Thursday, June 26, 2014

Quick Colour Matching in Traditional Paints

Looking around the Art Camp 2 Week 5 stuff I see a lot of people apologizing about their colours being off in their traditional master study paintings and other paintings that are referenced from photos. Here is a bit of advise to help you out in matching the reference colours traditionally: 

Make a colour copy (on paper from a copier/printer) of the image or print out a colour copy if you are looking at something online, make sure the colours come out as you want them to be. Now either when you are setting up your paint colours to use or if you mix them while you work take a small daub of the colour and paint it on the colour copy in the area you are trying to match. If the colours blend and you can't tell the difference between them you are good to go. If the colour is off try again until they blend into each other. Just make small dots on your colour copy to test your mixed colours so you leave plenty of the actual colour. And that's it! As long as your drawing is accurate and you test your colours to get them to match then you can come up with a pretty close replication of what the image is. You can even use this to get accurately matched colours for your own Illustrations if you have good reference you can use or are just trying to get a specific colour.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Art Camp 2 WK 4

So week 4 was about experimenting with drawing materials: graphite, ink, charcoal, I used markers and coloured pencils as well for the Moebius piece. It seems the average student in Art Camp has never or almost never used traditional materials. I find it hard to believe that any art student would not have picked up traditional materials somewhere throughout their lives. If nothing else pencil and paper is so much cheaper than a computer and Photoshop. But then this goes back to the issue I have heard so many times now from different instructors that people can't draw any more and just are using computers to paint over photos. 

The images below aren't super accurate. I wasn't going to waste my time and be lectured about being too accurate again. So they were done quickly, a single evening and just to fill the assignment more than anything. Which meant I finally got some discussion from one of the instructors. He told me how Rackham did his watercolour technique. I still wonder was it just a statement, a critique on what he thinks I should've and didn't do or what? It didn't offer advise just - this is how he did it. A wash of colour, blue and brown, and lift light areas out with water and a dry brush and add other colours where needed. Funny enough I knew that and that is exactly how I did it. It seems anything good I have done gets little or no attention which is not to say they aren't busy but if I did well I'd like to know. It is just as helpful and sometimes more so to know what went right as well as when you are wrong. So I can't say the comment was really helpful. It is starting to seem to me that despite its advertised all levels the instructor feed back is aimed at young, uninformed artists who most likely have never taken an art class. Provided these are the people who probably need help the most but the stuff they lack in their art is basic enough they can find a critique anywhere to let them know the same thing. Those that are pro or near pro level I think need it just as much. If they are already pretty skilled but lacking that one thing to push them over the top it is probably because at this point they don't see it just yet. One good critique could get them past it and start a career for them. Why not really help someone get going then? 

This current week, 5, is about experimenting in painting materials oil, acrylic and traditional paints. Honestly, I like to paint, oils are wonderful for my detailed, blended, layer upon layer style. I have neither my supplies though, money for it, space to do it or the time. I will work in watercolor this week as that is something I have been wanting to do to develop the look I like for my art. I hope the weeks after get away from basic art class kind of instruction and into something deeper. The topics suggest they will. We will see with the level of instruction. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Art Camp 2 Wk3

This week was about perspective drawing from observation and imagination again using 1, 2 and 3 point perspective. Honestly, I didn't put much into this week. I worked on some other stuff and tied to get my family life on track again. But I have done whole classes based on nothing but perspective so I don't feel I missed much. Now I still did some just because I do think it is something you should be able to use. Now I finally got a written critique about this one but that was just to say, "Curved forms like those pagoda-style roofs are going to be tricky, the thing to remember is that there's still a enclosing rectangular solid that you can build from the corners." So does this mean I need to work on that or that I did okay with them and it is just an observation to be aware of whenever any of us do something like this? Because I did put the corners in perspective with each other so I'm not sure which way it goes. I would assume he thinks I didn't think about it and just tried to draw it out and mentioned something he quickly thought of and moved on. This is also the same guy though, who after I critiqued someone else's work giving a quick draw over so they could see how they needed to improve the stance of their figure, went in and did the same thing, almost the exact same drawing I did as if I did nothing and his wasn't posted right under mine looking the same. Then there was a video critique where the instructor says pretty much the same thing I said after the other one posted his comment in another thread which was, "I'm glad you agree. It is nice to know I was pretty much on track". Now if you are wondering why I make an issue of this here it's because why under value someone else's information just because they aren't part of your little circle? Especially if you are just going to say the same thing? I'm going to stop here. There's more I'd like to say but now probably isn't the time when I'm trying to get hired still and everyone in the freelance Illustration & Concept Design business literally seems to know one another. 

What is the lesson to take away from all this for me though? Once again in life it really is not what you know but who you know that gets you places. Honestly in retrospect of my life I think I would have not been so good at school work and spent more time partying. I like being smart but it has paid off not at all in the long run so far. I know people who did horrible in school but made a decent career for themselves because they knew someone. I don't think college is the way to go anymore. Trade schools are much better focused and usually have some kind of internship were you get practical experience to use in getting a job plus they are a focused learning environment so you learn what you need to. 


Art Camp 2 Wk2

So this week was all about keeping a daily sketchbook and drawing from observation and imagination, which everyone who keeps a sketchbook does. The big issue is doing daily sketches. Still this is something I like to do anyway and already do. Sometimes I may work for a few days on one particular sketch turning it into more of a drawing but that mostly comes from not having much time to everything I should be doing in a single day (Like posting this last week.) but I do draw something daily so this wasn't that big of a stretch. The practice is solid though and nothing builds skill like repetition. Mostly I drew from imagination because it is just simpler for me to do since I run around with a 3 year old all day and I don't have to sit in front of a certain reference. Especially since one of my best chances to sketch is when he plays at the park if there are other kids around but that is always up in the air so maybe, maybe not. 

The funny thing about this week is I got 2 reviews one that basically came back pretty negative and questioned my ability to draw because the Valkyrie painting is pretty photo real in its execution. It always makes me wonder if it is because they assume I am some young kid just starting out and couldn't possibly do that kinda of work so I must have painted on top of photos because that is the popular thing. Now I used photos for reference but I painted it all over again and think it is funny the same person who gave me this critique and said I should just try doing things from my head uses reference to get his images to look as he wants. I matched my photos quite a bit though and that is the big issue but it lead basically to him saying I probably can't draw. The next day another instructor critiqued my sketchbook and some other sketches from the Rabbit story which are all from imagination, zero reference since they were done at work. In his critique of my work not only did he say I had strong drawing skill but commented that my worked reminded him of Harry Clark and Edmund Dulac who along with Arthur Rackham were exactly the look I was going for with my storybook sketches.  So can I draw? You judge, but like I mentioned before Iaian McCaig, Jon Schindehette and everyone else I've talked to always said I can draw well. Just be careful of judging people before you know much about them. 

The following sketches are for this week and were all from imagination except the last page and the one with the tiger on it.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Morrigan Final

Here is the final I came up with for this project. Let me cross my fingers my fingers and hope for the best with Treehouse Brand Stores. I'd really like to work with them so I hope this fits in with something they can use. If it does get used it would be a limited edition art print which would be a nice way to break in.