http://sketchbookphotosshotjanuary2013.shutterfly.com/

http://sketchbookphotosshotjanuary2013.shutterfly.com/ – a few more photo of the sketchbooks taken today. I used the 1000 watt light (it’s really two 500 watt halogen bulbs) to light it. I think that helped the white get a bit more white than the last batch. This is a continuation of the sketchbook shot in the last batch and the start of a second one. These sketchbooks were mostly from college and a few years after that. Some of the portraits in them are actually of people I quickly did sketches of at various summer jobs during college, etc. I didn’t get a bunch done in this round of photos since that 1000 watt light is extremely hot. The wall near where the light was sitting as I shot these was still hot to the touch about 15 minutes after I turned the light off! I can’t do extended several hour long photo shoots with that light in that enclosed of a space. It’s too dangerous as a fire hazzard and also a danger on my health since it really drains me standing about two feet from that light as I shoot these sketches.

After I get a lot of these sketchbooks uploaded, I probably won’t do a bunch more unless I scan them or photograph them as I create them… something I didn’t do much in the past, which is why there’s such a big backlog.

I suspect a bunch of work in the near future will actually start digital and stay digital most of the way through since I recently got got an android tablet for Christmas and just in the last week or so installed Sketchbook Pro on it as an ‘early’ birthday gift. I’m starting to learn to love that app…

Notice some of the ‘yellow’ on the backside of the sketches… I suspect that ballpoint pen ink does that since it’s acidic even though the pages of the paper is non-acidic. Scary stuff. Makes me really glad that I’m actually taking the time to start shooting some of these before they decay even more in a few decades because of that type of thing.

Draped Figure Drawing

Photobucket
Draped Figure Drawing
India Ink, Colored Ink, and Charcoal and Tea Stains on Paper
© 1999, Jeff Thomann

A few scans…

A few sketches and acrylic paintings I’ve started the last while. I don’t consider Drips an Acrylic Landscape done, but do consider Bottomless Landscape Done, and the pen and ink sketches are just doodles.

Live
Live

Drips
Drips

Bottomless Landscape
Bottomless Landscape

10.25.2011
10.25.2011

10.24.2011
10.24.2011

Acrylic Landscape
Acrylic Landscape

11.21.2011
11.21.2011

a couple of quick little self portraits

8/3/2011 Self Portrait #1 © August, 2011 Jeff Thomann
8/3/2011 Self Portrait #1 © August, 2011 Jeff Thomann

8/3/2011 Self Portrait #2 © August, 2011 Jeff Thomann
8/3/2011 Self Portrait #2 © August, 2011 Jeff Thomann

8/2/2011 Rose Study © August, 2011 Jeff Thomann
8/2/2011 Rose Study #1 © August, 2011 Jeff Thomann

8/2/2011 Rose Study #2 © August, 2011 Jeff Thomann
8/2/2011 Rose Study #2 © August, 2011 Jeff Thomann

a few new drawings.

Jackie's Rose © 2011 Jeff Thomann
Jackie’s Rose © August, 2011 Jeff Thomann

Palm © 2011 Jeff ThomannPalm © June, 2011 Jeff Thomann

Palm 2 © 2011 Jeff ThomannPalm 2 © June, 2011 Jeff Thomann

Self Portait © 2011 Jeff Thomann

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.

19 Minutes – 6/7/2011 © 2011 6/7/2011 Jeff Thomann

19 Minutes - 6/7/2011 © 2011 6/7/2011 Jeff Thomann

19 Minutes – 6/7/2011 © 2011 6/7/2011 Jeff Thomann
Media: Ballpoint Pen on Paper

This is a quick little still life sketch I did last night.

17 Minute Drawing – 6/6/2011

17 Minute Drawing – 6/6/2011 ©

17 Minute Drawing – 6/6/2011 © Jeff Thomann 5/26/2011
Media: Ball Point Pen

I almost skipped doing this drawing last night, but decided to stay up a little bit after doing the speed challenge in the last post to do it. I’m trying to work on color pencil drawing in the morning, and quick sketches like this along with the speed model stuff in the evening. Since I’m using ballpoint pen for these types of drawings, I really have zero excuses to not do one every day of the year! 🙂

5/26/2011 – 22 Minute Self Portrait

Image

5.26.2011-15/26/2011 - 22 Minute Self Portrait © Jeff Thomann 5/26/2011

5/26/2011 – 22 Minute Self Portrait © Jeff Thomann 5/26/2011
Media: Ballpoint Pen on Paper

I’m not too keen on the that big right eye and super dark area right below the chin in the neck, but that’s the sort of stuff that happens when you are doing a self portait. Actually, the eye kind of adds to that expression I think. I probably went in to too dark and harsh lines too quickly about 20 minutes in — easy to do in this type of drawing. Also, working near the edge of the paper is always a tricky thing to do, but an important thing to do.

