February 1, 2009 0

Faces, and Loose Ends

By in sketches, watercolour


A few faces I did last night. The ones up above start with a base of some colour or another. Then I go at it with that colour as a theme. The guy below was painted with a dry brush that was pretty saturated with paint, if that makes sense.


Most of these are done with cheap Chinese brushes. Then I have some extra big ones, and also extra small ones which are more expensive, for those nice points.

Actualy, I’m so into the watercolour, I don’t know if the technical chatter helps anyone who doesn’t work with these things, and probably already knows. Technique is often a private thing, developed by an artist after years of fooling around.

Still, if another artist I admire is talking about it, I’m usually grateful to read it. How does Jim Woodring get those perfect washes? Lots of paint, just the right amount of water, and plenty of practice, talent, and skill.

I’m at a level where I can usually make a nice wash (but often there are horrible mistakes – when you’re trying to do that, any hair or dust speck or backwash is a disaster). Still, when I succeed, it’s usually too boring and perfect-looking, and I mess it up on purpose. Sounds like an excuse for sloppy work, but it’s not. Really.

Now here’s another of the drawings that Gagnon did with Marr [sorry, this one is actually by Sirkowski, inking over a drawing of Marr’s – J], the other week, actually, which I snapped with the camera, and then forgot to post. That seems to happen regularly with the volume of sketches those guys produce together, so the Saturday posts pick up a sort of echo a day or two after.

I was in a bad mood, Friday, and cheesed off at Gagnon and Marr beavering away, shushing me when they were busy, and then praising work of their own I thought had problems. And, it seemed to me, ignoring me and shutting me out. Of course, they’ll tell me that’s only my perception, and that I was being prickly, critical, and not good company. I’m not that good in larger groups, but I’ve actually found rather than fussing about it, if I don’t worry about it and be cool, the problems go away.

Art, though, can be full of “creative differences,” which is why partnerships have rocky patches. Working through those is another aspect of collaboration. Hope those guys don’t mind me writing about it here, because they’re sterling and talented fellows. We’ve all got our oddnesses, and prickly bits, which out of an excess of politeness we don’t talk about until it’s too late. Those are interesting to work through, as well, if you’re going to do worthwhile art.

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