Figure Drawing July14th, 2019 Art Center of Rochester

•July 18, 2019 • 1 Comment

My niece wants to apply to an art school. The school that she wants to apply to requires her to draw a draped figure from life in an hour and a half there at the school as part of the admission process.

Not knowing too much about these sort of things – my sister sent her off to me to work on her skills for this. Unfortunately there are no “draped figure” sessions here. Being that she is only 13 I knew it would be uncomfortable for her to go to nude sessions – but it would be inordinately helpful if she could get through it.

The first studio to have open figure time here after her arrival was the Art Center of Rochester. I contacted them to see if they had any minimum age requirements for participants and apprise them of the situation. They did inform me that there would be a male model that night.

I talked it over with Juliana and she decided to give it a try with the stipulation that we could leave at any time if she got too uncomfortable.

We went. She did great! She doesn’t want anyone but her mom to see her drawings so I won’t be posting any of them from this week.

I am super impressed with how well she handled everything (even knowing how terribly awkward it was for her).

Here are the drawings that I made.


Time lapse Video:

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Figure Drawing July 8th, 2019

•July 9, 2019 • 1 Comment

Like all things, some days we feel like we do them well and other days not so much. I don’t feel like this was one of my better days at Figure Drawing.

I did get to see a friend that I haven’t seen in a long time. That was really nice.

I did get inadvertently insulted by one of the other participants…. it’s not the first time. I kind of have decided that he is prone to putting his foot in his mouth. I don’t think he is malicious. At least I would like to think that he is not.

At least he was insulting my drawings to the model and it wasn’t someone insulting my tattooing to a client. It can always be worse.

Anyhow, always glad that I went.


Some day when I grow up I may have a thicker skin and won’t be bothered when people make snide remarks. My mom always told me to ignore them. So far I haven’t figured out how to do that.

100 people can say something nice and 1 person says something snotty and my brain chooses to replay that over and over again. I feel like I am constantly battling with part of my self in order to be functional.

Some days it gets to be really exhausting.

Timelapse if you are interested.

Figure Drawing July 1st, 2019

•July 2, 2019 • 4 Comments

Yes. Again. Every week that I possibly can.

Because it’s good for me to draw things that aren’t tattoos. Because it is good for me to draw. Because it is good for me to understand the human form and anatomy better. And possibly most importantly because it is important that I get out and interact with other humans. Even better if those humans are artists as well. Far more likely that they will “get” me and that I won’t feel like quite as much of a freak.

My birthday was Sunday. I don’t do particularly well with birthdays. Not in the “I’m getting older” sort of way – but in the “I don’t like people to look at me” sort of way. When I was small I hated the idea of Birthday Parties. It seemed beyond narcissistic to me that one was expected to invite ones friends over and then expect them to come bearing gifts. Come worship me! Then to make things worse one is expected to then sit in a center point while everyone else watches us open said items. Awkward? Beyond so. I disliked every bit of that. Yes, I was a kid. I liked stuff… but not enough to extort my friends for it. (It is worth noting that I had no problem with the other end of this. I never felt like my friends were extorting me for gifts.)

This year a friend did a very nice thing for me and we did our normal Sunday walk and then we picnicked. She had suggested that we go out somewhere for snacks but I don’t like to eat out too much these days on account of the gluten thing. We sat in the park and snacked and visited and watched the chipmunks bounce along in and out of the grass.

What does this have to do with Figure Drawing? Putting myself outside of my comfort zone. I would in years past not have let anyone know it was my birthday and/or refused to let anyone do anything for me. It’s uncomfortable.

Ugly truth? Growth doesn’t happen without discomfort.

I can’t tell you how many people have told me that they would love to come to figure drawing – but that they need to get better first.


That’s what it is for. This is the same mentality that keeps people who are trying to get into shape from going to the gym because they think they need to get into shape to go to the gym. No. You go to the gym to get into shape.

Fears come in all shapes and sizes.

Some of mine I am working on and there are (I’m sure) a bunch of them that I haven’t even poked at yet. They will come in time. For today, I go to Figure Drawing even when I am uncomfortable Even when my brain tells me that I am not getting any better. Even when I am tired. Even when I tell myself it is “pointless”. Even when I think everything that I made that night was awful.

AND I will let people be nice to me for my birthday. I will be open to the love and the growth that is around me (even when I don’t think that I deserve it) and I will keep fighting my brain for control of my life. I hope that you are able to make some progress defeating your fears and reaping the benefits. If one of those fears involves going to Figure Drawing – let me know and we can get together some Monday so you can give it a try. It doesn’t even hurt.


Time lapse of my drawing:

Painting Mia – June 20th & 27th 2019

•June 28, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Thursday Art Group which I have been referring to as either the “Thursday Art Group without a name” or “The Emanon Group” apparently has a name. It’s the Rochester Art Club’s Open Sketch and Painting Group – but it was decided at some point not to call it that because people might think that they had to be a member of the Rochester Art Club in order to attend.

So I’m sticking with Emanon. It amuses me. No one else has to use it.

Anyhow. Mia modeled for us again. I really like working with her. She is very easy to get along with and an excellent model.

First Day:


and back to it the following week:


As always – things that I like and things I think I could have done differently/better – but always worth the time and practice.

Monster Project United – The Monkey Monster by Joshua (and me)

•June 27, 2019 • 2 Comments

Joshua’s drawing for his monster:


Joshua explaining his monster:

My Version of Joshua’s Monster (which if you didn’t watch the video he describes as being a monkey wrapped in toilet paper with his head on fire and a stop watch on his tail).


