Author Archive

Name Your Own Price Sale!! (runs to July 30th)

As some of you may already be aware, I got four of my woodblock prints accepted into The Albany Barn’s “Impressive” show.

While this is great news, it also means I need to raise some cash to get four nice matching frames to put the four pieces I have chosen for the show.

So, this week only, I am hosting a “name your own price” sale. Basically, you tell me what you want to pay for selected items so I can get the accepted prints show-ready for the 31st.

This Sale is only this week.

There’s two options: There’s 8  versions of the woodblock print I did not put in the show. Scan through the images for a closer look.

 

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series 2, of the woodblock prints, “No One Who Wanders is Ever Truly Alone”

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1 of 8

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2 of 8

 

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3 of 8

 

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4 of 8

 

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5 of 8

 

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6 of 8

 

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7 of 8

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8 of 8

 

All the prints will be hand-numbered, and signed, sold unframed.

Also, there’s another option if you’d like to help me get my prints to the show.  I mean, everybody likes having options? I will make up to 5 additional wood block prints in a color scheme of your choice. So, you pick the price, and you choose up to two colors for the image.

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Woodblock, “No One Who Wanders Is ever Truly Alone.”

So, please, if you would like one of these, 8 available, and up to 5 custom prints available. (13 prints altogether, name your own price).

 

Monster-building (Eleven Monsters)

Making this post for people who may not be able to attend. I’m very pleased to have two of my masks (both of them, brand new never-before-seen works, exhibited at tonight’s “Behind The Mask” event, May 12, 2017) at the Albany Barn. I began using plaster and wire to build elaborate decorative masks some years ago, and the event was an exciting opportunity.

These past couple years I have become active as a Certified Peer Specialist, and this is not the first time my work as an artist has overlapped my personal experience as well as my work in the field of mental health as a peer. I knew pretty quickly the idea I was going to develop for these to masks –but more on that later.

I began with some concept sketches.

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Hymn/the 400, concept sketch, acrylic on gessoed paper

 

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Concept sketch, Hymn/the 400, in charcoal on paper. Sometimes when Hymn appears, his limbs are distorted, or in this case truncated.

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The Nails, concept sketch, charcoal on paper.

 

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Hymn/the 400 charcoal and acrylic paint on gessoed paper.

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The Nails, charcoal and acrylic paint on gessoed paper.

After several renderings of each idea, I had a pretty good idea of the direction I was going. After that I began to twist wire, like so:

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Wire armature, “Hymn/the 400”

The cloth and plaster makes building a mask in this style somewhat hard to wear, as they are extraordinarily heavy. The armatures for these had to be constructed thoughtfully to distribute the mask’s weight, and anchor the plaster to a frame.

The armature for “The Nails” ended up much more intricate and heavier. The extra wire was needed to support a large lower jaw full of carpentry nails.  I twisted and cut the wire to build the masks in several sessions over 2 days –then it was on to plastering:

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Boxes of plaster, and an assortment of tools.

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A pile of cloth strips, seen here with one of the concept drawings for “Hymn”

After stretching the cloth over each frame, the cloth was then coated with another layer of plaster (using a painting brush). The masks then were allowed to dry over twenty-four hours, sanded, and finally painted

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Starting the process of painting.

The painting took two separate sessions, the paint was allowed to dry between sessions. Finally, a layer of high-gloss poly/epoxy was added to make the finishing touch.

 

Finally, our two masks:

 

 

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“The Nails” decorative mask, wire, plaster, cloth, nails and oil paint. ($600).

 

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“Hymn/the 400” Decorative mask. Wire, cloth, plaster, and oil paint. ($750).

 

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Hymn/the 400, side view.

 

For purposes of explanation, I am including my artist’s explanation, as it will appear tonight at the gallery:

“Most of us live with monsters. Most of us live with nagging voices of self-doubt and critique in our heads. For some people, these interior monologues become recognized as entities separate from the person experiencing them.  They take on personalities, affect, and motivation separate from the individual. The discipline, psychiatry, recognizes this and names the person’s experience one of several diagnostic terms. Treatment for these illnesses often involves heavy psychotropic medication and repeated hospitalizations.

