Monday, February 23, 2015

Drawing Objects: A Foothills Workshop

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I'm teaching a still life drawing class--with a difference--at Foothills Art Center this April! 
Object drawing can be more than a relaxing or an hyper-studious exercise in copying. It can be a method to make your creative mind and skills more elastic--and it can be a blast as well!
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I like training my eye and studying still life objects--usually with the intent for sharpening my observational drawing techniques. But I most like goofing around with the objects--changing them up--possibly for use later in an illustration. In this workshop, You'll learn and enhance both skills!

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This Welsh Miner's Lantern for example, is a great object for study in itself--and I studied it...

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...and later used it in this detail of a wizard illustration. Knowing I can manipulate an object to suit my own purposes makes it easier for me to sit and sketch it--even though I sometimes find realistic drawing tedious.

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So if you are in the area, and want to flex your observational and imaginative drawing abilities, join me in this workshop! Even if you've never drawn before, and want to learn how, this class is a great way to start--all skill levels are welcome!

Thanks for looking into the workshop, and as always, thanks for visiting my blog!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Some Plein Fresh Air

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Cemetery gate sketch.
Went to the Littleton Cemetery with three fellows--all impressive artists--from the Denver Illustration Studio. Hosted weekly--weather permitting--by Clay Brooks or Dylan Pierpont, the Plein Air Outing gives artists a chance to do some on-site painting in a group.

I've been working on pen and ink illustrations in the studio, thus was in an ink mood that day. It was great to be outside, and the cemetery was an interesting choice of locations. (We did not take the time to hunt down Alferd Packer's grave, though.)

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Here's a Hipstamatic shot of the scene in the first drawing above. Less interested in the headstones, I focused on the gate (which is blown out in the photo) and the shadows across the road (which increased as the sun began to appear).

Yes, I'm working really hard. (Photo by Dylan)

Dylan and Mike are working harder.

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My set up. The tools used are in the box lid, consisting of a Pentel Brushpen, a drafting pencil, a white marker called ZigWriter, a white gel pen, and a Rapidograph size oo.

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On a 9" x 12" pad, my sketches are small. Hey--crosshatching takes time.

Here's the view I chose for my first sketch, and

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here's the sketch from it.
I grew up in Littleton, passed this cemetery nearly every day of my young life, and never noticed that every tree in the place is a blue spruce.

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Maybe my favorite sketch of the day.


Mike's set-up (photo by Dylan). 

Mike's gouache (photo by Mike).
Here's a link to his blog  http://mikeyzart.blogspot.com/

Clay's set-up (photo by Dylan).

Clay's gouache (photo by Clay).
Here's a link to his site  http://www.clayillustration.net/

Dylan's set-up (photo by Dylan).

Dylan's oil (photo by Dylan)
Here's a link to his site http://www.dylanpierpont.com/

And here's a link to the Denver Illustration Studio site 
It's the place to check out all the DIS events including the plein air sessions.

Thanks for clicking on all these links, and for stopping by my blog!




Monday, February 9, 2015

The Art of Thomas Haller Buchanan

Thom Buchanan probably has more projects--and more ideas--going than anyone I know. A conversation with him leaves me excited about a million things; fantastic illustrators I've never heard of, education projects for young people, philosophies of art (and just about everything else), and new art techniques to name just a few.

Not only are his paintings gorgeous, but his design sense and willingness to  experiment lifts them far above the ordinary!

He travels to do illustration projects and murals, works on commissions in his studio, and once in awhile joins me for a night of drawing and conversation at the Denver Illustration Studio.

And he launched a Kickstarter project for a monograph of his works!

As you can see from the works I've posted above, Thomas Buchanan is a fantastic artist. He is someone whose work and ideals are a contribution--not just to other artists, but to art itself. 

 I love this kind of Kickstarter project! Kickstarters provide the books that the publishing industry won't; most of the big houses which used to provide quality volumes are simply appendices to other big-money-making industries. They might promote pop culture, but they don't contribute much to quality culture. And while resources found on the internet are great, there's nothing like having a physical art book to study. Art books are still a inspiration and a staple in my studio, and in the studios of my friends.

Thomas Haller Buchanan's abilities are wide ranging, from murals...

...to striking likenesses of celebrities past and present...

...to beautiful quick-sketches!



And a specialty is authentically lovely women. Thom said:
"This art book that I'm wanting to publish is guilty of a little idealism—of face and form. I like to portray beauty, but I err on the side of divine nature rather than of base nature. But the ideals I like to capture are not unrealistic. These features and forms walk through our society—not as glamour pinups, but people whose beauty emanates from innocence and grace and harmony."

I love his lifelike, approachable, convincing portraiture, but also his eclectic categories.

Amazing subjects like this? No problem for Buchanan.

Prefer a bit of whimsy--even a new medium? No problem!

People clamor for the works of the great illustrators of the past--artists like Andrew Loomis--to name only one. We have such an artist alive and contributing to the arts right here in our midst! 


There are only a few days left to make this art book a reality. Please consider supporting a living asset to our culture and pledge to this Kickstarter. We will all benefit!

Thanks for stopping by!



Friday, February 6, 2015

More Landscape Sketches and a Selfie

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An unplanned event took me to the western slope over the past few weeks. The area holds dramatic, desolate, and haunting landscapes. I had my sketchbook and a few materials with me, so with many walks I managed to collect some photo references and also get some on-site sketches done.

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A few years ago I came across these sheds, and painted them. Same time of year, but then things were cold and snow-covered. This painting bore little resemblance to the actual sheds.

Managed to find them again and snapped this pic...

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You can see that the weather was not similar either.

But I was able to sketch it on-site this trip without freezing. 
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 There it is on the right. I also took some time to draw a different scene on a different day. The photo of that lonely house follows.

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I took some liberties with it too, but not enough.

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Later that night managed to do a self-portrait of me in the field. Too many landscapes lately--changing things up is necessary for keeping me sane :)

Now I'm back home and in the studio--time to get to work.

Thanks for stopping by!
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