Friday, May 25, 2012

What's In My Sketchbook?

It is raining dog and shit and cold here in Melbourne.  Usually I would feel cranky but wow ... somehow I'm feeling a bit playful!  Hmm ... something's seriously wrong, hahaha!

Anyway the playful ME decided this is no time for serious finished drawing / painting work.  I'm going to cheat a little by just showing you one of my drawing exercises. (Apologize of the glare in the pix.)


The exercise is prescribed by Matthew Archambault from Drawing Tutorials Online (DTO)- a wonderful place to learn about figure drawing.  As it is Matt's teaching method, I won't be telling you exactly what we are doing.  The only thing I'm going to tell you is that it is all about hand eye co-ordination.  (Oh, and just so you know, this is my 2nd try with DTO.  Not that there was anything wrong with them the 1st time.  It was ME who took up more than I could handle the first round.)

After about 2 years of self-taught myself to draw and paint, I have gained lots of insight of my creative preferences, directions and goals.  I think it is time to give myself a challenge, I mean A Challenge.  So apart from joining DTO, I also joined its sister site, Painting Tutorial Online (PTO), to learn about oil painting.

During this learning period, I hope that I could still keep up with my weekly (or more like biweekly) sketchbook pages here.  Not sure if I'll be ready to post any oil painting study / exercise here yet.  We'll see how things go.

So, my dear fellow creatives, wish me luck!

ME and My Boy! ;)

Cheers and have a fantastic weekend! xxoo

(The sketch is also for Paint Party Friday - hosted by Eva and Kristin.  All are welcomed!  Do join in to share and support each other!)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

YAYOM Selfies - Experimenting

Since I started the selfies e-course (YAYOM), I've been taking a lot more selfies than before.  (Note:  when I said a lot, I did't mean heaps.  I mean from 0 per week to 3 or 4 a week.  That to me was a lot!)

The e-course encouraged us to post the selfies in the private flickr group and amazingly I got very good feedback from one of my selfies.  A group member urged me to share how I did the shot.  Instead of sharing with only the group, I'm going to share it with anyone who's interested to know.

Here is the shot.


(First off, let me make it clear to you all, I have no formal or even proper photography training.  I dabbled in 35mm Photography decades ago for about 6 months.  (Even learn to develop my own photo using a friend's dark room.)  As any young person picked up interest to try out, I just dropped out after a while.

Then I took up my point and shoot digital camera about a year ago for the sake of taking pix of my sketchbook pages plus taking reference photos for drawing / painting purposes.  During the process, I found I enjoyed still photography much.  As an expansion of creative interest, I pick up selfies to try out.)

Alright back to the pix.  I think what made this photo special was the mysterious look of it.

How I did it?  Honestly, I didn't quite know.  It was one of those at a spur of moment, no planning, accidental shot.  Or you can also call it beginner's luck.  And here are something that I did which might have contributed to the look of it.

  • I turned off the auto flash of the camera and relied on natural light to take the shot.
  • I took the shot at my backyard at evening hour.
  • Natural light quality:  The sky is still white while my surrounding are quite dark.
  • I held the camera at arm's length, pointed toward myself and twirled to take the shot!
  • The end result is a darkened background with pale and blurry face head shot of me! ;)
  • The original shot was a tad too unclear and "ghostly".  So I used photoshop express (free download app for iPad) to pump up the saturation to bring back a tiny bit of color on my face and adjust the exposure to give it more contrast.
That's it. Do try it out and let me know if it works for you.  And if you have any further questions, email me and I'll try my best to answer.  But pls remember that I'm no professional, I'm just mucking around and learning my ways of self portrait!

Cheers and thank you for reading! xxoo

What's in My Sketchbook?

It's been a while since my last try with drawing and painting bones.  Here is an attempt of it.

Catus & Bones 2

The bone part was a disaster!  The sketch was o.k. but came painting., mo matter what I did, the several layers of acrylic washes just didn't blend well.  The end result was just a flat brown color wash. 

Catus and Bones 3

I got my consolation price from the cactus.  I enjoyed building up the green layers and warmed it up by adding hint of peach at the tip of the plant.


Originally, I was thinking to paint the little buds and cactus flower red, which was what I saw on most cactus.  But I thought it was too predictable.  Hence I extended the peachy tip to the flower and layered it with yellow and magenta.

rotate 2

The more I was working with my sketchbook page, the more I discovered my palette.  I prefer muted tones than strong colors.  Most of the color I used have a grey undertone.  I like them "pale" as well.  And I try not to use more than 3 or 4 color for each page.  I don't know why, but it makes sense during the creative process.  I'm wondering whether this is a good thing or not?  What do my fellow creatives  think.

Catus & Bones

The sketch is also for Paint Party Friday - hosted by Eva and Kristin.  All are welcomed!  Do join in to share and support each other!

Cheers and have a lovely weekend! xxoo

Monday, May 7, 2012

Rewriting The Story ...

It's cold and raining here in Melbourne ... (got photo to prove) ...

a cold rainy night with ME shadow

My mind is running amok ...

I asked myself  -
  • Can I do it?
  • Why do I want to do it?
  • I'm scared shitless.
  • People are going to laugh at me, especially those who knew me in person ...
  • Why do I want to expose myself like this?  To what end?

I haven't got an answer yet ...

I dived into Vivienne McMaster's "You are Your Own Muse - Rewriting The Story (Self Portrait) e-Course" to face up my worst fear - ME.

I'm telling myself:

"Forget about everything and everyone. You know you need this.  You know you've been avoiding this for a very long time.  And you need to own up your Fear and your Truth.  YOU CAN DO IT!"

Back sitting in front of the heater ...

(I feel very small ... I'm scared ... but hey, at least I'm warm sitting in front of my old crappy heater! Hahaha!)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

What's in My Sketchbook?

Finally wind down from the iPad fever (a bit) and reckon I'd better get back to my sketch book page...

Since I haven't sketched or painted for a while, I had problem of coming up with interesting subjects for the sketch book page.

As I sat in front of the blank page feeling frustrated,  I saw something glittering in my paint box.  There I discovered some long forgotten tubes of silver and gold acrylic paints.  I remembered the excitement when I bought them a year ago, but some how I never got around to use them.

To test run the metallic paints, I decided to create some imaginary skeleton keys.  I imagined them as objects from a mysterious world.  They are used to find and unlock things which are long gone.






The sketch is also for Paint Party Friday - hosted by Eva and Kristin.  All are welcomed!  Do join in to share and support each other!

Cheers and have great weekend! xxoo

(P.S. To ensure I'm on time for PPF, I'm posting this a day earlier.)