I sketched these lovely ladies for the Summer of Color blog party, week 2. The color prompts for this week are Pink + Pink + Orange.
In my search for a subject that would reasonably translate to these colors I saw many works of girls and women with pink and orange peach skin, pink clothing and auburn hair. Bingo!
I have always admired the classic sketches of women by artists such as Leonardo DaVinci (indisputably a genius!) but I have yet to master his subtlety. I have made attempts to learn from copying his work before but decided to look a little farther afield when I came across a red chalk sketch by Edward Burne-Jones. Red, pink, orange. They’re all the same family, right?
Most of the models used by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood had a very distinctly stylized look to their lips, nose and jaw line. I got close with the lips but I still have more practice ahead of me.
Sketch of a woman based of work of Edward Burne-Jones. Pink & orange pencil on orange paper.
While I still had the inspiration and not ready for bed yet I did another quick sketch but switched the colours around. In the hundreds of ladies I flipped past in the search results I found an older artist previously unknown to me: Phillppe Mercier. He was most well known for his portrait work.
I’m linking this post to Sunday Sketches where you can go for more “artspiration”
After our days in the urban core of Amsterdam huddled winter clothes, we found some space to breathe. We spent 5 sunny December days in this hot spot of Spain rambling down and hiking up A LOT! but we made up for the exercise with generous amounts of food & wine.
Charming views were at ones disposal every other city block. For example, this time-worn church that reflected it’s warmth into the courtyard where we lounged over espresso & tapas.
14th century Catalan Gothic church in Barcelona, Spain
My Sketchbook came in handy many times during our European jaunt. Many hours were spent waiting for planes, trains & automobiles. I packed a travel size kit of art supplies for moments such as these.
Gaudi, Gaudi, Gaudi, & Gaudi. The Catalan architects influence is evident throughout Barcelona. It was underfoot in the walkways and countless buildings as well.
We couldn’t get around and see all of the sites but tackled as many as we could! I’ll come back.
Next stop: Bulgaria! Our objective there is to spend time with our friend Amalia who moved to Sunny Beach a few years ago with her husband Matt.
I have never been to Rome but as I have recently returned from Amsterdam, Barcelona & Paris. I can imagine to a small degree what it could be like: Narrow, cobbled streets lined with tall antiquated buildings (by my Victoria, BC standards, where some of the oldest buildings are 135-140 years old. Only babies by European or Asian standards!) in various states of decay/preservation, with cafe tables in every other doorway. I’ll get there eventually but for now, this surrogate ramble through the medium of Streetview with have to suffice.
While doing research for the Virtual Paintout the contrast of warm stucco against the cool sky caught my eye this time around. I also like the the negative space, the slightly cock-eyed “X” of the sky.
If your curious to see a glimpse of how Piazza del Paradiso appears in Streetview, click the link here, but remember you’ll need to crank your head way up to get the perspective.
An assortment of crows. All are acrylics except centre right which is watercolor on birch panel.
What can be learned by doing things really fast? Or really slow? Or in a series?
Many artists painted have the same subject over and over, from different angles (Monet’s Waterlilies) and others have painted the subject repeatedly looking the same (Warhol’s Marilyn silkscreens) in an effort to show that even with endless amounts of reproduction where on the surface they appear the same, the small smears and clogs give an individuality to each piece. Even in my attempts to manually reproduce the same familiar image from memory, each time there would be variations to the theme. Some I liked and of course others not so much.
What I found is that each time I repeat a subject (such as a bird) I become more aware of :
*the textures & highlights
*the shape & proportion
*the body language & movement
*seemingly subtle things such as the highlights of an eye can draw your attention
*the addition of a tiny prop like a cigarette can change the attitude
I hadn’t tried to give myself a time limit until I applied to compete in Art Battle, along with a few friends (Buddy System!).
My first reaction to the challenge was trepidation but the more I thought about it the old saying of “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” was lingering in the back of my mind. That’s when I made the dive and sent in an application, only then to panic with my acceptance!
I needed a plan of action so our group, which we soon dubbed “the A-Team” (an attempt to take on the strength & ingenuity of these iconic characters) put into motion several practice sessions, complete with timers, distractions and loud music (we had to learn to block these things out). We tried new images and old familiar ones to the point where it began to feel that our hands began to form a memory of their own for the twists and turns required, endeavoring to become more efficient in the movements each time. The results did surprise me at times and really made me consider whether some of the long drawn out hours necessarily paid off?
The day of the competition was loaded with adrenalin, unfamiliar materials and faces but I’m certainly glad I did it. Will I compete again? Only the future will tell but in the meantime I have a collection of birds in various sizes and shapes to contemplate and learn from 🙂
I enjoyed the first semester so much that I’ve signed on for another semester of homework at Sketchbook Skool (and no, I haven’t forgotten how to spell). This term is called “Seeing”.
The online school was founded by Danny Gregory based in the United States & Koosje Koene from the Netherlands so for fun anything normally spelt with a C gets a K to give it some “Dutch Flair”.
The structure of the sketching and journalling courses the teach is: 6 different teachers in 6 weeks. I find this a great way to try different techniques and mediums while getting to know different teaching styles. The sketchbook homework is also simple enough to be done in a portable sized book.
In the first semester called “Beginnings”, I learned from some wonderful and inspiring artists:
First assignment from Danny Gregory, Learning to see: Toast
The Red Head was illustrated with the Magic pencil in Fire (yellow, orange & magenta) by Koh-i-noor Hardtmuth
It has been both a busy and lazy summer so far. Here’s a sampling of some of the sketch experiments I’ve been doing:
Shortly after my last post regarding the sale of my painting at the Red Art Gallery in Mystery Art Show in June I took my proceeds down to Artworld, a locally owned & operated store to reinvest in a few basic supplies but also to indulge in some new toys such as several kinds of non-traditional paper, watercolour paper & some Magic Color pencils by Koh-i-noor!
I have been making great efforts to use a sketchbook to do a sketch experiment in daily as it doesn’t have the same sort of pressure associated with it as a pricey canvas or large sheet of paper. In my book that I have with me constantly I have been having great fun with the Magic pencils. Here’s a few examples:
Part of what I have been enjoying the most about these pencils is the randomness of the colour placement which can allow me to think outside the box when it comes to color associations and their traditional uses. While you are in control of establishing a general color gamut you just never know which is going to land on the line or how is will morph see during a long stroke where the angle of the pencil changes and the top wears down.
There are always a myriad of colour choices that will work in any situation, as long as the tonal value is appropriate. (Gaye Adams)