Thursday, December 17, 2009
Here's a little insight into the process I went through for this "Lost" piece. My original idea was a rather quick sketch with a marker to put down the essence of the piece before I forget it as I'm constantly being distracted. The good thing about sketching with a marker is that I'm not committing to anything too early. I know that things tend to change a lot from my sketch stage to the final drawing after reference is taken. At this stage I'm concerned with concept and composition mostly.
After refining the sketch a bit I then had my neighbor(great guy) pose for me. Using my photo ref and trying to keep the freshness of my original sketch I produce the final drawing onto watercolor paper.
Note about photo ref. If you are trying to produce a more realistic painting. Good reference is key.........Good reference is key. However, and you'll hear this again, you don't want to become a slave to your reference. You do want to refer to it, try to understand it, and apply the information it gives you to your work. Also, using reference doesn't take away all the spontaneity of the piece at all. It enhances my work and I feel I can still be as stylized as I want and yet have unlimited spontaneous opportunities.
At this point I can use my final drawing to make some value or color studies using photoshop. I produced one shown here that I thought I liked but decided to change. After having a little paint thrown down I'm able to produce a more refined color study(also shown above). This can be very helpful if I find myself not quite sure where exactly I want the piece to go.
Having a good sense of value and color saves a lot of time. I tend to build up these structures slowly with the acrylic. If I know something is going to be black from the get go. I can be more aggressive with my painting. I also gives you a good frame of reference for the rest of the piece.
You can view the final here.
From what I heard people where camping outside of Gallery 1988 the day before the opening! Wow. You can view the show in it's entirety here.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
If you're interested in a Print now would be a good time to buy.
December 9-28, 2009
All items in the store: 15% OFF
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Monday, December 7, 2009
Back in the day I would make a sketch. If I liked it enough I would take photo reference and do a final drawing. Then I would transfer it on to watercolor paper( via light table, graphite transfer, projector). With all the details worked out it could be tricky and not uncommon to completely leave out parts of the drawing. If you've done this you know it sucks and it's still not ready to be painted at this point. Because it's now the worst drawing you've ever seen in your life. It, again, must be redrawn and refined to make look clean, fresh, and natural looking again. Transferring tends to suck the life from a drawing and the artist as well. Ahhhh, now we were ready to paint:)
So over the years. I've learned a few things to speed up the process and keep things fresh. This may not be for everybody. Probably not even my younger self. But I've grown into it and I'm comfortable with it now.
As shown above, I have scanned and enlarged my sketches. I pieced them together with as little overlap as possible to cut down on dark overlappy areas while using the light table (an old window pane and a lamp works fine) or if you're working away from your studio a window during the day works as well.
I basically make sure I'm happy with the composition and basic anatomy of my sketch before enlarging it. I want it refined enough to communicate the idea or concept. However,I don't want to commit too much detail to the drawing at this point. Because I know when I take my reference it's going to give me tons of great info and random goodness (ie folds, drapery, anatomy etc)
Because the sketch is so loose I don't have to worry about losing vital information. Esp if I'm transferring onto heavier 300lb paper where lines become diffused as it's projected through the paper. I then loosely and softly transfer the sketch with a 2b or 3b pencil. It's dark and soft so it's easy to see and easy to erase. (take about 5 minutes tops) So without much detail thus far I've made a sketch and basically transferred my sketch. I don't think the method of transfer will make any difference.
I'm saving time by doing my final drawing directly onto the surface I work on. In my case it's watercolor paper. So it's fresh and I don't have to transfer it again once I have it worked out and all the details are plugged in.
Something to consider. Because I paint so thin I depend on the surface of my paper. I'm very conscious of my drawing and erasing. I do not want to disrupt the surface too much. Not at all if possible. So don't carve in your drawing with your pencil and don't erase with one of those hard ass pen erasers(do they even make those anymore?). This can be scary so if interested you may want to try it on a smaller piece before committing a lot of time and energy on a larger painting.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
I just wanted to ask if you would be willing to help explain your painting process a little? I don't quite understand how you manage to get your acrylics so diluted, yet paint evenly. When I try this (it's hard enough to mix it smooth without any clumps!), I usually get uneven streaks.
A big difference, of course, is that I don't have any water colour paper on hand most of the times. I have been trying to get back into painting in sketchbooks first, a la James Jeans' sketchbooks.
In any case, I haven't much time for painting most nights, hence my using acrylics at the moment rather than oils.
Thanks for any advice!"
Thanks for the question. Acrylic is very versatile. I tend to water it down(I just use water) to a fairly thin consistency. I would try different consistencies to see what fits you. Starting off with a medium viscosity acrylic helps a lot ie Liquitex's Soft Body acrylics or Golden's Fluid acrylics. I usually add a drop of water (an eye dropper comes in handy) mix it around a bit then add more drops and mix, gradually mixing as I thin it out so I don't have chunks floating around within a watery mixture.
Using other wells in my water color palette, I'll have 1 w/a more intense solution, another w/ a medium intense solutioin, and a 3rd with a very thin solution all of the same color. So if I need a more subtle change in my painting I can use the very thin solution.
I paint in very thin washes on watercolor paper. Different papers react differently with the paint (hotpress vs coldpress vs illustration board vs canvas etc) It's not the fastest way to paint. One should recognize this. Don't have expectations to do a great painting in a day. My paintings go through a very unfinished "ugly" stage before they get refined at the very end. If you're just getting started or trying to get back into painting. I would recommend working with a vey simple still life to practice your craft, technique, and observational skills. When you're comfortable with your skills you can apply them to your personal work. If you're trying to be realistic good reference is key. Also, before picking up the brush be sure the drawing is exactly the way you want it. It's the foundation of your painting. If the drawing is off it doesn't matter how rendered something is it's going to be wrong.
Hope that makes sense.