Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Step-by-Step Australian Landscape Demo

Ink your pencil tracing - except for the white areas you marked with a "W" first!

Give the SKY a middle blue & let it dry, then go over everything else (except the whites) with a golden-tan. Let it dry.

Mix up a batch of red-brown and paint your rocks and the ground around the grass-clumps. Start to green-up your trees with a middle tone.

Complete your middle-greens in the trees & grass-clumps saving some of that sunny-tone for ready-made highlights.

Give the grass-clumps and trees some dimension by adding deeper greens, using directional 'leaf-shaped' strokes for the grass. Make rich shadow-colors by adding compliments (opposites on the color wheel - and in your paintbox, instead of plain old black)

Finishing steps: deepen sky tones, deepen rock/dirt tones, add shadows coming from grass-clumps and on 'left sides' of rock formations. Put some 'texture' on the ground and rocks using the smallest amount of rock-shadow tone and a small brush. Boost the drama of your picture by inking in some grass leaves now that you have the shapes in color.

Oops! One more thing: don't forget to GENTLY erase all those 'W's.

Here are the video-demos to go along with the photos, above.

1) 1:14 - Tracing & Inking (4 short parts) part 1
2) 2:08 - part 2 (saving the whites)
3) 1:35 - part 3
4) 1:13 - part 4 (Inking some dotted lines)
5) 3:05 - Painting (finally) the Sky
6) 3:44 - Golden-Yellow everywhere...
7) 7:40 - Rocks & Dirt and starting your greens
8) 6:05 - Finish your greens (they're good for you!) & add some shadows
9) 6:06 - Deepen-the-Dirt & add shadows to your Rocks
10) 6:30 - Deepen the Sky & 'texturize' the foreground dirt & Rock formations

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Look Familiar?

Here's an interesting product I found in the Dick Blick 'Holiday Catalog' that just came yesterday. Looks very much like what I wanted for our students in Escape Artists this year. Want a treat? Visit the Blick website. I have always had excellent dealings with this company: fair prices, fast service, and knowledgeable staff. Check them out if you're looking to 'dabble' in ANY artform.


Oh, last weekend at (my) Half-Price Books (in Watuaga, Texas) they had some great looking 'kits' right at the front near the registers. One was an acrylic set with everything including what looked like a couple of terrific brushes, all for less than $10! The other was a Chinese-brush-painting kit. This kit had a grinding stone, ink-stick, 2 brushes, and of course the guide book, all for $15! If you've ever thought for a moment about either of these painting styles/media I'd suggest you check them out immediately.

For any 'Galaxy Quest' fans, I KNOW what you're thinking: "By Grapthar's hammer, what a savings!" Why not try it - even on your own - you'll at least have a laugh.

Update: found my note with publishers'/manufacturers' info...
Chinese-brush-painting: $14.98 from 'Spicebox' http://www.spicebox.ca/pages.aspx?id=217
Acrylic painting: Walter Foster. I can't find the specific kits even on the WF site (http://www.walterfoster.com/index.php), but my note says they were $7.98 each with two or three different pre-lined cardboard 'canvases' to choose from. The one I thought a 'best' first choice was a sunflower still-life.

The Lone Mini-Mystery Painting for Week 7

Portion of a stunning dark red-brown scallop shell as interpreted by Miss K. Breeding. I like it. It's small, yet bold. Kinda like the girl who painted it...

Madagascar Mountain Escape

This was our first experience with a painting material from "Yupo." The sheets are translucent polypropylene, which means they can be inked simply by placing the Yupo over a 'master line drawing' and traced in ink.

Brief experiments proved neither our otherwise terrific Uniball permanent black pens nor fine line Sharpies would work well. The latter came across as fairly pale, believe it or not. In the end what worked was India ink applied with an old-fashioned crow quill pen. It dried surprisingly fast and never bled-a-drop, as you can clearly see from the sharp lines in all the paintings below.

"Yupo paper": (http://www.dickblick.com/products/yupo-watercolor-paper-pads/)
Crow quill pen (http://www.dickblick.com/products/speedball-crow-quill-dip-pen-and-nibs/)
Ink: http://www.dickblick.com/products/dr-ph-martins-bombay-india-inks/

Miss R. Fadler

Master N. Davis

Miss N. Buckingham

Miss M. Wolfe

Miss K. Breeding

Master J. Wolters

Miss H. Ridge

Master D. Harwell

Miss C. Lee

Master B. Davis

Miss A. Escue

Miss A. Cole

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Escape-Artist Note cards

The type came across a bit smaller than I wanted. But in a nutshell I would really like to see these mini-prints of your paintings selling like hotcakes at the upcoming Sonlight Fair! Contact me soon if you want to be a part of an artcard-collection.

