Nail those values....Just a few spaces left for my summer intensive painting workshop, August 7 -8th, Ventura, CA. We will be working from the life model AND still life set ups with a portrait demo also.
I did a sketch yesterday of one of the very talented students in my teen workshop during a few breaks from actual hands-on instruction. I am fascinated by these over-size eyewear young-uns are wearing these days. The eye on the right in my drawing needs attending to but I know I will correct this in the painting.
I am teaching a workshop this week - so lots of drawing yesterday with a brush. This is a quickie demo I did on one canvas from three different simple still life set ups I had planned around dark, middle and light value backdrops. Each student painted all three over a three hour period.
Ah, the value of values. Fun to nail them really fast on one canvas. Today we move to color.
No, this isn't me having a morning stretch. But it is my daily drawing challenge for the weekend met. Time was short this weekend with house guests and more arriving tomorrow so I did Flamenco dancer sketch in two half hour sittings on separate days.
I will be glad when July is done and I am in my eight month of this drawing challenge. That is going to feel like real progress!
One thing I regret in this daily drawing challenge for 2010 is there is no consistency on my part in terms of subject matter and drawing medium. That was not my original plan for the challenge.
When I look back over my picture file recording it all, I regret it is so "all over the place". However, experimenting with different approaches has left with me new found techniques that I really enjoy. The Bic pen and the white chalk drawings on toned ground are appealing to me. The earlier mixed media on paper I like but don't seems to want to do so much of now.
I was exhausted late afternoon yesterday wondering what's next? What on earth am I going to draw today. I popped in an art video of a guy painting flowers and it suddenly came to me.
Why, I will just start a large floral still life, 22"x28", right now, of some purple and yellow pansies in my garden that I have been admiring for weeks. It wasn't sunny but I set up my landscaping gear in my driveway and got going. I took my time on the drawing and arrangement of tree trunk and flowers. Shown here, is as far as I wanted to take it on the first round. Blocking in the big shapes, against a WHITE ground, unusual for me, hoping to add luminosity to the white and yellow flowers as the painting builds.
Come back later...back to break-dancers today. Dear, oh dear.
In haste today. Here is yesterday's drawing effort with a red and black BIC pen and one of the previous drawings from the challenge I put paint on in the afternoon. The commission I should have been working on stared madly at me.
Teaching, like painting, requires a certain balance I find. The first day of a new semester at The California Art Institute yesterday left me juggling my desire to do a more complete demo for students , pictured here, while at the same time giving each student enough hands-on individual instruction at their own easels.
This led to somewhat of a compromise in the demo, 18 x 24, with only about one hour of total painting time. I do like the balance in the actual demo though of warms and cools. The blue shawl against the orange-ish background worked I think.
The landscape sketch is from my recent trip back east. Ah, how I wish I was sitting there right now with a peach ice-tea.
Fun to paint two quick-sketch views of the same area. The first is the beautiful vista along a serene walking path through a wooded area our gracious hostess took us too where she walks her lovely pooches daily.
I could have played with said pooches all day but we thought it a perfect spot to paint in. After spending about an hour or so on this view I then turned around and tried to paint the dappled uphill path we had walked down to get to this remote, beautiful, location.
The second view gave me trouble and didn't work out. I was getting really hot and bothered too by this point in quite extreme heat. But I am sure glad I had a go. The front view I liked. I will do this exercise again.
My astute daughter shared yesterday with me she doesn't think showing quick-sketch stuff so freely is wise. To her eye, it doesn't reflect the level she says I am able to paint at when things are more considered and worked out artistically. I thought this most interesting.
My opposing view is the artist's process, including quick-sketch, is interesting in itself and reflects one's thoughts and discipline as an artist. The end result is not the point.
You artist readers out there...any thoughts on this?
I feel energized like you can't believe. My mentor, Master Artist Everett Raymond Kinstler, N.A., (painter of seven US presidents at this point, wow!) has encouraged me from the very beginning to get out and paint the landscape. I reluctantly did this, kinda playing the field with my commitment to it.
But now I think I have a new love affair, still a bit GREEN around the edges, perhaps not pass the first kiss yet, but gaining in strength and understanding with a deep desire to work out the mysteries and commit for life. Betrothed to landscape painting , so to speak.
