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art school

My Free Visual Storytelling From Your Imagination Course on Skillshare

By art school, digital, Fantasy, Fantasy Illustration, Illustration, Skillshare No Comments

I have a new class! It’s called Visual Storytelling from Your Imagination

 

I’m teaching it on Skillshare HERE

If you click on the link above, you’ll be able to watch the class for FREE AND get 2 months free of Skillshare Premium where you can choose from thousands of other classes for creatives. They will ask for your credit card to get the 2 month free trial, but as long as you cancel before the time’s up, you won’t be charged for anything.

Procreate is the most affordable professional-level drawing and painting program for the iPad. When combined with the Apple Pencil , it’s a pretty effortless art-creating experience.

In my class, I go from first sketches to final illustration and talk about composition, design, and inspiration. Using the affordable, yet professional-level app Procreate, I’ll show you how to bring your digital drawing and painting to life. This class is suitable for all levels of artists, including complete beginners.

if you upload projects in the project area, I’ll comment and give you helpful feedback!

Here are a few more details about the class:

1. CHOOSE A FANTASY SCENE TO ILLUSTRATE.  Would you like to create a dragon rider like me or another fantasy scene?  If you don’t know where to start, check out my suggestions for inspiration and brainstorming in Lesson 1.

2. FIND REFERENCES. Hunting for references an important part of my creative process.  I’ll give you my favorite tips for findings ideas and organizing visual references. How do you find references for things that don’t exist? I’ll have plenty of answers for you in Lesson2.

3. FIRST SKETCHES AND THUMBNAILS. Commit yourself to drawing out different ideas. Don’t worry if things are ugly. It’s fine for things to look ugly at this stage. We’ll discuss thumbnails, composition, rule of thirds, and positive and negative space.

4. COLOR, LAYERS, SHADING, and DETAILS. This is a fun stage to work on. We’ll add color and I’ll share tips that you might want to consider when choosing colors that work together in harmony. This video will also talk about special brushes and Procreate’s blending modes that can help with painting more realistic people, animals, and clothing. I’ll be showing you some nifty tricks with clipping masks that will help you finalize your forms and you’ll see your realistic 3d drawings emerge out of your 2d sketch!

5. FINAL TOUCHES: LIGHTING, LAYERS, TEXTURES, and STORY  This final video will show you how to make decisions about lighting (screen, soft light, hard light, multiply, etc), varying colors and tools to try new ideas to really make the scene come alive.  We’ll also think about the final storytelling details for your piece. These details help people want to know more and really get into your world.

Here’s an intro I made for the course:

Home Stretch on my BFA – More Squids

By Animals, art school, Children, Children's book illustration, Comics, Cute Animals, digital, Fantasy, Fantasy Illustration, Illustration, Jules Verne, kids lit art, SCBWI No Comments

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Hard to believe it, but I’m finally on the homestretch on my BFA. I just finished Children’s Book Illustration II and I only have my graduation portfolio to go.

I’ve been working revising my Captain Nemo the great horned owl and Professor Arronax’s trusty research assistant Consay the badger has also gotten a little rehab.

I’ve got more illustrations to show you. The best thing about the past few weeks is that I have a animal picture book dummy on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea that’s finally coming together!

I’m Accepted to the Comics, Anime, and Fantasy Exhibition in Laguna Beach!

By art school, Children's book illustration, Cute Animals No Comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just heard the great news that my Squid Attack on the Nautilus got accepted to the Comics, Anime, Cartoons, and Fantasy Exhibition at the Las Lagunas Gallery Laguna Beach California! This is the first time I’ll be showing and selling my work in a international curated / juried exhibition. Pretty cool.

My family’s been saving up frequent flier miles, so I’ll even be able to attend the Artists’ Reception on April 5th. The exhibition will be open from April 5-27th. The opening also takes place on Laguna Beach’s First Thursday Artwalk. Say hello if you can make it!

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Octopus Card

By art school, Children's book illustration, digital, Drawing, Fantasy, Illustration, Jules Verne, kids lit art, RMCAD, SCBWI No Comments

I just finished this playing card today. It’s an octopus holding Captain Nemo’s Nautilus as the Ace of Spades. I had fun making this.

