Sunday, May 31, 2009

Nature Drawing #3

Besides working on my quilts I have been drawing, not quite as much as I should be doing, but I try to work on something for at least an hour every day.

First images are more animal studies, this time dogs. I downloaded a lot of dog images from google, and printed them out as oversize contact images, tried to have them about 3 x 3 inches so I can see some detail but not a huge amount. That size lets me put about 6 images on a page. I did several pages of these dog sketches, some better then others.

Then I tried a longer study, I actually did this boy and dog as a sketch prior to doing the longer study, but this study is better.

About this point I felt I should go on with my reading in the book. Chapter four is about drawing plants. First exercise is supposed to have us drawing a simple plant shape. Making a total of 4 drawings, contour, from memory, a gesture drawing then a detail drawing. Hmm I did multiple sketches, the contour, one from memory and different views of the same object more or less detailed. I used a pine cone that I had picked up on one of my walks for this exercise. I sort of did some getsture drawings but not really need to remember to do that type of drawing. Some views are more sucessful then others. I sort of like the contour drawing in the lower left the best.

Last image for this post is a detailed pen and ink study that I did from a photo I took of a blooming May Apple. This year was the first time in 40 or so years that I had actually seen one in bloom. So I was delighted to say the least. When I had the basic outlines inked in I added color by using colored pencils.

Time to go back to the book for my next exercise which is a plant study. I suppose I have sort of done that but will probably do it again using one of my smaller house plants. Comments per usual welcome.

Friday, May 29, 2009

FFFC Challenge # 32

Alphabet of Ferns

I am happy to say this challenge piece is done, late, but hey it is still May right? This is another of my FFFC Yahoo Group challenges, number 32 to be precise, issued the last Friday in April. Of course number 33 has already been issued and so far that one is only in the thinking stages, and I have missed doing 2 others, though one of those has fabrics pulled and some templates made so hopefully I will get to that one eventually.

Our challenge for Thirty two was to use analogous colors, I used blue, blue green and green with a complementary color. I used Orange. Seems like I have been doing a lot with orange lately. Obviously I like this color combination. The composition element was to use grids or frames. We were supposed to continue our series, mine is structures, but not sure this fits that theme. Maybe if you consider letter forms structures.

Earlier this year in my Typography course we created strokes and designed some letter forms, at the time I thought they would be fun to use on a quilt and even went so far as to create some stamps and purchase some Lumiere Paint. I even played with it a bit but had no time to actually do anything with the results. So when this challenge came out I thought, perfect way to use my letterforms and stamps. The stamping isn't very good, not as clean as I would prefer, partly my lack of skill in carving the stamp, and partly the material I used. I think I would have done better using a stencil as I did with the ferns. The fern design was done using home made stencils and Shiva paint sticks. I like how they came out. The lighter ferns are actually two colors a light cream overbrushed with a green.

I had designed 9 letter forms and used all 9 to create this small quilt. Size is approximately 17 X 19 inches. As always comments are welcome.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nature Sketching #2

I am trying to draw something everyday, if not a finished drawing then at least sketches. I read the 3rd chapter in my drawing from nature book and I think that is the major piece of information that I took away. Course I already knew that, if you want to draw something well you need to draw it over and over, and you need to do a lot of drawings.

I decided this past week that I want to improve my animal drawing skills so I downloaded some pictures of squirrels and printed them out as smallish images on one sheet of paper. I used those for my rough sketches. The image below is just one page of dwgs I did more then one.

Then I moved on to do a more detailed study from a photo I had taken of a squirrel in a Chicago park. Cheeky fellow, he had no fear of us two legged folk, I have a feeling people fed him, this is certainly a begging pose.

I have also started a pen and ink study of some sea gulls, a composite drawing from some photo's I took earlier this year.

