Thursday, 29 March 2012
Funny how you make new discoveries and unexpectedly dip into a treasure trove.
Alphonse Mucha have since I was 14 been a huge idol of mine. I loved the way he drew hands - so fluid and elegant. He is one of the reason I kept drawing - even though I have never figured out how to pronounce that name...
Later came complete adoration for Edmund Dulac and Kay Nielsen. Arthur Rackham I had t be older to appreciate. I remember his style struck me as messy and dark when I first saw it. Now I love it.
I even had a brief fling with Klimt, although his overexposure means I can only tolerate so much at a time.
A few months ago I was looking for illustrators in this Art Nouveau Style to put on my Domino Jewellery and I came across a name I hadn't noticed before.
Warwick Goble 1862-1943
He has a beautiful fluid style. Much influenced by Japan and lovely for it. His works are just fantastic and I can't believe I didn't see before. I guess he was just never as famous and Dulac and Rackham, but he seems to have produced a fair number of books, before, as Wikipedia says, he gave up illustrating for sculling and cycling :oD Oh the shame.
Sunday, 29 January 2012
What with the new year I always feel invigorated and want to start lots of new things.
I am trying to start a jewellery business, but also have two freelancing projects on the game design side, which is what actually pays the bills at the moment.
It means, I am sad to say that I hardly get any drawing done, let alone painting. I think it might just have to wait until spring before I really get going again.
Fortunately I do draw in my work, so it won't be completely on hold. But the drawings are stuff like the sketch above and these:
After an idea is accepted the 'proper' concepts are drawn. The ones that will be shown to the client and potential customers. There are people on the team who do nothing but draw. I am sometimes jealous, but then, I like spawning the ideas and gameplay too.
Friday, 20 January 2012
Free hand gone overboard. Too many shapes, too may contrasting colours. I will knock this one back with a glaze and continue work on top of it.
It all works in the name of inspiration. Random shapes are great for starting new ideas.
I found with interest a technique used by David Revoy for starting new images like this. He uses a free software program called Alchemy to start of a new idea. You can see the process here:
And get Alchemy here:
Here is my first attempt:
Wednesday, 11 January 2012
The idea with these are to play and experiment a bit. Build up a layer as a foundation that is anything but a scary blank canvas. Let the random shapes lead to more specific ones. This is like brainstorming with a brush and quite fun to do. It is important though not to splash just any colour on there, but control it in a specific colour scheme. Otherwise is might end up too ugly and discourage instead of inspire.
I'll let them sit a few days and see what I think the next step is later.
Sunday, 8 January 2012
Happy new year everyone. December was a slow month for me, drawing wise, but I was glad of the break.
I always find it hard to get up in gear again in January, but a new project at work will help me get going again. I love starting something new.
I fancy playing with imaginary painting for a while. Abstract shapes, doodles and odd looking creatures. Let's see where it goes.
Friday, 18 November 2011
Finally got around to making this jungle scene a bit more interesting. It always looked like a background to me but now it is complete. I am quite happy with it. It makes me smile when I look at it.
|Oblivious to the spy in the trees, Annica and Bonyo laughed and played, |
exhilarated to be high up in the light at last.
Sunday, 13 November 2011
Another one for the portrait series:
"This girl was born into a strange family. Luckily she didn't inherit the sun allergy from her mum, and the scales from her grandmother don't seem to be spreading too fast, but to receive so many properties from her etherial dad can only be a disadvantage when growing up in a vampire castle."
This one is coaxed out of layers upon layers. I was trying to get a nice depth in there both to give the colours richness, but also to support the story of so ancestry. Her skin received the most attention. It is a bit nicer-looking in real life and comes out rather flat in the photo. I think it might have been easier to do in oil than acrylics.
Wednesday, 9 November 2011
Saturday, 5 November 2011
Not quite sure where this is going just yet. I wanted to move a little bit on from the portraits, but still have it as an element. Maybe the storytelling is more important in this one. The girl needs serious work. I want her to look as innocent as possible.
Anyone have any good tricks?
Tuesday, 1 November 2011
|Acrylic and mixed media on canvas board, 594x420mm|
This is mostly acrylics, but I played with some collage, stamping, stencilling and tar gel to get a layered feel. And of course I added real jewellery, just because I really like the effect and it's a challenge to make it fall right so that it fits into the 2D surface.
