Pay attention to Ekaterina Koroleva’s composition choices, i.e. where and how she places her subject in the frame (running off the edge, pushed to one side, parts cut off or eliminated). That, combined with her loose, layered sketches, subtle colours, and simple shapes, create an interesting aesthetic. More on Ekaterina Koroleva’s website.
Gary Hume’s portraits are all about line and shape. His water paintings (last 2 in the gallery below) consist of layered line drawings, creating interesting shapes where the lines intersect. If you are interested in this style, check out these two types of contour drawings.
So much to look at in Amy Sherald’s portraits – the flat, bright, backgrounds with subtle texture, the monochromatic grey skin tones, the saturated colours and patterns in the clothing that contrast with the background, and the small details of light and shadow in the folds of clothing and the way it drapes over the figure to give these otherwise flat portraits a hint of depth. See more on Amy Sherald’s website.
Subtlety is a key word when it comes to describing Ali Cavanaugh’s watercolour portraits. She uses thoughtful colour schemes that evoke feeling, pays deep attention to light and shadow, captures all the necessary details of photorealism, with the looseness and unpredictability of watercolour. Images of her work, info about her artistic process, and more on Ali Cavanaugh’s website.
Great, informative video – Steven Sabados walks you through the step by step process of screenprinting cool designs onto paper (can also be done on fabric).
Note that you will need to account for drying time, and cleanup is pretty intensive, so expect this process to take several classes (his 29 minute video, producing 3 finished prints, would take a week or so of classes). And it’s a process that needs to be practiced to master. But, totally worth it!
Of all the arts, abstract painting is the most difficult. It demands that you know how to draw well, that you have a heightened sensitivity for composition and for color, and that you be a true poet. This last is essential.
– Wassily Kandinsky
Check out the videos below to deepen your understanding of where abstract art came from and what is involved in making it.
Cree artist George Littlechild explores identity, family and politics, in his colourful, mixed media portraits. More on his website.
Portrait artist Ed Fairburn works with ink and pencil on maps. He primarily uses two techniques to create value (light/dark): crosshatching between streets (which preserves the layout of towns and cities), and following and manipulating the weighting of contours (the organic lines which show elevation). More info and work on Ed Fairburn’s website.
The scribbles are all about using line in strategic ways, and understanding how to create light and dark with density. Check out Vince Low’s website for more of his work.
Meet my pal Justin. He wants us to draw his face.
Sketchbook Activity, Part 1 – Proportions
Look carefully to see where features are on the face, and what they are aligned with. Start with a loose, light sketch and all the guiding lines you need, and rough in where the features go. Once you’ve got everything positioned, and your proportions look accurate, then start to build up the details. Continue reading
A brief snapshot of hands in art from the Renaissance to today: Continue reading
Here are two great activities to work on your observation skills, line work, and have some fun (yes they’re supposed to end up weird looking – that’s the beauty!). Continue reading
These tutorials cover several different approaches to constructing the human figure. There are loads more online – find what works for you! Continue reading