Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Action Packed Paintings Add Punch

I’ve always loved action photographs and drawings. When painted, the skill of the artist determines whether or not movement and action has been rendered successfully. The difficulties in doing this may be lessened by the viewer. If lines and values have been executed properly, the viewer fills in the details.

My drawing of Serena Williams was complicated by the fact that this was my first time using Pastels. It took me awhile to get used to the scratchy surface of the chalk, and the importance of rounding off the edges to create a drawing surface. Details were difficult, and the sharpness of the edges where I wanted sharpness was difficult. I think once the pastels have worn down they will be easier to work with.

I love the vibrancy of pastels. They seem to glow in a way that regular paint doesn’t; although, it is possible to create glow with the right contrasts. I like the portability of pastel. They are messy, so they make wonderful traveling companions when drawing or painting plien air. I look forward to doing that in the near future when the drumming heat in Florida returns to winter temperatures.

I chose to do one copy of Serena in Sepia tones. It gives the drawing a different “flavor” than the colored one, and focuses on the actual lines and shapes that were used.

Beginning artists should spend as much time drawing as in painting. I know my eye suffers when I get lazy in drawing. For instance, my first drawing of Serena had her with a crease in her lower arm where I thought her elbow should be. I got the pastel work finished and still hadn’t noticed it until I photographed it for my blog and web site. How did I miss such an important stroke?

It’s obvious her elbow is hidden behind her clothing. The foreshortening in that arm may have fooled my mind into thinking there was a crease rather than a curve at that point. Luckily, pastel can also be forgiving, and I lightened the area before taking new photographs.

As I stated in my last blog: “One step forward, two steps back.” The important thing is to keep on keeping on. Forge ahead, and soon you’ll begin to see things that deluded you in the past.

My childrens book: “Inez Ibis Flies Again, the Story of a Courageous Ibis who never Gave Up” was fun to illustrate. The action drawings were done in pencil, ink, and watercolor pencils. Afterward, I blended in water with the areas I wanted filled in on the figures and background.