Monday, December 31, 2012

Stupid last picture of the year

So it's New Year's Eve, and I am sitting in front of my computer messing around with this stupid image, doing things that I can't really imagine myself doing (and yes, I am going to walk a block and a half and go to a friend's party later on, so I'm not totally pathetic, though this picture does reflect the way I'm feeling at the moment), and it's worth it, for the messing around.

Today while driving, I was listening to some symphony on the radio, and it occurred to me that it was painterly music--all chordal shifts and rich rich harmonies.  Baroque music would be much more linear.  And I just can't seem to get away from the linear.  This started off with big painterly oil strokes (all digital, mind you, so no real mess, though I do have an old leather bag stuffed full of oil paints from when I was in college a million years ago), but I just couldn't keep it up.  I had to go back to the linear, with chalk lines (though you can't really see them here....I wonder what happened).

No matter.  I now have more posts than I had this year, and more than I had last year.  I hope that next year will be filled with even more art.

Thank you all for visiting, and have a great new year!

Saturday, December 29, 2012


I've been thinking about drawings that are done from photographs, and how easy it is for them to look stiff, and trying to determine what makes a drawing look like it was done from a photograph as opposed to from life, because often there IS a difference.  One can tell right away in some illustrations.

So what is it?  Most of my drawing do use photographs for reference, though they never look EXACTLY like the photo at all, or sometimes not even very close.  I just made a calendar all of pictures I've done over the past several years of my sweetie (and this is another one) to give to my sweetie's mother.  I was afraid she might be offended, because most of them don't look like him at all (click on the "Byron pictures" tag if you want to see what I mean).  It's more like "inspired by" or "based off of" instead of ....oh, I don't know....certainly not "copied", but I think that the danger of drawing from photographs is that you take the photograph to be some kind of authority that it really shouldn't be.  Yes use the photo to see where the light falls, and where the forms lay, but other than that, your drawing is more important than the photo, and once that gets going, the drawing itself contributes to your decision-making way more than the photo.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Snow Swans #5 & #6

I don't remember whose blog I was reading, but that person was embarking on a project of doing 100 drawings of something--heads maybe, of something particular like that.  And it's a really good idea--because it's only by doing things over and over again that you learn what you need to learn.  I've done five of these swans so far (the 4th one was dreadful, though I may work on it some more), and I've learned new things with each one.  I probably won't do 100 of them, but I'd like to do enough that I am actually comfortable and competent with this digital medium.  We'll see.

I also made one of these with gouache and water-soluable painting crayons.  I don't like it as much, but maybe I'll post that too.  Or maybe not.

This is Christmas vacation, and I thought I would do lots and lots of art, but somehow the days slip away without getting much done.  It's very strange how I get more of everything done when I am working full time.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Face #21 Finally Finished

It's interesting when you have something sitting around where you can see it all the time. I had all of these propped up along some bookshelves, and some of them I hated more and more the longer I looked at them.  This one I liked very much, just as the bald black and white, but over time I wanted to finish it, so I finally did.....

(But I guess I never got to #29!)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Snow Swan #3

So....more swans, for no reason other than they are fairly simple shapes.  This takes a whole lot longer than I would think it would, but it's all so pleasing....

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Snow Swan #2

I'm supposed to be cleaning up the disaster-area that is my study, but the computer is calling.  So here's another snow-swan.....

Illustration Friday: Snow

Well, it's not snowing here.  It's down-right balmy, and very un-winterlike.  But I can do snow-art.

This is more experimenting with my Corel Painter program.  I see all kinds of folks doing all kinds of beautiful stuff, but I know they must have spent hundreds upon hundreds of hours learning how to do that, and I'm still in the under-a-full-workweek number of hours, probably, and I can only do what it is my inclination to do.

But I'm kindof liking some of the things that are happening.

I am also still working on some traditional media pieces, but they're big, and taking a long time, and if I ever finish, I'll post them.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Exploring new techniques

There's definitely a learning curve here, so all I can say that I am doing is playing.  I'm not trying to reproduce what I do with pen and ink, but to use materials (even though digital) that I don't use otherwise....

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Stretching my Skills

So....I've been taking a class to learn how to use my Corel Painter program.  I bought it a couple years, ago, and never really learned how to use it.  I see that if I am going to be able to do anything on it, I'm really going to need to dedicate some time towards actually learning it.  So here's an attempt.  I even took notes.





And now I think I'm ready for some more traditional media....