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Friday, September 30, 2011

"Ruff Sketches"... Number Three!

One of my better sketches of Pierre le Pooch!
Here's a perfect example of falling in love with the curls. I probably would have drawn even more curly cues if Pierre hadn't got up, stretched and walked away. I think LSU last score woke him up as we screamed in affirmation.

Geaux Tigers!

Copyright 2011/ Ben Bensen III

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Ruff Sketches"... Number Two!

Drawing my cocker spaniel, Pierre, is a exercise in using directional lines because when his fur is long, it gets really curly which can sometimes mislead my ability to capture his body movements even when asleep. He has so many cowlicks that it is hard to follow his body lines.

Pierre is a AKC dog that is well trained and well behaved, but because of his wild and crazy curls, he will never be a "show dog." Scruffy, best describes his overall looks until he gets his curly locks cut. Then, he looks like an unusually large, hairless chihuahua.

We were told when Therese fell in love with him at the pound, that he probably was "traumatized" by his previous owner, who was a elderly lady that just couldn't handle him. He, apparently, was a gift from the daughter to be a companion to the septuagenarian owner. Over the past few years, we noticed his fear of rolled up newspaper or magazine, so we assume that that was what she used to discipline the young rascal. We also noticed, the hard way, that you cannot give him a toy or a bone or anything he suddenly perceives to be his. Then, he becomes very territorial and will growl like a demon dawg if you happen to be in the same room as he is with his prize. Not understanding that his "prize" is something we gave to him, he becomes quite cantankerous to the point of biting the hand that feeds him.

Cute and curly can come at a price, ha!

Copyright 2011/Ben Bensen III

Monday, September 26, 2011

"Ruff Sketches... Number One

Letting Sleeping Dogs Lie!
The past week I've been too busy to be in the frame of mind to sketch. Truth is, I did a few perfunctory sketches, but decided to shelve them for another time because I wasn't really happy with them enough to post. While watching the LSU vs West Virginia game Saturday night, I found some nice designs with our dog, Pierre, as he slept through the whole second half of the game. Like people, dogs are continuously moving when they're not napping and the only way to capture animals is to observe how they move. The knowledge helps you draw from memory and then embellish what is unique about that particular animal.

Of course, that's the theory of it all. Being successful doing it, is another thing!

Copyright 2011/Ben Bensen III

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Farmer's Market...Creole Tomatoes!

Please don't squeeze 'da tomatoes!

One of many sketches I did at the Farmer's Market in downtown Covington, LA. The market is open to the public just about every Saturday across from the grotesquely huge court house. As I have mentioned a few times before,  Sharpies, Pentels, Razor Points, etc. are not forgiving. Once you commit to a form defining line, you had better like it. Those tools make you think before you draw. And unfortunately,  people don't normally wait for you to decide which line works best. I've got plenty of false starts in sketchbooks because of Pentel lines that go nowhere, ha!

It took me about fifteen minutes to sketch this scene that basically lasted about a minute. The red was later applied with a red ad marker. So, it is mostly a composite of a few poses, drawn from memory except for the table and the veggies. They didn't move... too much!

Copyright 2014/ Ben Bensen III

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Well, I'm A Bit Angry at My Wife...

I sketched the view we got on our return to help out.

Yesterday morning Therese and I decided to go have breakfast in town as our "Labor Day" extravaganza. It was still raining as it had been for the last couple of days as Tropical Storm Lee stalled out and dumped the area with ten or twelve inches of the wet stuff. We had heard that the storm would be clearing out by the afternoon, but by then, we'd be in the middle of our chores, so this was the best time to be together.

We drove about one quarter mile on our way to the main highway when Therese saw a large, blue and white umbrella lying down on the limestone gravel driveway.

"What's that?" she asked as we sped ahead in the rain towards breakfast.

"Looks like a guy sitting in the driveway with his morning paper and umbrella, reading," I said.

Just then, an SUV turned ahead us with a very large black garbage bag propped on the roof of the car.

