Monday, January 24, 2011

Fat Cat

While watching a movie with Jennifer, I figured I'd try drawing some fabrics. Buddy, one of our (fat) cats decided to flop right infront of the scarf on the table, so he got the special attention. I spent most of the time trying to set up his face, when he then decided he was done with me. I just finished up what I roughed out with a china marker and called it a day.

Friday, January 21, 2011


A few posts ago, I talked about how comfortable the digital process is for me with my armor painting study. Continuing with that train of thought, I dove right into another self portrait. If I didn't know any better I would start to think that I am full of myself. But since I'm an "artist" I can justify looking in the mirror for long periods. Hell, Rembrandt went poor buying clothing to paint himself in (I'm certain I just made half of that up).

It's a masterpiece isn't it?
I have a lot of work still left to do fumbling through understanding concepts of painting. And as it has been pointed out to me in other projects, I struggle with value as well as color. But since I'm aware of my struggles I can actually do something about it. From here I will figure out the mysteries of painting hair, add the reddish tones all across my face and facial hair, and some where towards the end I will attempt at textures (plus fixing facial elements like my mouth).
Besides all the work I have left to do, I am very happy finding something that is comfortable to do. I feel that projects like this build my confidence in my artistic abilities, which I lose after seeing what I consider failure in my work. As always, I am always my harshest critic.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fifteen Minutes in Magic Kingdom Part 2

In order to escape the crowds, I went to an area were the majority of the people don't care to go, the Liberty Bell Ferry. This "ride" is much like the train that takes you across the park being a steam powered vessel with vintage dialog blasting through its speakers. Unlike the convient train that stops in many parts of the park, there is no reason to ride this boat. Generally, I tend to avoid pointless transportation that takes you back to where you left not 15 minutes ago, but this time I made an exception.

On board, I found a middle aged father of 2 young children acting way too relaxed for the likes of Disney's Magical Kingdom. I was amazed that he hardly moved while facing Tom Sawyer's Island, so in the last 3 minutes of the ride I felt obligated to capture him leaning against the railing. If I were to take this quick sketch and finish it more, I would probably fix his the disproportionate anatomy. But knowing me, I will probably never do that.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fifteen Minutes in Magic Kingdom Part 1

Just got back from Disney World in Florida. Had tremendous amounts of fun, but still managed to get in a few sketches. My first chance to sketch was during lunch with a napkin and a crayon, but I pitched it... However,  the next day I returned, and continued with my 15 minute drawing studies. Again, I am looking to capture as much information about an object as I can within 15 minutes. Doing this as a kind of gestural drawing is kind of a warm up, but it's function is to get the important information down for later observation.

Stationary objects like Cinderella's Castle make it easy to draw since, you know, they don't move. But with the Saturday crowd in the Magic Kingdom being unrelentingly rude, I picked the top of the castle in order to actually get a view to work with. On that note, If you see someone drawing quietly on a bench, it is just polite to not to stand directly in front of them to have a phone conversation. It's like walking right into the frame of a camera's view just as someone is taking a picture. Any who, I noticed that I spend a lot of time using a harder pencil in order to get darker value. In the future I will experiment with softer mediums in order to conserve time.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fifteen Minutes

In the the attempt to better my sketches, I have decided to do timed sketches of pictures. The goal is to capture information quickly and to improve my sketches of the public. Here are two drawings from two paintings in Color and Light by James Gurney.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Now for something more comfortable.

The last semester was a killer. My GPA took a deep hit, as well as my confidence in the arts. However, my wife Jennifer pointed out that maybe I should reconsider what my strengths are. She made it clear to me that maybe I should focus on the digital means of Illustration, and come back to wet media later. I feel that I am very good an grasping digital concepts, and I have a lot of experience the Adobe Creative Suite.

So, I then took the advice from a friend(Scott Quick), found the work of an artist who works digitally, and used their work to learn. Most recently I have taken a liking to Daarken's work, and used this knight from his website as a starting point.

From here I did a value study of the breast plate in order to put it into a form that I can understand.

And this is the final study of digital paint, color, and light.

This was much smoother of a process than I have had in the past, which is a bit relieving. I will in fact be spending more time trying to understand how to portray form and light in a digital environment.