June 26, 2014

Values, light and Dark

I began teaching my Drawing 1 course at ACAD again . This post is for the students who missed last class in order to help them catch up on anything they may have missed out on and for any followers and readers who find this stuff as fascinating as I do!   =:D

Last week we began in the realm of imagination and using line. Line is very powerful, as you draw it is like you are cutting through light. A drawing can be made with a line which separates dark and light.  But line only describes a form but does not give mass and body to it. We need to learn to describe three dimensionality with shading. In order to accomplish this we need to develop our value scale.

Using the tools of drawing each student completed a value scale by utilizing the variety of pencils H - HB - B - F, charcoal or pen and crosshatching. In this way we have a base line to compare the values in  the drawing.  In the above image of the value scale the lower strip has the middle grey value added as a comparison. This is incredibly useful information especially if you are using a neutral ground as your starting point.

The next step is understanding how to see how these things play out in reality on any given object. For this I brought out SHAPES!!!! Some people dread the shapes, I remember the groans at art school for spending days at this. I think they are a valuable tool for understanding drawing. It is such a powerful way to understand what you see and I still practice it from time to time.
We used white painted plaster and wooden shapes under a single light source to create very defined shadows. If you are working from home, find white stuff around the house, you can make shaped out of white paper, paint stuff yourself, use what you have, or buy these at art supply stores. The goal is to use the value chart as a comparison in order to  create drawings of the simple shapes defined in space by lights and darks. Below is an example as to how the values relate on the drawing surface.
At this point it isn't as important to me that you have the proportions absolutely correct, as we will be working on that tons later, what we are really after is the ability to blend the values to create smooth transitions of shadow. Hard edged shapes tend to not have blended shadows. This exercise is to draw what we see! To understand the core and cast shadows and to have the relationship between the light and the dark on these shapes relate properly to create a realistic drawing.  Remember: Draw what you see!
I have included some snap shots taken on my iPhone so they are not "superfantastique" by any means but they were from the class set up for those who missed and would like an idea what we worked on.  It is helpful to work with white painted shapes as they are less confusing to break down. It is also better to try this from life rather than photo as the camera does change the way we look.
There was no homework as we used the 3 hr class for demos and exercises and finished off by looking at what we created in the class. Next class we add to this by working on still life using what we learned with values and we will begin our pursuit of proportions. Ciao for now. Have a great week-end and CANADA DAY!

June 24, 2014

Spin me right round baby

 I set up a downward facing time lapse scenario while working on more abstract works based in sacred geometry patterns.
The first birch panel was primed black and the second gold. I worked on each piece in stages and crossed back and forth simultaneously so the two pieces would have a relationship to one another. Watch these short videos below, they are not only entertaining but they also reveal my process.
Its kinda funny, it seems that both times I made a painting just to paint over it again. Well so far, that is my process.
I hung both of these pieces in my Ramsay window for the neighbourhood to enjoy and then put them up at the Black and White Show at Studio Phi and House Galley's Black and White Exhibition. It was a fantastic show with over 60 artists. I was beat but had a chance to reconnect with many friends and artists that evening. In addition I created two new pieces to continue with this process painting for the exhibition which I will continue to develop.

Today I am working on developing some murals for the summer season as well as teaching Drawing at ACAD to a full class with two on a waiting list. I am super stoked!!!

June 3, 2014

Sweet message from a collector

While updating my blog post, I received a nice FB message from a collector that visits me every Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo. She sent me some pics of the prints she bought framed up and this nice message, which she has given me permission to share with you

"Hello Brian, I wanted to share with you how amazing your art has made my home! We met at the comic expo and I told you about the one matching my curtains! Ha. And the rainbow deity looks effin amazing with the new frame! 
Everyone who comes to my home loves your stuff:) thanks for being amazing!"

Chelsie Grenier-McNabb

This was the first piece she got off of me two years ago, all framed up nicely.The previous(above) two prints are sold out and I won't be making any more. 
Above  "Songs yet to be sung", I still have a one or two of more prints available in a very limited run of this piece, if you are interested contact me.  This is the piece that the original was purchased out of Motion Gallery by a collector who writes for "Heartland".  Look how awesome it looks framed!

I am so stoked that Chelsie went out of her way to contact me and spread the joy of art. I really appreciate it! It certainly has brought more sunshine to my day, it is nice to know ones passion and hard work are appreciated at times. = :D

June 2, 2014

Artist in Residence @ Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park

This year I am enjoying the much needed isolation after 5 months of intensive and challenging projects. This is a time to reflect and simplify while make work between scattered bike rides and hikes.
A  powerful thunderstorm rages above the artist cabin, a perfect time for me to update my blog.
Here is whats up on once blank walls so far. Some pieces from last year for inspirations, and a bunch of stuff to finish and blank stuff waiting to be made into something new along the floor.
While hiking I collected a beautiful little bird skull.The reason I have a heavy bandage is that I chopped off the tip of my finger while using my new axe while super tired. Blood spurted everywhere but It is healing nicely after a week. I focused in meditation that it would grow back like an amphibian. The force is strong in me, though I may be in the nubbin club with my two best friends. The core grounds keeper here also has the same marking, Maybe its a man's right of passage. lol.
This year I decided to time lapse the progression of my paintings as I create them. I posted them to my you tube channel and have them linked below. They are short so have a quick gander.
The first painting is in the style of Russian/Greek Orthodox Christian iconography. It is done with acrylic on panel. I intended on using real gold building but did not have enough, instead I used my next favourite gold product made by Golden Acrylics. It has fantastic reflection and glint, the nearest I have found to the real thing, though considerably less expensive and fare easier to apply.
I was inspired after painting the icon to paint a larger version of a gesturing hand to represent learning. I am also excited, not only to be time lapsing my work but also with my inventory and organization that I have been able to update while working in the Artist Cabin. Exciting! Stay tuned………Definitely more to come!