Because of my time at IMC I am experimenting with the idea of laying things out for book covers. This seemed like the perfect thing to conduct such an experiment with. So same image with some type added.


And while I was playing…..


Photoshop is such a fun toy.

And if you are so inclined, here is the time-lapse video of me making my interpretation of Joshua’s monster.

I am looking forward to playing with the concept of book covers more in the future. If you know anyone who needs a book cover, let me know. I would like to put together a portfolio of them.






Figure Drawing June 24th, 2019

•June 26, 2019 • 2 Comments

When I went to IMC and spent a week painting…. I realized that I wasn’t doing myself any favors by working with silver point at Figure Drawing. Silverpoint tends to make me make small teeny marks. For my painting I would prefer fluid moving marks. The digital isn’t quite that, but it is lightyears closer than the silverpoint is. So for the time being I will be working digitally again.

For a change up this week we started with 5 one minute gestures instead of the 3 five minute poses that we normally started with.

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Video of the timelapse drawing.

IMC – mostly just pictures

•June 25, 2019 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been wanting to process my trip to the IMC (Illustration Master Class) and then share some of my insight.

I’m not there and I’m not sure I am going to be. I had a general idea of what I was looking for before I went. While I didn’t get what I was after – I did get a whole different knowledge base that I think looking back on I will think of as career changing. But really, only time will tell. This could be another blip on the radar of “what can I get into now?”. So instead of trying to forecast the future. I will tell you a bit about the past.

To say I was nervous about attending IMC was an understatement. I have been thinking about it for several years and have mostly been put off by the idea of being around so many people and having to interact with them. “Dorm Rooms” made me think of co-habitating and I’m not a fan. Also I haven’t had a group critique since my year at Graphic Careers…. and those are not nice memories. Someone had jokingly said to me that every year at IMC there is someone who cries during the critique and then isn’t seen again after. I was terrified of being that person.

Before IMC they sent out homework assignments to have drawings ready for review at the start of classes.

I read through the assignments and honestly didn’t understand most of them. I started to feel overwhelmed and then re-read it and realized that there was one little line that said it was also fine to work on personal work. phew. That I can do. I have a list of paintings that I want to do for my show in November (November 1st at Whitman Works – save the date). So all I had to do was pick one of them to work on and make up some thumbnails. This is something that I normally do as prep for my paintings anyhow, so no pressure there.

This is what I came up with. (Trey, as always, is helping and encouraging.)


The folks from the IMC had asked that we make our thumbnails postcard size so they could better be seen for the reviews. There was also a video that we could watch on composition. So after messing around a little bit more, I settled on these.


After arriving at IMC we had a lecture which included information on making our work more dynamic. I got concerned that my thumbnails were too static so I went back to the room and drew these.


I was in the third (and final) session of critiques so I had some time to wander around in to some of the other rooms to eavesdrop on some of the other critiques. I’m not sure if this helped alleviate any of my anxiety – but ultimately it made me really grateful for the critique group that I was placed into. Many of the other groups were much bigger and many of the other instructors didn’t seem to be as helpful.

Critique came. I didn’t cry. I think all things considered it went fairly well.

Some criticisms came that I was (by far and large) aware of. Reinforced some things that I had thought about already since doing the drawings. Ultimately one was selected and some tweaks were recommended.

Here is the drawing again after some modifications. It was also suggested that I add wings on the baby, but I still wasn’t sold on that yet.


From there, there was not much direct guidance. I decided to make a color rough (which I don’t normally do). I took a photo with my phone, imported it into Procreate and laid color over it.


In procreate I could revisit the wings (on a different layer) and decided that they might work.

Nothing left to do but start painting. I had formatted my thumbnails a bunch of different proportions so I had a car full of various sized canvases depending on what I wound up with.


enough for one day….

progress the next day…


Instagram photo that a visitor took and posted of me working…

instagram martinbridgeart - martin bridge art

Next day, more painting (and classes/seminars)…

I am having uncomfortables about working on a painting so many days in a row. I am seeing things that I am overworking and things that I am not happy with. Normally when I am at this point I will set the piece aside and try to objectively judge it while I work on other things.

I work on the painting for a little while in the morning – then take a break and wander around the neat little gallery they have on campus.



I work on the painting a little bit more, but decide I am really going to need a second project.


I start sketching, but don’t see any instructors around/available while I am in this phase.

(This is how I normally make my thumbnails.)


I find an idea I would like to develop further.

new thumbs3


I feel comfortable that I have a second project in the works.


I head back to the room and work up a better drawing.


Then stay up until the wee hours watching a movie on my iPad and coloring the image in. Turns out you can do this neat little corner thing with movies so you can work and watch a movie. Might have been better for my productivity if I had not discovered this.


Next day – start new painting. (Thank goodness for that stash of canvases in my car).


At this point an instructor wanders through and asks me what I am up to.

I explain.

We discuss.

Changes are made – the biggest of which is the elimination of the treeline. Which was honestly a brilliant recommendation and something I totally had not seen the problem with. I am super grateful that he came by when he did.


and another day closes…. I am pretty shot – but all in all the week has gone well (especially considering I wound up in Urgent Care the first day – but that is a story for another time).

Last day – we have sometime for painting, but these is closing ceremony stuff and we need to be cleaned up for the “open house”. Also because I am leaving after I need to get cleared out of the dorm room. So not too much time to paint, but I make a bit more progress on both of them.


This is as far as they will make it while I am IMC.

I will update publicly when they are finished. But they will be the only paintings for my show that I will preview before the opening. I want the work to be new and seen for the first time for the people who come. Since these two are so close to finished, I will probably use them for the publicity stuff.