Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sketching From Life/ Drawing from imagination

 It's been a while since I've posted I know. Most of what I'm doing now has to be published before I can post it and explain what I've been doing. But there is always my little sketch book that I always carry with me. Most of what I've been doing lately is illustration work done at home using some reference but mostly working from imagination. I really believe that its important to work from both memory (or imagination) and from life.

Drawing  and painting from life adds to your memory and helps you imagine what it is you want to draw from your imagination.

You should often amuse yourself when you take a walk for recreation, in watching and taking note of the attitudes and actions of men as they talk and dispute, or laugh or come to blows with one another... noting these down with rapid strokes, in a little pocket-book which you ought always to carry with you. (Leonardo da Vinci)

 These drawings were done on the subway on my ride to and from work. They were done very rapidly using two water soluble pencils (black and sepia) and a Niji brush filled with water on a 5 X 7" sketchbook.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Warm Up Sketches

Still grieving my Mothers passing and its been a difficult Mothers Day weekend because of it. Over the past few weeks I've managed to do a very little bit of personal work. Thank goodness for a bit of illustration work. That has helped keep me busy drawing in pen and ink and coloring digitally.  Would be nice if I can make a living doing the illustrations but jobs don't come often enough.

Any way, once I finish the assignments I will post some of the finished illustrations. For now I am posting sketches that I use to warm up before I do illustration work. I also find it very relaxing and fun to do these sketches at the end of the day or on my lunch break at work.

All of these were done quickly, an hour at the most. With the exception of the Gouache painting on the top left. I kept my sketchbook opened at my table over a period of days and just kept adding to the image every free chance I got.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Painting with the Procreate App On the IPad

Trying to keep working after a painful loss. I've managed a bunch of sketches both traditional and digital. For the digital work I have been sketching on my IPad using the Procreate app. Its a great app and I highly recommend it. Wish they would make a version for the PC though. I hate painting with my fingers on the IPad. I used a stylus for some of the paintings but it is not the same as if I were working on my Cintiq. Wacom has a new stylus out that works with the IPad that I heard good things about, as soon as I get some extra cash I will give it a try. In the mean time the following three videos were all done using Procreate on my IPad.

video video videoThis last one is unfinished
But I thought it would still be fun to post.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Trying to Mimic Leyendecker

A short while back I completed an illustration assignment done from my imagination with the use of some reference for some of the background figures. One of the figures was a swipe from a Leyendecker painting and I guess because of that particular figure I tried to make the rest of the painting look something like Leyendeckers style. You can see this painting on the upper left. It didn't come out too bad but it would never be mistaken for a Leyendecker. No surprise there. Still it was fun to do.

 A little while later I decided to paint a portrait of my Mom in which I tried to mimic J.C. Leyendeckers style. What captures my attention most about Leyendeckers paintings  ( on the right is one of Leyndeckers sketch canvas' ) is that every brush stroke has a purpose, There is not a single stroke wasted. Everyone well thought out and describing some important detail on the canvas. A very hard thing to do.

But whether or not I'm successful at mimicking his style or not a lot can be learned by just trying. I also had a great deal of fun painting it.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Drawing and Painting In Mischief

One of the main things that I look for in drawing and painting software is its ease of use. It has to be as close to actually just picking up a pencil or a brush and just be able to start working. I don't need a whole lot of technical tricks, I'm not interested in photo manipulation. Of course a good tablet helps a whole lot as well, but it's important that the software be easy to use.

That's the reason I like Sketchbook Pro. It's really simple to use, easy to keep track and find my favorite brushes and tools. I have Photoshop and it is excellent but it's been a while since I've used it to paint. I like ArtRage, how it mimic's the different mediums listed in its arsenal of brushes, but there's a bit of tweaking that needs to be done in order  to get the results which do look so much like the real thing.

There is one other program besides Sketchbook Pro that is very easy to use. Mischief is another terrific software. It is not packed with as many brushes as Sketchbook Pro. There is not a lot beside changing the opacity that you can do to the layers. But there are a good amount of adequate brushes and you can use an unlimited amount of layers (how many really depends on your computer memory).

Mischief also has what is called an infinite canvas. You can continue to draw on the canvas as if you were drawing on an endless roll of paper. You can move your drawing over left, right, up or down and continue drawing.

Mischief allows you to save your image as an Mischief file but you can export either the visible canvas or portions of it as an jpeg or png file. You can adjust the size and resolution as you are exporting your file.

The images I am posting here were done in Mischief. In these drawings I was simply exploring the application to see what can be done with it. It is wonderfully easy to use and that is the best thing I can say about any application.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Some Pages from My Sketchbook

 Draw everywhere and all the time. An artist is a sketchbook with a person attached. (Irwin Greenberg)


Between all the business of life, when you cant get to all the things you want do or dream of doing, the best thing to do is to draw in your sketchbook every spare chance that you get. Most of these sketches are done on my lunch hour at work. I sit quietly at my desk nibble at my food and draw.

Some of these are prelims for an illustration assignment. Two drawings were sketches from life, one of my mother and the other of a man sitting in a jury room.

Friday, March 13, 2015

A Couple Of Lessons From A difficult Painting Session

I almost gave up on this one. I walked away with a couple of lessons from the experience.

First is of course don't quit so easily. The thing that made this painting especially difficult was that I used the wrong paper. I used a Strathmore smooth 4 ply bristol board. A very good rag content paper but the smooth surface was not suited to the gouache medium. Paint kept lifting off the surface as I applied it to the board so that I had to paint using thick globs. The paint didn't always lift off, it wasn't plate bristol (that would have been impossible to paint on with gouache), just enough to be very annoying. Half way through I had to decide whether I wanted to continue. There was enough down that looked promising so I gave it another go. There are always things to change in a painting as you go along, using the wrong surface made it that much harder to make corrections.

Next time I need a surface with some tooth and not this smooth surface that I used here.

The second thing was equally obvious, pick the right paper for the medium I'm using. Who knows, even though I managed to finish it with the right surface It could look better than it does now.