Thursday, January 27, 2011

Commissioned Pet Portrait

Today's drawing is a commissioned portrait of Clyde the boxer!  Thanks Pete!

I've must admit, I'm really pleased with how this one turned out--specifically on the shading in the fur.  As I've mentioned in the past, one area where I've been striving to improve is in refining my hatching technique.  I really admire artists who appear to have total control over every line, whereas I find it's easy to get a little haphazard.   

What I found is that by layering same-directional hatching in lieu of perpendicular cross-hatching, the resulting patterns look more intentional and eye-pleasing.  In this case, where the shading simulates the directional fur growth, it makes sense that crosshatching wouldn't be as appropriate a method.  Other textures, such as fabric, may benefit more from the crosshatching, where the lines would represent individual fibers woven together.  I'll have to experiment with that later.  

Here's a before and after...


and a pair of work-in-progress shots...


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

MeMom&Sis / intro to Drawing as Meditation

While I'm doodling and debating the direction of my next project, here's another family portrait for you to check out!  

Despite what the dark background suggests, this was actually drawn black on white (not scraped out of a black scratchboard).  While it would certainly seem easier to scratch this out of a black scratchboard than fill in the black areas with pen, I've always found the process quite enjoyable.  It becomes a meditative process for me to shade to near black, and always with the aid of music (except, of course, when I've gotten so zoned in that I forget to pick the next album on my ipod or flip the sides of an LP).  In fact, I've just ordered a copy of an old book on the subject... Zen of Seeing: Seeing/Drawing as Meditation by Frederick Franck.  Admittedly, I've never heard anything about it other than the reviews, but that's where a quick google search took me.  I feel so strongly about the hypnotic/meditative effect of drawing, that I really wanted to learn more on the subject and figured why not check it out?!

Fingers crossed, and naturally I'll tell you more about it once it arrives and I get to spend some time with the text.  Oh, and happy New Year to you!