Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I don't know about this one...

Middle School cellist, 5.5" x 8.5"Click for larger image

I did this watercolor sketch tonight of a middle school cellist in my kids' school orchestra. I just loved the look of concentration as he played at the Spring concert. I was doing this as a study for a larger, more detailed painting. However, I would say this one was not so successful. He looks more ticked off than focused. I was trying to stay loose with it, but it felt like it got away from me.

I will be doing some follow up studies of just the hands. Those who play cello put there hands in some very awkward positions. They require a closer, more detailed look.

So, I'll be back to this one. Hey, it's all about the struggle...


Big Harry H said...

I wish I struggled this good. I really appreciate how much work and thought you put into these pieces on the front end.

For what it's worth, i love it.

Can't wait to see your improved version.

Big Harry

Chuck Rose said...

Hey man,
You're up late. I had to put this down for tonight. I have some icons to design for a client. Grooooaaannnn......

Jim said...

I agree with big harry h, "I wish I struggled this good." Very nice, Chuck ; and by the way, I appreciated your critique of one my last few sketches. Thanks!

Terri said...

Hi Chuck,

I agree...he looks ticked off, but having said that, I do like what you've done with this. You said you were trying to keep it loose...what is this looseness everyone talks about?? Is it the opposite of contrived - the look of trying too hard? A friend told me she liked a recent piece of mine because it was looser than much of what I'd been doing previously. If I knew what I'd done, I'd bottle it so I could dig in next time I'm trying to get a sketch out!!

Laura said...

Chuck, you have such an elegant way with watercolor. You really do take full advantage of its characteristics. This is very, very nice. Way to go!

Kathleen Marie said...

I've seen this look on musicians in my daughter's orchestra, so you are not as far off as you may believe--he is looking fairly focused. I love the way you've let the bottom half fade away. I'm looking forward to your hand study. I desperately need to work on hand studies. :(

Kate said...

I think that you handled the watercolor very well. The face does seem to veer into the pissed off, but sometimes that's not so far removed from concentration face.

I really like how you left the cello unfinished. But then I've got a thing for being able to see the structure of art at the edges.

Chuck Rose said...

Man, I wish there were a way to interject a comment so I could respond to everyone individually. But alas, this one comment will have to do. I'll just break it up.

Good to hear from again. I'm glad you didn't mind the critique. I'm an art director during the day and I guess I just can't help it. I always try to be constructive and I invite everyone to critique what I do. I think we learn a lot from honest, CONSTUCTIVE, critiques.

Ah.... loosenes. What does it mean? I can only speak for myself, but here's what I think it means. Painting in a very deliberate way and a very economical way at the same time. By that, I mean using as few strokes as possible to accurately describe the subject. It doesn't mean working quickly. Some of the best painters I know, who are very loose in their style, work quite slowly. But every stroke they make is the right color, temperature and in the right spot. Take a look at John Singer Sargent, Richard Schmid or Monet and you'll see what I mean. I wish I could bottle it too.

Thanks so much. I can always count on you to be supportive. BTW, I love your new stuff. My wife and I had Gardenias at our wedding.

Kathleen Marie:
I was hoping to get to those hand studies done last night. But it sounds like we have kids about the same age, so you probably have a good idea of why it didn't happen. :-) yea, hand studies. I have to keep reminding myself to practice what I preach. I have to keep telling myself, "They're not hands. They're just a comibnation of shapes in various colors and values that all have to fit together in a particular way." And then, hopefully, they come out looking like hands. :-)

I noticed from your Egret on your blog that we both have a an attraction to that "unfinished" look. Perhaps it's related to my desire to keep my paintings "loose". :-)

Thanks everybody. Hopefully I'll have something else up very soon.

Anonymous said...

looks great to me!
-patty (edm group)

Big Harry H said...

I know i've already commented, i just wanted to stop in because i've been busy answering an RFP for my business.

Hoping to see some new stuff!!!

in the words of the great one, "i'll be back!"

Karen Winters said...

Chuck I really like how this came out.
I find it very hard to draw musicians because their hands are always moving. Do you have any suggestions for how to capture that?

Chuck Rose said...

Hey Karen,
I cannot tell a lie. The best way I know is to take a picture and work from the photo. Obviously, the quality of the camera you use comes into play here. I use a Canon Digital Rebel which let's me shoot in very low light without a flash. And I have several lenses to work woth as well. I have been shooting since I was 14 years old, and although I wouldn't say I am of professional caliber, I can generally capture an image with enough quality that when I draw or paint from it, it doesn't look like I'm copying a 'snapshot' if you know what I mean.

I see people do this a lot. In fact I see a lot of websites that cater to the 'Portrait from your photo'client. What a load. Garbage in- garbage out.

Itry to always work from my own photos. If I worked from someone else's, I would just be copying what they found interesting.

That's probably a longer answer than what you were looking for... sorry. :-)

Elizabeth said...

As an adult beginner cellist, I can assure you there is a fine line between concentration and ticked off!!! (But I never find it until I cross it!) Great sketch/painting!

Chuck Rose said...

Hey Elizabeth. You got guts girl. I am constantly amazed when I hear my son play. It is such a complicated instument. My hat is off to youthat you took it up as an adult. Like languages, I have always felt musical instruments are easier to learn when you are young.

Karen Winters said...

Thanks for the very candid explanation, Chuck. It makes me feel better (grin) I have tried drawing musicians from life and it's nigh to impossible. Yes, I draw from photos, too, especially people walking or dancing. Otherwise, what can you do? Rely upon a knowledge of anatomy seen from any angle, I guess. And my anatomical knowledge isn't vast. It's not even half-vast.

I know what you mean by those painting from your photos sites ... the worst of them are just "paintovers" using Painter's clone tools. I think of these "paintovers" like "combovers" - they cover the subject but they aren't fooling anyone!

Chuck Rose said...

That's the best analogy I've ever heard. Do you mind if I use that!

Combover....funny....really funny.

Lindsay said...

Chuck, Yesterday I was at the air port with my sketch pad and wishing I had my camera. The action was so fast. But I persisted and just kept the drawings simple. No faces or anything just posture and some costume. The drawings aren't great but it forced me to look carefully and concentrate harder. Condenced drawing. Not especially easy to do for long periods of time. But without a camera, it worked somewhat. Joining this group has also been really improtant because I'm drawing every day and that helps me improve. I learn from your draawins..espeically what to do with backrounds. This is an issue for me as I work 3D much more easily than 2D

Chris Healy said...

I do think you captured the effort and consternation very accurately!

Alas, my middle schooler has decided that the electric guitar is cooler than his old cello, so we are making posters to sell it. I wanted to grab a nice cello pic to beautify the poster before it graces the wall of our local general store and your watercolor was a glittering gem among the image search results. I'm not sure how this works, but would you mind if I pasted your pic on my poster? We do appreciate beauty here in VT, even on our for sale ads! Please feel free to contact me at chrishvt@gmail.com. Thanks!