Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Marina on the Ohio River - pen & ink

Here is the last of the house drawings I've been working on for the same customer (the first they got through a charity auction bid, and after that they asked me for three more.)  I had to get the last three done by Thanksgiving, and I made it just under the wire.  This was finished last Friday night, and I delivered them yesterday.

They wanted the marina side of the house drawn, which presented a bit of a challenge: How do I make it a house drawing, but still do justice to the great view of all the boats?  Well, I had already done the front side of the house in an earlier drawing (the back of the house is towards the marina.)  I felt that freed me up a little to make the boats more dominant, but I still wanted the house clearly visible and to stand out a bit, even if it was in more of a backing role.

I find that each drawing presents its own set of challenges and tough decisions. There were plenty in this one, but the two that seemed to stand out the most to me were how to handle the water (consistent, flat pen strokes to emphasize the plane, or more varied strokes to give more of a sense of "shimmer" and shifting light? And, how do I shade the large white areas of the boats?

This drawing is 11 x 15 inches, drawn with .05 and .1 Sakura Pigma Microns, a .1 Staedtler Pigmentliner, and a .03 Copic Multiliner.

This might also be the first pen and ink drawing in which I used a straight edge for a notable portion of the inking. I used one to get straight lines on the rigging.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Two more pen and ink house portraits

Here are two more finished pen and ink house portraits. Both are 11 x 15 inches.

House number 1:



House number 2:


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Second Pumpkin

This was my second pumpkin this year. I particulary like the forehead and the lips.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin sculpting

This is my first attempt for this year.  I found it to be a particularly tough one to carve; it was coarse-grained and fibrous.  I also ended up going too deep on the eyes. I had no intention at the outset of going all the way through.  Overall, though, I think he looks pretty decent.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Cherokee Cottage, Jekyll Island

 Walnut ink on paper, 11 x 15 inches.  This was a bit of a rush job. I finished it last night around 12:45. I've been staying up late all week.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

In the Paddock - pen & ink

I finished this pen and ink drawing a few weeks ago, but refrained from posting photos until I had delivered it to its recipients, which I finally did last night.  This is 10 x 15 inches.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Tree sketch in walnut ink

This is a tree sketch I made with black walnut ink. I started it in the park behind Len's house last weekend, and finished it up yesterday at home. It's about 9 x 13. Some of it was done with brushes, but most of it was done with two homemade tools: a dip pen I made with river cane bamboo, and a whittled down bamboo skewer. The bamboo skewer is surprisingly versatile and holds ink better than most twigs, sticks, and whatnot that I've picked up to try.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Faux stonework finish: before and after


I'm saying I'm done, even though there will very likely be some more detail work and touching up in the future.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Faux stone wall

 Here's a section of the retaining wall and concrete outbuilding that I am nearly done painting. I'll be going back to work on it tonight.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pen and ink house portrait

Here's my most recent completed house portrait (and a detail), ink on Bristol paper.  The size is 11 x 15.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Faux stone work

I've been working at a school on painting a concrete wall to match the building's stonework.  It was bare white before; here are some photos of how it looks after I primed it and filled in most of the faux stones.  I still have a lot of work to do.  There are still large areas of plain gray primer, and then I have to paint in the mortar and figure out how to put in some shading and color gradations.  I also plan to put in some detail work.

I estimate this at being a little under 700 square feet, so it's far and away the largest art(-ish) project I've worked on.

Paint buckets


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

House drawing in progress

 It still requires a lot of shading, and it's not a very good photo, but here it is anyway: the current house portrait I am working on.  It's a very pretty house.  I hope to have it done within the next week.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Ferrari Spider commission finished

I finished this commission in time, a couple of days ago. This is a 2004 Ferrari Spider, oil on panel, 16 x 24.
The background is cobbled together from a few references, and quite a bit of it is just made up.  I had never painted a palm tree before, but I think these look sort of nice.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

House Portrait drawing - sort of a rush job

 This drawing is 8 x 10 inches, black walnut ink on bristol.  I only had a small window to get it done, soI worked fast on this one. It's not quite a "polished" as I usually like, but I'm pleased with it nonetheless.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Still so many basic things to learn

Pretty frequently I'm startled by my lack of art knowledge.  Sure, most people I know really aren't into art, and have little working knowledge of any medium.  To them, I'm sure I seem like I really know what I'm talking about most of the time.  And to other, more established, experienced artists, my lack of knowledge isn't surprising at all.  There is so much to learn that, even you are devoted full-time to learning about art, there is always something new to discover.

Still, I regularly learn something that makes me think, "Wow, how could I not have known that?"  The most recent example is pyrrole red.  This is a pigment that was developed in the 1980s, so it's been around a while.  It's a relatively inexpensive red, cheaper than the expensive cadmiums.  I've learned (through internet research) over the past week that it's a great, versatile color, and very bright.  Many artists consider it a very important tool.

I don't have this color.  I don't have any reds that have this pigment in it.  Get this: this color is also nick-named "Ferrari red."  Hey! And I'm painting a Ferrari right now.  I guess I'd better buy a tube and check it out.

Another thing I think about, related to the above:  I feel like the technical aspect of painting was largely glossed over in my university studies.  What did we talk about instead?  Well, there were a lot of generalities (don't over-mix the colors…perhaps you want to try more muted tones…etc.).  Most of all, I think there was discussion of the drawing aspects of painting, such as getting value right (something that, honestly, probably can't be over-emphasized), proportion, paint application and brush strokes.

I can recall very little discussion, however, of opaque pigments vs. transparent pigments, or having on hand cool and warm versions of the same hue.  There was certainly little information presented on glazing, which frankly I'm not sure any student I was with ever really attempted.

I'm not at all faulting any of my professors.  They had their hands full just trying to coax us into the ability to paint a portrait with vaguely human features, and I am forever in their debt.  The information has always been available for me to learn.  Maybe I don't really ever learn something until I truly need it.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Black walnut ink house portrait 5-20-12

I put in a little overtime on this drawing over this last weekend; it's another one of the multiple commissions I've accepted for a relatively short space of time.  It felt good to get it done!  I'm pretty pleased with the outcome.  This is 11 x 15 inches.