Next month I’m going to be going to New York City with other illustrators and my department chair. We’re going to be visiting museums and the Society of Illustrators and have some portfolio reviews.

Since I posted, I’ve also joined a SCBWI critique group and getting a picture book dummy together for 20,000 Leagues.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Book Cover

By Animals, art school, Children's book illustration, Cute Animals, Fantasy, Illustration, Jules Verne, kids lit art, Painting, RMCAD, SCBWI No Comments

Eide-Twenty-Thousand-Leagues-dec3I just turned in this illustration last week for Illustrating Literature class. It  continues some ideas I have about Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea with Animals. I learned a lot more about painting water, textures, and lighting on this one and this week I’m working on more sequential illustrations from the story.

It’s been so busy, I haven’t had a chance to post to the blog, but I had an incredible time at #CTNexpo2017. I’ll have to follow up in other posts, but one of the sessions I went to was on publishing. Many of the artists at this expo were involved at least some point in huge animations studios like Disney, Dreamworks, Pixar, Blue Sky. Greg Manchess and Armand Baltzar talked about how they had a dream of getting their artwork and stories into book form, although they didn’t clearly fit into either picture books or graphic novels. The result is Greg’s Above the Timberline and Armand’s Timeless.

Here’s an example from Greg’s book. The inset is a personalized inscription he gave me.

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Here’s an example from Armand’s book:

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Wordless Picture Books

By art school, Children's book illustration, Color, Composition, Fantasy, Illustration, RMCAD, SCBWI One Comment

This past week, we were studying wordless picture books. Here is my discussion post answering questions such as some favorite wordless picture books and whether we thought wordless picture books could be improved with words or vice-versa, whether there were picture books with words that could published as wordless.

A prime contender for my favorite wordless picture book is Shaun Tan’s The Arrival. It tells a metaphorical story about the immigrant experience, with a poor man leaving home on a steamship in order to support his family, and finding himself in a bizarre new world. Many aspects of immigration are reflected: confusion, frustration, tedious manual labor, and the dangers of war, but also the joys of making new friends, discovering new experiences, and finding ways to support the people you love. The world of The Arrival is visually set in the early 20th century, and the art style is modeled after the sepia photographs of those periods, making the strange creatures and environments feel all the more otherworldly. The lack of words helps to make the reader’s connection with the immigrant protagonist all the more direct, as he struggles to figure out an often difficult to comprehend new environment. In Tan’s own words, “Words have a remarkable magnetic pull on our attention, and how we interpret attendant images: in their absence, an image can often have more conceptual space around it, and invite a more lingering attention from a reader who might otherwise reach for the nearest convenient caption, and let that rule their imagination.”

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A wordless picture book that I haven’t read in its entirety, but is pretty good from what I’ve seen, is Journey by Aaron Becker. I like it because of its sense of wonder, and its simple, positive message about creative works can break boundaries and reach out to other people. The lack of words in this book, again, helps to place the reader in the protagonist’s place, as they discover the possibilities of their creativity over the story’s course.

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I kind of can’t name any wordless books that I think would be improved by words. Wordless picture books have their own strengths as a format; they have a certain element of discovery to them, as the reader pieces together events without the aid of a narrative text. There are some books could be adapted pretty simply, if not necessarily improved, into effective wordless books. Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are comes to mind, as do some of Beatrix Potter’s works.

I’m starting my picture book dummy based on the story of The Velveteen Rabbit. I could tell the gist of the plot of the story without words, but I feel like some nuances, such as the point the Skin Horse makes about toys becoming real, would be at least partially lost.

Sequential Art – Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

By Animals, art school, birds, Children's book illustration, Cute Animals, Fantasy, Illustration, kids lit art 3 Comments

I just had my first week of Children’s Book Illustration 1 at RMCAD and the first assignment was to develop a few several concept sketch comics in 3 panels on the theme of: Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

It was a nice first assignment to ease into thinking about sketching from a visual storytelling perspective vs. drawing single sketches.

 

The last one was probably my favorite. This week we’re drawing a mini book dummy for an Aesop’s fable.

