Friday, 23 June 2017

Italian salesman

Back in winter I found a great reference to paint from. It's from my friend back in Czech Republic Nikola Adlerova, who is a great photographer and she posted the picture on her fB Pages.

FB of Nikola's pages

Here's the photo of an Italian salesman that she took on her trip in Naples:




It is gorgeous, isn't it?

I was especially drawn by the expression of the face so I cropped the image and started with burnt umber underpainting and after that I proceeded with opaque paint starting with darks (more transparent) and finishing up with highlights (put on with palette knife)

step No.1 Burn umber underpainting


Step No. proceeding with colour (from darks to lightest areas)


Italian salesman (Oil on canvas board, 6x8 inches)

It was just a small quick endeavour to have a fun and I hope you can feel it from this little sketch :-)

Pete


Thursday, 22 June 2017

Gouache master studies

It has been a year ago since I stumbled across this great video of Jeffery Watts showing his extraordinary skills in action:


On the basis of that video I did a series of studies on a rough watercolour paper in June 2016:




From top left to right bottom - my own character design (it's painstaking to paint from memory - I don't like it too much), Frank Frazetta's destroyer, Barbarian from Deviant art and some old warrior again based on some reference from deviant art.

After one year I decided to revisit this idea in more depth. I think I will continue to do these master studies in the future because it is so helpful in developing the sense of design, brushmanship and so on. I did all tree master studies based on the video. The hardest part I have to admit was to draw the pencil underdrawings. To see all the shapes properly in space and put them right. Skill of drawing is essential really - so If you can, don't trace your subject and draw it free hand like I did. Here's my final takes on those master studies.


Stranik after Watts after Cornwell


Stranik after Watts after Leyendecker


Stranik after Watts after Frazetta

I approached all the laying of the paint in style of tiling as Jeff Watts describes. I watched a chunk of the video for a few minutes, paused and tried to emulate the Jeff's handling of a brush. All of this took me three times more that on the video. 

Keep learning whatever it is guys, Pete




Tuesday, 20 June 2017

It's been a while

Hello all the good people from the internet,

I have to admit that I've been quite inactive for past few months - I mean blogging wise. I'm at the beginning stage of learning that beautiful craft of painting, art, illustration etc and I strive to get better every possible given time - that is - when I'm not at work. So I train how to draw, move paint around. There's too many topics to master - portrait, landscape, figure, still life. If I train in one realm for a while I can see almost in an instant that I neglect another area - It could be so overwhelming. Nowadays I seldom do my own finished work and if so I have this feeling most of the time that it is not worthy to put on the web - maybe because You can see all the beautiful work from another artists all around the world by just clicking the button. You can see that you have so much to learn ahead of you.

But, I feel that It's helpful to share my personal journey of learning in order to keep pushing, so I have decided that I'll share with you even my study progression and some of my finished work as well. At times, there would be something for sale on my DPW (Dailypaintworks) pages.  

I would be so grateful for your feedback in comments - What do you thing about my work, what would you improve and If you're from Yorkshire area I would be really grateful for suggestion of collaboration if you're a fellow artist for example. We can do an plain-air trip together or to share some knowledge about techniques etc. 

I intend to have my posts shorter and brief to maintain some kind of frequency. At times I'll post just a link to my new instagram endeavours to keep you briefly updated. 

Sorry to be inactive and there's just some bits of training endeavour that I've been working on:

Drawing from life - my sleeping corner (it's quite laborious)


Quick sketch of my "moka" gadget 

These following pictures are master studies of my favourite artists:


Jeff Watts master study


Jeff Watts master study


John Singer Sargent


Kreutz


Joh Singer Sargent

All the well for all of you, Petr


Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Still life: Pete's essentials