I am also working on a small quilt. Hopefully my next blog update will be pictures of that. Until then happy drawing, and per usual comments are welcome. Oh, one additional comment, the pencil drawings were small enough that I could scan them, I think they are easier to see if scanned, the sea gulls is a bit larger so I had to take a photo, also the pencil I used to sketch them is a harder lead, easier for me to erase later, but harder for you to see in the photo.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Drawing Exercise #1

In an effort to keep drawing I have joined a Drawing Blog with others interested in either learning to draw or improving their skills. I have a book that I have had since forever it seems called Nature Drawing a Tool for Learning written by Clare Walker Leslie in 1980 about the same time that Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain came out. This book focuses more on drawing from Nature which I was very interested in doing about then. I did a lot of flower drawings

Not wonderful but not too bad, you would be able to recognize the flower if you saw it for real. Anyway I have never actually used the book for study so I have decided that now would be a good time to do that.

So I have been reading the beginning two chapters and did the first study exercises, well, most of them I did pass on the memory drawing where I was supposed to look at an object for about 3 to 5 minutes then draw it from memory. But I did the other studies, a "blind" drawing where I was allowed to look at the object and draw its outlines but couldn't look at the paper to see how I was doing, the book allows 5 minutes for this, but I know I took much less time, guess I was in too much of a hurry.

Next exercise was to do gesture drawings, these are quick outline drawings to just give you the feel of the object, I did three of these, they are supposed to take less then a minute to do. When we were doing gesture drawings in Drawing II we could get a couple of minutes for the pose, but believe me, 2 minutes to draw a human figure is a very short time frame

The last drawing is a detailed drawing of your object, it is supposed to take 20 minutes to draw but I think I took a bit longer. I am semi pleased with this, I have been so busy drawing the human figure that I seem a bit out of practice with objects so this study will be good for me.

One thing I like about this book is she goes over supplies and what the basic supplies are if you want to do drawing. She also reviews the tools mentioning their characteristics, like a 2H pencil is hard while a 2B pencil is soft. Most of this I already know but for the true beginner this is a lot of help.

So now I need to read Chapter 3 and see what suggestions she has for me to try next. As always comments are welcome.

Comments welcome.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Final Week Spring Term

It's done, over, finished, my last final, my last critique for the winter/spring term. Yesterday I had my Graphic Design final critique, Monday I had my Color and Design final and Tuesday I had my drawing final critique. When the dust settles I think I will have two A's and two B's but we will see.

I don't have a lot of images for you this week just my final projects.

First is my drawing final, we had to draw at least 4 people, I have 5 figures in mine. I used a photo in the April issue of Smithsonian Magazine that was taken by Eudora Weltry. By the looks of the clothing the photo was taken back in the 30's but it might have been later. Men taking a break from their work to enjoy some music. I left several background figures out, and my instructor suggested that I add her name as photographer to the drawing so I did.

I had been wondering what to draw for my final, but when I saw this photo I had an ahha moment and knew I had found my subject. Wonderful composition, strong lines, lots of lights and darks, perfect for my purposes. I am relatively pleased with how it came out, and know that I probably couldn't have done it at the beginning of this last term, at least not so well, my figure drawing skills have improved a lot.

Graphic Design final project was my logo design for a non-profit group or society. I chose Mass Audubon as my group. We had to write papers about our selections so that we would have an understanding of the what the group does and their ongoing goals. I did a lot of sketches and finally ended up with the following as my logo.

The bird silhouette is done from a photo I found of a chickadee sitting on a branch. The chickadee is the State bird for Mass so I wanted to use one for my bird image. I am quite pleased with how this came out, though I received and used a fair amount of input from my professor and fellow students the basic concept is mine, and I made the final decisions about font's and layout. However it wasn't enough to design the logo we had to put it on stationary, letterhead, business card and envelope. The images below are my final designs.

