Friday, October 13, 2017

Starting A Painting

The start of a painting is probably the most important part of executing it. Everything that happens after fails or succeeds based upon the strength of the structure underneath.

All the thought and care that's put into the start will make the rest of the work a lot easier. More often than not I fall into the trap of thinking ahead to the finish before I consider all the work
that needs to be done in the beginning.

It's impossible to overstate how important the start is. Not that changes aren't made as one goes along to the finish but there is a great deal of assessment made from the very start.

Below is a video of a painting that I started in Autodesk Sketchbook as well as a list of books about different artist and their approaches to painting.

James Gurney....
Burt Silverman...
Harvey Dinnerstein...
Richard Schmid...

Friday, October 6, 2017

Fun Exercise Using Photo Reference

As artist we should never fall victim to the trap of just going in to copy machine mode when using reference photos. We should always keep in mind that what we are trying to translate is what makes the material (whether a photo or from life) interesting to us and in that lies ones unique interpretation of the source.

I took a reference photo I found on line and did a four different drawings based on the same photo as an exercise in being faithful to the source material without slavishly copying it.

A video posted here from my YouTube channel demonstrates two of the drawings being drawn on Mischief (digital software). 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Why The 100 Drawing Challenge Might Not Work

A popular challenge is that students or aspiring artist draw 100 drawings (when I was in high school I remember the number being higher) and at the end, by their 101 drawing they would see vast improvement. While I do agree that its a great challenge I do see that artist are taking that challenge in the wrong way. Instead of struggling through each drawing they hurriedly speed through the drawings filling up sketchbooks with bad drawings. You can't learn anything without struggle. Natural gifts and talent give you a boost but at some point everyone hits a wall that they will have to go beyond in order to get to the next level.

Below is a video from my YouTube channel in which I talk about this and about a commitment to strive against mediocrity.

As promised in the video I also include here a few of the quotes that I mentioned.

 “From the age of 6 I had a mania for drawing the shapes of things. When I was 50 I had published a universe of designs. But all I have done before the the age of 70 is not worth bothering with. At 75 I'll have learned something of the pattern of nature, of animals, of plants, of trees, birds, fish and insects. When I am 80 you will see real progress. At 90 I shall have cut my way deeply into the mystery of life itself. At 100, I shall be a marvelous artist. At 110, everything I create; a dot, a line, will jump to life as never before. To all of you who are going to live as long as I do, I promise to keep my word. I am writing this in my old age. I used to call myself Hokusai, but today I sign my self 'The Old Man Mad About Drawing.”
 Hokusai Katsushika

"If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful".

"One good drawing is worth one hundred bad ones".
Irwin (Greeny) Greenberg

"Remember Rembrandt wasn't perfect. He had to fight mediocrity"
Irwin (Greeny) Greenberg

Friday, September 22, 2017

Different Aproaches to Drawing the Head from Memory and Imagination

Always useful to be able to reach into your memory and imagination and be able to draw from it. Drawing from life adds to the library of information in the mind to draw from.

I love to sketch heads from imagination. To come up with different characters.

Here are some examples of heads drawn from imagination done in my sketchbook and on my computer tablet.

Below is a video demonstrating drawing the head and here are some links for books mentioned in the video,
Andrew Loomis:
Drawing the Head and Hands
Fun With A Pencil

Friday, September 15, 2017

On Being Self Critical

In my new Friday YouTube video I discuss the importance of being self critical.

I do this as I work on a drawing in the Mischief application.

The video is below. If you like the video consider subscribing to my YouTube channel where you can view many more and can expect a new video every Friday.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Some Preliminary Work For An Illustration

I loved reading Tolkien's stories of Middle Earth. As a teen I saw that world come to life in the animated Lord of the Rings movie by Bakshi. Although looking back there was much lacking in that film to my teenage eyes it was nothing short of incredible.

After watching that movie I read all the Tolkien material I could find and to this day I remain a fan.

A little while a go I decided I wanted to illustrate a scene as a promotional illustration. I chose the scene when Merry and Pippin meet Tree Beard in Fangorn Forrest.

It remains a work in progress and hopefully I can get back to it soon. Here are some of the sketches I've made in preparation for the illustration.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Forget About Style Worry About Improving Your Drawing Instead

My youngest son loves to draw but like all young (and old) artist he's frustrated with his efforts. He's not as good as he wants to be and he's hungrily searching for a distinctive style.

I made and posted this video on my YouTube channel sharing the discussion I had with him regarding this. Hopefully he will take it to heart.

After watching the video feel free to leave comments regarding your views on this. Would love to hear what artists are thinking.