View Full Version : Cafe Michaelangelo-November2010

11-01-2010, 10:24 AM
We had a really active Cafe last month...so let's keep it up. :clap:

All our projects are running through November, so some we've missed we can catch up on.

We have some new artists, yummy photos from Brian and Sandra experimenting and studying Anatomy...Zullie is doing all sorts of things,always art-wise. June is doing her lovely paintings and writing. LG and Ryan have dropped in.

Hope some of our new pals (Melisa, Magnus,jacqui, Dave, Ai and all) will stop by the Cafe and let us know how you are doing and what's up for the holidays.

Also. check in to the Classical Art section above where people are painting up a storm and Ilya is back.

Good art and fun for all...janet :cool:

11-01-2010, 11:45 AM
I'll probably be fairly quiet until around the end of next week. I got me a temporary job as substitute teacher, at a school for, er, "problem kids." No dangerous criminals or anything of that sort, mind you. Mostly ones who are either mentally handicapped, or are of normal intelligence but hyperactive. They are for the most part actually very sweet, but boy, they're a handful! Every afternoon when I get home I just collapse in exhaustion, so I can't get much done. Unless I perhaps quickly get used to it and can reestablish some sort of creative routine... ;-)

11-01-2010, 12:50 PM
Brian, make sure you sleep early and have plenty of rest. Go jogging after work to shed all the emotional burden and you'll feel better. I don't envy you.

Here's my latest creation for my anatomy course. Shoot, the instructor does want imaginary stuff and not just copies of anatomy. So I tried last night for the inflamed intestines again with a sort of inflated look.:D

You could see my other 48 copies of anatomy from bones to skin and in between here (http://www.wretch.cc/blog/gakinme/9094273) at my blog for a bird's eye view.


11-01-2010, 05:20 PM
Wow Brian, I sure don't envy you that job.

11-01-2010, 11:17 PM
Today I tried my best to imagine more muscles. Yeah, this is now going to be Where's the penis art. :lol: :lol:

Our innards:evil:



P cocktail

Tied up

11-02-2010, 08:51 AM
Wow Brian, I sure don't envy you that job.

Actually, it beats my previous job by far. People are far more interesting than machines, and it is nice to do something really meaningful for a change instead of just helping doctors to make money.

I have been teaching the kids to draw. Very interesting to see the range of abilities. Some of them are very talented, and do not know it. No one has ever bothered to tell them they are wroth anything at all. I try to remedy that now. But I'll probably only be seeing them for a week or two.

11-04-2010, 02:48 PM
Hi all - wow Sandra - 100 pages of muscles....that is intense study.....but that's what it takes......How much individual attention do you get? How many others are there in the class?

Brian - congratulations on a new job. That is wonderful you are doing art with those kids! Maybe you can get on as the art instructor.....he,he,he

Janet, Are your witches getting ready to baste a turkey?

11-05-2010, 12:21 AM
Every week, the instructor is to give us a video feedback on our homework. This would be the first week of feedback. On top of that, today we have just started to construct body masses. By the end of this week, i hope I would be able to construct people in any position without the need of a manikin.

In the meantime, a couple of my oil pastels this week that I like a lot.




And here's a lamp near where I park at work on a very dark morning.

Neocolor II


11-05-2010, 08:29 AM
Brian - congratulations on a new job. That is wonderful you are doing art with those kids! Maybe you can get on as the art instructor.....he,he,he

Ain't no such thing in that school, alas. It's pretty short of funds for anything but the bare essentials. I am standing in for a teacher who had to unexpectedly go on maternity leave when her baby arrived early. The subjects she taught are Afrikaans and a subject called Arts and Culture, which investigates all the arts in a theoretical sort of way, with the kids studying a bit of history of art and music, learning basic music notation, various dance forms, drama and so on. But they get almost no actual practical experience in any of it; they have never had any actual art instruction as part of their studies.

As it turned out, they are through the year's syllabus, so I basically just have to keep them busy for a week or two, and I thought, how on earth can anyone learn art appreciation when they have never tried to draw anything themselves. With the principal's permission, I am now remedying that shortcoming.

Many of them are very excited about the whole thing, and some reveal great talent. Some others are devoid of talent but work very hard, and making better progress than the ones with talent who are not so hard working. I had them copy some cartoon pictures I got from the web; it seems to be a very good way of learning the basics, and the more advanced ones then try their hand at copying from photos or master art works.

