Here is my latest piece. I started it and then put it down for a week because I was stuck.
It started out so strong and there was so much different between the colors in the distance and the white of the paper… but what to put there. I always like doing the background. The objects are simple and it leaves a lot to the viewer’s imagination.
This is where it say for a week. Me afraid to mess it up. The vibrant tones playing against the whiteness…most nights just before, or maybe after falling asleep my brain would startle me to wakefulness with a “what about this?!?” moment but in the light of day I would fret over the idea and dismiss it. This morning I decided that I needed some bare trees in the midground so I added them during my lunch hour (working from home).
This evening I decided to tackle the foreground. I feared that I would use up all the white and lose those wonderful whites but I think I managed it.
What do you think? I think I’ll do some more in this series.
So I recently had a birthday. I’m officially over the hill. Mr Underhill at your service.
As part of my gifts my wonderful wife ordered me three pen samplers from Jetpen.com. I’ve often perused there selection, read the reviews and blog posts. But generally I stick with tried and true pens that I know work for me and I’m well… cheap. I hate splurging but birthday presents in our house are for things you want but wouldn’t buy under normal circumstances. So I asked the wife and she got them for me. Outside of them somehow getting on a plane to Guam and then back through Hawaii (I’m a bit jealous of how well traveled these pens are) they got here intact and only a bit late.
So after cleaning them off and looking them over I decided to share the a photo of them on a Facebook Inktober group. Just a simple picture of them laid out and a caption about my birthday presents arriving. Now when I post to this group I expect to get maybe 30 likes and a handful of comments. I think the most I’ve ever gotten was just over 100 and I was shocked. So my surprise and confusion in getting over 1000 likes and 100 comments in the last 24 hours is well placed. I mean, it’s just a bunch of pens right. It got me thinking though.
What is the commonality on that group? Inking drawings and the tools that we use. In our culture marketing reigns Supreme. Everyone has a fantasy whether they admit it or not that their next purchase is going to take them to the next level. I’m that way with hunting equipment, hiking gear, exercise equipment, art supplies. There’s something ingrained in us that makes us think that an object will change our world and not hard work. Look at all the action movies, an weapon is discovered that will save the day. Our commercials tell us that their product is the best and will get us the object of our desire. The genie out of the bottle… but it doesn’t. Not without the hard work.
So, this afternoon I pulled out my sketchbook and all those pens and drew toadstools with them to see how they would do. Did they magically make my art sing? No. But they worked well and I know which I should use for what and got some drawing time in and that’s what will take my art to the next level.
Don’t get me wrong. A copic fineliner is head and shoulders above a old bic pen you have lying in a drawer somewhere but it comes down to the experience in the hand holding it.
When I did my last piece I actually did two drawings. On in the Fabriano mixed media paper and one on a similar size piece of Arches 300# cold press watercolor paper. A year or two ago my daughter bought me a set of Reeves gouache paints and I really hadn’t used them at all. When I did the drawings I decided to do one on watercolor and one in gouache. Like both of them equally well.
If you follow my Instagram or Facebook pages (clarkwilliamsonart) you’ve probably already seen these. So without further ado here are my in progress through finish pieces.
I regret adding so many rocks and I feel prey to my habit of keeping everything bright so the background rocks don’t feel as pushed back as I would have liked. Still I enjoyed it and am happy with the results. I now have a dedicated gouache palette so there will be more to come.
I think everyone would agree it’s been kind of a rough time the last few weeks. Prior to that I once again wasn’t feeling it. Work was too busy and when I would get home I just didn’t have the energy to do art. The closest I came to it was posting photos I took on my way to work.
This did help motivate me though and keep me thinking.
A couple weeks ago I realized it had been a month since I’d done anything really artistic so I pulled out my sketchbook flipped through it until I found a page I’d tried to start and gave up on because I wasn’t “in the mood”. Ie, I can’t do it. It’s too hard <oh, whoo is me, boo hoo>. So I decided I would do it… and I did. It was rough, it was ugly, but it started me on the way out of my funk.
That forlorn sketch got me to pick up my brush, wet my paints and do something. Also not a masterpiece but I did it.
So having been kickstarted I pulled that trusty sketchbook out and I started doing thumbnails.
Those lead to actual drawings. Drawings are good. The most amazing thing out of it was that I actually started holding my lead holder the way I was taught to in college. Where was I? Oh yes, drawing. The drawing lead to my actually drawing out the whole painting and doing it right.
Over the next few nights I would sneak in a few minutes before bed time. Things started coming together.
Then I hit the ugly stage. This is awful? Who would want to see this?? Trash it! No no, stick with the plan
I had really wanted to add deer to this piece. I’ve never added them before. Not something close up and portrait like but mid to background range. So I did it. I’m pretty pleased with the final piece. I present to you “Spring Meadow”. Wow, I haven’t actually named a painting since college.