Tuesday, December 30, 2008

acrylics = love/hate relationship...

I've always had a love/hate relationship with acrylics and I think the "hate" is growing steadily with each painting. I'm starting to get seriously frustrated by the rapid drying nature of acrylics. I'm thinking of trying out oil paints or maybe just buying some acrylic paint retardant. Or maybe it's the fact that I'm using really cheap student grade acrylics? Either way it's driving me nuts and I think I'll dive back into watercolours and gouache in the meantime... Possibly dry media...

water lilies
acrylics on canvas, 8x10
(commissioned piece)

This was referenced off a few water lily photos I looked up on Google, combined arbitrarily in my head... I'm still struggling a lot with composition - does anyone have any book or class recommendations for this?

Since this is likely my last post of the year, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy New Year! :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

quack quack

I've always had trouble in my acrylic painting class when it came to the lessons involving the use of warm & cool colours / complementary colours. I often find it difficult to bring the whole picture together, compared to the old masters' palette (aka everything is brown-tinted).

So here is another attempt at the whole warm & cool colour thing, as well as looser brushstrokes... I definitely need more practice with composition as well!

rubber ducks
acrylics on canvas, 8.10"
(commissioned piece)

Oh and happy holidays everyone! :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

fruits & veggies

I now have this little set-up in my basement for painting, and this is the first artwork to come out of it! I'm not too happy with my painting technique or the fact that I had to rely on the old master's palette, but I guess this is what happens when I'm tight on time...?

fruits & veggies
acrylics on canvas, 8x10"
(commissioned piece)

i'm dreamin' of a white Christmas...

I wanted to capture the snowy weather yesterday so I did this quick watercolour doodle (aka ignore the non-existent perspective and odd slant) during a temporary blackout. Of course I did so in the comfort of my kitchen, looking out into my backyard... Hope you didn't get caught in it!

snow day
watercolour, gouache & col-erase pencil on paper, 8.5x11"

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

just a couple works in progress

Sorry for the lack of updates, I've been doing mostly anime art recently!

Anyway, here are a couple of things I've been working on sporadically. I didn't really have a plan going into them (which probably shows?!). I had extra time in my last acrylic painting class a couple weeks ago and decided to create some grounds to draw on top of. So this is what I have thus far... have no idea where these are going and may end up painting over them...

Left: dying fish
Acrylics, Prismacolour warm grey markers, Sharpies, white-out, rubbing alcohol & Sakura Microns, 8.5x11"

Note: Don't be dumb like me and inhale excess amounts of alcohol vapours (from markers and rubbing alcohol I used on a brush to smooth out the marker edges and blur the red Sharpie... How many brain cells have I lost, I wonder?). Work in a well ventilated room!

Right: just a girl
Acrylics, black ballpoint pen, & pencil crayons, 8.5x11"

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Knees and failed caricatures! :P

Knees give me a really hard time, they're all bumpy and complicated. I'm not really happy with how I did the actual shading, so more practice is in store...

Graphite pencil & Prismacolor warm grey markers on paper, 8.5x11 in.

I also tried caricatures for the first time in my life and WOW is it ever hard! Also probably doesn't help that I tried it on myself first (and it doesn't look like me, really...), assuming it's easier to pick out defining features of a stranger, someone you haven't known for 20-some odd years. Also, I had no idea what to do with the body! I think I'll practice on politicians first or something...

Prismacolor warm grey markers + Staedtler watercolour pencils on paper, 8.5x11 in.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Scrappy doodles

Sorry for the lack of updates recently, I've been busy trying to pump out anime art for this weekend's anime convention DotCon. This was a nice break from all the fanart and CGing.

We were playing around with masking techniques today - and wow, does Windsor & Newton masking fluid ever smell bad... Anyway, here are a couple small paintings I did, just trying out the techniques so nothing fancy. :)

I drew the bird with a white crayon, added a watercolour wash over it, and used a credit card dipped in watercolours for the lines.
Crayola white crayon, watercolor
& gouache on paper, 5.75x7.5 in.

This is just standard W&N masking fluid on paper with watercolour and gouache wash on top. My lines are pretty hideous...lol!
Watercolour & gouache on paper, 5.75x7.5 in.

Back to drawing anime!...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

CG vs. traditional media

I said from the start that I'd like to keep this blog anime free. But I like how my latest CG turned out and wanted to share. I couldn't decide which one I liked better, do let me know which one you prefer more. :)

0.5mm mechanical pencil, PaintTool SAI 1.01 & Photoshop CS2, 11x17 in. resolution

I was originally going to do this as a watercolour/gouache painting. I was figuring out the composition and colour scheme on Photoshop CS2 first, but I got way too carried away and finished colouring it in PaintTool SAI.

