As part of my efforts to improve I have been copying the works of some master artists. Lucien Freud is one of them. I’m drawn to this self portrait of his. You can see an attempt that I made recently and one made in 2005 side by side. And though they’re nothing compared to the original , inspite of seeing the mistakes, I liked them both when they were made. I guess my mind figures out what I’m capable of at a given point in time and gives me credit accordingly. I’d love to try this piece again after a year.
Jamal Ahmed is a successful Bangladeshi artist with 41 solo exhibitions to date. Pagla has been featuring in his work for many years now. With many artists you see a recurring subject, model or colour something they keep coming back to. Do you have one?
Below I’ve tried a close crop of the digital painting made of Pagla. I’m not sure if it is better or worse.
Jamal 12″ X 18″ charcoal in my sketchbook.
Pagla digitally made using Art Rage 2.
Firstly, Happy New Year! Got back from a nice, long vacation, spent with family, last night.
Bob Martin, an artist I admire and who has helped me find my “painting” feet, often, in these past two years, had tagged me to list 5 little known facts about myself, then to “tag” five other artists to do the same.
Because of the vacation, I’ve taken a lot longer than intended to put them down. Here are my five.
1. In Grade 3, I was selected for the Inter-House Elocution Competition. I suspect only because of my loud voice. When it was my turn and I saw a hall full of people looking at me expectantly, I went blank and ran off the stage!
2. On average, I spend 7-10 hrs a day surfing the net or on other computer related activities.
3. My first exposure to a Mac was when I worked with Apple (96-99). 10 years later, I’m still crazy about Macs. If Apple introduces a Tablet PC, I’m willing to wait in line outside the store to get one. Something I haven’t wanted to do for the iPod or the iPhone.
4. The craze for gadgets has been replaced by an equally strong one for art supplies.
5. Would love to learn to sing! My family is a bit wary of that ambition as I’m sort of tone deaf.
I’m sorry but I’m going to be a meme buster :( Instead of tagging 5 more artists there is a list of 5 non-art sites that I frequent excluding Gmail, Flickr, Facebook, Youtube or my blogs though that’s where I spend my day! :P
I did not realise until yesterday just how tough this task would be! Discovered that in addition to Mail and social sites, I surf with a narrow focus on art and related information!! Here are two new links that I hope will help me with my resolutions in 2008.
5. Zen Habits
Wish me luck!
Mannat is one of the few people we know here in Dhaka who is below 40. Waaaay below 40, at 8 going on 9. She is a willing model for many of her fathers photography experiments. And I get some great references to work with.
5″ X 7″ Pen & Ink on hand made paper. Brown ink, black ink and white chalk.
.. been a long time,
Been a long lonely, lonely,
lonely, lonely, lonely time.
Rock & Roll, Led Zeppelin
Vacations seem to unsettle me. Now, dont get me wrong I love them like everyone else. The problem is that well before they start and for a long while after I cant get started on painting. I’m on my way to starting again and the next vacation is a few weeks away. Have to find a way to tackle this. If you have any ideas please leave me a comment. I’m willing to try most things :D but not stop holidaying!
8″ X 10″ Pen & Ink and white chalk in my sketchbook.
I’ve made several sketches of my father-in-law from life but those haven’t been posted (as yet). He’s a real sport and will hold a pose patiently. He’s good at drawing too and great at encouraging. And he doesn’t mind if his nose is drawn a bit too long or chin too wide. I have to say that my Dad is the same. My first attempt at drawing him using a reference was digital and you can see it here.
During my last to last visit to Chennai he had acquired one of those extra zoom digital cameras and I got to test it by taking portraits of the family. I’m sure he’ll admit to the fact that they all heaved a collective sigh of relief when I was ready to hand it back. I got quite a few decent ones though. Those of my husband and his brother have been used already. This is the 3rd from that set.
Here he was watching me read the manual (yes, i’m a bit nerdy :D) and take photos at different settings. In this piece, his left eye still needs fixing and I will attend to it soon. The initial drawing took about half an hour but then I spent a couple of days making minor changes and it still isnt finished!!
Charcoal on 10″ x 12″ handmade paper.
One more from the exciting references provided by Anil after our road trip to Ashulia. He’s been a gem and has allowed me to use any of them for my art. The paper has been provided by another friend, Kuhu, who is a well known figurative artist and designer, in Bangladesh. This is the largest portrait that I’ve worked on to date.
Mixed Media (charcoal and acrylics) on 30″ X 36″ toned paper.
Update: August 6, 2007: I couldnt leave it alone :( Wanted to tone down the charcoal in some areas but it came off completely. Tried adding some back but the remaining charcoal sticks didnt match the colour or texture of the original and left dark scratches on the paper. Finally found the charcoal sticks – Pebeo’s Charcoal Sticks superior-extra smooth and it is!! Just not as black as the others. I cant even remember where these were picked up and now only 3 remain in the box of 5. Here’s where I’ve stopped for the moment. Find that I liked the earlier version more as it was spontaneous. Cant go back to it so i’m going to try some more.
Recently, a friend told me that my charcoal pieces looked good. That was all the encouragement I needed to use the medium again. This portrait of Manish is one more for my College of Art Portraits series. I’ve inadvertently made his eyes look a bit like Sylvester Stallone’s :P and I hope he wont mind.
Charcoal on 12″ X 10″ off-white handmade paper.
I’ve been back from my exciting and terrific holiday for over a week now and given myself a 101 reasons for why I wasnt painting as yet.
2 nights ago, armed with all the equipment I’d collected, I decided to take a proof of the Linocut that I’d been working on a while ago. This is one of several that I pulled that night. It still doesnt have the darkness i’m looking for. I tried wetting the paper in my 4th attempt but as I hadnt blotted it well enough it turned out quite messy!
I cant think of what I can do to simplify it further so I’m leaving the linocut as is. One of the things that I am considering is to fix the eye on the right. All suggestions are very welcome. I’ll be taking a few more prints to try and get the print on darker.
Update: July 19, 2007: I like the linocut more than the prints! I think I’ll frame it instead :D
Update: June 23, 2008 : Got another print using a press. A lot more ink on the print this time but still a bit messed up! Have to say though that I do love the embossed effect :D
I enjoyed this mornings Life Drawing class at Kuhu’s. My last class for a while as I’ll be away on holiday starting Friday. Of the 3 models who have posed for us recently, this one holds her poses well and has a lot of patience.
Today I laid down some proportions before adding detail to the face. I still haven’t managed to curb my enthusiasm for adding lines whilst not looking at the model or when she is away! I must say that I’m much better now than before : P I would’ve liked to have spent more time on this one.
I’m thinking of making a checklist to stick on my drawing board
- Decide on composition before starting
- Measure relative to one feature eg. eye, length of nose
- Place features relative to others
- Draw the negative spaces
- Squint before shading
Here’s a grid made in a 3 week marathon session of figure and portrait life drawing in college. This one shows the proportions to consider while drawing a portrait in profile. We drew the grids on our paper but had to mentally project them on the model and that took some getting used to! Eventually the measurements were to have become second nature to us and the need for drawing grids would disappear but the mental practice of measuring, dropping lines etc. would stay.
I need to study and practice it once more but then I think I’ll need to go back to college for the discipline that is required. Will add the ones showing the front of the face and one of the figure, to this post, when I locate them.
24″X36″ Pencil (my favourite Tombow Mono 6B) on creamy textured paper.