Sunday, March 2, 2014
How much detail do you need in your image? How do you decide what information is absolutely necessary to create a compelling image? My response is an obvious, "practice", keeping in mind that every artists has a unique way of looking at the same thing. One persons choices will be different from the next.
Of course there are exercises you can do to help you to begin to see things more simply, (you know, less is more).
I like making brush drawings with black ink, focusing on broad patterns of light and dark. Like the first two drawings at left.
Another exercise is to work with a watercolor wash using either lamp black or burnt sienna.
I do my best to keep it simple and stay away from adding to much detail. Something I continually strive to do, that is to strike a balance between simplicity and the amount of detail I put in.
The color self portraits at the end are pages from my sketch book where I try to resolve how much information is necessary to create a convincing image.
These last two are actually the same image. I scanned the painting midway through to show that much of what was necessary was already there.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
It's been a long time since I've done a pen and ink with this much cross hatching. It was really a lot of fun to do. Both drawings posted here was made on Sketchbook Pro. The one of my Mother on the upper left was done with the ball point pen tool and the self portrait was done with the pencil tool.
The ball point pen gave a consistent line which was perfect for this drawing. I usually like using a tool where you can vary the thin and thickness of the line (weight) with pen pressure but this tool worked for this drawing.
I believe it's a good idea to try out all the tools (brushes) in the program so that you know what your options are when you are creating your image. You can use more than one tool for the line quality that you need.
There i s a video of the self portrait I created for my YouTube channel. The video is embedded bellow.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
These two watercolors are of the same person, my Mother. The time in between these paintings is about 12 years. It's painful to look at them beside each other. Such a reminder of how time can pass almost unnoticed until you look back on images like this.
Technically I know these paintings have there faults but there is a heavy feeling and personality that is communicated in the image's, especially the bottom one. That counts as much, maybe more than the how good the painting is technically.
My belief is that a really good painting is a marriage of both technical skills and an ability to communicate something to your audience, and the first is in the service of the latter. After all, you learn how to paint so that you can communicate what you see, feel and think to your audience.
What you say with your skills is what is going to remain with them when the image is no longer in front of them. It could be a feeling, memory or an idea, but they should walk away with something.
Monday, January 27, 2014
You know that left over paint you have on your water color palette. The stuff that you were mixing together. Don't wipe it off your palette. Use it to make wash drawings in your sketchbook. The paint is expensive enough, there's no need to just throw it away, use it.
The sketches I'm posting here were made with the left over paint on my water color palette. Might as well use it to fill up pages in my sketchbook. To be honest, it's been a little while since I've worked in watercolor. Doing these wash drawings help me get warmed up to the medium once again.
Friday, January 17, 2014
Its funny how I can be really busy and feel like I get very little done. Some illustration work, a couple of small self portraits, some sketching and then a whole lot of everything else ( 9 to 5, family, etc.).
Personally, I feel that even though I am busy doing illustration work, its important for me to take the time to do things like the self portrait. In my illustrations I am mostly working from imagination. The more I work from life, the more mental reference I accumulate and can recall when I am working from memory or my imagination. Also after I've worked on a number of these small paintings I find that I eventually want to go on to something more challenging or some idea pops into my head and I begin working on something more ambitious.
The sketch on the bottom is in one of the styles I work in when I am drawing from my imagination.
Saturday, December 28, 2013
"Draw lines, young man, and still more lines, both from life and from memory, and you will become a good artist." Ingres advice to a young Degas.
At the High School of Art and Design Irwin Greenberg advised his students to draw every day. Till this day I strive to adhere to that advice, drawing from imagination, from life, from photo reference.
Sometimes I would pause my TV and draw one of the actors on the screen or I will read a book and try and visualize the characters and scenes and sketch those out on paper. My preference is to draw from life but sometimes a model is not readily available so I prop a mirror on a chair so I can do a self portrait or a just sketch away using my imagination.
Drawing the face has always been more interesting to me than anything else so I often fill up pages with different heads. In the down time, between paintings, when I am wondering what to do next or trying to build up to tackling a large painting I make these sketches.
Sunday, December 15, 2013
|The head on the upper left is the Ghost of Christmas Present.|
I have found that one of the best ways to kick start my imagination is to read. When I read I get a visual image in my mind of what the author is saying. I liked reading from writers like Charles Dickens or J.R.R Tolkien. When I do their characters find their way into my sketchbooks. This helps me especially when the ideas run dry and I wonder what to do next. Rather than staring at a blank sheet I can recall characters or scene's from some story I've read and draw those images.
The figure on the far left is Marley's ghost from A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. It illustrates the following line, "At this the spirit raised a frightful cry, and shook its chain with such a dismal and appalling noise, that Scrooge held on tight to his chair, to save himself from falling in a swoon. But how much greater was his horror, when the phantom taking off the bandage round its head, as if it were too warm to wear in-doors, its lower jaw dropped down upon its breast."