helping hands, anyone?

Monday, November 30, 2009

This last week, instead of picking just one thing to work on, I decided to start a series of hand studies. I think they are going pretty well in general. The one in the lower left is from da Vinci. I have always thought he did the most elegant hands ^^ The ones on the right are from my hands (the upper one not as accurate as I wanted) and the upper left one is from van Gogh.

Bad Santa!

Monday, November 23, 2009

So my 'long' project last week was this beastly fellow. I was quite taken with him because of his big black boots. He looks like Santa's evil twin to me. See the original that I was painting from below.

This guy really fought me tooth and nail when I was trying to figure out how big to make him and work out the shape relationships. In the end I had to give in and make him a bit smaller than I had planned.

Then when I was actually painting him I kept trying to rush. It seems I never fully learn the lesson: Form a mental image and take a breath *before* you set brush to paper! I was not able to be as accurate to the original as I wanted, but during the points when I was able to loosen up and paint freely, it felt good and natural. Not a bad tradeoff.

White knuckles time

Monday, November 16, 2009

So here's the latest masterpiece. Kidding ;)
This is actually the first finished human figure I have done in the medium. So I guess it could be one of those famous firsts.
For this piece I worked from a piece done by a Chinese artist in the 40's or 50's. I fear I made things to hard on myself. First, I pulled a bit of a Rodin by removing the backscratcher the girl was originally holding. This created sort of a fill-in-the-blank problem that I don't think I handled as well as I would have liked.
I also made things harder by insisting on leading with dark ink first. Doing the outine (right) was fine, but when it came time to work shading, starting dark was definitely hard.
This is the way masters work. I am not one of those, so I spent the rest of the painting on the verge of losing all control. It was a real white knuckles ride for me right up to the finish and I really thought I might lose it ^^
Nevertheless, I am shamelessly pleased with the end result. I think the water element is particularly strong in this piece, and the sense of reflection through some passages really reminds one of living flesh.

We can't afford to wait for nudes.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

OK, so I heard Pres Obama say 'we can't afford to wait' one too many times. But I decided to go ahead a post this pick of what I'm currently working on. This is the pencil study of a painting I'm doing. If the painting comes out half as well as the drawing, I'll be pretty pleased. I'll talk about it some more when I post the finished piece next week. Knock on wood.

Don't read this!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Just kidding. I'm just having a whimsical moment. I'm still busy with my figure studies. I'm afraid I accidentally let myself get too interested in the horse. Girls and horse - what can I say?

Next week will feature a naked lady - look forward to it ;)

Has it really been a year?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

So it's actually been just over a year since I started studying how to use an Asian brush and ink. Amazing. I feel like I have only just begun, and truthfully, I hear it takes a good ten years or so to become a master.

So what have I learned? I have learned to hold the brush an dmake a line. I can make washes and circles and many different kinds of marks. In short, I have been picking up the basics and find that I still have a long, long ways to go.

Recently, I have begun to have the feeling that what I am really trying to do is learn to dance with the brush. Which gives me a very inexplicable sort of pride. I never learned to dance with my feet, you see, and all girls should learn some for of dancing. Don't you think?

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