Monday, 1 January 2018

My First Imaginative Fantasy Picture In Adobe Photoshop

I have always loved dragons, warriors, heroes etc in various fantasy novels and stories. One that stands out obviously is the whole franchise from middle earth. Recently I read one trilogy called "Summoner" by Taran Matharu and I have to say It was really refreshing and the plot and the whole universe is quite unique.

My picture is a scene that I imagined while reading the pages from the first book "The Novice" where the main character abandoned his home with his Imp that resembles a small dragon. In the scene Imp made a fire for our main character to get him little bit warmer.

I decided to do this work based on the story that haven't gotten so much artwork yet because It is quite new book and I didn't want to be biased in any possible way (If you think about it that's quite harmful in the case of LOTR movies - because now we have a firm picture about environment, scenes and even the appearance of characters in the given universe)

I started project with pencil on paper:

Sketch #1

This sketch and the one that follows were done from imagination. That is to say that I erase a lot and chase the idea quite religiously - It is not a loose sketch - I spent about an hour on each of these because of that. I would love to have that ability to sketch something in 5 minutes :-)

in the pencil sketch above Imp is right in action of spitting the fire and the whole composition is quite flat so I decided to give it a little perspective and since in the book the Imp is wingless I decided to put the wing out of the picture as well. After some thought I realised that it would be better to portray the scene as a "aftermath" with the fire right in the picture. For next stage of sketching I went right into photoshop - because erasing in this program isn't that cumbersome. 

Fletcher (the main character) and the Imp Sketch #2

From this sketch I proceeded to the final painting. I downloaded a loads of reference images - about dozen forests, fires, characters near the fire, dragons etc. I didn't rely on any given reference so much always striving to make the appearance my own. 

I have to say that painting and drawing from life is much more relaxing and easier than to make a scene completely out of your imagination. The most rewarding thing on this kind of work for me is the final product when your vision is somewhat realised. 

I have to say that in the original series the imp's appearance in "The Novice" book is lot more smaller and can actually fit behind your neck as a small ferret so I deviated a lot in this case. I used it only as a inspiration. 

So here's the final painting:

Fletcher and Ignatius (digital)

In overall I'm happy with a picture and the whole process of picture making. In the hindsight I have to admit that the first pencil sketch had more impact composition wise - it makes you think more about the scene out of the frame (the fireplace isn't included in the picture) and hence makes it maybe more interesting. Maybe the final painting is too literal..

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.


Thursday, 21 December 2017

About this time - Gratitude and feeling of contribution

Ahoy all you good people, how's the festive season working for you? I chose to give you heads up by "Ahoy" exclamation not because I would be some kind of marine enthusiast or some kind of pirate but because this exclamation is the closest one to Czech "Ahoj"

Recently I'm thinking about an idea to have my blog bilingual (English/Czech) but I haven't come with solution  yet how to put it in action. If someone would know how to do that here with Blogger platform I would be more than grateful!!

Since I pointed on the topic of gratefulness please let me give a chance to say that I'm so glad, that there's some people who enjoy my art and I can have that warm feeling of contribution. This year some of my paintings find a home in several places in United States due to the sales made through auction portal 

It's nice to know that my "touch" can reach places like North California (in the case of painting called Chill, State of Georgia (painting called Spotted), Massachusetss (painting called Delivery), Connecticut (painting called Turban Fellow) and Texas (Hey a'll) (painting of John Scofield)

Some of the paintings on my dailypaintworks pages are not for sale, because I gave them away as gifts to my relatives or as a farewell "thank you" to my former chief. I also had a great commissions (portrait of dogs for my former employer)

I'm looking forward to put my efforts to make myself a better painter and to provide for art lovers more products with ever increasing quality. That feeling that someone loves your work and actually is keen to put a value on the effort is invaluable. I love doing my work and I love even more to see it hanging in someone else's room across a globe (like in this case)

I would not like this post to be a picture less post so here's my still life study (charcoal on paper):

Stay festive people, it is coming..Pete

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

What to do if one's ill to "stay in shape"

Last week I had a flu. It wasn't anything bad, just clogged nose, slight fever but it was really hard to concentrate on any bigger endeavour. So I made just few sketches from my bed.

The first is done as a memory with a chat that I had in October with a principal of a JO-JOO circus that visited our town - mr. Jaromir Joo. I made some sketches of Siberian tigers over there (see my old post here)

It is in my watercolour/gouache sketchbook and is about 7x8 inches done in gouache. Picture is done from photograph that I'd taken before he allowed me to have a peek through the open window of the cage with his 600 pound Siberian tiger (To make my self a picture without bars of that cage). After that we had a chat about tigers and life in general. He is a clever fellow that has contributed to the rescue of Siberian tigers with 25 cubs bred within his circus.  

Second sketch is about 8 inches tall and it is from a photo of a miner from internet. In this case I worked with oils. It is hard to work from life if you're confined within your room in order to beat a flu out of yourself. Those sketches are means of staying "in shape" and not to forget your craft. With any given craft it's like a memory training or going to the gym - after while your skill can fade a bit if you don't use it often. 

