Thursday, March 8, 2007

Happy Little Trees

Just playing with different brushes and tools in Corel. The Impressionist tool is handy for textures.

Studio Session #2

The drawing studio was packed this Tuesday. It was a lot noisier, and a lot smokier. Finding a good spot to draw from was a bit difficult, and my view was continuously obstructed by a gentleman peering out from an easel (but his renderings were great to watch). This session's theme was the 1920's and, appropriately, the booze and jazz were a flowin'. By the way, trying to draw someone who has downed a few drinks is a fun challenge. They don't stay still quite so long.

My scanner really didn't like this last drawing. I played with the settings for over an hour, got frustrated, and finally just accepted this scan. Blah. Anywho, I plan on taking this sketch into Corel for some correction and coloring.

At the next session, I think I'm going to spend some time doing more simple gestural sketches of the people around me to warm up. The costumed models and props are great, but I'd really like some short, simple poses to get started and find my groove. Maybe the nudity happens after people drink for a bit longer.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Playing Around

This was one idea I toyed with for this Illustration Friday's theme, which is "hide". The feeling I got from this sketch was more "scared", so I'm still playing with other rough ideas. I guess a person might hide if they're scared, but meh.. For some reason I originally painted this with white on a black canvas, but it looked a little better once I inverted the image.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Revisiting the Basics

My friend Dan told me about a figure-drawing studio in a somewhat frightening area of LA by Little Tokyo. This past Tuesday evening, we made a spontaneous trip down to the studio for some sketching. While the bum-infested industrial area almost made me cry as we walked to the loft around 10 o'clock at night, once we got inside I was quite amazed.

The studio was very spacious, and the overall environment very warm and friendly. Artists from all walks of life formed a large ring around an expectant model platform. People had brought along every medium imaginable for the session, which included a few laptops and drawing tablets. The studio itself also sported a fully-stocked bar (yay! drinking and drawing!), a billiard table, a small stage with lights and speakers, and an upstairs area that I didn't get a chance to explore.

Yikes. I have definitely devolved since my last figure-drawing session. Since the models were running a little late, I caught the last few minutes of this gentleman who volunteered to sit in. Every week the models have a theme to which they dress accordingly in professional costumes. This session was Greek/Roman themed, and the wait was well worth it.

This was probably my best attempt after the multiple Prisma sketches I made (same goes for the guy above). My first warm-up session after not drawing for months was tough, but also a great motivator for getting my skills back to where they should be.

Since the studio was a bit far and it was past 11pm on a work night, we decided to cut out early and head back across town. The Tuesday session goes from 10pm-2am, and I'm not sure if they have any other sessions scheduled. Hopefully we can make it out to the studio on a weekly basis and Wednesday mornings I'll just start drinking coffee.

That Wacky Wacom

I've neglected my little Wacom tablet since it was purchased almost a year ago. Unfortunately, my initial approach to this newfangled technology was: "I'm not good at it right away, so forget it." Countless canvases were deleted which bore my unintelligable scribbles and experiments with different media brushes.

...not that this is anything fancy, but it's really my first ever drawing using the tablet. For reasons unknown I just came home, fired up Corel, found a photo reference, and started to draw.

Total execution for this sketch took around 20 minutes. I'm still quite inept when it comes to remembering I can change brush sizes without having to physically change the pen in my hand. Fine-tuning the opacity and pressure settings are also tricky, so I'm still playing with the default pen configuration to find my comfort zone.

The main reason for saving this piece is to use it as a starting comparison for my practice (and hopeful improvement) with digital media. I figure the tablet will be a simple alternative for my present lack of space to use traditional media.