Father and Child 2

Father & Child

There are a few subjects that never fail to inspire me. Father and child is one of them. This quick drawing made a while ago was based on a photograph in the newspaper but bears little resemblance. The look in their eyes or what I imagine to be there is what continues to draw me to this piece.

5″X7″ on handmade paper in my sketchbook

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Dalai Lama

Pen & Ink 2

Everyone seems to be discussing Tibet lately. Even my niece, who isn’t quite two, has been taught by her nanny to say “Free Tibet!”.

The reference for this piece is the cover of a recent issue of Time Magazine. 8″ X 10″ Pen & Ink in my sketchbook. I have used a white ink pen to recover from errors. Looking around for a grey pen to be able to use three distinct values in a future attempt.

Looking forward to 2008!

Jan 08 Pen & Ink

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 The craze for gadgets has been replaced by an equally strong one for art supplies.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! 😛

1. Conceptis Puzzle

2. Digital Photography Review

3. Lifehacker

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.

4. HassleMe

5. Zen Habits

Wish me luck!

Sketch : A copy of Lucien Freud‘s portrait of Frank Auerbach, painted in 1975/76. Pen & Ink on handmade paper in my sketchbook.

Flavour of the month

img_0823.jpg

We’re having people over for dinner tonight and suddenly there is this urge to draw.  Must be something to do with the fact that there are chores that need to be taken care of.  😛

While looking for the crossword puzzle in yesterdays newspaper I came across an ad promoting a music concert  “James Unplugged”.  There was a photograph accompanying the copy, of an intense, handsome young man which grabbed my attention and I’m assuming he is James.  I hope the concert is going well for him.  He must be playing at the Sheraton Hotel as I type this.

Continuing to enjoy the freedom of using any medium I fancy and the current flavour of the month is pen & ink.  Used  the 0.30 Rotring with brown ink and tried for some values by varying pressure and the number of passes.

And now I’d better get going before my guests arrive!

Approx 4″ X 4″ Pen & Ink on handmade paper in my sketchbook.

Yakub

Yakub

A pet project over the last two years has been finding old friends online. I lost touch with Yakub when we left Bangalore in 1999 and happily located him on Facebook a couple of months ago. He looked the same and yet different. He had a stunning profile pict and I knew immediately that I wanted to draw him. There are a lot of mistakes, from the missing tilt on his face onwards but yet there is something of him in it.

Pen & Ink, 4″ X 6″ in my pocket sized sketchbook on handmade paper.

I can get no satisfaction…..

self portrait

Brian, a fellow EDMer, had the following to say and it matches how I feel. I was sure I would not be able to express it as well and so I asked him If I could quote him here.

We’re all victims of Hollywood’s romantic way of portraying things. Artists in the movies always seem so confident, like they know exactly what they are doing, what they want, how to achieve it and so on and so forth, in between passionate rolls in the hay with the female lead. In fact, in the movies you seldom see anyone actually working. It’s all glamour and passionate inspiration, and no cursing and throwing of drawing implements.

In real life, we’re caught in a neat little Catch-22. We are never entirely
satisfied with any particular drawing, leading to frustration. But this
dissatisfaction is also the thing that keeps us going, because we keep on
thinking that the perfect drawing is just around the corner. Tantalizingly,
it remains just out of reach.

I think if we ever became perfectly satisfied with our work, it would there
and cease to hold our interest. The frustration would be gone, and so would the incentive to keep at it. So you are either a frustrated artist, or the frustration ends, but with it the art as well.

Brian van der Spuy
on EDM

Pen & ink in my little sketchbook.

My first Sale!

Mother and child

Earlier last month I was left a comment on one of my posts indicating an interest in purchasing the drawing “Mother and Child” or a print. Initially, I wasnt sure whether it was a spam comment and while I was trying to make up my mind I was contacted again. I decided to write back and found a wonderful person at the other end who loved this particular piece of work. Living in Bangladesh makes it difficult for me to ship things out and so I opted for selling a print. And he was happy to own the print. His words and attitude have made my first sale very memorable.

The artwork was scanned at 300 dpi and uploaded to my gallery on the print on demand service, ImageKind. After the sale was made, unsure of how it would turn out, I waited with bated breath. It was only when I heard that the print had been delivered and looked good, did I relax.

This has been a wonderful experience. And while what I earned is a fraction of what I used to earn when I was on a regular job it gave me much much more pleasure.

Ramesh sleeping 2

Ramesh Sleeping

This time I tried to be clever and sketch Ramesh from behind. But I think he has a sixth sense that alerts him to the fact that I’m trying to sketch him! After sleeping like a log he shifted positions when I was a few minutes into my sketch and then i had to use my imagination to complete the pattern, shadow effect and I dont have a very good one.

The paper seems to have been affected by the wash that i’d laid on the page above it. It blotted and spread more than usual. I also need to work on perspective. I always manage to mess that up. The headboard and the books all look skewed. I need to do that Betty Edwards exercise of drawing on perspex before putting it down on paper. It helps you see better. I last used it in 2004 and a review is overdue.

I have a whole series of Ramesh sleeping and a couple of earlier posts here and here. I’ve put together a few on Flickr and will add to the set as I locate them in old sketchbooks.

Keya – Monsoon Flower

Keya 1

Keya 2

All Indian names have meanings. Keya means a monsoon flower. I was hoping to do one of her from Life but it didnt happen. These are from photo references taken when she was a couple of years younger. I’m still optimistic that I’ll manage to get one done next time I visit Bangalore. We’ve both promised to sit for each other. She is a keen painter and has a great art programme in school.

Update:  Recently on a post in wetcanvas I read that childrens eyes are more towards the middle of the face rather than higher up like an adult.  I seem to have placed her eyes too high up in the first one making her look much older than in the reference.  I hope I manage to keep that in mind when next I attempt to draw a child.

Made in my sketchbook. Approx 8″ X 10″

Father and child

Father & daughter

This time I was determined to visit the art supply store on my own. I did not want to bore the others to tears and nor did I want to rush over what was a big treat for me. I did pick up a few new things to try and one of them was transparent photo colours – warm brown and black. I discovered today that the brown has lovely shades of pink and rose in it.

My niece with her father.  She is frowning in this one too but I couldnt capture that.  I was worried about using too many dark lines on her face.  Used a photo reference. Pen & Ink with a wash of warm brown Camel tranparent photo colour in my sketchbook.