Friday, July 08, 2011

Video of Human Faces and Skulls

Hi everyone! As usual, my blog is suffering, and I loathe this. I had an opening at Hilliard Gallery in June, and have since been focused on a private commission. Hopefully I will be able to share the process of this commission once it's completed, as it's a posthumous double portrait and therefore requires detective-like strategies.

I've also just returned from a visit to Mexico City. While I was there, I visited the Museo Nacional de Antropologia and was fascinated by the various skulls on display. I took a video of an exhibit there which has images of skulls that fade into images of human faces as you move across the room.

Often I have my students try to overlay a drawing of a skull on top of a photo of a person, so I found this display very intriguing and useful. I hope you find the portions I recorded enjoyable; I did my best to hold the camera steady.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Annie Cherry III and Lucky DeLuxe

This 3rd (really, 4th) painting of Annie Cherry is just about done. Meanwhile, I have a couple other paintings going in the studio, including this underpainting of Lucky DeLuxe below:

These will be on display at Hilliard Gallery for my June show with them, Identity/Duplicity.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sketchy Painting Beginnings

I've started, yes, another painting of the lovely Annie Cherry. I started off by dividing the 20" x 16" panel into sections (divided it in half both vertically and horizontally, and then divided those sections in half as well) to help with placement. Then I used a reference photo similarly divided and started having at it with charcoal pencils, much in the same way I work when I draw from life. Once I had things laid out relatively well I hit the whole surface with a soft brush to lightly smear the drawing and get rid of any dust on the surface.

I spent a day laying in the whole composition with undiluted paint applied thinly, focusing on broad, flat areas of color. I do put in some indication of major hue changes but mostly I try and clearly divide the light and shadow halves. The background pattern was not drawn before painting. In retrospect it would've been easier had I made a stencil. After all was done I used a small soft brush to get rid of any hard edges.

I had an hour or so yesterday to work again, so I started laying in some of the hue-changes in her face. There's still much to do, and likely lots of corrections to make, but it's progress!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

More Anatomy Studies

Before I moved, I started working on some anatomy studies of Dan. I'd scanned in the skeletal study, but I didn't get the musculature scanned in before I packed up. When I come across this while unpacking I will scan it in and post it as well.

A Few Drawings From Red Door

What's Up

I feel bad that my poor little blog is neglected. My productivity has gone down somewhat painting-wise because I bought a house, moved, and have had some private commissions that I haven't shared here. However, I've of course kept drawing every Saturday night at the Open Figure Sessions and have done some more anatomy studies from those. I'm also slowly starting to complete work for a June exhibit at Hilliard Gallery, some of which I will begin posting here soon.

I'm also beginning work on a painting of a couple who are both deceased, with very few photographs as reference and no relatives available so that I can view similar skin tones in real life. It is something of a puzzle, but I hope to create a beautiful painting in honor of them. I've come up with the approximate color scheme and composition, and am currently working on pencil sketches of their faces where I try to combine info from the snapshots and alter the lighting to suit my needs. The next step will be to find people with similar skin tones, do color studies, and hit the Salvation Army for appropriate costuming. Then I will pose models or mannequins with the clothing and create the portrait from a combination of the sketches, color studies, and clothing/background references. Perhaps I will be able to share some of this process here.

So: Portraits, commissions, moving, teaching, drawing, studying, painting. That's what's up lately.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Anatomy Studies

Every now and then I like to do anatomy studies of my figure drawings. This helps me: A) memorize the anatomy B) understand landmarks that I saw on the live figure, but did not know what caused them C) find errors in my drawing and D) know what to look for regarding structure next time I draw the live model.

This week, I used Saturday's drawing from the model to study the skeleton and surface muscles. A took a picture of the drawing, and then printed it out in black and white. Over the top of this I put a piece of tracing paper and referencing a couple charts started blocking in where I think the bones were positioned.
After I had some basic positioning, I looked for more detailed depictions of each bone and attempted to render them more fully. I did not delve in to individual vertebrae or ribs this time.

Above is an image of the skeleton overlaid on top the drawing via Photoshop.

I then followed the same procedure with the muscles, attempting to create a little big of depth with the shading.

Again, and image of the musculature overlaid on top of the original drawing.

Finally, here is my attempt at showing both the skeleton and the muscles on top of the figure. I'm sure there's a better way for me to overlap the images so they are more clear, but I'm not sure how to do that yet.

If you don't have a figure drawing of your own you think is appropriate, it can also be a good idea to do this over a photo of someone, or a picture of a classic Greek sculpture. I find this process to be quite challenging but I learn a lot each time I do it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Figurative Charcoal Sketch Video

Last Saturday I recorded this sketch of Constance, and made a video of it over the weekend. I hope to make more of these in the near future, possibly with another figurative painting, and have considered doing some kind of voice over to explain my process. (But I really hate the sound of my voice...)

I'd also really like to get a good HD camcorder so perhaps individual strokes would be visible on the video.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Two Week Drawing from Red Door

Above is a crop of my most recent drawing from the open sessions at Red Door Studios. This was a two week drawing, so there's a total of about 5 hours in this. A little less considering breaks. I drew this at a bit of a large scale for me, the paper it's on his 30" tall, and head to ankle this figure takes up all but a few inches of the paper. I did not include his feet as they would have touched or gone off the edge of the paper.

Here is what the drawing looked like at the end of the first week. You can see that the form had not been developed yet, and everything is just a pattern of light and shadow. I try and get my proportions right, and really focus on the specific shapes of light and shadow on the figure. I am using my knowledge of anatomy here and trying to understand the function of the form.

The 2nd week I made some corrections and focused mostly on developing the torso and arm areas. I was concerned about developing the bottom half too much since I couldn't extend the figure through the toes this time. Even 2 weeks is not enough sometimes, and had there been more time I might have worked on this area more, especially the quads and also perhaps the face. Instead, I focused on the musculature and the contrast between the elongated side on our left and the contracted muscles on our right.

The next two weeks at Red Door we will have a new model in the same pose for both sessions, and my hope is to remember to film the process to make a new drawing video for YouTube. I had meant to do it with this drawing, but forgot. I might be interested in putting in a little bit of narrative, or explaining some more of my process, so if you have any specific questions leave them in the comments section and I will try my best to find time to answer them!

Also, any requests of what you would like to see more of on this blog? It may be a while before I get a painting up as I am currently working on a private commission which I won't be sharing publicly. I can't wait to get back to my sins paintings and burlesque paintings!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Drawings from Red Door Sessions

Saturday sessions at Red Door Studios (6-9pm every week!) are still going strong. Here are a few of my recent drawings from the poses.

If you are an artist in the area, know that this month we will have two poses that will last for two weeks each! This Saturday we will have a male nude pose, and he will return the following week for the same pose. The last two Saturdays of January will feature a female nude in the same pose for both sessions.