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Red Head

Sunday, October 28, 2012

ROUGHING IT IN: This is where the ability to draw really kicks in. First I sketch in the figures; hence story, with umber and aliz. crimson. This is a tense scene in which Queen Elizabeth has found out Mary, Queen of Scots, was found plotting to assasinate her, and now Elizabeth must have Mary beheaded. She literally becomes ill; and I read somewhere that Queens did not like to kill other queens because they felt that all queens were appointed by God and thus Elizabeth felt she was going against the will of God. One of my favorite scenes because it shows that even tho Elizabeth was beholden to no mortal, she did have a moral compass and thus made her more human. This is a great shot since it has some remarkable silohuettes that tell the story. I had to repaint the position of Elizabeth's head to lower it, to show how she is struggling for breath, trying to pull it together to appear a strong leader. The first sketchbook I filled was color thumbnails, almost color keys, to push for speed. The second sketchbook was to go to a bigger canvas space, turn the form with warm and cools, ad more environment; and slow down and be more contemplative with my color decisions. This next one is to saturate my colors even more, find that fine line between a color sketch and not overdoing it, with the intentions of really stepping it up this time.
More from Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Saturday, October 27, 2012

INFLUENCES My art career began with the gaming industry years ago in San Rafael, California. Back then, there was no 3D and a very disappointing and limited color palette. I found these images on Yahoo from a game called Dishonored (I think). It's strong art direction is just striking; whoever did the concept art in this game really knew what they were doing. It's a colored film noire, gorgeous dramatic, moody lighting, the stills look like they were painted. Just lovely to look at. I did not work on these altho I wish I had...

Monday, October 08, 2012

More from Prague: a shot of my Dad at the Hardrock Cafe. He looked so regal, I thought it would make a good shot. Ok~I love my Dad. He is the only soul in this world who I can hang out with and hardly say a word, and feel completely at peace. I guess it's just his familiar energy. He has taught me to love what I chose to do, know who I am and to keep on aspiring. Also in this set is a religious figure on a tour to the underground cities of Prague. There are a set of cities on top of each other under the clock tower; fascinating history of the residents; and all I can tell you is that: I am glad I was not born in that era. Lots of torture and drudgery and when you look at the holes in the ground where people were thrown for 7-8 days with no food and's inconceivable...And can you guess why they were thrown down there in the dark? It was not for violent crimes or was for not paying their taxes.
Some of the light and colors of Old Town Prague at dusk. Some of the images are blurred and I apologize. When traveling I am not in control of when I eat sometimes and the crash in blood sugar makes my hand shake and head spin. These are mostly shot for color and when I do look, I squint anyway just to see the form and color and value simplified. But the colors and light are just a dream here. Towards the end of the day, it was so pleasant and peaceful that I felt so far away from earthly troubles that I felt I was floating. I imagine this is what my heaven will be like...
A few photos outside the Belvedere and one of a white and black statue; that's from the Parliament building. Notice there is hardly any light to make the forms come out...It did rain that day..
The Sphinxes at the Belvedere that I really liked. Yeah, that's my brother in between the boobs. As I hung out and drew the sculptures, I noticed that tourists from all over the world did the same thing, giggle, hold them and you notice that they are getting black from the oils of everyone's hands? Check out the photo from behind the Sphinx~such graceful s curves, one wing higher than the other on the shoulder. A symmetric pose with assymmetry..
At the Belvedere, Austria. I have an old crappy camera which took crappy pictures..these are the only ones of paintings which came out. The long face sculpture is really as it is; no Photoshop magic.
In Budapest. Introducing my Dad and my brother. Light only came out for a few minutes on the lion; otherwise it would have been reflected in the drawings.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Prague is home to Art Nouveau. I did manage to see the Alfons Mucha Museum. Mucha was an amazing prolific soul. People know his graphic works but many are not aware that he was a great painter as well. When I was younger, I loved his line work and now that I've matured I enjoy the epic work he did when he painted the history of the slavs; enormous canvases done with such love and empathy. He lead a full life, working almost until he died. One of the reasons why I respect him did so much is that he was an outstanding draftsman in almost everything he did. Even the reference photos he took for his posters and paintings were works of art themselves. His pencil drawings were outstanding too. Here are some decorative building motifs on some buildings.
Onto our last city; Prague! This was done in "Old Town" Prague. Losing the light fast. One of the hardest because I plunked myself down in the busiest of areas, people milling around me as I sat on the cobblestones, pretty paranoid about the pick pocketers here. Saw several homeless people in the plaza. Had the opposite problem in Prague: in Budapest, the paint would nearly dry before the brush touched the paper, in Prague, it would not dry! It was a little chilly and cold in Prague.
Some of the sculptures from the Parliament Building in Vienna. Tired by this time, losing light. This is unfinished; just ran out of gas that day..Really wanted to do more of these (include more environments). I was delighted by the contrast of the dark bronze sculpture in front of the white marbled one. The obvious challenge here was to simplify the complicated shapes before me. I wanted to just dab to indicate the movement of the forms, not really describing them as they were, but in more calligraphic description~however it's going to take more practice to achieve that confidence of a more casual brushstroke. Will take many more paintings...
A decoration seen from the window of our continental breakfast room.
Gorgeous Baroque lions on the steps in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. Drawing in public is hard. A lot of great views happen to be right in the flow of traffic and there are lots of distractions. People constantly moving around you, asking you questions, curious onlookers, hot or cold weather. While drawing the sphinxes, it started to rain. People standing right infront of you obstructing the view, I was wary of pick pocketers and beggars. To draw in public is a test in focus and concentration and patience.
Then there were these bare breasted sphinx women outside the Belvedere Museum in the enormous courtyard. I took several photos of them. They are seen in Claire Wendling's sketchbooks, so I always thought she created them, but they are sculptural motifs thru-out Vienna. If anyone can tell me what they symbolize, that would be great! The sculptural forms really have a wonderful flow.
Onto Vienna, inside the Belvedere Museum. Vienna is a stunning, easy to navigate city. It has beautiful examples of Baroque art movement. Just take the "D" tram and follow that road to a string of stunning buildings and museums. Or you can simply walk the street and investigate on foot. The Belvedere's most jaw dropping painting, in my humble opinion is Vemeer's Artist in His Studio; truly a remarkable gem of a painting. While most of the paintings there had crisp edges, Vermeer realized that not all edges need to be sharp; and softened his edges, helping to create a more realistic dreamy painting. It stands out in this museum among the others.
Budapest Lions: These were stunning and beautiful; very much like the lions I had sketched in Spain around 2005. I did like the lions in Spain at the end of the Ramblas better; they were a bit more "raw" and more emotive. It was a very hot and windy day to paint, very hard to keep the paint moist and I was very tired. It became very humid and overcast; killing the form and making it difficult to show how stunning the form was. My brother estimates that we had walked about 14 miles the day before! So I was a little off my game.
Budapest National Gallery: outside the museum in the courtyard. I found that Budapest artists kinda followed the style of whatever was the art trend. There was not really anything outstanding or original in the works. The outside bronze sculptures did, however, hold my attention and admiration. Then again, no one flies out to Budapest, excited to see the art. But please, don't mean to insult anyone who is Hungarian.