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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Working out the composition for "Shoten Zenjin".  Face is hand drawn and scanned; the rest is drawn from the Wacom; a first for me.  Printer is out of temporarily out of commission; usually I will do a really nice pencil first, scan, size, and paint from that.  I am just winging it now.  Making sure there is a flow and the figure has a great silohuette.  Choosing elements that tell the story; anything that does not support the story gets axed.  If you want a good illustration and a terrific start, the time most spent is here; getting the drawing right.  Stay tuned.  More to come

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Easter Day, took off for a walk with dog to Placerita Canyon.  Trying to warm up to Plein Aire exercises.  Sat on the side of the path like an Indian, silently painting.  You observe things when you exist like a monk.  Like the 2 girls wildly screaming down the path, terrified that "there was a snake crossing the path" and to "beware".  I said the only snake that we should be wary about is a rattler.  Was it a rattler?  "No", they said between gulps of air.  Or the two overweight teenagers, one with a speaker glued to her ear, blasting terrible "music" that you could hear half a mile away; obliterating any songs the birds were singing on the trail.  Really?  Why go hiking at all?  Why make the rest of us Nature lovers feel like we are in a video game?  Or the Hispanic guy struggling to hold on to his enormous charcoal colored pit bull at the end of a thick tire chain who wanted to attack any small animal on the trail.  He was accompanied by about 6 little ones, one who was bragging how he was going to kill any living creature that happened in front of them.  Have we as a society, gotten that far away from Nature?
Anyways, the Plein Aire approach is a big departure from my comfort zone:  the figure.  But I find it liberating in that there are a lot of technically creative things you can do here that you are restricted somewhat with anatomy.  I am approaching it more in an abstract kind of way, focusing on that aspect before form and structure; which has been drilled into me from drawing figure.  Getting "abstracty" is what I call it.  It's going to teach me how to paint with much more impact in Photoshop and with the figure.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Inspired by a post from John Quinn who visited Descano Gardens in March and raved about how nice it was; lots of flowers blooming, I finally got a chance to sneak out there for a few hours to see for myself.  He was right.  I rarely get a chance to paint plein aire.  My weakness is to trust myself and simplify the forms~it's a challenge for me.  Years ago, I met Greg Manchess at ComicCon and asked him about this.  He said you "mass the forms".  I feel much more comfortable with figure because it is harder.  But I would like to get away from figure to explore more "abstract" opportunities found in Nature.  Get away from the academics and work more purely with color compositions.  It will help me in Photoshop.