March 24, 2011

Stop, Drop, & Roll

That's what I should have done several weeks ago while working on this. Halfway through painting, I realized it wasn't the direction I wanted to take. It's a decent painting, but I wasn't liking it.
Instead of setting it aside, I made the mistake of trying to finish it. But because I wasn't happy with it, I ended up not touching it, nor painting anything else in the meantime.
I should have Stopped, Dropped (this painting), and Rolled (on to something else).

-okay, okay, I admit that was a pretty bad pun.

March 17, 2011

Remove Thyself from Distraction


The warmer weather has been a big distraction to me lately and it's been more challenging to focus on personal art projects.

Another 'distraction', which has plagued me as a artist, is the wide range of colors available to me when I paint. I thought I'd share an experiment I've been working on as a way to 'remove this distraction' when I'm starting a painting.

What I do is find ANY image in which I feel a good range of values and a color system exists. The trick is really to find a good image in the first place. It can be a painting by another artist, a photo, a design, a video still, or whatever. I then reduce the size of it in an image editing program so it's only composed of a handful or more pixels.

I then take a screen capture of it at a zoomed in view. Now, I can color sample from these swatches as I paint, knowing I have a decent limited color palette which already works in a pre-existing image.

To illustrate this experiment, I took 9 of my paintings and reduced them down so you could see what they'd look like as pixels. All of the above images are from my blog. Can you guess where they're from?

I used this method (but with an image not of my own) when starting this painting, which I posted earlier in my blog. I found it really interesting what I could accomplish with only a few colors and values.

Have you figured out which swatches are from which paintings yet? Here's a cheat sheet:


Click to view it larger.

March 3, 2011

Austin-Putilov

What kind of name is that?

Very early in the first World War, the Russians wanted some armored cars. They didn't have the production capabilities to make any and decided to order them from the United Kingdom instead. The Austin Motor Company built the original models sold to the Russians. Improvements were made to the design during the following years.

Not long after that, the Russians decided to build their own version of the armored car using the Austin chassis. This task was given to Putilovski Works -hence the name Austin-Putilov.