Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Years Flowers


I  created a little video for New Years.  I wasn't able to upload it here on Blogger, so I am posting the link to the same video, on Flickr.

New Years Flowers

This is a stroke-by-stroke animation that I made for New Years.  (I drew this on my iPad, using the Brushes app.  As you draw, the Brushes  app captures each stroke and creates a little video. It's winter, almost January, but if you want to see the flowers bloom, just press play.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Another Quick Sketch of Chelsea (Practice for Animation)


This is another quick sketch of our dog Chelsea, done with Sharpie pen on paper. This was preparation for the animation that she inspired, playing in the snow.  To prepare for the final version of the animation, I drew figures of dogs over and over so I could draw them faster.  If you want to see the animation, it is posted here on December 23.

Chelsea (Quick Sketch with Sharpie)


Here's another of the little sketches I made of our dog Chelsea, as practice for my animation.  I needed to draw the dog figures quickly without needed to fix too many mistakes.  So to practice, I made little drawings, first in pencil and then with Sharpie pens (fineline marker). If you want to see the animation, it is posted here on December 23.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Menorah in Window (Revised Drawing)


This is a revised version of the image I posted yesterday,  a digital drawing of a menorah that was the last frame of a little Hanukkah animation that I made.  (The video is posted here on December 24th.) To make the animation, I used the Brushes app on my iPad.  It records every stroke as you draw and thus creates a little video.  I liked the iPad drawing of a menorah in the window, but it needed some cleaning up. So tonight I opened the image in Painter.  I threw a grid over it and used some cut and paste to center the menorah.  Then I used digital pastel, elbow grease, and grit to straighten the lines  and make things even. I fixed the problems  that bothered me, but then stopped, trying not to lose the relaxed look of the original drawing.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Menorah in Window (Brushes Drawing)


Three days ago (December 24th)  I posted a little Hanukkah animation that I made. I used the Brushes app on my iPad for this project: it records every stroke  as you draw and the result is a little video.  If you think about what you draw when, you can use this to create a bit of animation. In this instance, I used it to show the sky growing dark and the candles lighting up. This is the the drawing that I made on the iPad (and also the final frame of the video). As you can see, it could use some cleaning up. I intend to transfer the image into Painter so I can fix it up on my desktop computer. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Pencil Sketches of Chelsea


These are some of the pencil sketches I made of our dog Chelsea, done to prepare for the "final version" of the little animation I made this week, featuring Chelsea playing in the snow.  (I used the Brushes app on my iPad, which captures each stroke as you draw and then creates a video.) For my first try, I started drawing on the iPad right away, without any planning or preparation, just to see if my idea would work.  Although I was happy with the concept, drawing the dog figures took way too long and there were too many revisions. I wanted to try my video again,  but first  I needed to practice drawing the dog figures so I could do them quickly and with fewer mistakes. So I did some pencil drawings to practice, and here are a few of them.  I think it helped, because my second try was better. 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Chelsea in Snow (Digital Drawing)


Two days ago,  I posted a little holiday animation that I made, inspired by our dog Chelsea playing in the snow.  I used the Brushes app on my iPad for this project: it records every stroke  as you draw and the result is a little video.  If you think about what you draw when, you can use this to create a bit of animation.  Anyway, here is the drawing, the final frame of the video.  

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Menorah in Window (Animation)


video

Last night I finally had an idea for a Hanukkah animation. Nothing like waiting till the last minute! So I drew this this morning on my iPad with the Brushes app. (The Brushes app on the iPad captures a stroke-by-stroke video as you draw.)  So press play and light some candles.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Chelsea in the Snow (Final Video)

video

Here is the final version of my little holiday animation, inspired by our little dog Chelsea playing in the snow.  I created this on my iPad with the Brushes app, which captures a stroke-by-stroke video as you draw.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Chelsea Says (Rough Draft of Drawing)


Yesterday I posted a rough draft (first version) of a little animation that features our little dog Chelsea.  I made on the iPad with the Brushes app, which captures a stroke-by-stroke video as you draw.  This is the final frame, the drawing.  The video is a rough draft because it took me too long to draw the figures of the dog, and there were other problems that I want to fix.  In the meantime, I have been doing some sketches and working on the final version, which I plan to post soon.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Chelsea Says (Rough Draft of Animation)

video

I have been working on an idea for a little holiday animation, inspired by watching our little Chelsea enjoying the snow. This is going to be a video animation created on my iPad with the Brushes app.  The Brushes app captures a stroke-by-stroke video as you draw, so to make the animation work, you have to think about not only what to draw but in what order.  And you have to draw quickly, without a lot of revisions  As you will see, that is not the case here.  So I call this a rough draft, but it would be more accurate to call this a first attempt, because the only way to fix this is to do it over -- after doing some practice sketches so I can draw the dog images faster.  (I am already working on that.) But meanwhile, I am posting this, and even though this is a first attempt, I had fun with it and I hope you will too.  So just press play.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Fall Bouquet with Three Roses (With Prisma's Mosaic Filter)


