I wanted to share this video because I think Joe unintentionally demonstrates how important art is. We allow so many opportunities for the language centre of the brain to be developed, we need to encourage a whole brain based education that ensure kids are able to express themselves in a number of ways.
At any rate I'm having a hard time using words to express my thoughts, so enjoy the video ;)
I've recently purchased a new pen set and have fallen in love again with line especially repetitive line. Here are some recent sketches I've done.
I have played around with some straight and some curvy repetitive line.
I also am really enjoying the permanence of the lines I draw, beginning my images with pen instead of pencil has been a good practice for me.
It's been a while again since my last post - I clearly need to schedule my blog into my daily routine, but I get so into my work that it's like I put my head down to start a piece and by the time I look up again it's too late and I've become too cross-eyed to write.
At any rate I don't have any of my own art to post today, instead I have someone else's work. His name is Kyle Thompson and he is a photographer who became well known over night. He creates some really fantastic images that are incredibly inspiring. Just like Kafka or Lewis Carroll's writing his images spark my imagination and bring me to a different place.
He's definitely worth a look:
This past weekend I was at the Leighton Art Centre's Fall Paint Out and I was really inspired by one artist named Doug (I never caught his last name) who had some beautiful sketchbook work. He was a watercolour painter and you could tell the positive impact his sketchbook work had on his larger pieces. I have since made it a personal goal to simply draw more. Doug used his travels to Europe as his inspiration, I decided to use an old bird book that I have. Here are a few of my first pieces - of course I was drawn to the owls first - but I plan on working through the book.
The last image is my dog Mowgli...added for good measure :).
Trying to figure out what digital style I prefer.
Here are two pieces I did today.
Tomorrow teachers are back in school (that includes me). I don't have students until Wednesday but I can't help but feel excited. I have given my school my notice and have 25 days left of teaching.
I thought this video was terribly appropriate.
I wanted to add the images I have been working on lately. I have been publishing this work to my Dribble and Behance accounts but I also wanted to put it up here.
I worked on a piece that was Little Red Riding Hood with coyotes rather than the Big Bad Wolf. I thought it fitting as coyotes have become a much larger presence here in Canada and as such are much more of a threat to people than wolves.
Sketches of some coyotes, working on the style, and line I wanted to use in the final image.
I also finished two more owl paintings. Just working on texture and simplicity. Lord knows I love to paint owls.
I have always worked with Photoshop, but since getting my wacom tablet I have found that I don't actually enjoy using Photoshop for drawing that much. Today I decided to try out Sketchbook Pro and I am already impressed. For one thing it doesn't seem to lag when I used the smudge tool which was a huge bonus for me because I like to use that tool quite a bit. I also found it very easy to navigate and use.
The only downside I found is that I can't figure out how to rotate the canvas, so I just end up rotating my tablet. Luckily I have the 6 lb wacom tablet and not the 60 lb one.
I can't really see myself using it to replace my traditional painting but I have only been using the program for one day. As for drawing and getting a nice graphic image I loved using Sketchbook pro. It was nice to finally get good use of my tablet - I had bought it with the intention of creating more finished looking pieces but hadn't been able to get a finished image that I felt good about.
For such a reasonable price I think I'm going to get Sketchbook Pro and continue to develop a digital style.
Here is the piece I worked on. I did create some pieces with more colour added but I didn't like how they turned out. I really am a minimalist at heart.
Here's one with a slight tint of blue in the background- still very minimalistic
Kafka! my favorite writer! I actually had no idea who Kafka was until about 3rd year university. I had to choose an upper year English Literature class and for anyone who has attempted to register for a course online, you know my pain (especially if you went to McMaster and had to use Mugsi). All the courses I had hoped for were filled up when I tried to register. I finally came across a course called "Kafka after Kafka," it had a good time slot so I signed up having no idea who or what Kafka was. Luckily it was taught by an amazing prof, Iris Bruce, who is an expert on Kafka and her passion for him and his work really influenced my love and understanding of his writing. I still think he is one of the most inspired, interesting writers.
When I decided to illustrate a narrative his work was an obvious choice.
