Thursday, May 17, 2012

Another movie spread and a couple of experiments

 My family loved the movie 'Foul Play' when I was young.  In fact, it was a favorite 'go-to' every time we had a nasty thunderstorm.  In this part of Texas that was frequent.  Not so much these days with the drought though.

I'm not sure why, but showing my experiments always makes me feel more vulnerable.  But here goes anyway!  This is drawn from a photo of my cousin's grandmother.  It was a black and white photo and she had her daughters standing behind her.  I exaggerated some proportions and the color of the dress is completely 'artistic license'.  It is done in charcoal with watercolor and white gouache on a toned background.  I need to add some highlights to her face since forgot to save them when I added the watercolor.   I do like this piece, with the exception of that light blob at the top right that wouldn't take any more color.  I probably was holding it down with an oily thumb or something.  It was done in my 9x12 aquabee sketchbook. 

This was completely unplanned.  I had my desktop easel out and a page I had torn out of my aquabee sketchbook to do some gouache testing on.  I turned it over and had been doodling different things in pencil.  As I shut down my computer for the night, I felt unsatisfied because I hadn't done enough 'real' sketching.  I picked up my pencil, held it at the back end, extended my arm out and drew this imaginary guy right on top of all that doodling, most of which isn't even noticeable here.  You can see that same quote running vertically through the guy on the right side...just barely.  The vertical lines through his cheek were part of one of the doodles.    Then I started adding watercolor as sloppily as I could manage.  On purpose...sloppy.  And I liked it.  His face may seem a little out of perspective, but I can live with that given the technique used.  He does actually have color on his forehead which my scanner didn't pick up...or maybe my computer screen doesn't?

I seem to be at a crossroad, not sure where to go next.  In a way I really crave to be working with oils.  But at the moment it doesn't seem like a good idea to spend a bunch of money on new supplies, especially since I'm currently limited on space.  I liked using the charcoal and gouache with the watercolor and maybe I'll try more of that.  I think what I need is a good exciting subject.  Or maybe an art buddy.  My sister will be staying with us for a while when she returns to the US.  She'd make a perfect model.   I wonder how willing she would be to sit still for me.  Can't wait for her to get here!

Hope you're all doing well and staying creative! 

UPDATE: I haven't been liking my scans lately so I'm trying something different.  The pictures on this post have been replaced with scans that I believe look a little better.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Two More from the Movie Sketchbook and a Surprise in the Mail!

A couple of weeks ago (or maybe it's been a month already?...I've lost my sense of time lately!) I received this envelope from Mark Hill. I had forgotten I sent him my address to I could get one of these gems, and when it came, everyone around me was in awe and wanted to know more about it.  I scanned it immediately, intending to let him know that I received it, and to thank him!, but more drama unfolded and it became lost in the myriad of things I had on my 'to do' list.  Fast forward to today, when I decided I really needed to get this up...and then I couldn't find it....anywhere!  I looked and looked and just when I was about to give up, I looked on the scanner and there it was, right where I left it!  I was surprised when I got the envelope, that it had something in it.  I had forgotten about the sticker and business card he was also sending.  And I LOVE his business card!  Thank you so much Mark!  When things have calmed down a bit here, I plan to send something in return!  And if you haven't seen Mark's envelopes, you really should head over and email him your address!  [UPDATE:  I'm told that Mark is no longer accepting requests!]

Here are two more movie spreads.  I uploaded them ages ago and never got around to writing anything for them so I could publish the post.  I recently had an emergency trip to Ft Lauderdale to meet up with my sister and pick up her dog for some dog-sitting.  She looked over this sketchbook one night and really made me feel good as she ooh-ed and awed over it.  She loved these spreads and was disappointed that I had stopped doing them. 

Though I haven't been doing much drawing (which means NONE AT ALL) since returning from my trip, I do have lots more to show you from before I stopped.  Note that I am only on Dec 7th here.  Hopefully I will get back into some sort of routine soon!

And I do hope to catch up on all your blogs soon!

UPDATE: I haven't been liking my scans lately so I'm trying something different.  The pictures on this post have been replaced with scans that I believe look a little better.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Dedicated Movie Sketchbook

I did so many movie spreads at the end of my three-ring sketchbook that I decided to dedicate my next sketchbook entirely to movies. What I hadn't anticipated was the puttering out of my enthusiasm for the subject about halfway through the book! So, it sits there, waiting for me to renew my energy for it. Anyway, this is the first page. I didn't have a two-page spread to work with here, and being unaccustomed to the limited vertical space, I chose a simple scene from the movie and left it at that.

