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Thread: Stoat: it's all coming back to me...

  1. #1
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    Stoat: it's all coming back to me...

    Okay, here's my story. Went to RISD in the late '70s. Ran out of money after two years. Banged around for a few years as a freelance illustrator. My best work was pretty good...but I didn't always do my best work, and I was terribly slow. But, you know, I was getting there.

    Then, to pay the bills, I took a job in the art department of a research and engineering company. Not bad. Kind of fun, really. Did everything from technical illustration to publication design. Any job where you draw pictures all day is a good job, right?

    A couple of years in, we got our first computer, and I was. Just. Completely. Floored. Knocked out. Blown away. Bowled over. I lost it completely. For the next twenty years, I ate, slept and breathed computers. Gave up conventional illustration completely. I got to play with the earliest versions of image manipulation software (before Photoshop!) and 3D modeling programs. Scripting and programming languages. Markup languages. Publications software. Typographical software. Director. Shockwave. Shoot, I'd play with the operating system, if that's all I had to play with. I got a reputation for figuring out new technology quickly, so I got all the best toys first. I built prototypes. I *loved* my job.

    So now it's, like, twenty five years later, and I'm pushing fifty (and it's pushing back!). I'm about to quit my job and move to the UK. And...I finally have to make up my mind what I want to be when I grow up. I don't think I want to chase the technology any more. I don't have the enthusiasm for new information that I used to have. Or maybe I'm just mentally slowing. I think I want to make art again. But with a technology assist.

    Anyhow, of all the forums I looked at, CA seemed the most serious and professional. So I'll put a stake in the ground here, if I may...even if concept art isn't where I end up. This morning, I dug out my last ever sketchbook. There are no dates, but I think it's about 1984. Here's the frontispiece:
    Last edited by Stoat; January 9th, 2008 at 01:04 PM.
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    Here's the next page in. Obviously, I had some kind of model for the top guy. I'm guessing a magazine picture. It turned into a painting: my last full oil painting. I'll have to dig that up this morning, too.

    You'll notice from the standing guys that symmetry is something I don't do well. And yet, I often choose to draw symmetrical compositions. I think my weakness there niggles at the back of my mind, you know?

    That's one area where digital painting makes it so much easier: flipping the illustration to work on it backwards. You can do similar things with conventional art (shining a light through the paper and looking from the back; tracing it and flipping the tracing), but it's so much more cumbersome.
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    Yeah, here we go. Excuse the reproduction; my scanner is busted (this would be too big for it anyhow). Sure, it's an homage to da Vinci, but mostly it's an effort not to paint his genitals. Not that I can't paint genitals, you understand. It's just that...once you've got genitals on the page, that's all anybody looks at.

    Am I right? Am I right?

    This is what makes the comic book guys such geniuses. All those people in tights. You can paint nudes without those terribly inconvenient winkies and thingies and such.

    Huh. I like the sketch better than the painting (isn't that always the way?). The second guy is obviously derived from the same image, whatever it was. Oil on masonite panel. My favorite medium.
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    Right. Back to the sketchbook. Next page: bird man.
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    Next page: Puss 'n Boots in sepia wash. Not a great drawing, but I did a little oil painting from it I was very proud of. I gave it away. I gave most of my finished work away.
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    impressiove works, love how you put shades and lights on bodies!
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    Ooo! My first comment. Thank you, toubab.

    Here's the last from the sketchbook. I'm not too happy with the way I rendered the animals, but I still like the idea. I was going to make a big two-panel painting out of it, like a religious diptych. The other panel (for which there are drawings around here somewhere) was the wedding portrait of the Dish and the Spoon. The little painting is a watercolor study. I never finished it; a bigger drawing of this is as far as I got with it.
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    Mullets Are 4ever

    Oh, god. May you live long enough to embarrass yourself this badly. This is me, around 1985.

    The provenance of this image is interesting. It was a little oil-on-panel, about the size of the palm of my hand. The background is gold leaf (the one and only time I used gold leaf). I had the painting at my desk when, years later, we were loaned a color Xerox machine (back when they were a quarter of a million bucks). I blew up the image about 1,000% experimentally. This one is about three feet by three feet; you can see the seams.

    Then I mounted it on foamcore stuck it on the wall. Which thoroughly pissed off...exactly the people I wanted to piss off thoroughly.
    I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
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    those are some great paintings, and don't worry I think everyone as made a heroic pose at least once, they just didn't have a camera and canvas around!

    keep posting, and How did you do the area within the circle for the last one? is that just light hitting the little ridges made by your brush?
    sorry, I was thinking about something. what'd you say again?

    >check out my sketchbook<
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedysam267 View Post
    keep posting, and How did you do the area within the circle for the last one? is that just light hitting the little ridges made by your brush?
    That's the gold leaf. When I tried to burnish it on, the leaf began to rub off, so I left it. So there's a bit of the panel from below showing through on the knobbly parts.

    And just make sure, when you strike your heroic pose for the canvas, you don't have a really stupid haircut!
    I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
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    Great works man. I especially love the all pencil drawings. You are a skilled painter too.
    Do you plan on going back to traditional drawing, or are you just showing us to see what people think of it nowadays?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fraz View Post
    Do you plan on going back to traditional drawing, or are you just showing us to see what people think of it nowadays?
    Hm. Probably both. I'm trying to psych myself up, I guess. When I hunted up the sketchbook this morning, I hadn't seen those images...since I drew them, I'll bet. I'm touching base with the last place I was at.

    I've developed all kinds of technical skills since then, but I suspect my drawing ability is frozen in time. And drawing is the master skill from which all the others derive.

    What I need most is to get back to life drawing, but that'll have to wait a while longer.
    I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
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    great skill in pencil sketching, also great in painting too
    would u teach me?

    zeroc sketchbook
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=108389
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