Rather challenging because they all have some sort of problem, from ADD to all manner of other troubles. Some have congenital abnormalities (e.g. I have one kid with Asperger's syndrome), some come from broken homes or extremely abusive backgrounds (in my grade seven class there's a kid who, as toddler, was beaten so severely by his father that he sustained brain damage) and so on and so forth; a tragic procession of "difficult" kids who have by and large been written off by society and often even by their own parents. Most of them suffer from almost catastrophic low self-esteem; even the superbly talented ones think they are useless at drawing (and everything else).

But I have in fact seldom if ever seen a bunch of kids so eager to learn, some of them almost desperate for knowledge and meaning. And as I said, some of them talented to the point of being gifted, and as far as I know, they never realized it - in all their lives, no one, not their parents, not their teachers, ever noticed what they can do given even half a chance, nor ever once told them they are worthy of dignity, respect and indeed even admiration.

I have managed to get through to a few of them, I think. I find it probably the most challenging and at the same time stimulating and meaningful thing I have ever done. By the time the school day ends, I am at the point of collapse. Some of them are truly incredibly demanding. But boy, am I having fun!

Does leave me little time or energy for any of my hobbies, mind you. But I think I'll eventually get used to it and manage to establish a new routine.

11-05-2010, 10:00 AM
Hi all. Its Guy Fawkes night...5 nov...in UK. That means fireworks and scared pets!!

11-06-2010, 02:24 AM
Hi all. Its Guy Fawkes night...5 nov...in UK. That means fireworks and scared pets!!

Hmm, completely forgot about that. We heard some fireworks here and there last night, had no idea what it was for, and a friend of mine thought it might be the Indian festival of lights or something. What did he call it? Divali, or something like that. No idea whether there even is such a thing. But we have a fair sized population of people of Indian descent here in South Africa, so I guess it was as good a guess as any.

Guy Fawkes night doesn't seem to be as big a thing here anymore as it used to be. I seem to remember that when I was a kid, it was a more common tradition here. We had a neighbour who was deaf, but he LOVED firecrackers, even though he couldn't hear them. Perhaps he liked looking at them explode, because presumably he wouldn't reflexively blink when they went off, and could thus perhaps see more of the fun. Whatever the case was, by the time he was done with his fun, the whole neighbourhood was also close to deafness. ;-)

11-10-2010, 09:25 PM
Brian - wow, that sounds very rewarding. Teaching is demanding (good teaching that is) and with the handicapped it sounds near impossible. But the impossible has a way of making everything possible. :confused: My daughter teaches elementary and the problems she faces with families (non supportive or oposition) and drugs (crack babies) are tough. We just finished watching the two seasons of Flight of the Conchords tv series (the New Zealand comedy team) Loved every minute of it. Yeah, I know you're in Australia.

June - Guy Fawkes eh, we just watched V for Vendetta last weekend. and then Andy and I had an interesting conversation on the history of it all.

I've been baking and freezing pumpkin for pies, spent one day at the Rennaissance fair.....of late been wrestling with pollen sinus headaches every other day:(
Have gotten some drawings done ......maybe I'll get some scanned to post tommorrow --Veterans Day holiday.

Sandra - I like the house in the copse the best.....is that first one a larva or a penis? :lol:This is a 6 week course, Right?

11-11-2010, 05:48 PM
Robin, the first one is inflammed intestine. I have improved on it.


The course has been extended for 4 weeks because some students were very slow in handing in homework so now I could bring in more samples of my work to the teacher to correct while the class does the normal homework. He goes online with us 15 mins every week to draw over our homework to correct.

I'm really learning literally the nuts and bolts of each part, each segment of the joint and length of each part...very engrossing.

The other day I tried to harvest the pumpkin seeds from the pumpkins that the kids brought from school but the seeds were so thin and skinny. Not like the pumpkin seeds we buy from the market.

I've been doing encaustics wax paintings. Go to this thread (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=766341) and see my work!!! Here's one I'm really pleased with.

This is in response to the November Monthly Challenge (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=757901).

4x6 inch


11-12-2010, 12:01 AM
Brian - wow, that sounds very rewarding. Teaching is demanding (good teaching that is) and with the handicapped it sounds near impossible.

Well, they just offered me a job for next year, to teach mathematics, albeit a somewhat dumbed down version of the subject known here as mathematical literacy. I am barely mathematically literate myself! ;-)
Sounds like an interesting challenge, but I fear I will probably have very little time or energy left for art. Still, I will hang around here a bit and now and then participate in the projects.

