Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Pastel on Velour

I painted this last night, after a lot of struggling, and it came out okay. You see, I bought some velour paper a few months ago, and tried it, and thought, "How the heck do some artists thrive with this stuff? It's really diffifult!" But, last night, after understanding more about colors, I tried it again, and it's wonderful! It took a while to figure-out, but I finally was able to discern some secrets of its use. I would love to be able to do formal portraits "live." You don't see that much anymore, only quick caricatures and silhouettes and the like, it seems. Anyway, I'm still learning, obviously. The photographic reference was of Sharon Stone, but I moved away from the likeness as I experimented with the materials. Oh, well. Velour paper, is strange. If you make a mark, it STAYS there. So erasing or smearing, really, but its unique ability to blend colors is remarkable. You must, however, use the pastel in particular ways, which takes trial and error. Lots of errors! LOL.

Friday, January 05, 2007


Hmm, I've never given any attention to Silhouettes. I thought it was some kind of "craft" of cutting-out photographs onto black paper or something. Boy, was I wrong. What it is, is a portrait cut "freehand" with just a piece of paper and a pair of scissors. Really interesting history, too. It seems that, before the invention of the camera, artists in Europe and America did a big business doing these "poor man's portraits." As is the case today (in a way) most folks could not get a real portrait because the cost was prohibitive, so they paid for these quick "shadow portraits." We know the faces of our ancesotors (in the 17th to 19th centuries) to large degree due to this art. Of course, the camera changed all that. The commoners paid for THAT, and silhouettes were largely abandoned as a way of familial record. But the art is still alive. And it's real portraiture, with works in galleries and museums, and artists hired by the celebrated and by the wealthy, and by presidents, and by simple folk like me.
So, inspired, I grabbed my nose hair scissors and a piece of typing paper and tried to cut a profile from memory, of some kid. Came out okay, although a little too small. I was amazed this could actually be done. Very cool.

New stuff, kinda

Ok, so maybe I won't do digital caricatures. (I'm continuously getting excited over different activities. It's comical. Just ask Wayne {my housemate}. LOL.) Anyway, here's a couple of kids I drew about a month ago. I've been shy about photographing anything lately, but I found this on my camera, so I thought I'd post before I delete.