Yesterday's post was a digitally modified version of a photo that I took back in November, just before Thanksgiving.  I took the photo quickly while on a trip to Tendercrop Farms.  In the original photo, I had made the composition impossible because I had cut off part of one of the roses. So before posting yesterday's image, I used Painter software to add some blank space to the right side of the canvas so I had room to draw in the missing part of the rose with digital pastel. I also had to "invent" and draw in the rest of bouquet and background for that same 1/2 inch along the right-hand side.  Today I used the Prisma app on my phone to add this mosaic filter.  Usually there is a Prisma label in the bottom right corner, but this time there was not, perhaps because I emailed the image to myself.  In this case, that's lucky because i worked hard to "recreate" that side of the composition and the label would have covered up part of the rose.  But just the same, a tip of my hat to the Prisma app. . .

Monday, December 19, 2016

Fall Bouquet with Three Roses (Digitally Modified Photo)


This is the third of three photos that I took back on November 22, during a pre-Thanksgiving stop to buy pecan pie at Tendercrop Farm.  I thought the flowers were amazing, so I took some quick pictures. Too quick, as it happens, because there were problems with each of the photos. This week, I am finally getting around to editing them. I would say that the problems with this photo made it the worst of the three and I almost gave up.  In the original version, part of the uppermost rose on the right was cut off, while on the left, there was a lot of "extra" space.  I tried to solve the problem by cropping the photo, but couldn't come up with a symmetrical composition without chopping up the other two roses, and I didn't want to do that.  So today I opened the photo in Painter and got to work.  I started by adding some 50 pixels to the right side of the "canvas," and then use some cut-and-paste and digital paste to draw in the rest of the rose, and to also extend the other leaves, petals, and shadows to fill in the rest of the "blank" strip I had created. Nothing is perfect, certainly not as perfect as a rose, but still I was pleased with the result. With the third rose intact, I was able to crop the photo to get this composition. 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Thanksgiving Flowers (With Prisma Filter)


Here is the photo I posted yesterday, with Prisma's Mosaic filter applied.  The colors are much brighter than in the original photo, but I like the original version, too. I actually took the photo back on November 22. We went to Tendercrop Farm and I saw some nice Thanksgiving bouquets on display, so I took a few pictures. I put off doing anything with the photo because one of the petals on the dark red daisy was bent backwards, covering up part of the center.  Yesterday I finally got around to fixing that in Painter, using digital pastel and some cut-and-paste.  Once that was done, I decided to see what it looked like with this Prisma filter, and I really like the result.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Thanksgiving Flowers (Digitally Edited)


Here is another photo that I took back on November 22, during a pre-Thanksgiving run to Tendercrop Farms.  At the time, I didn't do anything with the photo because one of the petals on the dark red daisy was bent backwards, covering up part of the yellow center.  I knew I could fix it, but I was busy.  Well, I am still busy, but today I opened the image in Painter and used some cut-and-paste and digital pastel to solve the problem.  I also plan to transfer this edited photo back into my iPhone so that I can use  it with Prisma, to make another "Mosaic".

Friday, December 16, 2016

November Flowers (With Prisma's Mosaic Filter)



Yesterday I posted a photo that I took back on November 22 at Tendercrop Farm.  It was close to Thanksgiving and some fall bouquets were on display. Yesterday I edited one of my photos, and then used the Prisma app on my iPhone to add the mosaic filter.  I liked the result, so here it is.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

November Flowers


Looking back through my photos, I found some pictures that I took before Thanksgiving. I saw bouquets on display at Tendercrop Farms, so I took some pictures. This is a cropped version of the original photo.  Today I decided to try out a Prisma filter on this, and plan to post the result here tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Portrait of Us (Pencil Sketch as of Dec. 14,2016)


I worked on this drawing again today.  I started this pencil sketch a few days ago, as a way to prepare for an upcoming portrait that I am going to paint. My reference is a vacation photo, the same one that I will use to pain the portrait of this couple.  In the photo, they are riding a motorbike in Greece, and are wearing helmets and sunglasses. Today I started by making some changes to the faces, little issues that I noticed while finishing up yesterday. Then I spent most of my time working on the position and shapes of the helmets.  Sounds like a crazy thing to focus on, but in this case, the helmets indicate the shape and position of the head, so I want to get that right.  I did a lot of measuring and adjusting, and in the process, changed the position of the faces as I worked, sometimes for the better. So now the helmets are looking better, but I will need to go back and make more adjustments to the faces. But I am getting there.  I think the likeness is improving, but even more important, I am learning a lot of things that I wouldn't want to have to figure out mid-painting.  To be continued.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Portrait of Us (Pencil Sketch for Portrait as of Dec. 13, 2016)


