30 September 2009

Tote Bag, hand decorated

This was a fun project. My mother has been asking for a tote bag with a design from me on it, so I made her one.

25 September 2009

Today's Drawing Exercise

This one was a bit more fun for me. The assignment was to make some ink (or coffee, or tea, or whatever) blobs on a page, and when it was dry, look for things for the shapes and spaces to become. I'm probably not done with this, I didn't do much with the negative spaces, mostly worked with the positive shapes. I'm amused by it, and will probably do it again. Just for fun. Ever do your homework twice, just for fun? :)

the death march of progress

I had to take it off the easel and put it back on the wall to start liking it again. There is something about staring at a painting very close up that ruins it. Unless it's a Persian miniature watercolor, which this categorically is not.

24 September 2009

On the other hand...

Actually... the same hand. Hopefully no more hand drawing for a while. By which I mean, oh, ever.

23 September 2009

Baby Squid Baby Shirt

Forgot to say, by request, I worked up a larger version of the Squidly design that's better suited to larger printing. Probably there will be an even larger one later on, but if you know someone whose baby has some kind of Lovecraftian flair, this might be the perfect gift item.

It is a SKILL, not a TALENT.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard that life drawing is a fantastic talent to have. I agree, it would be a fantastic talent to have.... if it were a talent. Which it is not. It's a skill. It can be taught, and frankly, it's not that hard to learn. I suppose it's possible that talent could make it a little easier or faster to learn... but it's also possible that talent makes it MORE difficult to learn, because it seems like it should be easier for an artistically talented person.

For me.... it's more difficult.

Here's why: For a lot of what I like to do artistically, practice isn't a big part of success. Yes, I get better as I do things more often, but in essence, I like the first try, too. This is not the case for life drawing. I get very frustrated with my life drawing skills, and I know it is because I don't practice. I've taken classes, I've read really excellent books about this. I've done a ton of professionally designed exercises. And yet.... I still suck if I don't have step by step guidance. And it's because I don't practice enough.

What you are looking at up above is (left) a drawing of my own hand I made 3 weeks ago, and (right) a drawing of my hand I made this morning, following the explicit instructions in a book by Betty Edwards called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: Workbook. If you want to learn to draw, check out her books. They are excellent. The workbook is a really good hand-holder for those of us who are unbelievable slackasses about the practice part of it.

and so it goes

The big painting has reached a phase where, although daily changes can be seen, they are increasingly subtle. So today I am posting one of my favorite bits, something I just started blocking in yesterday: The Upper Left Corner.

It's not much to look at now, but someday it will be a real highpoint of this painting.

... or so I hope.

Peeping the Sketchbook

It's been a while since I posted some random pics of stuff in my sketchbook.


18 September 2009

starshines & rainbows...

Here's the point where I am most likely to lose the plot. Because it has gone from a crisp B&W composition to some kind of schizoid clown barf, with little islands of crispness. And because I'm so drawn to and compelled by those islands, I start to loathe the color swirls just a little bit. Even though I love them. Even though I have the power to bring back the crisp with a few swipes of white paint.

Although I don't really feel 'at home' with acrylic paint just yet, I do love the fact that laying down this much paint has used so little paint. I know a lot of painters like to apply acrylic with a shovel, but I'm more a fan of having just enough paint to cover the canvas with the colors I want. Also, this entire painting has been done with red, yellow ocher, green, and white. I am unreasonably amused to be able to make purple and blue out of that combination.

15 September 2009

It's always so nice at the beginning.

As always, click for bigger.

This is the canvas I've just started a few days ago. It's not going to be B&W, I haven't even started painting yet. It's going to be acrylic paint. I really like the design, though. This is why I filled sketch book after sketch book, for years, with black line drawings, and consumed countless black Sharpies along the way... I'd start something like this, intending to color it in, and then fall in love with the B&W, and not be able to bear adding color. What if I didn't love it?!

Then I learned about photocopying...

This won't photocopy, though. It's 30cm x 150cm.

09 September 2009

The First Time Always Sucks

Here's my first go at this, from sketch to trace to wax to plaster model. I'm not even going to bother cleaning up the plaster. The wax isn't what I wanted (size constraint) and the mold making process did not go smoothly--the plaster is weak and crumbly and full of air holes. However, lessons were learned, and I'm hoping more lessons will be learned in the near future. Especially looking forward to the lesson about how this is going to turn out just as awesome as I'd hoped.

Probably going to cast this in resin, in the end. Durable enough, available enough. Has ALL the advantages... :)

06 September 2009


biergarten at sunset
Originally uploaded by oferchrissake
Just checking to see if there is a better way.

05 September 2009


See that thing in the lower/left? I totally want to make that into a belt buckle. Would you wear a belt buckle like that? What if it had glass or semi-precious stone insets where the circles, tear drops and lens-shaped bits are in the drawing?

Proof of Paint 2

I don't like it, exactly, at least not ALL of it, but I believe it gave me a good idea for the next thing. In any case, I'm done picking at it with the paintbrush.

01 September 2009

Proof of Paint

Started a new painting today (watercolor). Actually want to do something like this in acrylic, but I was in the watercolor mood. Anyway, here is the beginning. It's probably impossible to see, but this is entirely sketched out. I'm just coloring it in at this point.

Thanks to Regan for asking me for a proof-of-painting photo!

If you wondered at all, I was on vacation the last couple of weeks. Didn't do pretty much anything but read, wander around, and sleep late. It was great. Oh, and I signed up for a Japanese woodblock printing class in early December. Loooking forward to that. Even if the sample print in the catalog looks like crap.