Saturday, January 31, 2009

Polynesian Slumber (full color in face)

I did some more work in the drawing, aside from feeling a need to blend my highlights a bit better I'm pretty happy with it. The highlights on the eyelids are far too pronounced and need a lot more blending, also I didn't spend enough time in the forehead. The area around the mouth needs a bit more work as well. Aside from that though, I think I've done pretty well for my first real attempt at colored pencil in years. I just thought that I might try to layer in a light layer of tan. I think that might tone down the yellow of the skin tone. That and the other fixes I listed should really make this where I want it to be. Then I just have flesh in her arm and my chest. The dress and chair should be a bit easier. The wicker part of the chair still isn't completely filled in because I really don't have a full reference for that part. I'm trying to decide how much of a liberty I want to take. I may keep the pieces of wicker all in that same diagonal they are on now, or angle the last half in the opposite direction as the small amount of chair in the photo indicates. I work on fixing the highlights tomorrow, I think the lips need a second glance as well. Again maybe some more shadow is needed.

Polynesian Slumber progress

I know I'm updating on this drawing, maybe too much, but I'm really excited about it. I laid in the red of the dress because when I was trying to lay in the shadows I lost the lines I drew for the flower pattern. So rather than redraw/try to find them later, I laid in the red. I do think anything bad has come of it, I think it looks good so far. I need to lay in the first layer for my skin, and the wicker part of the chair, I started the cushion. I think the detail in this is turning out well, and since I'm not taking short cuts on any of the chair I'm going to have to include all that details in the next piece. This drawing is now cropped down to 11" x 7.5" which I think will work out fine in the end. The next one should be closer to the 10" x 13" though both will be in the same size frame, this one will have a larger mat. There are a few inconsistencies that I'm hoping to fix int he next few layers. I'm going to finish laying in the rest of the brown bottom layer and then work on the next few layers of skin tone.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Polynesian Slumber progress

I've been working for a bit this afternoon, mostly just trying to sketch in the dress and the arm. I'm a bit worried about angle of the head. Though I think I worked it out a bit, and it's looking a bit better. I'm happy with the flowers that I sketched in. I'm a bit unsure if I want to keep going with the brown as the under sketch. I think I may keep it going down into the dress, but just keep it lighter. I think it will work out fine in the shadows but I'll do better with leaving more white paper this time around down in the dress. I still need to draw in the other two borders. Because I seem to have drawn the face on an angle it's making a bit hard to me to determine where to put the bottom border. I'll figure it out. I want to sketch everything in the dress in with pencil then come back with the brown. Then I'll probably move on to the next layer in the dress, a light red layer. I may update later tonight or tomorrow with more progress.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Polynesian Slumber" updates

I've made a good bit of progress tonight I think. At least for how I usually work. The photo is a bit skewed and it really doesn't show all of the subtle value. I'm pretty happy with it so far. I think my borders are going to be an odd size. I also decided I couldn't handle the faded, undefined borders. One big basic problem is that I don't always align my composition with the paper correct to fit. That's why sometimes I end up with bigger borders than I intended (here) or I crop the paper to fit the drawing. Anyway, I've started sketching in a bit of the dress, and I realized that it will really be my first attempt at pattern really. Usually I tend to take the easy way out and just lay in value as if it's a solid color. I've been pushing myself with more and more challenges lately and I think my drawings are more fulfilling artistically. When I frame this set of drawings I think I will put them in separate frames, but frames of the same size. I may have to do two different mat sizes but I think that will look fine. I'm thinking it might look better if this one is a bit smaller.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Colored pencil drawing updates

I may still do some more work later, but I got some work done when I got home. I have a good idea where all the features are going to be placed and I'm pretty happy with the progress. I'm thinking about doing informal borders on this drawing. I've always been intrigued by those fading edges, I think it might work out well with this drawing. I'm not sure though, I want to see how much of a border I'd need to add to make everything fit right. I may call this piece "Polynesian Slumber" mostly because of the location the photo was taken in and the dresses that are worn by both figures (that will be filled in later).

