Thursday, December 30, 2010

Winter and Nature - Illustration Friday

This picture was made using watered down acrylics on croquis paper. This is my creative response to the topic of 'winter' issued by Illustration Friday.

Pregnant Nature is looking at Old Man Winter, waiting for him to get tired and sit down so that she can give birth to Spring.

While Old Man Winter holds a staff of cold, Nature is holding a staff in the form of a tree which has a number of buds ready to blossom and two swallows on its branches.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Black & White: Creative Challenge 131

This post is my contribution to Creative Challenge 131.

The challenge was to post a work of art in black and white. So, these are the best images I came up with in the spirit of the challenge. All images are watered down acrylics (black and white obviously) on sketch books.

The first batch that I did I simply lathered some quick strokes of black paint in the middle. Then I tried to find the image in some of them. This was one of those, and by far my favourite.

 This is the other that I like quite a bit. This is the other good one where I was able to find the image in the random swathing of black paint. That's why the face is further down and partly cut off.

I recently read in The Practice and Science of Drawing by Harold Speed, and he really hammered away the idea of how confining and unforgiving those four borders are on a given rectangle. I think this painting may have suffered for it.

This last one is a self portrait. I did two of them, and this one is not entirely accurate. I am not one of those painters with the skill to make a photographic quality painting. I can live with that, though.

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Highlights from Sketchbook 21


I finished off my 21st sketchbook this morning and thought I would post my favourites from it.

Something that's relatively new that I started in sketchbooks started when this was started, I have many that are usually in use since I began this practice, is watered down acrylics. Also, there is at least one watercolour in here.

Awhile back I got it in my head to do a couple of ballet dancers for my dear friend, Sean Winston, who is both a fan and a contributor to the fine art of ballet. However, I was having difficulty, and decided to break down the limbs of the dancers into more basic three dimensional figures. This is one of the results, and, perhaps, amongst my favourite results.

This is another watered down acrylic. I had borrowed a book from the DICC, which is a facility for foreigners in Daejeon, South Korea.

The book was on the history of art in China. Many of the samples were very beautiful. There is a calm beauty that I find very alluring in much of Chinese art.

The elegance of the lady on one particular page struck me as being particularly beautiful. Many attempts were made to capture the magic of that image. Of those attempts in this sketchbook, this one was clearly the best.

This is watered down acrylic. I cannot recall who the model was for this one. Sometimes random images come into my mind as I try to work on one particular aspect of painting. I cannot recall what in particular I was striving for in this painting. However, I like the colour and feeling in this painting.

It's paintings like these that I really like. The image I embedded on the page I tried to reapply to canvas with limited success. I really like this one.

She is a character in an unwritten story. She is warning the main character not to eat the lieberries. Though she is a scary and mean looking witch, her intention is to help the girl. The girl, however, is young and foolish and not interested in the wisdom or opinion of scary witches. She eats of the lieberries and is struck by their curse of never being able to tell the truth and always lying.

It is my hope that in the not too distant future I will be able to illustrate my own children's books.

This is amongst the first watercolour images that I've done. It is very simply flowers blowing in a gentle wind. While it is certainly no masterpiece, I actually quite like this piece.

A friend of mine, Ronald Dandy, told me that one cannot layer watercolours as one does with acrylics. That certainly adds a level of difficulty for me. However, the colours are very bright and have some interesting characteristics. For instance, a dried up palette of watercolours can be used again simply by spraying it with water. That's pretty cool.

This is one of those sketches that is pretty much where I'd like to see my art go, but more reliably. It's that place of fearlessness where thoughts and images come out of my hand with little if any inhibition, and end up looking much like I wanted them to.

The girl on the small bed is no one in particular. The room is no room at all, just one randomly selected from nowhere.
This sketch is of three girls in a locker room in their glorious naked skin. I really like this sketch. Normally I have a very difficult time with proportions and mixing multiple individuals in the same image. However, in this case, it worked out fairly well. I am quite happy with this piece.

This is a self portrait. In it I look older and my face is slimmer than it is in real life.

The image also reminds me of my deceased grandfather, Ferna. Though he was not my grandfather by blood, he is the only one I've known. The biological one having died when my mother was very young, leaving behind no image, there is no way to know what my biological grandfather looked like.

