Blabs/ Reflections / On Moving Forward

Wow the month has past so quickly Blaugust has come and go. Tho I haven’t posted anything on the past week but busy with life responsibilities. But still manage to do some drawing lessons stuff. It’s in drafts right now and and having a hard time working with images with this lesson as it involves Photoshop. I want to finish off Blaugust by combining two blog topics from it is the reflect and to inspire.

With all the false starts this is a good push for me to get started. I am trying to rediscover a childhood dream on creating art. Since I can’t create as well as the many artist that I follow online so here’s my nitch A beginner artist.

I was taking pictures of some of my drawing for like a year ago following Drawing the Right Side of the Brain Workbook.  It’s still a work in progress on how I posted it as they are from a year ago but the drawing are kept aside and pictures are archive. But the research and itch to oil paint kinda hold it off and winter was approaching (lesson/activities involve outdoors). So my the only my two finished paintings and the drawing lessons are the only recent I have right now. I got thru those way to quickly than I thought.

Also behind the scenes I was getting too ambitious. While a photo camera purchase was longed plan before the blog started and waiting for a sale before I was looking for Go Pro alternatives and have a speedpaint video or a time lapse by the end of the month. Then there’s the lightning which I am struggling to find cause my shadow of my hand and phone tend to show up on my photographs and it tends to be so dark even with editing on the phone. Best example is on ‘What I Use: Drawing’ post. Tho a video light out of budget at the moment since I am starting I honestly it’s overkill to have them at moment just found battery operated lights that gives of decent lightning with spending much. Also I just forgot how real life stuff gets in the way taking out some free time to blog and draw or paint.

So my solution is to start small, I will have a personal weekly deadline on Wednesday. That way I have time to work a draft and art at the same time. May be an extra post for a random ramblings on what I am working on or what’s up. Oddities are not just about my creations it’s also what I do. I am still dreaming about that video.

I always had false starts with blogging or what I want to do in general. Do I do tech, short stories, journal, practice for journalism. But there one thing I turn back into its drawing or art. Let just say that I stop drawing when I was a kid when I was told that I was wasting lot’s of paper. I did have a short stint on getting back to it in my teens but mid twenties is where I manage to pick it up once more. Just over thirty now well I can say is no more dilly dally take a pause see what you are doing and check what it not going right and go from there. I kinda always been struggling with anxiety and fear of being judge. Well time to break out of those mental barriers.

While there’s more to this mental stuff topic but I will say is take a step, take a pause. It’s not too late to start on what you want to do and both ageism and fear is worse excuse to get things started or done. Take it from the Nike slogan Just do it. Don’t mix reflect with regret just see what not working and take a step back and then move forward or take a different direction is better than giving up.

Thanks Belghast and to all who are part of Blaugust. I was too silence in Discord but enjoying everyone post. I’ll still link there And hoping for more to more active in the future.

Also I will stop being such a lurker in Twitter and tweet about work in progress. I know it’s such a mess there right now but it’s premise was way better than facebook and other social media so hit me up there as well please.

Till next time.

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Study: Portraits

The site may be up now but I was still need a profile picture for social media. Well I tried and torn off some self portrait drawings and digital paintings several times, both in cartoonish style and realistic. Then I realized that other than characters from games anime and manga I never really drawn lots of realistic characters. So here’s some portrait study that images that I picked up from pinterest boards.

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Old man with a mane

Here’s the first and warm up drawing. Cause of the cause of the light and bright picture of the model I just went lightly with H2 leads. And since it is drawn lightly it’s really hard to notice the details of the picture.

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Girl with Afro

Now here’s a full attempt going heavily on shading with graphite sticks, which I forgot to show on the what I use drawing post. Well suffice to say it’s a bad one as the face look flat and looks like she’s bearded than a shadowed that curves around the chin to ears. Who ever the model is I am very sorry.

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Freckled guy minus the freckles

Here’s another with a lighter touch but i wasn’t sure hot to draw the texture of his hair. And as of writing I’ve notice I missed the a major detail, his freckles.

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Freckled Redhead Girl

This may be my best work on this study. I mostly got the details with the but I don’t want to risk the piece by over darken on the right side of her face of the model. Still I feel good on getting the braids and freckles of the model.

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Girl with Afro Redux

Well here’s a do over of the second model. Way better than the first attempt but didn’t do well on the highlights not what I have a good look in to this. Still happy how this one turns out to be.

I need to work on observing details and be brave on working with darker and lighter values are what I learned on this self study. This will also a nice bit of learning experience once I attempt to paint a portrait. Now to making selfies and draw myself, process and selfies will be put on file for now as I am still to shy on a more proper introduction.

