Monday 19 September 2011

Letter from Pixar

I am sick today. Fever, runny nose, sore throat... :-( Not fun. I have no energy to paint anything today.

Saturday 17 September 2011

Cory and Catska Ench

I have to adjust this...

The artist I was supposed to be copying was Norman Rockwell, but... for some reason I decided to try photorealism instead. I don't like photorealism. Or I do... but... with a lot of fantasy involved. For example here, the girls' hair is not that shiny.
And I managed to make the third girl ugly. All of the girls are prettier in real life, but Brigita really came out wrong. Sorry about that, Brigita.
Also, it seems Gintaré's face is slightly twisted in my picture. None of them looks like themselves, and that is not a good thing :-D
The painting IS a bit yellower in real life. The paper is not blue-grey as it seems in the photo, but more cream-white. Nevertheless, the backgrouns is too light, their clothes are too light, their hair too red... Oh well.
Anyway, Norman Rockwell... I wasn't happy about the three pictures I posted in this blog. I think I feel intimidated by The Golden Rule...

I love it how the people standing behind the black boy gives him a halo...

BTW, I didn't know he actually tried a bit of illustration too... I mean book illustration. Here's a sketch for Becky Sharp in Vanity Fair. I love it :-D
Uh, back to what I'm trying to say here. So, I started second guessing my choice. First mistake. Then I started looking for an image I wanted to copy, and found either faults or intimidating qualities in each and everyone of them...
and then I stumbled over this: Norman Rockwell's Photo Realism.
Someone distainfully said he is disappointed, because it feels as if Rockwell was "painting by numbers"... Well... if you can paint by numbers like that, go ahead. Anyway, someone mentioned Alex Colville, and that lead me to Kill Your Idols!
Then, for some reason I decided to try my hands on Rockwell mockup... or something to that... as if I knew how! :-D I've enough troubles in copying a photo, and then to change the picture so that it becomes an independent image, and such an image that tells a story about ordinary people with a good dose of humor and compassion... I think that's why I love Rockwell. He's not only a masterly painter, he is kind to his subjects. He might make caricatures of them, but I would say he sincerely likes his models. I don't know if this was true or not, but I get that feeling as the observer, and that's what matters. If he hated people, he was even a better painter than I thought, to make me like the same people he hated...

Compared to Rockwell, my people are paperdolls.

But - I learned a couple of things this time too.
a) USE MORE COLOR!!! Keep painting and painting and painting, even though you are okay with it, even though you are pleased with it. It's not done yet.
b) even though there is black in nature - the pupils were black and so was the make-up - or black enough to be seen as black - don't use black in art. Especially I shouldn't :-D Because those black bits are about the ONLY places in my picture that has "enough" color, so compared to the rest, those bits pop out a bit too well. :-D As you see, the shadows under the hair are just as black, but there I used dark brown, and I'm happy about that. I should have used the same brown in the girls' eyes.
c) my husband told me, when talking about the kitsune, that I need to decide where the light comes. It's okay if it comes from one point or two or more, but I need to be aware of where it comes from and remember that already when I put my brush in water. I painted the girls' faces with skincolor to begin with. I should have started shading already there. I have been struggling to get their foreheads and noses white enough - because they are really rather white. But this would be okay, if I used the skintone as white, and added more color and shadows to the rest of the face, to make the skintone look white.

I also learned that a picture a day is pace too quick. I WANT to give the picture more time. This took... two or three days... perhaps four.

BTW, it's not bad. It could be a lot better, but it's not bad :-)

Thursday 15 September 2011

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Tuesday 13 September 2011

Oh, crap, I suck :-D

 Ok - this is what I managed to create as the first day challenge work. You see the model here: Rudolf Koivu's Snow Queen. It's so bad I can't help but laugh. It's just bad. :-D
But it's a good thing :-) The only way from bottom is up ;-)

What I have written on the corner there:
- draw what you are going to paint properly first. Get down all the lines, crisp and pure, in their right places.
- Use more color. A LOT more.
Because, frankly, it's not just bad. There's a lot of potential there. I am able to learn and I will be better.