After finishing it as a CG, I wonder if I could've pulled it off as a watercolour painting. I had 10 layers, tweaked colours, rotated elements, saved 3 different versions at a time, and ctrl-z'd like a crazy person. But with a watercolour, once the colour's down, it's there for good (well, it's removable to some degree). I think this is why I'm always so impressed by people who work with traditional media - something like watercolour is so unforgiving (thank goodness for gouache). And there aren't nearly as many shortcuts e.g. using images from the web as patterns or textures or changing the entire colour scheme with a couple clicks. On the other hand, there's no material costs except for the initial investments in a computer and tablet.

Any thoughts on CGs vs. traditional artwork?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

glub glub...

I worked in a fish physiology lab during my fourth year in university. And well, the fish motif has definitely stuck with me since. Let's just say, I was known as the "fish butcher", "fish monger", "fish killer", and well, you get the idea (sorry for those who are squeamish, 'twas for the sake of science, I swear!) So this series of paintings is dedicated to all the yellow perch that "participated" in my experiments.

As a poor art student, I decided to save money and reuse watercolour paper. I tore up this watercolour painting I didn't particularly like (wet-in-wet ground scribbled on with ink) into little pieces as practice paper. I ended up incorporating the original painting afterall. :)

Water-soluble crayons, water-soluble graphite, gouache, watercolour & black acrylic ink on paper, 5.75x7.5 in. each

Friday, October 31, 2008

The extremities

So I finally sat down and did a hand and foot study last night, because these two body parts are definitely weaknesses of mine! I've been avoiding this practice... :(

I always end up making the body of the foot look like one flat surface, which of course it isn't. And fingers still get the better of me a lot of the time... More hands and feet in my future, that's for sure.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Water-soluble crayons

I was messing around with water-soluble crayons/wax pastels (Caran D'Ache brand) and graphite in my water media class today. I love the creamy, vibrant colours you can get using the crayons compared to watercolours. The portability of a little box of 10 water-soluble crayons is also a plus. I also had some watercolour pencils (Steadtler karat aquarelle), but wasn't too big a fan of the hard, thin lines.

I found it a challenge to maintain a loose feel to the paintings and I struggled with how permanent lines are when you draw into wet areas directly. Also, I was always too eager to add water and often did it too prematurely... So I'm not too happy with the results, but will be experimenting more later!

Water-soluble crayons/wax pastels, water-soluble graphite & gouache on paper, approx. 5.75x7.5 in. each

I think I overworked the ones above, so I tried to do a more sketchy one!

Water-soluble crayons/wax pastels & water-soluble graphite on paper, approx. 5.75x7.5 inches

These practice pieces also made me appreciate the importance of a good, durable watercolour paper (I used Winsor & Newton 140 lb hot press)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Gouche <3

I did a small painting of a kitten using gouache. This is for a former professor of mine who is a big fan of cats. :)

I find I really like gouache, it's so much forgiving compared to watercolours. I've never worked with oil paints before but I imagine it would be somewhat similar to gouache in terms of the workability and how you can pick up paint from underneath the layer you're working on.

I have acrylic painting class tomorrow, time to attack the paint with some cheap Curry's brushes again. :(

Week 7

Watercolour/gouaches washes over a graphite drawing create pretty interesting effects, in my opinion. :)

First, powdered graphite was applied to the entire surface. Details were then erased into the graphite ground. A light wash of watercolours and gouache was applied after the erasing was completed, and voila!

I'm losing my Japanese vocab, I hope that's correct. <:
Eraser on graphite ground with watercolour & gouache wash

So I guess I'll put up some of my life drawing... I've never done it before and this is my progress after 7 classes, it was the first time we're allowed to use one colour! Our instructor had us use 3 different colours for each of the main steps: 1) gesture 2) joints 3) mass structures. We haven't delved into contour and tone yet.

(And please excuse poor photography) ;-;

20 minute poses - really need to work on hands & feet, among...well everything else xD
Pastel on newsprint, 18x20

Weeks 5-6

So I learned the hard way that you get what you pay for with acrylics. I was using Windsor & Newton Galleria so I could save some cash but found it to be really streaky and transparent. So after class, I sucked it up and bought a couple tubes of Golden paints.

Landscape study using master palette underpainting. Based on a Dutch painting entitled "Roman Bridge" by Jan Asselyn.
Acrylics on canvas, 9x12

Here we were playing around with creating grounds using glazing/layering and sponging pigment off.

Loosely based on flowers drawn by Mondrian.
Watercolour & gouache on paper

A place to put traditional art. <:

Hello! I'm new to blogspot, but I've decided to start one to log my non-anime art escapades (possibly as well as my anime ones?). All my anime style art will be kept in my DeviantArt account here.

I'm currently attending the Toronto School of Art for life drawing and a couple painting classes. So I'll be retroactively putting up some of the work I've completed in class. :)

Weeks 1-3

Still life using master palette underpainting. Apples need some fixin'...
Acrylics on canvas, 9x12 in.

Floral study using tree twigs instead of pens/brushes.
Ink & watercolour on bond paper, ~11x19 in.