Sunday, November 14, 2010

Unexpected Gems

So something I've noticed over the years is the tendency to make little breakthroughs--gems of artistic value--on the humble scrap paper or test page. I purposely keep the left over bits of watercolor paper, Bristol paper, or any other type of paper I happen to be using for testing during the painting/drawing process. While I cannot boast that I have a lot of them, every now and then I stand back and notice something I really like about that piece of watercolor paper I used to blot my brush on, or the nice gradient I just did with colored pencil. I keep them in the hopes of recreating the effect for the piece I'm working on or to recreate it at a later date.

Scrap paper is the unsung hero of the finished master pieces in our lives.

Below are a few examples. The brown lined one you've already seen as more of a "finished piece" posted here. The other test page is the byproduct of a piece that is still in progress.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Back to the Drawing Board

Yeah! Thumbnail sketches! I've been doing my best to carry on my obsession with foxes, and low and behold here's more sketches of a fox! Unfortunately, it's not very detailed or exciting to look at, but it's a sneak peek. Hopefully, I will have a nice clean sketch to show in the near future or even a finished painting.

In my experience, subject matter is hard to come up with when there is no criteria for an art project. At least, it's hard when you don't know what interests you. That was something I struggled with during my last two years of college when the projects started to become more vague and the professors let you do what you wanted. "What's that? We can do what we want?!" It was so foreign; my brain had been trained into doing only exactly what the project required for at least two years. Then all of a sudden I was given this wonderful freedom that I had no idea what to do with... It wasn't until the last half of my senior year that I really started to get a grip on what I was interested in. It took a lot of trial and error and some serious research, but eventually I found some things that really clicked. It's a journey that continues to this day.

It's such a simple solution really. It's hard to make something beautiful that you dislike. If you had the choice to do anything, why wouldn't you draw something you felt passionate about or were really attracted to? For me, at the moment, it's foxes and the occasional deer. I like things that are whimsical, so I draw and paint things that are a little crazy and semi-fantastic. That being said, it takes a very skilled artist to make a subject beautiful that they find repugnant, insipid or uninteresting.

Enough talk! Here's the sketch. Enjoy! ^_^