Monday, March 31, 2008

Another Sketch

Though my artistic style falls into the category of realism, realistic details are nothing without a basic comprehension of shapes and values. In my last blog entry I posted some old sketches done in pencil, and talked about the importance of being able to quickly render the face with few details. Today I am posting a similar example of a quick sketch that I did more recently. Like the older drawings, this sketch is comprised of rough, quick lines, but this one is done using a fine tipped marker. I like the challenge of this type of sketch because it forces you to work quickly and to be bold.

The beautiful, vibrant young woman in this sketch had lost her battle with breast cancer, and her husband asked me to do a sketch of her with her dog. The image was used on a tee-shirt for a team of friends and family who ran the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in her memory (see the second photo).

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Few of My Old Sketches

Quick sketches can be a great way to practice drawing faces, as it forces you to capture a person's essence with just a few quick lines and shapes. I recently found some old sketches (from over 12 years ago) that I did while in college. Most of them are from life, done while I was working at the college music library, when I probably should have been organizing CDs, doing homework, or studying! The first one is of a girl doing some music listening homework. Most of the others are of people in the library, or of people in magazines I was flipping through.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Birthday Advice

Well, I'm using my birthday (which isn't actually today, but is coming up soon) as an excuse for slacking on blogs this week. However, my sister just gave me a good reason to post something - check out the hilarious card she sent me (I blocked out the inside message from her). I don't know where she found such a funny card!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Little Girl Portrait Completed

I've finished my portrait of a little girl, shown here. The final changes I made were to smooth out the skin tones, lighten the color of the arms and hands to match the face, and to soften some of the shadows on her face. A larger image of the final portrait is available for viewing in my Portraits Collection.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Little Girl Portrait Nearing Completion

I'm just making the final tweaks on my portrait of a little girl. I've smoothed the facial contours a little bit, worked on the other hand, and added texture to the jeans. This photo has a glare on the right hand side, but when the portrait is done it will be re-photographed with proper lighting and added to my Portraits Collection.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Progress on Portrait of a Little Girl

I did a little more work on my portrait of a little girl today. The shirt is mostly done, and I am working on creating the contours of the arms and hands. I believe that the arms and hands are almost as important as the face in a portrait, so I like to take my time to make them look realistic and accurate.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Portrait of a Little Girl

I've returned to working on Pastelbord for my current portrait, which is shown here as a work in progress. Rendering the smooth contours of a child's face is a nice change of pace, since most of my portraits have been of adults up to this point. I expect to finish this piece and add it to my online Portraits Collection by the end of the week.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Testing Another Surface

I've been kind of lax with my blog entries this week because I've been busy experimenting with another type of surface: Wallis sanded pastel paper. This heavy museum-grade paper has a surface sort of like Pastelbord, but is more similar to Bristol board in weight. The image here is a close-up of my work in progress on this surface, and though I am happy with how it is coming along, it hasn't been all smooth sailing! Here's what I like/dislike about working on Wallis so far:

- Toothy surface accepts layers of watersoluble pastel crayons, colored pencils, and solvent
- Rough texture makes working quickly easier than on smooth paper or bristol (I work at least twice as fast on this surface!)
- Can add white highlights at the end (don't need to leave white space for highlights)

- Despite the fine sanded surface, the paper itself is very toothy and the grain can be difficult to overcome when rendering smooth textures such as skin
- Pencils gets quickly chewed up and need to be sharpened often
- Though durable and heavyweight, the paper warps slightly when water or solvents are applied

That's all I have so far, but I will probably do more experimenting on this surface in the future. Also, I expect to complete this work by the end of the week and add it to my online collection.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Artist of the Month

I am honored to have been chosen as Marsha Robinett’s Artist of the Month for March! Marsha is a pencil artist, working in carbon pencil, charcoal, and graphite to create amazingly detailed and realistic renderings of everything from still life and flowers to portraits. Visit her online gallery, appropriately named The Extraordinary Pencil.

My interview is posted to her blog: In the interview, I talk about my transition from engineer to artist, how I chose my medium, what challenges me, and what inspires me.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I've finally finished "Shades of the Tropics II". I've posted both "Shades" pieces here, and if you look closely at the reflections in the sunglasses, you can see how they are related.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Update on My Current Work in Progress

It's been a few days since I posted an update on my current work, but I made some some good progress today, so I thought I'd post a photo. Since the last photo I posted, I've added a lot more color to the face, and it's started to take shape. Since this is a response to my last work titled "Shades of the Tropics", you can imagine who will be reflected in the sunglasses! I'm considering giving this one the title "Shades of the Tropics II".

Monday, March 3, 2008

Giclee Prints Now Available!

Recently I discovered that I’m not the only one feeling the effects of late winter – I received some much-appreciated positive feedback on my latest work, Winter Blues, shown here. I even received a couple of inquiries about purchasing the piece, though no sale has been made. I understand that purchasing a piece of original art, like commissioning a portrait, is a big investment that takes thought and is generally not done on impulse. The value of owning an original piece is undeniable – the quality is unmatched by any reproduction, the piece has potential to greatly increase in value with time, and the owner derives satisfaction from the feeling of owning original art and being able to view it at their leisure. However, I also realize that the value of offering prints to those who are interested in my art and would like to be able to enjoy it without such an investment. True, a print will not increase in value, but if the proper techniques are used, it can bear a striking resemblance to the original. Since I want to be able to share my art with as many people as possible, I am offering high quality giclee prints of selected figurative works at a very attractive price.

A Quick Note on Giclee Prints

A giclee print is made using a highly specialized printer that employs a very fine spray of ink in a full range of colors to create an image that doesn’t have the typical “dot pattern” of less expensive inkjet printers. These printers are able to transform high resolution digital images into fine art prints that bear a remarkable resemblance in color and detail to the original. Giclee printers use specially formulated archival ink designed to resist fading for many years to come. The company I use produces giclees using Epson 9880 giclee printers with archival inks guaranteed to last up to 75 years.

How to Order Giclee Prints of My Artwork

I offer giclee prints of selected figurative works on my Fine Art America page. Here you can select a print size, as well as add on a frame and/or mat, if desired, all for a very reasonable price. One of my favorite things about this site is how you can view full-resolution previews of the piece to get an idea of the detail. For example, you can view a close-up image of a portion of my Winter Blues piece by hovering the cursor over the image and clicking on a bold square (click here to try it).

The secure checkout through is SSL encrypted, and payment can be made using any major credit card (American Express, Mastercard, or Visa).

I have already ordered several prints through, and have been very pleased with their quality and the prompt delivery. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to send me an e-mail or contact me through my website!