At 100 I shall be a marvellous artist


Cast several lines and hopefully despite turbulent weather you’ll have a catch!

“From the age of six I had a mania for drawing the shapes of things. When I was fifty I had published a universe of designs. but all I have done before the the age of seventy is not worth bothering with. At seventy five I’ll have learned something of the pattern of nature, of animals, of plants, of trees, birds, fish and insects. When I am eighty you will see real progress. At ninety I shall have cut my way deeply into the mystery of life itself. At a hundred I shall be a marvelous artist. At a hundred and ten everything I create; a dot, a line, will jump to life as never before. To all of you who are going to live as long as I do, I promise to keep my word. I am writing this in my old age. I used to call myself Hokosai, but today I sign my self ‘The Old Man Mad About Drawing.” Hokusai

Every time I come across this quote it makes me happy.  It reminds me that drawing and painting are interests where the scope for improvement and learning is endless.  And when I came across it again recently it helped me redouble my efforts in thinking up ways to get rid of an old friend, who has overstayed his visit – Procrastination.  While I may not be sitting down to draw or paint everyday these are activities I think about daily, more so on days when I dont pick up that pen or brush.  I’ve been feeling guilty.  I believe both are common when you’re procrastinating.

31 Emily O'Marra

I’m putting up a fight and trying to push my friend out the door.  I’ve added two more portraits to Julia Kay’s portrait party collection.  Came across a post on Lines and Colors about a new weekly column on drawing on NY Times that I hope to follow.  There are some exercises on colour and values that are awaiting attention.  I hope one/all of these will make me forget the reasons that’ve kept this friend here.  Another friend earlier today told me to get off the pity potty and get on with it!  So here I am with this drawing from a couple of days back and the long overdue post.

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Portrait Party over at Flickr

Julia Kay’s hosted a Portrait Party over at Flickr and my painting has come to a halt : )  I have done a few portrait swaps in the past, for Rama Hughes blog, The Portrait Party , the annual Portrait swap at WetCanvas and more recently the ones organized by Karin Jurick.  But in terms of sheer number of people participating with one another, none were in the league of the current party that I’ve jumped in to.

24 steve huison

I’d first read about them on Rama Hughes blog where he had written about how his family used to throw Portrait Parties and draw each other.   He’d suggested others organise their own.  For me it seemed out of the question as I couldn’t imagine being able to round up a party worth of guests who’d be willing to spend an evening drawing portraits or posing for each other : )

11 Giorgio Bordin

And then along came Julia Kay with this brilliant idea to throw one on Flickr.

18 art informel

There are 260 members at a party which will continue for as long as you want it to.   I’ve made 24 portraits so far and have had 16 of made of me.  Have a look at the wonderful portraits being exchanged on flickr by this group.

Flickr Portrait Party

Portrait swap with Nadine

nadine - pen & ink

I was thrilled to hear from Nadine regarding a swap and accepted immediately. One of the activities I enjoy is portrait swaps. Lately I’ve had the chance to do a few but with the holidays just a week away this will be the last for a while.

Nadine‘s work is a pleasure to see and I’ve been admiring them over at The Portrait Party blog. Recently when visiting her blog I asked her about her technique soon after found that she had very generously shared a step-by step of her process. Have a look. She’s made it look easy and it’s something I’d certainly like to try out too. I’m looking forward to seeing her version of me 😀 ( Update :  You can see it here and she has done a great job 😀 )

The photograph above is a crop of the drawing I made of Nadine this morning ( 3rd attempt 😛 ) . It’s more of a sketch actually. You can see the full piece below.

nadine - pen & ink

Trading ATC’s

my first atc

My first portrait swaps were for the Annual Portrait Exchange over at WetCanvas! and I learned from and enjoyed the experience. Then there was The Portrait Party blog where I found the quick exchanges exciting and refreshing. Recently I joined Bearuh girl’s Monday Artday ATC exchange network and decided to combine the two 😀 And Mellanie agreed to both. This is my first ATC and you can also see the swap at the Portrait Party blog.

Acrylics were used because of the earlier experience of painting the Altoid tin cover. Problems of painting in that size had been forgotten and secondly getting a likeness had not been important then. It was quite difficult to control the brush in the 2.5″ X 3.5″ space. And getting a likeness successfully evaded me. Several smaller sized brushes should’ve been kept handy or at least that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it! I have a new respect for all those artists who made miniatures!! Mellanie has been very sporting and has accepted the results. Cant wait to get a hold of the beautiful one I will get in exchange. Here’s a preview and you can read more about it on Mellanie’s blog, See.Draw.Share.

A couple of facts about these tiny art cards. ATC is the name used when they are traded and ACEO when they are put up for sale. These cards can be of at least 3 varieties – originals, limited edition prints and prints. The ones we are exchanging are original ATC’s. It’s been a great experience. Mellanie has started trading in earnest and I’m sure I’ll be trying out more soon.

Monday Artday ATC is a place for Artists to trade cards. Do visit to see what it’s all about.

Portrait swap with Arindam

Arindam

Swap with Arindam for the Portrait Party blog. These quick sketches like participating in Illustration Friday are low pressure 🙂 There was no hesitation when Arindam wrote asking for a swap. I need to make sure though that the pens have various levels of ink. With this new refill I was unable to get additional values that I had managed with the same pen just the day before when it was running out of ink! Nor have I learnt the various cross hatching methods to get these variations. I dont intend to either as these undisciplined lines appeal to me more.

Portrait Swap with Lindsay

It was great doing a swap with Lindsay for the Portrait Party blog. Once I’d seen the fun photos that she’d sent, I felt I had to match them with at least an equivalent one. “Regal Nostrils” as Lindsay laughingly named it has been made using once such. I’m glad she picked that ref and I’m delighted with the result.

Lindsay’s portrait of me for the swap

A friends daughter had earlier examined the photograph carefully and proclaimed that there weren’t any boogers! And I can tell you I was very relieved as the thought of checking hadn’t crossed my mind when it was uploaded.

sketch

4″ X 6″ Pen & Ink sketch

This sketch made of Lindsay started off as a trial attempt at the back of an envelope. It turned out ok and was quickly mailed out to her before I could change my mind. You can read more about this swap on Straight Lines Out and on the Portrait Party blog.

Portrait swap with Jana

IMG_0149

My portrait of Jana. I had a choice but the smile in this one and the raised eybrows were too much to reisist but both of which havent come through! C’est la vie 😛 It’s been great doing this swap. I feel I ‘ve got to know both Casey and Jana a bit better.

Jana very sweetly tackled both the photos that I sent her and you can see them here. I especially love the one of me laughing as coz that’s the way I usually am – ever the optimist!

I’ve mentioned the Portrait Party in the earlier post. This one is headed there too and I’ll update the post as soon as I have a link. I’ve enjoyed both the swaps and If any of you would like to do one with me leave me a comment. I may not be able to make it immediately but I’d love to continue swapping.

Forgot to add that I used two new sets of conte crayons for this piece – sketching ‘n portrait. I had expected them to be richer and creamier than the Sudha crayons that I had been using. They have the same feel as regular pastels – dry, powdery and messy! I made several trips to the dustbin to dust off the surface before going forward.

Update : October 2, 2007 : The post with this swap on The Portrait Party.

Conte Crayons on 10″ X 15″ Canson Barbizon paper