Monday, March 26, 2012

Devil's Den at Sunset, Step 2

I taught a workshop over the weekend on using Derwent Inktense water soluble pencils as an underpainting for colored pencil drawings. Since I had this piece with me to use as an example of a couple of concepts, I spent a little time during the lunchbreak punching up the watercolor layers and then last night had some time to add some dry colored pencil detail. It's starting to head the direction I want; it does seem to look a little too dark, overall, in this reproduction.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Artistic Struggles

Devil's Den at Sunset, step 1

As I'm sure so many of my artist-friends can relate to, lately I've really been struggling with making progress on any of my various projects. I have a number of commissions on which I'm making progress, but I've found that it's also very important to me to have my own personal project "in the works", something I'm very emotionally connected to, to keep my spirit alive. That is not to say I don't have any emotional connection or sincere interest in my commission work, it's just to say that the feeling is not quite the same as when I'm doing something of my own choosing. I'm emotionally connected to the Basil Biggs project but am finding some of my references to be lacking; I'm emotionally connected to my third -- and probably final -- piece involving Sarah Emma Edmonds but I'm finding it difficult to determine a direction for that piece. Recently, however, I've hit on some ideas and now have a vague notion regarding the composition of that piece, so I'm hopeful that I'll be posting a rough layout of it soon.

In the meantime, in addition to teaching a number of classes and workshops in OH, I've also been studying the pastel landscape work of Richard McKinley, and am trying to work with his "underpainting" concept for some small landscapes I'm doing of the Gettysburg battlefield. The image above represents my watercolor pencil underpainting with a minimum of colored pencil applied on top. But again, I appear to be "stuck" when it comes to moving forward with this composition.

I know this is just a natural part of the artistic process, but I have to say it's very uncomfortable and i'll be pleased when things start to smooth out a bit.