From the monthly archives:

July 2007

8 beautiful and unusual art sites

by Henk ter Heide on Tuesday July 31, 2007

in Art sites

Here are some of the art sites I featured on See me draw in the last couple of weeks:

  • Wasted beauty is a beautiful site with eerie drawings.
  • Julian Beever makes pavement drawings. Large 3d drawings that, from the right angle, look very real.
  • Amy Bennet constructed a town using model railroad miniatures, landscaping supplies and dollhouse lighting. From this model she paints pictures of the inside and outside of the houses and the people that could have lived in this town.
  • Characterdesign is kind of a showroom for people who ilustate books etc. They also do interviews with their artists.
  • Jason Chan draws pictures with an eastern theme.
  • Justine Ashbee draws strange wall paintings that remind me of creased cloth and in that have something very familiar.
  • Philip Straub paints beautiful book illustrations.
  • Does a car dream about becoming a bigger car? Wouldn’t it be nice to shine the light of your flashlight around a corner? On 98pages you find these kind of visual jokes.

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Allowing for mistakes (Drawing: Towers)

by Henk ter Heide on Monday July 30, 2007

in Autism

A botched experiment

This was supposed to be the fourth part of my five part series about drawing a dark color around a lighter one. But the fourth experiment was something of a failure.

I was curious whether it was possible to draw on top of the hair spray I use to fixate my drawings. And if so what would happen if I would draw stars on fixated blue.
It turns out that it is possible to draw on top of a fixate drawing. But yellow stars on top of blue fixate or otherwise are invisible. To bad.

Yellow on black

But it got me thinking about something else. I wanted to draw black rectangles and color them yellow.
There are two problems with that idea. Firstly black stains very easily. So if I were to start with the rectangles and then come back to color them the whole drawing would be ruined by a lot of stains.
Secondly black isn’t really black. When you mix it with yellow you get a green like color. So if I would start with yellow oblongs and then draw black around them, the lines would turn green.

How nice that it is possible to draw on top of fixate.

Towers
Towers

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License to fail

Don’t know if you noticed it but this drawing is riddled with mistakes. Lines are crooked and not in line with each other.

I’ve always been afraid of making mistakes. Afraid to the point where I rather do nothing then make even the smallest of mistakes.

There must be something in my youth that explains this fear. Maybe a teacher or one of my parents who gave heavy handed punishments if I made a small mistake.
The problem is that I can’t remember anything of that nature.

The last few months I’ve been wondering whether it is possible that this has something to do with autism and I think it has.
People with autism tend to get fixated on little details and forget the big picture.

For instance last week I commented on the weblogtoolscollection site on a post about keyboard shortcuts. I told them that I had found that ctrl-<number> a highlighted piece of text will give you a header (in WordPress).
A few hours later I realized that I had made a mistake. It shouldn’t be ctrl-<number> but cntrl-<number>. I had forgotten an “n”.

This time I was able to put it in perspective. The abbreviation for “control” is both written with an “n” and without an “n”. So it isn’t really a mistake and it doesn’t bother me all the much. But until a few weeks ago something like this could bother me for weeks, even month.

Now I know. But up till last September I never knew I had autism. I never knew I tended to fixate on the little details and forget the big picture. I didn’t know I had to put situations in perspective and force myself to look at the big picture.

Better drawing

I’m learning that mistakes in a drawing aren’t necessary mistakes.
In my drawing Sideways I made several mistakes. If you look closely there is one yellow circle that’s a little red. Couldn’t cover that one up.
There are also several circles that are in the wrong place. I had to draw extra circles in places I didn’t plan to cover these mistakes up and it actually made the drawing a lot more interesting then would have been the case without the mistake.

For this drawing I planned to make mistakes. So instead of using a ruler to get all line straight and in line I drew them by hand. That way the lines aren’t perfect but they are a life.

Featured on See me draw

Rob Gonsalves draws wonderful pictures that have the same magical feel as drawings by Escher

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A quick and dirty way of drawing fireworks (Sketch: Fireworks)

by Henk ter Heide on Friday July 27, 2007

in Technique

Series

This is the third part of a series about drawing dark colors around light colors. The series consists of:

Just grease

While I was doing yesterdays drawing I thought that it should be possible to get almost the same result without the liquid masking film.

Fireworks quick and dirty sandwich
Fireworks quick and dirty
This is the same drawing as yesterday with hair wax and and a few layers of blue color on top. Since it’s very sticky I’m using a sheet of plastic to protect my scanner.

Fireworks quick and dirty
Fireworks quick and dirty

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After coloring the paper blue I used a tee spoon to scrape the blue color from the fireworks and houses.
The fireworks look quite nice but the night sky is to light.

