Portraits

NYC Trip and Sargent Master Copy

My trip to New York city was great!  It started off with a trip to the Society of Illustrators which was pretty amazing itself because of its collection (see Peter de Seve‘s owl).

We had portolio reviews there and then Scholastic!  I’ve long been a fan of Arthur Levine Books, so it was an experience showing my work to Editor Weslie Turner. She said it was a great portfolio overall, but she wanted to see if I could bring the emotions and movements of my animal characters to kids – so I have more work to do.

I also spent hours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and even some of the Frick collection. As it should happen, at the same time, I had assignment to do a Singer Sargent master copy. At right is a portrait I painted digitally of Julia inspired by Sargent’s The Daughters of Darley Boit. The more I looked, the more colors I saw. I tried to capture that piercing look that so many of Sargent’s paintings have.

I also got to see the Broadway show Aladdin while I was there. It also was great. A friend of my parents even knew some members of the cast.

Tomorrow I’ll be heading down to California for the Comics, Anime, Cartoons, and Fantasy show at Las Laguna Gallery. Here’s the flyer!  Say hello if you stop by. I plan to be there from 6:30-9:30 by my painting (Squid Attack on the Nautilus). More information can be found here. The show will be up from April 5-27th.

A Tale of Two Poes – Edgar Allan Poe and Raven Drawing

This past week, I had a caricature assignment. Caricatures aren’t usually my favorite art form, but it was interesting because of the way the class is held. The first step is extensive visual research on the person, then word lists based on different aspects of the person. I picked Gothic poet Edgar Allan Poe, so his words and poems also helped with generating a word list.

Next, our discussion was to share 3 caricature artists who could serve as an inspiration for our assignment. I picked David Levine, Mort Drucker, and Miguel Covarrubias who did Stanley Kubrick, Albert Einstein, and FDR below.

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We had to do a final line drawing, 2 value sketches, and 2 color options based on a value sketch that we liked best. I drew the original in pencil on Mylar (much cleaner to erase) then added value and color using Photoshop and an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. Caricature is helpful because it teaches you to simplify and pick the key features that make up a person or his or her expression.

value-1-poe value-2-poe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Which do you like best?  I think my teacher liked orange Poe the best, but I thought the purple Poe best fit with his melancholia. I also just opened up a store on Red Bubble. If you’d like to get a print or card, visit HERE. If you’d like to get an orange Poe instead, email me at kristereide@gmail.com  The final is due this week and I was thinking of adding some background.

screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-8-46-34-amRed Bubble is pretty easy to set up for all types of gifts and merchandise. I can see why artists like it so much.  Poe pillow anyone?

More Pastels – Carbothello Stabilo Pencils

floating-girl-ear-final It’s been another busy week, but learning a lot more what CarbOthello pencils can do. I really like the medium although I have a lot to learn about making color blends.  This past week had our usual gesture drawings, 2 hand drawings in pastel, and then a costumed figure drawing. Sanded paper like UArt or Wallis can receive more layers than Canson Mi-Teintes or other pastel papers, but they will eat up your pencils quicker.

I found I like the soft rich blacks of  Nitram charcoal. It also doesn’t have as much dust as General’s.

I’ll also post the three examples of pastel paintings that I posted in this week’s discussion. Pastel offers such a wide variety of expression. I really like the medium.

The first is a rendering of Ophelia from Cuong Nguyen who worked as a successful web designer for many years until he got working more as a streetpastel-1chalk artist, then became a full-time fine art painter. I learned from him that skin tones can be mixed with a green underpainting (verdaccio) and flesh tones.

pastel-2The second is an illustration from Paul Howard from a Jill Tomlinson book called The Owl who was afraid of the dark. I like the soft luminous quality Howard was able to get from his use of pastels.

pastel-3Finally, there’s The Guardian by Fiona Tang. It combines chalk pastel with charcoal and acrylic on a paper backing. The different textures of the various media used for this piece this piece contribute to the overall effect in different ways; the chalk pastel in particular is important to the trompe l’oeil effect, helping to differentiate the “three-dimensional” stag in the front from the more “two-dimensional” background charcoal elements, with the white tone of the pastel “light” against the natural brown color of the paper.

This coming week is my final one for Life Drawing IV. We’ve got a watercolor assignment, the first I’ve had since I’ve been in art school. Also this weekend, I’ll be going to the Great Critique-nic through the Western Washington Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators. It’ll be the first one that I’ve ever gone to. People bring their illustrations or writing and split up into small groups where they critique and be critiqued.

 

Sketching to Tell a Story

fairytale-girlThis Christmas break, I’ve been doing more sketching to improve my skills. I’m trying to make each single piece tell more of a story and I’m also working on more backgrounds and landscape elements.  For my birthday, I went sketching at the zoo (cold, but could be worse) and took some advice from David Rankin who wrote the book Fast Sketching Techniques. I heard about him from a wildlife Screen Shot 2015-12-27 at 10.38.03 AMartist that I admire. He made the distinction between drawing and sketching – and pointed out the frustration of wanting to draw from wildlife, but difficult because it’s always moving.

We started some of the exercises in the book and put some of his advice into practice at the zoo. I still would like to touch up some of the sketches I did there, but’ll I’ll share them in a future post. He recommended staying longer with one animal and taking in all the little mannerisms. It becomes easier after you’ve drawn the same animal many times from different positions and doing different things.

The drawing of the girl is from a foreign movie based on a children’s fairytale. The man with the mustache is more my own invention and I titled it Admonition.  The other photo is a sketch of Albert Schweitzer from a vintage photo.

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Singer Sargent at the Met

Great exhibition at the NY Met Museum last month – Singer Sargent and Friends. Not that I’m paint more, I learn much more from seeing original works up close. It was an amazing exhibition because of the range of styles  that he painted in. My photos don’t do the art justice, but since the exhbit has now ended, some of you might enjoy seeing the work.

I liked this portrait of Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife. Apparently Stevenson was a restless person who often paced, so Sargent caught him mid-stride.

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This beautiful panel was a study of a larger work .
I found this portrait an interesting study too because he masterfully drew a viewer’s gaze to the face. There was only a very general suggestion of the piano keys so as not to draw attention away from the center of focus.

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Painting Portraits – the Grisaille Approach

I finished my watercolor portrait workshop with Hamid at Gage Academy this past week, but I still wanted to learn more, so I checked out Scott Waddell‘s  Art of the Painting video. It’s great!  His demo is for oil, but most of his principles work for all classical painting. He starts off ‘posterizing’ the major lights and darks, establishes the values, then shifts into conceptualizing mode, carving the face in 3D in color. I found the method straightforward and much simpler than just trying take in all the information at once. Scott supplements his painting with video illustrations of the behavior of light on 3D surfaces.

Here are 2 portraits that are more exercises  / WIP rather than finished works. The girl is from this 1966/1967 film adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen.  I still have more I would like to do on that piece, but the RMCAD school year starts up in a week, and I’m going to see if I can learn more about composition before then.

krister-portrait-man krister-portrait-snow-queen

Baby Portrait in Gouache

cousin-portrait-gouacheI had a breakthrough in painting this week, mixing more colors and getting more of a sense of the brush. There are still things I struggled with, but this was turned out much better than I thought and it’ll be a surprise for my cousin and her husband.

I was also searching this past week for creative commons sources for reference photos and I found a nice site called Paint My Photo which has a lot of high resolution photos of animals, landscapes, and portraits that I’ll definitely use. The site brings artists and photographers and each enjoys the other’s work.

I think I’m going to tackle another interesting bird for my next work.