Friday, March 25, 2011

Webisode 5: Drawing the Figure (part one)

Hi Everyone,
Here is Webisode 5. This first part focuses on the first 40 minutes of the drawing. I do not recommend necessarily following the steps as I lay them out. Rather, I'm more recommending an approach that consists of constantly analyzing the problems you're having and an evolving drawing structure that responds to those problems. For example, I'd struggled for a longtime with figure drawings that didn't appear balanced or gestural. I found that incorporating a rigorous stage of vertical plums left to right early on helped establish a pose that was consistent all the way across. Therefore, I recommend breaking down your procedure in the beginning and thinking about how you can order things to most effectively problem solve your way through figure drawing.

In the near future, I will advance the drawings by shifting into a more conceptual mode that will include discussions of anatomy, light and form.

Hope you all enjoy!

Monday, March 7, 2011

News and answers to some questions

I haven't quite finished Webisode 5 yet . . . I've been painting a lot lately, recently had family in town and just waged war with a particularly evil computer virus--a battle I seem to have won for the moment. But, in another week or so I hope to have it posted.

In other news, I've also been working on a longer portrait painting demo that I will be for sale as a video download on my website. I'll keep you posted on that.

In the meantime, here are some answers to questions I've received:

I was asked whether I always window shade or finish my paintings as I go. The answer is no, but it's the method I use most often. The concepts I describe in these webisodes seem to work best when I carefully think through every brush stroke and what they're meant to describe. Naturally, I have to make corrections to this first pass (as seen in Webisode 2: Painting the Eye) but the intent is to get it right from the start. That being said, I'm not opposed to other working methods and can easily imagine myself experimenting in the future.

I've also been asked how I keep my hue stable while modulating my values. This is certainly tricky and we've all had instances where we mix a hue down in value and have it steer into another hue. I simply try to identify the two directions my hue could go. If I started with a yellow it could either go towards green or orange. If it starts to move towards one or the other, I think of what colors on my palette might bring it back to a stable radius on the color wheel.

Lastly, I've had a number of questions concerning my materials; namely my brushes and medium. I use synthetic rounds generally small to medium in size. You can find these at all art stores and even some craft stores. I buy new ones every couple of weeks as I am pretty fussy about their tips. One could easily use sables and practice the same concepts and methods I use and teach.

When it comes to using medium, I mostly just rely on the natural consistency of paint from the tube. I like my brush strokes to be fairly opaque. If I have a particularly sticky pool of paint, I will use a little linseed oil. When I do touch-ups, after my first pass, I will typically oil out using linseed oil and use a little in my mixtures of paint resulting in a slightly translucent second pass. This seems to help create continuity between the first and second pass.

Hope this helps! See you all soon in Webisode 5: Blocking in the Figure