Saturday, 19 November 2011

Time to move on

Slight changes, but I think I'm beginning to just fiddle with it. Put it down to lack of knowledge/practice.
And that needs to be a direction to push my learning, not an excuse.

Definately need to do some studies... and more, more, more...

This was a study from some stills taken from the current series 4 of 'Masterchef: The Professionals'. Inspiration comes from all places, eh? One of the chefs, Claire Hutchings, is very skilled and has an endearingly powerful passion for her craft. Driven, and portraying strong emotions, I wanted to try and capture something of her.

Friday, 18 November 2011

A wee WiP

A work in progress that I'm really enjoying.
I was influenced by the style employed by Zhang Lu in his portraiture.
I will take a break to come back with fresh eyes as I'm worried I may start to focus in without being happy with/fully considering the whole.

Some things I [will] need to bear in mind:

  • Focus on the big shapes - the relationships of the major features, masses and shadow shapes.
  • Work on the whole - must not allow one stage/feature to become over developed, drawing it away from the rest of the piece. All elements should advance as one, so this means watching out for areas of too high/low contrast due to neglect or over attention.
  • The piece should have the potential to look 'complete' at any point - currently this is not applicable.
  • Do not be afraid or precious - if it just doesn't look 'right', or is clearly wrong by the reference, fix it. In the words of Lavender Hill - "If in doubt, eliminate."

And of course, with those in mind :] ...

"Conscious effort inhibits and 'jams' the automatic creative mechanism."
-- Maxwell Maltz

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Kaizen through Shoshin

A little more Summer work and a recent visit to Degas at the Royal Academy.

A comment in a recent lecture, regarding working on a production where you are always learning, like a child, reminded me of a Japanese word/ideology and a term from Zen Buddhism.

Kaizen - "...continuous slow improvement..."

and Shoshin - "...beginner's mind..."
Both are things for me to remember, the latter especially in the pursuit of not hindering myself through thought.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Making up for lost lines

"If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate."
-- Thomas Watson.

Over the next couple of posts I just wanted to update the blog with some Summer sketches.

A guy in Guy's house. A study of an unknown sitter and artist.

A scene near the coast in Connemara.

Coach passengers.

...and PC Brother practising his Guy Fawkes night procedures.

[So no one feels hard done by, something from today ... ]

Monday, 14 November 2011

A little background...

'The only bad drawing is one you don't draw.'

Had the opportunity to attend a fantastic lecture today arranged by the NCCA. Thanks go out to Fraser Maclean for presenting the talk on 'The Art and Evolution of Animation Layout', and to layout and background artists Scott Caple and Roy Naisbitt for their presentations.

Very impressive work shown from 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' (1996) and 'The Thief and the Cobbler' (1993), among others.

An entertaining lecture, and sketching opportunity.

Now I just need to work out what to get for Christmas...

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Green with...

One down... Infinity to go!

Trop petit! Rendre plus! Ok!

Belated Huiles

I wanted to post up something of my Summer work.

I was fortunate enough to spend some time studying at the wonderful Lavender Hill Studios. This was my first opportunity to try oil paint, and man, had I been missing out. As the studio professed, why anyone would be encouraged, or choose to start with a (frankly, more difficult) medium like acrylic or watercolour, over something like oil, when your intent is to capture tone/light and work in pure mass, is beyond me. No medium is as forgiving, as eraseable, or appropriate for structured learning, as oil paint.

I spent some time working in charcoal to begin with, working from boxes, simple objects, and then the live model, beginning to work in mass and then translating that to paint. Here are a couple of examples of working on landscape en plein air, and a still life and figure done outside of the studio, trying to adhere to certain principles.

[Left figure - attempt from a photo, in acrylics, before my studies into oil paint over summer, compared to a session with the life model afterwards. I could go on, backed up with painting adages to highlight what was/(still is) wrong... but the images speak for themselves.]

The figure secured me a place working on a project at the Tate Modern, a preparation sketch from my photo/memory forest studies:

More posts on this in future. Once you just begin painting, it's so enjoyable, and that is a feeling to remember.

All the best!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Can't get too precious, or I'll burn out

"Great draughtsmen use only just enough* to express the form, but never to attempt the expression of tone." -- Harold Speed


*The beauty in line drawing - the beauty of contours - using light and shade.