Cultivating the Sketching Habit (V)

There’s only 3 images here, I was out at an event promoting the non-profit class and showing a few pieces at a vending table. So, I was sketching between interacting with people. The perfectionist in me would like to try and clean these up once I am back home –but I try not to let myself do that. Instead, I let these images simply be what they are: imperfect, incomplete, unfinished. They’re studies that might inspire further drawing or painting, but all in all, they’ll likely sit in a sketch book.

I try to encourage students to always be drawing. The practice keeps up your skill so it is there when called upon when you do commissions and your own studio work. My recommendation is you should match a twelve-to-one ratio of sketches and studies that get tucked away in your portfolio, to ever finished piece intended for a gallery or sale.

A higher ratio is better, but 12:1 is about what I aim for.

The first image is a composite:

IMG_3188

sketches, graphite and Molotow Gold Metallic Acrylic Marker

Image: (above) clockwise from top left:

1. Tree, Dana Park

2. Sofet detail, abandoned building, Lark Street, Albany.

3. Commercial building, Delaware Ave., Albany.

4. Mobil Sign, Madison Ave, Albany.

 

After that I did a couple quick studies of attendees in the crowd.

 

IMG_3193

Molotow Acrylic Paint Marker

 

IMG_3185

study, graphite

En Plein Air (open air) Painting

I have never considered myself a water-colorist, to me that was always my mother’s medium and she still owns the title family water-colorist –so far as I’m concerned. However, since the weather has been lovely as it has been, I have decided to do a series of watercolor paintings painted around Albany En plein air. Early in my teaching, I finally got past the fact I thought I wasn’t good in the medium. As I had to teach other people to use watercolor, I quickly taught myself and have greater comfort in the medium.`As the summer progresses I will probably do a lengthy series of watercolor.

Currently, I am intending to incorporate Eleven Images as a 501c (non-profit) in the very near term, and I also need a passport to begin traveling overseas. So, sales of this series will likely be used towards those purposes. I can ship these, and I accept paypal. though they would probably be most meaningful to someone with ties to the area.

Today, I was in Washington Park, on the west side of the lake there. The images are looking east over the lake. (all images watercolor on paper, 11″ x 14″)

I could sell these as a series (3, make offer), or $30 each.

 

IMG_2818

Sky, Washington Park

 

IMG_2819

Stones, Washington Park

 

IMG_2820

Lake and Trees, Washington Park

 

6/24/16: I returned to Washington Park today to paint a few more images. I think I will begin, next time, moving my easel around the city, and also, perhaps, into Troy and Schenectady. So if you happen to see me out and around, feel welcome to say hello and peek over my shoulder.

Enjoy

IMG_2837

“Washington Park Lake, Bridge” watercolor on paper 11″ x 14″

 

IMG_2838

Washington Park, flower beds, watercolor on paper, 11″ x 14″

Industrial Strength New Years Eve @ Broadway Joes, Buffalo NY, 12/31/1015

It was a bitterly cold end to the year, when Destroy Eleven joined Soul Reactor, Burrangels, Petals and Thorns, and Standard Issue Citizen for Industrial Strength New Years Eve. I didn’t get a lot of photos, but there were a few.

All and all, some fantastic performances…

Soul Reactor:

IMG_1695

IMG_1694

IMG_1693

 

Blurrangels:

 

IMG_1703

IMG_1696

 

IMG_1698

 

IMG_1697

 

IMG_1699

 

IMG_1702

 

Petals and Thorns:

IMG_1704

IMG_1705

 

Man Woman Machine:

IMG_1710

IMG_1708

 

IMG_1709

Also, (not performing, unless you count lulz as performance) NDru Virus:

IMG_1692

Thanks everyone who was a part of the night, whether I was meeting you for the first time, or we’ve worked together previously.

Eleven Images: New Work, 2016

First post of the new year. So, hey!

The older, recent works can all still be seen here. http://wp.me/p2c9SR-a9

Find my e-mail in the about section and contact for details.

To finish off the last of old business, the last image I started in 2015 was a little canvas I shortened the name to “Starvation.” After a second sitting, it came off a little too flat and blended. So, I darkened the image up slightly with some Burnt Sienna, and I think this one’s ready to take off the easel and let dry.

