It's been said that the kiss of death for many an artist is to fall in love with their work. What it means, is that one shouldn't be so pleased with a piece that they lose their objectivity about it. Fall in love with the process, but keep a distance when evaluating the actual product. It's worth it to let your work sit for at least a short time before returning with a fresher eye. I went back to my last piece, and although I felt the man's face had a lot of character (particularly the nose), I edited it so it was more in keeping with the rest of the piece.
Then, with this current painting (face #790), I needed a couple hours away before heading back and making some corrections. It started out as a torso study, then I added the head, arms and then the background. After finishing that, I realized a minor problem with a proportion that was related to foreshortening. It was an easy fix and a minor problem, but I needed the break in between to "see it" better. I didn't work it from a model or photo, so it becomes even more critical at times to be unbiased if striving for a certain level of accuracy. This untitled torso/figure study was done on 19" by 25" pale peach Daler-Rowney Murano paper. The texture is heavier than Canson, and it was perfect for the heavy layers in the background. I started with some very dark pastels filling almost the entire background, and then layered until I got the values and look I wanted, scumbling lighter and lighter.
I have a small pile of work that I have procrastinated in the editing, mostly because I've been busy. It will be good once I finally get back to them, with a "fresher eye"! Until next time, take care! And thanks for visiting!
In spite of (and maybe because of) the searing inflammation and pain of Rheumatoid Arthritis, I completed this approx. 17" by 21" pastel piece last night. Once I get going and get immersed in a piece, the pain seems a distant thing..."It's hard to see the shadow when you're looking into the light."
In this piece which I have for the time being titled "A Chemical Romance", I decided to leave the man and woman looking more "drawn" than the more painterly background. I drew them with a sienna Nu Pastel on this parma colored Canson sheet. I may go back with a blending stump and smooth out the "drawn look", the lines. I don't know. I do like the drawn look, and the ability to draw is certainly a gift to me. I have met some artists who seem to do anything to avoid drawing, and instead favor tracing and projectors. But considering all the artists who do draw, and how competitive the field is, I think a person really limits themselves. I always frown when I see the ostensible discrepancies in a piece that was obviously traced or projected and traced, rather than drawn. Something soulless and barren. Even when not rendered entirely accurate or rendered deliberately inaccurate, drawing exhibits an intimacy and connection with a subject that gives a piece its spirit. Besides...anyone can just trace something. It's not some special ability. Paint by numbers. I would rather purposefully graze whatever drawing tool across the page, forming features and creating. But drawing is a passion for me. I'm getting so close to having eight hundred faces done here! I'm hoping by next week! Until next time, take care!
I worked on "Part Two" of this piece over the weekend, which I call "Walking through fire (and not getting burned). I know that I could do a little more with it, and perhaps I'd like it more, but have decided to leave it. Maybe. Sometimes it isn't a matter of entirely liking or disliking a piece. It's more of a case of liking and disliking certain things. I like my execution of the piece, but feel it is a little too wild for my taste. Lava lamps, LSD, and the early seventies come to mind (laughing). We'll see...there may end up being a part three to the piece that calms things down a bit. I haven't completely decided.
I'm hoping to get some sketching and painting done over the week to up the face count! Until next time, take care!
I had this big post prepared, where I wrote about everything from the ancient stone carvings at Gobekli Tepe, to the blessings of parenthood. But as so often happens, by the time I sit down to write, I am sometimes too just tired...errrr...just too tired. The below are all rendered in charcoal or tinted charcoal. I have found that the tinted charcoal works out better on this particular sketch pad paper, whereas the charcoal needs a surface more comparative to what you'd want for pastels. Surface matters.
I really enjoyed this last batch of faces that in spite of the time needed for completing them seemed to get impossibly squeezed into a weekend of other activities. I have a busy week ahead, but will try to squeeze in a few more faces before it's all said and done. Until next time, take care!
I recently ordered a new "chromatic set" of pastels made by Mount Vision, through Amazon. Imagine my shock when they arrived in the thin cardboard box by Mount Vision, with no bubble or outer wrapping! Amazon just slapped a label on the box the pastels came in, and that was it. Not even an invoice. Anyone could easily open it, and there wasn't even a single piece of tape to secure it shut. That being said, only a few of the pastels were broken and only one experienced some crumbling. Hats off to Mount Vision...to Amazon, not so much.
Anyway; after clearing out the one half crumbled pastel from the box, I wanted to test drive some of the pastels right away. On a 10" by 13" sheet of rose Fabriano Tizano paper, I quickly rendered the tulip portion in the piece below. And then it just sat for over a week on my drawing table. I kept thinking every now and again that I'd go back and put a face in there, knowing there would be a perhaps awkward overlap. Finally, I took the leap rendering the face in charcoal, and am glad I did.
I hope wherever you are, if spring hasn't arrived it will soon be on its way. It is so beautiful here in Florida right now. Until next time, take care!
Just a few new faces to add to the count on this Monday. These were done in charcoal, except for the last one which was done in a graphite. I really have to get going on doing more faces in spite of so many obstacles. Twenty one more, and I hit the eight hundred mark! While not as pressing as it once was, this is still a goal I want to reach to make it to a thousand on this blog.
I made the above in Adobe Illustrator yesterday, mostly for my own personal amusement. Also, though, I like to re-explore my digital skills every so often so I don't end up getting rusty. It had been a while since I played with Illustrator. It was like catching up with an old friend, and getting lost in conversation. I was easily immersed in design aspects, and forgot the technical aspects as I completed them effortlessly. I thought about the different associations people have with certain colors, and thought about how these particular choices were reflective of Easter and Spring. Other associations involved the symbolism of the circles like clock faces, and the white egg or jelly bean shaped marquis around the type. I thought about how the time change makes many people feel unsettled, and added the spirals, clock numerals and hands arranging them haphazardly. I carefully selected a typeface with a personality that was both whimsical, and had small "spiral" finials on certain characters that would reiterate the spirals in the composition. All those associations were the more emotional considerations involved in the composition to set the tone. Of course; once all the choices are made in setting a mood for a piece, there are the more basic design considerations in regards to color, value, scale, placement, and balance and how all those things can be used for emphasis and maximum visual impact. Choices were made, and sometimes changed and sometimes discarded along the way. Below is a an earlier version, in both color and black and white. The black and white shows where I wanted to use value for emphasis on the type, and the clock components. I maintained the value choices. You can also see this earlier version has some minor color differences. Also, there were changes made because I felt the composition got too cluttered with all the orange "jelly beans"!
Even a relatively simple looking composition may have had a lot of considerations given to its design. The next time you are looking at some packaging, logos, or business signs perhaps you will look for some of the more subtle nuances in their design. You may analyze what worked and didn't work in some of the choices made. If you are an artist or designer, you may develop a more thorough understanding when analyzing your own work of how some subtle choices may improve it.
Until next time, take care...and don't forget to re-set those clocks and "spring forward"!
I have meant to post these pieces below that I've done over the last few weeks, but I've been too drained and am undergoing some major health problems. After a month of suddenly being unable to walk unassisted, and having debilitating pains in both my legs and arms, I am still no closer to getting a diagnosis. I am hoping some upcoming tests will reveal the problem, and I'll be able to get some treatment. In any event, I did find some comfort and joy in the work I did manage. I could argue that it's been color therapy, and has kept me from getting depressed!
I hope to be able to post again soon without quite such a lapse passing again. I hope this post finds my readers are all well, and take care until next time!