Showing posts from 2011

Painting Left Handed Continued

Still trying to continue painting left handed while my right is in a splint healing. Been relying on gouache since I can make changes more easily. The hardest thing about painting left handed is that my brain and hand seem to have difficulty communicating. I try to put down a line or a brush stroke one way and my left hand seems to want to go in the opposite direction.It's easy to get frustrated because I'm never putting down exactly what I want when I draw or paint, but then again I was always critical of the work I did right handed but at least I had better control then.

I have another visit with the Doctor in two days. Hopefully they will change the splint so that it no longer covers my hand entirely and then I will be able to get some use out of it.

I think I did better on this painting of my Mother but there are areas in the painting that I just gave up on because they were to difficult to do left handed.

I Continue To work left Handed Waiting For My Right Hand To Heal


Relearning To Paint And Draw With My Left Hand

Draw lines, young man, many lines; from memory or from nature-it is in this way you will become a good artist.(said to Edgar Degas)-Jean Dominique Ingres

With my right hand still in a splint I continue to try to sketch left handed. I keep Ingres words to a young Degas in mind and I try to fill pages of lines- letters, numbers, shapes, etc. Anything in order to practice making marks with my left hand. At first I couldn’t even draw a circle, now I’ve gotten a bit better at being able to control my lines and shapes.

The biggest challenge seems to be how to hold the pencil, pen or brush comfortably in my hand and to be able to move that hand in a way that would leave the type of mark needed. I see improvement in being able to control my hand. I’m learning that the painting is created in my mind, the hands can be trained to translate the image from my mind to the paper or canvas. There is another quote from Ingres that points to this:
One must keep right on drawing; draw with your eyes wh…

Resolve/ Learn To Paint With My Left Hand

I have had a miserable week just pushing myself to try and sketch. My right hand was operated on last week. The ligament and nerve damage was repaired and now I have to wear my splint for six weeks.

I can’t move my thumb or use my right hand. I am trying to sketch with my left hand but it takes a great deal of patience since I don’t have the same control I would have using my right hand. Still, since I have to wait six weeks I’m going to have to fight through the frustration and try to paint with my left hand. The computer software helps but I would much rather use traditional media. I find that if I can tape down the paper or prop it on an easel it’s easier to work and the more I generalize and not try to get into details I can come up with something that looks okay. I still want to get the image to look as though I would’ve done it with my right hand.

I think these next six weeks can teach me a lot if I have the patience and discipline to continue working, I can’t sleep the time aw…

Sitting On My Hands and Thinking About Painting

Although my right hand is still in a splint I took it off long enough to make the sketch at left. My hand got numb about three times before I put it back in the splint.

It's hard to not do anything.

The only other thing I managed to do is the brush drawings I am posting bellow. I made a little hole in the splint large enough to stick a pencil or brush through it. I can hold the pencil better this way but it's still difficult to write or draw.

I remember when I was in Irwin Greenberg's class he would tell us to sit on our hands and think about what we are going to paint before we start attacking the canvas. Maybe the best thing to do right now is to think and doodle about what I'm going to work on when my hand gets better.

Never Giving Up / Sketching through Injury

Life has a way of bringing unexpected  surprises at your door. Not all of them good.

About two weeks ago I sustained some serious injuries which included my right thumb nearly being severed. There was ligament damage to the thumb and my right hand remains in a splint. My four fingers are also covered by the splint even though they are intact and uninjured. All this makes it very hard to paint.

I started drawing during my stay in the hospital using what fingers were free at the time and when they put the splint on my right hand I tried drawing left handed. Because trying to retrain myself to use my left hand is difficult and frustrating I switch the pencil, brush or pen from hand to hand. I can still use my right hand though I can’t use my thumb yet.

I can’t begin to express how much I long to be outdoors with a set of watercolors and paint what’s in front of me or to be able to take my French easel outside and paint in oils. Art has always been important to me and now I realize how m…

More Digital Sketches In Sketchbook Pro and Corel Painter Essentials

There are a few things that keep me coming back to digital work, (1) Its new to me and I like learning new mediums. (2) Its super convenient, no set up or clean up. (3) I don't want to fall behind. I see a lot of older people who are afraid of the computer, (I had a coworker who was a supervisor and was afraid to send emails. He would always ask his assistant to send them until his boss demanded he do it himself). I want to stay current and at the same still work in the traditional media that I enjoy. All media present a life long challenge, not just to master the technical aspect of the tools but to use them expressively. Its the image not the medium that is important.

The first two images on this post were done in Sketchbook Pro. This program is inexpensive and easy to learn. Although I know I haven't learned all this program can do. I can't afford to take classes so I look for videos and tutorials on how people use these programs to learn as much as I can.

The third pi…

Sketching In Tradirional And Digital Media

The two sketches included in this post are done from photo's I took at Zuccotti Park. The one at left was done in oils. Although I wasn't happy with the sketch I much prefer to work in traditional media. That's not to say I don't like digital paintings. I have seen a lot of really wonderful paintings done digitally. However I also see that the quality of their work is due to their knowledge of art and traditional drawing and painting skills. In other words the computer is just another medium and not the artist.

There are advantages to working either way.  For one thing with traditional media you have a tangible piece of art that can be framed and hung or sold. With digital media you have a much more portable piece of work that is easier to reproduce.

The painting on the lower left was done in Photoshop. I had a much easier time with this one I think mostly because of having done the previous sketch and also I liked the photo I used for this painting better. I tried t…

From Battery Park to Zuccotti Park


Another Sketchbook Finished.

I finally got to the last page of my sketchbook. This one took a little longer to complete with all the distractions I had recently. I like being able to look back at it and see where I have grown. I think this sketchbook has changed some of the ways I approach watercolor. I'm not as afraid to mess one up by playing with the paint a bit, working into wet areas as well as glazing one color over another. I think I need to look for a heavier paper though. these sketchbooks are 80 lb, something heavier would stand up better to corrections and lifting paint up.

 The subway sketch on the left was quickly sketched in pencil and the paint was added latter when I got home.
The watercolor I did of battery park bellow was done the same way.

Another Illustration Assignment

Working on an illustration assignment, a new picture book and a new website has kept me busy for sometime, Unfortunately I haven’t been able to post anything lately because I’ve been so busy.

I will post the new illustration assignment after it is printed. For now I will post an illustration I did a while back for Guide Magazine. I tried something new with this assignment. I created all the elements of the illustration separately and then put them together in Photoshop by cutting and pasting them in the program. I wanted to see if this could be a faster way of working. It allowed me to work quickly and to easily make changes in the artwork. I was able to move the images around, resize them or change color and value right in the program. Since each element was on a different layer I could change one area without affecting the others.

The first two images show the artwork done in pen and ink and watercolor on paper then scaned into Photoshop. I used the lasso tool to select the image t…

Creating Picture Books/ Adventures In Self Publishing In The Digital Age

I love telling stories. When my oldest son was 5 years old I started creating picture books for him about these cartoon dinosaur characters I made up. I would put the books together using the copiers on my job and give them to him. I was very happy to see that he liked them enough to take them to school with him. I made two more stories about the same characters, though I never got to finish all the illustrations for the last story.

I got lots of compliments from people who saw the books so I printed out a few more, even sold some.

When my son grew older I wrote another story that matched his age. He loved that one too and I went all out on the illustrations on that one. I liked the idea, it was about a kid who tried to imagine what it would be like to have a dinosaur as a pet. I thought the story had a sense of humor and I worked hard on the illustrations, working and reworking them till I got what I thought was the very best I could do.

The printed book was done on quality paper. T…

Painting Through A Busy Week


Fighting My Way Through A Painting