Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Apache- Jorgen Ingmann
Wipe Out- The Surfaris
Green Onions- Booker T & The MG's
Out of Limits (Lp Version)- The Marketts
Pipeline- The Ventures
Walk Don't Run- The Ventures
Tequila- The Champs
Peter Gunn Theme- Henry Mancini
Sleepwalk- Santo & Johnny
and just for fun . . .
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Theme Song- Hugo Montenegro & His Orchestra
That's just a couple minutes shy of a half hour of music and I have to say that the time goes by FAST! I can't believe how quickly time flies when I'm drawing anyway but these tunes really push my productivity as I find myself drawing in time with the music. Would love to hear anyone else's suggestions of favorite music to draw or paint to??
Monday, August 24, 2009
"A Boy's Life" is the name for this series, not necessarily this drawing. I'm not sure what I'm going to title this yet. I usually never know until it's finished and even then, sometimes I start with a certain title only to change it when I eventually think of something better.
Monday, August 17, 2009
I'm hoping as I progress, less focus will be placed on his backside and more will be on the drawing as a whole. We'll see if I can divert the viewer's eye to flow the way I want it too. Right now though, with that dark shadow beneath him I'm afraid my kids are right. Bubba's butt seems to be the star of the show!
Friday, August 14, 2009
This is going to be challenging I think. Right now I'm just moving about a bit, trying to get my base tones right (the darkest darks, the whitest whites). This is the area I've always had some dificulty with- establishing enough contrast in my drawings so they don't look flat. I think this piece will be a good study in contrasts for me.
The paper I'm using is 11x14 Strathmore Bristol Vellum 500 series. It's 100% cotton rag, archival quality, with an even, slightly textured surface and a soft white color. This is one of my favorite types of paper to use so far-- but I'm still experimenting!
I'm using a 2B Staedtler 925 mechanical pencil. I like this pencil because it's realitively lightweight and allows me a lot of control with very little "effort" when building up layers.I started drawing with a basic set of Generals' drawing pencils. Then I discovered Derwent graphite pencils which have become my favorite brand of wood cased pencils. After taking a workshop with Armin Mersmann, who primarily uses Graphgear 1000 mechanical pencils, I thought I'd give mechanicals a try, but I wanted something a little lighter to handle. It's not easy finding a wide assortment of lead grades (hardness/softness), but there's enough of a range of leads to do everything that needs to be done. I've primarily been using only 2B to "force" myself into being patient with my drawings and build tone with layers. Also, by using a light touch, I don't "crush" the paper texture like I used to- which not only creates a graphite "shine" but also limits the paper's ability to hold multiple layers of graphite.
In a future post, I'll do an overview of my studio space and the materials I use most freqently.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
This is the picture that I chose to start with.
I figured these would be great reference photos to inspire me to practice drawing the natural textures in rocks, trees, leaves and water. What better model to have than my own boy!! Of course, he's not really a boy now but has become a fine young man any mom could be proud of. Instead of looking down at his trusting, innocent eyes, I now have to look up... way up ... and I see smiling eyes full of hopes and dreams. Enough waxing poetic, time to pick up the pencils and get busy!!
Monday, August 3, 2009
I feel like I'm getting better but I'm still so far from the level I want to achieve. The only way to get there is by drawing, drawing some more and drawing some more. So, it's back to the drawing board. . . wonder what my next subject will be???
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Added a bit more detail to her blouse so it didn't look so two dimensional. Went a little too dark with the background on the right so I'll have to add another layer on the left to keep this in balance. As you can see, I still have to finish laying in her hair too. And her teeth are just a bit too bright. I read somewhere that the whitest part of a portrait should be the hightlights in the eyes. Not the whites of the eyes, but the highlights- the "sparkle" in the eye.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Previous post picture and updated picture. I'm further along than this but I've got some fixing to do before I post the next picture.
- Before you start to draw, make sure ALL of your equipment, hands included, are clean, dry and free of anything that might transfer to your drawing.
