Oct 29, 2010

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Amazing Clouds

Amazing Clouds

During yesterday’s walk (my little dog tagging along) I got to view some amazing clouds. It was as if I was looking at one very large layer of cotton (thought of cotton candy too ūüôā ) covering the sky.¬† My dog typically likes to stop here and there to do his business, and I have to wait for him, and today was the other way around.

It occurred to me that people might be thinking something odd was happening to me, standing right there looking up… turning my head to the left and then to the right and might even wonder what is he looking at? there is nothing to see! lol

I thought about videotaping the clouds, and wondered if that would make them look two dimensional. I think to a non artist, it may seem trivial, to observe nature and really pay attention.

As I was looking up I kept thinking how could I replicate what I see (and feel) in pencil, or watercolor, or even with the program e-on Vue.¬† Thoughts started to flow through my mind… I must really pay attention to the texture, and to the various layers of clouds… and how far are they from me…from the ground, and pay attention to the light.. how it passes through the clouds, can you still see the sky… yeah a little bit over there.

I was really having fun, and my dog didn’t seemed to mind… I guess he must have been lost in his thoughts too.

I didn’t go back for the video camera, but did manage to take some pictures before the magical time disappeared.

The picture below is the first one I took.

Taking a closer look at the picture below, doesn’t it look like there is an upside down spider formed in the picture below top-mid left? or just my imagination.

The one below shows an undulating layer of various layers of clouds.

This last picture was taken by looking straight up.

Many years ago I set to create an image for a magazine cover with a program called Vista Pro, similar to Vue but certainly not as advanced.¬† The image contained clouds, a few trees and a hill, and it was quite the challenge to come up with something that looked ‘real’.

Yesterday reminded me as well of that day, the attempts to try and duplicate what we have before us artistically by various different methods.

Enjoy!

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Oct 26, 2008

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SketchCrawl #20

Saturday October 25th was SketchCrawl #20, I decided to stay local a few days prior to the big event.

Since I was staying local I figured it would be a great time for my little dog to spend extra time outside, and perhaps sketch a few things that have caught my attention when I take him for a walk.

I used a micron pen for the first sketch, it is always a little ‘scary’ using a pen because you cannot erase if you make a mistake. I figure by using a pen I would force myself to just sketch and not pay attention to perfection.

After the sketch was completed, i figured I should also add color, I was also curious to see how this sketchbook would handle water. Below is the result.

 

Where shall we go next?

 

The second sketch I did was that of an oak tree, but I didnt finish because my little dog was just too impatient, hehe his idea of going out was not one of staying in only one place.

Below are links of some of the materials i used, my portable watercolor (student grade) is a different model.

I buy most of my materials at Blick.

micron pen

Sakura Pigma Micron Pen

Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolors

Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolors Gift Sets

Niji waterpen (love these)

Niji Waterbrush

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Jun 23, 2008

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SketchCrawl #19

Last Saturday, June 21st was SketchCrawl #19

This time the location was decided to be Fort Point, San Francisco CA. (right under the Golden Gate bridge).

It was great as always, really a time to remove oneself from the rush of every day life, and instead just enjoy the experience of being alive, an appreciation of everything around ourselves.

I got to the location around noon and was surprised to find¬†a parking spot close to the fort¬†(where I typically park) and off I¬†went..¬†venture into the¬†Fort itself. ¬†Once I got in I saw Enrico Casarosa¬†and a few seconds later Ronnie del Carmen. Finally got to meet Enrico in person ūüôā we have been communicating via email/chat for quite some time even though we both live and work close by.

Since It was the first time I had the opportunity to go inside the Fort, off I went to explore. I was surprised about the weather, just some 20mins before I was sweating in Novato, CA. and now I was enjoying the cool weather in this other location.

Made it to the top of the Fort and decided to get started. Below are the results:

Quick watercolor of the outer bay

San Francisco outer bay view

This time in addition to using the Niji watercolor brushes, I also brought with me a little water spray bottle, so I could get the watercolor to flow more freely. Quite a change between the way the water looks in this sketch as opposed to the previous one I did last SketchCrawl.

While still standing in the same location, just turning around towards the right the next subject was found.

This is actually a minuature cannon that was inside of a case display within the Fort, all of the cannons apparently had the ability to be rotated in various different ways, something that never occurred to me. I wonder how many people took to move one of those around from side to side.

Then I got hungry, time to visit the Warming Hut, I thought that maybe this location would also be somewhat cold but it was the opposite, it was actually a lot warmer (quite frankly it felt nice after freezing at the Fort). They were quite a lot of groups engaged in their individual picnic’s and even a wedding was about to start¬†or had already taken place.

I actually spent time going back and forth between the Warming Hut and the Fort, and while moving back and forth noticed a trail that went from the Warming Hut to the parking found next to the toll booths above. This sketch was done midway of that trail. There were a lot more trees visible but I didnt include them.

