Sunday, June 26, 2011

Left-brain/Right-brain (Or Much Ado About Nothing)

Ink and watercolor in moleskine
Warning:  Mind at work.  Use due care as you step into my mind as the left-brain and right-brain are hard at work in developing the above page.

Left-brain:   It's a crowded room, and there are lot's of people.  It's a good chance to sketch.
Right-brain:  Must draw!  Must draw!  Pen.  Pen. Where pen?!  Thank God.  Pen here.  Draw!
Left-brain:   Now who should I draw?  Maybe that elderly woman.  She doesn't seem to moving around too much, and she can't see me from this angle.
Right-brain:    Face. What a face!  Angst!  Such angst!  Circles. Circles.  Round and round.  Pen.  Pen!
Left-brain:  Let's see, the nose is at about a 10:00 angle, and it is about so long..
Right-brain:  Sliding Pen, curves..curves!  The face.  Here. I feel - the line here! Ooooh!

Then, after a similar left/right collaboration when drawing a man onto the page:

Left brain:  I want a whole statement.  Not just two unrelated faces on a page.  I think I'll draw a line to connect them - kind of like what Barbara Weeks does in her sketchbook here.  Now to color the faces:  I think I am beginning to get a glimmer of what Andrew Wyeth does with his skin tones.  It is not just drybrush, but an initial wash plus drybrush, or perhaps multiple washes alternated with drybrush.  I've got to try that.  It's like when I completed the figures in this page, I applied drybrush in various places over wash, and I like the effect:

Ink and watercolor in moleskine
Left brain:  I need to experiment with this drybrush over wash, to see if I can mold contours of a face.  Let's see - here's a drawing in my moleskine I don't like so much.
Right Brain:  Brush.  Here!  More here!  Ooh!!  Over here!
Left brain:  How each layer shows through!  I think I forgot as I did this where the light source was, but a successful experiment nonetheless!  Now let's try it on this other page!

Back to the page with the man and the woman, and the right and left brain collaborate on applying colors to the faces.  But something doesn't seem right about the background:

Right brain [viewing the painted faces on the white page background connected by a line]:  Boring.  Emotionless. Need Color.  Color!!   [Proceeds to put color all over the page recklessly, and with abandon.]

Left brain:  Hmmmm.  Don't like the way this one came out really.  I think I'll have to post this with the white page in the back.  I'm glad I scanned it.
[But left brain then shows the page to his Most Valuable Critic, an invaluable female whole brain, whose mouth says:  Nah, I don't like the colors - too pastelly.  I think grey would be better.]
Left brain:  Why not?  It'd be a neat experiment!  I can see if I can use different complimentary colors over all of the different colors for many different grey tones, and if that proves too unwieldy I can just spread Paynes Grey over everything - it's semi-transparent, colors should show through to some degree for interest.

Right brain [after Payne's grey is spread over everything]:  Whoa.  Somber.
Left brain:  It's amazing what a background will do.  White didn't do this.  Color didn't do this.  The grey has connected them.  They are family.  He has done something terrible.  He looks for foregiveness but she cannot forgive.  What he has done is irredeemable.
Right brain:  Yeah.. [Sigh].  What he said.

Where I stand today:

Left brain: Now to use a much larger pencil drawing of a woman's face to try this technique - wash first, then drybrush, then glazes perhaps, then more drybrush.  A larger drawing allows room for detail.  The absence of pen makes me rely entirely on painting.

[At first it looks horrible, but gradually, layer by layer it builds thanks to the intuition of the Right brain.  This method is slow!  But could it be working?]

The left brain is useful and the right brain is necessary, but the fingers are indispensable.  Because right now, the fingers are crossed.  We shall see..

"I am continuously seeking, trying out new ways.  It utterly absorbs me.  I am continually producing drawings, although most of them don't ever develop into anything because I get another idea of something that is better than that initial, sharp, idea." - Andrew Wyeth.

Both brains agree.  Or maybe you could say that both brains are of the same mind.  Hmmm.  Makes you think, doesn't it?

Friday, June 10, 2011

I am not Clark

Ink and watercolor in moleskine
I am Dan KENT - The Dan Kent. Do not confuse me with Clark.  Sometimes I step into my closet and I re-emerge - as, you guessed it .. Dan Kent! I live in South Florida, and the humidity gives my hair the ability to fly! Or to puff, er, up. I have T-Ray vision, thanks to my trusty trifocals. I, little people, am a superhuman being. Or a super, human being. Or at least I like to think so.

So imagine my joy when, eager for folks to draw, I discovered a crowd of fellow super heroes and nerds weaving in and out of the Florida Super Comics store in Davie.

Discretely I parked my Kentmobile.  Wielding my trusty Moleskine, with my faithful sidekick Pigma Micron-cron-cron-cron (that is an echo in case you haven't figured it out) at hand, I captured those characters on paper and instantly transformed them into the comics they craved! Wham! Bop! Zowie! I colored them later - take that! And that!

Excuse me.  No.  Pigma Micron-cron-cron was home that day, I think, and it was my SKB SB-1000! Zap!! Kerplooie!

Okay, so my memory's not so good.

But I have never felt so powerful.

Ink and watercolor in moleskine can turn a boring speech into an event!

You, mere mortal, imagine if you can the power to turn boring speeches into events, and still hear not a single word being said! Kapowie!

It is, my friend, the POWER OF THE PEN. With the pen, I can explore and never leave the room, I can learn and never crack a book, and I can create and never be bored again! And if I do it right, and if I do it enough, it will be like when Gandolf the Grey became Gandolf the White! Yeah!!!  Well, no, not yeah, excuse me.  Shazaam!!!

And being as super as I can't help being, I have Super Friends as well -  Friends from All Over The World.  And one of the Superist of the Super Friends is Mari of Colour Blob Design in Ontario, Canada.  I won a prize at her blog, thanks to her trusted sidekick Charlie:  two beautifully hand-made travel tags that you can see here.

But what really blew my mind was the hand-painted envelope that it came in!  It was a blast of color and shape that only a super person could create, for sure.But that wasn't enough for Mari.  She gave me tea fashioned by the Inuit people (formerly known as "the Eskimos") - how cool is that?! - and a beautiful handwritten postcard with a picture by a member of the Group of Seven, a cadre' of artists that I hadn't even heard of, that you can read about here.  Thank you, Mari!  I was blown away!  Shazowie!!  (Note:  Lest you think that Supers needn't thank other Supers, manners are necessary even when the world is saved, thank you very much.)

Acrylic, by Mari Brown, on an 8-1/4" x 10-3/4" brown envelope

Now I must go.  I have images to catch and stray lines to save.  UP, UP, AND AWAY!!!

[What was that?!  Was it surreal?  Was it abstract?  Representational even?!

Who was that masked artist?
I dunno but I'm sure glad he's around!]