I don't think it's any coincidence that Kafka lived and worked in the time he did. It was a time interested in statue and being proper. People had notions about how one should dress and behave that was proper. Despite all the layers of proper clothes and proper rules human nature still seeped through and I think that Kafka's commentary on this tension of society vs human nature is what makes his writing so interesting.
The first thing I played around with was illustrating An Imperial Message. I tried doing 5 point perspective to get a sense of the entire story happening all at once, and to also give the impression of this parable being a world unto itself. The final image I found looked too clean, without enough urgency. I have another idea I'm working on but haven't finished yet. I do like the idea that it almost looks like an eye really close up - just the iris. That aspect gives it the added layer of being a concept rather than a tangible space/place.
The next illustration I did was depicting the character Josef K. I wanted to play with subtle references to who Josef K was. I've always seen Josef K as a complex character who was meant to contain and show the tension of society vs human nature. He tries to follow the bureaucratic system while being confronted with humanity at it's core along the way. It maybe very telling of Kafka's thoughts on society the way K is betrayed by the system (aka society) in the end. I represented this struggle in his hands. One lightly fixes his tie, ensuring he looks put together, while the other grabs it and pulls down.
I included the two figures on each of Josef's shoulders as foreboding figures. They are meant to give the same uncertainty that the two figures in Munch's the Scream do. In this case with Josef's back turned to them with a smile on his face one is unsure whether he knows they are there, or know they are coming. The same feeling of uncertainty is found when reading the novel. One can never be sure of what is about to happen.
Kafka did an incredible job creating a character that tries to look cool, calm and collected on the surface, the picture of a proper gentleman. But in the end he can't escape his humanity.
My illustration for Before the Law - the parable told in The Trial - is very simple. I like the idea that the shadows could be anyone. It makes the image much more unnerving. Very straightforward image, guard on the left, man on the right. The door is opening just before the man dies. I used pen for the door and watercolour for the shadows.
And last but not least the image I just recently finished depicting Josef K in a dark alley. The alley could be the bureaucratic offices he goes to in the story but they don't actually match Kafka's description of them in the book, they are simply drawn the way I felt compelled to draw them. I liked the idea of Josef K as a faceless man in a proper suit. It's visually appealing and depicts the expectation of people to conform to societal norms and expectations. To create the texture on the buildings I made a watercolour mono print. I traced the image in reverse and used that to register the textures.
I've started making some watercolour mono prints. I wanted to play with some textures and I had a surplus of watercolour paper and Plexiglas. I had learned how to make oil mono prints in high school and again in university but had never tried watercolour prints.
The first piece I did I used Plexiglas that wasn't sanded. It worked fairly well but only when I used watercolour paints that had Gum Arabic and Dextrin in it. When I tried to use paints with different vehicles, the paint wouldn't even stay on the Plexiglas.
I went over the image after I pulled the print with a fine brush and water. I found it helped clean up lines and I was able to add some more shading - for example on the ear.
I really like the texture and how easy it is to push the paint on the Plexiglas. Although I've read some artists complain about the beading of the paint I loved how it did that. It created a texture that is fairly unique to the medium and I already have a few ideas on how to take advantage of this look.
After I finished this piece I found online that some people sand their Plexiglas. They said it prevented the paint from beading allowing for finer detail. I did a very light sanding at first (I didn't want to lose the texture I liked so much in the owl print) but lightly sanding didn't change anything at all. I sanded it quite a bit more and found that I was able to paint thinner lines without losing the texture. Here is the piece I did with the sanded Plexiglas (please disregard the creepyness of the man, his one eye turned out very wonky lol)
I went over this one with an illustration pen to pick out details. I think I over did the pen. Aside from the creepy eye it turned out OK. It's something I will keep playing with and I feel if I use colour it will give a very nice whimsical feeling to the image.
I also wanted to include my oil mono print. Not sure why this one wouldn't print up properly. I used water based oil paints, tried printing before it was dry but could only get a ghost image.
I took a picture of the plate before it was printed, I used a smooth unsanded piece of Plexiglas. I really enjoyed painting with oil on the Plexiglas. It was fun to push the paint around and mix it. It's too bad it wouldn't print.
Ah well my adventures in mediums continue. My biggest challenge in building a portfolio may lie in the fact that I love using different mediums too much, but it makes image making so much more exciting.