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Share Your Art / "Greater Kudu"
« Last post by Madison S. Hughes on Today at 05:16:54 AM »
Dated: 12.18.2017

Medium: Charcoal and Gel Pen

Subject: Animal

Size: 5 X 7 in.

Substrate: Strathmore 400 Toned Gray Medium Surface 80 lb. Sketching Paper

Based on Sketch by: Bob Davies of ("The Coloured Ground Exercise" dated 09.25.2014)
Share Your Art / Re: Continuing the conversation... (Tony)
« Last post by Humburger on Today at 01:36:22 AM »
Thanks.  It is a strange journey, being an artist.  I am doing my first serious colored pencil portrait, right now.  I think it will be monochromatic, though.  I have had these colored pencils for almost 35 years, but have never done anything serious with them.  They are a different animal.  I think I am going to be a drawer and not a painter, though.  I enjoy painting and will do it once in a while, for a break, but I think my serious stuff will be drawing.  But, you never know what will happen down the road.
Share Your Art / Re: Two new graphite pencil drawings
« Last post by Humburger on Today at 01:32:32 AM »
Beautiful drawings.  That took lots of work.  I like the top one, too.  :-)
Share Your Art / Re: Two new graphite pencil drawings
« Last post by Alan Green on January 18, 2018, 03:56:26 PM »
They're both very good. I think - not totally sure, though - that I prefer the top one
Share Your Art / Re: Continuing the conversation... (Tony)
« Last post by tonybluegoat on January 18, 2018, 02:14:18 PM »
It's impossible to get a good photo of an artwork.  Literally impossible, because it changes depending on the light.  I have a daylight bulb in my studio so that I paint in 'daylight.'  But most people's homes use compact florescent, so the painting looks different when it's hung.  Do I changed an paint under less than ideal lighting? No.  Will house lighting be changed to 5000K daylight bulbs? No.  It's just one of those things.  And taking pictures for online display is just one more step.

I'm looking at the 2nd one because it's less washed out.  It looks great!  What do you think?  The 3 questions I ask for any painting are:
1.  What was the artist trying to accomplish?
2.  Did they accomplish it?
3.  Was it worth doing?

I think you were trying to accomplish a photo realistic portrait and it's great.  The fabric is fantastic, the eyes pop, the mouth is spot on.  All the facial elements are dead accurate.  Nothing looks askew or off by even a millimeter.  I couldn't do it.  You have great control with pastel.

I think you did a great job accomplishing it.  It's a good composition as well.  Very engaging. The little spot of blue behind the bow is a great touch.  It helps the bow stand out and repeats the eyes.  The baby looks right... fat, happy, toothless, with big blue eyes.

I don't know anything about pastels, but look up the words "value" and "pastel" on youtube.  Maybe there are some tips on adjusting value in pastels.  Also, so this exercise.  Do "step charts" for the color you are working with.  A skin tone for instance.  If you "mix" a skin tone try mixing a step lighter and a step darker.  It looks like you really enjoy portraits.  So it's worthwhile to explore values in portrait drawing with pastel in detail.  Your work shows that you can SEE the value changes very well.

Was it worth doing?  Absolutely.  Occasionally someone with put a lot of work into drawing something that really doesn't need to be drawn.  That's not the case here.

Here's the question.  You want to stretch?  What do you want to stretch toward?  Picasso said, "Computers are useless.  All they can give you are answers."  In other words the answers aren't the important part.  The important part are the questions.  Ask better questions, ask yourself the right questions, and the answers will be self-evident.  What do you WANT as an artist?
Share Your Art / Two new graphite pencil drawings
« Last post by brjonessr on January 18, 2018, 05:02:30 AM »
The overall size is 7" X 5, but the images each measure 6" X 4." Reference photo credit:
Share Your Art / Continuing the conversation... (Tony)
« Last post by Humburger on January 18, 2018, 04:15:19 AM »
Thanks, Tony, for taking the time to type out all your thoughts on my mountain painting.  I still hate it.  And for all the reasons you saw.  I have discovered that I can combine my knowledge and skill of graphite drawing with pastels and I am having a modicum of success with it.  The color part is really hard for me.  I can very easily get the values with graphite, but add colors and I lose value.  Just like you said...  LOL!  So, here is my latest attempt at a pastel portrait.  I do not have a good photo of it, but I will include two photos, taken with different lighting.  I will be taking more photos until I can get a good one, because I don't think I can get it scanned.
Share Your Art / Re: Mountain Painting
« Last post by tonybluegoat on January 17, 2018, 10:30:55 PM »
Thank you, Anna.  I am a bit more calm this afternoon.  I started another portrait.  LOL!  I think I am more comfortable with drawing portraits.  So, I honestly believe that I must continue to paint, because doing things that are uncomfortable is the only way to grow and stretch.  But, it hurts!  LOL!  I am such a wimp...  Thanks, again, for your critique and comments.  :-)

I would suggest stretching not jumping into the volcano.  Think of applying color with india ink or watercolor to a drawing.  Start with just using one color and adding value.  Water color is good for that because each new wash darkens a certain area.  I have a quote I like, "Art is not hard because it's slow.  It's hard because artist think it can be fast." 

