Monday, March 28, 2016

The Convenience of Working Digitally

Having a nine to five means that there is less time in a day to get much work done 5 days out of the week. Yet I am determined to make everyday count. Because of this, unless I've already managed to start something that I can work on during the week, I do a lot of sketching between Monday and Friday. On the weekend is when I can get something started that I can work on everyday but If I have nothing going I sketch, hunting for an idea or just to practice in a particular medium.

Having a family life makes this doubly hard though. One of the things that has helped is being able to work digitally. The sketch above was done in Artrage. The approach I use to paint digitally is the same approach I would take in oils except that I can't always anticipate the brush stroke in Artrage, but it comes close.

Working digitally I don't have to worry about set up or clean up. I just sit in front of my computer and start. I much prefer working with traditional tools. They are worth all the bother of setting and cleaning up. Sometimes though it is difficult to find the time. If I didn't have the choice of working digitally I would have found another way but I am thankful for the convenience because the important thing is to do some work everyday.

The video bellow shows stroke for stoke how I worked on this painting (it is sped up- I can't actually work that fast of course). It is that same way I would have approached it if I were actually working in oils. There are flaws in the painting that if I would have cared to carry it further I would correct.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Some Pen and Ink Drawings From My Sketchbook

So far in the month of March I've had two illustration assignments that required me to produce a total of four illustrations. Currently I am struggling to get through the last of these.

When I do these illustrations I almost always use digital media. It's just faster and I can take it with me and work on a tablet if I have to leave home.

Unfortunately I find that when I take the time to work exclusively in digital media I feel a bit rusty when I get back to working in traditional media. It could be that the mediums are just different disciplines like watercolor and oils requiring a different approach. The funny thing is that I find that it is much easier for me to go from traditional to digital and find it a lot harder to do the reverse. I always feel as If I need to shake of some rust after setting aside the traditional tools to do some digital work. I also feel that working with traditional media benefits the work I do digitally but I can't say that working digitally helps with the work I do in other media. Not saying that this is a rule of thumb, it's just the way I feel.

For this reason I always set aside time to do something in my sketchbook each day. It may or may not be related to the current illustration assignment. It's mostly drawings but most times I wish I had time to paint as well.

These pen and ink drawings are some of the sketches I've done as I worked on the illustration assignment this month.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Some Sketchbook Drawings and 3 Quotes On Drawing and Imagination

" Draw lines, many lines from nature and from memory. Then you will be a good painter."
 Ingres advice to young Degas

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” 
 Albert Einstein 

"A picture is first of all a product of the imagination of the artist; it must never be a copy."
 Edgar Degas


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Watercolor Portrait

A while back I was asked to raffle a portrait for a fundraiser in my old High School, the High School of Art and Design in New York City.

It turned out to be a little bit of a challenge because I wasn't sure how I was going to paint the picture. I knew it was going to be a watercolor and I had a few pictures which I took for reference. I've painted people I did not know before but I never had to present it to them ( except for the paintings I've done of family members). So the challenge was that even if I get a likeness would I be able to communicate something about his character so when the person see's it they can say "That's me".

After a failed first attempt I worked on a couple of sketches after which I came up with the painting above.

Never did get to ask the gentleman what he thought about the painting but he did post that he was pleased with it on Facebook.