Love the sketch (you already know that). I don't think the change you made to the figure on the bottom right was the correct one. Rumor on the street (ok, Dan told me) that the crit was that the earlier version looked like he was cutting his own head off. However, by facing him toward the left, it's "flattened" your composition. There was an implied depth by having him facing forward (or off toward our right). It implies that there's siomething else there (and based on the rest of the comps, we perceive it to be more of the creature thingies). By facing him toward the left side, you eliminate that perception and make it "heroes on the right, bad guys on the left". IMHO, it really flattens the whole thing out, and makes it more static. (yes, all from rotating one head). I think there's got to be a better solution to the sword/head juxtaposition. (Dan agreed. We were talking about you. )
Here's the sketch i ended up mounting. But it was such a disaster that i'm going to have to redo it. And when i do, i'll revise the sketch once more. I totally agree with Ben. In the original sketch I had the Foreground dude facing the viewer. After a lot of over-thinking i ended up with what you see here but i was never completely satisfied with it.
This weekend i'm going up to LunaCon and i'll have a chance to have, Greg, Dan, Donato, Jon Foster, Tom Kidd, and many others rip me a new one and help make this piece that much stronger. I may not make the March 24th deadline but i'm determined to make this a damn good piece.
hey hey everybody.
So I'm slowly chugging along on this Grimoire Cover. Here are some progress shots:
every time i approach it i realize how much i suck at oils.
Took a break from the piece for a little bit tonight and started another one. This is more along the lines of how i normally work. Started out with a page of doodles and then began adding shit to it:
wow that is an amazing progress shot, i really enjoyed it. i personally liked some aspects of your first sketch but i guess this one makes more sense with text and stuff. anyways keep it up, hope you finish!
Are you keeping your original digi-thumb handy as you work on this? You seem to be losing some of the punch value wise that you had in the original digital sketch. Also, if I'm reading the stages right, I think you're pushing the blue a little too much in the foreground figure. Part of the impact of that was the warm tones all around it. It really popped you into the center of the front cover both value and temp-wise, but you're starting to lose that. Some food for thought.
So yeah, i've been in a weird funk for the past month or more. No desire to do anything and having a generally shitty time at the Society of Illustrators. But last week Spring finally came to NYC and magically the Funk was over. SoI became fun again and I made an effort to head out to Long Island to the Drawing Studio. Jeff Fisher had no mercy, and once again pushed me to do things i never would have tried on my own.
THIS is insane, just wanted to ask though, the blocks around the canvas? is that just the various drawings pasted on or are you doing that for some surface relief? you will probably hate me for saying this but the colours in this earlier stage are so much more appealing, for me that is. love your oils.
Cam - How's upstate treating you. When are you planning on coming down?
designboot, tensai - thanks
bradley - those are various printouts of my sketch blown up and pasted onto masonite. I did a shitty job of pasting them and then a shitty job of sanding the surface. But i figure i'll slap a good amount of paint on to cover it up. I agree with you about the earlier stages being better.
One more mini moleskine under my belt. this one took longer than usual. Ranges from about mid November 2006 to today.
Hello, Arkady, I was meaning to write to you so many times and actually i already wrote one time... looooong critical and full of love message... hehe, and erased it... heh, I'm a chicken...How the hell it happens... it feels so good when I write it, like a good conversation with an interesting person, the host of the book and then I start to panic. What if I touch you somehow... what if I make a difference...ahhh... and alas kaput. All fun is vaporising.
Now I start all over again... because it feels like it is good again.
I wonder what influenced you on your way to your style... I personally see many reminiscences and nuances in your art, some associations and moods I saw in some other periods of art history... no doubt you saw or was touched by them too... but I wonder how deep and in what way.
please don't fall in imitating your favorite artist and friend though... I feel a huge, domineering influence later in your art... especially in this big shot painting you're constructing... that's John Foster's influence and he is already existing... why we need two of him... that's his strange distanced faces and contact avoiding body language I see in your figures and faces... you had another thing going on in your art... you never avoided... you searched actively for contact with your characters... I would say your theme was passion, extremity and adoration of life colors and forms. maybe I'm wrong... and in this case please forgive me.
