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Showing posts from 2016

Watersoluble Crayons by Caran D'Ache

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Yes, it's a thing! We had an early Christmas celebration with my Mom this year and one of the gifts I received was this nice set of Caran D'Ache watersoluble "pastels" to play with. I'm pretty sure that somewhere along the line, the term crayon was replaced with pastel in order to make it seem less of a child's art supply. However, despite the fact these are made of wax, they're a pretty serious art tool.

Day 30 - Stickmen Plus!

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I was travelling this week, so Day 30 took place in a hotel and I didn't have a chance to post. In any event, I was working on the basics of figure drawing using the stick figure model to help get the fundamentals of movement and positioning down.

Day 29: A Second Pumpkin

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Just a bit more work on the second pumpkin. I'm travelling for the next few days, so probably not going to be working on it. Besides, we're getting very, very, close to the end of the 30 day challenge. I'll reflect on that in the next few days as I finish this out and after I get back home.


Day 28: It Was Not

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Well, I don't think I'm going to post a specific picture of my Gouache disaster that was, but suffice to say, there's lots to learn about working with this medium!

Day 27: May or May Not Be

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As I mentioned in a prior post, I was planning on doing a painting for a cousin of mine. Depending on how things go, this could be the start of it!

Saturday Art Haul

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So, last night I ordered two books by James Gurney who happens to be an artist that I quite admire and follow very regularly through his blog and YouTube. In particular, he seems to specialize in water media such as casein, gouache, and watercolour with a strong emphasis on casein these days.

Day 26: Back of the Couch - Conté Pencil

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Trying out a 2B Conté à Paris pencil with a simple sketch of the back of the couch in my home office.

Nothing too special, just trying to get a feel for it on the paper as I've had them for a bit and haven't really used them. Interesting texture in the feel on paper, it felt much more rough than graphite does laying down, a bit chalk-like, kind of scratchy.

Day 25: Hotel Room Desk

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Yesterday I had to travel to New York for business purposes and I had given myself enough time to kind of wander a bit given that I was staying the night in a good area. Fates conspired against me and the taxi I was in ended up being the middle vehicle of a three car collision.

Day 24: Partial Pumpkin

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So, I had planned to have my world-famous, well more like reasonably well known, minestrone soup for supper today. Problem is, I forgot to turn on the crockpot this morning and so now I had to go old-school with it. That left a little less time for art, so we half a pumpkin... :)

On the other hand, the soup is almost ready.

Day 23: Art Haul!

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Some Amazon deliveries today! Not a huge haul, but I did get Cartoon Animation by Preston Blair. For those not familiar, Blair was a watercolourist and prestigious animator who animated some of notable scenes for a number of studios, including Disney. I linked his name to a short Wiki article on him for more details.

Day 22: First Pumpkin

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Well, probably not entirely done, I may go back to it after a coat of workable fixative. Anyways, I think I like how this one is coming a lot more now that I've tried to avoid doing an exact copy of the reference photo.

Tomorrow, I plan to work on the second pumpkin and see if I can get through it. Not too fussed if I don't, but it would be nice.

Day 21: Sometimes You Start Over

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So, I spent some time this morning working on the pumpkin. It's a tough one, there's a layer of off-white scaling with some orange peeking through and I was trying to create that sense of it. The result of which was the picture you see to the left. Meh.

Day 20: Starting an Art Challenge

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So, one solution to figuring out what to draw is to do art challenges. Lisa Clough of Lachri Fine Art offers a monthly challenge to her major Patreon supporters and I happen to be one of them, mostly as a way of thanking her for some pretty awesome videos that have taught me a lot.

Day 19: Swing and a Miss!

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I didn't actually get to day 19 on the art front yesterday, so that's a total swing and a miss there! Needless to say, I had to make it up to myself and fortunately, Michael's decided to ship out 60% off coupons for today only.

Day 18: Back to the Paints

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Back to the watercolours for an impressionistic flower painting. I was kind of itching to spend some time with watercolour, a medium that I think I've become addicted to in the last while. There's something about working with water and the way it makes the flow tricky.

Now, the thing is, I think I need to find a way to flatten pages in my sketchbook when painting. I've been heavy on the water and so a lot of the pages are buckling on me after drying and that makes painting on the reverse a bit more tricky to accomplish.

Day 17: Random Desk Stuff

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Rough sketching some stuff on my desk... These were all done pretty quick, just a minute or two each, part of me just trying to draw quicker. Fell back into the scratchy sketch style on some parts, especially the beer bottle (Moosehead, incidentally).

Day 16: Dinner Plate

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The book has entered into idea generators now, so we're taking the time to draw the mundane around us and use that as a spur to draw and be creative.

Mind you, this image is based on a Google image search, but it's basically just practice. One of the premises of the book is that there are moments in time you can use and, well, it seems to be holding up quite well.

Day 15: Last of those Groundhogs!

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So, this time I started in the top right corner and I think I threw off my perceptions a bit. Going from the "natural" progression for a right-handed drawing perspective does allow for an easier observation of your current proportions.

In any case, still didn't get through the drawing before the timer went off, but if nothing else, that insight was handy.

Last view of the door (for now). :)

Day 14: You guessed it! Groundhog Day!

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Still drawing the door. An interesting observation is that I always seem to draw the door from the top left corner, going across and down.  Tomorrow is the last day for doing this, so I'll try to remember to change this up.

Also, 5 minutes is just not enough time to draw the door!

