View Full Version : Alecto's Sketches, Doodles & More

01-10-2007, 02:16 PM
Raven (from pdphoto.org (http://pdphoto.org/PictureDetail.php?pg=7951)), charcoal and white pastel pencil over loose red and blue washy imprimatura.

I'm going to try to do one of these a week minimum.

01-10-2007, 02:54 PM
hes excellent... great detail!!!! tyree:wave:

01-11-2007, 11:42 AM
aaahhhhhhsome :thumbsup:

01-11-2007, 12:16 PM
Thanks! It's funny you should mention the detail Tyree; My New Year's Resolution is to draw with only enough detail to explain the form and to abandon all features that seem unnecessary. I have a life-long habit of trying to put in everything I see and I'm starting to realize how counter-productive that can be. This was my first attempt at my new minimalist approach. :)

01-13-2007, 11:42 AM
it looks so nice and detail to me particularily around the eye....lets see more...:clap: tyree

01-13-2007, 11:51 AM
Perfect choice for a background color! and methinks it's our heads filling in the details thou just hinted at :p - ah, sweet success!

01-13-2007, 03:09 PM
Very nice effect the red/blue imprimatura gave. You rendered it very nicely. Once a week minimum ok? If possible like to see more than one. Looking forward to next one. :D

01-15-2007, 01:12 PM
Oops, am I getting behind? Here's a sketchy grisaille done with colored pencil. I'm not worried about trying to make a smoothly rendered image -- this Sketches & Doodles thread will be my excuse to underwork, as opposed to overwork. So I spent about 30 min on this, just to get an idea what a layering like this will look like.

I read in an archived thread somewhere that you can't do grisaille underpainting with colored pencils because it will make the top layers of colors too grey. So, naturally, I had to try. :D This is my first step -- French Grey prismacolors over some nameless neutral brown from a cheap children's watercolor set. I'll do the rest of the layering later today.

The image is from the RIL, but she doesn't look much like the original ref.

01-15-2007, 02:12 PM
Thanks Tyree! I'm thoroughly sick of tons of detail; you can't imagine how heartwarming it is to hear that I did fine without it.

Sheryl and Bard, I have to admit that the color of the background bothered me because of its coolness, so I laid in a warm yellow after the fact (the reference was of a raven with a desert backdrop, and I couldn't shake the feeling that it needed to reflect that warmth, even if nobody else knew where it was coming from). I do like it better now.

I played with the grisaille a little more, then I layered some colors very loosely over top. This is just done enough for me to decide that this particular French Grey over brown underpainting actually works. There is still a grey component to it, but it's warm and doesn't bother me. Even this cheap paper I'm using would accept enough more layers of cp to almost completely obscure the grey, so I consider this a successful experiment.

The original ref is: "25791mariana_pose_for_portrait.jpg"

01-15-2007, 03:02 PM
alecto...id say it was a very successful experiment...wow you are fast..i cant believe that first sketch only took 30 min..are you finished now..or was this just your experiment with the coloured pencils...??? tyree:eek: :clap:

01-15-2007, 03:17 PM
I'm finished and it was just an experiment. I don't feel like developing it any further. I wish the camera would make it look like it does in real life; I used a strong poppy red in her shadows and deco yellow for the lightest areas of her skin. The one in my sketchbook is much more colorful than the one on the screen. :(

I've already washed the next page with another imprimatura ground in preparation for my next sketch -- time to move on. I'm not really that fast, but I sprinted into this one; literally, I was almost breathless when I was done. In addition to abandoning detail, I'm attempting to teach myself to work much faster. A sketch like this would normally take me several hours, but I'm convinced that I can work faster and get just as good an effect (or maybe better!).

Thanks for looking!