"Gee, I said, I wonder if that driver knows he has a bag of garbage on top of his car and I wonder where he's going with it?"

Therese, then asked me, if I thought the guy reading the paper with his umbrella was all right but before I could answer, we both saw a woman hastily dodging raindrops in her night gown and slippers to check the mail.

"Wow, everyone sure is acting strange today," Therese said. "Maybe, it's cabin fever, having had to stay indoors for all this time while the storm did its thing!"

"I don't know, but she's getting wet for nothing. Today's a holiday for the post office", I snickered.

Just as we slowed down to turn left onto the main highway, my wife asks again, " You sure that guy in the driveway is okay?"

By now, I had time to think and put all of the strange pieces together. "No, I replied. "I am not sure. Maybe, we should drive back, just in case!"

"I sure wish your guilt had better timing,"she said as she turned around and headed back towards the house where the rock limestone driveway would make anyone seated very uncomfortable, whether they were reading the paper in the rain or not. Arriving from the other direction, we could better see that a rather tall, thin, white haired man in a red high school alumni tee shirt and matching shorts, was crumpled up awkwardly under a large, golf umbrella.

"Are you all rght?" Therese asked, as she rolled down the window and put the car in park.

"Yes, I'm fine except I can't get up!"

"Well, then sir, you're not fine... let us help you get up," she answered while I jumped out of the car and ran up the driveway. It took me two unsuccessful tries to get him uncrumpled and standing before I succeeded while the misty rain started back up. As it became a pretty good drizzle, it was clear to me that he was gonna need some assistance walking about fifty feet or so back to his front door.

With very slow and deliberate steps, the old man, I guess embarrassed by his gaffe and having to be rescued from his ordeal, chattered about everything from his poor choice of footwear to get the newspaper, to Therese's new Honda Fit comparison with his Prius. His gas mileage, his red outfit, teaching and, of course, the weather, were all topics of discussion as I held his hand and Therese covered his head with the umbrella.

Arriving finally underneath the shelter of his carport, he said, "I can take it from here unless my wife has me locked out! She boards up everything before we sleep at night and sometimes I don't know how to get out, in the morning!" And as I laughed and started to walk away, the old man tentatively leans against his Prius and says with a wry smile...

 "I'm a bit angry at my wife. Who knows how long I'd be out there stranded in the rain before she'd miss me!"

Copyright 2011/Ben Bensen III

Thursday, September 1, 2011

"The ReUnion"... Leave It to the Ladies!

Who knows why or how these things work... I'm happy with this sketch!
Another solo lunch at Gus's when four women came in, laughing and giggling and hugging each other as if they hadn't seen each other in years. They hadn't.

A big, muscular black woman opened a small book with many inset photos and started asking questions about particular faces. After about ten minutes of raucous conversation, I decided this was too good to miss, and luckily, I had a sketchbook with me to record it. I screwed up my first attempt probably because I was still eating lunch, but the new sketch just started to flow. I captured the one girl playing with her hair and laughing, perfectly. I love it when that happens! Though the woman with her back to me never turned to acknowledge my existence, I believe they noticed me paying more and more attention. As I continued to draw, there was a momentary silence until the woman with the horn rimmed glasses said,"I don't gossip like I use to!" The table exploded with laughter.

She then looked me right in the eye and said," That's true, honest. I used to be horrible!" As I continued to sketch, I smiled back with a smirk and she cracked up laughing, saying,"Look at that man over there... He don't believe a word I'm saying...

Do you honey?"

"No, I said, but I sure am enjoying y'alls fun!" Sounds like you all haven't seen much of each other for a while!"

"That's right, sir," said the girl who was still twirling her hair.  "We are from this area, but we rarely see each other with jobs and chores and stuff! Might occasionally seen one another at church services, but this is the first time in a long time."

"It's been five years, another woman said, and we decided to meet here today to have a reunion!"

"To create an official high school reunion!"

Copyright 2011/Ben Bensen III