For the last few months I have been obsessed with figure drawing and shading. I’ve been doing a lot of short, 20-30 figure studies and mainly experimenting with shading techniques using graphite or colored pencil. What I’m really searching for are ways to go beyond technique, and add story, emotion and meaning to my drawings. We’ll talk more about that in future videos and lessons. In the meantime, check the demo video above to see a recording of one of my morning exercises.
This is a two part series. Part 1 shows the drawing process, also known as the lay-in. Part 2 shows the shading and rendering process. I’ve also written a detailed text version with two high-res handouts in this month’s Newsletter.
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**This is a short preview of the full article. To read the full article, visit the new site: www.drawwithchris.com**
This article is about color and how to use a limited palette to paint a portrait. The palette I used was primarily 2 colors: Phthalo Blue (cool) and Quinacridone Magenta (warm). Hansa Yellow is also used sparingly as an accent for the lights and highlights.
Painting Demonstration Part 1 (of 2)
To see Part 2 and to read the full article, click the link below:
These drawings were done while watching the Daily Life Drawing Session #17 from the New Masters Academy youtube page. The images were timed so it simulates a live life drawing session. The poses are 1 minute (x5), 2 minute (x5), 5 minute (x2) and a 10 minute.
The medium I used are carbothello black pencil, smooth newsprint and kneaded eraser.
Life drawings part 1, 1 minute, 2 minute and a 5 minute pose (lower right)
Life drawings part 2, a 5 minute pose (left) and a 10 minute pose
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These drawings were done while watching the Daily Life Drawing Session #20 from the New Masters Academy youtube page. The images were timed so it simulates a live life drawing session. The poses are 1 minute (x5), 2 minute (x5), 5 minute (x2) and a 10 minute.
The medium I used are ballpoint pen, Strathmore toned paper sketchbook and white carbothello pastel pencil.
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Fantasy in the Wildis the latest video tutorial by Illustrator and author James Gurney. This article is a brief review, starting with the content, then the format, and finally the pros and cons of this new instructional video.
Fantasy the Wild is video tutorial that is over 1 hour in length. The most surprising thing about the video is that there are 2 full demonstrations. The first is of a fantasy/surreal painting with a car and the second is a concept painting of an imagined robot.
Both demonstrations have a detailed, step by step breakdown of his process fully narrated by the artist.
In a lot of ways Fantasy in the Wild feels more like a TV drama or a documentary film then an ordinary painting lesson. That’s because James Gurney is more than an ordinary art teacher, he is a storyteller. The very first opening scene, James pulls you into his world as you follow our artist/hero on his journey.
One of gurneys strengths is his compelling presentation style and this video continues in that tradition.
My favorite part about the video is the concept of painting concept art on location. It’s very refreshing to see an illustration tutorial that is shot outdoors, on location AND using traditional media. This is nice break from the usual computer screen recordings that are commonly found online.
Other things I liked:
Excellent, high level information on the illustration process and painting techniques
Clean and concise editing, no ‘fluff’ or ‘filler’ content
The painting process and design process is clearly explained each step of the way
This video is so well made and the material is so well presented, I don’t really have any criticism. However, as a content producer myself, my only concern is that beginners may find the material difficult to follow along. So I would not recommend this tutorial to a anyone who is new or inexperienced in drawing and painting. But if you’re a fan of Gurney’s blog or have his previous tutorials then you probably already know that some drawing and painting experience is needed to get the most out of his lessons.
The other comment I have is not really a negative, but more of a personal reaction. As a pro concept artist, I felt like a lazy slacker after watching this video. Seeing the amount of planning and preparation that goes into Gurney’s illustrations is both intimidating and inspiring. Gurney leaves no detail to chance and puts hours of research, drawing, sketching, erasing, un-doing and re-doing into every square inch of his canvas. I have admired his work for a long time but now I know there is no surprise why he has achieved so much success in his work and career.
Despite my personal reaction, I think it is invaluable for students and up and coming artists to see how one of the world best illustrators works and to see the level of professionalism required to be successful.
Because of his wonderful presentation style and professional editing and production, this tutorial is fun to watch and makes learning fun. I would highly recommend Fantasy in the Wild to any serious art student who wants to improve their design and illustration skills. I would also recommend this video to professionals and seasoned veterans who want more story, narrative and greater levels of quality in their work.
Skin color is one of my favorite things to paint. It’s also one of the most requested topics I’ve encountered. The burning question I hear over and over again from students, friends and artists is: “How can I make a good skin color palette?”
Many artists and students struggle with skin color and rightfully so. Color is an incredibly complex animal that is difficult to control and must be handled with care. This is especially true when trying to paint skin color that feels “real”. Even though color is tough, painting skin can be a lot of fun if you have the right information and the right strategies.
These 5 tips are my thoughts and ideas on the topic of skin color. These tips and strategies I’ve learned through hard earned experience and years of intensive study on color, along with hundreds of hours of painting practice.
Instead of giving you formulas or pre-made skin color palettes, my goal is to teach you how to see color and then show you a process for making your own skin color palette for any situation.
There are 3 main parts to this article. In Part 1, I’ll examine the properties of skin color, or at least how I see skin color at this stage in my painting career. This section will examine what I see when I observe skin and how I simplify the complexity of skin color.
In Part 2, I’ll explore the 5 Tips for mixing and painting better skin color. These are the techniques and strategies that I personally use when I paint.
In Part 3, there are 2 detailed step-by-step painting demonstrations. The first is a study of light skinned male. The second demo is of a dark skinned african female.
A condensed video form of this article , including the first painting demonstration is below.
The second, 1 hour painting demonstration of an African female portrait is available for free on my Private School newsletter page. See image below for the finished painting demonstration.
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If you want a more detailed breakdown of the 5 Tips and both painting demos, scroll down to read the full article…
PART1 – Properties of Skin Color
Property #1 – Red, Yellow, Blue
There is no such thing as a “skin” color. Skin color is essentially a combination of all 3 primaries: red, yellow and blue. That’s right. Red plus yellow plus blue. Sounds obvious and oversimplified, but allow me to elaborate.
The NEW official launch date for the full version of The Laws of Color Vol. 1 will be Monday, Nov. 9th, 2015. My apologies for the delay, but I wanted to pack in even more content in the Photoshop edition. This is going to be a very special course and will be absolutely worth the wait.
Until the launch, take this sneak peak at the oil painting demo in the video below:
Below are some screen caps from the course in both editions, traditional oil painting and Photoshop.
If you haven’t already, make sure to sign up for the free newsletter and get your invite to the private pre-launch. Subscribers will be eligible to get the course on Friday, Nov. 6th, 3 days before the official launch.
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Studying tonal composition is one of the ways I work on my painting when I’m not at an easel. The practice of observing and recording the world as dark and light shapes trains my eye to not only compose pictures but to simplify the world. This ability to simplify helps me to communicate visually. Even though these studies are done in pen, and marker, the practice of seeing in dark and light abstract shapes improves my ability to paint in any medium.