Another try of my painting from life has happened merely 3 months back when it was still quite cold to go outside. I set my self a little still life made of things that I use for cooking the most. Healthy stuff, Isn't it? On the attached pictures you can see my setup in the final stages. Unfortunately in the beginning stages I don't usually feel compelled enough to make some photos because these moments when I don't know what's gonna happen always put a lot of anxiety in to my soul. But briefly - I started on stretched canvas over the drawing board with tape. I Use rolled primed canvas (https://www.jacksonsart.com/jacksons-339g-10oz-universal-primed-cotton-duck-canvas-medium-grain-183cm-width-10m-roll). Than I proceeded with underpainting in this case directly as a colour wash. In this case it is more difficult track your values so I had to be especially conscious about value changes. Afterwards I stared with all the high chroma objects (i.e. yellow pepper, vinegar bottle and tomato) One may start with oil can but I thought that I needed warming up :-) It looked so cumbersome to start with the oil can. Once I gained confidence the finish was quite pleasing process. Only thing that I edited was the background of the picture towards the edges - I made it more darker so that my subject could appear with a more gleaming effect.  



Picture of my setup and a "selfie" with a better expression than at the beginning stages.


Completed thing - Pete's essentials (oil on canvas 9x11 inches)

Friday, 7 April 2017

Why I try to maintain a physical fitness

My regime of my sportsmanships conveys 4days per week of disgusting exercises - Why Do I do that? Basically It's three-fold!

First reason: TIREDNESS

As an artist who always strives to learn more and more artistic stuff I always have a feeling that I don't have enough free time to do my learning. But If I had just a free time and wasn't tired physically I wouldn't be able to concentrate on the process of learning as much as I would want. If you're tired you can relax more and you have a feeling that you deserve your relax time. And because the pure essence of relaxation for me is art it's a good idea to wreck myself with some exercises.

In addition to that reason I would like to mention that I've learnt how to compress my exercise time to a minimum with a same amount of tiredness. The only problem is that is so painfull! :-) It's a usually crossfit kind of training for time with some handstand pushups, pull ups, squats, deadlifts and so on. It takes me usually 20 minutes per session. I have this kind of training twice a week usually on Tuesday and Thursday straight after work. Through out a weekend I have both days a Sprint session in park in Beeston here in Leeds at 5:45 sharp. It's literally 10 minutes of compressed pain which contains 8 bouts of sprint at my top speed (nothing to brag about I think but I have to mention that I always put 100% effort on them)

It always help me to collect some references of facial expression (before and after session :-D ):

My self-portrait after session - endorphines at their best
 
In the picture at left that's me with my cuppa before session (not so exited) and on the right that's my self-portrait straight after session with endorphins at their best.
Second reason: MY OWN ANATOMY REFERENCE

Since I believe that for maintaining an optimal body composition it's wise to look in the mirror instead on the scale I took photos of me in the mirror to evaluate the hard work and to see If I'm able to maintain solid shape - I know it is somehow narcissistic but it is way more accurate that a scale trust me.

But that's not a point. These images provide me a great learning tools for anatomy of a human figure. Some of the studies are shown down below:







Third reason: I CAN EAT MORE! (I know - not art related)

I don't eat junk food and I eat considerably low carb diet so I know that If I want to binge on carbs, I have to deserve them. I think only appropriate time for carbs is post exercise and that is the time when I have my high healthy non simple sugar home baked sweet potato pancake with some yogurt, strawberries and nuts on top. For sweetening everything up I usually use stevia powder.  

If you would be interested for exact recipe for this pancake give me a shout! Here's the picture of the final product down below. It doesn't look so great because there's a loads of cinnamon and cocoa powder on top but trust me it's gorgeous! Maybe I'll do a still life in the future from the ingredients of that pancake - I think that would look alright - strawberries, sweet potato, eggs, yogurt in some nice glass jar... What do you think?


My sweet potato pancake with some heavenly stuff on top...(caution! - only allowed after exercise)

Have a blast all of you,

Best regards Pete!




Wednesday, 22 March 2017

My first sold painting overseas...

