Oh my God, he uses black!
Yes, yes I do, even in watercolor. Works good. It’s a perfectly good color if you know how to use it. I could get along without it, but it’s so nice for lowering chroma, and for this black dress it’s kind of a good place to start. As far as I know, no black on the market is a complete neutral. Ivory black tends to be a bit on the blue side, carbon black is a little on the warm side, but with either I find color shifts to be less of a problem than with using compliments to dull a color. If you really don’t like black and find Paynes’s Gray to be much more useful, you might want to check what it made with. Most manufacturers make it with ivory black.
Doesn’t really matter. Color is an interesting thing and a pretty personal choice. You can usually get to a given HVC with a variety of different mixtures. One mix isn’t really any better than any other as long as you come up with the color your looking for. So have a big palette or a limited palette. As long as it works for you and you know how to get the most out of it, you’re good to go. Personally I’ve got a big drawer full of paint — three drawers actually, one for yellows, one for reds and one for blues, greens and blacks. Most of that paint stays right there in the drawer. I find myself regularly using about a dozen go to pigments. Gets me where I want to go usually.
I didn’t put a size on this. I don’t have it handy to measure, but it’s not very big, about 12 inches high if I remember right. It was a piece of leftover not pressed paper.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
This is what I consider a perfect subject for silverpoint. Light on light with no large areas of dark. Yet I still think the lights and darks balance out fairly well. It has the light, airy, etherial quality that plays right into the strengths of silverpoint. Pretty happy with this one.
Saturday, June 27, 2015
|detail about actual size|
Monday, June 22, 2015
They’ve changed a few things here on me. I guess that’s to be expected if you don’t post in, what, two, three years? Well, maybe that will change.
This seemed like a good image to start with considering all the rain we’ve had the past week or two. Really squishy walking out there right now.
Normally you do the painting first then get it framed. In this case I’ve had a frame for quite a while, and I’ve been looking for something that will look good in it. This should do quite nicely due to the dress color. Besides it kind of a nice image, at least I think so. I think it’s a nice blend of tight rendering on the figure along with a more splashy approach on the background foliage. A lot of lifting off was done there. That’s one reason I chose to use a hot pressed paper. That along with an addition of some extra gum arabic makes lifting out quite easy. Much easier that painting around lighter areas.
One last unrelated thing for anyone that has commented lately. Sorry I didn’t get back to you, but I had to change me email and the link never got updated here. So I didn’t know there were any comment to get back to. Hopefully that has been fixed. All for now.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Look familiar? A nice little silverpoint copy of Leonardo’s silverpoint study for an angel. It’s heightened with white chalk. This is one of the earlier silverpoints I have done. A handful came before this, but you don’t want to see those. Trust me on that one. The ground is a watered down acrylic gesso toned with some dry pigment, prussian blue I think.
I love old master drawings. The St Louis Art Museum has a gallery devoted entirely to works on paper, drawings, prints, the occasional watercolor, and I always make sure to spend some time in there. When a list of the greatest draftsmen of all time is put together Leonardo is always on it. Albrecht Durer always makes the list too. If you’re looking for drawings to copy he’s got some nice ones. He also has a great list of engravings.
Another pretty famous image. Well, if you’re going to steal, steal the best. Now this isn’t a bad bit of drawing considering it’s me and all, but compared to the original it definitely blows chunks. I’ve seen the original print several times, and it never fails to amaze me. It’s not very big, only about 10x 8, but there’s a lot packed into that small space.
This might not be quite a well known, but still a pretty sweet image. This is Goya’s The Sleep of Reason Produces Demons. It’s from a collection of etchings (maybe they’re classed as aquatints) Goya produced called Los Capricios. Pretty sure I spelled that wrong, have to check. For all the non-etchers out there an aquatint is a resin dusted over the plate. The plate is heated just enough for the resin to melt creating a resist to the acid bath. When etched it will result in a wash-like tone like the background here. The longer the etch, the darker the tone. In the case of my drawing here I used charcoal. I always liked etching. Really should have broken down and bought a press.
