Saturday, August 29, 2015

Quotes On Imagination

I believe that one's imagination is feed by drawing and painting from life. In that way you retain a memory of images to draw from of the variety of shapes in nature and attitudes of people and a ton more stuff to consider. Imagination is different from memory, a modern day person would have an impossible time remembering what it was like to experience the events at Bunker Hill.

I am posting some images from my sketchbook that were drawn from imagination as well as some quotes about imagination by artist and other well known persons.

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”    Albert Einstein

When being praised for a painting he had just finished, the artist, James Fitzgerald said, 'You should have seen it in my mind.'   Guy Corriero

"A picture is first of all a product of the imagination of the artist; it must never be a copy".   Edgar Degas

"A person without imagination is like a teabag without hot water."   Alan Fletcher

"There is no better way of exercising the imagination than the study of law. No poet ever interpreted nature as freely as a lawyer interprets truth."    Jean Giraudoux

"Do not quench your inspiration and your imagination; do not become the slave of your model." 
    Vincent van Gogh

"Imagination abandoned by reason produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of source of their wonders."     Francisco de Goya

"An artist who has no imagination is a mechanic."     Robert Henri

"No amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination."     Edward Hopper

"It is not enough to know your craft – you have to have feeling. Science is all very well, but for us imagination is worth far more."      Edouard Manet

"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."      Michelangelo

-on painting July Sunset...
"This is not an actual scene, I made it all up... I drew it from my imagination rightside up, then painted it upside down, then corrected it rightside up to make it believable. It's all about the mood."          C. W. Mundy

"Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it, we go nowhere."           Carl Sagan

Monday, August 10, 2015

Digital Watercolor

 I am enjoying using the Rebelle Software to paint digital watercolors. The painting at left was done over the weekend and I also posted a YouTube video below explaining how it was done using this software.

I still use Sketchbook Pro and am also learning other software. What I like about Rebelle that is unique is the way its watercolor brush mimics real watercolor.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Sketching Vs, Drawing

My son wants me to teach him how to draw. He likes drawing what other kids his age are into- Manga and game characters. I spend time with him giving him lessons and encouraging him every chance I get.

One of the lessons I am trying to teach him right now is that there is a difference between drawing and sketching. When he is drawing he is so intense, focused on everything looking just right and he is constantly frustrated by his efforts. I tell him he has to loosen up, that if he would just sketch first, not worrying about being so perfect he would be more relaxed and enjoy his drawing experience.

I think there is a slight difference between sketching and drawing. When you are drawing you are concentrating on making everything just right but when you sketch  you are able to let go, loosen up and not take yourself so seriously, but then again you can if you feel so inclined. A drawing has to be perfect but a sketch doesn't. At the same time never make a lousy drawing and use as an excuse that it was just a sketch.

To the left and above are a bunch of sketches I did on my lunch break at work . The image of the Trumpet player and the one of my son below are more carefully observed drawings.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Pen and Ink Drawing

Pen and ink has always been one of my favorite mediums. The thing that I like about it is that you have just one black line to construct your image. You can vary the size of the line, I use a brush for thicker lines or large black shapes. But you are limited and have to really think about how you can make the most of that line to make your image.

 That line has to do express value and color (even though it is just black you can suggest color). It also leaves you very little room for error. Sometimes the line is not exactly as I had planed- to thick or spattered and I have to continue trying to make the drawing work even so. Sometimes I use a pen filled with white pigmented ink to go over a mistake or I might take an exacto knife and scratch out some ink depending on the thickness of the paper I'm using.

These drawings were done on my lunch hour at work except for the one with the Union soldiers which was done when I got back home. I used a Pentel Brush Pen and also a Pentel Ballpoint Pen with permanent black ink.

It is also fun to add an ink wash or a black  watercolor wash (greyed down with water) to the drawings.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

More Civil War Sketches

There are times when I can be clueless as far as what to do next. In those times I find it best to just keep sketching or take some time to look at art and be inspired- buy a new book, magazine or go to a museum. Its good to see what another artist friend is doing and be inspired by their enthusiasm for the subject matter. Blogs, social media keep you connected even if you can't walk into someones studio.

Then there are times where it seems I have a million ideas and only enough time to do two.

So it is with a painting I am currently working on. I started working on a composition for a civil war scene. Wanted to use it as a demo (either for a book on digital painting or a video or both). However I have two illustration assignments to finish (which is good news) and those deadlines come first. In between these assignments I manage to continue with preliminary sketches and sketches like the gouache in the above image- something to keep my interest up. Below is the preliminary sketch for the civil war painting.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Some Civil War Sketches

There are certain subjects I return to again and again. I am not a student of history but I love to draw certain histories, the Civil War being one of them. This is a recent thing though.

I keep returning to the Ken Burns documentary on the Civil War and that probably had a lot to do with choosing the subject matter. On my brother's recommendation, I will pick up a copy of "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara and begin reading it this week end.

A little while back I made a list for myself of the types of things I loved to sketch from imagination. The Civil War and Pirates top that list. I began to collect images of those things that I might use as reference. When I use these references what I try to do is combine several photos as well as my imagination. Sometimes to much of the photo remains in the end. I try to avoid that.

The top sketch I did for fun, on my lunch break at work. In this one I felt that I used the combination of imagination and various references successfully. In the drawing immediately under that I was working out two figures who will be part of a larger composition.

The bottom is a 45 minute sketch I did trying out Clip Studio Paint which I just purchased. It used to be Manga Studio I believe. I was trying out the watercolor brush tools.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Trying Out New Paint Software.

Corel Painter Essentials 5

PaintStorm Studio
The majority of software I use for painting are very similar. All have brushes that can be tweaked, layers with blend modes and other properties that can be manipulated. Some have large brush libraries, some have smaller but all can be adjusted and you can even download brushes from other users on line. Makes it real easy to start up the software and play with it for a while to discover the different brushes.

In these images I tested a few brushes out. This is the fun part, where you see what these brushes can do and you start imagining what you can create with them. The hard part of course is finding the time.

The first sketch I did was done in Corel Painter Essentials 5. Using the same reference I redid the painting in Paint Storm Studio. I have not used either of these programs before, at least never took anything to finish (and I still haven't). This is what I do when I start getting in to a new software, I play with it.

A few weeks back I did the same with Rebelle. I wanted to try out the acrylic brushes. They worked a lot better than I expected. Very similar to the oil brushes in ArtRage. One thing I have to say about Rebelle is that the watercolor and Acrylic brushes work perfectly but I am having trouble with the other tools. Rebelle needs to add some smoothing to the pencil and pen tools.