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Guest Artist at Studio b: Susan Alfieri

At our weekly  figure drawing session at Studio b. last night, we were privileged to have one of the regular participants as our guest artist, Susan Alfieri, a retired teacher living in Inlet Beach, FL.  Susan enjoys working with Vis-a-Vis water soluble markers to  sketch the form and then she uses a clear water wash to allow the marker lines to bleed and blend to create tonal relationships.  The impermanent black marker wash separates into blues, violets, and shades of bronze.  I used a blue pen similarly, to produce one of my favorite drawings last winter, on February 12, 2010.  You never know what’s going to happen when you wash over the drawing.  Because the marker is impermanent, it needs to be protected from sunlight, by UV-protectant spray or UV-resistant glass.

I enjoy media exploration.  After working with the markers on smooth (hot press) watercolor paper, I tried out a tinted charcoal pencil from a set that I had just bought, which also is water soluble, but the colors don’t separate.  It leaves the grainy marks of the pencil showing through the wash on the textured cold press watercolor paper.  I used Derwent “Bilberry”.

There was some discussion and experimentation with the model’s pose.  It is not very important to me how the model is posed except that I am not fond of contortions that look like they would hurt an ordinary person.  I do like asymmetrical poses, and I like poses where air spaces create negative shapes in the composition, but usually, if the model takes a position they can hold for the duration of the pose, then I can move around the room to find a vantage which gives me some lighting I like.