Wednesday, June 7, 2017

1 to 10 Minute Charcoal Gestures

Sorry I haven't posted much of my gestures lately guys, my scanner has just been a headache (time consuming) to use (it's really time I get a new one) and I just haven't been able to get round to scanning much of my latest sessions. Here are a few though... :) (pardon the dark shadow lines in these scans. One of the problems I've had for some time with my scanner)

1 minute gestures (2D source) (Charcoal Pencil on Newsprint)

The face gesture was done in 5mins

5 minute gestures (2D source) (Charcoal Pencil on Newsprint)

10 minute gestures (2D source) (Charcoal Pencil on Newsprint)

I'll have to leave it there for now guys..

Thanks so much for dropping by... :)

Monday, May 1, 2017

Background Compositional Practice

Hi guys!.. Thought I'd post some of my longer practice drawings I've done lately.. I've been trying to get better at adding background elements to create a more interesting and fully fleshed out composition while still keeping it all fresh and gestural.. Though I do like minimalist artworks where a subject can basically be the only element in the composition (e.g. an apple with a completely white background). I also love works that utilizes background surroundings to enhance and strengthen the composition of the whole, bringing in interest and depth to the piece. These compositional background elements need not be even barely recognizable, almost abstract in nature in fact, but they can really enhance the mood and narrative of the piece. 

This is a skill I admit I have neglected to develop, and will be focusing on more in my future works. Thus in striving to hone the compositional perception needed I'm making sure to include this element in my long pose figure drawings. This will usually means improvising and sometimes completely making up the backgrounds, but is all part of building the skills needed..

Here are a few of my latest..
Charcoal pencil on newsprint / Size: 11.5 x 9 Inches / More info or purchase at Untitled Nude D22
The arch in the background was completely made up, and minor tonal variety in the background is enough to suggest depth, mood and interest while supporting and still maintaining the focus on the figure.

Charcoal Pencil on Paper / Size: 9.6 x 15.5 Inches / More info or purchase at The Unwinding
The image I referenced for this figure already included some elements of interest, like the wine glass, chair and stand. For this piece is was more a question of what needed to be included or omitted in creating a strong composition. As you can see the lower half fades away leaving quite a lot of space in the lower half of the composition. This space leads the eye gradually into the piece, suggesting depth and a foreground. The background arch was once again manufactured and creates even more interest and narrative while leading the eye once again towards the focus of the piece.

Every mark needs to add to the piece or be discarded and I love practicing in a manner that requires me to work and think of all these factors quickly and with minimal ability to erase or change.. Thus each mark has to be made conscientiously and is really great training.. 

I'll be sure to post my next attempts in oil soon!.. 

Thanks for dropping by guys!.. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Tiny Oils

After beating myself up for not getting straight back to painting bigger and better than ever, I've had to give myself a reality check and realize that after such a long hiatus that just wasn't going to happen, I'd have to build my skill and discipline from the bottom up once again.

What better way than with some tiny Aceo's!..
Oil on LinenBoard
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 Inches
Purchase at 'Glass Reflections' Alla Prima'

Loved the light reflections that this wine glass created on my olive green wall and decided to design the composition so as to have an almost abstract feel to it. 

I wanted to extend my experimentation with minimal palette's, ala Zorn (example 'Tea Mug' below) so only 5 hues were used (including white): Cad Yellow Light, Yellow Ocher, Burnt Sienna & Sap Green. As I was painting it alla prima, I found the combination of sap green and burnt sienna too transparent to get the darks needed without applying the paint really thickly (you may notice this in the more textural quality of the darks in the glass), so I may change my pallet slightly in the next aceo that I'll be painting of this same subject matter...

A fan brush was lightly brushed over it's surface at the end
to tame some of the glare from the textured surface of thick paint. 

Because of my unfortunate choice of colour and starting the piece off with a little too much medium, I spent the majority of my time fighting with unwieldy paint that just wouldn't stay where I wished it to. Ahh.. the fun of relearning old forgotten lessons in a few extra exasperating hours. 

