Friday, July 29, 2005

Illustration Friday, Aging

Mom at her 50th Wedding anniversary luncheon

This week's IF (Illustration Friday) topic is Aging. I thought about lots of ways to participate. I've been feeling rather aged lately myself. I thought maybe a self portrait. I just grew a go-tee. It came in almost all gray.

But I have been thinking about my Mom a lot lately too. She passed away a few years ago and it occurred to me I had done only one sketch of here my whole life (so far). It was from a picture I took of her at her 50th wedding anniversary celebration to my father. I wish I had done so much more.

So here's the lesson on aging: Draw pictures of the ones you love now. You never know when they may not be available to model.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Another beach house. Well... cloud really.

Beach House No. 2 - 4"x6" Watercolor

I found these really cool watercolor pads the other day. They are only 4" x 6", but they have 15 sheets bound with adhesive on all 4 sides. It's like painting on paper that has been stretched on a block. By the time I finished the sketch the water in the paper made it pop off the block. I thought it was really handy and just wanted to share, here are some pics...

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Every Day Matters Challenge #18

Draw the view from a window of your house, apartment, office, etc.

Click here for an animated play-by-play

This is another rainy-day sketch from our recent trip to the beach. I was sitting at a table that looked out over the deck, the dunes and on out to the ocean. The next set of beach houses directly to our south is what I see when I look out the window.

We have a saying at the beach: "A rainy day in Duck is better than a sunny day anywhere else." Well, OK. Maybe Aruba.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Illustration Friday: Tranquility

Twins Sleeping Oil on canvas 24 x 20

This is an old work but I thought it fit the topic so well, I pulled it out of storage for another run. Only Vit and julie oakly commented before so I hope this is new for most of you.

These are my twins when they were younger. They were about five, and had separate rooms. But occasionally we would find them asleep together like when they were babies and shared a crib. I saw them like this one night and thought it would make a nice portrait.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Portrait of the artist as a young man

Click for a larger image

A quick oil sketch of the younger artist in this house. This is the young man responsible for "The Angry Boss" below. We both thought I made him look like a Vulcan from Star Trek.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I'm sharing my blog with my son again...

The Angry Boss

I am especially proud of my son's entry today. This is the first colored pencil drawing that he's done where he used a layering technique to achieve a final color. He worked lightly and built up the color slowly. Without any prompting from me he learned about optical mixing of color.

This is supposed to be a drawing of my boss. My son hasn't seen my boss very often, so I love that he thinks all bosses smoke cigars and are angry all the time. He knows it's not really that way, but who can blame him? After all, remember Mr. Spacely from the Jetsons? J. Jonah Jamison from Spiderman? Lu Grant from the Mary Tyler Moore Show?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

It's amazing what the right paper will do for you...

Coleus Color Sketch No. 1

This was so much fun to do. I couldn't wait to get to it after dinner last night. My wife is great. She doesn't mind me doing my thing in the evening.

Anyway, I didn't want to do the water color in the molskine. As much as Jim's technique of wetting the paper first works well, I needed the control that WC paper could provide. So I scanned the drawing from the moleskine and printed it out on WC paper in my ink jet printer. (yea, that 'ol trick) And then did water color washes, pastel and finally colored pencil.

I'm getting closer to the final vision of what I want this to do, but it's not giving me the same results that oil will. I want something looks very rich and more simplified. Hopefully, I figure it out soon.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

More fun on my deck

Coleus Sketch No. 1

I have a new facination. My wife planted these wonderful things called Coleus in the flower box on our deck. I discovered that at around 4:30 in the afternoon on a sunny day, the most wonderful light is created around these little gems. I have a very heavily wooded back yard, which tends to make the background very dark, almost like night time. But then the sunlight breaks through at very interesting angles and makes the tiny purple pedals on the bud seem luminescent.

I want to explore a series of these in oil. Before I do that, however, I wanted to slow down and do some studies before I commit to canvas. I discovered in this sketch that the plant was much more complicated than I thought. And it was harder to convey the range of values than I thought. Perhaps that is do to the use of a pen, but I wanted to do this as quickly as possible, and not get bogged down in trying to do 'finished' art. So the good thing is I learned a lot about the structure of the plant better.

Next, I'll do some color studies. Small ones like 4 x 6 inches. This will force me to really boil the composition and color down to their most important parts. I will do these in either water color (NOT in my moleskine) or in oil. I bought some little 4 x 6 canvas boards this morning so I think think I am leaning that way. Then I will do some full size oils.

I do feel as I made my way to the lower right portion of the drawing, I was starting to loose my concentration and started making stuff up instead of drawing what was there.

Let me know what you think.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Back to the bird feeder...

I thought it would be fun to look at this one step-by-step. Click on any image to view a larger version.

Step one: The focal point

Step two: Add second bird

Step three: Add third bird (I'm detecting a patteren here)

Step four: You guessed it - Add fourth bird

Step five: I'm out of birds so I start to go over the drawing with a Pilot G2 pen. Building up bold lines to emphasise focal points

Step six: Finished pen drawing

Step seven: Just add water(color) I should have stopped at step six!

Dinner time
I am taking a detour from the beach for a moment. These finches were going to town on the bird feeder last night. I thought they made a nice subject.

I'm doing this in my new Moleskine. I got to the point where I had to decide if I were going to add color to this. I really want to color it, but it's on this really weird moleskiine paper that makes the pen work look great, but the watercolor sucks.

What the Hell.... I went for it. Maybe I'll find a way to get a unique look out of the awful paper.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

More silly stuff from the beach

Group Doodle

It may have been on the same rainy day, but at some point various members of the family - cousins, adults, kids - we sitting around the dining room table. Just shooting the breeze. The 3-year-olds had these wonderful tablets of really cheap newsprint paper. The kind that almost still has wood chips in it.

Without even really talking about it it got passed around the table between some of the kids and myself. My son C did the day-glow Bart Simpson. I did the strange old man. ( I was told I doodle those a lot. Hmmm....) Little neices and a nephew did the feet at the top. A 10 year old nephew did the eagle/human figure in the lower right. We had a good time.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Black & White beach fun

Phillip doing the "Creepy Man" face

One night at the beach it was raining and we were all inside playing Trivial Pursuit, the 90s edition. Phillip is a young man that accompanied my niece this year on our family vacation. He's actually a very nice guy. The family adopted him almost immediately. During the game we discovered one of his hidden talents is to make what he calls the "Creepy Man" face. It cracked me up so much I had to put it in my moleskine. It was a very fast sketch, but fun, so I thought I would post it.

This is what his 'normal' face looks like:

Monday, July 04, 2005

The next installment from the beach

Three Shells

I did this on our first rainy day at the beach. I put the shells on a piece of water color paper by the window. The soft light of the drizzly day made for a very nice effect.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Illustration Friday Challenge: Sport

It was fitting to come back from my vacation at the beach to this topic. I thought this sketch would fit in pretty well. I don't know who the lady is, but she, may son and our dog were just about the only ones on the beach early in the morning when I did this. The early morning light was great.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Back from the beach....

Dusty on the Beach

We returned this evening from a week in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. An annual trip we take with my wife's family. As usual, it was a relaxing time with days filled with time at the beach and evenings having large meals with a large family. We had a few rainy days, so I tried to sketch as much as I could. Here's a sketch of one of my favorite models. You all have seen him before.

This trip is one of Dusty's favorites every year. He is such a water dog. The first day he actually jumped the gate on the deck of our beach house to get down to the ocean. He pulled a muscle and limped the rest of the day, but I know he would do it again in a heartbeat.