Last night, we also had our opening of the Fantastical Worlds Art Show at Blakely Hall in  Issaquah Highlands. It was exciting to have my 20,000 Leagues with Rabbits and Outside Looking In works hanging along the others! The show will be up for the next two months. Drop by if you have a chance!  It was nice to see other members of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrations – Western Washington there, too.

Sketching Bears, Wolves, and Dogs

By Animals, art school, Children's book illustration, Cute Animals, digital, Drawing, Illustration No Comments

This week’s assignment are gestures of bears, wolves, and dogs. Using a envelope for the animals and simplifying geometric shapes helps with simplifying. The class is setting into a routine of drawing gestures with a little value added in some, skeleton and ecorche version, and discussion post which looks at different rendering of animals characters and how they can be portrayed as protagonists or antagonists in a story. It’s fun seeing the examples that my classmates come up with.

I’m finding I really like drawing with the Procreate app on the iPad pro and Apple pencil. It’s close to drawing with a real pencil. When I want this soft effect with pencil, I usually prefer to use mylar (Dura-lar) which comes in huge rolls from Dick Blick and erases cleanly.

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My discussion post:
There’s some amount of range when it comes to how sympathetically bear characters are portrayed. On the sympathetic side, there are characters such as teddy bears, and related characters such as the Care Bears and Winnie the Pooh, which are modeled more on the stuffed animal than the actual animal.

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More realistic sympathetic bears include Baloo from any of the multiple adaptations of The Jungle Book, Smokey the Bear, and the bear family of Maurice Sendak’s Little Bear.

On the more antipathetic side, there are characters such as the bear in the film version of The Fox and the Hound, and the grizzly bear from the film Balto, which are portrayed as bestial, inhuman predators.

When wolves are portrayed positively, they tend to come off as majestic, intelligent, loyal, embodying the nobility of nature; the wolf family in The Jungle Book, Moro in Princess Mononoke.

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Negatively, wolves are portrayed as crafty predators, as with the classical fairytale archetype of the Big Bad Wolf.

 

 

wolf-4The main example I can think of when it comes to neutral/background characters is how, in Donald Duck etc. comics, otherwise “human” side/background characters tend to be given dog noses, and occasionally ears. Here, the use of animal characteristics basically just signifies that these stories take place in a completely unreal fantasy world.
In general, I would say that completely realistic renderings of animals, as you might find in an educational book, often have less strong emotional expressivity, and are less immediately emotionally accessible as a result. Even mostly realistic designs often “cheat” when it comes to faces, adding human elements such as humanoid scleras, eyebrow muscles, and mouth expressions.

My Experience at SCBWI-WWA Spring Conference

By Animals, art school, Children's book illustration, Composition, Cute Animals, Illustration, kids lit art, RMCAD, SCBWI No Comments

I had a great time at our Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Spring Conference. It was neat to be with such an enthusiastic group that were all interested in children’s books. I liked all of the speakers, but especially David Small and Kazu Kibuishi who shared a lot of their personal stories about how they came to be motivated to do the work they do. David Small is Caldecott winner and Kazu is a writer and illustrator of graphic novels like the Amulet and Explorer.

This was the first time I put together a portfolio. I searched on the web for examples of how to set one up. I use an inexpensive photo album on Amazon that had a window in the cover.

I liked being able to present my work in the portfolio evening, but I also liked seeing everyone else’s work. I’m thinking about doing more drawing with ferrets especially since my visit to the ferret rescue in Kirkland. Their fur is very soft. There were a lot of illustrators I also had a chance to discover. I especially liked Heidi Aubrey‘s mice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a week off, I’ll be starting animal anatomy and drawing (yay). I’m also a few weeks into volunteer orientation to work in wild bird rehabilitation – skills training starts in May.

Western Washington SCBWI Spring Conference – This Week!

By Animals, art school, artists groups, Children, Children's book illustration, Cute Animals, digital, Fantasy, Illustration, SCBWI One Comment

I’m be  attending my first Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference this week in Redmond. I’m doing some tweaks to my portfolio (here’s my new improved Snow Queen) and printing up business cards and postcards.