01-15-2007, 04:05 PM
That bird is GREAT!!:clap: :clap: :clap: The minimalist approach (as you called it)is simply a more mature approach to drawing and painting than recording every last bleeding detail. WAY TO GO!! If amping up your speed appeals to you, go for it. I have forced myself to get over that desire. Now I tend to go nice and slow. Hey, whatever works for you.:cool:

01-15-2007, 04:17 PM
Thanks, Blane. My desire for speed revolves around the fact that if I allow myself to dwell on the drawing after I've started it, I fuss and mess and agonize, finally killing it in a spree of overworking. I don't need to be fast, I just need a work-around for my tendency to beat my drawings to death. For me, that work-around is to look at an image for a long time before I attempt it, planning my process before I pick up a pencil. Then when I start, I go and don't look back. I say it as if this is how I work now, in reality I've just started trying this. Working quickly is unnerving, but highly energizing. It's frustrating, but I've enjoyed the few that I've attempted this way. Thanks for looking!

01-16-2007, 01:24 AM
Not a bad plan, knowing what you want to do before you do it.

01-16-2007, 01:36 AM
Oops, am I getting behind? Here's a sketchy grisaille done with colored pencil. I'm not worried about trying to make a smoothly rendered image -- this Sketches & Doodles thread will be my excuse to underwork, as opposed to overwork. So I spent about 30 min on this, just to get an idea what a layering like this will look like.

I read in an archived thread somewhere that you can't do grisaille underpainting with colored pencils because it will make the top layers of colors too grey. So, naturally, I had to try. :D This is my first step -- French Grey prismacolors over some nameless neutral brown from a cheap children's watercolor set. I'll do the rest of the layering later today.

The image is from the RIL, but she doesn't look much like the original ref.
This made me sit up in my chair! Wow! Great job and a very lovely portrait!:thumbsup:

01-17-2007, 01:51 PM
Thanks Nancy!

Here's my next sketch over imprimatura -- this time cadmium yellow. This exercise helped me to discover that I can't stand trying to build form loosely over a light ground. Aaagggh! How frustrating! I'd much rather have a medium ground and build darker and lighter slowly, starting with colors that are very nearly the same value as the ground. And the yellow was just way too intense for my subject. A darker, greyer form of yellow may have worked, but this in-your-face Cad Yellow was really, really hard to work with, and I couldn't get the sketch where I wanted it. Ah well, this is about learning, right?

Colored pencils over cad yellow imprimatura on 8 x 10 1/2 sketchbook paper.

The reference is from the RIL and is named "020506_040.jpg".

01-17-2007, 04:24 PM
I couldn't leace well enough alone. The overwhelming yellow-ness and pastiness of the first image bugged me, so I "washed" in a few more layers.

01-17-2007, 06:56 PM
this is so perfect...beautifully rendered...wonderful expression...my favorite of yours....tyree

01-18-2007, 05:36 PM
Another portrait sketch. I don't know where I was going with the colors on this one. I just kind of grabbed some pencils and went.

Colored pencil over red imprimatura on 8 x 10 1/2" sketchbook paper.

Original reference from RIL, named "Cynthia1.jpg".

01-18-2007, 11:16 PM
its lovely...what a great job on the eyes and that mouth too!!! the colours just add flavor....tyree:wave:

01-19-2007, 09:01 AM
Alecto - those last two are great, depth, color, loose dither......

01-21-2007, 04:16 PM
Wonderful inspirational sketches Alecto!
I see rings like a book in one of your photos above, are you doing a book?
Your doing a great job! Nickel

03-17-2007, 03:07 PM
Well, we lost our camera in a fairly embarassing accident so I haven't been able to post anything for a while. I have a number of things to upload, but I'll start with this because it was the most difficult thing I did (having done exactly 4 pastel drawings before). It's Claudia Schiffer (can't upload the ref because it's a magazine photo). It's an odd sort of image because she's backlit by the sun with a reflected light from somewhere to her back (our left). I tried to indicate the halo of light that backlighting gives around the edges of her lower face and neck, but it seems dim compared to the original image. The colors on her face are actually fairly accurate to the photo (very, very warm tones), but the values are off -- I lightened everything up (the original was surprisingly dark for being a cover image for the magazine; it was a strange choice on their part). The white area lower right is her hand which I frankly don't feel like finishing. I think she's applying lip gloss with her fingers, which is why she has an odd poochy-lip pose going. I did this in 3 shades of 3 different colors: ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, and yellow ochre. I'm not displeased.

