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I’m at the tail end of a long (9 episodes, can yah hear me!) marathon of watching Nip Tuck on DVD. I had only seen one episode before, so it was all completely new. Outstanding series, but I bring it up only to introduce the two sketches I did tonight -one in pen, the other in pencil. (There’s a third in charcoal but Im still playing in the sandbox with her.) Both were of old pictures I found in an art magazine, so the subject matter isn’t original, but the look and feel of the finished works are uniquely mine (I particularly like the girl on the bottom left of the pencil drawing…she’s mine and me).

What I find interesting is how much more I love my sketches than my fully planned, large, art pieces that need quotes around the word “art” when I describe them. In some circles, it’s all about the artist’s vision and what he has to say. But, at least in my case, I find that what I want to “say” is just what I see. Not line for line, shade for shade, angle for angle, but how things are to me. How is that different you might ask? The former (my vision) is a whole lot more intellectual. Art done for that reason tends to use the medium for expressing the brain. Maybe it’s all about how your hear feels at the outset, but it still has to be filtered through that analytical engine upstairs – the part of your brain that is the Ticktockman to Harlan Ellison’s Harlequin of your heart.

But with sketches…I get a chance to put on paper (as maybe you do as well) what my heart and soul see. When you work that quickly and just -don’t care-, your brain takes a nap…or plays interstellar golf with God or …something. Why should such a big, important organ participate in idle doodles?

My brain never had that much interesting to say…and I think that’s true of most people. Really, it’s just a pattern recognition and prediction engine…a big calculator. It might be good at slicing and dicing my rawhumanity into forms more palatable for every day (Walmart) use, but that’s not very interesting is it? Not -unique- and not -me-.

At any rate, Nip Tuck let me zone out with its exquisite prefab’d entertainment, my brain went away, and I got to sketch today. I love it.

Quiet ClassThree Ladies in Pencil


So it’s been Thanksgiving the past few days (pretty much since the last post). Between that, having to spend some time focusing on getting a paycheck, and my laptop power cord dying, it’s been a slow week or so online for me.

Besides, I’m pretty much at the mercy of my Wild Mood Swings a far as art goes…so I pretty much have to wait until the “muse” is back. Rest assured (since I know everyone is waiting in -breathless- anticipation), I’ll have some more art up here soon (and will finish that cafe press thing).

The original photo was in black and white of a veiled Indian woman. I thought she looked a but like an alien :)

Alien Foreigner

Done in Conte Crayon on Canson Classic Cream Drawing paper (Heavy Weight, Medium Tooth) which I’m really beginning to enjoy using a lot.


[Caveat repeated again below: This image is -not- done and so is somewhat ugly!]

So my second time at MOCA’s open nude figure model night was 2 days ago. This time it was just one long pose. The place was packed solid with all sorts of people and I wasn’t particularly happy with the view I had – especially the distance.The experience, though, was completely different than the first time. I got to think and consider my plan of attack a little bit more and got to spend time working the material in a variety of ways.

I have a couple of thoughts on the process itself and what I learned:

1. Blending sticks with conte crayon serve an interesting purpose. They make lines by removing material (and therefore color). Since I was working on solid black paper, this ad the nifty side effect of making a -dark- line. Bingo! Colorless shadow technique :)

2. This was the second time Ive used a smaller sketch pad to plan out my composition and palette ahead of time. I can now say for sure that it really helps with the piece’s color composition. If I pick out my primary 3-5 colors ahead of time, there is a lot more consistency over time and it ends up being a lot more aesthetically balanced. It also allows me to use colors later on NOT on that palette to add striking details or movement.

As far as the piece itself went, meh. I must have moved at some point because the upper body and lower body are completely out of proportion to each other. I also still felt really rushed while I was there. I know that I impose that on myself when I’m drawing in public and when I’m drawing from life. If need to stop a photograph and walk away for awhile…even until the next day…it’ll still be there when I get back.

On the other hand, I was thrilled with how the color and shading were coming out. I think if I’d had another couple of hours it would be gorgeous. Ultimately, Im only about halfway done with the piece and it shows. The hair, for instance, will eventually end up darking and (possibly) mostly black and the background detail was fleshed out really only enough to let me see my base color schema and shapes. It was the models first time and I think it showed…she seemed very tired by the end.

Overall, it was a lot of fun, I learned a lot, and was well worth the time. I’m going to continue going….

I have a cafepress site open now. Right bow there is only a black tshirt with “A Love Like Stars” on it and a sticker of “Gun Appeal” there as placeholders, but I expect to have a bunch of other stuff up this weekend. In the meantime, if you have any interest in prints or originals, feel free to email me or comment this thread.

Click HERE for the CafePress site.

The show is still running at MOCA (until Dec 2), but tonight all of the galleries in the building will be open, so stop on by!

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