Along with a dear painting pal Holly Metzger, an artist of considerable talent who I admire deeply, we battled an apparent plague of bugs, including a huge alien green-eyed one which bit Holly, an intense east coast heatwave, deep thirst, smearing sunscreen, stinging repellant, and a few other delights of outdoor painting, to come up with some small sketches that I thought really captured the moment and the fun we were having together. Painting from life is amazingly powerful. A moment in time is always captured and an ice-tea never tastes so good afterwards.
My sketches were far from perfect but I enjoyed painting absolutely every one of them and learned a lot.
I post a selection here (more tomorrow) along with some quickie studies for learning purposes I did in my sketch book on the flight home. No engagement gifts necessary.
Bear Down...only 130 or so shopping days left until Christmas or should I say drawing days!
Have I crossed the line drawing and painting cute bears? There is a part of me that says yes. My astute daughter's response was:" Well, it is not the best thing you have ever done".
Here 's is yesterday's drawing turned into a painting. The block-in took me quite a while to work out, believe it or not, how high I was going to put that little 'fluffian' on the canvas making sure he was either a third from the top or bottom and not centre. One thing about a DAILY drawing challenge is one really does get to draw IT ALL.
I am jumping for joy...another weekend down in the drawing challenge. Weekends are hard with so many distractions...this was yesterday's done with that ol' red BIC and no safety net. One false drawing move it would be time to start another.
Who doesn't like a slab of bread with jam? I don't think bread is the easiest to paint being close in value range, and a different kind of texture to anything else around. I have certainly seen my students struggle with painting bread. For one class, I even baked the bread for the still life to be sure of the right "crown" to the loaf. Baking the darn load to perfection turned out to be way easier than painting it so!
Today I felt the need to paint some more bread, putting some paint on a drawing from the day before yesterday, block-in shown here.
I mentioned a few weeks ago how I need to get to the hair salon. Well, I finally made it today and while I was having a high-light touch-up, I decided to waste no time reading a dog-eared People Magazine like I usually do there but copy an Anders Zorn drawing with a red BIC pen.
My love affair with both, Zorn and Bic, continues Not with my hair tho'. What I am learning from copying this master's etchings is indescribable. I have done a few now in the year's challenge and plan to do more.
To see yesterday's drawing tune in tomorrow when it will be posted with the finished painting.
I still love painting still life when I return to them after doing portraits. They are like going on vacation for me.
My drawing for the day's challenge yesterday was the block in for this cup and saucer called "Still Loved". Obviously, it didn't take me a full half an hour to draw it so I sketch a little girl's head in my sketch book to make up the full drawing quota for the day, not wanting to cheat.
I sometimes look at all the incredible still life painters out there, especially on the new Daily Painters Originals group I am now part of (www.dailypaintersoriginals.com) and feel incredibly humbled. Thanks for the lovely comments about yesterday's simple "Billy Can". I hardly dared post him thinking him way too humble but I sure loved painting him.
SOLD I got back in the groove yesterday with my drawing. Well, kind of. The first attempt failed. A still life of a gem. I wiped it out. Tried again and another wipe out. The third I did was of a simple Billy Can which got me back in the groove. It just kinda spoke to me and I loved the color opportunity it gave me for the soft greys I enjoy.
Ellipses are always a challenge for me.. I enjoyed painting it actually, having to check my drawing all the way.
Drawing each day this holiday weekend I had absolutely no interest in whatsoever. But I did it. They really were half an hour quick sketch, no more, this one copied from a famous french photo. My drawing heart was elsewhere.
Today I also post my "Painting A Day" for today, now being released for sale.
Simple daily drawings keeping the challenge going over this busy Holiday Weekend in the US. These are 8 x 10" and will be painted in the week as part of the Daily Paintings series as I am enjoying doing.
It feels pretty exciting to be at halfway point in my daily drawing challenge for 2010. I am stunned I have come this far because I know me, and I also know the commitment it has taken so far to get here.
I look ahead to the remaining six more months of this challenge and feel rather fearful.
The MAIN thing I have learned at half-way point from this effort is that I will ALWAYS need to work on my drawing. I am not a natural like some. That is a frustrating realization but true.
But I have also learned consistency pays off in everything. Speed and accuracy are building. The 'voice' in a drawing or a painting can not be learned I feel. That is from deep within. Don't you think?