This is something I'm doing just for the fun of it... a Kitsune calendar... And right now it sucks too. The colors are all wrong, and the background is bad and what's with that white... I have no idea what to do with it. And it's really flat. Just areas of color... not much depth at all. It doesn't even look flat the same way as Japanese woodprints do... it just looks like someone has failed drawing a picture of a kitsune in snow under a pine tree :-D
Well... I suppose it's not done yet, and I need to keep adding layers and layers of color... shadows and light and I need to "embroider" the kimonos and then we'll see what we have, but right now it sucks and I don't know what to do about it, and I'm pretty tired with it. So - I'll let it stand for a while and keep doing my daily exercises, and learning things, and perhaps one day I'll know what to do with it :-)

The thing is...

I love Wedgwood Fairyland Lustreware.

These cost a fortune, because everyone else loves them too...

The thing is...
I know how to paint china... ;-)

A. Duncan Carse

A. Duncan Carse (1876-1938) was an artist working in Britain, of Norwegian/Scottish parents.
He illustrated the Hans Christian Andersen Fairytales and the Lucy M. Scott Dewdrops from Fairyland.
His son was the explorer Duncan Carse.

Monday 12 September 2011

Ernst Kreidolf and Elsa Beskow

Ernst Kreidolf (1863-1956) was a Swiss artist, who made picture books for children.

Elsa Beskow (1874-1953) was a Swedish artist, who made picture books for children.

Very similar, don't you think?

Then there's the flower fairy artist, Cicely Mary Barker.

Michael Whelan

I love his queens... all the feathers and everything so nicely painted...
He has a site, Glass Onion, and has had that for a very long time.

Art Challenge

I am really bad at DOING things. I have enough skills, talent and eye to make nice works, but I don't DO anything. It really is so that "done is better than perfect"... If you have DONE something, there's IS something, but if you don't DO, because it will not be good enough, or perfect, or just as you want it to be, or all that, there will be NOTHING.

Bah. Enough with big letters.

So - I decided to challenge myself.
I will pick 365 artworks I like, and then I will copy them, one a day.
I won't be able to copy them very well, because - hey, a day is a very short time when it comes to making art - especially illustrations and the art of the quality I like. To reproduce something perfectly is not my aim with this challenge, or exercise. The goal is to
a) learn to see what kind of colors, lines, compositions and subjects I prefer - learn my own style
b) get rid of the "I don't know what to paint" excuses
c) get rid of most of the other excuses. As I don't need to produce anything perfect, a sketch would be enough, I won't be able to excuse not doing it.

You see, the goal is to paint. I have never produced as much as I did when I was in school, and I have never developed as much as then. It's obvious to me - the more I paint, the better painter I am. I won't get better by WISHING I could paint.
Nothing I did in school was meant to be shown to anyone. I did most of it just for the fun of it, because I had an idea, because I wanted to see my idea on paper, and there were no-one else who could do it for me.

Also, if the idea of copying someone's work bothers you - don't.
Firstly, that was the way the artists learned during Renaissance. Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli all learned that way, and what is good for them is good for me.
Secondly, you are not claiming ownership of anything. You copied the composition, theme, subject, colors, lines, everything, from someone else. It's okay to copy.
I mean, this obsession with originality is probably one of the biggest obstacles in the way of wannabe artists. No-one is a master from birth, everyone has to learn, and humans learn by copying. Even the most original artworks are at some level copies of something, if nothing else, then copies of nature. Of course, you are to have some amount of originality when you become an artist, but we are not talking about people who ARE artists, but people who ARE GOING TO BE artists. You are a student, a beginner, a wannabe. Accept that fact, embrace it and use your right to copy :-D
(Besides, just think about Andy Warhol and Marcel Duchamp. If they are considered not only artists, but some of the greatest modern artists... Geesh. It's okay to copy.)

Besides, I want to be an illustrator, not a "real artist". There is a difference.

Thursday 8 September 2011

AAAH! They did it again!!!

The Folio Society "books you love to own", has created yet another lust object... I found out today.

Blue Fairy Book - illustrated by Charles van Sandwyk

Red Fairy Book - illustrated by Niroot Puttapipat

Green Fairy Book - illustrated by Julian de Narvaez

Yellow Fairy Book - illustrated by Danuta Mayer

Violet Fairy Book - illustrated by Bob Venables

Brown Fairy Book - illustrated by Omar Rayyan