11 February 2015

What I've been up to for the last few days


Correction, drawing badly.

I may have mentioned once or twice in the past that  was building a home altar.  It has stood up in the master bedroom for about a year now.  It needs some art in order to be complete.  Puff doesn't like my mother's art style, so I asked my sister, who is also a skilled painter, if she could do it for us.  She said sure.  The problem with sis, however, is this: when she says she will do something for you, she either does it immediately, or never.  Since it has not yet been done, I am going to have to assume we are now looking at never.

That leaves either finding something that magically fits, hire an artist (very expensive) or try and print something off the computer.  The last would be both easiest and most difficult.  We could adjust size, but the end result may look like a fuzzy picture composed entirely of Lego blocks. Which leaves, sadly, me.

My options are something out of wood or something painted.  I don't think either a carving or something composed of intarsia would match the style of the altar, although I may end up trying that if my artistry isn't up to the task.

I haven't seriously painted or drawn in years.  I was never terribly accomplished in it.  However, the recent videos I have been watching about mixed media artwork seems hopeful and promising.  It looked like something I could take a shot at.

Of course, the videos recommend starting small and working forward., but hey, this is me!. I'm the guy who, after not playing the organ for decades, got a new organ and immediately decided the first thing to learn to play was a Bach fugue.   (I never played a Bach fugue even when I played the organ.) Same principle here. I went directly to doing a first draft of the piece.  The drawing is based off a picture approved by puff, which features the Holy Family standing outdoors in front of what appears a Tuscan landscape.  Simple!

As I said, rough draft.  I do need to re-learn the art of , well, art.  I wanted to do a practice piece so I could work out any problems ahead of time.  So I am using, for starters, the wrong paper, so it wrinkled when I put on the first water colour washes.  Also, not the best equipment.  My artist water colours dried up years ago, so I borrowed my kids' Crayola stuff for the wash.  After all, they borrowed my stuff, so fair's fair, right?

Speaking of fair's fair, they had borrowed my pencil crayons occasionally when they needed to finish some school work.  Make that, they borrowed my artist grade pencil crayons.  They solemnly promised me that they would take good care of the pencils and they would all be returned to the box when finished.  When I cracked open the box for the first time in years I found they had been less than sincere in their promises   Many were missing, including every single shade of yellow.  This is the sort of thing that generally leads to conversations with my wife that go along the lines of "Is everything alright?  You seem angry."

So, I am practicing some demanding techniques using the wrong stuff on the wrong paper.   I am not happy with the immediate results. I see something else I did wrong every time I look at it, but at the same time, I think this is promising.   Here is what I have done so far:  mainly, I have worked on Mary, and started a little work on Jesus.

   Not nearly finished yet.  After pencils crayons and charcoal, I will be doing touch ups with pens and markers and some more paint.  And the proportions are off, particularly Joseph.  However, this is a rough draft where I try to work out my problems.  I am not getting the 'hyperreal' results the other illustrators get, but with my lousy eyesight, that may be impossible, unless I get a large artist's magnifying glass.  Which, incidentally, I was considering getting for the shop, but they are expensive.  So, here goes.

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