Today I did some more work on this drawing, a pencil sketch that I started two days ago. I am doing this sketch to prepare to paint a  double portrait of this couple. I will be using acrylics on canvas, and my reference is a vacation photo of the couple riding a motor bike during a trip to Greece, which is the reason for the helmets and sunglasses. This afternoon I made some changes to   the faces but I also concentrated on the figure drawing aspect of this project, working out the placement and position of shoulders, necks, and heads. I also worked on the helmets, as well, trying to capture the distance between the two people. So this is the pencil sketch as it looked when I stopped working today, but I can already see some things I want to fix.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Portrait of Us (Pencil Sketch as of Dec. 12, 2016)


This is the pencil sketch that I started yesterday, as a study for a double portrait that I am going to paint.  I am working from a vacation photo of a couple riding motor bikes on vacation in Greece, which is the reason for the helmets and sunglasses. I like to do pencil sketches to get to know the faces before I paint.  Even though the painting is a whole new start, I like to get familiar with the faces and work through the issues in pencil.  In this case, I am working through getting a likeness with facial information limited by helmets and sunglasses. I am also trying to work out how to indicate a sense of space between the two people, the two helmets.  I worked for about an hour today, and I think the likeness is getting a bit better.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Portrait of Us (Pencil Sketch as of Dec. 11, 2016)


I am going to be doing a double portrait. I am working from a vacation photo of a couple riding motor bikes on vacation in Greece. So they are wearing helmets and sunglasses. The portrait is going to be a painting, acrylics on canvas, 14 x 18.  Earlier this week, I was working out the composition. Today I started a pencil sketch, just a study, a way to get to know the faces better before I start painting.  I worked on this for about an hour and then had to stop. I feel like I am slowly moving towards a likeness, but am not there yet. To be continued.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Portrait of Us: Rough Sketch 3 with Figures in Center


I am getting started with a new project, a portrait of a couple.  I am going to be working from a vacation photo that shows this couple in Greece, riding motorbikes along the coast (hence the helmets).  So far I have been trying to work out the composition. I am going to modify the composition of the photo a bit, and use a rectangular canvas (14 x 18 inches); I am hoping to give the figures a bit more room, and to have a little space to suggest a bit of background (from their vacation photos). To try out options for the composition, I started by doing a very rough sketch with blue Sharpie on graph paper at half size (7 x 9 inches). I wasn't really working on getting a likeness yet. When I finished the sketch, I photographed it and transferred it into my computer so I could use Painter to move the figures around on the page, and try out a few options for the composition.  The image posted today is the third of three tries, with the figures in the center.  I think I am going to use a version of this composition, though I may shift the figures a bit further to the right, to reduce the need to invent the landscape in the lower right corner. 


Friday, December 09, 2016

Portrait of Us: Rough Sketch 2 with Figures on the Left



Yesterday I posted a very rough sketch for a new project, a commissioned double portrait.  I will be working from a favorite photo of this couple; the photo shows the couple on vacation in Greece, touring on motor bikes, which is why they are wearing helmets. Although the photo seems to emphasize a square composition, the painting will be rectangular (14 x 18 inches), providing more breathing space for the figures and perhaps an opportunity to suggest some a bit of background, drawn from additional vacation photos. So my first task was to decide on the composition.  I made a very rough sketch with blue Sharpie on graph paper (at half size, 7 x 9 inches), which is the sketch I posted yesterday. I wasn't trying for a likeness in the rough sketch, but just working out placement issues. Once I had the rough sketch, I photographed it and transferred the image into the computer.  Then I opened the image in Painter and used cut-and-paste (and some digital pastel) to change the position of the figures, moving them to the left side.  The original photo shows the figures at the left, but no room behind them on the right. The advantage of this version is that there is plenty of room to put in some background in the distance.  But there are two problems.  There is too much room in the foreground on the right, so I would be forced to "invent" too much as a result.  The second problem is that because the figures are more or less facing towards the left side of the canvas, that will usher the viewer's eyes directly to the edge of the canvas and out. But I came up with a third version which I plan to post tomorrow.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Portrait of Us: Rough Sketch 1 with Figures on Right