We just finished watching the two seasons of Flight of the Conchords tv series (the New Zealand comedy team) Loved every minute of it. Yeah, I know you're in Australia.

No, you don't - I'm in South Africa. ;-)

11-12-2010, 02:18 AM
Brian, you are really getting into the teaching malarky!!

Guy Fawkes night here was not as rampant as in past years. Usually it goes on for about a fortnight of fireworks as it combines Halloween, Guy Fawkes and Diwali. This year just about one night and fairly quiet. I was glad it wasn't too noisey...as it makes the dog bark etc.

Sandra, I would love to try encaustics. The colour really glows.

I was watching the life of mammals last night. I loved the programme as it was all about monkeys...

11-13-2010, 11:01 PM
Brian - oh, well now I know - you're in south africa. That is alot different

11-18-2010, 07:51 PM
i bet Sandra is workin' hard on that anatomy stuff.......

11-19-2010, 12:54 AM
I am,Robin. Plus the kids are ultra busy these days. I have to chauffeur them here and there after work and get books for them for science and history fairs.

Anyway, today, I've decided to deviate from normal body shape and doodled a fat person. :lol:


Brian, how's the teaching going.

11-19-2010, 04:38 AM
Anyway, today, I've decided to deviate from normal body shape and doodled a fat person. :lol:

The kind of figures classical artists usually draw are ones that are for the most part entirely fictional anyway. ;-)

Personally I like the notion of fat people as models; it gives one a whole new perspective. Ever heard of Jenny Saville? She makes a career out of fat people. Go look up her work on the web:


Not sure that link is going to work, but it is basically just a Google image search for her name. Warning: much of her stuff is decidedly not for the faint-hearted!

Brian, how's the teaching going.

I'm off for a few days, due to the mother and father of all flu attacks, combined with bronchitis. Been coughing my lungs out. Perhaps work-related stress? I always seem to get ill the moment I start a new job.

Anyway, the kids are writing exams at the moment, so not much teaching going on, and the school year is almost done. The real challenge will begin in January next year, when I have to somehow get basic mathematics into the heads of kids who, for the most part, cannot read (almost all of them seem to suffer from some degree of dyslexia). They are intelligent, but because of their dyslexia-induced illiteracy, they struggle mightily to understand any abstract concepts.

I think it's going to be fun! ;-)

11-19-2010, 09:53 AM
Wow, neat, Brian. This Saville has some interesting combination. I like the transvestite piece a lot. Thank you for your link.

Hope your family and you will be better soon. Math...it's a challenge to teach to start off with. You have double the work ahead of you.

11-19-2010, 12:09 PM
I'm a big fan of Jenny Saville. I used to go to an open nude drawing group, where we chipped in to pay for the model. The guys liked this young girl a lot who was a very good model and very inventive with scarves, fans etc but she had an almost perfect body. It really got boring. Once in a while we would have a really heavy model, also a thin seventy year old man....so much more interesting.

Teaching Math...good for you. It was my worst subject. My father could never understand it. He had studied to be an accountant, before he became an artist.

Good luck to you all with all your endeavors, and have a great Thanksgiving, if you celebrate it....if not...have a great day anyway. :cool:

11-22-2010, 07:36 AM
I think I posted this last year, but it's the only Turkey Day art I have....so



11-22-2010, 10:03 AM
Brian- sounds like a tough but rewarding job. Not sure I could do it. My father and brother are both teachers.

June- Guy Faulks night was really subdued here too- it was raining pretty heavy though. My cats were happier that way:cat:

I turned another year older last week with the benefit of getting some nice new books to look at:-
I got Classical drawing Atelier and Classical painting Atelier by Juliette Aristides. These both look fantastic and in-depth.
An Anthony Ryder figure drawing book that is not for the faint hearted but looks exactly what I need to improve my drawing skills.
Finally I got Portrait Painting Atelier by Suzanne Brooker.

I've got a lot of reading to do there!

I've been working on an oil painting for the portrait swap in the Portraiture forum for the last week or so, I can post here later if you want to see it?

Also I attended a Life Drawing class at the National Gallery of Scotland that was great. We got to use their drawing/prints study room and they had original Raphael drawings out for us to study from which was amazing to look at up close (we even had a magnifying glass!). After this we worked from life ourselves.