So now I take a deep breath and try to figure out what to do next. I have some quilts to make for my Challenge group, I want to keep up my drawing skills, and hopefully create a "body" of work. Maybe do a website or two. In the near future the School is putting on an Arts Festival this coming weekend which I will attend. Lots to keep me busy.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Last week Spring Term

Last week of classes are done for spring term, a strange feeling, and I am trying to decide what to do next. Was thinking about a Photoshop class, but even though it is only for a month it is intense, as they meet 3 days a week. We would be doing a web site design at the end, which I want to do, but I think I need a break. Classes this spring have been intense and I have been feeling a bit of wanting out and done with the work. I have a little bit longer to think about this as next week is finals.

In the meantime I have images for you. I did my final presentation for Typography, a talk from my paper on John Baskerville English printer and typographer. I can show you the handout but the paper is a 9 page word document so we will skip that.

I am pleased with how this came out, even though I had to be lead to it by my instructor, still some of it is totally mine so I can take some credit.

In Graphic design we are still working on our logo, I will let you see it next week though it is really designed at this point. I am still designing the letterhead, but I think I have the business card and envelope done. Still until I glue it down I can always change my mine.

In drawing we had our last class on Tuesday. We spent half the class working from slides and the 2nd half starting our final drawing. Final drawing has to have at least 4 people in it. I am using a photo I found in Smithsonian Magazine as my basis and will have 5 figures. Wish me luck. In the meantime here are my last two homework pieces. One I like and the other is so so.

My not so good dwg, don't like his foot, or her arm

I like this one much better

We did 4 drawings from slides on Tuesday, first one was fairly quick and the others a bit longer. I sort of preferred the last one at a slightly sketcher stage, before I put all the dark around the bodies, but I think it still works.

This pose reminds me of a famous painting but not sure whose

That is it for this week. Next week I will post my logo final and my Drawing II final. After that any images will have to be either quilts I am working on or drawings that I am doing for me. At least for the summer. If I want to do art I have to have a body of work so I really need to be doing drawings this summer. Per usual comments are welcome.

Friday, May 1, 2009

First of May

Its May first and around here the trees are leafing out and flowers are blooming away. I know many of you south of me have leaves already and even more flowers. What can I say, I am happy to see them, it felt like winter would never be over this year, too much snow. That said we had some really hot weather earlier in the week which I didn't enjoy, but temps have returned to more normal today and through the weekend. We will also have rain showers, or so they tell us, good for the woods and the flowers which were getting a bit dried out.

Only one more week of classes, then some final tests or critiques and I will be done for the term. I am still trying to make up my mind if I want to take a class the first summer session. It would be a class in Photoshop, we would meet 3 days a week for 3.5 hours a day for about a month. It is supposed to be how to do Photoshop for web design. Thinking about this, guess I should ask my Graphic Arts instructor if this would be worthwhile for me.

In the meantime lets get to this weeks images, first up are two photos of my last sculpture. I didn't do very well on this one, design is ho hum and integration of the stones isn't all that well done either. I will probably smash this to get my stones back as I really don't care for it at all.

No images from either Typography or Graphic Design this week. I am working on my final project for both classes, in Graphic Design my logo is starting to take shape, but still needs a bit more tweaking before it will be done. And images for typography are all photos that I will use to create my handout and display for my presentation. Not original art at all.

On to my drawing images, first is my homework from two weeks ago. The instructor handed out photo's of other artists drawings of nudes and we had to copy one. I chose a pencil drawing of a guy sitting backward on a chair. Sorry I don't have the artist's name for you, but I think it turned out pretty well as a copy of someone else work.

We had another live model in drawing this week a women we have had before. There is a "hiring freeze" so the instructor wasn't able to bring in a different model for us. Talk about weird since models are paid per hours worked and having a different one wouldn't change the expense. Oh well can't figure out some of the rules that HR will put in place. But I know I would have enjoyed a different body/model. Still here are three drawings out the several I did.

That's it for this week. Hope everyone is enjoying some good weather. Till next week. As always comments are welcome.