Here is the final image:

 

IMG_1776

“Starvation” 11″ x 14″ oil on canvas, $60

 

Started two new canvases, but these are begin with unusual (for me) ideas.

This one is called “sleep” or “rest.”

IMG_3085

“At Rest” color blocking, oil on canvas, 12″ x 12″

 

IMG_3220

“At Rest” second sitting, oil on canvas, 12″ x 12″

 

And this thing, I just have no idea at all:

IMG_3084

Untitled, oil on canvas, 16″ x 20″ first sitting

 

IMG_3219

Untitled, oil on canvas, 16″ x 20″ second sitting.

 

I’ll have to start tallying up to see how close I came to hitting my goal over the past couple months, (I’ll do so when I photograph all my new works for my catalog and put wires in the back). It’s now a new year, and I don’t see any reason to slow down on what I am doing. With that in mind I did some color blocking on two new, yet untitled canvases.

Began color-blocking a new piece this morning:

 

IMG_3074

Color blocking, first sitting, oil on canvas, 8″ x 1o”

 

IMG_3075

“Something like Purity,” First sitting, oil on canvas, 8″ x 10″

 

IMG_3083

“Something Like Purity”oil on canvas, 8″ x 10” $45

Touched this last on up a little as well.

IMG_3221

“Something Like Purity” oil on canvas, 8″ x 10″ final $45

 

Some new pieces, drying:

IMG_3089


An entirely new piece, this came together in a single sitting:

IMG_2981

“An Appearance of the Apparition,” oil on gessoed wood panel, 11″ x 16″ $205

Second sitting, Still not quite closing on what I want with is image:

IMG_2980

Untitled, (second sitting) oil on canvas, 8″ x 10″

Done:

IMG_3081

“An Elemental”final, oil on canvas, 8″ x 10” $75

 

Began color-blocking a new piece, after I finished the last one (Vine), here is it after a first sitting:

 

IMG_2898

Untitled, first sitting, oil on canvas, 8″ x 10″

The newest finished work. This is going to be another installation, like “There is No Gentle Way Down From Here” (see below).

IMG_2897

Dead on the Vine, finished panels, oil on canvas, 12″ x 12″

 

The idea I have for this piece will incorporate two metal sheets, one attached to each canvas, and suspended in a manner like the weights in old grandfather clocks.

I need to buy supplies to realize this. A purchase of one of the works for sale would help me get that done.

Color-blocking this morning:

 

IMG_2828

“Dead on the Vine” oil on canvas, 2 12″ x 12″ panels, first sitting.

 

5.23: color-blocking on two new pieces

(the triptych I have talked about)

The Triptych is done!

Here are some images of the finished piece:

IMG_2584

As as I was working on it, I got the idea to suspend the panels by eye-hooks and chain, so the triptych would hang together as a single installation. Here I am cutting the chain and assembling the parts.

 

IMG_2585

Finished work, “There is No Gentle Way Down From Here,” Oil on canvas, (3 8″ x 10″ panels, total dimensions: 10″W  x 48″H) chain and brass eye-hooks.  $295

 

 

IMG_2586

A close shot of the chain and eye-hooks.

IMG_2587

Panel 1

IMG_2588

Panel 2

 

IMG_2589

Panel 3

IMG_2546

New work, color blocking, oil on canvas, 3 vertically stacked 8″ x 10″ panels.

 

IMG_2565

Untitled work, second sitting, oil on canvas, 3 vertically stacked 8″ x 10″ canvases.

…and

 

IMG_2465

New piece, color blocking, 12″ x 12″ oil on canvas, first sitting.

 

IMG_2566

Untitled work, second sitting, oil on canvas, 12″ x 12″

 

IMG_2821

“No Lover isn’t a Noose in Time” oil on canvas, 12″ x 12″ $90

 

First sitting with two new pieces:

 

IMG_2378

Untitled, oil on canvas, 8″ x 10″ first sitting.

 

Worked for a bit on both these pieces (8, May):

 

IMG_2459

Untitled canvas, oil on canvas, 8″ x 10″, second sitting

 

Two images of the finished work:

 

IMG_2462

Lullaby for a Cast-away, (finished) oil on canvas  8″ x 10″, $75

 

IMG_2467

Second image, drying on my wall, “Lullaby for a Cast-away” $75.

