While I was gone…

posted in: Art Making, comics | 3

(Part one)

It’s been a while since I’ve updated, which is another way of saying, “I’ve some art to share that I’ve been forgetting to post.” First, some photos of my work area. Below: computer set-up with dog, kindle, and Spider Buddha.

Another photo, this time with copious amounts of cat hair on the floor! Also, another dog, and some paintings.

Finally, my “big” painting area. I’ve not had much time to work over here; I keep telling myself that I can spend some time on it later if I finish up all my other drawings and things first, but as we all know, the last think on your t0-do list never gets done.

I had been working on combining wood-burning and pen and ink drawing on this (below) piece.

I am also thinking I’d like to add a little bit of paint on it, but since I’m afraid of messing it up, I decided to take a photo of it BEFORE I do anything crazy. I’m not entirely sure how to convince myself that it’s okay to do mixed-media, but I’m trying. Baby steps. Baby steps.

I have another piece of wood that is a similar size to this one, and I am currently sketching out some more western-esque zombies. I think the flower of choice that I’ll be using on that drawing will be desert mallow. I’ve been seeing a lot of mallow all over the place, (not necessarily in bloom or anything,) so I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I have a friend that grow the stuff by choice, which at first I thought was weird because I always thought it was a weed.

But then again, I find most dandelions to be very pretty, so what do I know about weeds?

Below is a painting I did for my kickstarter, but I’m not sure I ever posted images of it. There was a certain point in the kickstarter where I realised that adding more paintings was probably not going to help me, unless I added a ton of them. And I’m too slow for that sort of thing, so here is one.

I like “works-in-progress” so that’s what I tried to do here. Red underpainting:

Sky and part of grub blocked in:

As you can see from the above grub part of the painting, I tend to just dab in the colors I think I might want, and then I blur them out later so they’re not so impressionistic. Below the grub is starting to blend together:

What I finally ended up with:

I read an interesting article awhile back, about how to lace lights and darks against each other, and I think I’m going to have to go back and reread it. I don’t really care for the way the light flowers look against the light sky, and I think I need to do something there that is… not this.

That is it for now. Back to drawing comics!

Giant Painting

posted in: Art Making | 1

I’ve not really had any time to work on the giant painting, but I’ve made a small amount of progress since last I’ve updated.

So you can tell I forgot to take a photo when I mocked in all the shapes with brown paint (er… Burnt Umber Light, if you’re in to knowing details.)

I then started adding a green under-painting for the flesh, trying to fix the details where my brown mockup was incorrect. I really tried to fix the hands, but as you can see, they need a lot more work. (And, ug, the legs are WAY too long from the knees down, but whatever, nothing is perfect in life, I guess.)

I started adding in the green under painting for the vines and things covering the arms, but then realized that for an under painting to really work, you sort of need to use a complementary color. Well, I don’t know if you have to, but I just sort of like to. It makes the paint that you lay on over top really sort of… stand out. It creates depth without having to put on layer after layer of glaze (although, I do plan to go back in and do that at the end of the painting.

I then called my friend and she agreed that I should under paint the trees and leafy areas all in reds, so I started doing that. I started out trying to create all the detail work right away, but then got bored and just started to do red washes everywhere, so that I’d feel like I’d actually accomplished something. Now I get to go back in and work out the details, because everything is really still blocky. Ug. Still all in red.

I like painting big because you can get all the details in, but I’m too impatient of a person to deal with how long this stuff takes. But I’m trying. Patience can be learned, I think.

City in the Rough IV

posted in: Art Making | 3
wasteland mostly finished


I think I inserted this image incorrectly. Which just goes to show, as soon as you think you know what you’re doing, you’re going to mess it up.

This is the beast that I turned in for my American Landscapes assignment. Before anyone questions how I managed to create Fallout3-porn for a finals assignment, let me tell you: I am clever!

We had to read an essay early on in the class by Phillip Fisher called Hard Facts – Setting and Form in the American Novel. I found myself reading it and wondering how the essay would have read if he’d included things like zombie-apocalypse, and “after the bomb” fiction.

I want to say that I was able to talk the teacher into letting me write the essay (and paint the painting) because I was using Fisher as a model, but I think the honest truth is that sometimes teachers get bored with reading the same old-same old, and they’ll let you try things out if it sounds interesting. Either way, there’s the painting.

Also, I’ll have to take some detail shots (and learn how to photograph wet paint so it doesn’t glare so much) to show what I’m going to do to this painting next, when it dries.

Also-also, (if you’re into this nerdy-art stuff) I am totally planning on getting some new oil mediums, and I am super excited to try them out! They’re hand-blended, or hand-ground, or “hand” something. I’ve been using a mystery oil medium that I made, and while it’s pretty good, I’m starting to run out of it. I want to say it was (after looking through all my crappy notes) just a traditional blend of OMS (gamsol) and refined linseed (gamblin) – I can’t remember the mixture either. 50/50? No, too much gamsol breaks down the binding, so maybe 40/60? I’ve no idea. I think (maybe?) I might have added a little gelkid in there too, but… maybe not?

Really, I just want to buy some medium, and keep a receipt so I know what to get when I run out. Alchemy is really something I shouldn’t be trusted with. Someday I’ll tell you all the full story about how I made black oil, and what a bitch it was finding asbestos to cook on (I never found any) and how hard it is to find powdered lead (I DID find this) and how agonizing it is trying not to breathe while cooking it, ( …this may explain some things, really) while waiting for the oil and the lead to simmer and turn from a bright orange (who knew?!) into a black.

Actually, maybe not telling the full story is better. This way your imagination can fill in the rest. That makes it YOUR story, and that’s way better than anything I can give you. Just, uh, know that I have a bottle of black lead medium that I’m too afraid to use.