 

 

Cross Contour Line Drawings

So here’s a continuation of for the drawing lessons I am taking on Udemy. Drawing objects and use cross contour lines to refine it. It’s hard to fight habits as the initial drawing was looking on the subject more than you pencil and paper before I refine it with cross contour. I can only show and tell the results but I can’t say if did a great job or not.

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Blue Shoes
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Blue shoes cross contour

I refining this blue shoes was tricky as I took out the foot mold inside the shoes. The lines the I started with was in a wrong angle so I rework on it. I didn’t even bother with erasing my mistake and just draw in top of it so it looks a bit off still. Noticing my mistake on the top shoe I took more care on the second one with not sure how to tackle the highlight on the left part of the shoe I lined even tho I should have just left it be.

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Barrel drawing
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Barrel refined with cross contour lines

Here’s a barrel but believe it or not was tricky reference to look for as some barrels are remade to furniture etc. Lesson learned on the refining this but the initial drawing was done the second time. With it’s cylindrical shape I thought first the the cross contour lines will go left to right but I went with top to bottom with the planks and kept left to right with the ring holding them in place.

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Mountain initial drawing
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Mountain with cross contour

Here’s the mountain Salher picked up from Flickr via Google search. Choosed this one without knowing it’s name but looks perfect subject to draw for the lesson. The initial drawing was more simpler than the rest as just the main shape of the mountain but the rest feels like a cheat since the cross contour lines are already detailed in the reference.

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Sunflower drawing once more
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Sunflower drawing with cross contour

Now where back to the sunflower from the initial post, while I did draw this first this was last to be detail. The drawing was tricky to follow the exercise and going old habits but the result here is the same with the barrel. But same with the mountain that each petals are already lined well from the photograph and just shaded more from the start of the petal. The center are just points and didn’t went to too much detail with it.

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This one I gave up trying to draw. I had such a hard time getting shape right or just trying to hard. But here’s something I might get back into once I hone up a bit of my drawing skill. Also I may do more as this exercise at some point as I kinda see it’s reasoning or appeal.

Well more lessons to watch and to draw with.

What I Use: Drawing

While a pencils are still king in drawing I have a bad habit of deviating from it and goes to mechanical pencil once I was done from my old drawing class from years ago. I think I don’t like about pencils is sharpening them and leaves shaving behind. And the most proper way to sharpen a pencil is by hand, exposing a large lead with a blade (box cutter) and use sandpaper to make a sharp point.

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Leads and holders I use for drawing

Then I came across  lead and lead holders which I have been using the past couple of years. I pull out the clip on then and marked one of the blue lead holders to know what which grade it is. I use HB 2H and B leads when drawing. Can’t really say more from this other than it uses a different sharpener to create two different points, one is a sharp one for drawing and one blunt point I can use for shading.

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Erasers and Lead Sharpener

For corrections I got two erasers. For heavy clean up I got an old rubber erasers and for light erasure and less messy I got a kneaded eraser.

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Charcoals and blending stomps

 

Now these guys I want to get back into once I am done with the current online drawing lessons, charcoal pencils. This made me tolerate my annoyance with lead pencils as charcoal are so soft that a plane pencil sharpener is suffice/ Charcoal pencils for details while charcoal stick to get them spread out. Then use paper stomp to blend and scatter.

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Papers

Paper, well I don’t use any special in particular at the moment just a couple of Hilroy Sketch Pro paper that’s easily available on supermarkets. I tend to thorn them off from its binding, if I am not on my desk I tend to tape them on wood panels or large clipboards.

So here’s what I use for drawing.

Painting Howling Wolves

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Ahwoooo!!

So here is my second painting Howling Wolves. I just have these in my mind to I test it of I can paint something I imagine/want.

Forewarning other than the sketches the process images of the painting has been taken months ago.

These are the initial sketch for the painting. the small one is the initial idea that three wolves howling at the moon. I can also say that this is a study as I was drawing different wolves before I settle with these trio. I think my source on these are at Pinterest.

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Top is the initial sketch the lower right corner is the initial idea for the painting. Bottom getting playing with the wolves position and perspective
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A larger drawing of the painting. I can’t remember the order is made.

What I want on this piece is a purple night sky with a moon. I mixed a blue and red to make a purple I wanted it more dark I added a bit of black. I forgot to take a picture of the just the purple in the canvas but I can see that novelty of a solid color painting. The moon just strait white painted in after letting the purple dry for a few days.