It's been almost a month since I received a mail from my main art-selling pages www.dailypaintwork.com that someone wants my picture!

I was so thrilled because it showed me that some can appreciate what I do and all of my effort is worthwhile and the idea of my painting hanging in someone's home is so exiting! So I'm happy to announce that my painting "Chill" have it's own place for chilling in California!! (on the picture right bottom).



It looks happy - isn't it?

After this success I managed to sold another painting "Delivery" this time to Massachusetts! 

I want to express unbelievable happiness of mine. Knowing that the pictures could last on these walls for god knows how long wherever in the world - What a lucky me!

Be grateful, happy and enjoy your day wherever you are.

Petr

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Importance of master studies

I think and many successful artist that I know and learn from have a same opinion. In order to get better it's not a bad idea to copy some of your favourite artist. You can observe their brushwork, colour mixtures, edge work and how loose or tighten they are/were. Since I love portraits and it's always a challenge to do them correctly I've decided to give a try and study one of the greatest - John Singer Sargent.

I started with his rapid studies of some people because this unfinished pieces can reveal the most of the procedure. I wasn't that cautious about to have the same likeness of the subject which you can see on pictures down below, but I was more eager to capture how the paint is layed out on the canvas, how colours are vivid/gray or his edge work.

On the pictures there's original on the left and my copy on the right - Under first comparison there's an example how I approached this copy for a start - I used raw umber for an underpainting. The rest two master studies were started as Sargent would do it - just lay in the proportions with charcoal...

Few things that I've learned:

1. My final studies are lot more cooler because my lightning in my studio is warm  - So I have to change the bulbs for neutral light (5000K) to get my colours truthful. Pictures of the studies are captured in day light (more neutral) so it's even more conspicuous. If I would make a shoots of the pictures under my artificial light it would be that vivid.

2. My darks are on some places little bit duller because I polluted them with white in order to lighten them a little bit - That is mainly in warm darks - So in future I'll try to lighten them with a mixture of yellow and white.

3. Sargent made me definitely more aware of the edges and I thing that was the most valuable thing that I've acquired from this lesson.


Sargent master study 1 



My tonal underpainting for my first master study of Sargent work


Sargent master study 2


Sargent master study 3

So my fellow artists please give me some suggestions/advices/tips how to improve my oil painting portraiture. From this comparison I can tell that I have lots to do.

Have you all blast! Petr



Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Watercolour experience - tips and tricks that I've learned

It's been a year when I tried watercolour for my first time. I found a series lectures on this topic on youtube via a great artist by the name of Stan Miller:

https://www.youtube.com/user/Stanleylestermiller

The quality of the videos isn't the greatest but the information I think is top-notch. Stan himself is a master watercolorist and I think there's merely no one better...

The main difference between watercolour and oil paint for example is that watercolour is not opaque medium, it's transparent and you have to basically diligently start from the lightest colour and go step by step towards darks. So in watercolour planning ahead is crucial - once you put a darker colour than you've intended in and don't react within 5 seconds or so you can't really fix it. That is the reason why it's one of the hardest mediums to handle.


You always have to be careful and aware about edge work. You have to do it on the go every time you put the color, line, splash of mixture on the paper. There's no way how to fix the edges afterward.
That's the main reason I think that my picture of John Scofield lacking various edges - I was more focus on leaving the highlights untouched - nose, beard, forehead. Next time I'm gonna be more aware I promise!

So in my little step by step pictorial demostration I show you how I proceeded with the portrait of John Scofield - my favorite Jazz guitarist.

STEP 1. Reference picture:


I must admit this picture lacking various edges itself - that is the reason why painting from life is more accurate and you can add more of your perception of the subject. Unfortunately John didn't want to go the the bloody rainy England :-)

STEP 2. Lay in the drawing:


No cropping! I always try to do it freehand from observation. Sense for proportion is like a muscle and it is necessary I think to exercise it whenever you can - If I would be professional artist with deadlines maybe I would have to crop it but if you have all time in the world I suggest do it freehand. It's not perfect but I think likeness is almost there...

