Figure Drawing June 24th, 2019

•June 26, 2019 • Leave a Comment

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.

one minute gesture drawings female modelone minute figure gesture drawings female modelfive minute gesture drawings female model15 minute drawings female model15 minute drawing female model back twistedseated female model figure drawingseated female model figure drawinglife drawing female model lying down

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.




Figure Drawing June 17th, 2019

•June 18, 2019 • 1 Comment

I’m back from my week at IMC. I am still processing that and there may be a blog post on it at a later date. Or at the very least I hope to update and post the in progress photos of what I worked on while I was there. Beyond that I think it is going to take some time to percolate. I am thinking that it is more likely to appear as a change in direction in my work than it is to appear as an articulated conversation.

If I talk with you in person and you would like to hear about my experiences… I am more than happy to do so. Albeit with the caveat that I am still digesting it and it may be different if you were to ask me again tomorrow.

That being said, spending a week (mostly) painting did make me realize that silver point is not helping my flow out at all. While it is a novel medium and I like the end results – it is too nit picky and time consuming. It does not lend itself to the long flowing movements that I would like to see in my painting and my drawings.

So back to digital for now. I may go back to charcoal (as much as I dislike it) as that would allow for more fluid movements. The screen on the iPad is super slippery and so my pencil tends to wander off where I don’t really want it to unless I have a hard grip on it – which also does not lend itself to fluidity.

It will work for now.

So here is what I made yesterday. Larry is back so I was just keeping time and didn’t have to take attendance. That made it easier to focus on the model.

Short poses.

gesture drawings - female model

Little longer.

figure studyfigure study female in chairfigure study female in chair from back

and a little longer yet.

figure study female model leaning forward on stoolfigure study model leaning in chair female

and the last pose for the evening. Carly actually kept her eyes open which was really nice. Normally by the end of the evening the models are tired – then Steve puts them into a comfy pose (since they have to hold it for 40 minutes) and a good number of them fall asleep. It was a nice change to be able to see the model’s eyes on the long pose.

figure study reclining model female

The time lapse from the iPad if you are interested.


Being at the IMC did make me want to incorporate human figures into my personal work. So now I am going to be looking at the figure studies as more than just an exercise.

More new and different things to come.

Thanks again for visiting my little corner of the internet. I hope that you are inspired by something today.

Figure Drawing June 3rd, 2019

•June 5, 2019 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been helping out with timing the models on Monday nights. Larry usually keeps attendance and keeps track of everyone’s hours.

Monday morning I found out that Larry wouldn’t be able to make it in. I therefore needed to step up and do the attendance/hours. Which means that I would have to talk to people.

Not always my strong suit.

I did okay I think. It did take away from that amount of time that I had on poses as I had to get up and check with new people as they came in.

I’m still using the silverpoint on like paper.

Short poses:

figure drawing silverpoint

Little bit longer:

(These are done on a sheet of the cream colored plike paper. The second one is on the back of the first and you can see it through the paper some.)

figure drawing silverpoint

I actually like this one…

figure drawing silver point

and the long pose for the evening:

figure drawing silver point

an attempt at making an Instagram friendly photo….

This shows you the points that I am using. They are silver wire in a mechanical pencil holder and in a lead holder. The wider one I sanded down and I use it for shading (like the background) and the little one for details and what not. I sometimes forget to switch between the two and will use one or the other for an entire session.

silverpoint drawing

I don’t know if you noticed, but that drawing is very small. I had been worried that I wouldn’t have enough room to fit all of her on the paper – so I had intentionally gone small…. but as it turns out I went even smaller than I meant to.


Nothing like adding a little extra challenge to your figure drawing.


I won’t be there for figure drawing next week as I am going to Massachusetts for the IMC. I am going back and forth between excited and terrified.

We shall see how it goes.

Monster Project United #20

•June 1, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Still having so much fun with these.

This is Bumpy. He was created by seven year old Grant. I don’t know where the Monster Project finds these kids – but I want to hang out with them. I know for sure that I was no where near this creative as a child.


Moster Project 20 Grant's Bumpy

Please take a moment and watch Grant explain Bumpy’s Alien Powers. He’s amazing.

My version of Bumpy:

monster project united bumpy the monster

and the time lapse of Bumpy being drawn on my iPad:

If these inspire you – anyone at all can participate. If you sign up on the Monster Project’s site – they will send you an email every other week with a new monster to imagine. I hope that the kids get as much out of participating in this as I do. I look forward to the new prompts.

by the way…. I made sure to give Bumpy a dashboard human and I am pretty sure he is wearing colander pants. I think they must be best for tucking and rolling over people. Give you both support and breathability.

I also decided that the little wires with radar dishes on the ends were for telekinetic control of his ship. The two that you can’t see in my drawing plug directly into his chair.

Grant can let me know if I got any of that wrong.


Bell Jar Hummingbird

•June 1, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Was reading a book the other day (one of the Harry Potter books) and they briefly described a magical bell jar that held a fragment of time in it. A hummingbird releasing from the shell and returning and releasing and returning and so on and so forth.

Obviously there are a lot of stunning visuals contained in the book – but for some reason I kept thinking about this one. Had some time yesterday in between appointments and here is the result.

hummingbird in belljar

Time lapse of me making it…

and that’s all for today.

I really am working on a bunch of paintings. Lots of things. I just want to keep them a surprise until my show in November.

Please be patient with me. I am hoping that it will be worth the wait. Mark your calendars.

November 1st at Whitman Works. Costumes greatly encouraged.

Figure Drawing May 20th, 2019

•May 21, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Still using Silver point. I was varnishing some paintings earlier in the day and I think I got spray varnish on the first sheet of silver point. It was not cooperating in the way it normally would.

I had ordered white and cream plike paper – thinking that I would use white highlights on the creme paper (they didn’t show well enough) and that it would look nice when the silverpoint marks ‘turn’. So far it’s too soon to know if that has worked out at all. I had looked up ways to age the marks quicker, but I haven’t attempted any of them yet.

Short poses (on the oddly coated paper). Paper is actually creme. My phone apparently “fixes” the coloring for me.


Little longer (on white paper):




on the back of the same white plike paper (the creme is thinner and not opaque enough to utilize the back):


Long pose (again this is actually on the creme paper):


Photographed together you can see the difference:


I bought so much of this paper (it comes in giant sheets and I cut it up) that I want to keep using it for a while. If I have some time to work on personal drawings I may do some more in the silverpoint.

Until then, rest assured I am furiously busy painting – but want to save them to show off when my show opens the beginning of November.

Next Monday is a Holiday so there won’t be any class next week.