January 31, 2013

"still life I", watercolor... and discovery!

"still life I"

1st of february 2013,

A watercolor I did yesterday...
I read somewhere, words of a girl who draws... She (we) when finished a drawing; "she needs to get sober", which can take some time, or less time. That's when you take a distance and say to yourself, well this is not as it should, instead of being happy with what you do. Then we also say; "I've made some progress, I see it now!". She also says that, if it happens shortly after, it makes her mad.
For this one I got sober overnight!! But instead of feeling mad for this, I feel very happy!!
I see a potential I should work on. Something that has been growing in my mind since a while, is coming out. (I guess this might be my own impression, maybe difficult to detect by others)
Now I'll have to stay focused and persevere (!!). This might be "one stone", the first, of something.
I want to get the essence of "things" and manage to express it in the simplest of ways... Without useless "artifices" or "fancy effects".

Finally I got something to work on!
It has been a while, since I didn't feel this kind of motivation. I just hope I can hang on to it!

January 29, 2013

Imaginary landscapes...


 Again, for my students : This is an introduction of a possibility to create imaginary landscapes, or real ones. These shown here, are not a final selection at all, they're just swatches of research.
The thing is to create compositions in values, to organize the space without leaving out empty space. For that; avoid drawing only outlines (contours) instead put in zones of values, treating the whole.
Making many of these will help you to find the most interesting composition for any subject you want to paint.
So, before starting, when you're in front of your subject; do swatches! Don't jump right into it, anyhow, you might loose a lot of time, struggling with a "non working composition". Without knowing why your painting doesn't seem to function. It will help you to avoid painting something not worth it, as uninteresting when badly organized; maybe to central or symmetric, to flat or not knowing where to put you point of interest and not making the eye travel around in the painting later on.
It also warms you up and puts you in the right state for painting.

Some advices : You can use pencils from HB and softer (HB to 9B), if you only use a HB pencil it might not be soft enough to mark you darks.
For the watercolor swatches, chose you compositions out of your drawings and try to paint freely, to create a spontaneous feeling. Avoid "fiddling" with details, the small size of the swatches are supposed to make you go for the essential spaces, not the details. We always tend to pay too much attention to details in the beginning.
You can use photographic material as a base if you lack imagination. But try not to simply copy, try making it better or to develop it, to make it your own idea.

A remainder : Details are not what make you like a painting, composition is! A composition is the organization of the space, in values (when painting). When you learn to treat values, and translate what you see into values, you will understand a whole lot better how to paint in color.
Values are the range of "grey tones" between the two extremes of white to black, you should use them  including white and black. Avoid making composition with equal amount of white grey and black (1/3 of each). It's much interesting having "a touch" (or a little more) of a value and having a dominant.

Studies of boxes...

My students asked me to post the watercolor I did in class, as a reference. So here it is. We studied square shapes; how light falls on boxes... : )

January 22, 2013


Something stupid with my blog happened this morning. I changed the basic design choice of the the blog by error. When I wanted to switch back I had lost my personal layout like colors of titles, backgrounds... Now it seems impossible to register any new modifications. Which means I can not put any personal modifications onto the layout!
It seems that I'm not the only one who encounters this huge bug with Blogger, and solutions seem very complicated if you are not a professional, if there are any at all. I hope the "staff" will start reacting and find a solution as it has apparently going on a while for many other bloggers. (There is a staff somewhere, isn't there?!). What do you do when you encounter a problem with an enterprise like Google, who do call or write?
Just know that this blog is out of control, and that I'm not the one manipulating it! : (
On top of it, I thought I had saved the the layout by coping it, but that have not have been done  as I thought (another grrr!). Hope I learn of my mistakes!
Now I feel like creating a new blog, but how can I transfer all the content onto a new blog?? Anyone knows??

January 16, 2013

Figure drawing sessions... and reflections...

(Sorry for the bad photographic quality of these drawings. The paper is off white, not grey as shown.
The poses in these sessions are unknown. We don't know how long each sitting is for, when drawing them, which is supposed to avoid any calculating or slowing down. I've noticed I slow down even so and that I'm more active if I know it's a short pose. Here I missed her feet for example, as pose ended, but this doesn't disturb me here...)

Well, well, I've been attending a weekly figure drawing session since the autumn, with a teacher. I might have mentioned that before. A "non academic" teacher, if I could call him so (I would say it's the "french way" of teaching). I have trouble finding my own path, listen to what ever advices he gives can be confusing. Advices we should forget about while drawing, to be able to concentrate 200% on our impressions and drawing those. Maybe I should just forget everything I've learned, to see what happens then....? Scary! It will feel like starting from the beginning! Why is that so scary? Maybe because it took so much efforts to get anywhere at all, that it creates fear of loosing the spot where we are at.
The problem in this kind of course is that it looks like everybody will end up doing the same thing. The same kind of drawing. They are all trying to find there own "style", which I think is a big error, specially if you try to please the teacher. They're all influenced by him. Our personality comes without searching for it, it comes with hard work and our own experiences, in my opinion.
I don't want to adhere to any fashionable tendency. Some "today fashion" the teachers keep telling everybody to believe in, just because the figurative art or academic drawings are unpopular and "useless" since a hundred years...
I want my drawings to get stronger, every line to be stronger. Each line or mark got to be felt and lived profoundly and have a reason to be expressed. I don't want to get into a fake "make up effect", which hides very often the inability to read and translate in a graphic language, what we see.
For now my goal will be "that"; give more sense, expression and depth to my pencil work and to concentrate only on that for a while...

January 08, 2013

January 02, 2013

My Wishes to You!

It doesn't look like I'll be able to do any illustration for this message today either, so I prefer to let you know that I wish YOU; my friend, reader, follower and/or visitor :
A wonderful year 2013!!

If you have made any decisions to change anything in you existence compared to last year, go for it! : )

I suddenly started to believe we can influence our life and environment more than I've never could have imagined before. Maybe this is faith? Faith in ourselves and our existence, or maybe something more powerful than that?  No matter what it is I'm experiencing, it feels quite extraordinary and useful, he he. With this in mind I hope it will lead me through 2013 in the most harmonious of ways.
My new year resolution is not to wait for things to happen and not "hope or wish" for a better year. Last year was already a better year than the ones before. I have already made some improvements in my life. I shouldn't forget that, it's precious for the courage to continue.
I can pray for health to everybody and after that, I'll "only" try to be creative in every act. Wake up in the morning feeling like the creator of a new day, one step and one day at a time. I'll try to be generous with myself, without shame now, to let others enjoy a "happy me". They might experience this "me" as a more generous person with them too, in all ways.
In the end of the year 2013 I hopefully will be able to feel and see the difference; in my everyday life and in my work. But above all, I hope everybody will notice and enjoy that difference, what's the point otherwise?

Thank you all for your presence and encouragements for the last two and a half years, it's a big support!