A Sweet Surprise

It's not everyday that a student takes such extra time and effort, so here's a special "Thank-you" to a most enthusiastic student, Miss Lee.

Hm-m-m. Do I talk much about coffee in class? If not she's been reading my mind during those 10a.m-11a.m. class times!

More Mini Mystery Paintings

Friday, October 2, 2009

Our next stop? "Yupo"

Step away from your pencils...if you're putting 'transfer-graphite' on the back of your homework drawing that is.

Our new paper isn't paper at all, but Yupo's 100% polypropylene! Why didn't I realize this sooner: it's so translucent we can TRACE RIGHT THROUGH IT. That's the good news. Bad news is our normally SUPER pens are not quite waterproof on it, but more good news is I have some India Ink which is, so...I get to do all 12 (!!!) ink-drawings for you. I expect, um, well, dark chocolate is always appropriate. Just kidding.

Here's 'stage 1' of about 3 stages. We can't work too soupy on this surface, as it takes a bit longer to dry. If either assistant is reading this - could you bring hairdryers, too? In our first stage we'll cover our entire painting in it's Mid-tones. Sort of like below. Then stage 2'll be some darker/richer tones, followed by stage 3's lighter/brighter tones and final highlights and deepest darks. I'm planning on two weeks this time. Yeah. Old dog learning new trick. Only took 'til week 5, right? Have a great week, Escape-Artists.

My Demo is the same size you've been working on, overall sheet = 6"x9". Be prepared to use your smaller brushes - especially where you notice all the vegetation. This one is really Impressionistic and while it seems like the painting could be flipped upside down and work the same, notice the reflection of each element (sky, mountains, greenery, and water) are about a shade or two deeper/darker or richer than the original. The body-of-water is affecting every color mirrored in it (just as a mirror's color changes a reflection).

Here's the step-by-step:

This Week in Pictures: Namib Desert

Miss R. Fadler. Amazing shadows. Looks like a flashlight is pointing directly at those trees. Great "depth-of-field" accomplishment.

Master N. Davis. Thanks for letting me "demo" a bit on your painting. Ditto on the shadow-effect.

Miss N. Buckingham. Such delicate, ethereal colors here, it's hard to believe all these students are using the very same paints...In this version (as in Miss Lee's further down the post) the focus is as much - or more - on the ink-drawing as it is on the painting. Contrast this with Miss Fadler's and Master Davis's, above and Miss Breeding's below. These latter three have nearly done-away-with the ink-drawing in favor of very bold/rich/or deep toned colors - of course any or all lines could be re-inked.

So much for my fearing we'd end up with 12 cookie-cutter paintings each lesson!

Miss M. Wolfe. I like this sky. Reminds me of stained-glass.

Miss K. Breeding (not quite finished). Does her sky remind anyone else of a famous Impressionist's skies - or is it just me?

Master J. Wolters. Really fond of those mudcracks. This is one of the few versions to accentuate the distant (also dead) trees in the scene.

Miss H. Ridge (still in progress). By catching the painting at this stage you can see the primary lesson-to-be-learned this time: if you have dark foreground or near-foreground objects that cut across much of the picture go ahead and paint right over them. Our opaque watercolors will cover pretty well even when the "thing-in-front" isn't near-black. You just need to be sure everything painted so far is bone-dry and that your topping-paint is very "rich" (meaning you've used minimal water and swirled the brush round and round and round on the paint tablet).

a copy of Miss Ridge's painting as it might appear when finished (through the "magic" of a total amateur using Photoshop).

Master D. Harwell. Well done. Notice the darker blue in the sky...where the color seems to skip-over the under-blue? That's called a "drybrush" effect (for obvious reasons) and is one of the reasons watercolorists like rougher paper - that and it catches or pools-up colors when your brush is overly wet in more interesting ways than the smooth varieties.

Miss C. Lee. She likes to work with a lot of water - so as a result this version really has more of a transparent-watercolor look.

Master B. Davis. (He worked ambidextrously on this without a single complaint! Well done.)

Miss A. Escue. Love those mudcracks.

Miss A. Cole. Ditto on the mudcracks.

Mini Mystery Paintings

Clockwise from top-left: Miss C. Lee, Miss N. Buckingham, Master N. Davis, Miss K. Breeding, and Miss R. Fadler. Bravo!