Sunday, December 9, 2012

Body Beautiful, by blacklight

It was a treat meeting up with the Urban Sketchers to draw at the Bacchanal Ballroom event at the Portland Art Museum. It's a real challenge drawing by black-light, with lasers and smoke machines and strobe lights! I tried to capture the strange light effects in my sketch of the DJ. You have to imagine that his toga was glowing in a slightly spooky way here. * Que divertido fue, asistir al evento de "Bacchanal Ballroom" en el museo de arte de Portland con los Urban Sketchers. Es bien difícil dibujar en un cuarto con luz negra, láseres, efectos estroboscópicos, y una máquina de humo. El dibujo del DJ captura un poco de estos efectos, pero tienes que imaginar que su toga esta brillando con una luz casi supernatural.

Watercolor painting by blacklight is strange. I ended up leaning heavily on a few colors that I could most easily identify in the dark--blue, brown, red--and figured that I'd just see how it turned out by the light of day. * Bajo la luz negra, pintar con acuarela es un reto interesante. Pude identificar algunos colores (cafe, rojo, azul) y utilizé estos tanto como posible. Es divertido ver el resultado en la luz natural.
The models changed positions quite frequently. Sometimes I'd follow them around, trying to add a few more details from whatever their new pose was. Other times, I would draw other artists in the crowd, since they kept a lot more still than the models did! * Los modelos cambiaron la posición con alta frequencia. A veces yo les seguí, tratando de añadir detalles desde el nuevo ángulo.  Pero otras veces, decidí dibujar otras artistas en la audiencia, ¡porque se mantenieron más inmoviles que los modelos!
The artist with the excellent mohawk is named Grace, and we had a nice time chatting with her. She moved to Portland pretty recently, and is excited to start coming to Urban Sketchers events! She had cool face paint on as well as fantastic hair. Hope to see her at the next sketchcrawl! * La artista con el pelo parado como un peinacho se llama Grace, y es muy amable. Se mudó a Portland hace un año, ¡y tiene interés en juntarse con los Urban Sketchers! Grace se había pintado la cara para el evento, muy divertida. Bienvenida, Grace.

I had been looking at the faces and hair all this time, thinking about how odd it was to have faux-hawks and false eyelashes combined with the ancient Greek motifs. Wasn't until the last sketch that I started studying the abdominal muscles of one of the models. And then it clicked--despite the silly costumes, the idealized shapes of strong, muscular bodies really do resonate between ancient sculpture and modern-day athletes. * Había sido distraída por el cabello y el maquillaje en las caras, y casí no presté attención a los musculos del cuerpo hasta mi último dibujo. Y de repente, ví la conneción--disfraces chistosos no obstante, el forma de un cuerpo fuerte y muscular de hoy en día tiene mucho en común con las esculturas antiguas.

We had to play in the photobooth, of course. A well-armed warrior in tennis shoes is no match for 5 sketchers with sharpened pencils!  I got in a little stabbing practice as well to finish off the evening. * No podiamos resistir la oportunidad de jugar en la cabina de fotos. ¡Un guerrero anciano no puede resistir las lápices agudos de 5 artistas!  Y yo practiqué mi tecnica de apuñalar para terminar la noche.


  1. I can't believe the quick detail you got on your sketches! Love that you were using color too and even with all of the strange atmospheric things going on these are really successful drawings...good show.

    1. Thanks, Deb! I think it helped to chase the dancers around their podiums as they changed positions...!

  2. Lasers and strobes and black lights--oh, my! I don't know how you all sketched under those conditions, but you gave us some good pictures of the evening. I especially like how you added the strong blue to your sketches. It emphasizes the movement, of which there seemed to be plenty.
    The photo tableau of the sketching group is great and the only thing that could be more perfect than your last photo would be if you had been holding a giant pen instead of the spear.

    1. The bold ultramarine blue (azul ultramarino, en espanol) isn't a choice I would have made in natural light, but it's kinda fun to look at, and makes a good "artifact" of the sketching conditions.

      You know, the tip of the spear could easily be photoshopped into a giant dip-pen nib. Hmm. Might have to do that, in all my copious spare time.