Ok, not exactly, there's a whole essay that I have not read. Honestly I didn't know the full name of Mr. Parkinson nor how he got to such conclusion or why, but I always pictured it like a fellow sitting on the grass, elbows on his knees, chin on his hands, chewing on a straw while thinking "nah, I don't think that's gonna get finished today".
Yes, my mind likes it simple. And now it's wondering how on earth do you stop work from expanding?! How do you optimize the work to finish the task on time?!
I've been doing portraiture warm-ups in 15 minutes, daily. After switching from monochrome to a limited palette of 4 somehow the task does not just fill the time frame anymore, it overflows it entirely.
Is there a secret to speed up the painting process? Inquiring minds need to know! These have improved after I forgot about my usual layering way of painting and just attacked full on with darks first, in and out, but I still can't get half of a portrait finished in 15 minutes.
If they don't lack the nose they lack one eye, if they have a mouth they don't have a head, some of them manage to have hair and a mouth and a nose but not eyes.
The only other idea I've had, to try and finish one completely, is repeating in my mind "faster faster do it faster fasteeeeeer!" during those 15 minutes, but so far that doesn't seem to work :)
I refuse to put anything better than a "hmmmm...." by their side until they look at least half finished so, any suggestions to speed up the painting process? I promise even if they sound weird I'm willing to try, which are your secrets when you want to paint fast and accurately and finish the task in a short period of time? Please share them with me.
ever been ill but feeling well enough to get to the painting table just to discover the
little nuisances of it all? It can be so frustrating!
stroke running in the wrong direction thanks to a coughing fit. Or the paint
from your brush splattered all over the paper because of a sudden sneeze. How
about the brush falling from your hand and rolling over your paper? Believe me,
point I decided to redirect all my creative efforts towards digital, which I
The result has
been a bunch of new icons, some textures to tweak future images (couldn’t let
those splatters go to waste, now could I?) and a couple of little pics for the
little ID card, it’s so much fun grabbing scanned images, some stock, a bunch of fonts and unused sketches,
throw them all together, stir while it boils and see what comes out of it!
I guess I
just need to fangirl for a little bit over the chance of having one art medium
that’s not messy when you need it, one that allows as much flexibility as any
other traditional medium, one that lets you UNDO the unwanted stray stroke that
you make when you cough.
Or maybe the
point of this post is simply to acknowledge that digital and traditional are
two sides of the same coin, that it doesn’t need to be one OR the other, but
both complementing each other. Whatever works, right?
Sargent who said that? Well why nobody asked Mr. Sargent what happens when it’s
a self portrait? I’ve found out, it’s horrible to give yourself the silent
treatment, but you do!
interesting how easy it is making a self portrait just for yourself and how
difficult it is to do it to show it to others, the reason is quite simple,
you just want to look GOOD – yes I’m hearing Darren Hayes singing Ego inside my
head, shut up Darren! – After some failed attempts it turns out that only I can
look like me... and that’s a good thing! Ha! go figure.
It is what
it is and I think this one is truly me, not just physically, and that’s the goal,
rocking my American Retro T-shirt, comfy socks, my beloved Escoda in hand and a
big smile plastered on my face, and hopefully sending those vibes to you, C’mon
you know what I’m talking about.
And yes, it
doesn’t hurt that the “engaging” and “dynamic” angle hides any fat that might
or might not be down there ha-ha! after all I want to start talking to myself
again as soon as possible!
painted a selfportrait? I want to see them! Point me in the right direction and
please tell me you’ve gone through the same narcissistic mini crisis.
Long time without posting any figure drawing. Feels good to keep doing them daily and it’s kind of funny to remember how that clock used to freak me out, I don’t even think about the time anymore.
doing drawing exercises daily for a while, but all this time I've been
wondering how could I incorporate the same kind of quick exercise in
watercolor, to maybe round one hour of warm-up everyday.
In late September I decided that trying portraits in the warmup would be a good complement to the figure drawings, so I added a 15 minute portrait in watercolor to the daily routine.
completely honest I got mess after mess, they truly sucked, got discouraged and
stopped for a while, then got back to it this time taking one step at a time, first
in monochrome, trying to get right proportions, then trying to get some
resemblance to the model, then trying to speed up the process (yep, that clock is freaking me out again, it happens if you're a turtle when painting)
I still get
messes 90% of the time, tons of “aaaargh!” and “ewwww!” and “L” written next to them right after the 15 mins
are over, those will never see the light of day, but from time to time I manage
to get something that looks like an actual perfectly fine person.
I incorporate one more change it feels like the dreaded step back but I guess
it’s needed to get to the couple of steps forward, so I think I’ll keep at it
since I want to see that percentage change to at least 90% of successes.
learned: if it’s too big of a piece to swallow, break it down into smaller bits
and chew chew chew.
familiar with Bill Watterson’s Calvin&Hobbes?
remember that strip where Hobbes asks Calvin whether he already has come up
with an idea for something he should be doing, and Calvin’s retort is that you
have to be in the right mood? When Hobbes asks what mood is that Calvin goes “last
been in last minute panic mode for over a week. Painting like a possessed
Painting and ripping and restarting and layering paint like there were no tomorrow.
hours of work in 15 minutes by hitting full blast what once were mild dark
areas with a brush loaded with thick dark paint, mercilessly.
tape (which BTW managed to take with it some of my hair - yes, the gum in the
hair nightmare come true way after grade school) just to realize I wanted more
darks hence laying down some more masking tape.
taking this photo yesterday those darks have expanded up the neck to the jaw
and under the chin.
panic. What a ride. And loved each second of it.
know a secret? Fear has been one of my closest companions my whole life.
fact, Fear is a strong source of motivation, sometimes the strongest. Here’s
another fact, that motivation can get you to better places, the problem is that
more often than not it seems to motivate you to turn and run in the opposite
direction, or just freeze sporting the dumbest face you’re capable of.
