Friday, October 29, 2010

Basic Drawing Skills - Audrey Hepburn

This is my second attempt at this beautiful image. This time I was much more in tune with the image and not so concerned with accuracy. As a result the picture is a better likeness and has a fresher sense.

The quality of the students drawings was outstanding on this portrait. To view their work visit the Basic Drawing Skills class blog.

Basic Drawing Skills - live, in class demos

I have become captivated by this image of Audrey Hepburn. Her class, and humanity seem to shine through. I'm also very interested in the fact that these two drawings I did, very quickly, live in class on the overhead, both seem to capture her personality whereas, the official version I did in the studio (in the next post) has completely missed her personality. I think there is a bit of a message in that.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Basic Drawing Skills

This image of actress Helen Menken was done for my drawing class. Because the students in the class are progressing so quickly we now take accuracy for granted and are working on expressing the feeling of the portrait. This particular image speaks to me of quiet contemplation. I'm also experimenting more with a cross hatching approach rather than my normal method of smudging the graphite for shading. I started trying this in order to speed up the process and am finding now that I really enjoy the more direct nature of cross hatching.

For information on the Basic Drawing Skills class contact me.

To see the students' work visit the Basic Drawing Skills Blog.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Elbow River Colours

The same bold colour approach applied to a scene we came upon while hiking along the Elbow River.

Watercolour 9" X 12"

Friday, October 15, 2010

Let There Be Colour

Lately, I've been spending a lot of time looking at Eleanor Lowden Pidgeon's DVD and her bold use of colour. The sun hitting the hedge in our front yard seemed tailor made for a bold use of colour as the sun sparkled in the yellows and reds of the hedge. I like the feel as if someone has just been sitting in the chair and has briefly left the frame.

Watercolour 20" x 13.5"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Basic Drawing Skills

This image was a true pleasure to do. I wanted to try drawing on a toned background and letting the toned background be the mid values so I only needed to add the dark values and then the white highlights. It was done on a pastel paper with a pronounced circular texture. The entire drawing tool only about 45 minutes 30 of which were for the drawing. The shading was fast and easy and when I added the white charcoal it just came to life. I was literally blown away by this process and will definitely be trying this again.

I've started a new blog dedicated to my drawing class, Basic Drawing Skills. Check out the students work at this link.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Basic Drawing Skills

Our second portrait was of Don Knots from his days on the Andy Griffiths show. I was very surprised that some of the younger people even knew him, though he also was on some more modern shows like Three's Company. Anyway, for this portrait I enjoyed the surface used which was matt board. There is a very definite texture which allows some of the white board to show through. I used a different shading style just because I didn't have the time to do my usual smoother smudging technique. I've used a cross hatching style which was much faster to do. It's a little more muscular than smudging. These two approaches to shading with graphite are very different but each is equally effective, it's all about finding which approach you enjoy more or perhaps it's best to know both so you can use the most appropriate one for the particular drawing you are doing.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Basic Drawing Skills

I'm posting this portrait of King Tut again because I've added a new layer of shading and I think that it has a greater depth. For artists who are beginning in their study of value (shading) it's useful to see it as a process. I did the initial layer of shading based on my first impression. A few days later when I came back to it I was able to see a greater and more subtle range of values in the shading. This drawing is the result of that process. I can continue to come back to it and add even more layers of depth. It's useful to keep in mind, however, that more and more doesn't necessarily make it a better drawing. It's all about what you want to say. For example quick, spontaneous drawings often carry more feeling and spontaneity even if they are not as 'finished'. In this class it's about discovering how you want to interpret your subjects, no one way is always right.

Just for those who are interested, in total to date, I've put in about 40 minutes to draw the picture and about 90 minutes for the shading.