Upstream, downstream. Slowly but surely getting back into painting.
Upstream, downstream. Slowly but surely getting back into painting.
(Still deciding whether I like gouache paint or not)
Sometimes I find myself lost in paintings: the best pieces, I think, are transportive. You’re no longer in the pristine museum with white walled divides or the living room with its gaudy frames. You’re on some field instead, climbing over oil globs and brush marks and resting in blended shade. You’re on the rainbow trail dotted with pink painted flora. You’re somewhere else instead, dancing in visual reverie.
Spent last Nov/December holed up into digital art, the one thing I derived a sense of stability from. With protests going on outside my room–constantly, it seemed–and wishy-washy people fluttering around and tests looming ahead, art was an escape.
So I drew. A lot. Mostly on the computer using Wacom tablets–the library had them. They had the Cintiq, a massive screen you can draw on, and smaller Wacom bamboo tablets. I’d spend hours a day drawing on Photoshop, learning from artists on Youtube, hunting out inspiration on DeviantArt.
Blink. These are screenshots from an animation I worked on in February. I didn’t realize, until attempting animation, how much of it I took for granted–how tedious the process really was, how every 1/20 or 1/80 of a second had to be drawn by-hand. And only then could you piece together the slightest movement. (Though there are animation programs now, which speeds up the process)
Ruby. I used this piece to practice digital shading. Creating depth/values on Photoshop is a quicker process than it is with oils and acrylics. With paint, you have to mix and dilute until you have the right shade and consistency; on Photoshop, it offers the entire color spectrum with all its variations. I was initially was frustrated with this piece until I threw in highlights–on the nose, lips and cheek–which added a lot more depth to the piece, and subsequent realism.
When it comes to shading, I’ll usually start out with a base color, add in shadows, then tentative highlights. I’ll go on to darken the shadows, do a bit of blending, and then add a final layer of the brightest (sometimes completely white) highlights. These are the little white dabs on her upper lip and nose bridge.
This was my first digital sketch, done hurriedly over a one hour lunch break.
A few days later, I decided to expand on the eye, to practice faces and portraits (my favorite! as you can probably tell), so I sketched her, who I never named–my first digital portrait.
holding on & letting go
Lately I’ve been getting some inquiries about drawing requests. I decided to make a clearer style and pricing chart to highlight how people can commission a painting!
In regards to style, I’ve decided to delineate between “chunky” and “smooth” paintings. Whereas “chunky” paintings have visible shading, “smooth” paintings are light, airy and “buttery.”
The process itself is fairly easy. Send a request and photo; pay via Venmo or PayPal; I’ll have the image to clients in 3-5 days.
In the past, I’ve been commissioned to paint wives, sons, mothers, siblings, musical artists and models. If you’re interested in a digital painting, please feel free to message me here.
…and smize. Digital painting of my model friend whom I met at summer camp.
December 10th, 2013 // 12:50:00 pm
On the car ride home I detected, from the smoky poof of our deep conversation, wispy strands of respect in your eyes.
I really like people who have kind eyes. People with kind eyes are compassionate, and compassionate people have kind eyes. And kind people are beautiful and nice to talk to, and you can see it in their eyes. -trails off into a tune due to wordy redundancy-
But people can have normal eyes. People can have snarky eyes. People can have flat eyes that hover between life and lifelessness. And people can have sly eyes or suspicious eyes or cold, hard and dull eyes.
As my art teacher once cried: “Eyes are the window to the soul. Serendipity!”
I thought it was spelled “Sarahn Dipity” and wheeled around. “Who’s that?”
Sometimes I’ll miss people for their eyes. Whenever I have little moments of peering into people’s eyes, I’ll take a small creepy note of the types of eyes they have: far set, close-set, deep-creased, light-creased, blue or black or green or tan. Search for clues of their soul window decor. Like curtains of kindness or meanness or tiredness, or sadness.
Those with kind eyes are the ones who emanate the wisps of respect. Those with unkind eyes are the ones who pretend nothing ever happened.
Perused through my old Tumblr and found this old post from 2013. I remembered the exact moment I marinated in these thoughts. Again with the winding roads and a heart full of resentment.
But less than three years later, puedo decir con confianza: all hail the force of forgiveness. They will sweep through your heart’s city and burn down houses of bitterness. For the better, ‘course, and I’m glad they did.