 

 

IMG_2379

Untitled, oil on canvas 16″ x 20″ first sitting.

 

IMG_2460

Untitled, oil on canvas, 16″ x 20″ second sitting

 

IMG_2466

Untitled, 3rd sitting, oil on canvas, 16″ x 20″

Done:

IMG_2469

“Either a Swan-dive, or an Invitation?” (drying on the wall) oil on canvas, 16″ x 20″ $215

 

 

 

 

First sitting with two new pieces:

 

IMG_2310

Untitled work, first sitting, 10″ x 14″ oil on canvas

 

IMG_2362

“Tendrils, rivulets”oil on canvas, 10″ x 14” $145

 

With the both of these pieces I am experimenting with working a little differently. The second image here, I aimed to do this one with very thin washes of paint over each other, slowly building up the color’s intensity.  I also plan to use a very limited pallete, I may eventually involve a shade (to create more contrast) but so far, this images is using only Yellow Ochre, Medium Yellow, and Permenant Green Light.

 

IMG_2309

“Prozac Listening Party” oil on canvas, 8″ x 10″ first sitting

 

IMG_2363

“Prozac Listening Party” oil on canvas 8″ x 10″ $75

 

Life got real busy with other things, but I briefly got back to my easel today. This is the second sitting on this piece, I had blocked out shapes and colors previously. Where the yet untitled piece stands now:

IMG_2149

Untitled, oil on canvas, 16″ x 20″, second sitting

Sat down and worked (third sitting) on the newest canvas. I may revisit it in the morning, but I think it is done:

IMG_2305

“Flesh Cathedrals”oil on canvas, “18 x 24”, third sitting, final $245.

Started another canvas too, not very interesting yet, just blocked color.

2/2016

Started new pieces (one is a commission, so I will share images of that when it is delivered). When the commission was done, I used some paint that was left on my pallette to start a new small piece.

New work, this one likewise came together quickly and in two sittings (I did not photograph the original sitting/color blocking for whatever reason):

IMG_2070

“Schism” oil on canvas, 11″ x 14,” $125

 

First, there was this image:

 

IMG_2001

“A Rest for Troubled Waters” first sitting, color blocking. oil on canvas, 16″ x 20″

Third sitting (normally, I am better about photographing my progress, but I worked on this piece of and on a couple days ago. I did not get a photo at the intermediate stage. Here is the final piece, however:

 

 

IMG_2037

“A Rest for Troubled Water” oil on canvas, 16″ x 20″, $235

And, I blocked color (with a palette knife) on a new small piece:

 

IMG_2027

Untitled, first sitting/color blocking, oil on canvas, 8″ x 10″ work in progress.

 

Second sitting. I would still like to have one more go at this:

 

IMG_2072

Untitled work, oil on canvas, 8″  10″, second sitting.

 

Worked on this piece again. I set it aside to develop it more, but I decided I like it as is. Sometimes, I don’t know:

IMG_2084

“A Close Reading of Tea Leaves” (final), oil on canvas, 8″ x 10″ $70

 

Another image of the same:

IMG_2085

A Close Reading of Tea Leaves, oil on canvas, $70

 

 

New piece:

 

IMG_1800

“for this moment, everything is mine” oil on canvas, 18″ x 24″ $135

 

Came together in one sitting, but I had a very specific idea about it.

 

 

These two with be the first pieces this year.

 

IMG_1777

Untitled canvas, 11″ x 14,” oil on canvas, first sitting.

 

Second sitting:

IMG_1784

Lick the Wound (Until My Tongue is Gone), oil on canvas, 11″ x 14″ $185

 

And the other:

 

IMG_1778

Second untitled canvas, oil on canvas, 8″ x 10″ first sitting.

 

Second sitting:

 

IMG_1782

“A Masque is for Truth-telling”, oil on canvas, 8″ x 10″, $75.

 

 

Will be updating with more images as the pieces and others come together.

Best wishes to my readers for the new year!

 

 

Quick Lessons: Get Some Perspective!!!

