Friday, October 31, 2014

Are you good at drawing?

Have you ever wished for more realistic drawings?

I have.
Drawing doesen't come easy for me, I always struggle to draw no matter what my subject is. As you probably know, I've just taken a class in how to use watercolor pencils. A fellow student there suggested for me to read a book about drawing, and believe me, it's a miracle.

The book has lots of lessons, and it's not wise to skip any of them because they build upon one another. So after doing some initial lessons, I went for the proof that this book was the same as all the rest. I was wrong, terribly wrong.

What I drew in less than 30 minutes is nothing but a miracle.

This is a famous sketch done by Pablo Picasso, and is presented in the book. My job were to copy it, and I was sure I couldn't do it. My sketch shows very clearly at which point the left side of my brain took the lead. Left side of the sketch, arm on chair and the mans arm are both wrong. These parts were the last ones I did, and the left part of my brain took over.

The next sketch I did, is one I have tried many times to sketch. Just because I think it's funny with caricatures. I have never made it, and this time it's perfect, in less than 5 minutes. If that isn't a miracle, nothing is. Please, don't look at the colors, I was just trying to paint with my spray inks.

And then to the book. It's written by Betty Edwards and is called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.

If you want to improve your drawing skills, I highly recommend this book, it's the most amazing thing I've ever seen happen to myself. Library is probably a good place to start.

Now that my class is over, I look forward to go deeper into this book and do all the lessons. My drawings might chang once and for all. I'm so excited.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, October 24, 2014

How do you approach a new painting?

How much work do you put into the preparations for a painting?

I used to rush on and paint right away, no planning no nothing just do it. That has changed. If I am to paint poppies, as for this case, I like to research the subject using the internet or perhaps books I might have on the topic. Normally I sit down with some sketch paper, trying to fetch the" ultimate" movements or shape of my chosen subject.

It's almost like I try to get the feel of it in my hand. I often paint those sketches just to see how they will work, and very often this play leads to new and exciting ideas.

Yes, it was poppies this time, but a rose found it's way too. I've been working on roses as well lately, so it didn't surprise me. The photos I have shown you above, are just a tiny bit of what I did to find the right feeling of the flower.
I also worked quite alot to find a composition I liked, and then the painting began. The result of my efforts is shown in next photo.

Later on, I have been filling in the white contours around my subjects, it just didn't feel right to leave it as you see it here. I'm very pleased with my results of this one. The darker areas on the right half has an undertone of violet, which dosen't show in this photo. The upper left light area also has a light turquoise shining through.
Painting is becoming more and more fun the deeper one gets into it, I think.
Faber Castell, Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils is used and it's done on a Fabriano cold pressed 140 lbs paper.
Have a nice weekend, and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

I'm trying to expand.

How much do you think of composing your art pieces?

We're probably all aware of The golden ratio, or the rule of thirds. but do we pay attention to it? I have decide to research it and learn more about the use of it. It's quite interesting when one first start to look into the subject.
Resently I came across a theory based on the golden ratio, and I found it so interesting that I tried it on a piece I made. Photo below.

The theory is based upon how we, by nature, look at things. At least for those of us which are reading from left to right.  By composing your art following this theory, you should be able to keep the viewer's interest to stay with your piece.

The blue lines shows the golden ratio, and to achieve a good and balanced piece of art, one do place the main motif at one of the crossing points, A,B,C,D. This is the rule, whether your sheet is small or large.

The upper right square is made into a smaller 9 square piece and then again an even smaller one lower left. The dark red line indicates the viewers way into your piece of art. Starting top left, and it will be up to us as artists to create interest along the line. Your most valued point of nterest, should be within the square in which the dark line ends.

Now, how did I use this in my piece?

From the start I thought of making a curtain from top left, stright down, hanging with folds, but found that it would disturb too much. Instead I made the wall quite dark, and added some darker spots a bit closer to the table, leading the viewer to the walnuts. Even though I planned this for quite some time, I missed out on a couple of things. Learning, always learning.

The walnuts should have been further back on the table, I would love them to break the table line. Now, I put in much effort to make the walnuts as realistic as possible, hoping for the viewer to want to see more. And, lets say the viewer wanted to see more, he sees some pears, but what's catching his eyes is the red rosehips, smooth and shiny. (Contrast to the walnuts) The rosehips are made realistic as well, but it doesn't show well in my photo. After looking at the rosehips and bird, the wiever sees this stright line upwards. The surface of the crown/cage is rust, non reflective, again a contrast to the rosehips. He reaches the top, and find the reflective ball. This is where I missed out again, the crown should have been stretched an inch upwards. Looking at the smooth shiny ball, the viewer notice the leaves, and I had pure luck with my branch. I didn't plan that to happen, but the branch leads down to the walnuts again. I also made quite some work with my branch, to keep the interest up.

If the viewer is still there, he probably steps back to have a look at what this is all about. That's when he notice my main subject, the pears. The soft and silky surface, in contrast to everything else. I deliberately avoided pencil strokes or splatters on my pears, to create a huge contrast. The tablecloth and wall is also made to highlight the softness of my pears.

There is very few strong white highlights in this piece, and that is excactly what I planned. The front rosehip, the bird (eye and beek) and the juvel of the crown, are the only places you'll find the highlights. Why, you may ask. Because I wanted it to have a soft, calm and cosy atmosphere.

Do you think my plan works?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Have you heard of Giovanna Garzoni?

She was an Italian painter who lived from 1600 to 1670.

I'm taking Dion Dior's class  "Watercolor pencils", and let me say that this is a very different way of working. But, as the fabulous teacher Dion is, I actually am learning to use these great tools.

Beside the "homework" I like to practice on my own, and thats where Giovanna enters the scene. She was a female painter which were rare back then, and she's looked upon as a real arrow tip when speaking of still life painting. It was portraits that ruled the ground, and there she was painting still lifes, not for bragging, as for the portraits but for pure decoration. Don't we just love that? Female artist going her very own way.

I have a book in which a photo of her painting Open pomegranate is shown, and I thought. let me have a try. Convinced that I really couldn't do it, but to my surprise I actually did. This study thought me alot of things, and will forever remain in my sketchbook. If the paper quality were better, I would have made the background as well.

If you don't know anything about Giovanna, have a look at this tiny film I found on you-tube, showing alot of her beautiful art.

As you understand, I'm quite busy at the moment, but will be back soon.

Enjoy your weekend.