Friday, January 15, 2010

Finished Opossum

Well he is finished. I am pretty happy with him overall. It was a good piece to get back into the swing of things. So many lights and darks to work with. I think I will branch out into some softer pencils to hopefully make the darks easier to achieve. I am happy with the opossum himself and feel he springs off the page well. The background (which is something new to me) could have been a little more smooth. I think I would have done more muted shapes and took a little more time building values. I will have to do a little research in that area. Working with a stump can tend to have a mottled appearance. Less could have been more. Maybe just a little more of a blurry effect? I'm not sure. Now that I have said all that! I can say that I will mat and frame it for me. I do love it! I just need to keep it real and understand where improvements can be made. Backgrounds are foreign to me, and I know there is a lot to learn. The main point is I am willing to learn it!

My next piece was actually in the works before this one. It is a portrait of my son. I didn't do a picture documentation of it for fear I would jinx myself! I have only done 2 portraits in my life and never on Bristol. But after seeing Lee Hammond's Dvd on portraits from pictures, I thought I'd take a stab at it. My other 2 drawings were on a colored surface many years ago! I do feel that I am doing well on a first attempt. It is in the "touch up" stage right now. If it is nice out today, I will try to get some pics of the finished piece.

I took some photos of my son's pet hamster last week and believe that he will be the star of the next progressive work. I have been getting the reference pics off my camera and picking the best angle. I thought I'd make a better plastic graph to cover my pic and decided to cheat by letting my copier do the printing. It was a moment I'll never forget. I completely blanked out that I have a thermal copying machine. Yes, you heard it here first! I said, "THERMAL." Heat and plastic --- plastic and heat. Either way you say it, it is not a good situation! I must say, the smell will be hard to forget. But you will be happy in knowing, that once the situation physically "cooled down" (machine and myself included!) I did learn: how to dismantle a Brother 7020 (with the great help of my husband), find the best method to cut melted plastic from newly fused rollers (wire cutters did the work), and systematically reassemble the whole machine. I suppose I now could impress you by telling you the exact degrees my machine sets ink at, since there are warning labels all over the inside of the machine, but I don't want to overwhelm anyone with my newly found intelligence!! Believe it or not the machine actually WORKS. I feel sorry for it , since I bought it refurbished a year ago. I hope it didn't have this happen before! Heaven help me, but the drawing better go easier than that 2 hour excursion.


Laure Ferlita said...

Bravo! Great finish, Brenda!

Looking forward to the next one. As to the copier - I think most of us have those "horror" stories we could share. Sometimes, experience is a most wicked teacher BUT we NEVER forget!!

WIshing you better days!

Teresa Mallen said...

Well no wonder you love it - he is a mighty fine looking opossum! I especially his eyes, his nose, his feet and I really like his fur. :-)

I think many artists struggle with background decisions. My natural bent is for my backgrounds to be simple. I used to second guess myself as there is a lot of 'busy' art out there. I was encouraged some years ago when I read an article about backgrounds. The writer was making a case for less busy art. He explained how in Western art there is a strong desire on the part of artists to want to fill the whole canvas, from one corner to another. He gave examples from other cultures (example Eastern art) where the subject had room to breathe. He said this more subtle Zen approach was often visible in great works of art by the masters (he gave examples). The writer went on to comment on how Westerners feel uncomfortable with the tension that empty space can bring about(similar to not being able to sit in silence with someone without feeling uncomfortable, again this was said to be a cultural thing) I loved it that someone put into words what I had felt about busy art. I suddenly felt vindicated! :-) I am so Zen you know! LOL

Anyway, I think your background works here and I think it will look wonderful matted and framed!!!