Saturday, December 28, 2013

Ways To Kickstart Your Imagination 2

"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

Ways To Kickstart Your Imagination

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." 

 Another sketch for the ghost of Christmas Present.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sketching From Memory And Imagination

Once again I find myself with little time on my hands and taking to my trusty sketchbook with every spare moment. That would be my lunch brakes and that time I wake up in the early morning before anyone else does. I like the early morning most of all.

Irwin Greenberg, my painting teacher in the High School of Art and Design, wrote an article about his sketch habit of waking up in the morning and starting off in his sketchbook to warm up for a days work of painting. He would sketch from memory faces that he saw while watching television the night before. I do a variation of that and try to recall the face's of people on the subway or someone I saw in the street or on my job, etc. Of course I also make a whole bunch of doodles from my imagination.