Thursday, May 13, 2010

May 12th and 13th 2010, Painting, Drawing and Comissions!

So yesterday I forgot to post my drawing - sorry about that - but I did a lot of studying of elephants, in case you haven't noticed!

The above painting is the most current one that I am working on and I see areas in need of color TLC and uniformity. I like the composition and background but I really want to make this piece shine and to really stick out from my others. I believe the key to this piece will be the way the texture is handled and that's why I have been really harping on the texture alot in my drawings.

So today's drawing (May 13th) I did a textural study from a frontal view of an elephant, I really want get the shadows and the creases right. I noticed that with each study the closer I get to the accuracy of the animal. It is a great process and as said before it is not the final destination that counts but the journey, the process that makes the difference!

Yesterday (May 12th) was also spent doing studies of not only the texture but of the folds in the skin and how the head looked - as shown above. I also looked a photo of a elephant skull online and found this profile view. I did a sketch and tried to learn why certain shadows were made.

Also yesterday, I did another study of the creases and shadows in the trunk of the elephant. I did this mainly because I would be starting the background elephant and wanted to be sure of where everything went.
So, that's been the journey so far! Yet, I also had a few other projects to do today: two commissions - both portraits. Portraits are fun and I feel its best to do it from your own photos as opposed to just borrowing your clients.
A good example of that happened to me three years ago when I was asked to draw someone from a photograph. I looked at it and thought "not a glamour shot but whatever." I wanted money and they were offering. So I took their offer and did the portrait within 48 hours of their request. I was very pleased with it - as it looked just like the photo - but when they got it they said "she looks fat".
A client's reaction to your work (especially a portrait) shold be a positive experience and when I asked what's wrong they said "nothing you did, it looks like the photo but....I gave you a bad one."
SOooooo! Lessons for that day: Don't take a commission without first meeting your subject matter face to face, then do "from-life" sketches, take some reference photos and then start your portrait! It's like trying to paint an elephant without ever seeing one - it makes no sense.
Well that's all for today, take care and happy drawing!

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