Saturday, June 7, 2008

Some new work -experiments from the last two weeks

After a long hiatus from Wetcanvas!, I decided to participate this weekend and last in the Weekly Drawing Event (or WDE as it is fondly referred to ) in the All Media Art Events forum there.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with this weekly event, every weekend, a member of Wetcanvas! who frequents the All Media Art Events forum hosts, by posting up to 16 reference pictures usually around a theme, and folks from all over the world, who have all different skill levels, tackle these subjects in whatever medium they choose. The idea is to work on their piece for up to two hours and then post a picture at the two-hour point. Of course, additional time can be spent with updates to the post, but by requiring a picture at two hours, everyone gets an idea of what each of the participants can do in a limited time frame.

Last week, a challenge was offered up to make one of the reference pictures into an abstract. I posted a step-by-step work-in-progress about how I like to abstract things, and will post it again here since I am not sure that I can link to that thread and have non-members still be able to view it. The finished painting (acrylic on paper) is shown at the top of this post.

The original reference photo can be seen here, if you'd like to check it out. Basically, here is what I did in each of the steps:
1. A quick gesture drawing, getting the placement of the components to line up in better places.
2. A value drawing in pencil. I referred to the value drawing as much as I did to the reference photo as I painted.
3. A gesture/value underpainting
4. Color added in basic blocky shapes (a color underpainting)
5. The finished painting, with other colors layered and worked in over the base painting.


This week, I tackled a new medium- Inktense pencils- and tried a portrait. I will cut and paste my post so you can hear about my struggles trying to get that medium to work with a portrait. I plan to do a few more takes on the portrait this weekend and will post here again if I do. In case you can get to the link without being a Wetcanvas member, here is my post there. In case it takes you nowhere, here is the copy and past of the post:

"Ay yi yi- did I have soooooo much trouble with this one!

First, a 3/4 view is always challenging, Second- she is a beautiful woman, and at some points in my drawing she was NOT beautiful, Third- I was battling the medium the whole way, which was the new Inktense pencil in black.

About the medium.... I think these Inktense pencils could be very cool for certain things, but IMO were not well suited for portraiture, and I will tell you why. When you add water to the drawing, the black that was created was very intense (duh- like the name I guess!!) and it dried quickly and was very hard to soften. I haven't read much about these, but I think that you can only dissolve them one time- after that, they are waterproof.

Perhaps when I have done 20 portraits in this medium (which will probably not happen!), I could get a better handle on that, but there was too much lack of control in the lights and darks to tackle a portrait, in my opinion.

What I found myself doing was drawing a lot of dry Inktense, as well as another black colored pencil (Polychromos) over the original Inktense (which had been wetted and then dried) to help even out tones and blend. I do like a looser style, but I think the good old WC pencils will still be my choice for a dry-to-wet drawing of a person. More options and control...

After, I also bumped up some of the highlights with a white pastel stick.

I think that is about it.

i like certain things about the drawing, but know that I didn't capture her likeness exactly. I elongated her face in my drawing by accident, made her eyes a little too large, and didn't get the nose and mouth quite right BUT, I do still like the spirit of the work, and was happy to give a new toy- the Intense pencil- a test drive. My attitude with portraits is- If you can't get the exact likeness, try not to overwork it and make the drawing "sing" with linework and values. On that note, I did my best, and that is all I can expect, so I am happy.

I will be using Inktense again, but think it is better suited for landscapes and still life subjects, personally.

Enough banter- Here is the portrait! I will mark this a s MI, because I would like to try something else and add it to the thread. The weekend is still young. Hurrah!!"

To see the reference photo for this portrait, click here.

If you haven't tried out the WDE's, join Wetcanvas! and get your feet wet this weekend. it is really fun!

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