Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Drawing Sept. 27 and ATC's

 Above is last nights drawing. When I finished it last night I was rather pleased with it, today as I look at the photograph I find I have some reservations. I have a feeling that the leg should be a bit longer, and I am not sure about the foot. In my defense the leg positions are from the first pose session, and when the model retook her pose she ended up with the leg in a different position so it was not really possible for me to check accuracy later. The hand isn't as well done as I would have liked, while the model held pose very steadily with her head she did change her hand pose throughout the various sessions - mainly changing her fingers and how open/relaxed the hand was. I don't blame her, mind you, it has to be extremely difficult to hold a pose for over 2 hours even with breaks, but it does make it hard to do those fine details and check relationships. The painters don't mind, they aren't usually going for the details the way I do.

Still I rather like how I managed the shadows. Scott tends to like rather dramatic lighting. And lighting is on my brain right at the moment because our latest FFFC challenge is Chiaroscuro. Creating a quilt that shows dramatic lighting with highlights and shadows. You can check out the Fast Friday Fabric Challenge blog to see how some of our members have interrupted the challenge so far. I have an idea using pears that I want to try. So far I have just managed to purchase some pears and have taken a few photographs. Next I need to do some sketches and come up with a final concept. Translating that to fabric will be a challenge I know.

I meant to post the next two images last week and just never got around to it. They are both ATC's done with colored pencil. The first was me just playing around with no pre-sketching. It is OK, but I am really beginning to believe that designs work better when there is some preliminary design work done first.

The second one was done simply as a take off. I am not totally happy with the tail design but,I think it works. Not real birds of course, but I have been drawing enough real birds that these guys aren't totally strange.

Whatever, that is it for today's post. Per usual comments are welcome, and if anyone is interested in trading an ATC for one of mine let me know. Google seems to have changed how images are uploaded to the blog, and I am thinking of adding a 2nd page for just the ACT's I have finished so far.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Drawings, Sept 20th

Above is the photo of last nights drawing. For the most part I am pleased with it, though per usual there are things I would change/fix if I could. I didn't try to do a lot with the face this week in contrast to last weeks head/shoulders drawing. The model had her head tilted back and I decided that it would be enough to just indicate her features. The lighting was very dramatic and from the floor on the left side. I would have liked to have done a bit more with the foreshortened leg/knee, but the position I drew is from the first pose session and after the first break she slighted changed the leg position so I had to fudge some of the shadows. Not sure how successful I was.

Next image is from my sketchbook. I used to draw a lot of horses, like many young girls I was horse mad, and it was my dream to own my own horse. Because it was only a dream I learned to draw them using an old Drawing Instruction book which we had around the house. I actually still have it, it has lost its cover, and looks very much the worse for wear but it is actually quite a good book. Poor thing is almost as old as I am, the publishers date on the inside is for 1949, and I have no clue why or when it was purchased.  I am sure it wasn't a gift to me, going by the date I would have been only a toddler when it was purchased. It may have been given to my sister when she was interested in drawing, though it isn't a childrens book.  I will ask her if she remembers it and if she can recall where it came from, the answer might be interesting. Actually I think I need to sit down and read through it a bit more thoroughly. I am sure it has some tips that I might find useful. Though I don't usually find drawing books all that useful. I have come to believe that there is no magic wand for becoming an excellent drawer, only time spent drawing will do that.

Back to my latest drawing, the rider's head isn't quite right, but then I really didn't spend a lot of time drawing the rider, at least she looks like she is sitting on the horse so it could be worse. I also think that the leading foreleg isn't quite right, and I should have added more shadows to the sand or something to link the horse to the ground something that I forget to do occasionally in my drawings.

This drawing is from a photo of two horses being raced along a beach that I downloaded off of the internet. Not a terrible drawing but I can do better. I have been playing with some more ATC's and may post them later this week.

Comments per usual are welcome.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sept 13 Monday Night Drawing

I haven't been very pleased with the figure drawings I have been doing for the past couple of weeks so last night I took a slightly different tack. As you can see in the above image I only drew the head and shoulders of the model. I started sketching the entire pose, but my view of the pose wasn't the best, and I quickly decided that I didn't want to draw the entire figure. The model, while very pretty, is also amply proportioned, and my view only accentuated that, so I decided early on to draw only the head and shoulders. I supposed that I could have moved, but didn't feel like it. I must say that several of the paintings that others did from a different position were lovely, only my view seemed to be so awkward.

I am fairly satisfied with this weeks drawing, though the hand isn't quite right. My problem was while she held pose very well, the model kept changing the position of the hand that was against her face. It is a tricky position to hold so I don't blame her, but it did make it difficult/impossible for me to do a detailed drawing of her hand. I know what I have looks awkward, but I didn't want to erase and start over with it. I kept hoping that she would place her hand in a similar position but she never did. 

 My other drawing for today is from the sketchbook. I actually did this one earlier in the day, and it really is only a sketch, I am sure I spent less then an hour on it, hence the lack of details or shading. Still I rather like how it came out.

It is from a photograph of a woman offing that bunch of leaves for sale.