City in the Rough III

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These are yesterday’s paintings. I didn’t get as far as I wanted, and  now I’m in some trouble. I have to finish these up by tonight, but I *think* I can do it.

I wanted to get all the mid-ground buildings in by last night, so that all I’d have to do is the bottom third or so and then be done. It didn’t work out that way though. After a while, my hand starts to shake (which isn’t the bad part) but then I start to get sloppy, mentally, where I just sort of “don’t care” or stop “paying attention” to what it is that I’m doing. THAT is the troublesome part.

Also, I learned how to make captions using the gallery add-on. That’s pretty cool.

City in the Rough II

posted in: Art Making | 2

Still working on the city painting:

I wanted more of the red to show through, but then again, I always get really attached to my under paintings. There’s still bits where the red shows through, and I think that’s pretty nice too. The sky in the background is a sort of smokey orange (does that come through on your computer?) and I’m pretty pleased with that too.

Now, I guess I need to finish this so that I can get back to doing real work. Like web comics.

City in the Rough

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I figure if nothing else, I can share some school work with y’all. This is what I have so far for my “Wasteland” painting.

I’m pretty excited about this painting. It’s coming along nicely – right now it’s acrylic, but I’ll put some layers of oil on as soon as I remember to bring my painting supplies home from the studio.

These also show my process: anything to cover up the white of the canvas. I threw on some red and brown in quick strokes, and then after that dried, I went in with a mixture of blue, brown, red, and green to make a muddy sort of black. With that darker colour I then started sketching out ideas. When the lines were mostly where I wanted them, I started going in with washes of white to see where I want the light to fall on my ruined city. I’m still working that part out, but I’m still pretty pleased with this.

Productive weekend

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So, I’m not the greatest or smartest when it comes to art history.  I’ve taken a few classes, and I’ve taken a few of those classes multiple times.

A few years back I took a “Women in Art” class. We ended up discussing some of the famous female artists from early Renaissance all the way up to modern day artists of today, as well as what kind of work they’d make compared to their male counterparts.  The teacher always liked to start the class with Gentileschi’s vs Caravaggio’s “Judith Beheading Holofernes” side by side on the projector. (It usually put the male students into a fighting stance to walk in and see that first class.)

I’ve spent a long while trying to figure out what, exactly, is the “male gaze” and trying to understand why it is that women can be depicted in art and still be “artsy” but that the male nude isn’t really considered “art.” I mean, sure, there’s Michaelangelo’s David, who is a super-ripped muscley dude… I guess you can have a few nude males in art and count it as “art”. I had an art teacher tell another student that “women were beautiful, and that men were not” and that was why it’s “better” to paint women and not men.

But then again, I’ve never been that good at following instructions, and I’m still trying to figure all this stuff out. Personally, I think men are beautiful to look at.

So, that’s my attempt to explain what has been going on in  my head while I’ve been painting this weekend, but mostly I’ve been trying to figure out how to draw a face where the head looks like it’s going back in space so that you can see up the nose, without getting focused on just the nose.

Here is the painting that I started on Saturday:

Here it is Saturday evening when I went to bed:

Also, my husband introduced this painting as, “…and here is my penis…” to his friends.

Here it is today (Sunday) where I’m leaving off for the evening:

Fun fact: There are plenty of tropes of “the sleeping king” or “the giant under the mountain” or things like that, (which tend to be a bit jingoistic/nationalist) but there really aren’t much about “sleeping women” other than… well, Sleeping Beauty, I guess. Maybe it’s that those are lumped under the trope of “damsel in distress”? Also, there are no male analogies to Ophelia, which is weird, considering how some of that Romantic poetry gets a little… emotional… at times.

Yep, and if this under-painting reminds you of Waterhouse’s Ophelia, then that’s exactly what I’m going for. Sort of. But with plants and trees and things.

Bah, I don’t have half a clue as to what it is I’m talking about, do I?

100 Ways to Procrastinate!

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Well, only two of them, really.

First thing first: Danielle Miller was kind enough to give me two 8′ x 4′ giant boards to paint on! Me being me (which translates to me being too afraid to paint over the things she’d already painted on them), I stretched canvas over the boards, and then obsessively gessoed and sanded the canvas.

Now the canvas is so pretty I took a picture.

I also thought it’d be fun for you all to see what my studio now looks like. Mind you, I only took a photo of the clean part of the studio, and I carefully made sure you don’t see the floor or any of that stuff either. But I included the dog. Dogs are a vital part of every studio, I think.

Also, I tend to squirt the dog, not as a corrective or behaviour sort of squirt, but rather in the sense of a practical joke. She doesn’t think it’s all that funny but then the victims of practical jokes never do, do they?

Procrastination Number TWO: I’m getting ready to set up a Kickstarter project, and I’m working on some of the rewards:

These are some of the hand-pulled prints I’ll be making. I’m not actually a printer (in the artsy sense) so I really don’t know if they’re called “hand-pulled” or not, but it sounds good, doesn’t it? I guess I could also call them “Organic, Free-Range, Art Items” or something similar. I still need to create a fifth one. Then I’ll test them all out to see if they print alright, and if they don’t I’ll redraw a different one.

If you’re into knowing how things are made, these are actually styrofoam food take-away cartons that I’ve cut down. I then draw on them with a ballpoint pen. I’m trying a new thing where I use a micro pen – I want to see if I can get more detail than I’ve previously been getting. That’s not to say they don’t come out awesome, because they do, but I tend to like to cram as much detail into things as I can.

Hm… I guess that’s THREE ways to procrastinate, now that I think of it, if we count working on this post! Still, I’ve some essays to write for tomorrow, and I’ve two comic pages to draw for tomorrow and Friday.

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