Monday, December 29, 2008

Eastern Bluebird Watercolor

I painted this from a photo by the photography team of Maslowski Wildlife Productions.

I found the picture in a calendar for the Children's Cancer Society I had kicking around. It was a gift for my wife's mother Pam. I was quite lucky to have such a great photo to work from!

I'm quite excited about the picture, because it feels like one of my first truly successful watercolors. I have the colors blending in the background washes and there is a nice transition from the blurry background to the crisp foreground. I'm quite excited to try the watercolors out for illustration now!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Working With Wet Blends in Watercolor


In this painting I was focused on learning how to do color blends with watercolor. If the paper is wet when the paint is applied it is possible to get the colors to mix on the page. Working on wet paper is also a good way to make the edges of the brushstroke less crisp.

I figure if I keep using the watercolors regularly I will be able to find a happy spot with them. In this piece I am interested in the way the colors are more blended instead of being sectioned off like a coloring book. On the other hand, the more I paint in this fashion, the harder it gets to put bold lines over the top. It feels like dark lines can simplify the subtleties of the under-painting.

It will work itself out as I keep using the watercolor, I'm sure. My goal is to develop an illustrative style that feels like a continuation of my acrylic paintings, but can comfortably encompass the needs that illustration dictates.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Copied a Couple of Children from a Bruegel Painting

Copied From Pieter Bruegel's "The Numbering fo the People at Bethlehem"
Using a 100 F drawing pencil, water colors, and Black Prismacolor

I have been having a great time looking through the art of Pieter Bruegel. He was known as the painter of peasants. He used to dress as a peasant and attend weddings so that he could get ideas for his genre paintings. Each image shows so many activities that were common to small 16th century villages in Italy.

My intent is to write and illustrate a children's story. Often when I think of what kind of people I want to put into the story, I think of painting peasants, depicting a life style that is humble and close to the earth.

One of the great things about Bruegel is that he simplifies the people, so they almost feel like caricatures. The facial expressions are really fun too! He likes to paint people with dramatic looks on their faces. Finally, I am noticing that he will fit many different stories into one image. So that the eye can wander around and see many things. It's like he compacts all of the interesting things you might see during a day at the town square and you get to see them al at once!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Copycat Figure Drawings and People from Photos

I have spent yesterday and today drawing people with my free time. The top three were taken from photos. Right now I am interested in getting the a sense of the persons clothing and proportions. I am beginning to be interested in adding props and environment. What I want to do eventually is write and illustrate my own story book. (This is something I have been wanting to do for years, so I am excited to be finally working on the problems and insecurities that come with the task.)

Meanwhile I have decided that I need to spend a lot more time drawing to get my "chops" back.
I kinda stopped drawing regularly for a while there. The thing I am struggling with the most right now is getting the shading to look natural with the pen. I realized that, I need to be doing the drawings with combined watercolor, pencil, & pen technique consistently. By switching to just light pencil drawing and pen, I have been wanting more from the pen then what it can give.....

Copies from Kirill Chelushkin & Marinus Van Reymerswaele

I had the epiphany, that I should be looking at other artist's figures to help understand haw to accomplish this illustration project. It is so fun drawing copies of other artist's work. I learn so much! There are a lot of subtleties that I don't catch onto until I've actively tried to recreate the image. I am going to do a lot more! My next few should be from the artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder. I am so excited about the way he depicts people. He kinda sumplifies them to the point of caricature, but the faces are quite endearing!

These images are taken from two different artist's. The boy in the top hat is from an illustrator named Kirill Chelushkin. I just discovered him/her ( I can't tell from the name), and I will be taking a much closer look at the portfolio I gave a link too. The top hat image is very similar to the one that shows up right away, but I was actually looking at a different version. (with hair)

The bottom two are images by Marinus Van Reymerswaele. He was a contemporary of Bruegel's...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Learning new techniques with watercolor. ink, and Photoshop

This mouse was drawn with a #2 pencil, a gray Prismacolor Pencil, water color, and a Micron#5 pen.

It was then taken into Photoshop to ad color and shading.

The are a bunch of great tutorials on Youtube that I have been looking at for ideas. I am working on developing an illustrative style for a story that I'm writing..... I will post more later.

Opening tonight Dec. 6th at the Accident Gallery

Hi Everyone. Come visit with me at my opening tonight in Eureka at the Accident Gallery. Saturday 12-6-08. 210 G Street in Old Town. From 6p - 9p.

There is lot's of new work in the show, including many new watercolors.

See 'yah there!