Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tom Waits: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

With all the free, uncompensated time I have these days, I've actually been using it somewhat productively. I have wanted to try something new for awhile, so I decided to tackle the first assignment discussed here at the Summer Studio: the portrait. I even returned to my original subject, lovably weird-looking Tom Waits.

pictured: the sound of gargling with whiskey and broken glass every night.

The art of capturing likenesses is a frustrating one, to be sure, but it's also a big part of drawing for a living. John once told us a story about how, with approximatey eight likenesses to do for a job, he churned out the final sketches for all but one in a day: Gwenyth Paltrow, however, took forever. Looking at Gwenyth, she has no unique or offensive features, is thin and blonde, and has no props with which she is frequently associated. She is, in short, a nightmare to draw. Tom Waits does not present this problem. Not at any level.

I went through a few sketches that missed the mark before I got close. My inclination to make his craggy face more angular was steering me wrong.

...and the "finished" product. I wanted leave tons of white on his face, and keep everything else in the drawing very simple and stark. The value of the purplish tone is a little too dark, but scooting around too much photoshop negatively affected the rest of it. All in all, I'm pretty happy with it. Thoughts?

In approximately two weeks, you'll all start scattering far and wide, so let's rev this thing up again. Come late August, when surely you'll all be desperate to return to studio for another year, this is closest you'll have. I may be a year late, but I'm still working through these assignments. What about you all?

Thursday, April 16, 2009


In lieu of my actual presence at your seminar presentations—a disappointing absence to both sides, to be sure—I figured I would take a page from Meredith's book and try to keep the Summer Studio alive. In the spirit of spurring some conversation, I'm posting two versions of the same piece. The piece above is the "do-over," produced today, April 16th, while listening to the Yankees collapse. The piece below is the original, produced sometime last February, and was one of the first pieces I executed in gouache.

I was never truly happy with it, so faced with some free time today I decided to use it as an opportunity to add some grayscale work to my portfolio. Having completed it, I see positives and negatives in each. The prompt was a short article from PC magazine about how Internet communities have begun to functon in some capacities like a "Neighborhood Watch," monitioring and reporting viruses, malware, and other unsavory characters. I got very stuck on the concept of a magnifying glass both locating and destroying internet "bugs," but I think that even though the new piece is more capably executed, the color original communicated the concept more clearly. Thoughts?

Hope all of your presentations are going well! How about posting some of the work from this semester up here?