Friday, June 28, 2013

Napkin Sketch

Originally this was for a competition. I started it with Leo at a restaurant while looking at the same ship in a Lego magazine.  I laid down the red first and the watercolor at Hazel's NE.  I added the pen tonight. Then I read the competition instructions....ready,fire, aim. First it must be 5x5 square, then just ballpoint or ink, and the deal killer for me is you have to send the original in. They get 1,500 entries.  I feel like I would be giving it away. It does get published in a huge trade magazine and the other prize is a printed stack of your napkins.  I think I will find another use.  I love it too much to give it away to live in some box.....or maybe I will send in a print...

Anyway... Here is the final and some process.  I had a blast making this. Imagine another universe where x wings and other rebel force fighters are displayed like our WW2fighters....

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sketch of the day at Village Pub

I had to stop after a late evening at work for a beer at the Village Pub and to get my daily sketch. These aren't  fantastic sketches but are finally starting to look like the people I am drawing. I had fun and got better with the brush pen. 

Some of the Hazel's wait staff made it it into the sketch!  It is funny how you feel about a sketch a how much better others feel about it. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sketching for Commision

I have recently responded to a call for artist to a local publication. I got a call back and a project!  I don't want to say who yet out of superstition...

I am comfortable in a lot of mediums.  However, given the potential exposure of this project I thought I would do an iPad sketch because of its uniqueness.  My comfort zone is satisfied because of the ability to undo and really tweak things.  I can also use this for future classes.  My big picture reason for choosing this medium is because it is still somewhat rare to see published digital sketching.  

Others have taken watercolor and graphite to unbelievable heights, but I feel like a pioneer in the tablet sketching arena. I have said before, there is no digital versus traditional.  My iPad drawing makes me better with pencil.  The ability to put color on a separate layer and undo makes me more confident in decision making which makes my watercolor better.  My watercolor color studies make me better at selecting digital colors. So on and so forth...

The following images are in reverse order from finished product all the way to warm up sketch. The "how do you do it" crowd may prefer this order. The linear minded may want to start from the bottom and come back to here. (actually, that may be the best way to read it and I will reverse it later from a proper computer))

I have used the Procreate app for this drawing. A white background layer, a blue initial layout and proportion layer (later turned off), a border layer, a sketch layer, color layer, and a building texture layer.

The image below is "finished" or at least submitted.  Looking at it today I needed a little red/orange somewhere. 

Not a huge difference, but a little better. 

The almost final. I will look again tomorrow for a final proof before I send. 

Smaller tweaks,fading  out the background and thinking how to warm up the foreground colors.

I have the color on a separate layer. I should have taken more progress shots during this process. The whole thing is a little flat at this point. 

Tweaks and tweaks

Checking without underlay again.

More sketching and fleshing out.  Notice the cathedral. This can be seen from the other side of the street.  I wanted to include it as part of the collage even though  geographically it is incorrect . I later erased it  because I thought being in the wrong place might bother folks and I really didn't have much negative space for the eye. It really wasn't a part of this story anyway. 

To test the theory I turned the underlay sketch off

I had an idea for the border and where to lead the eye.  I like to start from very big picture decision solidification and let smaller and smaller decisions land from there. Place the big rocks, then the medium rocks, and the little ones always fit correctly with the space left over. Everything from here was done on Sunday night from 9pm to 11:30pm.

Note the over use of the golden section for big picture layout. This always works for me and is how I start 70% of the time. Procreate gives you a default cinema option that I am in love with lately.  This sketch was done at the coffee shop on Saturday.  While I did think about it a lot, I didn't touch this again until Sunday night. 

Photo underlay trace is a great option with this format, but I decided to skip that.  Feeling and proportion were more important to the story than accuracy. Plus, honestly...this is a pretty boring building from the outside.  Memories and purpose are what drive this building and not its architecture.

The gig was to sketch a location and make it relevant to a provided story.  My story was a guy who directed activities and "owned" the gym for his time. He remarked on what the kids eventually became.  The site was a little recreation center.  There was no real vantage point that could tell the whole story so this is a collage. I drove around and took several pictures...and yes people were looking at me with suspicion. 

I believe you should always start with a small warm up sketch. This sketch was done on Father's Day weekend right before the massage appointment my wife surprised me with. I had about 30 minutes and produced this sketch and the composition for the finished sketch. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Sketching in St Paul

Short Story - I have had a crazy week and Marcy started Father's day early and gave me an evening to sketch in St Paul.  The back story is that I am entering a competition  to be one of 3 artist to produce a sketch of lower town that will be on a beer coaster with a decent fee.  I thought it would be great to spend a few hours there and sketch. I found this amazing park with a real piano that amazing people played. Also in both of my sketches, very bold people came and had great conversation with me.  St Paul is awesome... period....

My view

A roughed out sketch

A bit more roughed out... enjoying amazing piano music

At one point the drawing "decided" it wanted both pages for a full spread layout

Three shots that need to be a panorama

Medium light roughed out. Also realizing I left my brush pen with warm grey ink at work. It was my intention to finish with this. At this point I decided this was a pencil sketch.

So now.. from left to right...tiime to commit  and commit in the order that my hand won't smear the  lead.  Half observation half what the page needs for composition. Lots of decisions here....lots of oportunity for lazyiness...

"finished" is a relative term...out of time

Sketch in context

I drove past the depot and it obviously needs to be sketched, but I wanted to be warmed up.

Panorama is a good representative of my view

In context

Pretty proud of this sketch. Pentel Brush Pen loaded (via syringe) with Noodlers Cayenne ink.  This sketch was probably about 25 minutes not counted conversations. I am pretty proud of this one.

I ENJOYED THE EVENING BIG TIME... I hope you enjoyed the sketches. Just keep drawing!


Sketching at work

People think architects draw all the time. It is not true, but sometimes it is true.  I take every opportunity I can to draw instead of talk. One reason .... I draw better than I talk...especially if I have been "in my head" for a while.  This is an example of my favorite type of work drawing. This drawing is literally drawn at a one to one scale - meaning life size.

I learned to draw this way working at a design build firm where every thing was crazy fast. I needed to develop something the developer and owner could see what it looked like, the construction could understand how to build it and in what sequence, and the architecture team could turn it into details.

I envision....someday... of an entire set of construction documents with one plan, one reflected ceiling plan, and everything else is drawn this way.

Notice this paper is on a grid, but an axon grid.  This is a trick learned from the great Jim Larson - detailer/poet/ sage exemplar.