I’m signed up for the Illustrator Intensive “Hard Things to Draw” with David Small (see some of his covers below) as well as participating in the Juried Portfolio show. I’m looking forward to seeing lots of portfolios and hearing from other illustrators and writers, art directors, and agents. I’ve heard these conferences are great for networking and getting started in children’s books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s my design for a business card: 

I’m also doing  film class this RMCAD quarter, so I’m putting together a short film discussion of the movie, Vertigo.

I had a great chance to interview author and film critic Jeffrey Overstreet and attorney and film lecturer Robert Cumbow, in addition to my family. I even attended a 6-hour Cinema Dissection of Vertigo at the Seattle International Film Festival Center which gave me an even deeper understanding of the film.

Playful Crow – My First Etsy Store

By Animals, art school, birds, Children, Cute Animals, digital, Drawing, Etsy, Illustration, Reference, Stationery, Store No Comments

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I’m just setting up my first Etsy store here: Playful Crow.
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Check out my store and see if there’s anything you might like. At left is a rescue duck named Angel who was a favorite uncle duck to 13 little ducklings in our backyard pond.

If you’re experienced with Etsy, please share any tips. I just had my first sale last week.

Western Civ II is now behind me (I like Dostoevsky best) and Film started this week. After this quarter, I’ll be back to Studio classes and I’ve really been looking forward to taking Animal Anatomy.

Still Life – Acrylic Painting

By Animals, art school, birds, digital, Gage Academy, Illustration, Painting No Comments

underpainting-peppersI’m halfway through Still Life Painting and I’m learning Acrylic Painting now. We’re painting several different ways – the first involved an underpainting. There was definitely a learning curve. I used Asmpersand Aquabord because I liked the smooth look over canvas. It also has the advantage of slowing drying for people who like to rework.

I used Golden heavy body acrylics, but then layered fluid acrylics on top. It was a bit slow to have to work with it in two steps, but I liked the control when the second layer was added. The next one I did have to have some basic geometric shapes and drapery. I’m also working on the third which has to involve toys and texture.

This week I also put up prints in the Small Works Art Show to benefit thesmall-art-gageGage Academy. Check it out today through December 9th! It’s a great way to purchase some inexpensive original art and also help the Academy.

I also heard the great news that both the Pilchuck Audubon Society and Seattle Audubon Society are interested in having me illustrate for them.

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It’s already been a learning experience. Pilchuck was interested in illustrations they could use when teaching school children about beak shapes and food.

I initially picked a berylline hummingbird because it looked pretty, but they wanted an Anna’s hummingbird instead because that was the one they’re more likely to see here in Washington state.

Deer Illustration Final and SCBWI Keep It Simple Art Show

By Animals, art school, Children's book illustration, Drawing, Fantasy, Illustration, ink, kids lit art, SCBWI No Comments

Here’s my finished (I think) ink wash illustration from my concept class. Now I’ve begun Still Life, so it’s back to paintbrushes.

I did want to share some photos from our Western Washington SCBWI Keep It Simple Show. I’m lucky that it’s such a great group. Everyone was very generous and it was incredibly helpful seeing other people’s work, their tear sheets, and business cards. I’ve put in links to their websites on their works below. Check them out to be inspired. The artists are David Joaquin and Liz Wong in the top row; Maja Sereda and Tracy Wallschaleger of Red Dog Images.

The keynote speaker for the night was Jennifer Soloway of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. She gave a fantastic talk on how to stand out from the slush pile, great first lines, and some of the ins and outs of being an artists’ representative.

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Inspiration – Process Thumbnails

By Abstract, Animals, art school, birds, Children's book illustration, Composition, Cute Animals, digital, Fantasy, Illustration, ink, kids lit art, People, SCBWI 2 Comments

It was busy for me last week. I’ll have to write about the SCBWI meeting in another post. Here are last week’s enlarged thumbnails from Concept Illustration. Up top is my Green Man and below Wish. I’m chose the deer thumbnail to elaborate this week.

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The other thumbnails based on the random ink – water mixes are posted below. To look at the original random ink mixes I was working with, see my previous post.