Emotions play a big part in drawing. I had a pretty rough/stressful day at work, so I think that played in to this a little in the expressionism gestures in the line quality, etc.

I stopped it at 22 minutes instead of half an hour because I felt that if I kept going I was really going to overwork it way too much. Getting fine details in a quick sketch is always a tricky thing to do. How far is going to far. How much time is left. The clock starts to not matter much but I want to keep these below 30 minutes for now.

I ultimately want to do one quick sketch like this daily and then one longer work that takes a long time on the side after that. This is a transition in to that. Currently I’m working on some color pencil drawings for the longer drawing, but didn’t work on it yesterday or today. I want to make the quick sketches be done every single day regardless of how I feel or if I want to or don’t want to draw that day. If I keep them below half an hour, that’s a lot more possible and realistic then trying to do a masterpiece that takes hours daily, etc. Time management is an important and difficult thing to master.

5/25/2011

5/25/2011
5/25/2011 © 5/25/2011 Jeff Thomann

20 Minute Sketch
Media: Ball Point Pen and China Marker on Paper

I’m not super happy about the results here. I got the proportion off a little on this and was a bit distracted too since the tv was on when I was drawing. I was going to skip tonight since I skipped working out tonight due to the weather (tornado watches and warnings earlier this afternoon) but really don’t want to do that. I really need to do at least one drawing a day to get in to the good habbits I need to develop. Ink is not a forgiving medium, but that makes me know that I need to work harder to get it right the first time.

a few more quick drawings.

I’ve been sketching after work for 30 minutes or less to just sort of work my way back in to drawing. I’m using ballpoint pen for these so far since they are easily scanned without a mess, and also are not messy. Here’s a few of the recent drawings. I’ll try to upload more of these as they are made in the future. I KNOW my skills can get better, and practice is the ONLY way to make that happen.

5/3/2011 – 5 minute drawing
5/3/2011 - 5 minute drawing

5/23/2011 – 25 minute drawing
5/23/2011

5/24/2011 – 25 minute drawing
5/24/2011

A couple of fast sketches.

I’ve started sketching again a bit. Here’s a couple from the last week.

Copyright © 2011 Jeff Thomann

I’m going to try to make it a point to do these 20-30 minute drawings daily after work, and then do more complex artwork after that. It’s sort of a fast way to retrain my art skills, transition from work life to art life, and try different things out to learn or relearn techniques, etc. I may upload more of these type of drawings in the future.

working on folio

Slowly working on portfolio website (see link on right). This weekend I put together a few of the pages over there. So far the Charcoal and Ball Point Pen sections are starting to shape up.

I have not put together the other sections yet completely since those require shooting digital photos of my works. Not being the greatest photographer in the world doesn’t make getting the quality that I like out of the camera the easiest thing in the world. Also, it does not help much that I’m shooting outside when I do the shots, and it’s been fairly windy the last several days. The other day I shot some of my brother’s old artwork from highschool and the tripod fell over with the wind while I was swapping drawings with others in the house. The part of the camera that attaches to the tripod flew off of the camera when it hit the pavement. I luckily got it back together, but have not tried to attach it back to the tripod since then. Note to self – add weights of some sort to tripod the next time I try to use it.

The ball point pen drawings are mostly some of the mall small scans I took. I tried to limit it to about 30 or so images for each section. That way a nice little navigation bar table fits well in most browsers. It’s still a little too wide for the smallest screen settings, but I really don’t think most folks use the smallest screen settings usually. If so, sorry folks… I am trying to get this thing looking good, not optimized for your super low res screens… It’s tricky using the floating navigation bars I’m using because Internet Explorer is tricky. If you don’t put the dtd type up at the top of the html, it doesn’t float the css navbars where they belong, and just sticks them at the top of the page where they scroll with the rest of it.

It’s slowly coming together. I’ve been doing some cleaning around the house this weekend since we’ll likely be moving before too long… found a bunch of ol floppy disks and that reminded me that the last time I tried to put together an online web portfolio like this I was doing it on floppy and zip disks on Campus because it was like the year 2002 and I was using the free modem pool that the University of Missouri had back then… a whopping speed of 28k! No wonder I got frustrated and quit putting together the website last time, lol.

This time, things are coming together a lot smoother, and hopefully this blog will help make things work out a little better. I’ll add more to the website as I get more images put together and organized. I really like this click the image to get a bigger copy of it idea. I also like the floating nav bars with transparent backgrounds that makes it nice, clean, and easy to maneuver around in.

