Thursday, October 18, 2012

Five-Minute Sketches

Here is a series of quick sketches I did yesterday at lunch time of the Athenaeum in Pasadena. They took about five minutes each. My goal was to  get the essence of the architecture and the trees and make a quick compositional study. I took some reference photos but I am finding that the images I get from my iPhone, while being incredibly detailed and of a high quality, are of such an extreme wide angle view that the subject is sometimes distorted. A quick field sketch lets me see the proportions correctly. I will use my photos for details later, but use these sketches for the overall view. I am trying to use my sketchbook more, and not rely so much on photography. Besides, I really need the practice.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A New Sketchbook

After suffering from blank page fear syndrome for two weeks, I finally broke out of it on Saturday morning with a friend of mine. We went to breakfast at Foxes, and returned to my studio for a brief painting lesson. I demonstrated the use of abstract study sketches for the purpose of exploring non-representational compositions that focus on design and value only. I used my new virgin sketchbook (going a few pages in – a new technique for me), and did a series of nice little studies. That was all I needed to get me off the precipice of performance anxiety.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Rainy Night In Los Angeles

This is another of my favorite scenes. I have done it a number of times but the night time version evokes the most feeling for me. I love the city on a rainy night.

This view is from the bridge overlooking the Harbor Freeway as it passes through Elysian Park  with downtown Los Angeles off in the distance. Across the top is a series of small study sketches from different vantage points.

I did this sketch on hot press paper using pen, watercolor, and titanium white for accents. I mounted the painting and the sketches to a cradled foam core panel that I had coated with three layers of gesso.

Sculptural Painting

I took a break from my usual painting activities to prepare a special piece as a gift for someone. It is a woven heart made from three pieces of 300 pound Fabriano cold press paper. I made a half size mock up from thin card stock (top photo) to work out the details. 

The next photo shows the piece in progress, with the mock up on the right. I wanted to emphasize the dimensionality so I built up a spacer from 1/4" foam core. I used white glue to fasten alternate strips to more fully express the woven parts. I added some pastel strokes and some scribbles with colored pencil and then finished it off with an acrylic box frame.