Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year 2011

Figure Study

Derwent & Caran D'Ache water-soluble colored pencils & wash on brown paper

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Drawing on non-white paper, pt. 2

Or, maybe you prefer it like this:

Caran d'Ache colored pencils on grey-blue paper

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Disgraced Politicians, part 2

Tom DeLay

Derwent water soluble colored pencils on Canson watercolor paper
 Nov-Dec 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Disgraced Politicians, part 1

Charles Rangel

Not a great likeness, but I still like this drawing. 

Derwent Inktense pencil & brush pen filled with water
on Canson watercolor paper
Nov. 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Drawing on non-white paper, pt. 1

Lately, I have been looking at a lot of wonderful books of drawings.
Like these (with links to Amazon):
Rembrandt Drawings by Seymour Slive
Master Drawings of the Italian Renaissance by Claire Van Cleave
I was struck by some of the drawings where the artist worked on some sort of colored, non-white paper.
I decided to try it with this squirrel, one of our backyard visitors. He's looking at me in the kitchen window, taking his photograph.
It's interesting to work on a darker surface where you can darken AND lighten to depict something.
Suddenly that white pencil has purpose.

Derwent Watercolour pencils on tan paper
Dec. 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Field Museum shell

I was able to quickly do this while Henry and Lucie (and Megan) played in the kid's area downstairs. Getting a feel for the new colored pencils...

Caran D'Ache water-soluble colored pencil and water-filled brush pen in Moleskine sketchbook
Dec. 5, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

sketch from a Michelangelo drawing

I've heard it can be helpful to copy from the masters, so I thought I'd try it.
(after a Michelangelo sketch "Ideal head of a woman")

Derwent Inktense pencil and brush pen filled with water in Moleskine sketchbook.
Dec. 11, 2010

Introductory note

I decided to start this to chronicle my attempts to improve my drawing, color-handling abilities, (and hopefully, in future) painting skills. (I worked as an illustrator until my daughter was born. At that point, being a stay-at-home father of 2, I found work too difficult to fit into my life.) My daughter will be in kindergarten 3 years from now, so I will have much more time to work then, and I want to have a better skill set to offer my clients by that point.

When I was in College I never planned to be an illustrator. When I finished my degree (BFA) at Columbia College, I had visions of being a web designer. I wound up working in children's non-fiction (educational) publishing. First doing maps and other assorted things, and then doing illustrations. Had I known I could do this kind of thing, and would enjoy it so much, I would have taken a whole different set of classes in college. As it is, I am now working to broaden my skills with natural media. Most of my illustration work up to this point consisted of pencil (monochrome) drawings that would get scanned into Adobe Illustrator, traced, and color and fine details added, so the final product would be a digital file. I really want to learn to paint, but am starting with water-soluble colored pencils as they can act as a bridge between drawing and painting, in a sense. I also intend to take some art classes, including figure drawing which I've never taken.

I know I may be offering too much information on what materials I use for the pieces I show, but I do that as much for my own later benefit ("What did I use for that?") as for anyone else who might actually be interested.

I must credit a site that has given me a great deal of inspiration as well as practical tips.
Gurney Journey, the blog of Dinotopia creator and generous artist James Gurney:
His books are great, but you can also learn a hell of a lot just by reading his blog (and searching for topics that interest you).