Got any pointers, tips, or ideas on how I can improve portfolio? Shoot away and give me some comments. I like listening to what people have to say. 🙂 😉

idea: rolling pin wood block printing.

here’s a bizzare idea that I just thought of… what about engraving rolling pins to create wood block type of prints. In a typical print shop you cut flat planks of wood to do engravings on and put it through a roller to apply pressure to the paper. What about just engraving a wooden rolling pin so that the pin itself acts as a roller that puts the ink on the paper. Strange idea, but for those on a budget without a typical printing press, it sounds like it might possibly work… but now the question is will a rolling pin stand up to that sort of damage? In printmaking class back in college, another cheapo alternative I remember talking about with the professor was using wooden kitchen spoons to sort of rub the paper on to the top of a cut up piece of wood or metal to make the print. This idea with the rolling pin sounds more logical to me as long as you can figure out a way to make the registration marks stay where you want them, and the paper stay while the rolling pin moves.

Color Pallette… Color Blindness… When is a something done?

I have mentioned color pallette in a few postings already, but don’t think I’ve gone in to a lot of detail about my personal preferences in my own color uses, why I have those preferences, etc. so I figured it might be time to post a little bit about that here, even though most of the stuff that I’m uploading to the artfolio is not color yet – It’s mainly black and white or blue and white sketchbook scans for now, but I’ll get around to uploading the color works later, and at that time, it’ll be good to know a little about my use of color.

For those of you that don’t know this yet, I am partially color blind. Greens and Reds that are medium toned or darker tend to look alike to me, which appears to be the same color as a grey color (just black and white) tone of the same value. Luckily, I’m not fully color blind, or else this little issue would have a much more major impact on my artwork than it does now. Bright reds, and greens are very visible to me. It’s only the darker tones that are usually seen in shadows that make things a bit difficult for me.

Because of this, I have a tendency to drive myself towards pointillism type of styles, or similar types of styles that use visual color mixing instead of real color mixing, at least in this part of the color spectrum. That way, I can move in very close to the canvas, and look at what is going on with the color blobs up close and personal to try to resolve issues and create a plan of attack to figure out what move to make next in this chess game of creating art.

Eye strain headaches does come to me after a while of doing this sort of stuff, especially since I’m near sighted… because I’m constantly looking at different areas of the painting, or color drawings at a distance, and then up close, and then at a distance, and maybe upside down to check composition, etc. I did not even realize I needed glasses for my near-sightedness until after I graduated from college, but I really should have probably gotten glasses a very long time before that. My dad loves transitions lenses and got me hooked on using them since they keep me from having to constantly buy sunglasses only to lose them. However, the transition lenses do cause me problems when making art and viewing art sometimes since they put a dark tone on everything I see through them. Because of that, I have to take off my glasses to view things in museums, galleries, or as I paint sometimes so that I’m not making major color/tonal mistakes. That causes even more eye strain on occassion. I do like the transition lenses since my eyes are pretty sensitive to light, and they make staring at a computer all day at my 40 hour a week job more tolerable. However, I hate that they cause me to not be able to see a lot of true colors at a distance… All through school, I remember squinting a lot in painting classes and drawing classes. I just assumed that this was normal at the time since I had never thought to check with a vision specialist. I knew that I was color blind, and just sort of assumed that the squinting and headaches were a normal part of the process of creating art. I sometimes wonder how things would have been different if I had glasses way back in elementatry school….
Strangely, all of this does not have a huge impact on viewers of my work because a lot of artists use green to muddy down red and vice versa to get shadow colors and tones as they are on opposite ends of the color spectrum.

My favorite colors are somewhat bright and intense. As mentioned in another post, I love the color pallette that folks like Remington use, where there’s lots of vividness to the work and it sort of brings a positive cheery mood in to play.

I like mixing colors on the canvas itself visually more than a lot of other painters do. I do mix colors when I can but like using paint staight out of the bottle when possible so that it’s easier to come back to an area and re-work it or balance it out with similar colors on opposite ends of the canvas if I need to… Stuff that comes out of a bottle is usually mixed fairly closely to other stuff that comes out of a bottle that has the same label and is made by the same company. That makes it easier to not have a lot of worries about painting an area and then needing more of that same paint mix later, but not being able to find it because you cannot figure out the exact proportions of which paint you mixed to arrive at that color, especially when, like me, you are color blind so physicially mixing the paint is a very difficult chore. That label on the bottles of paint helps ease my mind in making decisions since I know that the green in that bottle is the same green that I got out of that bottle an hour ago. Pointillism type effects can be used to help mix and match just about any color that exists, at least at a certain distance.