Do you want
to know another secret? Fear probably just
wants to help you to reach that better place but the wacko has not the best
sense of direction so you need add your two cents too, it’s just trying to give
you some advice, you can take it, ignore it, or bend it, letting Fear lead
probably won’t end pretty well but once you turn it into a team work chances
are that you weren’t condemned to doom after all.
conversation happened last Wednesday regarding this illustration:
- Not your best, is it?
-...o_O…well it’s not that bad…
-She seems calculating, you should fix it
-…. yeah ….. a pity there’s no time, it’s going
in the mail tomorrow morning, and it’s such a tiny area that is going to be difficult
to lift it completely, and probably will look weirder after that, there’s no
time to redo the whole thing if I ruin it, it really needs to be in the mail
tomorrow blah blah blah…
-Change · it
assured I was the one getting the blows. It’s unsettling to get that kind of
straight feedback -not to mention nailed critique- right the night before I
want to mail the thing. And all the blabber? That’s a lot of stupid excuses
pouring out of my mouth as fast as Fear whispers them in my ear.
telling fellow painter friends to just go for a change they are pondering, that
it won’t be ruined, that once you’ve done something you can do it again if bad
comes to worse, and every time I’ve firmly believed every bit of it.
When you have
something that you know is not working, and the chances are either leaving it
as is (just to avoid ruining something that you know isn’t good enough), or
changing it and maybe fixing it... it’s a no brainer, isn’t it? You go for it
and make it better.
Now insert Fear and my own work: bye-bye no-brainer, hello brain
shutdown, let’s hold hands and run up the hills.
And then is
when being friends with Fear might be an advantage. Maybe - just maybe – I’ll give
it a knowing look and say “hey why not trying to lift it? Imagine if I screw
up, that’s gonna be the kind of panic attack that you’re going to love fueling,
look forward to it while I rework this, will you?”
Yes, in the
end it took more time arguing through that conversation and defending the case
in my brain than it took to just get to the task and repaint that face.
It’s a fact
that Fear is going to be there right by your side sometimes, so you might as
well befriend it, enjoy your time together and make the best out of it!
Today warm up session has been devoted to self portraits, whaaaaat?!
Want a self portrait for the web so I'm just playing with some ideas lately, this is one of them.
Ok, so it doesn't seem to be going anywhere as it is right now BUT it's been fun, and a needed milestone, maybe it evolves into something that worth further development or maybe not, but either way it needed to be out and done to jump to the next one.
That's the brilliancy of quick sketches, you can try tons and discard tons and let the milestones guide you in the right way.
I used to get engrossed for weeks into drawings that might or might not work. These warm ups have burnt something in my brain, brainstorming works, rough and quick works.
I'm finally allowing myself to embrace the "just do it" "doesn't need to be pretty" motto and encourage you all to do it too.
some of the daily warm-ups from May and June. I decided to take a *not
completely desired* break from these during July and August but I’m ready and
happy to resume them now, we’ll see if I’ve gotten rusty in these couple of
noticed some changes in the way I’ve been approaching the warm up sessions, now
I stop, think before laying a line, even in the 30 seconds exercises, I know I
know, I said that I liked these 30 secs because they made you stop thinking and
start landing lines.
most shocked one at the realization that it doesn’t necessarily lead to spacing
out for 30 secs, you can actually stop and think and still deliver a figure instead
-ok, half a figure but still-.
So far the
results I’m getting are either more accurate and clean figures or a total mess,
but when it works it feels great! So next goal is inclining that balance
towards the good looking ones, goes without saying, right?
that I didn’t expect is that I seem to be getting more unfinished figures than
before, no matter the time frame, wonder why that is happening? Somehow it
doesn’t feel like stopping to think is the problem, anyway the unfinished look is starting to grow on me
so I’m not too worried about it, just curious.
The way I’m
approaching these warm ups seems to be evolving towards something, not sure
what yet though, but I guess I’ll find soon enough, meanwhile I’m keeping the
same goals and at the same time I’m enjoying experimenting with the process.
Last sunday’s been a month since I began practicing gesture figure drawing daily, while I can’t afford going to live figure drawing sessions I’m relying on the next best thing, The Drawing Script and the Figure & Gesture Drawing Tool. To celebrate I’m sharing some of the results from this month.
The time for each pose goes from 30 seconds to 11 minutes and man, those 30 second limit really make you stop thinking and start landing lines, I never thought you could even put pencil to paper in such short period of time and I certainly can’t get a whole figure in 30 seconds yet but at least you can tell it’s a human being (most of the times).
I’ve always looked in awe at artists posting their figure drawings, such confident lines, accurate, dynamic, perfect! I want to draw like that too, confident, accurate, bold strokes, want to draw faster and get a better comprehension of how the body works, render it in as few lines as possible.
Have you heard of “fail, fail again, fail better”? “practice makes perfect”? Go figure, it actually works!
Last year I went on a Thank You quest by the end of the year, I felt it was important to show appreciation to the people that made my year better one way or another.
Loved to do it. I don't do this every year, neither I send christmas cards, honestly I seldom text people for christmas, when I do I want it to be special and personal and hopefully make that person's day a little bit brighter.
Have you ever made new year resolutions? or a new year planning? or a wish list? I have, it's private, just for me, with musts, goals and wild wishes.
Last month -thinking about the next year's one and revisiting my last year one- have made me realize how important the wishes section on that list is.
That's why this year I've gone and done little paintings again, proper christmas cards this time, filled with stars ready to grant all kind of wishes.
So make a wish, make many, from the heart, believe that you can make them happen and go for it!