P.S. Nickel, what you see is a ruler that's being used to hold down the edge of the paper -- it's thin notebook paper that's not repsonding well to having been washed with watercolor.)

03-18-2007, 12:02 AM
Well i was wondering what happened to you!!! Glad you are back...That Claudia is a beautiful woman..youve done an excellent job with this too...great colours..and i like those streaks in her hair!!! Did the camera decide it wanted to go swimmin':p ???? Glad your back!!! tyree:wave:

03-18-2007, 12:49 AM
Thanks, Tyree. Er, actually, my DH drove off forgetting that he'd set the camera on the roof of the car. Thanks for the compliment! It's good to be back!

03-18-2007, 01:23 AM
Oh I am glad you are back Alecto! Poor camera.

I like the color mixing you did in Claudia's cheek. This has a misty whisp of her breathing, you can feel it and hear it too. I just love those kinds of pictures. Great job.

I wish I knew a good way to keep paper flat when you do a wash.

03-18-2007, 08:23 PM
Thanks for the kind words Nickel; you've made me look at my drawing with new appreciation. :music:

Here's one I did today. I actually had a good ref, but it looks bad here because it's a digital photo of an actual photograph and the colors and lighting didn't translate well. White Fabriano Ingres (7 1/2 x 11) with Rembrandt pastels. Thanks for looking.

Oh, and I didn't mention it, but the Claudia portrait is done with the same materials, same format.

03-22-2007, 03:16 PM
alecto....i must have missed this post:eek: wonderful painting..great job on the eyes...skin tones and shadows...quite captured the young man!!! great work!!! tyree:thumbsup: :wink2: :clap:

06-13-2007, 04:24 PM
Thanks Tyree! Is it just me or do you keep changing your avatar?

I've been M.I.A. [sigh]. After finally getting back on track after losing the camera, I then "lost" my computer -- I mean lost the hard drive. It was down for about a month, but to be honest, it's been fixed for almost a month too. I just got out of the habit of posting. I've done some sketches and drawings in the interim, so I haven't been completely lazy. I'll make the effort to get everything posted here and updated.

Meanwhile, I noticed there's a WetCanvas-wide interest in horses this month, and since that dovetails with a bunch of photos I took recently of a friend's horses, I have a few sketches to present. I'd like to say that I'm going to do a sketch a day, but it seems like I'm fine with doing the work until I set rigid a schedule, then everything falls apart. So ... no promises on how often I'll be doing this. :-\

BTW, I find horse anatomy to be rather challenging. (Yikes!)

(P.S. If I haven't been by to see you work and comment, please don't be offended. I have a lot of catching up to do.)

06-13-2007, 06:18 PM
:wave: hi hi alecto!! glad you are getting everything back in order again...my avatar changed a few months back:p this one is a pic of me in a pew in paris in 2001...my hair is now brown:lol: .....those horses are absolutely grande...it seems youve accomplished the muscles with tonal values ...excellent work....so good to see you in here again!!!! tyree:clap: :clap: :clap: :wave: :heart:

06-14-2007, 08:27 AM
Love your portraits, the way you establish the form without line -

Know what you mean about setting up a schedule/goal...but I keep doing it anyway

06-17-2007, 11:31 AM
This is a submission for the "It's Fantasy Self-Portrait Time" thread. It's me. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be, but it's surely fantastical. It's based on a photo of myself in which I erased the background, cranked up the contrast and saturated the yellow to get a weird golden-glowing skin effect. I don't feel that I quite captured that in the piece, but it's interesting. I really like the eyes, so I did a closeup.

06-17-2007, 08:05 PM
:wink2: wow...i do like the gold lady...star wars indeed!!! tyree:wink2:

06-18-2007, 08:27 AM
what a neat idea - fantasy self portrait......... you did well in achieving a likeness.....something I haven't come close to yet.

06-18-2007, 11:06 AM
Thanks, Tyree and Azul. Most of the people who submitted something to the fantasy self-portrait thread turned themselves into something (like elves or rock-people or demons or something) but I wasn't feeling terribly imaginative so I just stuck a head-dress on my head and created impossibly-colored skin. I gave them two more references that I intend to work from (me as a child, and me from 20 years ago) so I get to do two more "self-portraits". Hopefully I can make those two a bit more imaginative. :)

So, are we the only three that responded to the Sketches, Doodles & More Challenge at the beginning of the year? I would've thought that'd draw more interest than it appears to have.

