Friday, April 29, 2011
Today I had a computer disaster and lost about 2 hours of work. This image is a digital snapshot I took of the computer screen before I had to power down my computer after it locked up. I lost my video I was shooting of the process and also the large photoshop file. So I have nothing to show for the two hours except the experience drawing. I got depressed after this happened. Started thinking things like " with all the time I spend drawing, I really should be better than I am" - stuff like that. I'm okay now. Just this was the low point of my day today. I will start this again tomorrow and be more careful with my computer's memory management.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
Today I finished up my caricature I was working on this week of Natalie Portman. It is my entry in this week's contest over at Caricaturama Showdown 3000. I spent an insane amount of time on this and probably ended up painting every element at least 3 different ways. Sometimes digital painting is easy for me and sometimes it isn't. Anyway I'm sorta glad this is done and behind me!! It was beginning to feel like real work. LOL
Friday, April 22, 2011
My sketches for this week's entry in the Caricaturama Showdown 3000 contest have taken some turns. I noticed that a few others were using the same reference photo I was, so I've decided to make some changes that I hope will make my sketch more original looking than it was before. This is all digital. I use a wacom tablet and photoshop to paint.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
This week's subject at Caricaturama Showdown 3000 is Natalie Portman. I want to enter that contest this week so this is my entry, as it looks so far. This is work in progress, so I'll continue working on it for tomorrow's sketch. Hopefully I'll get it done tomorrow. This took about 45 min. and its all digital.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
I tried something different today by including some narration from me in the speedpaint video I made of the caricature of Jeff Stahl. I included some thoughts and comments about some of the process I go through and some photoshop specific techniques I sometime use. Total time including yesterday's sketch = 1 hr. All digital - done with a wacom tablet and photoshop.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Jeff Stahl is an incredible illustrator who is from France. He and I are friends on Facebook. When he offered a caricature exchange I jumped at the opportunity. Today he sent me an awesome caricature he did of me. This isn't finished. My main computer was tied up all day on another project but I managed to sketch out a rough sketch in the direction I want to go with Jeff's caricature. This took 30 minutes and I did it all digitally with a wacom bamboo graphics tablet working in photoshop cs5.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Today I took my wacom tablet out for a spin after doing conventional paintings for weeks. It felt good. I like to paint with paints but I also really enjoy painting digitally. This took about 15 minutes and I used a small 4x6 inch Wacom Bamboo graphics tablet and Photoshop CS5.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Today I went to Barnes and Noble with my wife and daughter. My intention was to sit in the coffee shop there and draw people from life while the girls shopped for books. But they finished their shopping pretty fast. The only drawing I completed was this sketch of a guy's backside. I find it really challenging to sketch strangers in public when I'm looking at them and they are looking at me. It simply gives me the willies. I suppose I need to get over that. I have worked in amusement parks sketching strangers back when I was a young man. But they were all people who wanted to be sketched. I'm not sure how I would feel if I looked up and saw someone sketching me. Anyway today's efforts had mixed results. Yes I drew from life....but.... that life had it's back turned to me.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Today I spent my time sketching scores of little thumbnails of possible landscape layouts. Next week I am going to drive out into the country here and paint plein air. I wanted to get some ideas and work on a palette that will work well for the colors here. This took about 10 minutes. It is about 3x4 inches in size and it was done with gouache painted thinly like watercolors.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Today I sketched a colored painting of the same subject I sketched yesterday. I'm finding that I'm liking painting with gouache more and more as I do it more. It is giving me that extra contrast that I find hard to get when I paint with transparent watercolors. I want to start painting bolder and thicker so I feel I have a long ways to go yet. This was done on a block of 140 lb cold press watercolor paper. It took about 20 minutes to paint. I did a loose prelim sketch in graphite pencil before I started painting, but those lines soon got lost under the paint.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
I'm seriously considering doing a more elaborate sketch or painting of this guy. I love that hat! His face is pretty interesting also. I only had time this morning for a very quick sketch but I'll tackle this subject again tomorrow when I have a bigger block of time to work.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
There are days when it comes naturally and smooth and there are days when it doesn't. Today was a day that wasn't a good sketching day for me. But I slogged ahead and did my 30 minutes anyway. I know deep down that if I continue with the gouache, I will get better and better at it. Today I might have used a brush that too small....I may have let my brush get too dry while painting.... and I sort of got soft in the hand anatomy of the friar's left hand. But half the battle is knowing what is going wrong. Tomorrow I plan to make a better sketch. :-)
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
This is the final installment of my gouache painting of a knight on a white horse. I did this over a span of 6 days, spending 30 min. each day and posting my progress on Facebook and in this blog. For those of you who don't know what gouache is, it is simply a fancy French name for finely ground poster paint or tempera paint. I painted this sketch like I would a watercolor, using thin washes. I like gouache though because if I need to, I can paint opaquely and the colors when I paint them seem to have more contrast and dynamic range than my dinky watercolors. This took 3 hours total. It was done on a 7 inch by 10 inch piece of 140 lb cold press watercolor paper.
Monday, April 11, 2011
I am enjoying using gouache instead of transparent watercolors! I feel like I can paint with more dynamic range and contrasts with them. Also they are more forgiving than watercolors because you can paint over spots opaquely. I have gotten a bit weak with my horse anatomy in the back legs and I'll crack open my horse anatomy books to see what I need to do to make them look more convincing. I plan on doing that and then adding some more details to the lower 2/3rds of the knight and adding some suggestions of leaves in the hedge behind the figures. Total time so far, 2 1/2 hrs. I think I can finish this up as a 3 hr. project. :-)
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Today I'm still slogging away at the gouache sketch of a medieval knight on a white horse. I spent another 30 minutes working on the foreground figures - mainly the horses' head and some of its body. I'll keep plugging away until this is eventually done.
Friday, April 8, 2011
Today I widened out the dark background to fit the paper area a bit better and I started detailing the foreground knight figure. I still need to work on his lower half not to mention the horse. So this may take a few more days of putting in 30 minutes at a time. This is all gouache on 140 lb watercolor paper. The size is 7 inches by 10 inches. It has taken me about one and a half hours so far.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Today I started a painting which will probably take several hours to complete. I decided to do about 30 minutes each day and post the installments or stages as the painting develops. Today I blocked out the principal figures of the painting. This is watercolor washes on 7x10 inch watercolor paper. It took about 30 minutes to get to this stage. I'm going to use a combination of watercolor and gouache, which is highly refined tempera paint. Both work well together and are water soluble. The watercolor is great for transparent washes and the gouache can be applied both transparently in thin washes or more thickly in opaque strokes. Many illustrators used to use gouache up until the digital age.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
I'm still struggling with getting the right values when I paint with watercolors. Today I tried to paint "beefier" and boosts those lights and darks. This is a sketch of a young woman. It is watercolor on paper - no pencil this time. And it took about 30 minutes to do.