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Background purple night sky with full moon

Next step was adding the trees. Black mixed with blue and brown. My initial blue paint that I used on the Fruit Bowl was very strong looking closely into it it’s more of a blue black. Here I used a different blue paint and brown and just went with it on the canvas. This is The first time I’ve used a fan brush and went with it ala Bob Ross and painted the pine trees.

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Trees are added

And then I painted the each wolf once the black trees dried. But unfortunately I didn’t take pictures as I go so here’s the process. Small amount of white to sketch the initial position and then the initial shape. Then more white to fill out the wolves shape as an undercoat color of their fur. Painting in the fur color is next, strait brown on the middle, grey on the right and a golden brown on the left.

Initial finish painting

Now after a day of drying and getting a good look at it with fresh set of eyes, I noticed the left most wolve does not look like one at all but more look like a bear joining in. So a bit more white at the edge to fill up the especially on in ears and more of the golden brown paint to transform the bear to a wolf, tho a chubby one, compare it to the top image.

My thoughts about the painting and it composition. First I wish I put more details on the moon and shows I don’t how to blend it’s edges well yet.  The length of the trees balance on who the wolves are position, tallest trees on the left where the wolf is the shortest. the the right most wolf is standing and has tree on that side cut off cut off. The second tree from the right goes past the moon. The middle wolf’s body was planned to come from the left turning it’s head to center. But that’s on my own limitation on not very good at perspective at the moment.

That’s it about my paintings for now. Got a more planned out I can at least share the planning stages of my next work.

Taking A Drawing Course

I wanted to hone my drawing skills and just been drawing things aimlessly. Just a couple of weeks ago I stumble to a YouTube ad, AdBlock had crashed while afk, of The Ultimate Drawing Course on Udemy. Cause of the enthusic voice of the instructor in the video I had to check it out. With the very generous set of previews of the course and a sale I signed up.

First lesson is an to draw an eye to follow thru as a test on where your drawing ability is. He said that by the end of the course I will draw another eye and compare the first one to see the improvements to it.

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Eye drawing for the course

Next set of videos is about working on lines fundamentals. The usual of keep drawing different lines on a paper. Then contour lines, lines that makes basic shape and some details. One of  his subject is a boot mine is a sunflower. Here’s a few images of what I made following the lesson

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Line exercise of different lines

 

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Line exercise where you look on the object only never in on the paper.
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Line exercise of random objects both reference online and around me
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A sunflower drawing that is mixed of the second and third exercise.

Now do not let that sunflower drawing fool you, it comes from a tricky exercise where you have to look more on the subject/reference while drawing. The line subject finishing off with cross contour lines, lines which gives shape a from. Think of a circle becomes a sphere. The instructor coming back the his boot drawing he uses cross contour lines to refine his drawing.

Now that is where I will continue the course is to refine the sunflower drawing with cross contour lines. And as an assignment I will do several other objects.

What I Learned On My First Painting

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Here it is again, the fruit bowl

Here’s the fruit bowl painting again, I promise there’s other art in the way. Just the short time in making this clicks something in me head that I want to do more of these comparing the long time and effort I try to do digital painting or art. I’ll speak about it in another time and I will surely will try to get back in to it properly someday.

And now in to particular order here’s things I’ve learned on my first oil painting.

Walnut oil medium works for taking out paint off the brushes. But if not painting over a week, as it said in the product website, a proper cleaner is needed to fully clean brushes. In my case Murphy’s Oil Soap as what I read on my research. Tho I didn’t follow thru it right away and may have ruin my first couple of brushes.

The yellow that I used in this painting turns out to be transparent. I ended up waiting for it to dry to get the yellow to be more visible. While the white is opaque I have to wait for most of the paint underneath it to dry as they start blending when I try to add the white part of the bowl and the highlights.

When I was shopping I just chose the tube paint colors by price, oil paint is not cheap. I know I need the primaries, white and brown and added green. And cause of the above statement I was too late to noticed that the back of the tube paints show that the paint is opaque, transparent or in between. So the usual tube colors you hear or read from artist, burnt umber, cadmium yellow, alizarin crimson, etc there’s a reason they are that known and price that way. It also shows the the paints drying time. I don’t want to get more technical here.

After a several weeks of drying and taken out the canvas from the easel to be hang on the wall there’s a couple of places that wasn’t painted. The top unpainted part from the easel top clamp covering it. And the bottom right of the wicker mat was missed due to having an aluminum foil in place in the easel, it was reflecting light making it look like it was painted. So I got to remember to take out the clamp when painting around that parts and do so carefully that the canvas won’t fall. In other words make sure the sides are well painted.