06-18-2007, 01:07 PM
alecto...i agree..i thought more would have participated...its a way to look back at your work over the year to see change or improvement...tyree :confused:

06-29-2007, 01:50 PM
Here's a kitten I did for the current Weekly Drawing Exercise (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=428912). I made it look older than in the photo, but otherwise I'm pretty happy with it.

Graphite, 8 x 10 1/2. About 1 hr 10 minutes.

Thanks for looking!

06-30-2007, 05:02 PM
alecto...i too did this one, i commented on yours in the d/s also...i think youve done a fabulous job on the fur... and wow on that face...!!!! tyree:cat: :cat: :cat: :cat:

07-02-2007, 11:28 AM
Wowser, that cat looks so lifelike, You are amazin'!!!

PS - I thought of you today when I was busy in my mind toying with making up another goal:lol: - I won't bore you with the particulars but I "heard" your comment on setting goals.....and it made me smile:)

07-02-2007, 11:53 AM
Very cute cat, must agree very life like, you can feel the weight, bravo, and the eyes are, well, just like a cat. Can't ask for much more than that out of art! In fact, had a cat just like that this morning in my yard, not my cat, but has decided it owns my yard, gave me that same look, like, I'm the boss. lol

07-10-2007, 06:40 PM
Thanks Tyree, Azul and Nickel! Just got back from a trip to Alaska. I have a ton of photos which I'm going to weed through to see if I can find anything worthy of contribution to the RIL.

Here's a pastel sketch of a very rainy morning on the Inside Passage route. The whole trip was heavily overcast and included continuous rain, so my photos will be giving me lots of practice at drawing in the middle value range. :cool:

This sketch was an attempt to see if I could come up with some interesting greys. Not sure how I feel about it (other than a little put off because my values are wrong). The jury is out.

Thanks for looking!

07-10-2007, 11:21 PM
:eek: alecto....i would love to go to alaska...im anxious to see your pics and paintings...i think youve got an excellent start on the values...was it cold or just rainy and grey??? did you see whales??? what towns did you visit?? tyree:wave:

07-11-2007, 12:16 PM
It was cold, too. I saw thin slivers of whale backs as they (barely) broke the surface of the water, but no real good looks (and they were always at a distance that required binoculars to even figure out what I was seeing). We went by way of the Norwegian Sun cruise ship, which stopped at Ketchikan (we kayaked there), Juneau (we stayed on the ship and sat in the hot tub there), and Skagway (we took a grueling 5-hour long hike up and down the side of a mountain to a glacier there -- then spent the next two days trying hard not to move; obviously, we should have trained up a bit before attempting that one). :rolleyes:

My photos, unfortunately, just show a lot of grey scenery, which isn't terribly dramatic, so I'm not sure how many of them people would actually be interested in. Also, I was using an old, not very useful digital that had real trouble with focusing and light metering (as a result of which most of my scenes are blurry, too dark, too light, or color-starved). I'm going to adjust as many as I can in my photo program to try to get them to look the way I remember the scenery looking.

All in all, a really neat trip. I've never been on a cruise ship before; it was a real experience. Turns out I'm not terribly comfortable with having people wait on me hand and foot. Still, it was nice to have everything taken care of and not have to worry about anything except which restaurant we would dine in for dinner. Maybe I could get used to that. ;)

07-11-2007, 02:01 PM
:clap: :eek: wow..a 5 hour hike..yowza..i would have been in shape at one time to do that, but,,,,,,not now:lol: ...sounds fabulous..i love travel...i went to spain and ireland last year..this year im going back home to louisville, ky.....i cant make up my mind where to travel next...back to costa rica, or amsterdam, or prague...:confused: :confused: :confused: looking forward to your work....tyree:wink2:

07-11-2007, 05:02 PM
You girls are travel bugs :) It's so nice to read about what you've experienced. Alecto, I'm looking forward to whatever parts I get to see that you can share.

