Thursday, March 13, 2014

Color-aid Paper and Colored Pencil - A Great Pair!

Well folks, I have been busy! I've done a lot of work on the house, a lot of family related stuff, and lots of drawing!

My sister had this big stack of Color-aid paper.  If you've never seen it, the color is rich, incredibly even, and has a very fine tooth.  We were going to try some collaborative exercises, but we've both got a lot on our plates and it hasn't really worked out.  What did happen, is that I found out I LOVE to draw on it with colored pencil!

I've always really enjoyed drawing on toned and colored paper, but this stuff is fantastic.  It's small, so I don't usually spend more than a couple of hours on a drawing.  It's a lot of fun to let the colors come through in the drawing.  This is made extra challenging by the fact that it doesn't erase well.  In fact, you'll probably lift the color off the page before you lift the marks you want to remove. 

The best way I've found to work on it, is to start with a low-contrast pencil, and draw lightly.  For these bird drawings, I've been lightly blocking in the whole bird, and slowly building the colors.  It was initially developed as a backdrop for photographs, but since when did artists ever use things the way they were intended?

Monday, December 30, 2013

Black Is (And Isn't) A Color

James Gurney has just published the best explanation of the properties of black that I have ever seen. He has done a four part examination of its use as a pigment, in composition, and properties as a color...or not.  This last installment was my favorite.  As it turns out, it depends on the context of the discussion, and its relation to other colors.  This man is a heck of an educator!

If you don't read his blog yet, I highly recommend it.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

New Scanner!

A Scanner Darkly: It might be the name of a really weird movie.  It might also be the addictive behavior of a person who just purchased an Epson Workforce 7510. 

We bought it for the large-format printing and scanning ability.  Now, I'm not planning to make art prints for sale with this thing, though I hear it does ok with that.  I was really interested in the scanning ability.  The reviews were great, and I've been a scanning fiend since it arrived!  It's got an 11x17" bed, and prints up to the same size.  It's not a plug-and-play scanner, but the software and network setup is not complicated, and the directions were quite clear. And all of that setup comes from it being WIRELESS!  Here's a fun feature: any apple mobile device connected to the same network can print without any setup!

Check out the detail it captured in one of my new drawings:
Primary - Female Eastern Bluebird

I'm still tweaking the color settings.  It seems to read white as white, without letting its natural transparency appear.  Much of this can be corrected in Photoshop without too much effort.  I did change the gamma setting, which helped a great deal.

I also prefer to start my scans through the PC application, because you can crop out the extra scan area before the image is captured.  If you use the buttons on the scanner itself, you cannot perform this function. 

Yes, I've only had this thing for a few days, but I really could not be happier!  Scanning is so much faster than setting up a photo for these small drawings!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

In The Dark

Rachel has done it again, and assembled a seriously A-list team of creators for her horror anthology, IN THE DARK.  She's funding it through Kickstarter, and today is the last day to get a copy.  

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sargent's Methods

I've been reading the book John Sargent, by Evan Charteris.  Sargent is one of the greats of portraiture, and my work has been leaning that direction lately, so I've been doing my research.  This book was written shortly after his death, by someone who knew him personally.  It contains statements from his students, and is generally a close look at his life.  Most important, it talks about his methods, not just examines his work.

In the last couple of pages I read, I learned that he preferred to work on the mid tones, and lift the lights and deepen the shadows from there.  Let me tell you, this is a GREAT way to work!  It's my favorite way to work on drawings, in fact.  So why have I never tried that in a painting?  I haven't a clue.  But I'm going to now!  Can't wait to share the results!

I've also recently started posting photos to my Blue Canvas account.  I found it through the magazine first.  It's one of my favorites, and features a wide variety of mediums and styles of art.

Check me out here!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Inducing Creativity

Wednesday night, I went to a concert to see Gypsyhawk and Kadavar.  I was tired, it was a long drive, and we paid $20 to park, thanks to the Cleveland Indians game that night.  It was worth the trip - it always is - and I also had an interesting experience.

While listening to Kadavar, I kind of spaced out.  I found myself closing my eyes, and envisioning a painting I'm developing.  I'm just in the sketch phase, at this point, but I could see it come to life in my mind, and I really wanted to drive the 2.5 hours back home just to work on it.

So was it the laid back, jam-style of the music that stimulated the artsy parts of my brain?  Was it just the late hours that I don't often see, thanks to my work schedule?  Was it just exhaustion?  It warrants some experimentation... on myself....  What can I do to induce the most creative state?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

In The Dark - A Horror Anthology

If you're like me, you're super excited for Halloween.  If you're in need of a collection of terrifying tales, by an AMAZING set of creators, look no further!

Rachel is at it again, with an anthology called IN THE DARK.  This is a passion project for the creators, many of whom are very well known, and taking time out of their busy schedules to make this happen.  Why?  Because they want to!  Have you ever experienced a piece of work that someone made just because they wanted to?  You can feel all that passion!

Contribute to the kickstarter here, to get your copy.  There are loads of fun rewards, including having your own gruesome death written into one of these stories!  What better Halloween gift to give yourself?