Monday, I went downtown to get my car inspected for annual state vehicle inspections. While I was waiting, I walked the long way from where the shop was to the VCU campus and visited some of my old teachers. In particular Daniel Robbins (www.facebook.com/artofdanielkrobbins) really gave me some good advice on accepting commissions when I told him the tale of my Legend of Zelda painting. In general, getting to chat with him and also Bob Foster and Josh George (www.joshgeorge.com) really gave me some good motivation to work at this art thing harder.
Fast forward to the Tuesday evening. Tonight was the perfect crapstorm against my chosen path of digital media. I forgot my Cintiq Companion charger at home, and when the figure drawing session started I was at 22% battery (I had been using the tablet from last Thursday through Monday without charging). I got a decent drawing in during the first main drawing phase after gestures, but that save file corrupted when the tablet went into low power mode at the sub %5 battery. The two other artists that attended, Tim and John, they were generous and let me borrow paper, graphite, and a kneaded eraser. Wacom Bamboo preserved the gesture drawings, but they’re nothing worth showing in my opinion (although one of the tools in Bamboo has this cool ink effect for really nice line quality). As we left the room at the end of the figure drawing session, the AFO teacher across the hall was giving a critique to a student in the hallway. It was bullshit about how the student was starting to get some good shadows and contrast in the drawing but need to develop it further or something. Standard first year shitty critiques that are sort of but not really helpful. I should probably look into getting a teaching job for AFO because I guess in my head I could do a better job, but I digress.
This phone camera capture is all I have out of the evening. Oh well, better remember to bring the charger next time, and pack more traditional supplies as back up.
Tonight’s figure drawing session had better attendance than last week. Still only went 2 hours instead of 3, but there were enough people where price dropped to $5 from $6. I’m still trying to hash out a steadier workflow for digital alla prima painting. This time I did not use any overlay layers even though it might have helped. I think I was worried about running out of time that I skipped the grayscale block-in and just went straight to color. The long pose format of this figure drawing group is usually 20 minute intervals. The first interval I spend on figuring out the drawing in Autodesk Sketchbook, and starting in the second interval, I’ll move that drawing into Photoshop and start working on blocking in color. In the later intervals I’ll refine the drawing as I paint (naturally the models will shift their pose slightly). I had a hard time getting the right colors, and I felt like 2 hours wasn’t enough time for me to really embellish on the lighting as I would have liked.
The red underglow in the shadow area of the breast is from a bright red blanket that covers the podium, below the blue blanket and seat that the model was seated on, but I didn’t get to the point of painting that part. It’s the same red blanket that covers the podium from the figure painting two weeks ago. I ran out of time before I could refine the forms and shadows of the near lower leg.
Figure drawing this week ended up being canceled. There were only two artists in attendance: myself, and the person hosting.
To make up for the lack of drawings and paintings, I will share some of the photos from the Sonata Arctica concert that I attended, at the Baltimore Soundstage. Enjoy my 50mm prime lens amateur photography (in the truest sense of the phrase). More images will be posted to my deviantART concert photography folder.
(above) local metal band Omnislash opened the evening. They had a killer cover of 2 Minutes to Midnight.
German symphonic metal band Xandria. I think I have a crush on the singer. One of the guitarists was not able to make the tour so a guitarist from Serenity (another of my favorite bands) was filling in.
Dutch symphonic metal band Delain. They were here around the same time last year supporting Kamelot.
The masters themselves, Sonata Arctica, from Finland. They celebrate 15 years of powermetal. That night was guitarist Elias’s 500th show with Sonata Arctica since the time he joined the band.
A fun time was had, much fist-pumping and head-banging. The drive back was hell, though. I didn’t make it home till 5am after dropping off the friends who were riding with me.
One of the greatest resources in the city of Richmond’s local art community that I have received from even since my days in high school has been the VCU Alumni Figure Drawing. Faithfully meeting on Tuesday nights “till the end of time,” as local legend Larry Robinson would say. Larry Robinson himself is a staple of the Richmond figure drawing community, as well as one of the organists at the Byrd theater, and a player of the carillon at Byrd Park tower.
This figure drawing session helped me get into VCU’s art program, and helped me get through it as well. It has been a great pleasure to return to this drawing group to continue honing my skills.
Here after I hope to continue posting weekly updates from this figure drawing session. I will mostly work digitally as inspired by Daryl Mandryk’s digital figure paintings from a few years ago. It is also very convenient to only bring my Cintiq Companion.
Gesture warm-ups done in Bamboo Paper (not posted this time), long-pose drawing in Sketchbook, long-pose painting in Photoshop.