- If your drawing is large and you must rest your hand on the surface, place another piece of paper between your hand and the drawing, preferably something smooth to minimize any smudging.
- If you are in the habit of blowing on your drawing to clear away eraser debris, I recommend investing in a drafting brush or hake brush (something with very soft bristles). Learn a new trick and brush, don't blow!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Here is where I left off yesterday and where I am today. I believe I'm starting to get somewhere now. I had to fix Emily's eye on the left, the shape was wrong- too much of an arch in the eyelid. I've always had a problem with staying too close to mid-tones and my drawings would always look flat. That's not a look you want when you're trying for realism! But I think I'm finally getting better at putting more depth into my portraits.
I'm kind of working from the center of the face (eyes/nose/mouth) and outward on this drawing. In the past, I've worked mostly from upper left down to bottom right just because I'm right handed and that's what I've seen done so often. I'm learning, at least with portraits, that it's best to work on the key facial elements first.
I have some minor adjusting to do on the shape of the nose/mouth, it's not quite right yet. I think the mouth needs to be just a bit wider on the right and the nose seems slightly off to me. Overall though, I believe Emily's face is starting to take on some life now!
Key tips to remember:
- Make sure you have strong values to create depth (I've found that working in layers and building my values slowly - leaving my top layer unblended- works best for me, but there are other methods that may suit your own style better)
- In all drawings, shapes and proportions are extremely important but that is especially true in portrait drawing. Pay particular attention to the eyes!
- Don't get caught up in doing what you've always done. Try varying your techniques a little and you might be surprised at how much your drawing improves because of it.
Monday, July 20, 2009
I had another picture that showed off Emily's beautiful, curly hair, but I kind of liked this one because it features her smile and makes her neck look longer. I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do with the background on this. I was thinking maybe a kind of stained glass look or something. I don't know for sure but I'd like it to reflect her personality somehow.
I've promised myself that I'm going to try to get some substantial work done on this tonight... if I succeed, I'll have an update for you tomorrow.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I've been really busy this week with work and Vacation Bible School right after work. I haven't had any time for drawing. But I promised myself I'd try to be consistent with updating this blog so I'd like to share with you some of my favorite art resources.
- Deviant Art: community of artists and those devoted to art. Digital art, skin art, themes, wallpaper art, traditional art, photography and more. http://www.deviantart.com/
- Wet Canvas: Artist's community with articles, news, forums and information on art supplies. Registration required. (Not just for wet media, there's a really nice drawing and sketching forum too). If you post to the forums, expect constructive criticism. The tips are not malicious, just helpful advice intended to help you grow as an artist. http://www.wetcanvas.com/
- Drawspace: This site offers downloadable and printable drawing lessons featuring Brenda Hoddinott's unique style of teaching. There is also a nice forum here. Lots of positive encouragement from forum members. http://www.drawspace.com/
- About.com's Drawing/Sketching: http://drawsketch.about.com/
- Mike Sibley's Tutorials: http://sibleyfineart.com/tipsndx.htm
- Brian Duey's Tutorials: http://www.dueysdrawings.com/drawing_tutorials.html
Favorite Pencil Artists:
- Armin Mersman: http://www.arminmersmann.com/
- Brian Dewey: http://www.dueysdrawings.com/
- Zindy: http://zindy-zone.dk/
- Linda Huber: http://midtel.net/~imaginee/
- J.D. Hillberry: http://www.jdhillberry.com/
- Andy Buck: http://andybuck.deviantart.com/
- Mike Sibley: http://www.sibleyfineart.com/
- Bernie Brown: http://www.berniebrown.com/
- Richard Brown: http://www.brownblackandwhite.com/
Hope you enjoy browsing these sites!
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
1st in Class (nature/animal)
1st in Class (other) & Reserve Champion
1st in Class (portrait) & Grand Champion
But now is not the time to be complacent.. I have a commission portrait to do so it's back to the drawing board.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Still laying in the background bark and foliage details.
