I had originally wrote a draft 1600+ words covering the last five years, but then I realized this week it was no longer necessary. All my previous blogs cover the last five years fairly well, but the short of it is that 2012 defined my life in a negative way, and I never forgave myself for spending so much just to re-learn what I had already received for free. I am finally able to let it all go this year.
Finally getting a day job has accelerated this year and I really haven’t made a lot of time for finished work, other than the Blizzard Heroes of the Storm contest piece. Most of my sketches were posted to Instagram as I still haven’t taken time to scan my sketchbook drawings going as far back as October 2014.
My goals for 2016 will be to set up an oil painting space in my room and start working more traditionally hereafter, hopefully achieving a good balance between digital and traditional.
Figure drawing from this Tuesday night. I went back to a more methodical process of drawing first then color with flats rather than straight painting. It’s a bit slower to start than straight painting, I’ve noticed, and I also am not considering overall composition in the drawing phase, I’ve realized.
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.