I think when you learned to draw you PLAYED WITH drawing.  You tried things and scribbled and practices a piece of a leaf, etc.  But with painting people think (Bob Ross, that's his name!) I can just FIRE IN a mountain and some trees and a bush.  You can't, and neither can he.  The painting that he does for the show is #4 or 5 of the exact same  painting.  And even then if you saw it in a gallery next to more professional work you would think "eh..."

I attached some images from me going to life art sessions.  I'm no good at drawing from life.  I'm no good at drawing.  And I'm no good at painting.  But you can see the progression.  Drawing then adding some value with colored ink and a brush then working directly with acrylics.

My suggestion is start with what you know and then add Painterly Effects using whatever.  Ink, watercolor, acrylic wash, do an underpainting over a drawing, etc.  I'm more fascinated with the way people work through the frustrations and challenges of art than most other artists.  I think it's a great thing to talk about.

I think I can give you a suggestion that will help make stretching not hurt.  Instead of trying to paint a Chuck, paint a Humburger.  Stretch from your existing drawing talent into adding value then color. 
Share Your Art / Re: Mountain Painting
« Last post by tonybluegoat on January 17, 2018, 10:12:21 PM »
I'm no expert, I'm a student, but I understand completely.  Here's the thing about painting, 90% of it can be right and it can still not work out.  If you are trying to paint realism then it gets much harder.  The one reason is that in our mind everything similar is the same, but in nature nothing is the same.  In an illustration all the snow on the branches can be the same.  In nature none of the snow on any of the branches is the same and the snow on the one part of the branch is different from the snow on the other parts of the branch.  The reason most paintings don't look real is because they aren't approached with the true attention to detail required to make them look real.  The main problem is VALUE.  People look at color but don't see value.  light/dark has to be SPOT ON.  Whether you use a color checker in real life or a laminated photo that you can put the paint directly on, VALUE must be spot on.  Once the value of the spot of paint you're putting down is right then you can adjust the color.  And color - for the most part - is not the color you think it is.  Color is dirty, gritty, muted messy.  It's never as bright a white or as dark a black as your eye see.  Once you mix it you realize the apple is not red... It's a dull, brown, yellow, sort of thing... and all that is for just one spot on the painting.

For realism that has to be done for the entire painting. Nothing a step brighter or darker than the original, no colors more are less colorful than the original.  I can do that.  I learned how to do that.  My problem is the detail.  The little spots and specs.  I don't have the touch for that, or the patience.  I'm good for about 6 hours on a composition and then I better be wrapping it up or I'll just throw it out. 

If you think about that and look back at your painting you will see the standard mistakes.  The snow on the branches is all the same.  It was put there with the thought "put snow on a branch" when it should have been put there as amorphous, abstract pieces of value and color that matched the original composition. (at least if you want realism).  The colors are too pure, too clean (for realism).  The water is really nice.  I like the water.  And the painting is really good.... it took a lot of really good work to get that painting and it took avoiding a bag of mistakes that would have ruined it entirely.  But that's the difference.  And it's why I'm not interested in painting realism.  I don't have the skills or patience for it.  I'm way too self critical, and unpracticed.

Some people have developed "painterly methods" to simulate values without having to discretely paint everything.  The most famous is the guy with the big hair on PBS.  But his paintings aren't realism they are surrealist idealism.  "happy little bush"  But he knows how to load the brush with values that will approximate light falling.

I think that's way some painters work their way UP to a composition.  They paint elements, they do studies, they do under painting, and the build up very carefully adjusting all the way.  There is a process to it for sure.

I like the painting, but it looks like an amateur painting.  Too overly simplified.  It all depends on your goal. 

I attached 2 pics.  One is the copper bucket that was a relative success.  Drawing, Underpainting, then a laminated photo reference where almost every color what mixed, checked for value, remixed, rechecked over and over for just one value then it was adjusted for color, check, adjust, check.  It might take 5 minutes to get just ONE color spot right.  Then adjust, check, etc.  The reason the painting still have major flaws is because I simply ran out of time and patience.  It had to be turned in.

The other painting is a still life that I tried - using a color checker instead of a photo - It took hours to get the first ceramic pot laid down in anything close to a reasonable fashion.  I started the smaller one as well then I lost all hope and quit.  It sat on the easel for 3 weeks until I took it off and threw it aside.  I finally decided that I'm not interested in doing realism that way.

In my college painting class NO ONE likes their painting when it's done.  We all like most of them but the person who did it doesn't.  There are exceptions, but it's tough.  That's why I changed to process over product.  I'm much happier.

P.S. as a "chuck black" painting I think it came out really well because it was your first attempt.  he has done hundreds.  And yours is 75% as good as his.
Share Your Art / Re: Anne Girl
« Last post by tonybluegoat on January 17, 2018, 09:42:14 PM »
great drawing and very expressive!
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