Saturday, January 20, 2018

Patterns #2 - orange circles, blue triangles

Still working with the idea of submitting artwork to the Rancho Cordova city council's art show in patterns, here is piece number #2. I started with circles again but instead of aligning them at 90 degree angles as before (Pattern #1 - stars), I aligned them at 60 degree angles, and created a Star of David within each circle by drawing lines to each point that the circles meet. After I had it planned out in copy paper, then I recreated it on watercolor paper. I chose orange and blue because they are on opposite sides of the color wheel, complimentary colors. I had thought about red and green, but it seemed to Christmas-y, and it made sense to have the Star of David be blue. 

The challenge again was to get an even wash. I think I did pretty well with the orange, and after finishing about 5 or 6 triangles, I got the hang of it and I think most of the rest of the triangles are even. (can you tell which were my first ones?)

Pattern #1 - stars

This project was in inspired by Rancho Cordova's city council when they announced an art show based on patterns. I have always been fascinated by geometry so I thought I would play around with some new ideas.
This design is based on Arabic patterns. I started it with four 4" diameter circles. I inscribed two squares within each circle.  With the base lines drawn, I added in some other lines to create the "8 petal flower" and stars. 
This is my practice piece in pencil, then photocopied (the original circles didn't show up) and then traced the lines I wanted to emphasize in Sharpie.

I then recreated the pattern on watercolor paper and extrapolated the design to fill the page. I painted a base color of Azo yellow over the whole piece.  Then I went in with a flat brush and put a wash of Anthraquinone blue between the stars. The biggest challenge was to get a consistent color with the blue wash. It started out a little darker than I wanted, but then got too thin and created a green since the yellow was coming through. Once I stepped back from it though, I kind of liked the flow of it, so I left it as is.

Sunday, November 19, 2017


It has been too long since I have posted anything, and I'm not even going to get into making excuses for the lapse in my creative happens.
Since this week is Thanksgiving, I decided to do a cornucopia. This was originally planned as a project for some students, so the first picture here is a rough ball point pen sketch from memory during a staff meeting.
The second one is my demonstration piece that I did in front of 50 or so third through sixth graders. They were not a real focused bunch as this was an afterschool activity and they were more than ready for their Thanksgiving break. So the piece is kind of rushed and done in several different intervals as I walked around the room. The paper is 9x12" black construction paper with a mix of chalk and oil pastels. Once it was finished, it was sprayed with hair spray to prevent further smudging (but also caused curling due to the low quality paper).

Some of the students' pieces turned out really well, and I'm disappointed I didn't get a chance to take pictures of them. Overall I think the students enjoyed the project.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Model pencil sketch

This pencil sketch is from a picture of a model that I had seen on Instagram, @tiannag. I actually picked this photo because it incorporates a lot of the areas that I struggle with: hair, hands, eyelashes. I think it was a good challenge. I started by tracing the main features to make sure I got proportions right. Some people might consider that "cheating", but for the purposes of practise, I don't think it matters. I really enjoyed drawing the hair. I think it turned out with really good texture.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Rabbit in pencil

I figured I would play around with sketching a rabbit since its right around Easter. My inspiration for this actually came from "Leap", the 56-foot long bunny that is in the Sacramento Metro Airport (SMF). Conceived by artist Laurence Argent, it was installed back in October 2011 when they opened up the new terminal. According to some articles, they have dubbed SMF as the "Hare-port", but I have never heard it called that here in Sacramento!
Unlike the scupture, which is bright red and created from geometric triangles, I decided to make my sketch more realistic by drawing fur onto my bunny and just using the reference photo for the form.
I hope every-bunny had a hoppy Easter!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Saturday sketching at the cafe

On a sunny Saturday, I headed down to a downtown cafe to do some sketching on the patio. I always feel a little awkward as I "spy" on other people while sketching, so it is always a very quick sketch, and usually from the other side of the cafe. I kind of cheated with the jogger by taking a picture as he jogged by, then working from that. The chair of course was a subject that didn't move around and didn't mind me staring at it. And as you can see, the patio chairs are not very comfortable, so this whole session was about a half hour before my bottom was numb. But when you want to practice human form and you don't have a model, you do what you gotta do!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Succulant pencil drawing

This is a sketch of a succulent plant that I started a while back, plein air, outside on the patio. As I was going through my sketch book, I thought I should finish it up, so with a little shading, I think it's done.