Saturday, January 24, 2009

New drawing

I started work on my new drawing. It took me quite a while to get to this point, because I'm determined to figure out flesh tone in colored pencils. This is my second attempt. The first attempt found it's way to the trash. Part of it looked ok but right by the eyebrow was getting way too over worked way too fast. So now I'm trying to just lay in value with a base a brown then come back and add in color over top of it. I think that might work out a lot better for me. I think what I have still needs some work but I'm tired, or else I would keep going. If this works out well, then I'll make it a diptych and do the second drawing I had in mind in color as well. If it doesn't work out I'll continue as previously planned and do the second drawing in graphite. I think the second drawing would look good either way. Though I think the composition of this drawing is highly dependent on the color.

Friday, January 23, 2009

New work

I've narrowed down 3 reference photos. The one photo I've been thinking of for a few days, but I really want to do something in color and I want to do a lot of detail (which would be best for me in black and white). I haven't done color in awhile. I found a great reference photo that lends it well to me trying color again. It's pretty simple but I think if I can pull it off the colors will be great. The next drawing I have planed will be back to black and white and was taken moments before the reference photo I'm using for the color drawing, it just includes more. I'll get back to that original photo at some point. The biggest draw back I'm having is that I love the one person's expression and face and that's really about it. Maybe I should just try to get a new reference photo of that person. Maybe if I pick my moment a bit better I won't have so many unfavorable elements.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

(Still working on title)

I'm finally done with the double portrait. Though I still have to think of a title and possibly take a new photo. I'm not sure if this is the best quality photo I could have. Then I have to of course add it to my site. Anyway I'm done and I've decided to leave the background white. A dark background would probably cause the mess of hair to get lost, which I think adds some character to the second figure. I do have to frame it now but I have until June for that, so I have plenty of time.

Inspiration and a brief drawing update

I've had a good bit of inspiration for work lately. I also made plans to revisit some ideas I had in high school that I never fully explored. Like the face painting I did as a reference for a pastel drawing, now I'll use real face paint and not lipstick. I had some red and greenish stains on my face for thanksgiving that year. I used black and red lipstick but the black stained a little green. Anyway I'm gonna pick up some face paint and work with that a bit more. I already have a few ideas, and I'd really like to explore using text, and symbols in my work more. I like using text but my one college teacher gave me a hard time over it (but she gave me a hard time over everything). As of right now I think the mixed media pieces won't happen again, but you never know. Anyway I have a lot of really great ideas and I'm happy about that, I also can't wait to get working.

As for my drawing; I finally got the other eye done, after erasing it and redoing it several times, I can live with what I have. I worked on the nose some too and that's coming along nicely. I'm going to work more tonight.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Drawing update, talk of past works and inspiration

I actually spent a little bit of time working this morning. I don't really feel well right now and I'm starting to shake, so I'm taking a small break.I did a bit of work in the hair and on the neck. I also have a more permanent sketch of the rest of the face. I think I finally got the proportions right.

I also watched the Berni episode from my Power of Art DVD set. I was reminded of the work that had inspired me in art history and of the other artist I felt inspired by, Caravaggio. The ligth in "Angelic" was inspired by the light in Caravaggio's paintings. I love the dramatic style of the Baroque period. The dramatic lighting and the emotion. I've been kind of experimenting with those ideas in a subdued way. With "Angelic" it was the dramatic ligthing, which also represented a divine communion. The figure nude to represent purity and innocence is bathed in the light from above, the relaxed pose has the figure leaning the head back slighting to gaze up at the source of the light. The arm comes across the body in a shy protective way, hesitant to be fully exposed and vulnerable in the powerful presense of the divine. In "Dramatic Hope" the figure simply has a look of hope, once again gazing into the direction of the light. Perhaps looking to the light and finding hope, or looking for hope in the light source.
With this as of yet, untitled drawing, I'm focusing more on the emotion of the moment, and my connection with it. The expressive faces that look up at something in awe.
With this latest piece I'm still working through the ideas for the background, and whether or not I will include details or leave the background untouched. Right now I'm just focusing on capturing the expressions and the emotions connected with that moment.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I don't have any new updates on my drawing but I will soon. I took a break from working on it last night to get used to my new glasses. I do have a photo that needs to be added to my photography section in the next few days.
My paint should be here today, I'll just need to get brushes and a few more canvas panels. I order the frames last night. I like the ease of ordering online, the selection on the site, also the prices are good. I ordered from an online framer, hopefully it works out. I really didn't like the help I recieved in AC Moore, and they were a bit more expensive, though I'll have to go through them for the mats. I ordered a book, that should give me a few tips and directions to go in with my career. Yesterday was good in the way of me making work related purchases.
I really should be able to finish that drawing soon, especially with my new goal of a self portrait. I'm also going to be researching more into the Baroque art period, and some artists that I have an interest in. I'm trying to gather more inspiration and focus for future work.
I also may have been a bit too quick to be posting information about the exhibition, I got an email requesting images for a press release. To be honest I was just posting information that I took from another artist's site. I don't think I'll take all the information down just change it with the official press release.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Art Updates

