Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Fast Sketching Techniques – A Book Review

If you’re looking to improve your on location sketching the Fast Sketching Techniques by David Rankin will help. This book is full of information including an explanation of the difference between drawing and sketching. The book is divided into four chapters: The Basics, Landscapes, People and Animals, plus an Introduction.

Using a question and answer format, Mr. Rankin reduces information to select hints and suggestions that are easy to understand. Exercises are included to help work out the suggestions provided.

Some suggestions:
· think with your pencil first
· use your camera for back up
· define structure with line work first
· limit sketching to three or four values

I found this book to be easy to read and follow. The suggestions are very helpful.

Fast Sketching Techniques
David Rankin, Copyright 2000
North Light Books an imprint of F+W Publications
ISBN 1-58180-005-3
CDN $35.99 (US $22.99)

Monday, 19 May 2008

Work in Progress - Emma Part 3

I tried to work on Emma today. She was coming along nicely until my left brain started up – her nose doesn’t look like that! I didn’t want to see her nose, just lights and darks, patterns and shapes. But my left brain wouldn’t stop. So I did. I will try again later.

Here is what she looks like now. I am also including the photo I am working from.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Work in Progress – Experiment with new technique

I saw this technique by Mary Todd Beam in the February 2002 issue of The Artist’s Magazine. I routinely remove articles from magazines that I find interesting before tossing the magazine. Anyway, this technique is one I’ve wanted to try for a while. I changed it slightly to suit my style.



First I made a thumbnail sketch of what I wanted to paint. I then sketched the picture lightly on an 8 x 10 piece of gessoed masionite.


I then coloured it in with crayons.

Once I was satisfied I painted over the drawing with black gesso.

After the gesso dried, I followed the instructions and scratched over the gesso to reveal the crayon underneath – just like we did when we were kids!

At that point, I realized that I missed a small step in the instructions – to leave some spots unpainted. So, I drew up a grid of where I wanted the white to show and also decided to add some grey. But before I did that I added some more crayon.


I then painted the white and grey areas – not exactly as drawn but close enough and still pleasing. I don’t always follow my thumbnails or plans. In fact, most of the time I change them as I go. My next step was to scratch out again.

Mary Todd Beam then suggests unifying the painting with bronze paint. Which I did using Iridescent Bronze (Fine). I glazed the bronze everywhere but the blue vase. I used Pthalo Blue (liquid) for the vase and then painted the stems and berries back in. I left some of the crayon showing through. The colours I used were Burnt Umber, Pthalo Blue, Alizarin Crimson, Pthalo Green and Yellow Ochre.

Overall I think this experiment was a success and one I will probably do again.


PS Added May 24, 2008. I just got the book Celebrate Your Creative Self by Mary Todd Beam from the library. This technique is in her book on page 104. Now I'm off to explore her book in depth.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Competitions - Brushstroke Magazine Results

Yesterday I received my May/June issue of the Canadian Brushstroke Magazine. That means that the paintings I entered in their competition didn’t get selected. The paintings that did get selected though are wonderful. With that degree of artwork out there, the selection process must have been very difficult. Check them out…you need to subscribe to the magazine but it’s free.
PS Added May 21, 2008
Here are the list of winners:
Grand Prize Winner
Olaf Schneider http://www.olaf.ca/
Finalists
Mina Dela Cruz http://www.adelaidestreetstudio.com/
Mickie Acierno http://www.mickie.ca/
Leslie Parkes http://www.watercolours-parkes.com/
Julie Donec http://www.juliedonec.com/
Cindy Revell http://www.cindyrevell.com/
Olaf Schneider http://www.olaf.ca/
Laura Levitsky http://www.levitskyart.com/
Marilyn Mills – no website.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Competitions – Alberta Zone Show Results

Awhile back I said that I had entered some paintings in the Alberta Zone Show. My zone was Central Alberta. In this Zone Show, the paintings are juried for awards and for advancement to the Alberta Wide Show. The show was this weekend. The jurors reviewed the paintings yesterday.

The categories were: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Master. I entered three paintings in the Advanced category. Two of my paintings “First Discovery” and “Family Jewels Series No. 8” were selected to advance to the Alberta Wide Show. “First Discovery” also took the award for the Advanced category!


I think the last time I won an award for my artwork, I was in grade 5. I placed third in a poster contest and my prize was a book – Heidi! I don’t remember what the contest was for, but I still have the book.

Competitions – What do jurors look for?

Well, today is the day for the paintings for the Central Alberta Zone Show are juried. The paintings that receive an award are sent on to the Alberta Wide Show. What do jurors look for when they are reviewing a painting? I did a little research in some old magazines that I have and on the internet and here is a listing of some of the things that may influence the juror (not in any particular order):
· Drawing skills
· Shapes, patterns, values, colours and good design
· Creative use of the medium used
· Texture enhance/detract from the painting
· Edges used-soft, hard, lost/found
· Effective darks, lights and shadows
· Atmospheric quality/mood
· Sense of time/place
· Artist’s knowledge of the subject
· Presented well-matting/framing
· Aesthetically pleasing

I will be going to the show tomorrow. The association is having a general meeting which I plan to attend. The juror will offer critiques of the works for the artists present and I hope to have at least one of my paintings critiqued. I have also volunteered to help release the paintings back to the individual artists.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

May 18 is International Museums Day!

Did you know that there was an International Museums Day? I certainly didn’t! I found this out when I was searching for a museum on line.

International Museums Day has been celebrated worldwide since 1977. This year’s theme is “Museums as Agents of Social Change and Development”. Here is a
listing of the museums taking part in the event.

The one that sounds interesting to me is hosted by The Tech Museum of Innovation – the
First Virtual International Museums Day. This exhibit will run for 24 hours and will be staffed by museum professionals from major time zones around the world. It will begin at 3:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time/9:00 a.m. Paris Time on May 18, 2008 and there will be one major event at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time/6 p.m. Paris time at slurl: http://b.tinyurl.com/6hqj84.

So, visit a museum on May the 18th!

Friday, 2 May 2008

Work in Progress – Emma Part 2

I had a chance to work on Emma the past couple of days. I did manage to rework the drawing by adjusting the eyes and making her forehead slightly bigger. Both these changes are subtle.

I masked off the wisps of her hair and the whites of the dandelion she is holding. I then painted the background and moved on to her shirt. The colours I used so far are: Thalo Green, Cad Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Ultramarine Blue and Alizarin Crimson.