Falling off the horse

It’s so easy to get distracted. We had a vacation We left town for Mother’s Day. We left town for Memorial Day. Our office moved from one floor to another. My job quickly cycled through two bosses leaving me as newly minted, untrained manager. I missed two Thursday night drawing sessions in a row. I’ve drawn and painted so much less in the last month. My work table is set up and ready to go with nothing started. I have lost momentum.

My family arrives in town tomorrow for a visit. But today, I am free. The studio which hosts my Thursday night drawing session has a model session this afternoon. I will go. I am finally getting back to the blog with an anemic update.

Once you’ve fallen off the horse, the horse keeps moving. It gets farther and farther up the road and harder to catch.

Painted with ProCreate for iPad Pro For this image I built most of the image using the fat, square "paint roller" brush. This force me to think in large sculptural shapes, instead of fiddling with tiny paint strokes. 

Painted with ProCreate for iPad Pro

For this image I built most of the image using the fat, square "paint roller" brush. This force me to think in large sculptural shapes, instead of fiddling with tiny paint strokes. 

In my last two figure drawing sessions I had decent success. I am starting to see color and form a bit better. I have started strategizing my color early. As the sun goes down, the light in the studio shifts dramatically. The blue-white light from the north-facing windows disappears and the yellow-orange incandescent spotlights take over. The two color schemes do not merge gracefully in my mind. So I try to begin early by selecting a palette of colors - then I try to ignore color and focus on value as I paint. I am trying to be a little more daring in my color choices - choosing a bright blue for highlights. Human skin is quite reflective and will pick up the color of any strong light shined on it. It’s counter-intuitive to think of blue skin - but it happens.

I follow a concept-artist on Instagram, Steve Jung. He works in the film industry. Recently he posted this excellent short tutorial: https://www.instagram.com/p/BVO-PpVFYXP.

Painted with ProCreate for iPad Pro Here I created a limited palette for the skin tone with one bold choice, a bright blue for the highlight on his left. There are some drawing problems around the eyes, and overall it's a poor likeness - but I'm happy with the color lighting effects on the hair and skin.

Painted with ProCreate for iPad Pro

Here I created a limited palette for the skin tone with one bold choice, a bright blue for the highlight on his left. There are some drawing problems around the eyes, and overall it's a poor likeness - but I'm happy with the color lighting effects on the hair and skin.

He expertly demonstrates the sculptural nature of painting. From my better teachers in art school I was criticized for not actually painting - but filling in a drawing. I finally understood that recently and I’ve been trying to do a better job of thinking more sculpturally and less graphically. I think it’s starting to click.

Michael Barrett

Tacoma, WA 98402