Sunday, August 31, 2008

Oil Painting from Life: Class #1

I am taking an 8 week class at the Creative Arts Center in Dallas called Oil Painting from Life, with teacher Dave Kramer. In class #1, we used a paint brush and oil paint to draw the figure. I used Winsor Newton Burnt Sienna thinned with paint thinner. We did 5 20-minute poses, but used only one canvas. After each drawing, we wiped the canvas down and re-used it. This was my last drawing. The focus of the first class was on careful observation and paying attention to position and proportions.

August has not been good to me art-wise. At the end of July, my position at work changed from technical architect to project manager. August was devoted to adjusting to my new position. I am enjoying my new position, but fell into the trap of thinking if I just worked a few 60 hour weeks, I would gain control and then could cut back to 40 hours. It never happens--it is a fantasy. I just got tired and burned out. I am changing my ways, cutting back on work hours, and getting back to art. I hereby declare I am back to my normal posting schedule.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Describing Form with Line #2

This contour drawing is based on the drawing Woman Seated on the Ground, Seen from the Back by Jean Antoine Watteau (1684 - 1721).

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Describing Form with Line

This is an exercise from Keys to Drawing with Imagination. The objective is to use contour lines to model 3 dimensional form.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Waiting for JFK

For the past few weeks, I have been distracted by work (i.e., my livelihood). I am now getting back on track with my art (which I hope one day will be my livelihood).

This month I am doing the Exploring Patterns (Chapter 6) exercises in Keys to Drawing with Imagination by Bert Dodson. This drawing is my solution to Exercise 34, Shape Mergers. The exercise is to take a news photo and draw it in black, white, and two shades of gray. Shapes with similar shades are merged, and the viewer's eye fills in the details.

I used a photo of a group of Fort Worth school children who are waiting for JFK's motorcade. You can see the photo here.

I read that Howard Pyle once advised N.C. Wyeth to not necessarily illustrate an event in a straightforward, obvious way. Rather, it is sometimes more effective to illustrate a story in a more oblique way. I think the crowd of school children is a good example of this. JFK's motorcade would be an obvious way to illustrate JKF's assassination, as would Lee Harvey Oswald in the Book Depository. But I think the bright-eyed schoolchildren, waiting for the motorcade, is much more poignant and tells the story of the impact of the assassination on the nation: unfulfilled expectations.