Monday, February 21, 2011

Ugly Mug Mondays! #15

Just a quickie for Ugly Mug Monday! this week. There's a lot of real work that I should be focusing on, but all work and no play causes Jack Nicholson (and myself) to go insane and try to murder his family.

I feel I took it too far and over-worked it, but that's how it goes. I wish pencil were as facile as paint can be. Oh well.

Pencil on bristol. 2.5" x 3.5"

Rock Out with Your Spout Out

When I was in school I took a class in the sculpture department. After the midterm he split us into two groups: the first group simply had to make the best sculpture they could, but only one piece; the second group had to make 100 lbs. worth of sculptures. Six weeks passed and the final critique was upon us. The sculptures were displayed around the room, and do you know what was immediately apparent? The work of the kids in the second group was far superior to the work of the kids in the first group, and here's why:

The kids in the first group sat around and planned, and sketched, and worried, and fretted about what would make "the best sculpture ever". They did more thinking than doing, and talk is cheap. The kids in the second group would make a sculpture, and then they'd have to make another one. And another one. And another one. And, you guessed it, another one. By doing so they learned what didn't work and transferred the knowledge to the next piece.

The message was simple: you learn to do by doing; not by thinking; not by planning; not by scheming -- by doing. That's the point behind these 10-minute paintings. If you want to learn a lot about painting (or drawing, or sculpting, or seeing), then I'd highly recommend you give this a shot. I've learned a lot so far, and I can't wait to see what I learn in the future!

Each square is about 4" x 4". Oil on illustration board.

The story about the sculpture class didn't actually happen to me, it happened to a friend of mine, but it's just easier to tell in the first person. Besides, the moral doesn't change.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Reunited, and it feels SO good!

Is there anything in this world more pure than drawing from a live model? Figure drawing is a long drink of cool water as you come in from the tilling the fields in the hot August sun. It's therapeutic. It's cathartic. It's awesome. It's what keeps you sharp and helps you discard the clutter in order to focus on the fundamentals. People should do it as much as humanly possible. (And then do it some more!)

From last night's figure drawing session:

2-minute poses

20-minute poses

40-minute pose

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ugly Mug Mondays! #14

I am King Cheez-It. I am not amused.

I was digging through files on my computer and I came across a handful from my last trip to New York. I became overly addicted to Cheez-Its and, well, you've got to do something with the empty boxes, don't you? And sometimes you've just got to wear a box on your head.

Casein on canvas paper. 2.5" x 3.5"

Ten-Minute Challenge

I recently came across an interesting little call to arms -- so to speak. The idea is simple enough, as all great ideas are; pick a subject and paint it. Over and over and over again. But there's a catch: you only get ten minutes for each painting.

This was my first crack at it. All in all I think they turned out well. I got kind of tired after the fourth one; painting at a sprint kind of wears you down. I'm going to work this into my daily painting routine; at least for the foreseeable future. Now all I'll have to do is figure out a better place to set up. (I was almost quite literally painting in the dark this afternoon.)

Each square is about 4" x 4". Oil on illustration board.