Since the 1970’s, the Peer Movement (Mad Pride movement) has developed alternative ways of both treating symptoms and understanding their significance. Advocates have had some successes changing the nature of mental health care in the United States to one that empowers individuals.

The artist, in 2014, attended a seminar with UK Mental Health peer advocate, Ron Coleman. Coleman himself is a voice-hearer, and at the seminar the artist was introduced to the idea of “voice profiling.” The masks, with the materials explaining them, are in fact a development of Coleman’s idea of voice profiling. Using a mask-building technique the artist learned as an undergrad at The College of Saint Rose, the masks are the artist’s re-creation and imagining of the voices which have accompanied the nearly two decades of his illness in adult life.”

New Works, Eleven Images 2017

Sorry, but I am getting caught up here. The older works (and some of these while the were still in progress) are here: https://elevenimages.wordpress.com/2016/01/06/eleven-images-new-work-2016/

As always, if you’d like to inquire about the pieces here (or any other pieces on the site not marked NFS, of course) simple e-mail me at eaton.robertb@gmail.com.

Meanwhile, here’s what I have been up to since the first of the year:

Started a new piece. For whatever reason, I wanted to orient this canvas diagonally to make a 10″ by 10″ diamond shape. Like so:

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Blank canvas, on easel.

I began by sketching an idea in graphite, and decide on a mix media piece, using graphite, marker, and acrylic paint.

This is the first sitting with that painting:

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The Hummingbird, mixed media on 10″ x 10″ canvas, first sitting.

 

Started working on two new pieces. Like the last one, this will also be joined by lengths of chain.

 

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Untitled, graphite and oil, 2 x 16″ x 20″ first sitting.

 

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Untitled, graphite and oil, 2 x 16″ x 20″ second sitting.

 

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Untitled (birb-something) oil and graphite on two 16″ x 20″ canvas, third sitting.

 

Worked for a little while on this one, it is getting much much closer to where I want it to be, but I will likely need another time or two at my canvas before I am ready to hang this one and let it dry.

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Untitled, graphite and oil on two 16″ x 20″ canvases, fourth sitting

 

and on the smaller easel:

 

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

 

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Untitled, graphite and oil, 11 x 14″,  second sitting.

 

Final

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“At a Red-light in a Warzone” oil and graphite on canvas, 11″ x 14″ final $205

 

I needed to push out some quick canvases to hit some of those lower price points.  Tweaking this one, but it’s done. It just needs a coat of finish, once it’s dried overnight:

 

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“Dispatches from the Life-ruiner’s Society” graphite and acylic on canvas, 8″ x 10″ (draft)

And development:

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in progress

 

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Dispatches from the Life-ruiner’s Club, graphite and acylic on canvas 8″ x 10″ $45

Began color-blocking a new piece:

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Untitled, graphite and oil on canvas, color-blocking.

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

 

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Untitled, oil and graphite on canvas, 11″ x 14″ (second sitting)

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“Those that Keep Watch” oil and graphite on canvas, 11″ x 14″ $235

 

 

A little more minimalist that what I generally do, but so far I like how this one has started, quite a lot.

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

Second sitting:

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“It’s not that way, It’s over here” oil and graphite on canvas, 11″ x 14″ second sitting.

To finish out this piece, my feeling was a couple of touches were needed, to balance the image with a cool-ish color, but very subtle so as not to change the over-all tonal palette of the image. I think I got what I was looking for with this piece.

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“It’s Not that Way it’s Over Here” Oil and graphite on canvas, 11″ x 14″ $145

 

 

 

New works in progress. It’s been a while since I have done anything very large. A lot of my recent work been with 12″ x 12″ canvases, and 8″ x 12″. I decided I need to scale up, and I put three 16″ x 20″ canvas together for a total dimension of 20″ x 48″. Did the color blocking, and I have begun to move into building up the paint.

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“Untitled” oil and graphite on 3 x 16″ x 20″ canvas panels, first sitting.

