Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The rmwillustration blog has moved!

The past few weeks I've been very busy building a new website for my art and blog.

I'm going to continue blogging on

Hope to see you there!

Blogger Tricks

Friday, January 25, 2013

This Week's head sketches #1

To get better at drawing portraits, I have a sketchbook that I only use for drawing heads. I try to make one sketch-a-day. Here is a page with this week's sketches.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Drawing: Small Brook in a Garden

Small  Brook in a Garden
Charcoal on paper

This is another one of the drawings I made for the "Stenberg" series.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Gouache portrait painting

I love illustrations from the 50's, and the artists from that time often used gouache paint.

After browsing through some old car magazines, I wanted to try and paint a portrait in gouache.

I always found the paint a little difficult to work with.
Oil paint stays wet much longer and that makes it easier to blend and to make soft edges.

For this illustration I used heavy canvas paper.

I had used gouache before on watercolor paper, but never really liked the results. The paper seemed to absorb the paint too much.

I'm not yet getting the smooth blends I'm after, but I feel that moving the quick drying paint around is easier on canvas paper.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Finding Inspiration

1953 Buick Special rmwillustration

While I usually don't wait for inspiration to come before I start drawing or painting, there's often a clear  "aha" moment somewhere in the process. 

When I create something -it can be song, a painting, a story- there has to be an idea, some kind of spark to get started.

Inspiration can come while I'm alone or in a room full of people. It can be anything really. Something somebody said,  a look or pose, the branches of a tree, an abstract pattern.

When I'm lost for ideas, taking an "artistic break" from working always helps -especially when I've been struggling to get it right.

I like walking around the neighborhood with a camera, or driving around at night with a pile of CD's on the passengers seat (that's my old 1953 Buick there on the picture).

A break put things in perspective, I get a distance from the work and suddenly I know which direction to take. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Portrait Painting in black&white oil - PART II

This is part II of my attempt to paint a black&white portrait as shown in the book "Creative Illustration" by Andrew Loomis.

In part I I finished the charcoal underdrawing.  In this post I'll show some photo's of the beginning of the painting stage.

The black paint I used is a mixture of Ivory black (a blue and cool black) and Burnt Umber. I pre-mixed four values: An almost white gray, a light grey, a dark gray, and an almost black gray.

1. I started blocking in the darkest parts and the background.

2. Adding the whites and a light gray for the skin.

3. Adding more details on the hair and face.

I felt this was a critical moment in the painting, how to continue?
You can see how the painting turned out in the upcoming part III.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Drawing Grid in Photoshop Elements

When drawing from photographs, I often make use of a drawing grid. When I copy my own sketches to a larger canvas I also find this the best way to go.

By drawing and not tracing, you keep training your eyes and improving your skills. Depending on the subject, sometimes a line through the middle and one across is enough to hold on to.

In Photoshop Elements it's easy to display different kinds of gridlines in the preferences window: Photoshop Elements -> Preferences -> Guides & Grid

You can switch the grid on and off from the view menu: View->Grid

To display a grid with a lines through the middle point and quarter points, select  Gridline every: 50 percent and Subdivisions: 2 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Van Gogh Drawings

Maaiende Boer, 1885, Peasant Reaping Corn, Van GoghArenlezende Boerin, 1885, Woman Gleaning, Van Gogh
I found these two prints of van Gogh drawings in an used&antique store. I spotted them the moment I walked in the door. The drawings are professionally framed by O.M. Knudsen in Oslo.

On the back there are labels that say in Dutch and English:

Arenlezende Boerin, 1885, Woman Gleaning
Maaiende Boer, 1885, Peasant Reaping Corn

Monday, December 31, 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Illustration Friday: Glow

Sitting by the fire illustration

Amidst all the christmas preparations, I made a quick illustration for this week's theme "Glow". This one is a bit of an experiment. I had fun painting it with ArtRage, a free digital painting program.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Plaster Cast Portrait Drawing

I bought a small cast of a head in an antique shop to practice portrait drawing from life. It's nice to have a patient model and to be able to turn the head and light-source any way you want.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Portrait painting in black&white oil - PART I

I'm a big fan of the art books by Andrew Loomis. Every time I read "Creative Illustration" I find something new and I often think: "Why didn't anyone show me this before?"

On page 116 he writes about a painting technique he calls the soft approach. Large tones are painted in directly and edges are softened immediately. After that details are added while the paint is wet.

I have drawn quite a few portraits in pencil and charcoal that turned out well, but I find portraits in color still difficult to do. Taking one step back to black and white paint is a good exercise.

This is the first of three blog posts of the painting in progress.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Tree drawing in black chalk

Tree Drawing

 A drawing of a tree in our garden. I thought I could enter it for this weeks illustration friday theme: tree.