Thursday, January 29, 2015

Still Scratching
Still after the quest for that certain landscape, as in my previous post.
I like this little thumbnail, done from a photo I snapped while waiting for a meeting. Was a perfect, snowy grey day.
Here's the original photo, which I distorted for my thumbnail...
...and here's the first acrylic sketch of it, done back in the studio. Meh--it's getting there...
Grabbed the chance to go plein air painting with the DIS crew Saturday morning. Some of the guys did oils, one did gouache.
I chose watercolor and brushpen. This is my interpretation of...
...this scene.

Had a good time. Learned much.

Thanks for checking it out!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The terrible Itch
Landscape thumbnail one

The two greatest things about my job (or maybe they're the worst?) are that the quest for ideas and images, and the prospects for improvement, are endless. So I keep searching for new approaches to art, and continuing my efforts to improve.

A commission has gotten me back on the landscape track. I love painting landscapes, but also enjoy drawing goofy illustrations. And I'm always fishing for a way to combine them. In fact, I want it so bad it kind of hurts.
Landscape thumbnail two
 Landscape thumbnail three

I like doing works like the two above, and am most often happy with the resulting paintings, but they are not what I need, deep down inside.
While the majority of the art-buying public seems drawn to realism and/or impressionism, I'm not there, either in my buying or my creating taste. Yes the verisimilitudinous (?) aspects of light are fascinating and wonderful, but I'm getting a bit weary of it in art. Something different is needed to scratch my Terrible Itch.
Thought I was almost there with this one, done a few years ago, then other ventures called and side-tracked the landscape efforts. It's okay--looking back, I was nowhere near the mark.
 Landscape thumbnail four

Am after it again, and I am excited.
Here's a whole sheet of the thumbnails. Lots of media combinations here, from graphite and prismacolor to mixtures of graphite, brushpen, pen and ink, and white ink.
Not even close to what I want/feel/need out of this, but
the quest endures, and I'm scratching. Wish me luck.

And thanks for the visit!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Join Me at Art Makers Denver 2015!

Here I am demo-drawing at Art Makers Denver 2014, and I'm really looking forward to 
Art Makers Denver 2015!

I get a chance to meet a lot of great people, both workshop attendees and instructors, and I get to teach what I love--illustrative drawing and painting techniques--in a welcoming, relaxed setting.

It's an urban art experience like nothing I've experienced before, full of warmth, excitement, and a variety of art workshops with great instructors. Lunch and after-workshop conversation with wine and snacks are included--every day!

Coming September 2015, and registration has already begun. If you sign up by January 31st, you get a price break
Photos of this year's venue--a great old industrial building perfectly suited for  informal, in-depth learning!

The day-long workshops are designed with lots of time for demos...

...and small class sizes for one-on-one instruction.

Art Makers Denver 2014 had attendees of all skill levels, from beginners to experienced artists. The commonality: "It's designed for anyone who has the desire to create," says Helen Rice, the developer and driving force behind Art Makers Denver.
This year I'll be teaching this kind of drawing... well as this kind, and
watercolor illustration techniques too.

Check out my workshops, and the workshops of all the fine instructors by clicking this link to their
Facebook page

Hope you can be part of it,
and thanks for reading!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Wishes and Surprises
Oliver Twist on the road to London; a thumbnail sketch, approx 3" x 4"

I wish that, along with drawing from life and other necessities for artists, doing thumbnail sketches had always been a favorite occupation. But it hasn't been, probably because I am a terribly undisciplined, lazy man.

But I'm doing them. In part because I must (for an upcoming project not related to Charles Dickens); but mostly because they have suddenly become entertaining. A nice surprise.
The Artful Dodger finds Oliver Twist; another thumbnail sketch, approx. 2.5" x 3"

Thumbnails are supposed to be for working out--and I mean Working out--compositional ideas. Wish I could say I did that, but no--just sat on the couch like a schlub and drew these, nearly without being conscious. Suppose it shows, but a very good time was had nonetheless.

Where'd they come from and why? I was looking through a book about Harry Clarke--an illustrator-god--and saw this...

...very weird illustration. (Um, find me an  illustration by Harry Clarke that isn't weird.)
It caught my eye--the yellow and black a surprise--and it's been on my mind all week.

Wish I could tell you why Oliver Twist ended up the subject of my yellow, (er orange--another surprise) thumbnails. Oliver Twist was not on my mind at all, but it is a favorite book (Charles Dickens being an author-god).
Fagin, Sikes, and Nancy; yet another thumbnail, approx. 4" x 5"

Wish I did more life drawing, worked harder at composition, and made millions of thumbnails. And probably would if I was goal-oriented, immortal, or something else that I'll never be. Unless I get surprised someday.

 And last, thanks very much to all of you who read my blog. The follows and comments are great too but mostly I appreciate that you take the time to come by.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Serene Sketching in this New Year
 Finally, January!
I enjoy the holidays, but always look forward to the quiet winter months. Months when I can disappear into my work. The past four days have been the wind-down, so random sketches have been the order of the days.
Just little studies that somehow clear my head of the clutter and get my fingers ready for the next studio project.
I liked this one, but couldn't resist messing about with it more.
The best thing about sketching is that it really doesn't matter that they end good or bad--it just feels good to play.

Posted these and much more on Instagram
I invite you to follow me there by clicking the Instagram button in the right-hand column.

I wish you a truly relaxing winter, and

Thanks for the visit!
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