The guy at the bottom is my most atypical one – but it was the face that jumped out of ink splatters. Last week we also had an exercise in which we were to take a walk and sketch everything that we saw that was a particular color. Then we were to combine those in scenes. I can see how these exercises are creativity stretchers. I really like this class.

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A Tale of Two Poes – Edgar Allan Poe and Raven Drawing

By art school, Children's book illustration, Portraits, RMCAD, SCBWI No Comments

This past week, I had a caricature assignment. Caricatures aren’t usually my favorite art form, but it was interesting because of the way the class is held. The first step is extensive visual research on the person, then word lists based on different aspects of the person. I picked Gothic poet Edgar Allan Poe, so his words and poems also helped with generating a word list.

Next, our discussion was to share 3 caricature artists who could serve as an inspiration for our assignment. I picked David Levine, Mort Drucker, and Miguel Covarrubias who did Stanley Kubrick, Albert Einstein, and FDR below.

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We had to do a final line drawing, 2 value sketches, and 2 color options based on a value sketch that we liked best. I drew the original in pencil on Mylar (much cleaner to erase) then added value and color using Photoshop and an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. Caricature is helpful because it teaches you to simplify and pick the key features that make up a person or his or her expression.

value-1-poe value-2-poe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Which do you like best?  I think my teacher liked orange Poe the best, but I thought the purple Poe best fit with his melancholia. I also just opened up a store on Red Bubble. If you’d like to get a print or card, visit HERE. If you’d like to get an orange Poe instead, email me at kristereide@gmail.com  The final is due this week and I was thinking of adding some background.

screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-8-46-34-amRed Bubble is pretty easy to set up for all types of gifts and merchandise. I can see why artists like it so much.  Poe pillow anyone?

Value Studies and Final Snow Queen Painting

By art school, Children, Children's book illustration, Color, Fantasy, Illustration, Mixed Media, Painting, People, watercolor No Comments

After sketching thumbnails for my Gerda vs. the Snow Queen’s Snow Bees painting, I created 3 quick 3-value thumbnails to decide on the final composition. I found it really helps separating out the composition and value decisions before committing to a final work. Because I wanted to base the painting on the original Hans Christian Andersen story, I also want to work in the detail that he had about the palace being lit by Northern Lights.

Although I liked the extremes of values in the value study, I settled on the 3rd study because I liked the idea that the shadows on the hill would be pointing to Gerda, my focal point. I added some hills in the background to create greater depth and also added more complex branchwork in the final.

I started out with pencil and watercolor on Arches watercolor paper, but finished the piece digitally using Procreate and an Ipad Pro because I could play around with different color combinations before deciding on a final. I really like Procreate and the Apple Pencil because the process of illustrating with them is so close to real pencil, paper, and paint – but with much more flexibility with materials and undo’s. I had an earlier version, but Phil my teacher and classmate China suggested good feedback about brightening up the colors among other things. Our next assignment should be fun – drawing caricatures. I’ve picked my subject already…Edgar Allan Poe.

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Sketching Scenes with Maquettes

By art school, birds, Children's book illustration, Composition, Fantasy, Illustration, Perspective, RMCAD, SCBWI No Comments

maquetteIn Concept Illustration, we have an assignment to design an illustration based on the broad theme of conflict (character vs character, character vs. environment etc). I’ve thought about doing illustrations from the original Snow Queen so on our thumbnail assignment, which was limited to black and white and approximately 1 x 2 inches.

I’ve always been inspired with James Gurney’s maquette work (here is his Skybax maquette made out of armature wire, sculpey, floral wire, and stockings covered with latex among other ingredients.

gurney-skybax-maquetteI liked being able to walk around the scene and vary the perspective – vertically and horizontally. I used armature wire and chavant clay which doesn’t harden.

I also had to have 2 color comps and three 3-color value sketches. My instructor picked thumbnail 3 so that’s the one I’m working on, but with more background added.

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Our discussion this past week was to collect illustrations that could be used as inspiration for creating your scene. I picked these great works by Sendak, Lathrop, and Dulac.

