Monday, March 2, 2015

Rough Start

A Quiet Exchange, graphite, 6 x 8, TMDD Series 2015

Rough Start, a working title, graphite, 6 x 8  TMDD IN PROGRESS

I knew I was off to a rough start this morning when I almost fell through the glass shower enclosure and then had a toilet overflow.  By the time I sat down to sketch, I knew I couldn't expect  much.  My pencil was out of control as the minutes ticked away.  Composure finally returned five minutes before the Sun Torch turned off.  This lovely lady with the smile will just wait till tomorrow for brilliant.

Yesterday's rendition of a serious Ellis listening to a friend came off a lot better. I had had no rude awakenings to raise my blood pressure.  Done in the quiet of morning, this sketch was not affected by stress; it has painting possibilities.  One of his eyes is a tad off, but overall that's my baby. Rough Start isn't even close to a  likeness; I started it too close to the morning's irritations.  I should have waited till one twenty over eighty returned and the bathroom floor was dry.

If you've been following my Thirty Minute Daily Drawing Series, you know there is no rule about finishing the sketch in that thirty minutes.   The only rules are to draw daily. and stop on the half hour--don't make a big deal out of it.  Next Monday, Daylight Savings Time begins. I will put away my Sun Torch till next October. I don't think I'll put my drawing equipment away though. Sketching has been a wonderful way to start the day, on a par with meditation.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Over Twiddle and Tweak?

Another Thirty Minute Session. Was it worth it?
Yesterday's Thirty Minute Session; From scratch to  heavy handedness. 

This drawing was worth another session. It would make a worthwhile painting.  When I posted her on FB
yesterday, I suddenly thought she looked a bit ghoulish.  She needed to be softened up.  So, today, another thirty minutes was spent using more knead than pencil and a stub, a tool I seldom use.  She lightened up.  I also came across some measurement errors and corrected and I defined her left hand.  Did I over twiddle and tweak?  I don't think so.  I think a small break in time between execution and achieving satisfaction is a part of the process.  The danger of twiddling and tweaking is in getting too picayune. Knowing when to stop is the skill to reach for.

In abstraction too.  Gerhard Richter's  abstractions are superb.  I met the painter through Sara and Robert Genn's Newsletter. I went to You Tube and watched his process.  He reminded me of the period in my life where I just loved the  paint itself and seeing how colors behaved with other colors.  Without the limitations set by subject matter, painting really is a blast.  BUT YOU MUST KNOW WHEN TO STOP.  There's nothing worse than an overdone abstract--every element in the composition nailed down and static--every color fighting for center stage.  Richter's work is anything but still, anything but garish.  If you have fifty minutes free  this weekend watch this documentary on his evolution as a painter.

If you have only three minutes to spare, see his process. Who says you need a brush when a squeegee will do grand things? If you love color interacting with color without the distractions of subject. This is a guy to know.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Ice Cream For Breakfast

You Have Any Froot Loops? Graphite, 6 x 8",TMDD Series

This kid was over for breakfast a few years back. She didn't like Oatmeal.  She didn't like Fiber One.  She wanted Froot Loops.  In the thirtysome years since my boys ate their last bowl, the cereal had gone to dust. She settled for ice cream on waffles.  What nana could say no?

Before sitting down to sketch the kid this morning, I saw a wonderful video on FB.  It awed me--and at the same time, discouraged. This portrait artist could wield a brush.  He is Chinese.  Instead of taking a class in manually operating a digital camera this spring or finishing my grisaille, I think I'd like to learn to write Chinese.  It's their alphabet, beautifully printed with a brush since an early age,  that makes them maestros. Watch Yuehua He's phenomenal, time lapse portrait video   Note how he handles his brush. Note his palette. It's limited to earth tones.  I was sadder than ever that I don't have the time it would take to achieve such a high level of skill. That's what you get for saving the best for last.