My favorite oil paint colors are usually Cadmium Red (for bright bold red intensity), Crimson Red (for darker red tones and colors), Currealean Blue (for highlights that are in blue – lots of artists are afraid to use blue in highlights, which is a huge loss to their works), Cobalt Blue (for mid-intensity blues), Prussian Blue (for really deep dark blues), and occassionally a very bright yellow, and maybe something strange like violet, which can be very bright and noticible if applied thickly or almost unnoticible if applied thinly with the rest of the colors mentioned above, either scumbled on or put in to small dabs in small pointillism type fields of color on the canvas. I also use just about any other color out there that I can on occassion in small bits, but the colors listed above are the main ones that I usually end up utilizing the most. Most of my works usually end up heading toward red/blue side of the color spectrum because of that. There’s just something about Purple/Violet combinations or near-purple violet that is reached by visual color mixing that I really love – it’s a deep passionate, and dramatic color scheme.

I have a bad tendency to sometimes fall in to the elementary color trap that many artists fall in to on occasions, thinking of blue as dark/cool, red as bright/midrange, and orange for brighter areas than that, and yellows for highlights, instead of really looking at the way things are in reality and trying to match it as closely as possible – where all areas of the color spectrum exist in both bright and dark areas. I do try to balance out that fallacy, which is not always a true representation of reality when I can, but it’s usually a lengthy process since I try to put more and more color range in to both shadows and highlights as I proceed throughout a color pencil drawing or painting — many times I fail horribly and overwork the artwork. It’s hard to know when a work of art is “done.” There are defintitely “levels of doneness” as I like to think of them to any work of art…

Simple abstract forms with simple lines is the first level. The second level takes that and adds more tones or patterned areas to break up the light and dark more. The third level balances things out more and more, making the really complex patterns more worked out with brush stroke placement becoming one of the most important aspects of the work – a small line that’s the wrong color in the wrong place can unbalance everything and cause compositional balance to completely dissappear. Then, on the next level, things really start getting complex… as Professor Bohac used to say, that’s when it’s time for an artist to “fight their way out of a paper bag…” because a simple little thing that’s as wide as a centimeter or smaller can unbalance the entire work…. and as paintings start coming to a level of “reality” that is almost near photo-quality things get even more complex, and the “living elements” of the work start dissappearing more and more… The more realistic a painting gets to be, in terms of photo-realism, the less gestural qualities the work has… Artists, especially those that work with narrative, portrait, or landscape subjects can find themselves in hard to get out of places with their works as they get in to internal conflict about “how realistic” to make the work… since each level of realism requires more work on the entire canvas…

A simple line drawing done in 30 seconds or less can be thought of as a final work of beautiful art just as a photo-realistic painting that took thousands of hours to create can… Any and Everything in between these two extremes is where most artist live. It’s a very dangerous rocky terrain with a lot of smooth valleys full of beautiful smelling flowers. It takes a true artist to know how to balance it all out and make sure that the level of realism is right for the work in question, and each individual area of each work’s composition in question. There’s a different answer for each artists and each individual work.

As I post more artworks in to this blog, I’ll try to explain my own individual tendencies, techniques, and ways of doing things to get my works to where I want them. It is often said that an artist is his/her own most critical judge. I agree with that somewhat. However, that judgement is what makes us who we are, and makes us strive to do better in the future, or to strive to make horrible and hideously disgusting works that cause fear in the hearts of mankind…. It’s all about figuring things out and making them work… knowing the messages you are trying to communicate and trying to find ways to make those messages clear. For me compositional balance is a very important thing. For others, maybe not so much. I’ll try to post more artwork here in the blog later this week.

Exhibits Tag and Category

The Exhibits Tag and Category of this blog is reserved for artwork that I have enterered in to various exhibits. I will try to mention in each individual posting, or in the first comment of each posting which exhibits each item was in. I will also try to create a tag, and possibly as category for each individual exhibit. However, the main exhibits tag and category will be applied to all works that were in any exhibit.

Similarly, I’ll try to tag each item with a tag denoting the original year that the item was created. By default I’m tagging all artwork that I know that I created in College with the college and 1999 tags since I graduated in December, 1999, and I might not be able to pinpoint the exact year between 1994-1999 that the college artwork was created. (Yes, it took me 5 and years to graduate from college, but that’s mainly because I took a few extra classes in order to get a theater minor).

Artwork created in Highschool will be tagged with the tags 1994 and highschool because I graduated from highschool in 1994.