21 July 2017
Tom Banjo loves it when things come together. • • • • • #characterdesign #kidlit #kidlitart #brianbowes #instaart #instadraw #santacruz #creativeadvertising #creativethought #design #artistsofinstagram #advertisingart #illustratorforhire #illustrationartist #childrensillustration #character #supportlocalartist #artistoninstagram #designer #PaperToy #papercraft #papersculpture #handmade #artist_sharing #myartwork #papercutting #paperart #artists_magazine #papercutting #papercut
20 July 2017
Can't a body jus' pick a little banjo with a friend? This #papertoy #design is coming together bit by bit. • • • • #kidlit #kidlitart #characterdesign #brianbowes #santacruz #creativeadvertising #creativethought #artistsofinstagram #childrensbook #advertisingart #illustrator #wabisabi #illustrationartist #supportlocalartist #artistoninstagram #artiste #artstagram #myartwork #vector #lookkristina #doitfortheprocess #ilustración #ilustração #artist_sharing #ucsc #artist_4_shoutout #proartists #arts_secret
19 July 2017
Once this design is finished, @aeletterpress will be printing them up. Eventually we will have them for sale too! • • • • • #illustration #characterdesign #instaart #santacruz #creativeadvertising #creativethought #illustratorforhire #advertisingart #bookart #instaartist #print #character #childrensillustration #illustrationartist #artistoninstagram #supportlocalartist #bolivia #prints #ink #instaartwork #graphicdesign #conceptart #kidlitart #cartoon #artsy #dibujo #instaarte #character #BrianBowes #instaartoftheday
17 July 2017
Who-hoo! Finally getting a-head on this #PaperToy! • • • • #characterdesign #kidlitart #brianbowes #instaart #santacruz #creativeadvertising #artistsofinstagram #bookart #illustrationartist #instaartist #fun #childrensillustration #supportlocalartist #artiste #iloveart #originalcharacter #illustrations #ucsc #art_spotlight #artist_sharing #myartwork #artistic_share #iloveart #spotlightonartists #arts_secret #illustrator
16 July 2017
via Studio Bowes Art Blog at http://ift.tt/2tYD5LL
#PaperToy mockettes, figuring out all the details. • • • • • #kidlit #characterdesign #kidlitart #brianbowes #instaart #santacruz #originalcharacter #childrensbook #childrensillustration #picturebook #instaartist #ucsc #kidsbookstagram #kidlit #artistoninstagram #instaartwork #artoninstagram #childrensbook #santacruz #kidsbooks #originalcharacter #instaartoftheday #instaarte #newartwork
15 July 2017
Fun times figuring out how to make a paper toy! Stay tuned for more details. * * * * * #illustration #characterdesign #brianbowes #instaart #santacruz #artistsofinstagram #bookart #iloveart #originalcharacter #conceptart #doitfortheprocess #artist_sharing #PaperToy #Design #supportlocalartist #Letterpress #studioscenes #artsy #artoftheday #artistic #artsy #paper #instaartist #BoulderCreek #FirstFridays #artistshouts #instaartwork #artiste #myartwork #artists_magazine
13 July 2017
12 July 2017
10 July 2017
One of the most difficult concepts to grasp about painting is the use of edges. Students often go immobile when I mention that they should vary their edges in a painting. It shuts them down. Most have no real idea what I'm talking about or even where to start.
It’s not surprising. Controlling edges is an advanced stage of painting that alludes most everyone, until it’s pointed out to them. I had trouble with edges, too, coming up through my skill challenges, but as I never had a teacher pointing these things out, I had to learn the hard way: from critique, and sometimes ridicule.
That meant I was learning on-the-fly, listening to what other artists and critics said about my work that complimented or tormented my efforts to communicate to a viewer; how I guided the viewer’s eye through a piece. I paid extreme attention to what was said about certain passages, certain spaces in my painting, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. It hurt, but I learned.
I’m about to cut years of struggle off your painting skills. The items below will shake your understanding and increase your ability to lay down interesting paint by concentrating on edges and not only give your work beauty, but will give you a new awareness of control.
Edge control is built generally from pushing and pulling the eye through a painting. Pushing it back or pulling it forward. It is the contrast between all edges that allows you to make shapes important or subtle.
The easiest edges to identify. That’s why they pop forward. The brain zeroes in on them immediately, so use them to drive the viewer's eye to certain elements in the painting. The contrast is high with these edges. Set them against soft edges, and the sharp ones dominate.
Use these edges to bolster the sharp-edged focus of a painting by pulling the eye away from elements with soft-focus. Sharp edges sit on top of soft elements that lay in the background. Yes, on top of. Background edges that are sharp tend to jump forward. Again, the eye whips past everything soft to focus on anything sharp edged.
Some of the most beautiful areas of a painting are where the eye expects to see an edge, yet it’s not there. Arms that bleed into the background, a cheek that disappears, edges of hair that are lost. It stimulates interest. This takes lots of risk to learn where and when to use them to full advantage. The risk is ambiguity. The payoff is curiosity and engagement.
The brain wants to complete a lost edge, but it must become involved with the piece to accomplish it. This is how a painting lingers in a person’s mind. There’s just enough information to stay focused, but isn’t overwhelming to the eye.
These are edges that work between edge extremes. Neither too sharp nor too blurred, but with just enough roundness without dominating the overall focus in the work. They can be edges of figures, sleeves, folds, trees, mountains, architecture, etc.
