Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Yeah!!


I did a two-page spread in my Moleskine. This one, folks, took a while. So long that I began wondering why on earth I would spend so much time on two pages of a Moleskine. ("Because!" I say defiantly.)

The front part was drawn in bits and pieces during several lunches at Qdoba in South Miami, except that the old man was snatched (kicking and screaming - and still he didn't wake up!) from Einstein's Bagels in Coral Gables, and the blond's legs were borrowed from another person in another restaurant altogether. This is because the blonde didn't cooperate and walked away before I was done drawing, inconveniently taking her legs with her! I had to find people sitting in the positions I needed to complete the drawing. More recently I decided to finish the sketch, adding the background scene and walkways. Everything, as usual for me, was done in pen on site. And this week I painted.

Since the two page spread doesn't display too well, I've split it up for you. (Of course you can always click on the pictures to see larger versions as well).

Rather than have broad fields of grey for the roads, I mixed the much more satisfying complimentary colors permanent magenta and permanent sap green. Even that would have been boring as a plain wash, so I added splashes of each color for interest.

I used pure colors rather than combinations for the front figures so they would stand out, and as always I try to be creative and a bit playful with color and to balance the colors throughout the picture.



I'm reading a great book on Georgia O'Keeffe by Britta Benke. I was surprised at how many of her thoughts about painting, and the thoughts of individuals who taught and influenced her, resonate with me even with regard to how I planned the humble spread above. For example, O'Keeffe said: "It is surprising to me to see how many people separate the objective from the abstract. Objective painting is not good painting unless it is good in the abstract sense. A hill or tree cannot make a good painting just because it is a hill or a tree. It is lines and colors put together so that they say something. For me that is the very basis of painting. The abstraction is often the most definite form for the intangible thing in myself that I can only clarify in paint."

To that I can only say, "YEAH!!"

40 comments:

  1. These are absolutely wonderful, Dan. After drawing that planter with such detail, you could probably get some concrete and make one.

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  2. How funny, I love the leg-lady story! These are great pages.

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  3. People do that to me, too, get up and walk away before I'm finished. I like your creative solution, but so far haven't had the patience (or enough interest in my sketches) to try something like it. I'll keep it in mind, though. As always, enjoyable post. Makes me think.

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  4. I'm with Barbara and love the leg story. The old-man was "snatched" - kidnapped? abducted by aliens?

    Love the spread with great detail in the background.

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  5. Glad to see you back (though I was -and will be away again soon! - ) and with a great double page! I love how you manage to capture all the details and expressions on people !

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  6. This is great work Dan! I know it might seem obvious and a bit 'duh!'-like but I would never have thought to borrow someone else's legs or transplant someone from another scene. Such a great idea. I think the magenta and other touches of colour have worked out great for you.

    It took so long to draw because it deserved it!

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  7. This is excellent Dan, you can't tell at all that the blonde has transplanted legs!
    O'Keefe has put into words what painting is all about otherwise we would all just take photographs of the hill or the tree?
    Hope you manage to find some time for us soon, we've missed you too.

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  8. Welcome back Dan. I've missed your wonderful paintings. I'm so glad you didn't wake the old man up :-) And thanks for the terrific tip about the greys!

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  9. As always, the details in this piece are just wonderful. And your handling of the color makes the whole thing rich and lovely! nancy

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  10. Goodness, Dan! This is one gorgeous spread and I find myself wanting your moleskin when you are done with it! Why? Just so I can have a book full of original Dzan Kent watercolors. I love that you've hobbled together some of your characters, too! LOL Really a nice piece and well worth the time you put into it.

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  11. What innovation! I love the full spread and enjoyed reading about the WIP.

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  12. What I'm drawn to in your work today, Dan is what I am always drawn to in your work-- the pen strokes. For me, that is the essence of Dan. It amazes me how you always get the proportions just right in people, chairs, tables.... That takes dedication. But it is the marks for me that make it Dan.

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  13. Seeing your work I often think, "Oh this is terrific", or "I really like this one!", but this double page spread is my hands-down favorite! Love the commentary, too, and the quote from O'Keeffe. I'm glad you're back with us.

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  14. Awesome sketch and beautiful spread Dan! I am so glad that you're back, and sorry to hear about your friend and sudden shift in your schedule, I hope that your friend's doing better now and that you're used to the new time table.

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  15. Thanks for describing your process in developing this scene--very interesting and informative. I loved the O'Keefe quote and it leaves much to ponder. Very creative solution to transplant the legs! Oh yeah, lovely sketch!

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  16. The layout is grand. Inspiration, patience and execution achieved.

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  17. Love your work. Would you post what materials you use to make your sketches(type of ink pen, brands/colors of watercolor paints you use)? I am a newbie and absorbing lots of information about how to sketch and color. Great quote from Georgia O'Keefe.

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  18. Dash it all! People ought to leave their legs behind if you're still busy with them!

    Enjoyed looking at the convivial scenes you created. Agreed with bug lady - share some tips for newbies, please, please!

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  19. Loved your first paragraph. BECAUSE, yes indeed.

    This spread is great. I liked reading how you pieced together the human figures. And your explanation about color is helpful.

