Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Click on the first to open the viewer and then click on each one to see them build in sequence. 

Just getting used to painting simple forms loosely. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Loosening up

I need to do exercises aimed at loosening up - my Flickr gallery shows me that my paintings are all too tight and hard-edged. I was beginning to address that in my paint-overs of some of my older pieces where I concentrated on composition and soft edges. Just gotta keep going that way and start doing some new pieces with it in mind. I went through a too-tight phase in drawing decades ago, and I got over it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Imminent action poses and artistic shorthand

These are a couple of things I saw recently online that really struck me and I want to remember them, so I'm posting them here.

Sycra Yasin from his latest Pointy Chins episode 14:
These are a bunch of sketches he did going for a particular kind of anime thing - just floating but like they're about to spring into action. A static pose but with a great deal of tension or potential energy. I'm calling them Imminent Action Poses.

Camila Vielmond - found on her Conceptart sketchbook:

I hope she doesn't mind me posting this - if you click where it says "her conceptart sketchbook" above I made that a link, so I'm not trying to steal her thunder or anything - I just really admire her work and wanted to post this in my online art journal to remind myself what I learned from this one. It's about artistic shorthand. Here's a comparison between a specific part of hers and a similar part of one of mine that I handled very differently:

What instantly stands out to me is the way she did the strap and buckle - so simple! Just a black band and a few highlights in the right places. In contrast, mine is done laboriously and meticulously. It took me forever to paint it all out in full detail like that. I think mine looks pretty good - don't get me wrong - but the fact that it took so long and the painting has so much detail made me almost want to stop painting afterwards. In fact I think it's a large part of why I did stop for 4 months.

I do think there's a time and a place for meticulous detail, and I also think it's important to learn how to do it - but I want to also learn how to work in artistic shorthand the way she does and many other artists I admire. Also, I believe her piece is just a sketch, and if she were going to make it a finished painting she'd develop it farther. That's why in closeup the strap and buckle don't look so good, but in the context of the complete image it works fine.

Both of these things I posted about today made me think about Frazetta - he's a master of both the imminent action pose and artistic shorthand.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sabbatical dwngs

This drawing, as well as several more side leg sketches below, demonstrate the very important line separating quads from hamstrings, that runs from the trochanter to alongside the patella on the outside, and joins the shin bone. Locating this line helps to place everything properly, as it separates front muscle groups from back. Similar to the importance of finding the sartorial line along the inside of the leg. Once you've properly placed these landmarks the rest falls into place much better.

Dunn Dun Done

And I'm back. I did a few drawings over the previous 4 months, but not many a-tall. I'll scan them and upload tomorrow. What ended my sabbatical is a book about the Brandywine artists, which turned me on to Harvey Dunn - probably my favorite of them. This is one of his. I look at it and all I can see is dozens of things I want to fix - but then it's just a study - you can't go into laborious detail or work on them forever.

Here's a little blurb from a page I found about him online:

He was the President of the Society of Illustrators, and he used that platform to vigorously attack changes in the publishing industry that threatened to destroy the noble humanist traditons of illustration art. Dunn could see that the need of corporate mass marketing to control a unified media message would soon destroy the classic era of freelance illustration by stifling the voice of the artist's individual creativity. Up until then magazines had used art editors to make curatorial selections from trusted artists, but that cordial relationship ended when art editors were replaced by art directors, or as Dunn called them, "art dictators" - whose prescribed assignments were best fabricated by anonymous graphic studios. "If I can't sign my own name on a painting, why would I bother to paint it! I'd rather quit the business and paint landscapes. If you ever amount to anything at all, it will be because you are true to that deep desire or ideal which made you seek artistic expression." — Harvey Dunn

A man after my own heart truly.