Saturday, October 31, 2009

value sketches

I started taking Melanie Peter's drawing class. It's back to the basics and very helpful in learning how to see shapes and values and how to place them correctly on the paper. These are the first 2 sketches. We are using charcoal and white pastel on toned gray paper. I'm having fun with this. We are drawing using shapes instead of line. The idea is that shadow shapes define the object. It's actually easier to draw this way than trying to outline the objects and then fill in the values. With this method we start with the biggest shapes and continue to refine those. We start with 2 values. All the lights and all the darks, defining the shapes of the shadows the toned paper being the mid tones. The beauty of this medium is the ease with which it erases. The shapes and edges can be moved and changed as you progress. First the paper is covered with a light charcoal toning darks are placed with soft charcoal and the lights are erased. As the shapes are refined the accent darks and lights come last. These set ups are all white with a single light source. I did these in about 1 1/2 hours each The second one was actually pretty complicated. It still needs a lot of work but there is a time limit. You can see that I never made it to finishing the top of this plant stand. The edges still need allot of work. An ellipse is a difficult shape

both sketches are on the same paper

Friday, October 30, 2009

random photos

I was shooting some jewelry and clicked off a few random shots that I thought might make good starts and compositions for a series of abstract paintings ( my daydream series) that I want to explore more. These were potoshopped a little for color and cropping. The top one is an untouched original. I know, everyone has photoshop but the idea was to come up with a way to start an abstract painting not to produce finished art with manipulated photos. Allot of abstracts that I see just look like a infantile versions of a subject. Sometimes it seems like an excuse for not developing drawing or painting skills. Sometimes it's just random marks, or color fields or grids, or "expresionism". They don't seem to have a composition, design or a focus. The good abstracts have design and focus and are well made. (IMO). But where does the original idea for non objective abstracts come from?. That's where I'm having trouble getting started. My daydream series has been about the landscape so far with elements of watercolors on paper as collage. They are more surreal than abstract but they are usually based on or around the collage element. This series may continue with the collage elements but using this idea of random, found designs as a starting point appeals to me. I've used the idea in jewelry with a series called "throwing bones". (If your interested in that idea make a comment and I'll post something about it on the jewelry blog.)

This is an untouched photo from this series



Friday, October 09, 2009

Partly Cloudy and Hot


This is a 5 x 7 watercolor on canvas I did in the studio from memory. I'm painting on a new gesso recipe here and really like the way it takes the paint. It's as close as I've come to the feel of paper. Unframed 60.00