 

This has been a slow practice in building color, at first glance, it may look like little has changed since the first image, but several more hours of building color have now gone into this one:

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Untitled, oil and graphite on canvas, 3 x 16″ x 20″, third sitting.

Spent some time on this one:

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Untitled, 3 x 16″ x 20″, oil and graphite on canvas, up close details

 

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shot 2, up close, details

 

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Untitled, 3 x 16″ x 20″ oil and graphite on canvas full image, second sitting.

 

Third sitting:

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Anguish is the Only Language in Which I have Proficiency” Graphite and oil on 3 x 16″ x 20″ canvas, third sitting.

A better look:

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Panels 1, 2 and 3, respectively.

 

The piece is done, and drying, I will post more images of the triptych when it is dried and attached via chain and ready to hang:

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The Triptych, (“Anguish is the Only Language in Which I have Proficiency”) drying.

 

Triptych, fully assembled, “Anguish is the Only Language in Which I have Proficiency” oil and graphite on 3 x 16″ x 20″ panels. Hung with chain, full dimensions: 20″ x 62″.

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“Anguish is the only Language in Which I have Proficiency” oil and graphite on 3 x 16″ x 20″ panels, hung with chain (full dimensions 20″ x 62″), $650

 

 

This piece came together quickly, I will do a little cleaning the image up, but likely, it will be 90% done as of this image:

 

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“Aphasia (Blunt Force)” oil and graphite on canvas, 16″ x 20″ first sitting.

 

This piece may be done –I’m still deciding.

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Aphasia (blunt force) 16″ x 20″ oil and graphite on canvas second sitting.

 

Began color-blocking on a new piece:

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Untitled, oil and graphite on 2 12″ x 12″ canvas, color blocking.

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Untitled, first sitting, oil and graphite on 2 12″ x 12″ canvas.

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“She Has Constellations Within Her” oil and graphite on canvas on 2 x 12″ x 12″ canvas, second sitting.

 

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“She Has Constellations Within Her,” 2 x 12″ x 12″ oil and graphite on canvas, suspended with chain & hooks (final). $195, (on left), pictured here with its companion piece, “No One Got Left.” [sold].

 

New work, first sitting. A couple artist friends have suggested a very high-gloss varnish for this piece. As a result, I am probably going to clean up this image only slightly, –leaving the image mostly unchanged– and experiment with some varnishes. Stay tuned as I develop that process, I’ll be updating as this one is finished:

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“Don’t Let Your Light Go Out” graphite and oil on canvas, 8″ x 10″ (first sitting).

An artist friend recommended I finish this work with a very high gloss finish. Finishing the work took a bit of experimenting –but I think I have gotten most of what I wanted. This is a piece that really needs to be seen in person.

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“Don’t Let Your Light Go Out (in memory of John)” 8″ x 10″ $180

Working on new pieces this morning, this was the first sitting with this one.

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“In Cold Spirals”graphite and oil on canvas, 16″ x 20” color blocking.

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“In Cold Spirals” 16″ x 20″ graphite and oil on canvas.

 

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“In Cold Spirals” 16″ x 20″ oil and graphite on canvas, second sitting.

 

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“In Cold Spirals”(final) oil and graphite on canvas 16″ x 20” $165

 

Some of the first new pieces this year:

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“Not All Wolves,” graphite and oil on canvas, 10″ x 10″, second sitting.

 

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“Not All Wolves,” graphite and oil on canvas, 10″ x 10″  final. $85

 

This one is shaping up to be a recent personal favorite, it’s name however, remain elusive.

 

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Untitled, graphite and oil on canvas, 16″ x 20″ color blocking

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

Nearing done, but I may still work on it some more. Right now it’s drying on my easel.

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“No One Who Wanders is Truly Alone”  16″ x 20″, graphite and oil on canvas, $180

 

…and on the second easel:

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Untitled, graphite and oil on canvas, 10″ x 10″, second sitting.

Still working on this one:

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Untitled, 10″ x 10″ graphite and oil on canvas, third sitting.

