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Awash in a Sea of Unfinished Work


It’s been hard to churn out work this semester and get into a good rhythm, but I think it’s beginning to happen now.

I also started a part time job working for the art supply retailer Jerry’s Artarama. I have to say working retail again feels odd, but it’s a good place with nice co-workers and familiar clientele. I just have to be careful I don’t get sucked into spending all my wages on art supplies. I feel like working there is helping me become more familiar with different brands and get to know other local artists. Now I just wish I had time to paint! Or that they’d pay me to just sit and paint!

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Colored Pencils – The Drama

I think I’ve found a method I like for my drawing class. I’m ink washing the values onto watercolor paper, gesso-ing on top of that to fuzz it up and give it tooth, then completing the image with colored pencils(and adding more india ink on top of that to push the values). I’m digging the results. The layering gives the finished piece a kind of distance from the viewer that I like.

My biggest problem is the colored pencils. Prismacolor seems to be the standard(wait, wait, Marco Mazzoni appears to use Faber Castell), yet the set I bought for school, including any loose extra colors, constantly break. Strangely the remains of my set from high school don’t break at all. I noticed that the manufacturer changed. My old set say Berol and the new ones are made by Sanford(which I guess bought Berol). I’ve heard of other students having a similar problem, but then also heard others never have the same problem so who knows what’s up with the quality. Because of these issues I don’t want to invest in another set hoping that they won’t be as useless. I went to the art supply store and bought several loose different types of pencils to try out. I got some of the Prismacolor Verithins with the harder pigment. So far they seem good, but only useful for fine details. I got some Derwents(the Inktense watercolor colored pencils). I’m not too sure about them yet. I do like the Progresso colored pencils. The entire shaft is pigment, no wood at all.

Probably the most important thing I bought to help me was an electric pencil sharpener. It plugs into the wall and doesn’t seem to eat the pencil or get snagged on the wood the way hand held ones do. I’ll bring it to school and sit up against the wall with it plugged in like a troll, charging my classmates high fives to use it. I was hesitant to buy one at first. The one I had as a kid, and which my mom probably still has, was huge and faux-wood paneled like a station wagon. This new one isn’t tiny, but it’s still smaller. It actually looks like a shuttle-craft from Star Trek.

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Stressing out over Still Lifes

Here are some thumbnails of the some photos I took trying to put together still lifes for my painting class. I want to do this, but I always fear I’m being too cheesy, when really I should just go for drama and as cheesy as I want.

It’s also not like I can’t creatively edit the scene how I want in my painting. I don’t have to paint every unnecessary detail and I can interpret thing how I see fit.

As you can probably tell, I’m trying to create vanitas-like still lifes but with objects of fortune telling and superstition to match my conceptual portraits. I want to improve my observation skills and removing the portrait from the scene is probably exactly what I need to do to concentrate on objects.

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Pencil to Paper

drawing 4 project

Today has been a Vincent Price movie watching kind of a day. School consisted only of watching a movie of Picasso drawing and painting, and I basically spent the rest of the day working on the above piece for my drawing class. It’s more of the ink wash combined with gesso and colored pencils. I am beginning to wish I had used used black india ink, but I was really thinking that the violet would be interesting.

I also wish I had purchased a block of hot press watercolor paper instead of cold. I’m thinking this paper may be too toothy for colored pencils.

It’s not complete yet, but I am liking the effect…so far.

After watching Vincent Price movies all day(Masque of the Red Death, Tomb of Ligeia, Haunting on the Hill), I have now found myself in Dunwich Horror land. I’m baffled that the guy from Quantum Leap(Dean Stockwell) is the villain, Wilbur Waitley. Oh, and I just got to watch Sandra Dee get molestered by body painted up hippies with blue feather boas.

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Wishery Experiments

playing with ink wash, gesso and prismacolors

This semester I am in the last drawing course offered at TCC. My assignment is to basically create a cohesive body of work in a drawing medium by the end of the semester.

Drawing is definitely not one of my favorite things to do. I like to sketch and doodle, but otherwise when I draw it is drawing to paint. I’m not sure if that makes sense. I know how to, but I don’t have a delicate touch and don’t believe I ever will. Which is exactly why I love to paint with oils.

So, because of how shaky my hands can be, I had to come up with a different method. I had enjoyed ink wash before, but wanted to add more to it so I taped off a section, gessoed it(was pissed to see that the waterproof india ink smeared a bit) and then added colored pencil. I admit, I was looking at Erik Jones work a bit and James Jean trying to figure out how they get some of their effects.

I’m not sure how I feel about what I did. I want to keep the subject in the same vein as my paintings. I just wish I could figure out how to do them well larger.

And damn colored pencils to hell! I think all the pigment in mine are cracked. I promised myself I would have a prismacolor bonfire by now but it looks like I’ll be putting that off.