Thursday, March 29, 2012

Some More Watercolor Studies For A Large Painting.

I am still at work on the watercolor I posted about last time. I made a line drawing on to a 22 x30” watercolor paper. 

When I finished I decided I wanted to add a few more figures to the composition. Once I decided on this I made some more studies during the week for the added figures as well as a study for a hand I was having trouble drawing. I am looking forward to spending the weekend on this painting.


 I painted this one in gouache some time back. I was going to include this in the watercolor but changed my mind latter because I ran out of space.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pursuing The Big Picture

Norman Rockwell said he started out each painting with the idea that this is going to be the big one, the one that he’s going to be famous for and will put him in the history books. He felt that that big painting always eluded him even though he is remembered for a great deal of paintings and there are quite a few books written about him and his works.

It’s simply the idea of taking all of the experience you’ve accumulated and to try and challenge yourself to go past that to do things you’ve never done and his body of work shows that progression. It evolved in the pursuit of that big picture.

This week I bought a book on another artist, a watercolorists named Mary Whyte. One book is titled Painting Portraits and Figures In Watercolor and the other is called Working South. The later is  a book on a series of paintings documenting vanishing industries in America. I was really inspired by her work and wanted to challenge myself to paint larger watercolors. I also wanted to make paintings with multiple figures.

I went out and bought large sheets of watercolor paper, (22” x 30”)  and started working on studies of the figures to include in the first painting.

The sketches I post here are the studies I’ve done so far. I am looking forward to this weekend to start on the final painting.

The Quick Sketch/ Making The Most Of Every Opportunity

The tricky part about this is that he's going to move before I can finish

Just like in the drawing above This man moved several times
I really want to try and draw or paint everyday. I find it harder to work after taking a long brake from painting or drawing. It feels like I took a few leaps backward and I have to work harder and relearn something’s in order to start moving forward again. 

Some weeks life can overwhelm me and demand my attention and time in trying to meet the needs of family and putting food on the table. There’s work to do, children to take care of and just so much time left in the day for me. The time I have left on the weekend doesn’t make up for the loss of time in the five days of the week. The best solution I’ve had for it is the time in-between the time I spend taking care of all these things.

I wake early in the morning to start my day ahead of my kids. One of them likes to get up early too, but he gets no further than the sofa in the living room where he plops down and continues to sleep for another forty five minutes. Today I stood over him with my sketch pad and drew him as he slept. On the way back home from work I took out my sketchbook again to sketch a fellow passenger. These were very quick sketches since I had little time to do them and in both cases the person didn't stay still very long. At home I continued to sketch from memory, trying to recall some faces I’ve seen during the day.

The weather has been getting warmer here ahead of the spring so that I can finally begin to spend my lunch hour in the park sketching, creating another opportunity.

In making the most of every opportunity I can keep moving forward so that when more time opens up I can feel ready to make the most of that time.

These two bellow are from memory so I didn't have to worry about them moving

Monday, March 5, 2012

What To Do With Those Quick Subway Sketches

I now have drawers full of sketchbooks with these sketches done in the subway. Some were done in graphite, some brush and ink, pen and ink, water soluble pencil and color pencils. I've been doing these since high school never thinking of doing anything other than using that time to practice drawing. Just sketching.

Something I wanted to try was to paint using these sketches as reference. These little watercolors are the result.

 Judging from these pitiful first attempts its an artistic muscle I need to exercise more, painting from sketches. At least I had fun doing these. There are many artist who worked this way and painted canvases using figures pulled from their sketchbooks.Jean Antoine Watteau comes to mind.