One most important thing - in watercolour it is crucial to have this lay in as accurate as possible due the properties we've discussed - no room for error.

STEP 3. Laying in the colours:

I'd stared with the most difficult area crucial for likeness - eyes and nose, then more compelled for completion I proceeded outwards the face. 


STEP 4: Finishing the painting.

- I definitely overthought the background and the three colour is to much. I've learnt from this mistake and I now now that the simpler background the better...




John Scofiel portrait (watercolour on A4 watercolour paper)


As you can see if you concentrate to much on one thing you can lost awareness of something else - I think I depicted the likeness in some degree and the colour and values (which is the most important thing) are on spot. But I definitely lost perspective and some sense of the form in the picture (feels flat) and as I've said edge work is not something to brag about also. 

It's been a year since I did this one so I hope that I've made a significant progress along past 12 month and my work is better now. Although I'm more focused on oil painting...

Have a lovely state of being, Petr






Sunday, 12 March 2017

Fantastic movie to be seen

I've found just hour ago this little movie about old master from renaissance and their discoveries.

It's a worthwhile movie to be seen, I highly recommend to you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cp5iqYawEw8

Have a nice Sunday Everyone!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Reference pictures - sometimes a struggle.

I know what you'll tell me. Painting from pictures isn't such a experience as a painting from life. And I have to agree. But sometimes it's hard to seek out interesting ideas for life painting if you want to stay at home. That's even more truthful if you live in cold England...

I've recently met a great pages where people from all around a globe offer their photographs for artist as a reference pictures. Here there are:

https://pmp-art.com

Great thing about it is that you pick your picture, portray it in your own style and you post it on the pages and tag a creator of the photo reference so that he or she can see that his or her photo was inspiring for an effort.

I've done two pieces from this pages and both had a huge success among the people on pmp-art.com which made me so happy and I keeps me motivated (although today was a hard day at work and I've decided just to procrastinate which doesn't feel always good but what you gonna do right? :-) )

Here they are:


Tiger cub (oil on gesso board 6 x 8 inches)


Samurai (oil on streched canvas 20x30 inches)

If you want to see the actual reference photos go to my profile on the pmp-art.com

https://pmp-art.com/petr-stranik

where are the linkages under my paintings that will bring you towards creators...

Have a nice Evening everyone!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Commission as a pure pleasure

On 4th of December I visited my dear friend Andrew in his lovely house in Menston which is small area near Otley -really nice place to visit and I recommend you to do it if you're in west Yorkshire.
Andrew is a person whom I hold a big gratitude to. He gave me my job! Thanks to him I can make a living here in England as a delivery driver.

But this article is mainly about our collaboration in artistic field. He'd saw my paintings of big cats (Security, Spotted which you can also find in section "ART-WILDLIFE") and he thought that I would be able to manage to capture his gorgeous german shepherds Izak and Zephyr.

So on that Sunday the 4th I went to his house and met his lovely wife Sonia and the figures of action - Izak and Zephyr. Guys were in a great mood and it was such a blast to see them thrive (I think Zephyr  didn't have a pleasant childhood and Andrew and Sonia rescued him from suffering). I made a bunch of reference pictures on the sofa, in the garden, in doors and outdoors in various position to get myself exited in order to portray them right.

Part of the deal was to make another picture of their old dog Reuben who unfortunately past away year ago. So the quest here was to make two paintings - one of Reuben's from an old photograph and one of Izak and Zephyr all together from the reference that I would obtain for myself in the place of action - home of Andrew's. On the following pictures you can see chronological process of making this painting. At the very bottom of the page you can see a painting of Reuben's as well...



Pic. No. 1 - chasing the right posture of the guys in their home


Pic. No. 2 Preliminary sketch of my picked composition - the main emphasis here is on the expression of a different temperaments of the Izak and Zephyr (Zephyr is more subtle and quiet and Izak is more curious)


Pic. No. 3 Early stage of a putting colour in place...