On taking the painting’s photograph, depending on where the light hits there’s always a shine or highlight somewhere. I this one case the top right, but it’s apparently common and normal. It’s due to the brush strokes of the painting and how it gets lit. Photographing painting is another chore on it’s own with the usual photo edit slash filters. But don’t take me this one too seriously as I said before photography is something will be learned along the way. But really do a quick Youtube search on how to take a picture of a painting.

Now the painting is finished and had drying for a few months and able to touch it,  it’s not fully dry yet. It will take nine months to do so and maybe more, for what I have readed, to be so before you can even put protectant or preservation on paintings like varnish.

But one thing I learned the most is I enjoy making this and will continue making more.

Painting Beginnings

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Fruit bowl in oil and canvas

Here’s is my first (successful) oil painting.

I’ve used watercolors years ago just to learn the basics of color theory when i was taking drawing lessons, it was on open studio. Another student was taking oil painting lesson and sitting beside me so we’re told about the difference between the two mediums so I was absorbing both lessons.

Here’s what stuck me the most. Watercolors looks only easy, but has less control and very spontaneous. Oil painting is very complicated but you have way more control and very forgiving.

Fast forward years later now getting out of the creative rut. I bought some loonie store acrylic paints and some cheap brushes etc. Then random google image search, or maybe deviant art, of a fruit bowl (a nod-ish to my art teacher) as reference I painted this.

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Fruit bowl acrylic in canvas sheet

I like the result but I was yearning for the mixing that I learned from oil paints as the acrylics tend to dry so quickly on the palette. Because of the knowledge of the toxicity on oil painting which comes from turpentine (paint thinner) I came to another standstill. Is it possible to oil paint without using turpentine?

To take out the itch of trying out oil paint a quick trip Michael’s with a beginner set of oil colors and suppose non toxic brush cleaner painted the fruit bowl a second time. The result i find a bit translucent and the paint does not spread nicely. Sadly I have dispose of that painting and can’t share it anymore. The brush cleaner I didn’t like either as it has fumes. Now that itch has been scratched I want back to research.

So with more google search and looking for more point of view of the same answer. That answers is walnut oil medium. I bought the paints and the mediums of a certain brand. Still having them took me several months till I opened them, with I hint of fear that it will not work. I have also thrown it away it was an iceberg painting to test out values.

So we come back to the fruit bowl and now a third attempt. Which I learn so much in that one painting. I’ll share my notes and process on the painting on another post. But yeah a journey just started.

Drawn Back

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when an artist sees a blank sheet of paper

So the past few months I’m getting back to drawing and learning oil painting. I’ve been in and out of it for a couple of years but hoping to get more focus on art. I had art lessons before but with books and references online I can say I’m self taught or some sort in between.

Looking back, the rut I had cause by two things rushing it to learn cartooning inspired by comics and manga and jumping so quick to digital while I still lack fundamentals. The frustration to those had recluse me to playing video games way more than I used to.

Where I am right now, I can copy and draw with a reference but composing without one is the hardest. So right now I have to come in terms with my current drawing ability copying from pictures and academic style drawing, not cartooning.

So the goal here is to refine my drawing skills and get to focus on fundamentals. I’ll add painting but I’ll share more of that for another post. Then there’s photography never interested at taking my own pictures before so that will work with as I go with the other two.

I will do my best to share my creations (ODDITIES) no matter how horrendous I think it is. I will start with the work has been done, then catch up to work in progress. I might even start digging on old stuff and even unfinished ones.

Alright back to the drawing board then.

Hello World

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Hastily crud self portrait 

Welcome to Arc’s Oddities, this blog about me getting back and learning art. I work on traditional (pencil, charcoal, oil paint) and digital.

The oddities are my creations and will post on the process and thoughts on making them. In other words this is about creating art in the learners point of view.

I just started on making art again and currently working on two things, learning oil painting and refining my drawing skills. Digital was a frustration for me but will try to tackle it once more in the near future.

I’ll apologize in advance the terrible pictures I’ve taken that’s one medium I never really dealt with and will be part of the learning process as well.

I am starting this blog as part of Blaugust Reborn. It may sound forced but I was planning to start this around September. So it was a good push to get started than chicken out in the end.

Still the site is a bit rushed as the plan was to use tumblr but went with wordpress, so visually it’s a work in progress. As what I am learned lately on coming back to art, better than done than perfect.

That’s if for now see you back here.