Conte Crayon, Pastel, White and Black Charcoal, China Marker
© 1999, Jeff Thomann
Category Archives: characters
Self Portait © 2011 Jeff Thomann
Self Portait © 2011 Jeff Thomann
This was created using an old car rearview mirror so I could only see half of the face without shifting location so it was a bit of a challenge. As you can probably tell, I was focusing primarily on the lower nose/chin/neck area more than the rest of the face.
It took me 29 minutes overall, and time flew by because I was so intently focused. Getting good greyscale gradation levels with a small drawing surface like a ball point pen is challenging, especially when on a timeline like I was with this. I did complete it in under a half hour though.
I can see some improvements already in the self portrait drawing skill vs the last self portrait like this I did. I use self portraits as sort of a checkup on my skills since the human face is a good indicator of art skills on a lot of levels. Drawing faces with glasses on is always a bit of a challenge too since it changes the lighting a lot and gives areas that need new details.
I did the glasses on though because I’m working on a color pencil drawing in the mornings that has Tekla with glasses on, and I wanted to study a little in these ballpoint pen drawings how the glasses affect the light and shadow on the face so I can do better in that and future drawings with glasses. The color pencil drawings are very tricky since I’m using a lot of different colors, layering techniques, and a lot of erasing and actual burnishing techniques – actually in some areas on those I’m using real print making etching tools to do scratcherboard type techniques in limited areas since I’m using gessoed hardboard. That is definitely something I would not be able to do if I was using paper for the color pencils. The color pencils are almost like mini-oil paintings. Now it’s after 6 Am so I better start on the color pencil as the time allocated to it is before 6:30 AM, lol.
Review of the Twilight Movie – Eclipse
Tekla and I went to see the Third Twilight movie, Eclipse, last night. It was a pretty predictable movie.
Actually, the whole Twilight series is that way, but that’s to be expected since the target audience is a bunch of teenage girls for the most part. The fight scenes were not overly exciting. The “vampire army” was made to sound like they had a lot of strength and power, but really the army was defeated in no time flat by the Cullins and the Wolf pack.
The army was really only a small handful of vampires – maybe 10-20 or so, if I remember correctly. The “army” only injured Jacob by breaking his ribs when one of the neophyte vampires in the army squeezed him. I have not read the book, so don’t know how closely they kept this true to the story, but based on what I’ve read on wikipedia, it sounds like it was fairly close. That is one problem I have with all of the twilight movies so far – the action, when there is action, is fairly calm. Sure, they are throwing one another around, and biting off limbs, but it’s all not very scary, dramatic, or meant for a movie in my opinion.
The main battle in this movie takes place in the middle of the open field in one of the earlier movies. It’s a nice sunny day in the meadow. The environment just does not lend itself well to a gory, bloody fight scene. It also is not really remnescent of the foggy, cloudy days environment that is typical of the area in real life where the movie suppossedly takes place. I guess the reason for that is because the target audience is a bunch of teenage girls that they don’t want to gross out or something?… I want to see more drastic color in a movie about vampires and werewolves…
There is hints of red here and there, but not a lot of bloody, gory stuff that is typical of vampire and werewolf movies. The horror just seems to not be there really – even when Victoria’s head is ripped off, and her boyfriend’s arms are ripped out, the gore is not there and the limbs just look like stone statues…making this more like an anime movie, or teenage soap opera then a real movie about vampires and werewolves.
I mean, sure it’s a love story, but it’s also suppossed to be a horror movie, right? Where’s the shakey camera shots? Where’s the foggy night scenes? There is a chase scene or two through the forest in some places of the movie, but it’s never really “scary” – more like an anime movie or something. When the vampires do go “hunting” for their animal blood, it’s never on scene… The sunny meadow is very cheery. The gory scenes of the army in Seattle are dark-ish, but even those are not really gross me out or scare me out of my wits horror like they should be in my opinion. We should be afraid that this big scary army is coming to the Cullins land and as an audience should be feeling some empathy. It didn’t seem like anyone in the audience had that empathy level because the movie is just too silly… We have a bunch of people jumping around like they belong on Dragon Ball Z more then a vampire or werewolf movie. We see bright sunny skies (ok, it’s suppossed to be overcast, and that’s why we don’t see the sparkles in the vampres – but many of those scenes look way to bright on gamma to be too cloudy to me – or maybe they just dulled it out too much so it looks a lot brighter then it really is or something)… Yes, the movie was ok plotwise, but as I mentioned, somewhat predictable.
The focus on the live triangle is important, but they could have at least put a little gore in there, or done some of the camera angles up closer to hone in on the battle scenes more from a first person perspective instead of leaving it all in third person from a distance in a very passive manner. There should have been a lot more drastic colors and things.
Sure, they have mountains scenes that look like they are shot from a helicoptor (probably a 3d camera view from a 3d mountian) but they could have done so much more. Mountains have gigantic 5:00 shadows all over the place. We could have seen lots more doom and gloom. More dramatic flair… More brightly contrasting color schemes to pull the audience attention in on certain things. No, they should not turn it in to a Kill Bill type of blood fest with blood spurting out everywhere, but they could have done something heading a little bit in that direction a lot more then they have done… As it is, the werewolves seem like newborn puppies, even when they are at the most savage scenes in the movie. The vampires just seem like normal people that don’t get a tan. Even though Jacob’s ribs are supposedly broken, we don’t see any camera angles focus in on a closeup of his chest at all during that time of the movie, even though during the rest of the movie he’s running around bare-chested all day long… Aw well, it was worth seeing, but it’s not really worth the money to see it in a movie theater. If I were you, I might wait til it’s out on DVD.