Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fantasy - Ink and Pencil

A few weeks ago I showed a couple of "fantasy" drawings done in Prismacolor Pencil. I described them as having been "done in an off-hand way", starting out fast and loose then tightened up and refined. A problem I had in posting them was the pencil color didn't show well on the blog, so in order to use the image I had to enhance them with PhotoShop. I decided to try a different approach this time. I tried working over the initial pencil with ink. The piece above is the result. It certainly does reproduce well and the total effect is quite different than pencil alone. Not that it is necessarily better but it's much crisper, more precise - so conveys a visual message completely at odds with that of the pencil alone. No need for enhancement here! 

In the end it's actually more compatible with some of the cartoon-like work I've posted here in the past,  except in those the ink was put down first then color pencil added as if it were a coloring-book image.

Here's a drawing never posted here before, part of a old series reflecting on my (new then) experience as a paraplegic. Among my many physical losses paralyzed legs are the most evident. Once past the trauma of that fact, early on I found myself looking with true interest at the way people moved.  I'd watch people walking, amazed at the complexity of body movements, the shifts of balance that kept them upright, like the precise placement of a foot in turning.  It was not hard to be jealous of the easy movements done with so little thought as they walked, ran, or as above - danced. Oh, I loved to dance! (I'm sure you can see my "envious eye" at work a bit in this one.)

"All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself."   Chuck Close

"Art is not about thinking something up.  It is getting something down."   Julia Cameron

"An idea is born when mind and eye see together."   Ratindra Das

Thursday, November 12, 2015

November Trees

I never thought I'd be out drawing trees this late in the year. Tho' cold and wet today. the weather lately has been gorgeous - warm enough that the joggers and walkers have been lightly clad in sleeveless shirts and shorts! (Not that I'd venture out that way. I'm cool even in hot weather so wear at least a sweatshirt when out.)

Here, I continue my "catalog" of trees in a 200 year old area cemetery.  Just a couple of days ago these two were full of yellow leaves, alive in bright sunlight, loosing them over the course of just two cool and breezy days.

Both drawings are in Prismacolor Pencil - the first laid out in ocher then finished with pure black - but just the simplest black in the broken maple below.

I added a background "frame" in the drawing on the left because I felt it needed some stabilization.  Tho' an interesting tree to draw, the imbalance really bothered me.  The background box nails it in place and helps "finish" the drawing.

"One must always draw, draw with the eyes when one cannot draw with a pencil."   Balthus

"The moment you know you know, you know."  David Bowie

Friday, November 6, 2015

TV Sketches

It's been quite a while since I last posted any of the quick sketches I do while watching TV. The morning talk shows, 
c-span congressional committee coverage and late night celebrity interviews are all good places to find interesting faces. 

I pulled these three thumb-nails from a single sketchbook page showing the simple approach that works so well for me. It is very different from having a person pose in front of you in that these people are always moving, gesturing and turning side to side as they converse. I find that quitting any particular view as soon a person changes position or the camera finds another face, then returning to continue a minute later works well. When you do, you then start others that can be picked up, back and forth, in opportune moments. You have to work very quickly in a concentrated way, often so quickly that you can't actually follow the conversation!

Another, and even faster way to approach the problem, is to use soft pencil to catch the darks, the shadows, in as simple a fashion as you can. Forget nuance - pay no attention to detail! It's wonderful how well a few simple marks can capture characteristic expressions or personalities. To me, it's even more amazing that you often get a real sense of three-dimensional form this way. It's great practice!

And, if TV isn't your thing, there's always the cat!  Have fun!

"The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend."
Henri Bergson

"The freer the form, the more concentration you require."
Tom Hudson