THey told us that we are welcome to go in and use these facilities to draw from their collection of over 40,000 drawings and prints. I'm definitely going to arrange to do this!! Will try to share some of this when I can


11-23-2010, 10:03 PM
Hi All

Sandra - you are improving for sure!!! I can see the confidence and knowledge ozzing onto the page......I like the "unusual" bodies.....though they are unto really unusual......the perfect body...now that is unusual and like Janet said ....boring after a while.......good attempt on foreshortening......

Ryan - you are always taking a class or studying- that is great. You do have a big stack there!
I too bought a new book - Anatomy Drawing School -Human, animal comparative.....got a great deal book large, hard bound for $9.00 - It's all sandra's doing......seeing her drawings have inspired me.....

Brian - get well wishes to ya, and by the time school opens up you'll be primed to go......rested and refreshed I hope....It sounds like it will be nice to have the break, anyway. Was not previously acquainted with Jenny Seville. A bit too harsh for me -

Janet - I've toyed with trying to get a life drawing group started but haven't really done much about it for a few years. The arts council wanted to "help" and put out a offering of life drawing sessions but their asking price was sick and just two people showed......I just wanted a impromptu group that pooled a few bucks for model fee......maybe I'll try to do something outside of them in a few years. Thanks for the holiday greeting....same to you

11-24-2010, 07:04 AM
It was a good life group. We paid $10 a meeting (once a week) and the model was guarantied a certain amount...anything over went into the kitty in case we had a smaller group one week and couldn't make the model's fee. We did this through the local Art Association, so we could use their space, easels and tables. If a model didn't show, we posed for each other (with clothes on)
The guy who was the moniter got the models from ads and local art schools. Trouble is we attracted more men then women,,,and that got boring. We had about 6 regular artists and a few others that would pop in from time to time.

Have a great Thanksgiving...I'm off to get a bird this morning and then have to clear off my work space so we have a dining table again. :cool:

11-25-2010, 12:25 PM
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Ryan, Happy one year older! Don't you feel one year wiser now? :lol:

So you are really into figure work then? So good to hear that. Lots of good books there. Yes, I want to see your figure work!! Pls post. I don't usually go around checking different forums for works so it'll be faster if I see it from this thread.

Wishing you a very good year of painting.

Alright, tell me more about the Anthony Ryder book. Which aspect does it focus on.

June, any paintings recently?

Robin, tell me all about Human animal comparative. Is it a book that details how the animals are similar in skeleton or muscle tones to human? If it is, I need to get it. I was introducted by Terry yesterday to H.R. Giger's work and I was blown away. The guy who drew concept art for Alien the movie. Never knew that but he's a Swiss surrealist. I'm ready to evolve my human bodies into animorphs and then last night, I realize I don't know anything about animal skeletons. Do show us some of your exercises.

Janet, for the first time in 20 years, we finally got a turkey this year, before my daughter leaves home in 2 years for college and say we never celebrated thanksgiving with a bird. So I'm trying to figure out how to bake it in a bit. LOL.

Brian, you could always sketch your school kids in downtime.

11-26-2010, 10:12 AM
I admire all of you studying and getting great classical books to enjoy. I seem to be turning into a Modern Art painter by way of contrast. And since I do whimsical imagery, I don't do much in the way of classical study for figures these days...as it would counteract my whimsical approach. However, when I lived in NZ, I went to life drawing classes with nude models and I enjoyed it tremendously!!

11-26-2010, 10:16 AM
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

June, any paintings recently?

Hi Sandra...and happy thanksgiving to all my USA buddies!! I gave my dog some turkey (it was on sale) and sneaked a little nibbble myself (I am a veggie).

I am working on some paintings from my doodles at the moment and I do the WDE fairly often. But I've been a bit sluggish the last couple of weeks...due to the cold weather maybe!


11-30-2010, 09:14 PM
So that's why we don't see as much of your work. You're churning out modern art. I'm getting into H.R. Giger these days - Surrealism.

Janet, I wish we had more male models. This place only has female models. Well, it's not so bad to pose for each other naked, is it, for the sake of art? Hahahaa.....

11-30-2010, 09:39 PM
Sandra - I enjoy reading your blog and seeing all your sketches, haven't seen a way to leave a comment without a long drawn out process. Though about 'cha when frying up some egg rolls this weekend.

I think nude posing is okay but I am reserved on particular positions.
I'm glad I don't have to wrestle with all the temptations like men do.

Yes, I think it should be more equal time for each sex too...for what it's worth.