27 February 2009

Figure Drawing Friday

Today's figure drawing session was extraordinary. We were fortunate enough to work with a jazz musician (who's name escapes my mind right now.) He was positively wonderful to work with. Essentially he performed for about 2 and a half hours off and on, with n'er a dull moment. Absolutely great! He played a bass clarinet, a musette, and a flute-ish recorder. At times he worked in a bop-jazz way, and in other moments he played like an autumn leaf on the wind. A very spirited performance.

I am happy to say that this got me thinking about the figure in a refreshing way. By tone, and color as not only representative of the physical before me, but also of the tone and color of the music he was playing. In reviewing the images they seem less like drawings, and more like moments or events on the page. It is so energizing to change one's perspective. Especially in that I've been working a lot from photo's as of late, and there is the pitfall of the flattened image that can occur. It is nice to come at these problems in a robust way again.

Again today, the company was exquisite, I enjoyed seeing some old friends and meeting a few new people too. Watch out for more images from these sessions.

25 February 2009

Fantasy Series

This is an ongoing project that will be end up being 2, maybe 3 paintings. They will be based on an imaginary fantasy story of my own concoction. Essentially, the story is about a princess who strikes out on an adventure to save the King, who has had a magic spell cast upon him that is poisoning him. Up to now, she has had to escape the castle, learn the antidote, get the antidote from a dragon (what fantasy story is complete without a dragon! Watch for future posts on this image as well,) and at the end she has to sneak back into the castle. To sneak back into the castle she has to out wit the Troll who guards the hidden entrance under the waterfall, and holds the key to door.

As I went through the numerous thumbnails developing this drawing I finally came upon a setting that I liked, and that told the story. After I had a thumbnail version, I invited my friend Lauren over to do some photo-reference. Here, I'd like to put a shout out to Pat over at P•Kok, a local clothing boutique who specializes in natural fiber clothing. Pat was very kind and allowed me to borrow a few pieces for the photo shoot. Please visit her shoppe and buy lots of groovy stuff! www.pkoksf.com or on Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/p-kok-san-francisco

After I'd established a design that I liked, the image is brought to a final-ish drawing. I had some fun developing the Troll. At first he was a kindly forest spirit who would move the waterfall with magic. But the more I looked into Trolls, the more I realized that this girl is lucky not to be eaten! So, this incarnation is a real snotty, grumpy, bastard, and I kinda like it better that way. Who wants a nice troll anyway?:
And from there is developed the Value Study:
The next step is to transfer the drawing onto the final paper where I'll make a watercolor out of it.


PS: there are a whopping 8 posts that chronicle the creation of this piece, to see the next moves check out Post #2: Troll Time

11 February 2009

Cazamero Portrait

This project was done in the middle of 2008. I thought it'd be a nice opener for the blog.

This image was created to be a gift for my wife's Kumu Hula (or Hula Master-Teacher) Patrick Makuakane. In Hula there is an important connection that is formed between the teachers and the students. In honor of that lineage that is passed down through the generations, the image shows Kumu Robert Cazamero and Kumu Auntie May Klein who were both Patrick's teachers and provided him with much inspiration.

Having decided on the subject, I first worked out a drawing through thumbnails, which resulted in this drawing.
The next step was to put in the initial washes. Warmer tones were used for the Robert Cazamero, and cooler tones for Auntie May Klein to show that Robert is in the present tense, and May was in the past.

Now the painting started to take off, and detail was added. This is the really fun part! First I worked the foreground then the mid-ground, all the while developing the background.

As the painting came to a finished state, it looked like this.

This is where it gets interesting. When a painting is to that finished state, there is usually a time where I just look at it. For this purpose I have a little easel. As I was bringing the painting back into the studio to prepare it for delivery, I had in one had the little easel, and in the other hand a glass of pomegranate juice (which I love so much.) It was like a slow motion scene in a movie, the board began to fall off the easel, and I reflexivley reached to catch it with my other hand... the one with the juice in it.

A period of time passed where nothing but profanities spewed forth.

I then got onto the task of recovery. With less than 2 hours to go before it was to be presented a good portion of the painting was sliding off with the pomegranate juice. There are moments in life where our past comes back to us and it seems as though it had been for this specific reason, to right now aid us. And this is the case with my first job out of High School as a photo retoucher (yes in the era known as PPS, Pre-Photo Shop.)

As my wife came home and prepared for her class, I wearily walked up with the painting, no worse for wear, juice all blended in and no-one was the wiser... until now!

Ah-hmn, Hello

For 2009 I thought I'd start blogging. Partly so that you are able to see my process, and partly so that I can share whatever information passes across my drawing table that you may find interesting. 

And so it begins...