This is not to say that I have acquired any sufficient skill for painting and drawing I just wanted to remain the skill that I have so far :-) Please notice that I'm aware that there is a long way to master my craft. I want to point out that I think it's important to maintain your skill (stay in shape) in some degree even if you feel like doing nothing. 

So stay in shape guys in whatever is your vocation. 


Wednesday, 15 November 2017

NEW Painting - Winter's coming.

Hi all of you. I've been thinking that would be nice to share with you how I made my recent painting called "Winter's Coming"

I visited my brother's place on 31st of October to help him just a little bit with the wood that he uses for his heating. After some chopping and cutting I made a few pictures of him in the cellar making finer wood chips. So here's my reference:

I got pretty lucky that a picture in its self had a quite good staging. I tried to get myself going with ballpoint pen preliminary (plus white chalk on toned paper):

BW preliminary sketch for "Winter's coming"

While doing a sketch I realised that in order to tell the story and the movement i.e. "gesture" I have to emphasise few things - so I intended to do the hands and the axe little bit bigger to push them closer to the viewer and to suggest more movement in my brother's right hand. After that I proceeded to small colour study in oils:

Preliminary colour study for "Winter's coming (4x6 inches on canvas) (you can see a little bit bigger hands and the axe and action lines in his right hand)

For this study I pushed colours in his hat and in the axe toward green to compliment reddish colour of his trousers. I declared that a warm grey of the hoodie is ideal and it will support both compliments. After that I proceeded for a final painting.  

Winter's coming - beginning stage

Above is my beginning stage of the final painting. I started with a gesture, emphasising hands and the axe even more and putting even more movement to the whole body. I even tried to put more "air" into the back of the hoodie. I strived to have little bit cartoonish feel (something like Norman Rockwell). I would like to point on the fact that it is not about a mere coping of the photograph but more about telling a story and push your narrative as further as possible (but still maintaining believability) So this is basically the third time that I draw a picture freehand. 
As for materials side of things I used a MDF board with two coats of white gesso and final coat of transparent gesso with tooth which I like so much (I don't like it slick). I used water soluble oil colours Cobra and great brushes Rosemary and Co. As I worked I used my photo reference in BW for proportions and my colour study for my mixtures. 
Painting took about 3 days of interrupted work (I've got troubles to start - yep you have that right - procrastination) and I tried to stand the whole time in order not to lose sight of a whole picture and to maintain gesture within the picture - you can lose it so easily when you get into detail. 

Winter's coming (17x24 inches, oil on gessoed board)

I love this kind of narrative work. There's something familiar in it I think even for a person who never met my brother. I hope that picture can give you a feeling of home, warmth or maybe makes you think about state of mind of the subject (I made him look somehow mysterious)
My opinion is that it is not about a single interpretation but more about what you (my audience) can derive from it based on your experience, feeling etc. And that is so magical in art I hope and that's the reason why I love it so much.

Stay warm, winter's coming! Petr

Monday, 13 November 2017

Evening news series No.III - quickie done from life within 1,5 hours

On this Friday the 10th of November I tested my new home-made field sketch easel in my parents living room, where I tried to depict my father watching evening news in this case . It has been done within 1,5 hours from life without any editing touches afterwards. I had that time range firmly set in the beginning of the session so that I was forced not to fuss about which I tent to do. The result is juicy application of the oil paint and a quick sketch that I'm quite happy about:

Father watching news (oil on board sketch)

It is really important to train oneself to paint from life, it will give you more confidence over time I hope. It's also more fun than photographs where you can't really soak in the character of your sitter. 
(More of a Evening news series here and here)

In the future post I will share with you how I made my sketch easel. 


Saturday, 11 November 2017

Morning cuddle painting

Recently I gave you a suggestion which of the preliminary sketches should I use for a oil painting. I was a nerve wreck to already start with my lovely oil colours so I made my pick. Since I love to paint people and animals I picked as a topic of my painting my mother with her morning coffee (5am) whilst cuddling her cat Symba. I picked my mother again because I knew that I can do a better job than in the past (see posts: here and here) because those were a paintings for time (around 2 hours) and now I had more time since I was working from photo.

To remind you I used this preliminary sketches of the hot spots of the picture:

After I'd acquired feeling for the expressions of my subjects I started with painting itself on very heavy watercolour paper (600 gms) with two coats of white gesso and final layer of transparent gesso which gives you more of a tooth which I prefer for more detailed work.

Again big thanks to rosemary brushes - working with them is just pure pleasure.

Morning cuddle (oil on gessoed board 10x14 inches)

I really enjoy this kind of illustrative work with traditional media so you can look forward to see more of the work like this. (If you enjoy it of course)

Stay warm beside a nice hot beverage and make sure that you have someone/something to cuddle - winter's coming!


Thursday, 9 November 2017

Preliminary sketching

I love to sketch with ballpoint pen and white chalk on toned paper in order to find out which idea would work as a bigger painting and which not. Here's some of my sketches coming from various family members, the final sketch is about 4 by 4 inches in oils - it's my father peeling potatoes expression :-) )

Mother's cat

Father peeling potatoes 1st take

Father peeling potatoes 

My brother chopping wood (future painting "Winter's coming")

Mother cuddling her cat

My brother

Father peeling potatoes

We will see which one will make it as a bigger piece.

Have a nice November everyone..