Painting is one thing... but I just can't stop admiring so many beautiful images in your updates later and I can't really say to you how vivid they are, how open and effective and ultimately precise in striking certain reaction in me when I look at them... Looking at them I see them through your eyes and feel how impatient and greedy you were to capture the harmony that flows from arm to back to hip to leg... how this human organism is living, turning, breathing and perfectly functioning ... I almost feel your frustration that it is never enough to capture it and let it stay on the paper... but you did capture it for me and I feel this extreme beauty. There is communication through your lines and how you threw them trying to chase the rest... it is very contagious... I never calm looking at your images.
ok, here are those I meant .
http://www.arkadyroytman.com/drop/Sk...er1217e-sm.jpg ahh, it is not just a study or heap of lines... it is living breathing shoulder and back, a warm body... what a beauty... real magic, Arkady... I hope you will gather your sensual art under one book someday... it is very finely aesthetic. Your eyes are so precise,,, all outlines are t right and sensative and even better than this,,, she is breathing... striking. http://www.arkadyroytman.com/drop/Sk...er1217c-sm.jpg rough... but sooo vivid... how you feel that?. don't want to scare you with unlimited flatter, but it is so... very.... talented. That's just emotion of yours that you throw an throw at us... really touching. I will never believe you were cold or calculated drawing those... that's hot feelings. obsession like.
When you add colors though you don't have the same understanding though... maybe information is bigger in this case and time is the same... but you talk many words... but message is not that clear... wish you said less...
http://www.arkadyroytman.com/drop/Sk...er1217i-sm.jpg this sitting figure is so very striking so... Sometimes I feel like maybe we are twins lost many times ago... so clearly i feel what you feel in those... and there is biological bond , thread between us...yeah,, rubbish.
in your digital sketches i like those ones,,, digital paint lacking in diversity of hues... but you do keep the same obsession in figures...there is some raw primary feeling in them... your own feature probably...
http://www.arkadyroytman.com/drop/Sk...7-0422h-sm.jpg she has an attitude.. sitting and waiting for someone with her tall glass of wine in noise establishment... dangerous dame... the whole personality in this hat with feathers, smooth line of her back and prickly heel of her thin shoe.
many more good things to say.. but I better stop... your art is really reaching my nerves, Arkady... bye.
sveta - thanks for your mini novella's. To answer your question about "style" or influences there's not one particular point to pin down. But you'll always hear me refer beck to Schiele and Klimt as being very influential. I think most of the contemporary artists that have influenced me along the way have a huge debt to both Schiele and Klimt.
What I tend to enjoy about my work and the work of others is what i tend to refer to as "accidental perfection". I know this may be a little romantic but my favorite moments when painting is when i let go of the desire to control things and let something bigger take over. I'm not one to preach god or religion or spirituality, but most of my favorite works of mine were not done by me. I was there and my hand was moving and my eyes were observing but i don't remember any of it.
The other thing, and this is more relevant to "style", is leaving the mistakes you make on the page and letting them turn into your voice. My favorite artists get away with leaving their mistakes and shortcuts and imperfections on the page. I think that's what makes the more "finished" pieces of mine so hard to Finish. Because i tend to cover up all the things that make the work fun in an effort to look "professional"
bhanu - thanks bud.
So some updates on the various paintings i'm working on:
Update on the Grimoire piece. I put it away for about a month and just recently got back to it:
Another piece i started from a sketch in the Moleskine. I'm basically illustrating the name of a band - Sparrows Swarm and Sing. It's also influenced by Rich's (VoodooChile) Gods Thunderdome piece (with which he kicked my ass)
a new version of "This Gentle Heart"
This one I started way back in March when i picked up the oils again.
slowly chugging along on some of these. about 2 more months left until San Diego.