    I haven't been active on the blogs for a few months and it's wonderful to be visiting your place again.

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  20. Wow, this came out absolutely fantastic! Definitely worth the time spent on it! (I love the leg lady story *g* I'll remember that tactic next time I dare sketch outside - I'm always frustrated because I'm way to slow for living subjects!).
    And yes, BECAUSE. Just because. Nevertheless, I admire your patience. Whenever a painting takes too long (and "too long" doesn't mean "very long"), I (too) often lose interest and things end up unfinished. I'll (try to) take you as a glowing example! ;D
    Last but not least: I love what you did with the "gray" street! I heard the first time about this (mixing gray/black with complementaries) in Molly Murrah's watercolor class and I really like the effect. Especially with that hint of color that you added! To cut it short: Simply fantastic, Dan, really! <3

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  21. Fabulous Dan! I admire your patience too..It's absolutely amazing your capacity of perceiving all those details... Very good work! :)

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  22. Nice work Dan, and true words from Georgia. Sorry I've not been by more often but that means that I'm greeted by a whole page of good work!

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  23. Very nice sketch, Dan. I'm amazed by the amount of infinite detail you're able to put into these drawings. Love the story of the body snatchings that went on to complete the scene! HA

    Glad you're back among the bloggers, we always love your art and commentary.

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  24. Dan:
    Wonderful detail! (((( Circle of Healing Angels for and you Colleague)))). I do hope all is much better and progress is rapid.
    Just truly wonderful exciting work.

    Sherrie

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  25. Man, do I like the spread and the story with it. O'Keeffe has always said things that made me
    know we were so very alike in our minds--I hope to see more of your work..........

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  26. Great two page spread Dan,lovely colours-love the roads...much better than grey! Glad to have you back. Hope all is getting better

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  27. Dan, it's a great spread... and I love your "frankenstein" approach to completing this spread...seamless.

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  28. Another amazing watercolor! I loved hearing the explanation along with too. 'Because' is a perfectly good reason to spend time on art. Just look at the fantastic result :-)

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  29. Thank you for sharing
    This fabulous work with us
    See
    You
    soon

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  30. I think I've gone and done it again: I typed in a huge response to this and then closed the tab without waiting to see if it took!

    I love this page, and how you grab what time you have, and what parts they have, and you manage to put together a fabulous piece like this! The colors are awesome and you've captured some great gestures!

    As for the moleskine, NO WORRIES! Personally, I'm in a rut right now. I didn't draw for a couple of weeks and I'm having a hard time getting it back. So, take your time while I look for my mojo! (Love your ideas!)

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  31. great double page in your Moleskin

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  32. Great job, Dan! Maybe you should add a length of rope to your traveling art kit. That way you can tie these people down to their chairs before you start. It would sure alleviate some headaches for you in the long run... I love that O'Keeffe quote. It's a great mantra to create by.

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  33. Dan, Wow! Sometimes it's great to devote so much time on a single piece. This one looks wonderful. And, I like the abstract structure! Very cool!

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  34. your pages are better and better! As always I find that you have both side going well, the writing, good and funny, and the illustration.
    You are ready for a book!
    I love you alarm clock, a few posts ago!

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  35. I always love to see some new images over here, these are really great. I spent a few days last week looking at people sitting at tables, their legs in particular, under the tables - crossed at the knee, crossed at the ankle, slanted parallel as in skiing moguls, spread eagle-not a dignified look for ladies. We used to call that 'shootin' a beaver' when I was young. I was glad I didn't go to Oregon State. and then there is tucking one leg under your seat and barely crossing when one ankle only rests on top of the opposing knee. Sometimes you come across a pair of legs shooting straight out claiming maximum real estate or those tucked under with pointed toes claiming none. Legs really tell a story, sometimes gender, sometimes age. If the legs fit, draw them!

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  36. Oh yeah Dan, I fell off the chair a few times too when I was sketching in the library =)
    Anyway, I am out of the Breaux Bridge card at the moment, but I'm going back to the shop to get somemore so don't worry.
    Just email me your mailing address to aleksitanninen(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  37. I love your drawings, Dan!! Lots of personality and so pleasant. I feel like I'm "there." Which book on O'Keefe are you reading? She's one of my very favorites and I've read several books about her.

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  38. Thank you all so much. I am especially blown away by the compliment being paid me when I am asked for "tips" since I still am very much the student. Raena asked about my travel kit, so maybe I'll post with that and a few things about what I have learned so far. In the meantime, Buglady, right now I am using a Pigma Micron 005 (I try others too - it is amazing how changing the tool can shake things up, and that is good, and Winsor & Newton Artists' Water Colours.

    I am sorry it's so long now between posts and what really kills me is the lack of time I've had to visit as well - life is conspiring against me it seems - but this will change, I am sure. And Carrie - a more detailed description of legs I have never heard!

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  39. Hey Dan...come to Portland and you can sketch with me and Carrie! haha--we have miles and miles of "sitting people" here..more than other places I expect. I am looking forward to your post about your supplies. I love that kind of stuff.

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  40. Wow—great sketch. Your patience to work out all that detail is amazing. I am just such an impatient scribbler

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