will see sketches that I made of Murphy (I didn't get to sketch Leo and have a raincheck I hope to cash in), then some sketches from Jean Shannon. If you sketched Murphy or Leo and would like to share your work please send me some jpegs to add to this post, or a link to your blog where you have posted your images.
I want to thank everyone for working hard, laughing hard, and making some great sketches! Thanks for dealing with the heat.
And a very special thanks to Julie Fakler for sharing her work, and Molly Anthony who brought Murphy, and Suzanne Hughes who brought Leo, for making this such a fantastic evening.
Left: I (Roz Stendahl) started the sketching session by warming up with gesture sketches on 8.5 x 11.5 inch sheets of Hahnemühle Nostalgie using a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. Click on any of the images to view an enlargement. Murphy is a Golden Retriever with a lovely red-brown coat.
Left: My first sketch after I warmed up. I used a Faber-Castell Pitt Artist's Calligraphy pen for the dog, and applied light washes of gouache. Click on the image to view an enlargement. (All of my sketches [Roz Stendahl] were on the same paper as listed in the previous image.)