I heard them calling in the distance
So I packed my things and ran
Far away from all the trouble
I had caused with my two hands
Alone we travelled armed with nothing but a shadow
We fled far away
Hold your horses now
Sleep until the sun goes down
Through the woods we ran
Deep into the mountain sound
– Mountain Sound, Of Monsters and Men
My art exhibit is up! And it’s the first public display I’ve ever done.
I remember my first “collection” display. It was a school one. We spent saturday and sunday mornings framing our pieces. At the show, on some school night, students and parents filed in, casual dress. I remember how I had staggered my pieces and how I ended up dissatisfied but how it was too late to change it. My works were okay, but the display didn’t look as good as I had hoped. I think a few people commented, but mostly people oohed and aahed at students on the other side of the room.
I didn’t really like the old ‘contemporary’ stuff I used to do. There were lots of bloody noses and whited out eyes, strange doodles and abstractions. I’d float around in photographic pieces. I embraced mental illnesses in my personal project. I loved psychology so much that I was blind to the stigma that surrounds mental illness. I’d look up various ailments, then attempt to embody them. That was in my larger work, the paintings and photographs.
I think the experimental part of my sketchbooks, angry and loud and messy, was still better than my more recent doodles. My art has gone downhill in the past few years. It’s mostly because I haven’t practiced art as much. Even so, I think I’ve been able to find steady footing in a more traditional, fine art style. I didn’t do landscape paintings much when I was younger; now I do. My portraits weren’t very hyperrealistic then; now, more are.
These works are more mainstream, probably frowned upon by contemporary art purveyors. But I’ll say it now and I’ll say it loud: contemporary art sucks. Yes, artist, you can paint large purple squares. We all can. This child can. This child is! But your artist’s name alone commands millions, so let’s just waste space, literal gallery space, on big yellow triangles. If you can’t tell, I am disgruntled at our current culture’s embracing of bad art. I don’t know how there is such a large disconnect between common-sensical taste and the scribble-loving highbrow gatekeepers of art culture.
I just saw the netflix film velvet buzzsaw. It got bad reviews from critics, probably because it was a huge satire on the critic industry. The laughed-at tropes were spot on. Spoiler alert! I mean, from the tormented emotional mentally unstable artist to the critic’s overly-big-words to the trash-as-art scene, it was too apt. A comedy and horror all rolled into one. Less fear and more suppressed giggles.
But ah, yes, back to the art. The real art, the real exhibit. This morning. A handful of people chatted with me about the art, their own lives and experiences. Do you teach? No. Are you selling? Er, yes. Is this your job? No. And then a woman and I sat down and talked about art and writing, and she showed me her photos.
I kind of miss having conversations with strangers in regards to random art-related things. I miss it a lot, actually. I’ve struck up so many conversations with strangers while holding a sketchbook or camera alone. It’s interesting how those tools of expression will spark up a comment, a friendly smile, a fullblown conversation. I’ve made friends by simply bringing sketchbooks to coffeeshops. There’s so much to learn from other people. I mean, it’s odd, but maybe not, that we don’t normally go around talking to random strangers. I enjoy it–maybe I will start to draw more in real life. Maybe I will meet people, and maybe I will not.
In the past 10 hours, somebody has left a voicemail. Another has left a comment on my wordpress saying the blog ads looked unprofessional. Well, sir, I’m a mere hobbyist who made the site two weeks before the display. My site isn’t really to sell–it’s just an online display. Ah, ads aside–it just makes me happy that my art is no longer sputtering dust in the closet (!!!)
Your freckles were constellations in the sky. Time-lapse digital painting of Emily B.
two twenty. AM. 2:21. AM. Two 21. AM.
why am I so restless?
coffee. wheat thins. crumbs. caffeine. caf
–feine. feign. feigning
kindness. questions I have for
are you neurological? genetic? psychological?
physical? are you the thoughts churning through my head rapid-pace
without regard for gravity, space, time?
the 100 grams of caffeine laced in my vanilla-creme 2-sugar-packed
coffee branching through my veins?
are you concern?
are you anticipation?
are you planning? are you planning something? are you so busy planning something
the irony of sleeplessness lies in the
heaviness of my lids, of my eyes–I just
thought they’d have been lighter, with everything lit up under my eyes
lit up under my eyes lit up under my
eyes crumbs all over my keyboard
cover lit up under my eyes