New art tomorrow

Uncategorized | December 26, 2005 | By

There will be new art here tomorrow. Right now, I’m still cleaning up all the falalalala and enjoying the company of our daughter, home briefly from New York, and our son, home from college.

In the meantime, why don’t you mosey on over to Russ Stutler’s new Sketching Discussion Page and join in a conversation. If you aren’t familiar with Russ’ work, you should be. He does wonderful things with a brush pen and is a real expert on fountain pens, among many other topics. His new forum is just getting off the ground. We’ve just been talking about drawing amongst ourselves and it would be great if you’d join us … You need to register but it’s easy and free!

More sketchcrawling

Saturday night, after an afternoon at Descanso Gardens we had a quick sushi stop (yesterday’s scan), had a latte at Starbucks and went to see Memoirs of a Geisha. These are some of the people I saw along the way.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, by the way. I had read the book earlier this year and although much detail had to be left out, it was essentially the way I visualized it. In fact, the author was so descriptive in his prose, and the director so faithful to the book that the scenes were exactly as I had “seen” them when I was reading.

Next to last stop of the Saturday sketchcrawl

Here’s one of my late in the day drawings from my Saturday sketchcrawl. I’ll be posting the other ones later but I have been tussling with ImageReady CS to learn how to do a rollover and then how to embed it in a blog post. So I think I’ve got it working now.
I’m not going to take the time to do this with all of the sketches … it’s too much extra effort. But the figuring out part was fun.
What can I say … I’m a born geekette. Wait, make that a born sushi-loving geekette. By the way, I did not eat any octopus tentacles that evening. I had California roll, spicy tuna handroll and a specialty of the house roll whose name I can’t recall.
The tentacle was just casually lying in the refrigerator case and was the closest thing to draw. Ditto the slab of tuna. Want to see me purr? Show me some hamachi (yellowtail) sashimi. Mmmmmm.

Now I’ll see about getting some of the other sketchcrawl pictures up.

Here’s one page: More sketchcrawling
And another: Sketchcrawling cont.

Light takes many forms – if you just Imagine

Illustration Friday, Photoshop | December 19, 2005 | By

There is a very good chance that I won’t get something new done for Illo Friday’s theme “Imagine” so I am going to suggest this as a dual-purpose entry. Once upon a time last year, I saw a light pattern on the wall and my overactive imagination turned it into something entirely different. Read on …


This image was painted entirely in Photoshop using the Liquify, smudge and other gooey tools. There was no paintbrushing in this, nor preset global filters. It was done entirely by pushing around pixels, a few at a time.

Last year, in late November, a long-time dear friend of mine was remodeling her home and put in a beautiful new front door with a beveled glass insert. We happened to stop by to visit her at a time of day when the afternoon light was streaming through the door, casting scattered golden patterns on her wall. I was entranced with the look of it, and, because I never go anywhere without my digital camera, I took about a dozen shots of it from different perspectives – close up, wide, high, low and so on.
A few days later I opened one of the photos in Photoshop and just started manipulating it using my Wacom pad. I tried several different experiments but this was the one that turned out the best. My friend is a devout Catholic and attributes her recovery from the very early stages of colon cancer, and her husband’s cancer survival in part to the protection of her guardian angel. So I created a representation of that “being of light” … literally … painted with the light that came in her own door every single day. She liked it a lot and I hope you will, too.

I get a lot of mail from people asking different questions, and because I love chatting about art, I try to answer every single one. One of the most frequent questions is “where do you find inspiration?” I think that this demonstrates the process very well. I just look at things and start asking myself “what would happen if I tried this? Or this?” Sometimes you end up with a silly looking bulldog. And every now and then, an angel.

Blue Hat

Drawing, Pencil, Photoshop, sketch | December 10, 2005 | By

I’ve been reading a book this week called Mastering Glazing Techniques in Watercolor (Rankin) which has been affecting my thinking about other kinds of painting. Perhaps you’ve seen a watercolor painting in which the colors seemed to glow from within, or one that had an ethereal feeling to it. How do they do that? The author says that effect can be achieved by using thin layers of transparent color over white paper and using glazes in the right order and of the right value. The author is particularly fond of glazing with Winsor Blue, Winsor red and aureolin yellow (or new gamboge.) Although watercolor painting and digital painting use completely different processes to achieve different hues (one subtractive, with pigment and one additive, with light) I thought it would be interesting to try ‘glazing’ in Photoshop by building up the color on multiple layers. This was just a quick experimental sketch on a piece of scrap paper, scanned and then painted, to see how it would work.

Cuecard man

Drawing, Pencil, Portraits, sketch | December 1, 2005 | By

Last week we made some cue cards for on-camera talent and brought them back with us when the project was over. I was about to throw them out when I realized that the back side could still be used for drawing practice. So I did.
Those blue specks showing through aren’t the paper texture … they’re the bleed-thru of the Sharpie on the other side.
I kind of like the effect, actually.