Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Shield Maiden Tempered

On the day of 9-27

On the final day of this piece I collaborated with my drawing friend Estella
and we managed to build a more balanced composition of it.
We got to an early start, and while I finished the process of polishing and refining the colors, she arranged the plant vines on either side of the figure. I suggested eyeballs hanging from the vines, and I think the overall effect is intruiging.
The addition of the plant forms in a circular pattern behind the figure does much to complete it, particularly as it is asymetrical.
At the risk of redundancy I will post the final images of this mural. On the final day of drawing it seemed to me that this warrior woman, though regal, is a woman of action. A pirate queen perhaps. The stocky arms suggest someone who is athletic and active. She would be the one to swing onto a ship from a rope; the first one over the edge with a grappling hook...

Shield Maiden Manifest

From 9-26

Did a nearly complete job of colorizing the warrior figure.
It was a gorgeous day for drawing.
There are days when I have such a satisfying time making art it almost seems unreal. A beautiful sunny Saturday, drawing with a friend.

Shield Effects

On 9-24

I came back to work on this one mid-day and only had a chance to do some partial coloring. I had meant the shield design to suggest organic shapes, and loosely patterned it off of a drawing from a reference book. The color scheme came out a bit different than I'd planned. The colors of the helmet piece offered an interesting blend and suggest a metallic bronze or copper.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dragon Tails

When I feel like drawing outside but I don't want to trek very far sometimes its nice just to work on my block.
These are just playtime designs...bread and butter. I can turn them out pretty easily, and don't have to think about it much, though it does take a while.
Back in Monterey when I'd covered a very long stretch of sidewalk with them, my neighbor called them 'dragontails'. When they densely pack an area and the negative space is all filled in they create a cool visual vibration.

Shield Maiden

Market and Dolores

Drawn today at a spot I like, on the sidewalk near a pet store on Market street.
Had a decent time drawing it, a composite from three different sketches. My friend Mikaela has such a striking face to draw from; this is another drawn from one of her photos.
Most people were friendly enough today but there seemed to be some disconnection. A lot of people were just intent on going about their business and seemed to have sour faces. Maybe it was the cool cloudy weather. And the wind was a bit intense. The fog spills over the hill very dramatically some days.
The figure I drew could be a base for one of the tarot characters. The general pose I borrowed from a Hindu costume sketch.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Prince of Wands Ascent

From 9-17

Finished the color process.
I was fairly happy with the results.
It was less windy.
Lots of love from the people!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Prince of Wands Color Shift

Today, 9-16

Had a good productive drawing day on the piece I started yesterday. Creating a large, complex outline usually takes a full day by itself, and the color fill takes at least as long. Worked on it from about 1 to 6 today. The site is so windy it is a bit uncomfortable sometimes, with dust blowing at me. The color work went smoothly enough, clockwork style.

A homebum was in the area when I arrived with his dog and cart. He set about spanging near me from people passing by, and when they didn't give him change he snarled at them.

A choice bit of dialogue:

"Man some people look at you like you're fuckin stupid if you don't have a job like me. I take care of my dog! They should give me money so I'm not breakin into their house and stealing their fuckin TV set!"

A while later I started talking to a local guy who seemed pretty disillusioned about SF. He described himself as a former homeless advocate for gay folks who had fallen out of popular opinion. I sympathize with anyone who can't afford to get their teeth fixed and the health care system doesn't do shit to help them. He ended up ranting at me about politics a little more than I would have liked.

All in all it was a good day for art. Working on Market, the people offer steady encouragement and compliments, and the rest look a bit befuddled.

The Wands suit is characterized by fiery reds, oranges and golds, and I stayed as close to that as I could with the basic colors. I was rather satisfied with contrasting the flesh tone of the figure with bluish gold.

The horse seems rather on the small size; more like a pony. I suppose this works. I was remembering that the Khans rode pretty small horses. Not much bigger than ponies.

The photos were taken at the end of the day and the angle of light made kind of a 'grainy' effect. Hopefully one more session will finish it and I will get decent photos.

Moon Priestess

From 7-13-09

I had a nice day of drawing on Haight street in mid July of this year. After meeting up with my crazy artist friend Cameron, we took the bus from Mission to the entrance to Golden Gate Park, where Haight street meets Stanyan. It was an excellent spot; I made good use of it's geography. The place I'd picked to draw was along the centerline formed by the middle of Haight street meeting the symetrical entrance to the park. It felt like I was lapping up at the enery of this axis, a laser beam pointing along the symetrical current. It was a nice, spacious area to draw, and being a nice day in the middle of the summer, there were tons of people.

It took all day to finish my outline and do the skin tones, and at the end of it I was rather satisfied, and excited about the next step. The figure had emerged cleanly, and the complexity of the symetrical forms on her dress had an extravagant effect.

Some folks in the area were nice enough to buy us drinks and some food. We listened with amusement to one guy among them whose tall tales just kept getting taller and taller. It went from driving a limo and meeting rock stars (plausible) to being buddies with Andy Warhol (stretching it pretty badly) to (I kid you not) multiple encounters with alien species who played games of basketball against each other. (Hey, who knows...)

I was looking forward to finishing the coloring of it the next day, but it was not to be. Upon arriving, most of my work had been shmooshed somehow. Fortunately, I had taken numerous pictures.

Luna Progress

I will be trying to get up to speed by posting the backlog of photos from the projects of the last few months. This one was fun, if exhausting, and got a good response from the passersby and the people in the neighborhood. It took up a large area and had some complex color effects. I worked on it from 8-1 to 8-3 of this year. I will post the photos of the work in progress and then another post for the finished piece.I had noticed this site in the course of scouting around: on the corner of Market and Dolores, a nice expanse of sidewalk. A nice mural site for the amount of foot traffic and it's central location, yet a little of to the side so that it wasn't directly in peoples' way. In front of a pet store.I have been trying to get a working image for the tarot figure of 'the moon'. It has been a devilishly difficult card to figure out. This attempt, though it had a nice result, didn't really hit the mark. The woman seems calm and patient, pleasant. The card for the moon is a fairly sinister card. It suggests madness, hysteria, illusion, sorcery. I met and talked to a number of different folks in the course of working on this one: an employee at the pet store, families, various street characters and artists.

Prince of Wands

Today I started a new piece at a favored spot along Market St. The corner of 15th and market St. was the site of a large mural I made in July; one which lasted about a month and a half. I decided to reuse the spot with a similar subject. The previous work was of the Knight of Cups: a figure on horseback, with the accesories of war yet having a calm demeanor.

The new one is again a figure on horseback, but this one is a bit more agressive in nature. He holds a large spear in one hand, and has an ambiguous, pan-cultural style. (While I was working on it, someone asked, 'Hawiian or Aztec?'. Later someone asked, 'is it Genghis Khan?'. I try to never give definite answers to these. I relish the murky origins, which ease the way for the archetype manifesting.

I worked on it today, 9-15, from about 1230 to 5, and managed to finish the outline. The next couple of days should be enough to complete the colors.