Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More sketches

Mike Watson did a great job displaying my sketch books at the "Weight" exhibition.  Here are few more
sketches from those books.  Some of my sketch books have a theme like faces or yoga poses.  Some are just random images I come across.  The one below is from an old masters painting. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Studio Discipline

One thing I have done over the years lead to the concept for this series. I try to get to my studio as often as possible. I usually have some painting or project I am working on, so I always have something to do when I get there. However, sometimes the spirit is not in me to work on the project that is pressing. So, when that happens, I work on my figure studies. I have hundreds of sketchbooks full of figure studies now. These studies lead to my drawing the figures holding things and eventually rocks over there heads. I use Moleskine books to sketch in with red-brown color pencils.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A walk around the exhibition

It was a cold day yesterday (for Charlotte)...a great day to be inside looking at art!  Lets begin at drawing 1 seen here in the foreground. 

Next to drawing 1 is a display of two sketch books filled with preparatory drawings. 

Onto drawing 2 on the inside of the gallery space.  In the background is drawing 6. 

On the wall to the left is drawing 8.  This is a half size drawing which is only 3 feet tall instead of 6 feet.  I used this drawing to work out several details for the larger drawings.  In the foregound is the exhibition review by Robert Mayhew, Phd. candidate in art history art Duke University.  Mike Watson did a great job creating this poster. 

Finally drawing 3.  Here you can see the magnets I used to hang the drawings like Japanese scrolls.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Figure and Ground Relationship

For this series, I have decided to use a thick, dark line to outline the figure. You can see this in the detail above in the forward hand, arm, and leg. 

Where the shadow meets the edge of a drawing, as shown in the back hand and arm, I will usually not use a hard line.  This allows the dark values do the work of the line. 

With the rock overhead much of the figure is in shadow.  So both the rock and figure cast shadows on the ground.  I kept this shadow minimal so as not to overwhelm the figure.  However, I used the cast shadow to bring out the highlights and middle gray areas of the foot and leg. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Paper Selection for Drawing Series

Starting a new drawing is easy for me.  I just start putting marks on the paper. Beginning a new series of drawings, however, requires many, many decisions. What type paper do I want to use? As with everything in life today, the choices are almost endless.  I decided to use gray paper for my larger drawings.  It is a light gray so that graphite shows up well.  Also, I decided to use white charcoal for the highlights on these drawings, so gray allows for that.  I wanted a textured paper, so I chose one with a slight texture. I paint on rough paper and I did not want to use paper that was too rough.  Drawing six above shows how both the dark pencil and white charcoal show up well on gray paper.  I must say that backs are soooooooo fun to draw!  The subtle details of the back muscles are endlessly fascinating to me.   

Monday, December 13, 2010

Student Figure Drawings

Here are several drawings from my students in life drawing class.  These were done during week 10 of an 11 week class.  This is the second drawing class in the drawing series for these students.  In the class, I stress observation, gesture, line and value.  The classes uses only two mediums: charcoal and color pastels.  The drawings above are by the following students: Matthew (MJ) Jacobs, Erin Niedbalski, Anthony (AJ) McCrea, Nick Dischler, and Ycien Henderson.

Rock Shape Composition

Round rock shape used in drawing 3. 

 Pointed rock shape used in a preparatory sketch.

Square rock shape used in drawing 4.  

The composition of each drawing calls for making decisions as well. I wanted the drawings in the series to have a balance of optimistic and pessimistic views. In some of the drawings, the figure is 'winning' against the rock. She is pushing the rock up and off the top of the page. In other drawings the figure is being overwhelmed by the weight of the rock. I experimented with the shape of the rock in the sketches for the series. You can see that there are three rock shapes: round, pointed, and squared. I decided that the pointed rock was to pessimistic and did not include that rock shape in the larger drawings. The round rock shape I used for the optimistic drawings where the figure successfully holding the weight up. I used the squared rock shape for the pessimistic rocks that are pushing the figure down.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Exhibition Photos 2

The exhibition is completely installed now.  I want to go over some of the decisions I made while working on these drawings. 
In all my drawings I start with line. In this series I decided that each figure would be outlined using a bold exterior contour line. In each drawing, I draw the outside or exterior contour line first. Then I put in the shadow or interior contour lines. After the lines are roughed in, I start shading, adding the darks. I draw the lightest shadows first and work from light to dark. As I draw, I gradually use darker and softer pencils. I usually begin with a B pencil and end up using a 6B or 7B pencil to finish the darkest shadows. Notice I even placed line boarders around the edge of the paper.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Photos from the Exhibition

The exhibition looks great!  This photo shows one of the sketches and drawing 1.  Mike Watson did a great job hanging everything.  I decided to display the drawings like Japanese scrolls.  They are not framed, but hung by magnets on pieces of foam core board.  The look is different from the standard display.  Remember not to touch them!  The oil from your hands will damage the paper.  I was unsure if a magnet could hold the weight of the paper, but you can get very strong magnets.  The first set I ordered were so strong that I could not get them apart.  So I ordered some with less attraction power.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Exhibition is Up

The exhibition is up at the Art Institute today.  Here is the invitation above.  I chose drawing number 3 for the invitation.  In preparation for the exhibition, the creation of the marketing materials has been fun.  In the invitation I used the vertical elements of a drawing and my name in contrast with the horizontal placement of the title.  In the title I contrasted a thick, bold sans serif font with a thin, delicate serif font.  I hope you can make it by the exhibit.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Don Michael demonstrates at figure drawing class

As part of my exhibition in December of figure drawings, I took one of my classes on a series of field trips to the Charlotte Art League.  At the League my students were exposed to drawing with experienced artists.  Last week, Don Michael demonstrated a new technique for the class.  He had the students use a wound piece of paper to distance the pastel from their hands.  This caused them to make subtle, light marks.  The results were fantastic as you can see by the drawings above.  These are three students from the class, each 2nd quarter students at the Art Institute of Charlotte: Chris Ross, Chelsea Clay, and Talia Najera.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Exhibition Catalog Published

The exhibition catalog has arrived from the printers.  If you would like a copy for yourself, email me and let me know; be sure and include your address.  I will be glad to mail you one.  The catalog will also be available at the exhibition which will go up Friday December 4th.  I must say that I am excited, this is the second catalog my art has been in.  The first was a catalog of a group exhibition in Hungary.  A big thanks to Robert Mayhew who wrote the exhibition review!  And in advance, a big thanks to Mike Watson who is the curator of the exhibition.