Though taking twice as long than the hour I'd planned, the completion of my previous piece (below), went a little more expeditiously than the 8 hours spent on the 'Glass Reflections' above.

Oil on LinenBoard
Size: 2.5 x 3.5 Inches

Using a limited palette of Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ocher, Ultramarine Blue & White, I attempted to recreate the stained look of my overused and rarely washed favourite tea mug (I only drink black tea or coffee (sans sugar too) so I don't really see this as a problem ''said the hermit in defence'')

Ok that's it for now, hopefully my speed & skill will improve with these tiny oils, though I am practicing with other mediums as well (I get antsy using the same media or creating anything too similar again and again). Will be back soon with a few of my latest practice gestures!.. 
Thanks for the visit!....

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Practicing the Figure with Watercolor

Watercolour is a medium I must admit I rarely use, but I was inspired to try wielding its free spirit with the human form for the first time this week.. 

I am still getting a handle of what hues work best together and the spontaneous quick flash of the brush that brings the best qualities of watercolour to life..

I knew I wanted to be colourfully creative with the hues used in the flesh tones, though not so much as to result in a gaudy mess..

Size: 5.8 in x 4.7 in
 The first attempt above was a palette of  Winsor & Newton:

Permanent Rose
Cerulean Blue
Burnt Umber
New Gamboge Yellow
Phthalo Blue

Found this pallet a little too Disney/Little Mermaid like, for my taste though, and experimented a little more, the results of which are to horrendous to share here...

The third attempt (below) comes a lot closer to what I am trying to achieve..

Size: 5.8 in x 5.8 in
Purchase at Watercolour Figure 3 at my Artfinder gallery

This one used a Winsor & Newton pallet of:

Permanent Alizarin Crimsom
Sap Green
Burnt Umber
Cerulean Blue
Ultramarine Blue
New Gamboge Yellow

All these pieces have just been using 150lb paper (though still with archival quality) to alleviate the pressure of wasting materials with these initial ham fisted experiments, but I can't wait to try these figures out on some lovely textured heavyweight watercolour paper soon!.. 

Will be sure to post the results of those too!.. Tra la folks, and thanks for the visit!...

Friday, July 8, 2016

1 - 2 Minute Gesture Drawings

Thought I'd post some of my really short gestures that are usually done during my drawing warmup sessions. Unfortunately they all have a band of shadow running right in the middle of all of them, courtesy of my not so beloved scanner but which hopefully you will choose to ignore.. 

1 minute gestures.

2 minute gestures.

 All done with charcoal pencil on newsprint paper referencing 'The Masters Academy' timed figure drawing sessions on Youtube!..

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

5 - 10 Minute Figure Gestures

Hiya folks, I've been using The Masters Academy timed life drawing sessions on Youtube as part of my bidural drawing practice sessions lately and these are a few of my latest figure gestures from the past week or two!.. :)

5 minute gestures (charcoal pencil on newsprint)

5 minute
5 minute
5 minute
7 minute

10 minute gestures (charcoal pencil on newsprint)

10 minute
10 minute
10 minute

That's all for now! Thanks for the visit!.. :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

5 Minute Figure Drawings

Hi all, here are a few recent 5 min figure drawings done with the help of a new youtube channel I've started using in my practice sessions 'New Masters Academy'... :) They have a really great library of timed daily life drawing sessions with a large variety of models that are just so fun to draw!.. The sessions run through 1 min, 2 min and 5 minute short poses for a total of 25 mins each session.

Might as well throw this 5 min face sketch in as well.

Thanks for dropping by!.. :)

Sunday, January 3, 2016

11 Minute Portrait and Hand Gestures

Hi guys, haven't posted in a while so I thought I'd put up just a few recent 11 min gestures (freehand, charcoal pencil) helped by

Was a bit bored of drawing the same folks on the pixellovely site so decided to have fun with other portrait pics I could find online.