To get rid of the wax I fixated the drawing using hair spray.

Featured on See me draw

Drazen Kozjan draws simple looking illustrations

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An easy and dirty way of drawing fireworks (Sketch: Fireworks)

by Henk ter Heide on Wednesday July 25, 2007

in Technique

Series

This is the second part of a series of experiments to find an easy technique of drawing a dark color around light colored detail. The series consists of:

Liquid masking film

Artist who paint with acrylic paint also run into problems with painting lighter colors on top of darker colors. They solve this problem by using something called liquid masking film. A fluid that resembles white paint but when it sets you get something with a rubber feel that you can very easily remove by scratching it away.
When painting you yently paint over the film and remove it when you’re finished. When drawing you scratch pigment on the paper and could very easily remove the film before you’re done.

Draw darker with wax

Since it is so easy to accidently remove the film from the paper makes it all but useless for drawing.
To use the liquid masking film you should have some trick to get more pigment on the paper without having to press very hard.

After some drawings you find that you inadvertent left some fingers on the paper that turned into nasty colored stains. That’s because you fingers leave a fatty residue that picks up much more pigment then paper.
In this instance we can use that to our advantage.
To get more pigment on the paper without pressing I used the kind of wax women put in there hair. (It’s quite possible that butter would work just as well but it will get smelly after a few weeks).

Fireworks easy and dirty drawing
Fireworks easy and dirty

Here I’ve drawn the fireworks. Put the liquid masking film on and painted wax on top. The film and the wax are colorless so you can’t see them. (I used a sheet of plastic to protect my scanner.)
Getting the liquid masking film on the paper was a bit of a problem. At first I tried painting it with a brush but that ruined the brush. I got some advice at my local art shop. Turns out you have to use a (pointed) blender.

Blender pointed top
(Pointed) blender
A (pointed) blender looks a bit like a bruch and has about the same size as a large brush. But where the hairs would usually go you find a rubber point.

Fireworks easy and dirty one blue
Fireworks easy and dirty

Here I’ve used one layer of blue. To get the best result you should use two layers of blue. preferably two hues. more then one color works best when using a crosshatching technique (drawing horizontal and then vertical).
You can use the paint brush and little bit more wax to blend the color.

Fireworks easy and dirty
Fireworks easy and dirty

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I used a knife to remove the masking film.

Finishing up

At this point the drawing is very greasy and it won’t dry.
To prevent my drawings from staining I always fixate them with a little hair spray. This time I needed more then a little. But the drawing isn’t fatty anymore.

Faulty

At first glance this seems like a good technique to color around details. But if you look more closely you see that there is a lot of white around the details. The problem is that it isn’t possible to paint small details with liquid masking film. Using a brush to paint with it, you hardly get any liquid on the paper an using the blender you get to much. It shapes like a droplet and flows over the edges.

Featured on See me draw

Noli Novak must be one of the most patient people alive. She draws portraits a dot at the time.

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An easy artsy way of drawing fireworks (Sketch: Fireworks)

by Henk ter Heide on Monday July 23, 2007

in Technique

Light color on top of dark color

Ever since I started drawing with color pencils I found one annoying problem. It isn’t possible to draw with a lighter color on top of a darker color. That’s a problem because there’re a lot of situations where you would want to do so. White clouds reflecting on dark water or pink flowers in a green tree to name a few examples.

An alternative to drawing lighter colors on top of darker colors could be to first draw the light color and then draw the darker color around them. But that wouldn’t be a very easy way of drawing and prone to accidents.

Experimenting

Thinking about easy ways to draw fireworks I realized that this would be the perfect opportunity to do a little experimenting to find an easy technique to color around a light color using a darker color.
This post is the first post of a mini series. The series will consist of four parts.

Cheating

The first technique is something of a cheat.
The easiest way to draw light colors on top of a dark blue color is simply to buy a piece of dark blue paper and draw something on it.

Fireworks easy artsy

Fireworks easy artsy

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Although this is very easy method it not very practical. In most situation you won’t be able to use blue paper. In the next part I try something that, hopefully, works a little better.

Featured on see me draw

Does a car dream about becoming a bigger car? Wouldn’t it be nice to shine the light of your flashlight around a corner? On 98pages you find these kind of visual jokes.

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Buyers choice (drawing: Sideways)

by Henk ter Heide on Friday July 20, 2007

in Drawing

I think the time has come to do something I’ve been dreading for a while. I now have a few drawings I really like so I should try to sell them. I’ll start with Sailing into the sunset to try it. If that works out allright I’m going to sell this drawing.