The top portion of the Golden Gate was actually all I could see from where I was standing (still midway on that trail). There were a lot of plants (possibly rose bushes) on the side of the hill and on the background was the bridge.

The second sketch on this page, was my last trip to the Fort rooftop, this time wearing a jacket. I wanted to do a quick sketch of San Francisco from that location.

As mentioned before this was a lot of fun, I actually lined up my vacation with SketchCrawl and it was very nice way to launch it ūüėČ

I expect to do more sketches here and there as I move thru the week. I also cannot wait (well I can actually) for Friday to come so we can go see Pixar’s new¬†animation film¬†WALL-E

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Mar 31, 2008

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Sketchcrawl #18

On March 29th, 2008 people in more than 50 locations participated in this World Wide Event Sketchcrawl.

It was raining on Friday, and like many I said to myself rain or shine I am participating. The meeting place was Ghirardelli Plaza in San Francisco, California. What a great location, great views, nearby beach, dock and antique ships and also great place for a chocoholic like me.

Below are the sketches of the day, along with a couple of watercolors. It was a challenge to get the colors I wanted, nonetheless It was a great experience – even if it was a little cold and windy at times.

Restaurant sketch and Flute player

Restaurant sketch and Flute player

Balclutha (1886)

Balclutha

The challenge for me was the mixing of the colors and the water not looking like I wanted it to look, I also realized the first cables I painted were too thick, so I switched to a micron pen to do the rest. Overall it is an improvement over my previous watercolors and I am happy with the result.

Balclutha WikiPedia

Hercules Tugboat (1907)

Hercules Tugboat

The challenge for this one was the angle. the dock (should I include it or not) and the reflection on the water.

I was afraid at first to attempt the sketch because of the angle, so what I did was to create a thumb-sketch to get an idea of how to handle the issue, after that I first sketched the larger tugboat on pencil and then used a micron pen 02 (waterproof) to go over the pencil lines, lastly to colorize the boat.

I had fun doing this watercolor, It was such a pleasant portion of the day (not windy and sort of warm) it seemed that all the views were so refreshing upon finishing this, It felt like I had reached some stage of stillness or something similar, the colors seemed so vivid, and I felt so good. In all a very rewarding day.

Hercules Tugboat Wikipedia

This time I got the chance to stay until the end of the day and participate in the exchange of the sketchbooks. Ronnie del Carmen got it right when he mentioned on Sketchcrawl’s forum that the sharing of work can be a little intimidating, it was but eventually it wasn’t so bad. The funny thing is that I heard people express the same fears I had, and heard many explain why X looked this way or why Y looked that way (as I also heard myself saying). A couple of times I encounter a situation where it appeared the person liked mine better than theirs (or maybe i just thought that lol) and I felt that their approach was better than mine.

I also heard people say that they were afraid of sharing at the end of the day and that may have been a reason why they left early. I overheard someone else mention that their friends were afraid of participating at all (because they felt their work may not be good enough).

The lessons as I see them for me and I presume are for others too, are to let go of the fear of not getting it right, because the more you do the task the better you will get at it.

I think the reason why it may take some of us longer to improve faster is simply because we are afraid of ‘playing’ with the medium and see what accidents might occur, and the fear of sharing both at the end of the day (in Sketchcrawl context) as well as when we are in the process of creating something and someone steals a peek.

I actually used to try to turn my sketchbook away when I thought someone was looking and when I was working on the tugboat a person stopped to look and much to my surprise I stopped and actually showed it to the person, who responded “muy bueno” – yeah, it felt good!

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Mar 9, 2008

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Atelier Interactive Acrylics

This past Saturday I went with my wife to a demonstration of Atelier Interactive Acrylics at a local art store. While she is currently using acrylics, I have never used acrylics, so I was intrigued about this new type of acrylic paint, and acrylics in general.

I had fun playing with this medium because it is like painting with watercolors but in a way it’s¬†better. With watercolor (and maybe it will change once I have more experience)¬† one has to be very careful about how to layer color otherwise it turns into mud. With regular acrylics you can paint on top of it if you make a mistake but apparently they dry too fast. The cool thing about this medium (Interactive Acrylics) is that you can mix it with water, work on your painting and later on when it dries apply another layer on top of it, or use water or some unlocking liquid and continue mixing the paint as if it had never dried.

Below are my two trials with this medium.

Atelier Demo Paintings

Left Image  Atelier Interactive Acrylics on canvas / Right Image РAtelier Interactive Acrylics on watercolor paper.

At the end of the class they had a drawing… I won the grand prize, this is great I can’t wait to try this medium again.

Below is a picture of the materials I won.

Atelier Interactive Acrylics Set

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