a first usually rough sketch (as of a picture or model of a statue)

Some days, it just doesn’t come together. You do the work, you make the marks, you think the thoughts, and it’s just not there.

Today was like that in life drawing. (Note: This week we drew a man, and this is more of a PG post, but if you are really offended by that… why are you still reading this blog?)

I sat down and started sketching. I did not bring my charcoal and newsprint, so these initial sketches are smaller than the last two weeks.

It always seems to take me a while to get used to the size paper I am using, but finally I put together this pen sketch which I added some water to create a painterly effect.

I then pondered my next step. Before class, I  had been reading Charles Reid‘s wonderful book, Portrait Painting in Watercolor. I decided to do one of the exercises, a one color painting, essentially building off the sketch above.

Unfortunately, the palette picked up some red (shown in the head) and from there I just couldn’t keep up the one color.

As a note, I think some of my problem was that I now had Charles Reid (instead of Tara) in my head; I kept thinking, how would Charles Reid do it… which is really beside the point.

I switched to trying to do a more painterly version, no pencil. I used the wrong color of outline; the light yellow was distinctly green. If I was more interested in this, there is enough there to keep going, but it just didn’t come together enough to keep my focus.

I decided to try some studies. Most times if I concentrated on the parts that really interest me, better things result.

In both cases, I do think I got better results, but they are inconsistent and indecisive.

I shifted position position, thinking I might try the face. A full profile painting didn’t appeal, so moved to a different spot.

While obviously unfinished, this painting does have a little bit going for it. A nice mood that could be enhanced. But it doesn’t really look like him and doesn’t have the solid, working man’s skin and thick neck I was going for.

In utter desperation, I tried one more body painting.

As I said: some days, it just doesn’t come together.