One of my current students has expressed an interest in architectural drawing. I am probably going to be bringing several source images to class for architectural studies. One thing I have not been shy about in my career as an art teacher, is directly addressing where I find gaps or a weakness in my own knowledge of my craft. I am primarily a figure/portrait and color guy, so this morning I busied myself finding, and then doing, a basic study in perspective. While my result today is by no means flawless, I did find the work relatively natural, and I remember more than I think I do. It’s been years since I’ve done many exercises in perspective, even if in my work it gets applied frequently.

The simplest exercise is multiple-point perspective is a cube. I found this image on a web-forum for game design, and you can see the image I used here.

I find it helpful with these studies to give yourself space to work. The largest paper I have readily at the moment is 11″ x 14,” so to create my horizon line, I worked with two pieces of paper taped together.

The original image is here (on the forum, scroll down) is here:   http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=16420.0

My study is here:

Study, cubes, exercise in perspective

Study, cubes, exercise in perspective

Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to add to this in coming days. If you do your own study, you can share your results in the comments. As this page gets rolling we’ll be taking on perspective studies of more complex architectural drawing and buildings. If you line a series of cubes up, larger and smaller, all meeting at 2 points relatively close on the horizon, you start to get what looks like a city street, that may be one of the places I choose to go in the coming class. Space them at far ends of the horizon, like in the cube exercise, that’s the basis for blue-printing a structure. Try it, see how yours comes out.

Wednesdays and Thursday afternoons I usually take my son to one of Albany’s public libraries. Today, I took off the shelf a book quite familiar to me (I’m sure I have checked it out multiple times by now) “Albany: The and Now” by local historian and author Don Rittner.

I have something of a fondness for art deco commercial buildings and design. The image I am using here was formerly the 1928 facade of the South East Corner of State Street and Pearl Street –then a restaurant and jewelry store. There currently sits in that corner a high-rise tower which is presently occupied by an M&T Bank on the ground floor.

Here is a 2-point perspective rendering of the 1928 building:

architectural study, Pearl Street and State Street Albany, from the book, Albany, by Don Rittner, used with permission.

architectural study, Pearl Street and State Street Albany, reproduced from the book, Albany, by Don Rittner, used with permission.

I have alternatively heard small-scale art-deco commercial buildings of similar style called “Moderne,” so that term may be more appropriate, but there does seem to be areas of overlap within the two design schools. This structure also is much larger than most examples I have heard described that way apparently without a great deal of the the decorative chrome heavily associated with the style. (An example is the former White Tower building on Central Avenue I have described in the commissions blog).

In coming days I will hopefully be adding a few more examples of particular buildings, and perhaps moving into street scenes.
Happy sketching.

Cultivating the Sketching Habit (IV): Figure Studies & Loosening up

Not everybody has access to a subject for figure study. Figure study is one of those bedrock artistic practices you should always revisit. You simply are never too experienced. You’ll always need to keep the skill sharp –with practice.

I managed –somehow– to not only land a musical collaborator living with me. But also an experienced alternative and plus-size model. (Contact and other info: http://www.modelmayhem.com/325517). Of course I jumped at the chance when she agreed to a few poses for me to use in sketching. She’s always a lovely subject.

This morning I pulled up the photo files I had taken, and began sketching. (Common wisdom is that you shouldn’t draw from photos, I’ve always done so. I take a lot of photos with a couple cameras I own, so it keeps me in subject matter that interests me. I have had many people tell me it’s not the same, but photos from a good camera are convenient and can be available whenever you get the urge to practice).

The first sketch was in pencil. It feels less than perfect, but adequate…

The first image:

IMG_0970

Muse, figure study, pencil on paper

Muse’s pose (she was posed lying on the bed, gazing up at the camera) is really lovely, and there’s a lot of challenges in her poses –foreshortening the legs and abdomen. The harder part was capturing her really quizzical facial expression. I felt I pulled it off in this little sketch.

However, the next sketch I botched. I was starting to get frustrated and getting ready to put pencils down until another day. One thing that helps when a subject is challenging me for whatever reason is to loosen up.

