Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sketches: Images of Passengers Held Back Because of a Delayed Flight

I am back in Florida. However, the flight yesterday was an experience of some kind. I checked the departure time before getting on the way to airport. It said "On Time." Shortly after I got there, the time changed from 1 PM to 1:15 PM. And then it further changed to 2 PM and again to 2:25 PM. My son called asking if I wanted to go back home to wait. I appreciated it but decided to sketch people. I was happy, in a way, about the delay for I believe I got some breakthroughs in line of sketching. I kept searching for workable images and drawing them till it was time for boarding. Of course, there were quite unfinished ones which I didn't include here. You may also sense the mood changes in these images because of the delay.

By the time the plane was above this area, the captain informed the passengers that there was a severe thunder storm down there which prohibited the plane from landing. Therefore, we were hovering up there above this area like a "communist specter" [Karl Marx] for as long as a round trip to and back from Miami before I could throw myself to the ground to kiss the soil of Mother Russia. No, I mean Florida.

Arriving at the Airport

Two Female Passengers

The Pilot Announcing the Cause of Delay is Turbulence above New York. I Was Unable to Complete the Air-Hostess.

The Same Passenger in the First Sketch

A Pony-Tailed Geek with Eyes Looking Impatiently at the Departure Time Screen

A Muslim Passenger. At first I meant to draw his Daughter but She was soon out of Sight

Two Love Birds in Their Own World, not Caring about the Delay at All


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ink Wash: Arab Lady Working in the Park and Sunshine in the Woods

It was a beautiful sunshiny day today. I went to Forest Park. At the playground there were two Arab ladies with children playing. While one of them took care of the kids at the swing set, the other one was working with great concentration, sitting on the park bench. The image was against the sun, so from my angle, the view was like a woodcut, totally in black and white. Mainly I could only see the contour of the image, but it was very picturesque. After I made the sketch in pen, I was not satisfied with the image. Therefore,  I added ink wash when I got home. The second one was an ink wash from a photo I made at the park. The purpose was to practice needle scratch on paper, a technique I learned half a century ago from a show of English watercolor paintings. It was fun to do it except for the bad quality of the paper. At places I even scratched through the paper. I did it on a sketch book paper regretfully. I am sure if I had used heavy water color paper, the effect would be much better.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Alla Prima: Street Corner (Oil, 11 x 14)

I had to clean my paint box today since I would not use it for two weeks and some of the paint had already hardened. However, I didn't want to waste the comparatively fresh paint which I squeezed into the box not long ago. Therefore, I decided to do some experiment with the leftover paint. I was always amazed at the way Kim English was able to express the glaring sunshine outdoors. I studied carefully some of his works which depicted images in direct sunlight. I felt he had a special approach to handling the space of sun-lit area and shadows. I used a picture I took in New York last summer. The scene is the Columbus Circle on the corner of Central Park, where 8th Ave. and Broadway intersect each other.

I notice English often uses light cadmium yellow in sun-lit area bordering the shadow. At the same time he uses bright, nearly original, cobalt blue for the edging area of shadows while deep inside the shadow he dulls the blue color which is obviously a kind of tertiary blue. The following is one of the workshop participants Kim English quickly painted as a demo. Which is very telltale.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Introducing a Useful Website and a Master Landscape Artist Isaac Levitan

You may find the above link very useful. At the website you may search numerous classic masters work. You may search artist by alphabet, style, topic, and view his/her formal pieces and studies chronologically. there could be hundreds of artworks under the name of only one artist. Here is an example. Click one link and you'll get a lot of artworks and information.

John Singer Sargent

John Singer Sargent
Self-Portrait - John Singer Sargent
Born: 12 January 1856; Florence, Italy
Died: 14 April 1925; London, United Kingdom
Field: painting
Nationality: American
Art Movement: RealismImpressionism
Genre: portrait
Wikipedia article

Also, I'd like to introduce one of my most favorite landscape masters, Jewish Russian artist Isaac Levitan. Almost half a century ago in my high school years, there were quite a few photocopies of his major landscapes pinned up in my bedroom. Since I moved to this country more than 30 years ago, most of the classic masters I have studied here are Western world artists. Even though, during this period, I had some contact with Russian topics such as those in Russian-American artist Nicolai Fechin's works. Overall, Levitan became remote in my memory. 

I began to study many classic, modern, and contemporary European and American artists, among whom there is one American landscape artist named Marc Dalessio. He impressed me more than any other contemporary artists. He is currently teaching at Florence Art Academy, Italy. I believe I have introduced him in my blog. Not till I further researched Dalessio did I understand why I had a kind of special feelings for him. What I felt subconsciously now became logical. It turns out Delassio is a spiritual disciple of Levitan. The following are some of Levitan's works. The last one is Vladimirka Road. The road begins in Moscow, and ends in Siberia. the painting calls to mind the many unfortunate souls who trod the road, clanging their chains, on their way to exile. There is a woman waiting beside a small altar. Levitan tried to give the painting to an acquaintance who happened to be a Czarist government official. The guy was afraid to accept it.