Just thought this was a cute expression to try and capture

Ace Ventura...

Ta now!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Outdoor Ink & Wash Sketches

Hidy ho strangers!.. Me and the other half went for a lovely working trip to Morib today (a beach location in Malaysia about an hour out) which has some really wonderfully desolate looking spots..

One of the things I'd promised myself to get right to once I'd moved, was to do much more outdoor en plein air paintings and sketches, and lucky me, my partner in crime just so happens to take regular trips to out of the way spots for his photoshoots (you can check out some of his work at Framing the F-Stop & Celebration of Marriage!)..
 Without a proper pochade for more prolonged oil en plein airs however (just gathering the materials at the moment to make my own, custom made to my personal preferences) I'm warming up my outdoor painting bones with some ink & wash sketches for now.

A very dry mangrove tree.
Size: 8.1 x 5.8 Inches
After a short excursion to check out the spot a few days ago, we were quite happy that it would suit both our needs perfectly and so off we went today!.. Lesson of the day.. Always bring two containers of water just in case one gets spilt by an infamous klutz (me). 

Size: 5.8" x 8.1"
The spot we chose is ridden with dead, dry mangroves, some of them so dry as to be smoking embers just from the heat of the sun. 
There were two minor flubs that tried to disrupt this little insignificant piece.. Firstly, the stump I just had to paint (above) , just so happened to be one of the smoky ones, leaving me barely able to keep my watery eyes open while sketching! It sure was a great reminder to squint while sketching though!..
Secondly, I'd just laid the first wash when my water spilt and lo and behold, another brilliant way to practice watercoloring was formed! Knowing I only had the water on my palette left, I had to work methodically, perfectly mixing the paints from light to dark as I just wouldn't be able to water them down later. What couldn't be helped were the times when one sometimes softened or modulated the edges of paint with clean water on the painting itself.

Ok this one was done in my garden the other day, but I thought I'd just drop it here.
More info at: Newly Hewn Mango Tree Sketch

We'll be making another trip to Morib soon, so hopefully I'll have finalized the pochade's design and made it in time for a little test run there!...

Thanks for the visit!.. :D

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Back to Basics

After having been pulled away from the engaging all consuming practice of creating art for the past year (besides the interior designing of the house), my skills have suffered immensely and requires nothing less than an intensive back to basics work out. 
One can't go wrong when in a pickle like this by starting from the beginning with Nicolaides 'The Natural Way To Draw' .

The book runs through 25 weeks of daily 3 hour sessions, 5 days a week in progressive exercises designed to help one fully incorporate all ones senses naturally, almost instinctively, in the act of drawing.
I'm revising just about 2-3 days from each of the earlier weeks till I reach the more complicated sections detailed later in the book, which I have yet to complete. This practice will be incorporated in my schedule every 2 days (as usual) as I find, like when building and training ones muscles, a rest day between training similar muscles tends to produce better results.

Section 1 starts off with the basics of gesture and contour drawing. Unlike in Nico's book where the gesture sessions are usually 15 - 25 minutes of 1 minute gestures, I'll be using, which is in 1/2 sessions of 30 sec, 5 min and 11 min gestures.

A few gestures (pixelovely) and contours (from life) from the last 2 sessions...

Charcoal Pencil >6min

Charcoal Pencil >12min

Vine & Charcoal Pencil about 10min

1/2 hour Contour with 3B Graphite

1 Hour Contour with 3B Graphite

Contour drawings are guided more by a sense of touch rather than sight. Without looking at the paper throughout, one has to feel as if one is actually touching the contours of the subject with the tip of the pencil, the eye moving along the edge of the subject in concert with the pencil on the page. Although the result of the drawing can look quite disjointed and unrecognizable, this exercise is invaluable in gaining an intuitive sense of proportion.

It's great to be back!.. Thanks for the visit!.. :)