Friday, 28 October 2011
Once a painting is finished, it's not always easy to know what to start with next.
I've noticed it's harder when I've done a painting I'm quite pleased with. If you're only as good as your last painting, maybe you need to stop with one you're happy with :oD
One helpful tool is to start a series of paintings. They don't have to be tightly related, just as long as you have some read thread to lead you to the next canvas.
I like doing thumbnails in my sketchbooks. The smaller frames are so unassuming that it is dead easy to fill them in.
On the above page I've tried to tie a picture to a short sentence. Sometimes the words came first, sometimes the picture.
I decided to try the sailor top left for my next painting. My oh-so-loose theme at the moment are portraits of mythical, fictional characters, so it fits right in. The first painting in this series was the Mermaid.
Sunday, 23 October 2011
The Daughters Benzon – P.S.Krøyer 1987
I want to write a post for one of the Danish painters who was a master at outdoor painting.
P.S. Krøyer was a contemporary of Monet and Degas and I think the influence can be seen in his works.
He is most famous for the body of work he did in Skagen; a tiny fishing village at the very tip of Denmark, where two oceans meet and the light as a result is extraordinary, not unlike St. Ives. Painters as a result flocked there and there was a lively community there with Krøyer, Anna and Michael Ancher among others.
The light, I think, was that fascinated him the most, and it shows beautifully in his work. I had a look at the histogram for some of his paintings, and they clearly show how bright his paintings were. Dark colours seems only to be used for the sake of emphasizing the light. Even in the evening scenes.
Summer Evening on the Skagen Southern Beach with Anna Ancher and Marie Krøyer, P.S. Krøyer, 1893
Summer afternoon at Skagen, P.S. Krøyer, 1899
He is a very popular painter, like Monet for the utterly romantic settings, and I think he has contributed a great deal to the idea of Scandinavian living; light, airy, bright and peaceful if a bit cold.
I like his paintings in the same way that I like Mozart. It seems to me that both artists remove themselves from their work an achieve a serenity and ethereal atmosphere, but lose something of the personal connection you can get from other artists who let their personality show.
Saturday, 15 October 2011
I chose this scene from the Yorkshire Sculpture park. A fantastically warm morning in autumn, where the light because of the low angle of the sun looked like sunset in summer. The lake, probably because of undercurrents and wind, reflected large patches of sky, but other places showed the murky colour of the water.
I tried working in a looser fashion with this, relying as much on memory as the sketches and photograph.
To keep the main focus on the water I made it the brightest area in the painting, and to give the painting more depth I hazed down the background with blue, paler colours, while giving the foreground sharper edges.
Up close this painting is a bit of a mess and I again incorporated too much of what I saw. The patches of brown water doesn’t look like water at all, probably because the shape isn’t squashed flat and horizontal enough. I went back and added some more white reflections to fix it somewhat.
Overall though, I like the warm, sunny feel of it, and standing back it really Is quite a peaceful scene.
What have I achieved?
Well I don’t think I am ready to work outdoors just yet. I most certainly feel the need to go back and build up more experience with each subject as the text suggested.
Aspects I especially need to look at are: perspective, composition, simplifying. Trying to bring everything together in these last four paintings has been a great experience, but also sobering. There is so much to learn.
Landscape and scenery painting is not my favourite subject. I find faces, people, animals and still lifes much more appealing. More intimate. But I’d still like to be better at it :oD
|Reflections in the harbour. Soft pencil|
|Colour study. Soluble pencils|
Sunday, 9 October 2011
So I scoped out the busy street near where I live. I liked the way the sun flowed through the leaves in a golden autumn way.
This one was supported mainly by photos and a quick sketch.
Apart from the obvious mistake with the side sigh to the right, I got the perspective right. Can believe I didn't spot that sooner. Ah well.
The colours also seem nice and warm which I am happy with. It is hard in a picture like this not to get lost in all the details and some of them like the row of bay windows down the street I did not resolve in a satisfying manner.
It was a challenge to simplify what I saw and something I need to practice more.
Still I am pretty happy with the overall attempt. It took me a very long time and I don't think I could have achieved anything like it, had I stood on that busy pavement for hours.