Sunday, September 18, 2011

Loosening Up

In which I draw collars and shawls, just like always.

Hi guys! I've been meaning to get back on and post for a few weeks now...I just haven't had the necessary combination of free-time/internet access in which to do it.
But it's a beautiful Sunday afternoon and I find myself in the (rare-ish) position of having a little time to myself. SO HI. Long-time-no-monologue!

The past few weeks have been a rollercoaster. And on a day like today, when my plans and to-do lists suddenly run out and leave me sitting here trying to occupy myself, it's important to remind myself that this is what I've been telling myself I've wanted all month :p
Actually, it's funny- reading the start of my last starts off with a similar sentiment. I guess I only blog when I'm feeling the need for a pajamas-and-tv day.

I don't have much in the way of 'profound' thought to offer today. But I DO have an enormous backlog of sketches I thought I'd share. Some of these I'm more pleased with than others, but part of the exercise of loosening up is letting rather than edit it down, I'm just going to post everything in a big bundle and move on :)

The encouraging lesson from watercolor is just that: move on.
Like ink, it can be an intimidating and unforgiving medium to approach. It's permanent and it doesn't like to be reworked. But it's as much a blessing as it is a curse: overlaboured watercolor looks awful! so you can't noodle on it. You actually HAVE to relax and get loose.
So I've been a lot more stream-of-consciousness about my sketchbooking recently...and it's so liberating! I find I am more excited about taking on art projects and doing little favors for people, because it's not the intimidating prospect it was before. I don't have to commit to pencils, inks, scanning and hours of color when I consider whether to do something or not; I can lay something down quick and be satisfied if only with the beautiful textures that the paint makes that have nothing to do with me. (Like that knee in the above drawing. It makes me SO happy. And I had, like, nothing to do with's just pretty paint.)

Enough about that! I think it's time I shut up a bit and showed some of the work I've been blabbing about.
A couple weeks back I went on a road-trip to see my family in Michigan. From here that means a 12 hour car ride. It's one I've made many times in my life...but it's always a new challenge to keep myself engaged for the entire trip. Luckily, this time I didn't have to do much of the driving...and I thought "why not, if I want to get all loosey-goosey, paint in the car? I mean, besides nausea." SO I DID! And I totally didn't throw up! It's not so bad if you keep your water in a water-bottle and use paint right out of the top of the tube :p
The next few pages are doodles from the car on the way up:

When I arrived in Michigan, I got to spend some much-belated time with my Grandparents. Particularly with my Grandpa, who suffers from MS and has been bound to a wheel chair as long as I can remember. Initially it was hard to see my grandparents and observe as they've grown older within the small rooms of their home. But as I was there, I was struck by how loved and cared for they are. It amazed me how full a life can be if even a few people love you. Despite his health and complications relating to his MS, my grandfather remains a canny and delightful was amazing to hear him talk. And as we were talking, I got to paint him.

Along the way in the car, there and back, I took come quick visual notes from observation of the landscape we were passing by. It's really interesting how I can more clearly remember the trip because I sketched it- even if I sketched it poorly. For whatever reason (I have a variety of theories that would comprise a whole new paragraph), watercolor makes me want to draw from life a lot more.

When back in Providence, I joined a few co-workers and went out to life-drawing (something I haven't done in a few years!) and It was good fun...It was a good excuse to take the paints on the road again.

I spent some time with a friend and professor, and after a while we both decided to bust out our sketch materials and just jam quietly between topics. It was great! It's something that is extremely difficult to do with a cintiq :p

Some of these I want to take into photoshop and color (like the self portrait from last post) when I get a little more time, I think that's the next step...see if I can't find a way to bridge the gap between both worlds.

I think that's it for now! Hopefully I won't go so long between posts next time. But it's nice to have art to share (I hope you guys like this sketchy stuff! I mean, I'mma probably do it anyways, but...) Thanks again for reading! Your feedback is valuable and encouraging! :D

Until next time!
Much love,



Anna said...

I'm loving the sketchy stuff - partly because I love loose and flowing things (something I struggle with myself, probably because I've got the vague feeling that I ought to *finish* things properly before I show them to anyone) - and partly because sketches like these are a great way to get a look into *how* you work.

I love the first sketch in the post, and the landscape studies. Very nice.

Anonymous said...

WOW! :) i'm blown away by your amazing artworks ..Very inspiring indeed :)

narai said...

beautiful! i love your sketches :)

Emerson Tung said...

amazing sketches, Nick!

Moira said...

Watercolor is really hard for me, but you make it look so darn easy! Arg!