Starry Night - Wet in Wet technique

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Played around with the wet in wet technique recently to create a starry night sky effect in a pine forest.

Day 13: Umm... Yes, Groundhog Day!

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Day 3 of the groundhog day challenge, day 13 overall, and I think I started the drawing more from memory!

However, what I think is really happening is that my lines are getting more confident on this subject. I was a lot more "direct" in my actual lines as I drew and they look a little more straight, the spacing a little more even, and otherwise generally more confident.

Day 12: Groundhog Day

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So, this time I drew the door a fair bit smaller and went after the larger details first. I still didn't finish, but it definitely looks more like the inside of my front door than the first attempt did!

Day 11: Groundhog Day

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So, the idea here is to draw something you walk past all of the time without ever really noticing... Get used to seeing this for a few days. :)

Day 10: Should Have Been Reflections...

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This day should have been distorted reflections from your appliances, but as I'm not at home and I didn't have reflective appliances, I drew my feet... Admittedly, not the most exciting subject, but easily in range of my vision.

I think the goal here is to start to understand the concepts of foreshortening so that you're able to create a more realistic look. This is partly why I chose to draw this subject while having my terrible morning hotel coffee.

Day 9: Shadows in the Morning Light

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Shadows in the morning light... a lot easier when you have it, but I'm at a hotel right now, so it's reflections by table lamp. I just treated them like shadows and then, umm, "shaded" them... You work with what you have! 

Day 8: Make a Toast!

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So, today it was draw toast for 10 minutes. The goal here is to fall into the drawing and no really worry about what is around you.

As I was looking at the toast for what to draw, it struck me that you really need to think about what is actually needed in the drawing to convey the texture, idea, etc. In this case, I was focused on the top corner and spent a lot of time trying to draw little bits and pieces, but I don't know if that was really needed.

Watercolour Graphite?!? Who knew?!

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Turns out, and little did I know this until recently, that there's yet another really nifty water media and it's graphite.

Day 7: Wakeup and Draw!

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So the goal here is to wake up and draw what you see with respect to the door of your bedroom. For me, I can't actually see my door from the bed, but I can see the french doors that lead to my backyard balcony, so I drew that sans curtains.

This lesson does tie in a number of the days, though I clearly need to work on my straight lines... ;)

Musings on Why

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As I mention in the About section of this blog, I've always been really interested in visual arts, especially drawing, painting, and photography. One of my Great-Grandfathers was particularly talented at oil painting and some of his work has helped informed my continued fascination with the medium ever since.

Day 6: Contour Drawing from my Window

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Trying to keep yourself looking at the subject most of the time in this session. It's basically the concept of the 80/20 rule, with 80% of your attention on the subject.

It does tend to lead to some inaccuracies in terms of the final outcome...

Day 5: Fill In the Shapes

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Now that we have done the contour lines for the medicine cabinet we can start to fill in the shapes with some detail. I did this fairly quickly this morning, but the idea is to give enough detail that you can tell what it is (roughly) without being too overwhelming with information.

It's pretty clear that Danny Gregory comes from a similar position as Betty Edwards with respect to trying to tune out, or at least down, the "logical" side of the brain that wants to control the flow. I fell into that trap in a few places throughout this drawing and I think, without trying to over analyze it, it was compounded with classic left to right processing of what I saw in front of me. That made me miss places of overlap from the right side.

Day 4: Shapes

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Draw the shapes in your medicine cabinet... Not many in this one, but basically the idea is to try and draw what you see rather than what you think you see. Do it slowly...

Mostly got it. :)

Day 3: Measuring

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The idea is to work on your relative proportions by doing a contour line drawing and filling it in with some of the details using measuring to get your proportions right. This technique was, essentially, to eye ball the relative sizes using your pencil as a basic guide, one eye closed.

You're supposed to use your breakfast, so I just did my coffee with my desk Minion... Banana.

Day 2: Negative Space

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Today's lesson is on the concept of negative space. Since I don't do breakfast, I attempted to handle my desk as I was drinking the morning coffee and browsing my favourite information and news sites.

The interesting thing about this lesson is that you're drawing what isn't there instead of what's there. This concept crops up in Betty Edwards' Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. The idea being that you're getting your mind off of naming the shapes, which tends to affect how you draw vs perceive, and instead focus on what you actually see.

It takes practice. :)

Day 1: Contour Line Drawing

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So, day 1 from Art Before Breakfast is to do a contour line drawing of your breakfast. I'm not much of a breakfast person, just generally a coffee for the wake up, so here you go...

Finding the time

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One of the challenges of doing art is, as people often want to say, finding the time. How, with our busy schedules, can we possibly find the time to do art, be creative, have a bit of fun?

Winnie the Pooh at 90

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Everybody's favourite bear turned 90 this past week and our venerable friend has gone through many changes over the years. However, call me old fashioned, but I like the original Pooh look over the Disney version of him and so my quick sketch tribute follows that version.

Student or Artist Grade

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I'm kind of fortunate in that working with watercolour is a hobby for me and I have the means to buy artist grade materials, but the first time out I did buy student grade. Why? I didn't really know if I would like it well enough and I wasn't sure I wanted to really invest in it.

Inktense Art Haul

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Amazon is evil, evil I tell you!

So, I had both of these sets in my Amazon wishlist and the other day an email comes in from Amazon telling me that I could the Inktense Blocks, 72 set, for about 33% off. My willpower, weakened by it being about 6:00am, caved and I ordered the blocks. I already had the 24 block set, so I knew what I was getting into.