Sunday, May 31, 2009

Apple's Day on Arab Street

I was walking the streets of Singapore today, with my 2years old son. He fell asleep and I sat down in a small turkish restaurant. I ordered a double-apple shisha and a big cold apple tea. Apple all the way. The view was very charming in front of me, vintage Singapore was talking with splash of colors. I subdued and pull out my brushes and watercolors, asked the server to bring me a big jug of plain water then started sketching. 40 min later, my son woke up. I ordered a fresh pressed apple juice for him... Apple all the way. It kept him busy for 10 min so I could do some last touch up. The original is 8x11 inches in size. The scan has a very different feel to it. I've done this one in my Super Deluxe Bee paper, 93lb with a textured surface with an excellent tooth.

Dr Sketchy #4

Just plain fun it's been. My first attempt at drawing a Drag Queen. Using my new John Pike's color arrangement.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Joelle's Desk

Today exercise was Joelle's desk. I'm still experiementing with John Pike palette, and I quite like it. It's very intuitive to use. I really like the overall design of this one. The shape arrangement, repetition, alternation in size, value and direction. Point of focus with high contrast. My favorite things is the two frames at the back reaching the books on the left using the shadow, then using the book at the bottom to return to the point of interest. I still feel that my brush strokes are too stiff, I need to free myself, and throw paint swiftly. I would like more expressive strokes and gesture.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I'm getting there.

Today I've done two pieces, the fist one, is a study after JS Sargent. Zattere Rio Eremite, Venice 1904. I understood many things while doing this piece, especially how water reflection need to be of a surgical precision. After this 30min test, my palette was wet, my arm was relaxed and my mind willing for another challenge, I looked at Sargent study of the Spanish Dancer, I started sketching it, but then I noticed my wife perfectly still working on her computer. Gotcha! I quickly erase my pencil lines, and started with swift movement a drawing of Joelle. Keeping in mind my friend Wayne's advise. "Speed and good drawing at the same time". After few minute, I was ok with the sketch, seeing some mistake but didnt want to retouch them. I rectify them during the watercolors pass. My main regret is the upper chest area, it should have been much brighter. I really like her gaze and her right shoulder, the soft gradient describing the volume. The likeness is quite there too. I'm very surprised. Oh by the way, today i tried a new set of colors too. After I got John Pike book on Watercolors, I changed my palette arrangement. I'v discovered the Thalo Blue. I really like it mixed with ultramarine, Burnt Sienna or Burnt Umber that's how I've done the hair.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

I'm Back

My blues are gone, and I really feel operational. I've been looking at many Sargent watercolors this week, get the passion growing again. The 15min portrait doesnt bear any likeness to Kim, sorry bro, but at least facial feature are almost correctly placed. I've done a lot of Kimon, during this session, contour and gesture, not much to show.
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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Back in the comfort zone

The previous 3 sessions were quite wasted. Last week I decided to explore a new angle,
but instead I fell back into a known territory. Fountain pen drawing and ink wash. Just to comfort myself on the fact that I "can" sometime. It felt good, I left the workshop not fully satisfied but at least with a smile. During the session I was remembering to myself, a book a read fews days ago, Art & Fear. I need to learn to let go, and just do, knowingly 2 things. 1st I will be disappointed, 2nd there is no perfection. The perfect balance of beauty is imperfection. And this is the main things that attract me to watercolors. The looseness of that medium, it imperfections, is at the core of it beauty.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Another useless session

I find myself in a dead-end, unable to feel any progress, unable to do what I was doing few months ago. I need a new angle, a fresh view on things. I need to challenge myself. I need think differently.

So I've made two decisions.

1-) My life drawing session now are going to follow Kimon Nicolaides teaching.
2-) I will copy Miyazaki & Sargent's Watercolor, to understand more
color mixing and texturing. At least one per week.

I also realized that it's almost impossible to learn how to paint watching video of other painters. For one fact, their way are not mine, and the only way to learn is to discover my own. Actually painting is more something to be discovered rather than learned. Discovering how to forcefully express an idea with a visual phenomena.

Above all, this watercolor journey I started 2 years ago out of pleasure is now my main source of frustration and anxiety. Bringing back the fun will definitely help. I must break the vicious circle of painting under pressure because of my expectations. Must be zen to paint adequately, Maybe Yoga should be part of my art training!