07-13-2007, 01:26 PM
My mom & sister live in Louisville.

DH & I keep talking about going to Italy, where DH has distant relatives that he's never met (and a friend -- which means a place to stay). Eventually we will. Studying Italian has been on my list of things to do for a while, but I somehow keep not getting around to it. :o

Thanks Nickel! I'm pretty disappointed with my photos, but I'll share what worked out the best.

I decided to redo the rainy morning pastel. I gave this one a more finished appearance and made it more heavily overcast than rainy. I realized after studying the first one that I had completely obscured the paper, which is a shame since I selected the paper specifically because it set the mood color-wise (a slightly purplish grey color about the same shade as wet concrete). So with this one I was determined to leave some paper exposed to add to the effect. The paper is really only visible in the foreground where it peeks out through the many colors of water.

[Edit: The dark spot in the upper left quadrant is oil. I apparently set the paper down on a drop of it. :crying: ]

07-13-2007, 02:11 PM
This is a sketch that I did from memory. We were cruising along through a foggy, overcast channel around mid-day and the landforms had an almost surreal quality because of the fade-out caused by the fog and strong, silvery light. It's not an image meant to look like a particular landmass, just my impression of that whole area. I included a photo from that segment of the trip which represents (somewhat) what I saw. The camera just couldn't capture the amazing light (to be honest, my sketch didn't, either). Everything glowed in shades of grey. It's really hard to describe. Picture strong, cold sunlight filtering through thin clouds and relentless fog. The photo makes the scene look mid-range in value, but in reality the light was so bright that it hurt to look without sunglasses.

Stippled ink and colored pencil on heavy sketchbook paper, 5" x 7".

Thanks for looking!

07-13-2007, 03:27 PM
alecto...what magnificent scenery..and your doing quite well capturing your moments...i love that purply/grey/paper:p tyree:thumbsup:

07-13-2007, 03:27 PM
~~~btw...what area of louisville do they live in...i grew up southend:cool: tyree

07-13-2007, 04:16 PM
Well, okay, not quite Louisville -- Radcliff. My sister is starting college in Louisville this Fall (she's going for her doctorate late in life), but her academic workload has already started. (Soooo glad I decided that a degree wasn't my thing.) ;)

My sister is an officer in the Army and is stationed at Ft. Knox; they live right on the southwest edge of the base. I visit every couple of years, but don't know the area very well. I've come in and out of the Louisville airport a number of times but I haven't seen anything of the city itself.

07-13-2007, 04:35 PM
Alecto I think you are catching the mood in the sketches. They seem to emit that surreal glow quality. To me, your sketches seem like a mystical place of light that one would only find at the top of the world. :thumbsup:

07-21-2007, 01:30 PM
Thanks Nickel! I've decided to do a series of pastel drawings based on that pen & ink & colored pencil one. Stand by. :)

These are sketches done 3 nights in a row of my sweetie sleeping. The first one was done before I had asked his permission to sketch him, so I scribbled the image in quickly to get it done before the scritch-scratch woke him up. After I showed it to him he agreed to be my model for whenever I want to sketch him, so the next two are from the next two nights (in the order shown).

I'm going to capture him in sketches watching TV, reading, etc. -- as many ways as I can. It's nice to be back into life drawing/sketching! I'd love to be able to do long, complete, detailed drawings of him, but I'm not sure I can get him to agree to that. We'll see.

Thanks for looking!

07-22-2007, 01:42 PM

Alecto, I enjoy seeing your honey sleeping :)
You did good!

It is so much fun to sketch from life, and I enjoy the
response so much of the time I get.....

"Is that really me?"

hahaha or

"Yep, that's me!"

with a big :)


I had to come back and comment, you can almost hear him sleeping, breathing in the last one.
Really good work!

07-22-2007, 03:59 PM
you can almost hear him sleeping, breathing in the last one
Usually, you can hear him breathing while he's sleeping from about two blocks away. ;) Thanks Nickel, there's something very sweet about drawing someone while they're sleeping.

I've already posted the next two elsewhere. These are eyes from the reference library: #1 (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=71827&cat=542) and #2 (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=44194&cat=542).

These are drawn quite large, much larger than life size, and I had a lot of fun with them. Rembrandts on unknown paper, 9 3/4 x 12 1/2.

07-22-2007, 04:02 PM
Another new one (that I did yesterday), also posted elsewhere. This one is smaller, proportionally, than the eyes and I had a lot of trouble trying to create detail. I haven't worked out how to use the pastel sticks to make fine areas and I don't have enough pastel pencils to try the same thing with them. Oh well, it's practice, right? Rembrandts on unknown paper, 9 3/4 x 12 1/2.

From the RIL (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=68024&cat=577).

07-22-2007, 04:04 PM
Brand new pastel that I did today, posted in the Pastel Studio. I was intrigued by the colors and had to give it a try. Rembrandts on unknown paper, 9 3/4 x 12 1/2.

From the RIL (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=28871&cat=577&si=catwoman&perpage=12).

07-22-2007, 07:07 PM
:wave: just peeking in ...wow...those portraits are really quite good...tyree:eek: :thumbsup:

07-22-2007, 07:32 PM
Thanks Tyree!

I've since update the most recent one because I felt I hadn't captured her look well enough, and I hadn't gone far enough with the flaming colors. This is the new one:

07-23-2007, 09:14 PM
Alecto you've got a magic touch with your art.

07-25-2007, 07:50 AM
Wow, wow, double wow, and a wowser too....where have I been? These are all great Alecto.....this has been a great way to start my day......:thumbsup:

07-27-2007, 02:21 PM
Thanks Nickel and Azul! I've altered the portrait yet again to create a background that I hope ties the colors together a bit better.

07-27-2007, 02:41 PM
Oh, also, I have 2 new sketches of M. -- sleeping, of course. Neither is very complete. The second one is especially confusing because both his arms are winged up due to the fact that his hands are crossed behind his head, but I only got a hint of one arm. In the first one he changed position before I could get any further and I haven't been able to recreate that moment yet, so I'm submitting it as is and moving on.

I started another one while he was manning the helm of his little sailboat, but I only got his legs in and the hint of an upper body. I'm going to try to finish that soon. For now, I have these. Thanks for looking!

(Both are on 9" x 6" sketchbook paper. The first is graphite, the second is charcoal.)

07-30-2007, 01:01 PM
Awesome, I can hear the quiet when I see these. Alecto, Very good work
at showing you and your perceptions of an environment. lol, he must not
snore :D

08-01-2007, 11:43 AM
Alecto - these are both beautiful,

08-01-2007, 12:36 PM
Thanks Nickel And Azul. And no, Nickel, those moments weren't nearly as quiet as the sketches would make you think. :rolleyes:

Here's a new pastel portrait. I decided to try to be deliberately rough. I was going for the "carved by a chainsaw" as opposed to the "smoothed with a chisel" look. None of my previous ones were all that smooth, necessarily, but I really made a point of not transitioning my values smoothly.

(Rembrandts on 9 3/4 x 12 1/2 blue-grey unknown pastel/charcoal paper)

Image from the RIL (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=60730&cat=577). Thanks to terence_p.

Thanks for looking!