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Changing Reality – Life Drawing

By art school, Children, Children's book illustration, Color, figure, gouache, Illustration, Mixed Media, Painting, Pastels, People, Reference, Technique, watercolor 3 Comments

charles-jeong-realistic-2We had an interesting discussion this past week about realistic (or hyper-realistic) painting vs. realistic
painting with fantastic elements. A fellow student shared some of the hyper-realistic paintings of Charles Jeong from South Korea. I shared  Allen Williams’ If Beauty Were a Book, done in graphite.Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 2.26.07 PM

I realized while I like representational art, I prefer works that convey emotion or story more than complete accuracy.

In our final assignment of the class (costume figure), I decided to change it up a bit and use color and value changes, and even changes in the model to alter the mood.

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It great to get back painting again. I combined a gouache underpainting with transparent watercolor and then Faber Castell Polychromos pencils and little touches of Sennelier pastels for highlights. It was nice to see that all of the media seemed to work together.

Had a great time with the critique group through SCBWI last weekend. Now I have a week off before starting Concept Illustration.

More Pastels – Carbothello Stabilo Pencils

By Animals, art school, artists groups, charcoal, Children, Children's book illustration, Drawing, Illustration, Mixed Media, Painting, Pastels, Portraits, RMCAD, SCBWI, Technique 2 Comments

floating-girl-ear-final It’s been another busy week, but learning a lot more what CarbOthello pencils can do. I really like the medium although I have a lot to learn about making color blends.  This past week had our usual gesture drawings, 2 hand drawings in pastel, and then a costumed figure drawing. Sanded paper like UArt or Wallis can receive more layers than Canson Mi-Teintes or other pastel papers, but they will eat up your pencils quicker.

I found I like the soft rich blacks of  Nitram charcoal. It also doesn’t have as much dust as General’s.

I’ll also post the three examples of pastel paintings that I posted in this week’s discussion. Pastel offers such a wide variety of expression. I really like the medium.

The first is a rendering of Ophelia from Cuong Nguyen who worked as a successful web designer for many years until he got working more as a streetpastel-1chalk artist, then became a full-time fine art painter. I learned from him that skin tones can be mixed with a green underpainting (verdaccio) and flesh tones.

pastel-2The second is an illustration from Paul Howard from a Jill Tomlinson book called The Owl who was afraid of the dark. I like the soft luminous quality Howard was able to get from his use of pastels.

pastel-3Finally, there’s The Guardian by Fiona Tang. It combines chalk pastel with charcoal and acrylic on a paper backing. The different textures of the various media used for this piece this piece contribute to the overall effect in different ways; the chalk pastel in particular is important to the trompe l’oeil effect, helping to differentiate the “three-dimensional” stag in the front from the more “two-dimensional” background charcoal elements, with the white tone of the pastel “light” against the natural brown color of the paper.

This coming week is my final one for Life Drawing IV. We’ve got a watercolor assignment, the first I’ve had since I’ve been in art school. Also this weekend, I’ll be going to the Great Critique-nic through the Western Washington Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators. It’ll be the first one that I’ve ever gone to. People bring their illustrations or writing and split up into small groups where they critique and be critiqued.

 

Drawing Hands – Life Drawing IV

By art school, charcoal, Children's book illustration, Color, Drawing, figure, Illustration, Painting, RMCAD, Technique No Comments

krister-hands-2  This past week my class has been looking at the drawing of expressive hands. We’re still working for the most part in charcoal which is getting easier to handle for me. I like Strathmore Toned Paper and I’m finding it easier to get darker tones with a softer Nitram charcoal. I had started with Strathmore 500 charcoal, but it doesn’t have the smooth look of toned paper.

Besides drawing practice (whole body gestures) and these hand drawings, we also have a discussion post where we post examples of expressive hands.  Everyone always shares very different examples – it’s a great part of the class.

The three I shaerd this past week were from Rackham, Wyeth, and Earl Oliver Hurst. In the Rackham, I thought it was an interesting contrast between the knobby hands of the old woman and the simple open hands of the children. The Wyeth also showcases contrasts in this Heidi picture. The grandfather is tanned and has a commanding gesture. It’s contrasted with Heidi’s fairer and more tentative post. The Hurst I liked because he seemed to contrast the confident face of the man with the nervous lines in  his jacket and hands.

 

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