Getting the base down. When I tire of working on the base, I go back to the beginning and work in even more details from left to right.
Then it's back to detailing the bark . . .
To give you an idea about how much time I spent on this, the little incomplete section on the bottom right took me almost two hours to complete.
I did not like the big leaf that was originally in front of the bunny. I found it too distracting so I decided to take it out and rework that area. When you are working from a photo, don't get too caught up in making your picture look exactly like the photo. Take some things out, add some things if you want to. Many of the leaves and grasses are from imagination, letting the drawing work itself out visually. So often, if you depend on your photo reference too much, you will end up with a really flat drawing. This is one of my better ones, I think, because I looked more at my drawing to see what I needed to do next instead of looking at my reference photo.
I hope you've enjoyed this work in progress. I'll try do do more of these, with more detail, in the future.
Friday, June 19, 2009
"Tea Rex" by John Watson, see article: http://photodoto.com/still-life-photography/
The drawing turned out really well. So well, in fact, that I wanted to post it with my collection of other drawings. However, I did not want to be a thief (not knowing at that time, technically, there was a high likelihood that I already was a thief). Although my brain had not been educated about the facts regarding when you can and when you better not, my heart was in the right place. Of course when it comes to ignorance of the law, I doubt the courts would care much about the positioning of my heart.
I went back on the web to search for the original photograph so that I could contact the artist and ask if I could use it. Yes, that is the backwards way of doing it and I don't recommend it. I did find the photo and discovered it was posted under a Creative Commons license allowing use for derivative works. Yay!!! I escaped theifdom!
But then . . . what do you do if someone likes your derivative work so well, they want to buy it? You contact the original artist, obtain written permission to sell your piece and abide by any conditions that he or she requests in return. If you sell your painting, drawing or whatever derivative work you created without that permission, you've entered theifdom. Don't go there. Have the same respect for other artists as you would want for your own creations.
"Caffeine Rush" by Sarah Salisbury, a derivative work of "Tea Rex" by John Watson
I contacted the photographer and he gave me permission to sell my piece. Then we all lived happily ever after. Please reference the US Copyright Office for more in depth information about copyright and the types of creative commons licenses: http://www.copyright.gov/
Thursday, June 18, 2009
This is about three hours into it so far. I've found the coldpress watercolor paper, which gave such a lovely texture to the bark, is working against me now that I'm really getting into the details of the foliage. It's not so much the paper as it is the Graphitint I'm using for the slight hint of color in this piece. Because of the tint of color in the Graphitint pencil, the lead is much softer than I'd recommend for paper this rough. But hey, I like a challenge! I do think I'm going to back off a little on the color and use it only for larger leaves and blades of grass in the foreground. I'll have to trust that my reliable 2b mechanical pencil and a lot of patience will get me the results I'm looking for.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
To emphasize the subtle color from the Graphitint, I decided to do straight graphite, 2b, on the tree bark. So far, I like the effect.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
8x10 Mixed Media
The process: Last night I just felt like doing something with color for a change. The garden, girl, doll and bird bath are all from separate references that I digitally put together to create this scene. This is acrylic paint on acrylic canvas paper with some colored pencil overlay. It didn't turn out the way I'd anticipated, but the whole point of this piece was to do a little "experimenting".
What I learned: I tried underpainting with a red first, hoping it would bring out the greens. It just didn't work out very well on the acrylic paper. The paper is just too textured and the underpainting showed through too much. Also, the heavy texture was not friendly to colored pencils and did not allow for fine details. If I had used Strathmore or Crescent illustration board or watercolor paper, I'd say this would have turned out much better.
Final thought: Since my favored technique is realism using graphite, this was a step outside of my comfort zone. I think I'm going to need a lot more practice doing illustrative type work, especially since one of my goals is to eventually write and illustrate a children's book. I really liked the concept for this painting and will probably revisit it again using a different technique, or at least a different paper!