Friday, February 24, 2012

In Need Of Inspiration

Rembrandt

When at an impasse, look at the work of masters. (Irwin Greenberg)

Velazquez
At a loss for what to do next. You know that point where you have little to no inspiration but you still want to paint and you keep starting stuff only to walk away from it and throw it in the pile of things you'll get to one day. Yeah, that's where I'm at.

I wish I had the time to go to a museum. As a student I would visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City at least twice a month. There were rooms dedicated to certain masters that I always returned to. Rembrandt, Rubens, Tiepolo, Sargent, Homer and then I would spend time looking here and there until my legs were tired from all the walking and I would then go to browse their bookstore. I bought a lot of books over the years and that's usually where I go to for inspiration now. I would spend time flipping the pages and looking through the reproductions in the books. Its not better than seeing the actual work but it helps a lot to remind me of the types of images that I enjoy, the works of artists that inspire me. I like paintings, I love art, looking at it makes me want to be creative too. However smaller, much meeker, my efforts are at least I get to share in this fellowship with artist past and present. Through art, mysterious bonds of understanding and of knowledge are established among men. They are the bonds of a great Brotherhood. Those who are of the Brotherhood know each other, and time and space cannot separate them. (Robert Henri)
Sargent
Sorolla

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Getting Ready To Paint




At left is a watercolor study for a painting I've been wanting to do for a while but had been putting it off. I don't know why I waited so long to start on it. I took several photos of my wife as reference for this work and used them before to sketch or make head studies from but I've never gotten around to painting the image.I suppose if I think about it I could come up with a list of reasons or excuses or maybe I just wasn't feeling like working on this particular painting till now.

Once I decided that now would be a good time to start this painting I began to work on the watercolor and a pencil drawing before I went on to the painting in oil. The paper for the drawing was too grainy but I went ahead and struggled with it, don't think that was such a good idea in the end.

 Neither the watercolor or the drawing were particularly successful but doing both helped me to understand what I was going to have difficulty with in the final painting and what exactly do I want to come across with this image.The tilt of the head, the hands and the length of the shoulders were going to present problems. The expression on her face changes in these studies. The watercolor shows her smiling and the drawing shows a more moody expression. I want to see if I can paint her with an outward smile and an expression on her face of her thoughts turned inward.

On the right is the initial laying in of paint for the final painting in oil.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Batch Of Recently Published Illustrations











Luckily I had another batch of illustrations recently published. Its great when I can get work although it doesn't come often enough as of yet.

I posted about my process for the illustration at left in Oct. 2011, You can read that here .





The next illustration was done using more traditional means, just straight gouache paints. My sons posed for the two kids in the illustration although I changed their features to reflect the characters in the story.