Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wisdom via business management philosophy

This drawing shows what happens when I focus on tiny details while ignoring the big picture.

I missed an entire row of squares in the middle.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Oh those evil-natured robots, they're programmed to destroy us

I've been trying to get homework done, and Dopey has been luring me into rubbing his soft fuzzy belly. More art updates soon!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

If she wanna rock she rock, if she wanna roll she roll...

I made myself a beard out of yarn, inspired by the many fabulous yarn-beards on the internet:

I'll be wearing it with a black wig. I hope to win the facial hair contest this weekend.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

You Can't Miss the Bear

In this post I will show you the steps taken to paint and draw "You Can't Miss the Bear". You can buy the original or a print at my website, kandeart.com.

The finished drawing looks like this:

In general I recommend painting with background music, podcast, or TV to listen to. That way if you get bored with shading you'll be thinking about songs or stories instead of engaging in negative mental talk like "I'm bored" or "I'm bad at this". Such thoughts are distracting and unhelpful so think about lovely music or Radiolab instead.

This was my first gouache painting with a new palette. This palette is especially wonderful. It's ceramic, so the paint doesn't bead up, it comes with a lid so paint stays dry between sessions, and the color wheel layout makes mixing colors easy. I'm using Holbein gouache for this painting.

I usually start with a black and white source image, so I can color without outside influences. It always starts with a grid and pencil guide lines. These will be mostly erased before I paint. Any line that gets painted over will be permanent but since I'll be inking over everything eventually it won't matter much.

At the beginning I block in major areas. At this point I'm figuring out where I want the highlights and darkest parts.

This is the ear on the left, starting to fill in values

When painting hair or fur, it's important to keep direction in mind. In high school my art teacher said "paint hair the way you brush hair". It all has to flow naturally.

While you're drawing it is helpful to take little breaks and step back from the table. Looking at the drawing from other angles helps you spot areas that don't seem to fit or that need reworking.

Above I'm adding yellow highlights to the bear because I want him to seem like he's laying in warm sunlight.

Blocking in the grass. This is a mixture of green, yellow ochre, yellow, and brown. I'm planning to do a lot of detailed grass in the front, and leave the back blurry as though it's a photo with a shallow depth of field. Here I'm blocking in some grass overlapping the bear with white. When I paint over it the white will act sort of like a primer so the green doesn't get muddied by the brown underneath.

Starting to ink. The eyes are my favorite part of any drawing so I always do them first. To make your eyes more realistic always leave a small white dot in the pupil. This shows the reflection of the light source and makes them seem more alive and less flat. You can also see here that I've added the green to the previously white grass stalks.

Grass is easy to paint. Keep your brush fairly dry and paint little lines from bottom to top, doing the ones furthest away first.

Inking the grass. I started at the front and will fill in the grass behind after so the overlapping works out correctly. If you draw what's in back first the stuff in front won't have anywhere to go. I'm using a Sharpie Pen for all of the ink in this drawing.

Front first! The guys in back fill in the gaps.

Hair! Fur is all about direction. At this point I'm referencing my black and white photo extensively, making sure to darken the shadows and make the hair flow. Once the hair's direction is blocked in you can add areas of darkness by cross-hatching.

Coming along. The hair all flows from a central point on the bear's forehead.

Here you can see the crosshatching behind the bear's ears.

Finishing up! At this point I make sure the shadows are exactly as dark as I want, add my signature and the date, and fix anything that still bugs me. At this point it also helps to take digital photos of the piece, and look at the digital image to find any areas that stick out or don't seem to fit.

After the drawing/painting is dry I'll coat it with UV-resistant clear coat and hang it up on my wall. Total time spent: about 5 hours.