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Thread: A few pieces ...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    UK
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    31

    A few pieces ...

    ... for publication completed recently. All 'mixed media' - whatever suits.

    Thanks for looking.

    LLClick image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    12
    Excellent study work, love the subtle colours and detail, thanks for showing, well done.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    302
    Nicely done. I like the grebe and the sparrow.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    22,517
    Good stuff. I like the way you used the tools to get the look of, say, the water. Love the use of details in your pics. You keyed in on the essential stuff. Sort of a happy balance between pattern and natural.

    Last edited by D Akey; 12-17-2015 at 03:49 AM.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Matthews , NC
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    2,372

    Really nice

    I often look at photographs of birds and ducks and these really capture the feeling and are so artistic.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    UK
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    Many thanks for looking, and for the kind words. I wish sometimes that I could 'loosen up' a little; my style is very tight and precise and I find it difficult to let go a little and produce more lively, pieces with a sketchier feel - any tips from fellow artists?

    LL

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    22,517
    Loosening up -- there are myriad exercises for loosening up. I'm not sure, not having seen how you work, what would be the thing to overcome that keeps you tight. Do you trace? Photo manipulation? I don't know what you're doing. Both of those would incline one toward being chained to the photo.

    So:
    1) You could sketch a lot, and set yourself very short time limits and do tons of them. In studio drawing classes it would be called doing warm-ups. It forces you to get right to it, to develop a sort of shorthand.

    2) There are structure "lay-ins" that professionals use which is essentially like laying a foundation for a building, around which all the rest happens. It can go toward perfect proportions, or it can be a looser affair, depending on what you're going for. You could be really precise or swash something in like Zorro.

    3) There's the continuous line technique where you never lift the pencil tip from the paper and just keep moving.

    4) Your calligraphic mark making can take on a different quality.

    5) You can start out with a big brush or something and splash in something exciting very broadly and then go in and tighten up here and there until you get what you like, all the while letting some of the loose stuff remain.

    6) You can draw with your non-dominant hand

    7) You can use tools that are less precise by nature. I've seen some remarkable drawings done with twigs dipped in India Ink -- as an example of going away from precision tools.

    etc etc. Just some stuff I've encountered along the way in various art classes.

    I would also recommend looking at what other people do. And if you resonate with certain parts of it, steal the method or sense of what they were doing. It will ultimately become your own.

    Having said all that, you may wind up back where you are now. But it never hurts to explore and get more things in your bag of tricks. I once had a teacher who commented on painting tightly. He said that you could do that, but do you want to spend your career rendering as opposed to expressing. But he was coming out of the 1950s sensibilities where there was a a lot of experimentation going on. And truth to tell, while his work didn't interest me, there is merit to the consciousness and question he put forward.

    Conversely, there's a whole lot of value to be able to get things to look photographic when they don't exist in reality -- to expand on what you see, and modify convincingly and complete pictures where the photo source is unclear. So those skills you have at this point are really good ones and don't minimize their utility. The problem is if you are a slave to the photo.

    It's really a matter of what you want to do and what urges to grow strike you. It's a big world. I personally love loose paintings, probably because they're really hard to do -- unless it's something you're inclined toward or you're a really adept student of a loose style. Some artists are just really good at looseness. The rest of us have to evolve into it for it to work consistently.

    I think experimentation is great. But it requires consistency to get really good at a different look or style even if you happen onto it organically.

    Have fun with it though.
    Last edited by D Akey; 12-18-2015 at 07:51 AM.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    UK
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    Thanks for taking the time to put together such a lengthy, comprehensive and considered reply; there are many useful tips here that will be of help to me and no doubt to others. In answer to your opening questions, all my work is from scratch - no tracing or photo-manipulation involved.

    I have been an amateur ornithologist for many years and know my subjects intimately, to the point where photo-references are required for only the very finest details. My background is largely in technical/scientific/natural history illustration and I think that striving for accuracy in this field has very much shaped my overall technique - after 35+ years I may well be beyond 'loosening up' now!?

    Like many artists I find that, when field sketching, lines flow easily but I sometimes become too fixated and want to produce 'finished' sketches rather than leaving them fresh and alive and moving onto something new to capture another elusive moment. Bringing the sketches home and working them up into a finished artwork, the tunnel vision tends to return and I lose some or all of the spontaneity. I am always looking at what other artists are doing - here on the forum and elsewhere - and trying to work out how particular effects are achieved and this is a very useful exercise. One of the major benefits of the internet is the wealth of enthusiasm and experience that many artists are good enough and have the confidence to share with others in the form of video tutorials - another great source of inspiration.

    I really must try to set myself some of the 'tasks' that you suggest and hopefully I'll have the confidence to report back with the outcomes in the future.

    Thanks again.

    LL

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Rome (Italy)
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    24,113
    Really excellent natural illustrations! Certainly You fly high! Congrats.
    Panta rei (everything flows)!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    4,462

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