Tagged: Palette & Chisel

Leg up

The Fall returns and so too does my annual early morning trek to Chicago’s Palette & Chisel Art Center for their 12 hour life drawing marathon. Even though I’m 35 years away from the last time I had to obey the seasonal call to the classroom and the Monday morning blues, I still like to begin the academic calendar year in auspicious fashion. Hence I rise at dawn to capture on paper, the daylong writhing and heroic posturing of half a dozen models, some of whom I’ve drawn for more than 6-7 years.

Snoozer x

Mel 1 Nude1 Mel2 Gret1 Gret2

I’ll add more to this post once this toy posing as a computer, aka my iPad, decides to start performing again. After several Time Out Request and endless waits for Updates to kick in, I need a break.

Nude2  D&C2D&C1 D&C3 Snoozer3

I got in just over 11 hours of drawing on Labor Day. In general, it was a good day tho I had a couple drawings come up short. It’s interesting to me that most activities can wear me out as time runs on but my drawing strengthens the more I put into it. Long days generally invigorate me and I’ve never suffered from “writer’s fatigue”, repetitive motion, or carpal tunnel syndrome.

The day’s gear involved a ledger book, a Rhodia lined journal, some fountain pens, Platinum Carbon ink, and various nibbed Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens in several shades of grey.

Drawing ain’t dead.


Haven’t been drawing from the model much for some months. Caught the figure above while conducting Urban Sketching workshops in Chicago. I was at the Palette & Chisel and saw Larry Paulsen so I ran upstairs to his figure drawing class and got in an hour of a long pose. Below, a page I’ve kept working on, adding the skulls next to previously drawn poses. I made use of a Pitt Artist Pen Big Brush White and a white grease pencil to help pull some features out of the tangle of over sketching, aka pentimento.

The shoulder area is so important that I wanted to draw x-ray super-imposed bones of that region into the figures’ but the drawing became cluttered enough so I intend to work some of those up at a later date.

Work page1Work page2

The ledger book I’ve been working in, above, has been a real joy and takes the inks beautifully.

Mall reader

Winter seems to have sagged hereabouts, just as I was finally getting the resolve to got stand outside on a face numbing day to draw. So the weeks set of drawing was more locals in transit and some grown up mall rats.

Mall readers 2

Theater crowd John 2x The Russkie 2x

Back at The Palette & Chisel for a less than stellar Friday night life drawing session. Drew rather timidly on the nudes didn’t get much accomplished. A winter with sparse drawing is starting to show in the sluggish character of the drawings, especially the nudes.


Following my New Year’s Day ritual of a decade, I opened the new year by attending the 12 hour life drawing marathon at The Palette & Chisel. Nothing like bare flesh to knock the cold outta yer bones in the depths of winter.

Melissa's spinal sway trio Felissia in blue front & back Rachel 1 Rachel 2

blue nude

I’m loving the way this ledger book is taking ink. It has a fairly long delay before the ink is absorbed so it’s easy to smudge and blot the ink to create tone and finger print textures. The fountain pen I’m getting considerable use out of is a broad nib Graf von Faber guilloche. The Pelikano Junior made it’s presence felt to a good extent also. Pitt Pens, Platinum Carbon and Noodler’s Ottoman Blue are the inks. While I was drawing the reclining model titled “Blue Nude”, I had black ink on my fingers from drawing in black on the previous poses so when I wiped the ink on her leg as it was drying, it turned the blue a dingy color.

Tri P&C

Once in awhile, I actually put up some doodles of naked butts. Went to the Palette & Chisel last night to see a strong show of Errol Jacobs paintings from the last few years and made it upstairs for the last 2 hours of life drawing. Been awhile.

head blue backpack no seat l & r after


Well it’s been some time since I settled in to some nude drawing having managed to travel the country extensively this Fall so I squeezed in a half session last night with less than what I might have hoped for. Since I returned to Chicago 5 days ago much has gotten in the way of my daily drawing so some of the slap dash I was looking for came in fits and starts. I also left the house with a limited range of grays and wound up making careless use of cool and warm grays on the model which is irritating me  sufficiently on the morning after. I did have with me a Sailor bent nib fountain pen that give both bold and narrow line widths depending on the angle you attack the page with and you can see it’s effect in the drawings of the dude with the Jeff cap & blue backpack and the slouching fellow in ski cap texting away. Fun to draw with and loosens you up. On the page immediately above of cafe goers and transit riders, I could have used some of the darker Pitt Big Brush Artist Pens which would have knocked in richer values and strokes on the clothing.

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