Inspiration

While watching the BBC show Click I saw a carpet with colored circles that reminded me of something. Something I thought would be very nice to draw although at first I didn’t know what I was drawing.

Lying in bed I close my eyes and look at the inside of my eyelids and after a while a stream of pictures start showing. I’m never sure whether this are picture I remember or that I’m fantasizing them.
But before the stream of pictures start I do look at something. You would think that the inside of your eyelid would be black but it isn’t. Instead there is a jumble of colors and shapes. A lot of colored circles come rushing by and oblongs and all sort of shapes of which I don’t know what to call them.
It’s actually quit nice to watch.
(I’m always wandering whether other people also see this jumble of colors and shapes when they close there eye.)

Sideway horizontal
Sideway

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Choice

When you start a drawing like this you know three things. It will be a lot of work. The result warrants the work and a drawing like this has no real top or bottom.
Which makes it the kind of drawing where the buyer can decide how to display it.

Sideway vertical
Sideway

Featured on See me draw

Philip Straub paints beautiful book illustrations.

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An easy method to draw fireworks (Sketch: Fireworks)

by Henk ter Heide on Wednesday July 18, 2007

in Technique

After reading about the 4th of July a few weeks ago I thought that it would be nice if there was some easy method to draw fireworks.

After thinking about it for a while I came up with a few methods. One very easy method use crayons.

When you’re finished with this drawing you’ll end up with something looking like this:

Fireworks
Fireworks

Paper

Using the kind of paper you use to make business card, you start out with drawing a template to help you find important features of your drawing:

Fireworks template
Fireworks template

Template

It doesn’t matter if you make any mistakes while drawing this template because all the lines will be covered.

The crossing lines at 1, 2 and 3 will become the center of spreading fireworks.
Between line 4 and 5 I’ll color some brown crayon to draw the rooftops.
Line 6 shows were I’ll color some green that will become plants when the drawing is finished.

After drawing your template you use the crayon to color the template:
(My crayon box came with only five colors but you can use as many colors as you like.)

Firework 1st color layer
Firework 1th color layer

The pencil lines will help you decide where the different colors must come.

The cover up

Now you cover the whole drawing with black crayon. Take care that the outer edge stays visible.

Fireworks 2th color layer
Fireworks 2th color layer

Getting artsy

As you can see all the lines and colors are completely covered.
With the help of the lines in the edge you still know where the center of the fireworks are and where the rooftops and plants will have to go.
My crayon box came with a scraper. But if you’ve lost it you can also use an old teespoon to scrape the black crayon off.

Fireworks almost there
Fireworks almost there

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There you are

This would be a nice picture if it wasn’t for the lines at the edge.

To finish the drawing I covered the edges with strips of red paper and ended up with this:

Fireworks

Featured on See me draw

Justine Ashbee draws strange wall paintings that remind me of creased cloth and in that has something very familiar.

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Change in direction (drawing: Church window)

by Henk ter Heide on Monday July 16, 2007

in Blogging

The last few weeks I’ve been doing a lot of abstract drawings. Which is fun but it’s only a small part of the pictures I see in my mind. Most pictures are about people, animals and objects. I can only draw a small portion of these pictures because I don’t have the skills.

This morning I decided it was time to move on. I went down town to get some flowers to draw. Only to find that the first flower shop gets stocked in the afternoon and the second flower shop is gone. Driving to where the other flower shop used to be I found a shop with Indian artifacts.
This shop had several nice pots. One of which reminded me of a church window.

Church window
Church window

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I don’t think a tree has any religious meaning but since I’m not jet very good in drawing people this seemed a saver choice.
Although the drawing turned out quite nice I wish I had taking a little less “save” shape to put on the window. The drawing process turned out to be a little boring.

Featured on See me draw

Amy Bennet constructed a town using model railroad miniatures, landscaping supplies and dollhouse lighting. From this model she paints pictures of the inside and outside of the houses and the people that could have lived in this town.

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Orange County Choppers (drawing: Flames)

by Henk ter Heide on Friday July 13, 2007

in Personal

At long last we now can watch Discovery channel in Gouda. For years the local cable company held on to the principle that as long as there was one old lady who didn’t want to watch anything but the Dutch channels, cable should be as cheap as possible. So we had the Dutch channels and several home shopping channels but nothing that could raise either the fee or your interest.

One of my favorite shows on Discovery channel is the one about the Orange County Choppers shop. I like to see how those people make the most complicated and beautiful bikes.

In one of there shows they made a tribute chopper for David Mann (Wikipedia). For that bike they had an artist do a rendering of flames on the frame.
I thought doing a drawing of flames would be a nice opportunity do have another go with the pencil on pencil blending method.