A copy of Rembrandt’s etching Woman with an Arrow. Another of the world’s all time great draftsmen and one of the great etchers too. Nobody’s quite sure what’s going on in this image. Venus giving an arrow to Cupid? Maybe, as good a back story as any. Personally I don’t really care much. I just like the image. That’s the reason I did most of these. I also tried to copy them as closely as possible, trying to figure out the whys and wherefores. Honestly I don’t remember what I learned on any individual drawing. It was more of a cumulative effect. I have sketchbooks full of quick versions of things like this and other assorted objects. The more you do the better. One more today.
Recognize this guy? If you don’t you’re in the wrong place. I’m sorry, you’ll have to leave. I can only take this inclusive stuff so far. I mean we’re talking Rembrandt here. Okay, the pose is based on a rather well know Titian portrait, but this etching may well be equally famous, and I do like a good etching.
Last thought for the day comes from Rembrandt while we’re on the subject. “Take the brush in hand and begin. When you have said all you wish say you’re done.”
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Silverpoint on off white prepared paper
14 x 10
This is the companion piece to the last one I posted. The size and paper color is identical. The value range is about the same too. If it looks different here blame it on the white balance. It also illustrates the problem in photographing artworks. I’ve seen the same image posted on different sites, all well respected art sites, that look totally different. So maybe I’m not such a bad photographer after all. Well, I’ll admit to being adequate. Now there’s something to aspire to.
I’ve been trying to think of something to actually say about this piece, but I really got nothing today. The two drawings do go together fairly well.
or you can put them together the other way which I think I prefer.
That’s not so bad a pairing. I’ve considered doing a third figure to put in the middle, probably a standing figure about twice as big. I think that might look pretty good. Gotta give that some more thought.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Silverpoint on off white prepared paper
14 x 10
I think the people are used to seeing highly retouched photos with totally black darks and almost pure whites. Very contrasty and eye catching, but not really true to nature. Let’s do something I usually don’t do. Let’s look at the reference photo I used for this drawing.
So here we have a very usable reference photo from the lovelyauroradreams. I made a couple minor changes, but nothing earth shaking to be sure. Now look at the darkest darks, hair, eyes and the shadow under the knee. Silverpoint won’t get quite that dark, but it will be pretty close especially when its aged and the silver has tarnished. Definitely not a problem though. Now look at the folds in the drapery. The shadows are light and airy with plenty of light reflected in them. Certainly no real dark darks there. But that’s exactly where people want to see more contrast. Well, let’s do a little retouching and see what that looks like.
That’s certainly more dramatic. It’s also becoming a completely different image. Better? Maybe. Worse? Maybe. Kinda depends on what you’re trying to do. Again look at the darkest darks. All detail is gone including the reflected light on the knee. It just disappears into a black hole. Of course just because it doesn’t show up on the photo doesn’t mean I can’t put it in anyway and I would, but it would have to be extremely subtle or the form wouldn’t look rounded. And back to the drapery. The shadows are darker, much more dramatic with much, much less reflected light. A bad thing? Again, depends on what you’re trying to do. Rembrandt made a pretty good reputation doing that. To my knowledge he only did one silverpoint though, and honestly it wasn’t his best work. While we’re on the subject of Rembrandt let’s take this a little further.
Not quite Rembrandtesque but it’s getting there, and I think we’re close enough for our purposes today. I’ve darkened the midtones a bit more. I actually had to lighten the head and shoulder some because it was disappearing into the background. We’ve come a ways since the original image. Better, worse that’s up to you. It’s largely a matter of taste and really what you feel like at the time. Honestly, I think this retouched version is really a pretty good image for a drawing …… in charcoal. I could get the background this dark in silverpoint, but the shine would be really annoying for quite a while. Charcoal or an ink wash would be a much better choice. I’ve learned it much better to not fight your medium, and silverpoint does have it’s limitations. You want dramatic, use something else.
I also think that’s why silverpoints don’t hold up particularly well in big shows. You don’t get the high contrast, eye catching images that you can with other drawing media. Silverpoints also tend to be small simply because they take a while to do. Those darks have to be slowly built up. So you have a big show of large, dramatic, eye catching pieces surrounding a few small, basically gray drawings. No matter how good they are they tend to get overlooked. Now before you start thinking this is all just sour grapes let me say I don’t show silverpoints. These are just done for fun, and to keep my drawing skills sharp.
So if silverpoint is such a crappy, unmarketable medium why use it? Because I like it. It’s perfect for smaller, intimate drawings. I like those. It just has a quality that is like nothing else.