These are difficult edges to control because they draw attention to that repetition, and if they are integral to an element such as leaves or folds on a sleeve, they can overwhelm the eye. The first thing the viewer will want to do is rest. In other words, look away. This is not what you want from a viewer, just in case you hadn’t figured that out already.
You must find a way to vary these edges. Take their power to confuse away. You do this by using sharp and soft and blurred edges, no matter what your reference tells you is ‘right.’
Shadow control is critical to a successful painting. And they are the greatest teachers for understanding depth, value control, and...oh yeah, edges. Now you get what I mean by soft and sharp edges, yes? What observer hasn’t noticed how shadows vary in such a short range of vision? Look at tree limb shadows on the ground, and the information slaps you upside the head. The limbs closest to the ground are sharpest, while the limbs up high cast very light, soft shadows. It’s their edges that communicate this the most.
How a shadow rolls over a surface is determined by several factors. The texture of the element, the shape of the element, the angle of the element. Study a car in different lighting conditions and you’ll find an amazing array of hard and soft edges, all based on how the individual shapes cast shadows. Control those edges and you’ll have a shiny car or a dull car.
Shadows determine depth in a painting, and that’s portrayed by how you control the shadow edges.
You can control focus in a painting by using color. The edge between contrasting color can demand attention or allow one color to dominate another. The way those colors bleed into or over each other will draw attention, either away from or toward a subject.
If all of the edges of paint application are the same, it communicates as pattern. And this leads to a flat, graphic quality. There is no edge control, other than to make it all the same. This is completely fine if that’s what you need in a piece. Making all the edges the same everywhere you look will demand that you control focus in another means, say through color or value.
Varying the edges between pattern and rendering can add much interest. It’s the contrast between the two that does it.
Try painting dappled sunlight without controlling edges. But through careful study of how light streams through leaves and strikes an object will reveal how edges vary between sharp, soft, blurry, lost, and blended. Light tends to flare through a short range of saturated color just on the edge between shadows and lit areas. Notice how the edge can lend interest and depth if captured in a painting. Flare the light with rich color invading the shadow and you gain depth.
Brush stroke edges can vary within the stroke itself. The front edge of a stroke can be sharp while the back slips into blurred nothing. Strokes can be short and sharp, or they can be fuzzy like an airbrush. A stroke can go down sharp and be blurred later with a different brush. The difference between a palette knife edge and a brushed edge is evident here.
Blending between colors or values gives you a smooth affect. Simple enough. But you do this at the risk of losing texture, and therefore, interest, if done too evenly. Certainly there are many great paintings that are slick-smooth, blended to perfection to give the idea of crisp, clean beauty. But using that same blend on leather, or fabric, or a wall can destroy the effect. The surface texture of an object reflects what the surface is made of. Yes, there are illusions to be aware of, i.e., that plastic resembles glass, etc.
The way paint is applied makes a huge difference in what’s projected to the viewer. Ever wonder how those artists of the 19th century got those velvet dress effects? Study the evidence in front of you: value and edge control.
Your eye discerns visual contrast all day long: judging edges, surfaces, values, contrasts. The working brain takes about 30% of our energy each day, and most of that is dedicated to visual deciphering.
Updated from the original post, April 1, 2015.
Ocean Life, Christian Schussele
Watercolor and gouache, roughly 19 x 28 inches (48 x 70 cm), in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This illustration was painted by 19th century painter Schussele for inclusion in a scientific pamphlet, and likely under the guidance of the pamphlet’s author, James M. Sommerville, an amateur naturalist.
Sommerville was also an artist and was a trustee of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where Schussele was a professor in drawing and painting.
Schussele’s sensitive but bold rendering of the strange undersea life makes for a lively tableaux of complex and colorful forms.
In February I wrote about the wall of portraits at the Society of Illustrators in New York, where each president of the Society was drawn by a prominent illustrator of the day.
Unlike typical portraits which are designed to flatter subjects who know little about art, the portraits on the walls at the Society were pictures of working artists, done by working artists, to be displayed in front of a judgmental audience of working artists.
Here is another assortment of drawings worth considering from the wall. Which are your favorites?
Personally, I'm crazy about Victor Juhasz's lively, observant drawing of Dennis Dittrich:
|Dennis Dittrich portrayed by Victor Juhasz|
Juhasz drew his subject from life. Compare the vitality of his drawing with Norman Rockwell's cautious portrait of Wesley McKeown.
|Wesley McKeown by Norman Rockwell|
Rockwell lent technical mastery to everything he touched, yet I think this portrait lacks the spirit of Juhasz's drawing.
Bob Peak's drawing below also strives for vitality, but I find his racing stripes an artificial way of achieving it (unlike Juhasz's drawing where every "loose" line serves a purpose).
|Walter Hortens by Bob Peak|
I'm guessing that Diane Dillon's portrait by her husband and partner Leo is unadventuresome because he likes her just fine the way she is, and can't see that any experimentation or distortion is warranted.
The talented Greg Manchess employed charcoal for these drawings of Berenson and Schultz:
Richard J. Berenson by Gregg Manchess
Eileen Hedy Schultz by Greg Manchess
Master of the pencil Paul Calle manages to combine sharp realism with a brisk look:
|Doug Cramer by Paul Calle|
Last, here is a drawing of Shannon Stirnweiss by Dean Ellis:
Shannon Stirnweis by Dean Ellis
What do you think?