Flames
Flames

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In real life it’s quite a nice drawing but sadly the scanner isn’t able to pick up all the colors. The flamy part is actually three colors. Flowing from dark purple in the middle to orange/yellow at the edge.
I’ll have to come back on this drawing.

Drawing hack

In kindergarten we’ve all learned that it is something of a deadly sin to color outside of the lines. But when you adhere to that rule you might get something like the orange in my drawing Apples and pears. Not very real, is it.

If you look closely at “Flames” you could see that there are a few green patches on the edge between yellow and blue.
If your hands are steady enough to color right up to the line, by all means do. But when you’re presented with the option to either color outside of the lines or or leave some white. Draw outside of the lines. Nobody will see the mixture of colors when you do, but leave a bit of white and it will stick out like a sore thumb

Featured on See me draw

On Wagonized you’ll find drawings by France Belleville. His drawings, both with pencil and with pen, are about people, ladies (cars 🙂 ), dogs and every day items.

Today I have a second link for you. After writing about Wagonized I remembered that I had planned to give you this link to David Mann’s art.

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Tip of my tongue

Have you ever had that you know what you wanted to say but you just couldn’t remember the words.
In Dutch we talk about having something at the tip of ones tongue.

I have a lot this type of experience. Not with words but with pictures.
Sometimes when I try to remember someone, his face is gone. I know he has a face but I can’t remember it.
For years I was afraid that would mean that I wouldn’t recognize him the next time I’d meet him. Although I always did it still it frightened me.
Especially the fact that it almost always were people I liked a lot, whose face I couldn’t remember had me scared. (Although it’s quite possible that I also would have had this problem with people I didn’t like. Maybe I never noticed it because I don’t think as much about people I don’t like.)

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When I try to draw a portrait from memory I run into the same problem. I can remember one detail of the face and when I try to concentrate on the rest of the face, everything disappears. The harder I try, the less I remember.
While the face is disappearing from my memory I feel that if I would see a picture or a drawing of him I would recognize him.

Next drawing

After trying my hand at a drawing of a fire I thought I go on with playing with color and shape and draw another rockface.

Cliffside 1st sketch
Cliffside 1st sketch

Building a drawing

After I drew this part I found something strange.
I have no idea what is to the left of this point.
I do know what is to the right of this point but I can’t see it in my mind. I can almost feel it. I have the same feeling as when I have something on the tip of my tongue.

Not knowing what’s to the left of this point isn’t really a problem. It just calls for a re-framing of the drawing. Just like you would with a photograph.
I just didn’t think it possible to get in the same situation when your drawing from memory.

As I told you before I have a kind of syntheses between seeing and feeling. While I’m looking at something I can chose to “touch” it with a kind of imagionary hand. When I do I have a strange all be very exciting feeling.

Not being able to see what is to the right of this point I used my imaginary hand to feel it and got very, very excited.

The problem with getting very excited is that I can’t sit still. I have to move. Go out and cycle for a bit or just bounce through my room. Which means that this drawing is turning out to be much more difficult than I had expected.

A second problem is that I have to decide on colors while I’m trying to feel my way round this rock formation. It wasn’t long before I realized that I had made a mistake. In the middle of the drawing is a red-brown patch. Just below there’s a dark brown patch. The dark brown patch should have been much lighter. I tried to save it by making the dark patch reddish but it didn’t work.

To give myself some grip I tried sketching a part with a graphic pencil.

Ravine 2th sketch
Ravine 2th sketch

Usually if I find a sketch isn’t what I wanted I put it away and start anew. This time I put the sketch in front so I could see part of the landscape. I figured that would subdue the excitement and I would be able to finish the drawing.
But it didn’t work. Or actually it did work but not in the way I expected.

The feeling of excitement left me completely and was replaced with a feeling of complete boredom. I couldn’t concentrate on the drawing and within minutes I caught myself making a mistake.

The next morning while looking at the inside of my eyelids I saw the Cliffside as it should be.
I’m not sure whether I already have the technical skill necessary to draw this picture. I get back to it.

Hack

I’m finding that I have some difficulty in drawing parallel lines. Especially when they are more then a few centimeters apart.
To make this easier turn the sheet of paper till the first line is pointing straight down. When you draw your second line straight down it will be parallel to the first.
You can use almost the same technique to draw two lines at right angle. Just turn the paper till the first line is horizontal. Draw the second line straight down and you’ll have your right angle.

Link

I would never call this Youtube video art but I am sure you never saw anything like this. It sure gives a whole new meaning to the word food coloring (Couldn’t resist 🙂 ).

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