 

This one goes to the done-pile (tweaked a bit, but here):

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“Bedhead” graphite and oil on canvas, 10″ x 10″ $65.

New Small Works, (Small Works Progress Administration) 2017

We’re already a couple weeks into the new year, I haven’t updated, but I have been busy.

I have started a new set of the Small Works Progress Administration (small paintings in acrylic and mixed media). That in the parenthesis there is something of a change in of itself: I discovered I really enjoy working in mixed media by doing a project for a friend. Previous series of small works had been in acrylic paint only, but this set includes acrylic paint, graphite, and marker, on gessoed cardboard. This new series will sell for $25 each. (dimensions are approximately 5″ x 9″, though these are hand-made items and their sizes vary)

The older small works can be seen here: http://wp.me/p2c9SR-bl

 

A couple new, enjoy:

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Bacteriophage, mixed media on cardboard, $25

 

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Combat boots, mixed media on cardboard, $25.

Putting newer stuff to the top now. I managed a few pieces this evening. I returned to images I have treated before in other places, some images come from cabinet photos, others are from my own 35mm photography of the area in which I live, and sometimes still life of random objects around my apartment:

 

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from cabinet photo, mixed media on cardboard $25

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still life of skull and small statuette, mixed media on cardboard $25

 

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Cabinet photo, mixed media on cardboard. $25

 

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Two versions of the same cabinet photo together, mixed media, $25.

 

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Entrance to St. Patrick’s Cathedral (Watervliet, N.Y. demolished) from on of my 35mm photos of the church. $25

Here are the first three of the new series, keep checking back as more will be going up soon.

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1868 Holy Bible, mixed media on gessoed cardboard

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Decorative Skull, mixed media on gessoed cardboard

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Polyhedron Die (D-20) mixed media on gessoed carboard $25

I have always been fascinated with skeleton keys. As an adult I have a small collection of them I buy in antique shops. Here are three studies of a couple keys I own, one is decorative, the other was bought at an antique shop.

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Skeleton Key (3 of 3) mixed media on gessoed cardboard. $25

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Skeleton Key (2 of 3) mixed media on gessoed cardboard $25

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Skeleton Key (1 of 3) mixed media on cardboard $25

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Skeleton Keys all three together on my easel. If someone wants to buy these as a set, I will sell them together at a discount.

Cultivating the Sketching Habit: Figure V2.0

Our new model Kyo did a great job tonight. He wants to see images of his modeling, so get them to him if you can:

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Adding the images from our previous session. We meet and sketch and drink again, this October 24th.

Enjoy.

 

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Study, female figure, graphite on paper. (The note, right is a reminder for me to recreate this image in a series of works done in wet gesso and acrylic paint)

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Study, back, male, graphite on paper

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Study, female figure, Prismacolor marker

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two studies, female figure with lap-harp, right, study of arm and clasped hands.

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Dancing, interactive pose, graphite on paper

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Back, female, graphite on paper

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interactive pose, graphite on paper

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graphite on paper

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Interactive pose, Casein paint, on paper

Thanks to everyone who attended, and special thanks to the models. Let me know if/how you would like your attribution to appear here). It was a great night for me and a great first night for the event.

Also, I came away with a lot of useful studies and sketches which might serve as jumping off points for other works down the line.

Enjoy the sketches, and keep reading below.

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figure studies, female and male, standing graphite on paper

 

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Female standing, male seated, figure study, graphite on paper

 

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Figure studies, female and male, standing, back view, graphite on paper

 

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Male, standing, study with figure aids (was explaining a concept to a class attendee) pencil on paper.

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Study, female figure, kneeling, graphite and casein paint on paper

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Male figure,seated, graphite and Casein paint

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Male figure, standing, graphite and Casein paint on paper

 

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Interactive pose, figure study, graphite and Casein paint on paper.

[continued below]

As many of my readers know, I am getting geared up to start a sketch and sip event at a local club. Since I am the host, it’s not like I can let my sketching game get slack. Nope. It’s time to get to work and pick up some graphite and brushes.

