Thursday, July 29, 2010

Classroom: Cylinders

Tuesday night's class dealt with cylinders and the shadow structure. For this topic, I chose a simple paper-towel roll. It's wasn't near as easy as I thought that it was going to be. The main issue is that I laid down too much paint, so that I couldn't get a nice white coloring.

In the examples, above, we did did three basic paintings of the same scene. Each was timed to be done in 20 minutes. It's amazing how fast 20 minutes goes when you are concentrating. The benefit of doing the same scene multiple times is that you get better each time because you have the basic knowledge of the previous attempt to help you.

(A) was my first attempt. In this case, it was a matter of getting the shape correct and the basic color scheme correct. The critique that Karen offered was two-fold: 1) The value of the bright part of the paper-towel is significantly darker than the background, 2) The value of the background was closer to the value of the table, and 3) The value of the dark area in the folded over-paper towel roll is close to the value of the background.

(B) was the second attempt. In this case, I got the values closer together (for the background and table). The drawing was also more accurate. The critique, in this case was: 1) The table should be greyer/closer to the value of the background as the table goes back into the distance, 2) The highlight of the paper towel should be brighter, and 3) The base of the paper towel should contain some basic color of the table and the top of the paper towel should contain some base color of the background.

(C) was the final attempt. The drawing got better and the reflection was better. You see more of the table/background color in the paper towel. The major critique was that the edge where the shadow meets the light should be more feathered and softer. They should blend into each other better.

So, more practice with cylinders, this week, for homework.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Drawing Study: Unknown Dinosaur

Here's another one of my nephew's toy that I decided to draw. Drawing these dinosaurs were a lot of fun. I'll have to get more toys for my own personal collection. Nice part about drawing these toys is that the study is just like doing any other still life. You are still working on rounded forms and foreshortening.

This one turned out pretty well. I decided to make it look like it's more in a landscape scene. This allowed me to practice a bit with doing more realistic landscapes from the top of my head.

Now, I just have to do some google search and find out what type of dinosaur it is. Most of his dinosaurs that are realistic tend to be from Safari Ltd.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Finished Painting: Entryway

"Entryway" is an original 14" x 18" oil painting created on a 1" stretched, high-quality canvas. The painting is presented as unframed (Sides are painted).

The concept of this painting is to show the interaction between two different worlds and how one is an entry way into the next one. In each case, the environment affects each other. Therefore, it is impossible to create an isolationist setting.

All Artwork is copyrighted to Doug Hoppes Studio and is not to be copied or reproduced in any form without the permission of the artist. Sale of this item does not transfer its copyright.

Purchase Painting

Monday, July 26, 2010

Drawing Study: Styracosaurus

This was another toy that I drew: Styracosaurus. The thing that I like most about this dinosaur is that it's my favorite one. I love the frill on the head with the multiple horns coming off of it.

In this case, the toy was situated on a window sill and I was playing with the outside light that was illuminating the toy

I learned more from my first dinosaur drawing and mainly followed the general shadows of the toy and not get too detailed. This allows for a more rounded appearance.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Still Life: Stegasaurus

Now that I'm back from vacation, time to post some of the work that I got done during the week off. I was looking around for something to draw and realized that my nephew had a bunch of nice looking, semi-realistic style dinosaurs that he was playing with. Being a fan of dinosaurs, I thought that they would make some interesting still life studies. Complex enough to draw, but not too hard to get the forms correct.

So, the first of this series of drawings, is the Stegasaurus. This little plastic model was a lot of fun to do. The hardest part of doing the toy was the feet. Since they are made of hard plastic, II had to readjust the drawing a it so that they settled flat on the ground. Another issue is that the modeler (who created the mold for the dinosaur) made some interpretations of the body. Didn't look quite as rounded as it should (too much added detail). So, I went back to the basics of creating some spheres and modeling portions of the body based on the shadowing of the spheres.

In this situation, I decided that I needed some sort of background terrain to place the dinosaur. Over time, these backgrounds will be more complex.

Overall, this was a fun drawing to do.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Classroom: Trees Bank

Last night was my first night attending the Plein Air classroom taught by Karen Winslow. The class is taught on Friday night's and the purpose is to take advantage of the longer days to paint sunsets/etc.

As with still lives, you are still massing the objects, but, the trick comes into reducing the complexity of the world around you. In addition, the lighting conditions change rapidly (as in this case).

When I first started laying out my basic masses, the trees were extremely bright and there was a bright white set of clouds above the mountain. After laying down the masses, the white clouds gave way to mid-tone greyish clouds and the bright light was gone. It never returned. Fortunately, I had already decided where the light was coming from, such that I could make the necessary adjustments to the painting without the actual highlights.

Two points that Karen emphasized: linking the shadows/lights together and using reds/pinks for the bank mud, rather than the dullish brown. In the first case, I wanted the trees to stand out as a mass of individual trees, but not be distinct objects. To do this, I toned the entire area with a mid-value green and then linked the dark sections together so that they flowed evenly. Once the dark sections were linked, I did the same with the light sections, and, finally, adding the highlights for the tree tops (since that was where the sun was hitting).

For the bank, at first, I was giving it various values of burnt umber and burnt sienna/yellow ochre. Karen explained how adding more reds/pinks/purples would make the area stand out as a sloping bank. I tried this and it worked beautifully.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Andew Loomis Books

While painting with my instructor a couple of night's ago, she mentioned that good books to read are the Andrew Loomis' instructional books. In particular, she mentioned the one about the Eyes of a Painter. Since the books are out-of-print and hard to come by, people have started providing a download link for the PDF. Here are mine. Pass this link on for those who are interested in becoming artists:

To save the pdf to your computer, right click on the link and choose the option to: Save Link As...

Click to download "Figure Drawing for all it's worth"

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Classroom: Plein Air Study

For last night's class, since there were only two of us and the instructor, it was decided that, rather than doing a still life, time to get some plein air painting done.

This location is near the studio in Cambridge, Vermont and was a fairly complex scene. So, as usual, the first task was to tone the canvas and lay down the masses.

Point to remember: Atmospheric effect. As you go further into the distance, the objects contain more of the atmosphere and become less distinct. The darks aren't as dark as they are in the foreground and the lights are as bright. Adding bright warm colors to the foreground will make the land flatten out and bring the closest areas to you.

This painting took a couple of hours to complete and turned out pretty well. The only issue that I had, when painting it, was the look of the water and the background mountain. For the mountain, it was too bright and I needed to add more of a greyish sky color to push it back. Fixing the water was a matter of using horizontal strokes and adding a light touch of the green landscape into it.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Homework: July 5, 2010

This week's homework assignment dealt with reflective color. For the assignment, we had to take a white object and place it on a red table. The point is to paint the reflection of the red into the surrounding area.

This was my result. I'm actually pretty pleased with it. The boat and the kangaroo came out pretty well. The color palette looks good. I particularly like the reflection of the red into the boat and the inside of the boat. Definite dimensionality.

The part that I don't care for and were the hardest to do is the right leg (closest to you) and the rounded belly. The problem was that, in both cases, the light was so subtle that I couldn't figure out the shadows. In this situation, I remembered that I needed to create a more rounded object with a center highlight that fans out. It came out okay, but could use a little more work (once I figure out what to do).