Monday, April 22, 2013

Sketching In Watercolor (What Makes A Sketch A Sketch 2)

I guess this post can be a continuation of my last one about what makes a sketch a sketch. I didn’t mean for it to be. I had meant to do some serious painting this weekend and in a way I did. I had two paintings I wanted to work on but I realized I was not going to have enough time to get far into either one of them. I feel a lot better about a project when I can get a good start on it, I don’t know why that helps me to return to it the next day but I wake up thinking about it. When I go about my day I look forward to returning to it and I think about what I am going to do once I find myself in front of the painting again.

When it became clear I wasn’t going to get a good jump on either painting I pulled out a block of 140 lb. hot pressed watercolor paper, some photos I had taken for reference and began to sketch. The sketch wound up being the triple portrait above. Although I think the head on the right is a little too large I like it enough to try it again on a portrait of my son. One portrait, like one conversation, cannot sum up all of a person’s character so it would be interesting to see how much I can tell about someone I know in three different views in one painting (great, now I have another project to work on).

During the week I also went sketching out doors. Because I’m sketching on my lunch break I really don’t have enough time to finish anything. I do what I can, take several pictures with my digital camera and when I get back to work I print the pictures. At home I finish up the sketch.

Friday, April 19, 2013

What Makes A Sketch A Sketch

I have done some very serious drawing in my sketchbook, by serious I’m not implying that the drawing was successful. Only that it was a serious attempt at interpreting what my eyes see or an attempt at resolving a drawing problem- proportion, perspective, values, etc. Or I just might be carried away with the moment and bring the sketch to a degree of finish one might associate with a finished piece and it just might wind up in a frame. A sketch can be thinking, doodling or just pushing paint, pencil or ink in one direction or another. Just having fun till some inspiration hits me. It could be the discipline of just wanting to draw or paint daily till that inspiration hits me and it spring boards into some larger work.

An artist sketchbook gives one the freedom to do all these things with no pressure other than honest effort and the enjoyment of doing the thing.

So what makes a sketch a sketch and separates it from what is considered a serious attempt at creating art. I don’t know, maybe it should be the other way around and one should bring that same mix of seriousness, play and enjoyment to a finished piece.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Watercolor Sketching

It’s very hard to keep up the habit of painting daily, especially when I have so little time reserved for myself. Most of the times I’m writing up these blog entries on my lunch hour at work and as the weather start’s getting warmer I will be taking my watercolors outside on my lunch hour. When I get home from work I spend time with the family, wind down and then make sure that the kids start getting ready for their next day of school. We all go to bed by 8:30 P.M. and wake up at 5:00 A.M. I so look forward to the weekends but I still need to put in that time painting daily. 

There are times when I get up at 3:00 in the morning and with everyone else asleep I have up until
5:00 to paint either a project I started on the weekend or sketch to keep up the practice of working daily. 

Here are something’s that have helped me.

 My digital camera. I have a couple of good cameras but
mostly I rely on a Canon 21 megapixel with 12X optical
zoom. I usually take this with me when I go sketching
outside and take a picture of what it is I’m painting so t
hat I can finish it up later or use the sketch and the photo
reference for some larger work. I may also come across
something in my travels that I don’t have time to stop and
sketch so I take  photos to work on later. The watercolor
sketches I have here are from photos I took of a crowd
scene. I picked out some faces that looked interesting to
me and used them when I was sketching at 3 A.M.

          I carry an assortment of pencils, brushes,
   pens and sketchpads all the time. I sketch
   on the trains traveling to and from work,
   in the park on my lunch hour during
   the spring and summer months and
   maybe sometimes I would stop by this
   parkway near my home where I can
   sit on a bench and paint before the sun
   goes down.

          I buy lots of books on artist whose work inspires me.
   I read magazines, blogs and articles on the internet, I
   join in conversations about art and I strive to stay inspired.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Digital Painting Tutorial In Sketchbook Pro 6

I have been working in what is now my favorite graphics Software, sketchbook Pro 6. I’ve also been recording what I’ve been working on and posting it on my YouTube Channel.  I realize I hadn’t posted my latest video here although I did post the image.

Lately I’ve been posting tutorials using this program to demonstrate how I would draw and paint the face from life and imagination. In this video I discussed painting a face using my son Joshua as the model. I worked from a photo I took of him wearing a hooded shirt. I thought he might like that since it resembled a character in one of his favorite video games. I took several photos of him originally intending to do a watercolor. I choose one to do this video tutorial and hope to get to that watercolor soon.