This is a very rough sketch for a new project, a commissioned double portrait.  I am just getting started, but I will be working from a favorite photo of this couple. The photo shows the couple on vacation in Greece, touring on motor bikes, hence the helmets. The original photo was composed for a square format, but the painting is going to be more rectangular, to give a little more space for the figures and I hope a little space to suggest some of the background (from some of their vacation photos). I decided that the first task was to come up some sketches for the composition. The canvas will be 14 x 18 inches, so I drew a 7 x 9 inch rectangle on graph paper, and did a rough sketch with blue Sharpie pen.  This wasn't an attempt to get a likeness, but just an way to try out the composition. The next step was to photograph the sketch, load it into the computer, and then use some digital magic to try out  alternative compositions. "Portrait of Us" was the title given to the photo this couple, and I liked it, so that's the title I am using for the painting as well. I am going to be posting my progress here, so there will be more to come.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Baby Picture of My Mom (Keepsake with Ribbon) Final


I have been working on this project, a keepsake that I made from her baby picture.  Last summer, I did a digital rescue of the original photo, which was scratched, torn, and missing a corner.  Then in November, close to her birthday, I added the color.  Over the past few weeks, I printed out a color copy, and mounted it to a painted canvas board and added the ribbon.  I thought I was finished a few days ago, but I decided to that the soft pink ribbon was too subtle. (Anyone who knew my mother could tell you that subtle was not her style.) So I added more pink to the ribbon.  

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Snow on Rhododendrons (With Prisma Filter)


Yesterday's post was a photo that I took in the morning: first snow of the season, on the rhododendron leaves. I also used the Prisma app on my iPhone to apply a filter to the image.  I liked the result, so here it is.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Snow on Rhododendrons


Here north of Boston, we had the first snow of the season today. It was just a light dusting, but I liked the way it looked on the rhododendron leaves this morning. I knew the snow would be gone in a few hours, so I took this picture. 

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Three Paintings at Galatea's "Easy Acquisitions" Show


Here are three of my mountain paintings on display at Galatea Fine Arts in Boston. They are part of the "Easy Acquisitions" show of small works, on display through December.  I took this picture at the opening on Friday.  If you want to know more about Galatea, follow this link: galateafineart.com

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Baby Picture of My Mom (Keepsake with Ribbon)


This is the keepsake I have been working on, using a baby picture of my mom.  I previously rescued the image from a torn and scratched photograph.  Then I added the color, digitally.  This week I have been working on mounting the image on a canvas board and adding a ribbon border.  This morning I added some pink tint to the ribbon.  I may add just a bit more pink in some places and correct a few little mistakes, but otherwise this is basically done.  I am still deciding whether to frame this piece in a conventional way, or finish the back so it can be displayed on a small easel, something I have done with previous Memory Imprints projects.  (If you want to know more about Memory Imprints, follow this link: memoryimprints.net/)

Friday, December 02, 2016

Baby Picture of My Mom (Keepsake as of December 2, 2016)


I am trying to finish up this project, a keepsake that I am making from a baby picture of my mom. This is based on a family photo that I rescued last summer. It was scratched, torn, and was missing the upper left corner. (The before and after versions are posted here, July 31.)  Then in November, I added color, using Painter's digital pastel.  And this week, I have been making the keepsake. I attached a printout of the photo to a canvas board and painted the border. Today I added a border made of gift wrap ribbon.  This is partly an emotional choice because when I was a kid, one of the things I did with my mom was to "help" her wrap presents up in her bedroom. (I doubt I was much help, but I still remember being amazed at how she could make the ribbon curl by running a scissor blade over it.)  I said yesterday that this kind of ribbon is easy to work with, but today I was ready to take it back!  It is easy to measure and makes a clean border, but wow I had a lot of trouble getting it to stick. It finally did, though.  I plan to tint the ribbon a pale pink. But I didn't have time to do that today, so I will probably finish this tomorrow.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Baby Picture of My Mom (Keepsake as of December 1, 2016)


This week, I have been working on a keepsake that I am making from a baby picture of my mom, the only such photo that  I have. Last summer, I performed a digital rescue of the original photo, which was. scratched, torn, and was missing the upper left corner. (The before and after versions are posted here, July 31.)  And in November, around the time of my mother's birtthday, I added some digital color, using Painter's digital pastel. This week, I finally had a chance to start making the keepsake.  I printed out a copy of the colorized photo and attached it to a canvas board.  Then I started painting the background.  I am going for a distressed or worn look.  It took me three coats to get the effect I wanted: brown, then red violet, and finally today a translucent mixture of blue and some brown. I applied the color and then wiped it off a bit so the undercoats would still come through. What I wanted was a deep maroon, with tones of deep blue and red violet, and now I am happy with the color.  The next step is to add a border with some ribbon.