Tuesday, August 27, 2013

On the Easel, by Kim Blair

On the Easel
Blue Wings and Blue Wings Too

Easels come in all shapes and sizes... from a simple table tripod to an ultra deluxe studio version that can hold more canvas than you might know what to do with.  

I recently read that the word 'easel' comes from a 16th century dutch word 'ezel', meaning ass... and the word 'horse' in English is used in a similar way to denote a supporting frame, such as a 'saw-horse'... you know those wooden frames or trestles that support wood for sawing.

Just a little painting trivia on a warm August day...

* (The large painting 'Blue Wings Too' is sold and living in a gorgeous little home in Lethbridge, AB, while the smaller painting 'Blue Wings' is on temporary display in Toronto, ON.)


Monday, August 19, 2013

Pencil Sketches, by Kim Blair

Focus on Features
Colored Pencil on Toned Paper

More homework assignments for my portrait drawing class...

Focusing on drawing specific facial features demonstrates the variation between individuals.  We only have to think of a loved one, or favorite celebrity to realize just how important individual features are in defining the certain 'look' of a person.
But, when someone says they can pick someone out of a crowd because of their uniqueness it is often the overall shape and size of the person that our eye picks up on when scanning a large group of people. 

The facial features are more important to confirm the identity of the person once we locate the individual within the crowd and are able to have a closer look at their face.

How many times have you been sure the person coming towards you is someone you know... you start trying to make eye contact, smiling as they get closer... and just before you say their name, you realize it isn't them?

Just one of life's more awkward moments...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Marian, pen and ink sketch on paper, by Kim Blair

 pen and ink sketch on paper

It was time to do some quick sketches from life in pen and ink as part of the homework assignment for a portrait drawing workshop I am taking... so I headed to a coffee shop where I could find a spot to sit and draw some of the patrons while remaining fairly anonymous.  Marian happened to sit down in the comfy chair next to mine and I boldly asked if she would mind if I tried to quickly sketch her portrait while she read her book.   After looking a bit surprised she agreed and was an excellent model!

Although I could only spend 20 minutes on this sketch (my parking meter was running out) I am pleased with the spontaneity of the mark making.  Pen and ink is permanent and therefore you must live with every gestural line you create, which was the whole point of the exercise.

(Click on the image for a closer look at the mark making)