Pic. No. 4 Final product - Izak and Zephyr (oil on board 24x18 inches)


Reuben (oil on board 14x12 inches)

If you like what I do please give me a shout or if you would like me to do some commission on the similar topic (apparently I love to paint domestic animals of any kind) don't be shy and write me a message. 

All the light in your hearts (especially these days in winter) wishes you Petr...







Monday, 30 January 2017

Setting up a still life in my studio

In  this December right after me moving in to my new place I decided in order to get better finally paint from life. And since I'm very, very shy person and in England and when it's winter - it's really bad idea to go out to paint so I made a decision to start small - to set up a basic still life in my apartment.

"what I want to paint?" I asked myself. As Richard Schmid advocates it should be something that excites you....

You wouldn't believe this but squashes excite me a lot - especially when I make a delicious meals out of them (my favourite is hokkaido squash pancake with some yogurt and strawberries on top) but that's maybe for a different kind of blog or maybe not - write my an enquiry and I'll send you an email with a recipe. My another precious thing in my life is a good coffee and I really dig my moka maker (it's a miraculous tool indeed!). So I gathered them all together and result is seen on the pictures below.

Few mistakes were made - I set up my first still life for a natural daylight which made me a person under a pressure - since I don't have northlight window, shades and lighting were moving so fast so it was kind of a hustle. And a second mistake was that I hadn't made myself a coffee before this sitting so it was twice as demanding to make a picture without a proper level of caffeine because my moka maker was in capture...

Anyhow you can see the result here:


Quicky! - light's coming!


It's been set up pretty quickly - I knew what I wanted - Squashed dance :-D


"Squashed dance around moka" (oil on canvas panel 6x8 inch)

Friday, 20 January 2017

Another tiger painting

Since I love wildlife kind of painting I'd decided before I moved out from my old place that I would try my first painting with tonal underpainting. Up till then I was used to work just with pencil drawings before I started with full rendering with oils.

This tonal approach is the basic and classic way to start a painting. It's a great way to guide your painting process because it includes an information about values (how dark or light things are) as well along with drawing of course. And it's more fun as well because you start with paint right away (in this case I used raw umber for underpainting).

Two major stages are shown down below. In reference picture there were two person behind the tiger and I found them quite disrupting in the composition so I had to edited a picture which effected a lightning of the scene. I hope that I somehow managed to keep the lightning believable....


tonal underpainting in the beginning stage (raw umber)


Final product called "Chill"


Sunday, 1 January 2017

French stranger at the table

Sometimes when you're looking for a topic for your paper/canvas/board/forehead or whatever surface you don't seem to find something that would bring you towards that surface to begin putting some colours in it. 

I've been always fascinated with people and the expressions of theirs. Especially strangers whom you don't know and you quite have to guess what's their purpose in this world (is he/she father/mother, good businessman?, artist?, homeless? person who's recently survived a hard struggle?). One just wonders. And that's one of the reasons why I like to travel - I can see a different nature of people all around the globe (besides a nice landscape, buildings, beaches etc...)

back in August when I was in south France, Nice, Riviera of France with my friend, we went in one evening to have some delicious French wine. Right next to us was this person - A middle age man who had discussion with some lovely woman. Something in this guy was just striking. So I made a secret pictures from our table to have some reference shoots for my future use. And I've use it when I got back from my holiday to make this picture called "Will she give me any sugar?" That's what I thought he was most likely thinking (that woman was beautiful!) 

Some of my secret photoshoots (Yea sometimes you have to be like an agent -  but it pays of because the expressions of the people are more natural - storytelling right?). You can buy this work via link down below. 



Here's the final product on A4 watercolour paper painted with Gouache. 




 "Will she give me any sugar?" (Gouache on watercolour paper A4)

http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/639227