There was some amazing typography in this movie! And some amazing scenes! It was difficult to decide where to pause on this one; I wanted to choose them all. I think I've said it before though, Jackie Chan is not an easy character to freeze--he is always a blur! I don't practice landscapes as often as I should, but I did enjoy doing this one. In fact, I could do page after page of this movie's landscapes/ cityscapes!

Still adjusting to the format of this sketchbook, I started cramming characters in willy-nilly. It got easier as the pages turned, but still, I think I prefer the portrait format. My hand/arm seems to need the freedom in my vertical movements. I lost a lot of the likenesses that were there in the sketches when I added the watercolor, but I was still happy with this page. I've since added some background color to help unite the characters, but sorry, I'm too lazy to rescan, readjust, etc, etc. Laziness in scanning is one of the biggest obstacles to my posting more frequently. There, I said it! I'm lazy! (I'm trying to overcome though!)

 UPDATE: Dec 30, 2013 I haven't been liking my scans lately so I'm trying something different.  The pictures on this post have been replaced with scans that I believe look a little better.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Last of the 3-ring Sketchbook

So again, the scans are very pale even though I adjusted contrast and thought I had it comparable to the originals...but it isn't even close. If I adjust more, things start looking harsh so I'm just going to leave them like this. The exception is the the desert scene on the bottom left of this first page, which I never went back and finished and is, in fact, quite pale.
I love this page except for one glaring detail that has bugged me every time I open to this page. I love that cryptex box, and only after I painted it did I realize the perspective on the left side was way off. I tried to adjust a little without destroying it completely.
Okay, this movie might be a little cheesy...but for some reason I like to watch it. Unfortunately I had a difficult time finding places to stop the movie to sketch. Thank goodness it was the last page and therefore not a double spread!

I hope you've found time for some creativity in your life today!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Four more from the 3-ring sketchbook

By this time I was really beginning to enjoy this sketchbook. It was getting near the end but I wanted it to last to the end of the month, so I kept adding pages. I wish it would have held another month so I could have begun the new year with a new sketchbook, but it was getting tight!

What I really like about sketching from movies (and yes, I do sometimes hit pause!), is that it doesn't require me to 'think' much. There are some movies which aren't as easy or interesting to sketch from...for instance, Jackie Chan movies. He is usually moving so fast that he is a blur almost every time I hit pause! Some movies are too dark. Some don't have interesting artifacts to sketch and all I end up with are people. One thing I don't worry too much about is getting likenesses. If I get it, great, if not, move on. Luckily I have a huge collection to choose from! I just don't want to lose the sketching or painting skills that I've built up. So this is practice without worrying about what, when, or where to sketch. It helps during stressful times.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

3-ring sketchbook pages

When life gets chaotic and the opportunities or inclinations to go out and sketch about town are limited, I always resort to sketching favorite movies or youtube videos...especially if my creativity is running low. I've done a WHOLE lot of that in the last six to eight months. So much so that I could probably post something everyday for the rest of the year and still have images left over. I'm not going to do that because one, it allows me to hide the worst of the worst; and two, I want to eventually catch up and show you more current stuff. There was a noticeable improvement as I went along that I hope you will see too. Though, it is difficult sometimes with a scanner that just doesn't pick up certain colors. I've tried making adjustments in Corel, but the originals look so much better. Ah well, maybe that's an excuse to get a new scanner/printer?

The first spread is one I did while watching 'The Pyramid Code' on YouTube. Done directly in ink, so I'm happy with how it turned out. I love any documentary on Egypt or archaeology!

This was actually done from an article on The Daily Mail (UK). Again it is of course I had to do this page. The blue boxes which appear on these pages are just personal writings which know, personal!

This page represents the beginning of a very long string of drawing/painting from movies. Seriously, I did almost one movie every night. Sometimes taking two nights if I've been busy. There are all kinds of shadows in that pipe which I couldn't, for the life of me, get to show up here.
I forgot to hit pause after the first sketch in order to do more sketches on part I popped in part two and did a double feature. Had to get up and walk around for a while after that...too much sitting!

I'm so tempted to throw them all up here at once. Maybe when I catch up, I'll put one of these up next to one of the more current ones so you can see how much I improved on these. I love seeing that!