I don't have any updates to give on my drawing. I think I've filled in a bit of skin and hair since my last post but that's nothing major. I did place an order for paint yesterday, so if nothing else that does put some more pressure on me to finish this drawing soon. I'll try to work on it some tonight (I've been getting sick again, and going to bed early). I still have some time though after the paint comes I still need a few supplies that I couldn't order or just wanted to pick up in person at AC Moore. I also need a 2B pencil, but I think mine might be able to last me until Monday so I don't won't have that to hold me back from working.
I've been trying to think of more concepts for drawings and paintings. I feel like I'm not quite where I need to be conceptually, mostly I've been doing portraits. I think my straight forward portraits are good but my more conceptual work needs some more punch. I was trying to think of some concepts to work with last night, one idea I liked I'll have to wait until Spring to get a reference photo. I'm going to do one or two straight forward portraits in paint before I try to do anything too complicated. I haven't painted since high school and I'm using water mixable oils so it's a new medium as well. I just remembered a concept from high school I'd like to revisit. I think it might be well suited for paint and photography, so we'll have to see where that goes. I've been trying to keep a list of my ideas and concepts so I don't forget them.
I still haven't completely decided on the two back up pieces for the show. I was thinking I might bring a third drawing, "Primal Scream," but I'm not sure mostly because of the cost of framing it. I do have two photography pieces that I'm proud of but I'm still not 100% comfortable with my photography. I'm relatively new to the photography, but still I could probably just buy ready made frames for them and even if not it probably wouldn't be as expensive because I'd use smaller prints I think. Still not sure though, I'll see how things go when I price the frames on Monday.
I'm planning to enter the 26th Annual Art Competition this year. I entered the one last year, I really didn't expect anything from it. I did say that I was going to start entering every year. I have a few drawings that I may enter but I think I'll be entering a painting if I can get something good done by May 1. I've noticed very view drawings even place, it's mostly paintings.
I'm going to wait awhile after I start painting to post a new section on my website for them. I have a few older paintings, but like I said I haven't painted since high school and most of the good ones are from 2003. So I think they're a bit too old to be occupying most of the space. Though I have to admit a few of the drawings I have up are from high school too. I intend to keep doing drawings though intermittently. I want to fill up my drawing gallery and get comfortable with taking a few of the older ones down.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Yep, it's an ear. It's not much in the way of progress but I'm pretty happy about it. It's something solid in the way of that second figure. Also I almost never start drawing a person at the ear. I usually start at the eyes. I think the ear is a bit closer to the other figure's chin than it should be but I think it will work out for the best. I think more of the face will fit in the composition properly. I may have just lost a bit of hair in the move but really nothing major. I've had a hard time trying not smear the work I've already got done. I did find putting a pen under my arm helped quite a bit.
Overall I'm pretty nervous about this second figure. I can't even get the sketching of the eye quite right, also it's not often that I do a drawing, or painting for that matter, with two figures. I'm worried about getting the proportions correct in relation to each other. This drawing is proving to be more of a challenge for me than I originally thought. But the challenge is good.
I'm still unsure if the background should be black or white. I'm still leaning more toward white. Though I'm thinking I may come in with a 4B pencil when I'm done and darken up some of the shadows a bit. Maybe even use a 6B in the hair. I think it will definitely up the depth a bit to bring in some darker shading. I could probably even push it more with my 2B, but I think I'll get the second figure done and then go back over it.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Drawing updates

I finally finished the first figure, at least for now. I may tweak it as I go along, but now I've moved on to some more serious sketching, and erasing of the second figure. I'm finding getting the proportions correct a bit of a challenge especially in relation to the first figure. I'm happy the the placement and size of the ear on the second figure so I'm using it as a basis. I may have changed my mind on the background. I don't know if I'm going to attempt much detail. It is a small work with little negative space in the background. It may become too busy. The background at this point stands to either stay white or become black.

I'll also be posting information on my site next week about the exhibition that I have been talking about.