I frequently warned my students about the dangers of becoming to tight and getting stuck just getting details right. When I find myself doing this I back off and do simpler line and gesture drawings. I don’t need to focus heavily on details, and turn my attention to proportion, gesture, and the pose. Get the pose right first, and do it over and over. So, that’s precisely what I did.

Some of the sketches were rather abstracted, others are slightly more detailed. All of them were done in a few minutes a piece, the way one would do in a 5 minute life drawing pose. There’s something I like in pretty much all of them.

Changing my focused work. I turned my attention to some problem areas, and worked them over and over:

working on problem areas, charcoal on paper

working on problem areas, charcoal on paper

In the end, I made several more simplified sketches I was happy with. More sketches to come as I work on them.

figure study, Muse, charcoal on paper

figure study, Muse, charcoal on paper

IMG_0968

Muse, figure studies, charcoal on paper.

It took a while to loosen up my sketching until I was seeing results I was happy with, but it got there. So, snatching a small victory out of an earlier attitude that was pretty defeated.

[update, 9/13]

IMG_1042

female figure, study, upper body

I secured a commission with a client that has requested life drawing/portraiture, in charcoal on paper. So, pretty fortuitous I published this blog less than a month ago. Not to beat a dead horse, but when I spoke in the original post about bed-rock artistic practices, and keeping your skills sharp, I was very serious. The opportunity to do this commission came at a good time, as my teaching of the class is on hold at the moment.

The following images include both male and female figures, in charcoal on paper.

IMG_1054

Male figure, charcoal on paper

IMG_1038

female figure, charcoal on paper

At one point I focused on a a face (my partners).

IMG_1044

study, face.

IMG_1043

figure study, charcoal

IMG_1055

Male figure, charcoal on paper

Eleven Images: Featured Pieces of the Week

I decided to make a new feature for the art blog. Each week I will spot-light a different work that is for sale and not currently on exhibit. This summer and fall is shaping up to be pretty busy with exhibition. Also, with the Art on Eight show having come down, now, I am suddenly with a glut again of work back in my two-bedroom apartment. With that in mind, I will feature different pieces here each week. Some of these will be discounted from what I have asked when the works were on exhibit.

I’ll keep this up for the duration of the Dana Park Events. All the featured works are offered at reduced prices.

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 3.11.17 PM

 

IMG_3004
IMG_3002IMG_3003IMG_3005IMG_3006IMG_3008IMG_3009IMG_3010IMG_3011IMG_3012

 

 

Thanks for looking.

A lot of other great stuff below. All pieces below prices as marked.

and a second, this time an abstraction from the series of painting near the end of last year.

IMG_1771

“Do Hearts Find Jagged Edges?” 16″ x 20,” oil on canvas, $155.

 

IMG_2566

“No Lover isn’t a Noose in Time” oil on canvas, 12″ x 12″ $75

IMG_2462

“Lullaby for a Castaway” 8″ x 10″ oil on canvas $60

 

Please email inquiries or offers to eaton.robert@gmail.com (see the about section for details). As I said earlier, I have a whole lot of work that has recently come back to me. The following works were all included in The Art on Eight show. The show was put on by the New York State Office of Mental Health to spotlight the art work of artists who receive services through the Office of Mental Health. (Some of the previous show have been included in OMH’s Art on Eight Flickr gallery.

 

Several of the small works together that were recently in the show.

Several of the small works together that were recently in the show.

You can see more close up shots of the works as you scroll down (all these works are framed –you will probably wish to use another frame, it was a temporary solution for display purposes) These works are all $25, use the contact information in the about section of this blog: The following pieces are all approximately 8′ x 10″.

Fedralsburg, acrylic on cardboard

Fedralsburg, acrylic on cardboard [sold]

Study (Manet) The Old Musician, acrylic on Cardboard

Study (Manet) The Old Musician, acrylic on Cardboard

Figure Study, colored pencil on paper

Figure Study, colored pencil on paper

Trinity Church, acrylic on cardboard

Trinity Church, acrylic on cardboard

Young Mother and Child, acrylic on cardboard

Young Mother and Child, acrylic on cardboard

Dread locked Cow-girl, acrylic on cardboard

Dread locked Cow-girl, acrylic on cardboard

Figure Study, charcoal on paper.

Figure Study, charcoal on paper.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 31 other followers