08-01-2007, 01:42 PM
:clap: :wave: alecto...i love the light upon the sleeping figure...your portrait has a wonderful loosesness to it...full of life...great pieces your doing!!!! tyree

08-02-2007, 10:32 AM
Thanks Tyree! I really enjoy doing people, especially when they're very natural (not posed).

08-02-2007, 11:34 AM
She's a sweetie ;) I love that hair :D

08-04-2007, 01:48 PM
Thanks Nickel. I like the hair too. You'd have to see the drawing IRL -- her hair is one big mass of pink and neon yellow. What fun!

Here's my next one. The look on this woman's face really captured me. Kind of brooding and introspective.

Reference also from the RIL (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=30998&cat=577).

Thanks for looking!

08-04-2007, 04:51 PM
alecto...bravo...shes beautifully done...i love the reflective look, the wrinkles, youve captured her perfect...love it ....:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: tyree

08-21-2007, 05:10 PM
Thanks Nickel and Azul. Here's a copy of a master painting, except my version is a drawing. The original is by John Singer Sargent and is in oils. Mine is charcoal on sketchbook paper, about 10 x 12". Thanks for looking!

08-29-2007, 10:20 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap: alecto...beautifully done...the light is perfect...impressive!!!! tyree

08-31-2007, 08:37 AM
ahhhh, Alecto - you are the STUFF when it comes to portraits, the state of mine of the person comes thru loud and clear.

09-03-2007, 09:30 PM
I agree you are the STUFF,
you should be famous in your own right.
Alecto, Your art has such impact to me.
It awesome to look at! It's True !

12-31-2007, 11:46 AM
Thanks Tyree, Azul and Nickel. I'm ashamed that I abandoned this effort, especially after all the nice things you guys have said. I didn't stop making art, just stopped posting it all in one place.

At the risk of sounding foolish, I think I know why it happened. Yesterday I was looking at all the cutouts from magazines of the work of other artists that I admire that are papered all over my walls, while also reviewing my past drawings. I mean way past -- 15 years older or more. I came to the realization that this search for style and content that I found myself on is ridiculous. I used to know exactly what I wanted to draw, and I used to draw well in a way that worked for me. For some reason I abandoned all that. There, I think, is the crux of my problem: I stopped posting things all together because, quite frankly, I don't want to look at or review my recent work. I'm not happy with anything I've done in the past year (with the possible exceptions of the raven and the most recent charcoal copy of Sargent), because for some reason I've been trying very hard to draw like ... someone else.

When I abandoned art for a number of years, I got myself back into it by reading art books obsessively. You know, the ones that advise you to "draw in parallel lines, overlapping, then crosshatch to darken" or "create a sense of roundness by darkening the edge of form closest to the light to push it back", etc. I used to draw exceptionally well, both with line and volume. I used to draw better than I do now. I used to enjoy the subjects I drew. But ever since I started drawing again, I've been trying very hard to reinvent myself based on all the published advice, rules, suggestions, and requirements. Also -- and this is very hard for me to admit -- I was, and somewhat still am, ashamed of the subjects that interested me. Art school taught me that. Shame, I mean. The main thing I learned there is that I'm somehow supposed to be deep, intellectual -- a barometer for the evils and ills of society. What crap. I really do love portraiture, but I think the reason I've been clinging to that lately is that it's the only one of my old, favorite subjects that I've allowed myself because it's the only one serious enough to be "real art". I've managed to hobble myself quite effectively.

What's my point? I think it's time to reassess my priorities and go back to what used to drive me to draw, and to the methods I used quite naturally (and well!). Somehow I have to cleanse myself of all manure piled around me at school, deliberately forget the advice I've read in those books, and recover my own way of doing things.

I'm going to start a new thread for myself (new in honor of the New Year). In it, I'm going to begin by posting my old, old work, and the works of those artists I admire, then I will add my own, brand new stuff from there, trying very hard to remember who I used to be as an artist.

I know that some people would say that we're always progressing as artists and you shouldn't revert, but I didn't so much progress as just change. I need to backtrack to the path I used to be on and start my journey over from there. I'm fine with calling the past 15 years a waste if I can trade that for a renewed sense of purpose.

Thanks everybody, for being so loyal to me in this thread. I hope you all continue your journey and start new threads for '08 as well. I'm looking forward to seeing (and commenting on) your work.

01-01-2008, 08:06 AM
alecto...thank you for sharing this with us...and i understand what you are saying,,,,i look forward to your progress and development in 2008....a happy new year to you...tyree

01-01-2008, 09:02 AM
Alecto I have to agree with Susan, I too understand what you are saying.
I thank you for sharing your 2007 with us and hope to see where you take your art in 2008!

You are very talented and your work has great feeling!
You inspire me to be a better artist.

:heart: Nickel

01-03-2008, 03:08 PM
Hey, it's cool if you can't post world shattering stuff, guess my world's pretty small , shatters easily.....whatever....just hang in there and make art, kinda like breathing I hope........you are good though....:D