And that ends the highlights of my 21st sketchbook.
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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Primitive Man - Illustration Friday

Caveman Paintings

After some searching, I found what's new to me the website called Illustration Friday. The topic for the week is "Primitive Art". With that topic in mind, I put together several 'primitive' pieces and these three posts are the 'best of' what I came up with.

These are all watered down acrylics on one of my croquis sketchbooks. I used burnt sienna, magenta, and yellow ochre as my colours.

I can't help but wonder of the genius that inspired the very first artist to pick up the 'brush' or perhaps tufted tail of some slain beast dipped in blood. But whatever of it, it is hard to contemplate the importance of that individual.

War Party

There's no party like a war party. The passion of life and death on the blunt or sharp end I'd wager was what inspired early paintings on the cave walls.

I don't know precisely what weapons the cavemen would have wielded, but surely clubs and spears were the technologies of the day.

Pigment to My Love

I don't know how primitive lovers might have painted their mistresses. Did they paint them on cave walls, or were those reserved for the bloodier deeds?

Perhaps this would have been the primitive 'Helen' for whom a thousand club wielding cavemen would have fought.
Holy Cow

Perhaps it was a bunch of hungry cavemen who sat in a cave who painted the bovine to help inspire them to the hunt.

Primitive Farewell

Well, that's the end of my contribution to primitive art.
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First collage/painting

So often I have seen posts on Flickr where there were these kinds of blog/ painting/ journal entries that I admire. I want to try some new things. One of those things that I want to try is to combine some of these things: drawing and painting the things that I do and see in my everyday life.

There's also this part of me that likes to look through the refuse of others to find a use for this or that. I quick look in my apartment you'll see heavy signs of this trait. The table that my wife uses, the very nice dresser, her chair (with the arm that keeps falling off), the Styrofoam taped to the glass doors to improve insulation, are just a few of the things that can be found. I also have a number of boards that I found thrown out as trash that I claimed, applied Gesso, and then painted.

I also picked up some flyers in and around Home Plus, and picked up one of those ads whose Korean language requires that I guess their purpose. Putting it all together, I finally came up with this image.

I guess it's the treasure hunter inside of me that likes to find that bit of gem hidden in the mountain of ill fated trash.
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Friday, December 3, 2010

Stinking Thinking

The website, "Creative Challenge" posted its 130th challenge with the words, "Stinking Thinking."

Well, this image I drew a few years ago. However, I can't help but think this is the ultimate image for the theme, so here it is in its glory. I added some stinking poetry that was inspired by those words:

Here's to Stinking Political Thinking

The stinking thinking is sinking.
The sinking thinking is stinking.
Thinking of stinking as I'm sinking.
Thinking of sinking as I'm stinking.

Politico stinko at the rally,
Cow patty Sally in the alley
Is the perfect lady for an ally
With the fee seas on the sea
And the Sea of fees stinking the trees.
And the sea of trees stinking of fees,
While the stinking politicalies scratch for fleas
Who all suffer from lying disease.

Mr. Pentamoidea  was critically thinking,
While all this was critically stinking.
My words are finished and this poem's now sinking.


Thanks, thanks to one and all.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

La Jeune Fille Bleue

This painting was inspired by Creative Every Day Challenge.

It's watered down acrylic on 50lb paper (gsm=?) by Hilroy.

Her pupils are forest green; her swan-like neck arches gracefully while pink hair descends from her head.

She sits by a wispy tree which graces the crest of a gentle, subtle hill.

My Magic Art Blog

My Workspace at Home
I have decided to start an art blog. I will post paintings, photos, drawings, and perhaps other things that I like. I hope that you enjoy my new blog.

A little about myself: I am but a humble ESL teacher working to educate young Korean children in the ways of the English language.

One of my favourite hobbies is art. Somehow, it helps me get through each day like music did years ago. I wish I could find an art teacher, but it's not easy to find one who speaks English. So, I continue on my way: simply doing my own thing. I know I will get better, because I know I have gotten better. I started this journey almost two years ago when I was filled with the desire to illustrate for my own stories. I don't know if I'm up to that quite yet, but in the journey, I have found a creative meditation which is addictive and gives me a great deal of peace.

This is my workspace at home. I have my Picasso book on the right: great images, but the text is pedantic and useless. There are a half dozen sketch books that are used with pencil and watered down acrylic paint. I have oil pastels in my drawer, felt-tipped markers, pens, coloured pencils, and a set of never-used water colours that sit helplessly in their box.

This blog is a first step toward documenting my ongoing love-affair with visual arts.
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