That is it for today. Per usual comments are welcome.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

More ATC's

 This past week have been working on more ATC's. This time I thought it might be interesting if I worked in a series. This would allow me to try various techniques with approximately the same design using different colors and textures to develop the finished work.

First step was to decide on the theme, I selected Hearts, not quite sure why it just seemed like a fun theme to explore. Then to provide some continuity to the card design I sketched a prototype card.

I didn't go into a lot of detail, after all I would be putting in those on the cards themselves.

The first card I did with pen and colored pencils and hated it when I had it done. I actually tore it into little pieces and didn't bother scanning or making a photo of it before I did, so you will just have to take my word for it that it wasn't very good.

At that point I though about giving up and not making any additional cards, but I realized I wasn't quite ready to do that. I wanted to make at least one ATC with the Heart theme that I actually liked, so started over with a new blank.


I sort of like this one, but the background isn't really what I had in mind when I started it, the yellow is a bit bright, and I am not sure the green swirls work. Then there is that blue. Repetition is one principal of design, and it really isn't a good idea to introduce a color and use it only once. I really think this would be a better design if I had been able to put the blue in another spot, but the blue was the last color I added and I wasn't able to put it anywhere else. An advantage that acrylic and oil paints have over pencil or even watercolors, you can rework an area with a different color if you find you don't like what was done.  

So it was onto another card:


On this one I used more ink to provide detail, I also left some areas without any color. But I find the plain background a bit boring. Still I didn't want to add another color so I have just left it as is with the texture of the applied pencil creating some interest. Since I wasn't satisfied with the background on this one I decided to try at least one more time.


The card above is the last one I have done so far, not much color and much more pen. I used stippling for the background texture and some crosshatching to darken the interior of the hearts to give value contrast. So far this one is my favorite though I probably spent less time creating it then I did the others.

You can see that each card is a bit different from the original design. I played with size, orientation and placement of the hearts on the surface as I created each card. Right now I am not sure if I will continue playing with this theme or not. Not quite sure I have finished exploring what I can do with these shapes on a surface. Actually I am thinking about moving some of this exploration onto fabric. Comments and suggestions would be gratefully received.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sept. 6 Session

Sorry to be a day late posting this, the computer needed some updates yesterday and I spent most of the day taking care of that. Above is the drawing I did Monday evening. Some parts I like and some I don't. The head isn't right, I had it too large and when I tried to adjust it, I caused other issues. Still think the size isn't quit right. I need to do more drawing between the weekly sessions. My excuse is last week was just so darn hot until Friday that I had no interest in doing anything. This week should be better and I am hoping to motivate myself to get some more drawings done.  Her feet are a bit sketchy because she had her sneakers underneath, and I didn't want to draw them, though I supposed I should have, it would have made an amusing addition to the drawing. Many of the other artists simply leave the feet out, making the painting a 3/4 view, and cutting the model off at the knees, so to speak. Others do what I did and mainly just sketch them in without a lot of detail. 

I have been working on some more ATC's, so far I have finished only one I semi like. I am thinking about doing a short series and will post results later this week. 

Oh hurricane  Earl turned out to be a non-event. After wards one heard from the vocal minority who complained about the inaccuracy of the weather forecasters. I think they should be grateful that the storm lost power more quickly then the forecasters expected and ended up a Tropical Storm by the time it hit our coasts and not  a category 2 or higher storm. Other than some rain I didn't notice it at all. The rest of our weekend was lovely.

Well that is it for today. Per usual comments are welcome.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sketchbook Project Spread 7

I finally got around to finishing another spread in my Sketchbook Project book. This is a Hermit crab in the shell with a spare in the background. I was going to do a naked crab, they do look a bit funny, but decided that I would just use the empty shell to indicate that these animals can move from one shell to another because they don't grow one of their own. Crab and shells are based on Photographs I found on line. I have an idea for the next spread but haven't started sketching it in yet.  If you would like to see all of my completed pages in one location you can visit my Album at the Art House Co-op

Below is an image of my 4th ATC. This one is from a photograph I took in a local park. The had several varieties of Day-lilies all blooming, but I really loved the colors in this one.

Both drawings were done with colored pencils.

I did play around with attempting to make an ATC using various colored papers, scissors, glue, and some embellishments, but I don't like how it came out. I ended up with some glue spots so to me it just doesn't look as good as I want my work to look. I guess will just call it a learning experience and trash it. I might try again using a different glue and see if can do a better job. 

It has been so hot here in MA this week that I haven't been doing much of anything other than reading. Today will be cooler thankfully, though we have a hurricane headed up the coast and expected to pass off shore overnight. A state of Emergency has been declared for the State, though only the Cape should really see much in the way of hurricane force winds. That is unless the storm tracks further West. Right now I expect to see wind and rain more like a typical Nor'easter, they can be nasty enough but don't do anywhere near the damage of a Category 2 Hurricane. With some luck Earl will track more easterly so even the Cape won't be hit too hard. People oddly enough complain when a predicted storm isn't as severe as predicted. Personally I don't understand it, you would think they would be grateful that they didn't loose a roof, or power or have a tree in the yard blown down. But that seems to be human nature.

That is it for today's post. Comments are welcome.