I booked a room at the Albany Barn, and scheduled a session with model, J, who is going to be one of our figure models for the event.

Before I scheduled the session, I talked with my model and I wanted to have a theme or an idea to build the session around so I might then have some images to work into a later piece. I decided on a post apocalyptic theme, and borrowed a Kukri (a type of machete) from a friend.

One of the things that is challenging at first, to learn about drawing figure is you simply do not have time to work in great detail. The key here is make each image a study of gesture, –the shapes you see in the body, light and the pose of the body. The images here are presented out of the order in which I did them. I began with a few short (5 minute) poses in graphite, the sketches done in Molotow acrylic paint markers were slightly longer poses (10 minutes) and the poses in which I used a mixture of graphite and Casein paint were 15-20munte poses.

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Pose 1, graphite on paper, model -J

 

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Pose 2, graphite on paper, model -J

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Pose 3, Molotow acrylic marker (sadly, the marker, which is metallic and reflective, does not show up well in photographs)

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Pose 4, graphite on paper

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Pose 5, graphite on paper.

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Pose 6, Molotow Acrylic paint marker

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Pose 8, graphite and Casein paint

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Pose 9, graphite and Casein paint.

 

The Punk Rock Sketch and Sip

A different kind of art event.

Let me introduce myself, I’m Rob. I’m a local artist.

Something that bothered me: the best way to develop great paintings of the human figure is with an actual live model in the room. I could very well ask any number of friends and they may pose for me at no cost to me, but I am an artist and expect to be paid for my work. Models should be paid for their work, too.

So this is where the punk rock comes in, and let’s just get great people in the room with a desire to draw.

So, I book it, we all just split the cost while we listen to some great indie, punk and electronica music; and we have a pint on the house and we draw from some great art models with tattoos and dyed hair, –and they are just cool people anyway.

So, the Punk Rock Sketch and Sip was born. Sounds great already.

We’re at the Low Beat, 335 Central Avenue, Albany NY 12206, –in one of the best rock clubs you’ll find in the area –or anywhere, really. Come in, draw, drink, and I’ll use my decade of teaching experience to walk you through drawing figure –if you’re still learning it for the first time.

Professionals, and any other skill level welcome: if you can make a line I will teach you. If you’re a working artist, I’ll just be at my easel, drawing, and I’ll let you do your thing.

Its a low-stress, casual way to practice figure, –or learn it for the first time. We give a discount for students with a valid college ID.

We have some materials, but attendees are encouraged to bring their own. Bring an easel if you have one. Seating may fill up quickly. Bring a sketch book and go at it.

Our next events is Wednesday, June 19th, at 6:00pm. (More to be announced soon!)

$15 general/$8 with a valid student ID.

For more information, or to get on our e-mail list (6 or so emails a month) message me @ eaton.robertb@gmail.com.

Cultivating the Sketching Habit (V)

Again, at the library with my son, I fit in sketching where and when I can, even if I am only sketching for twenty minutes at a time. A lot of people think you have to set large blocks of time aside to draw or paint. This can seem daunting to most people (self included) but if you set aside shorter intervals (15-30minutes) you loose the excuses that keep you from being creative:

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reproduction “Bamboo Groves in Mist and Rain” Guan Dausheng (1269-1319) Molowto Acrylic Paint marker (metalic silver)

(Author’s note: I have been fascinated with traditional ink painting as a form since discovering Gao Xingjian’s novels. –the author makes his principle living as a painter of traditional Chinese art). As a white artist I am sensitive to the idea of cultural appropriation, so I generally have shied away from trying to study or re-produce the form. As a general rule, I feel artists ought to be thoughtful about how their work borrows and is influenced by cultures outside their own. I may ultimately color this or tint it, since most of this type of painting was in color.)

 

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Study: Old Farmhouse, pencil on paper. From the book “The Photographer’s Mind, by Michael Freeman 

Did a bit more sketching today while I was at the library with my son.

 

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” Birch Trees” pen ink on paper.

 

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:

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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.

 

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Molotow Acrylic Paint Marker

 

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study, graphite