Why The Beautiful Line?

A site dedicated to the art of drawing and painting, The Beautiful Line is an open forum for the sharing of information and inspiration about the drawing and rendering process in digital and traditional media.

This blog is created for all those who share a love of drawing and are enticed by the potential of a blank piece of paper, canvas, or board to create a unique work of art. This space is dedicated to the open sharing of information and experiences concerning drawing. Included here are tutorials on drawing and rendering a variety of subjects in easily accessible media.

Why the Beautiful Line? As a long time professional illustrator, artist, and instructor, I still believe that the most powerful tool for image making is the simple pencil, pen, or brush. In an era of fantastic advances in digital arts with the power to create new worlds of amazing realism, the pencil drawing remains an exquisitely elegant tool for expressing thoughts and ideas. With this in mind, I view it as a personal mission as an instructor to encourage students to draw their ideas first, before developing concepts within a software program.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Emphasizing the Brush Stroke

"Harrison Ford", 8x12 inches, Acrylic Paint on Canvas Paper

Keeping things fresh is one of my primary goals. I instruct students that the brush stroke can be an expressive tool for adding character to your work. Don't hide the marks you make in creating a painting. With all the CGI imagery out there today, people want to see "real" paint. and nothing says paint better than letting your brush strokes become a prominent aspect of your work. This is true for digital painting in Photoshop and Painter as well as traditional painting.

This portrait of Harrison Ford was an exercise in bringing out the brush work. I make clear choices beforehand about what range of hues I will use in an image. Here, I chose a blue and yellow balance of colors in the background to play off the blue color of the shirt. The blue tones also provide some complimentary contrast with the orange cast of the skin tones. Yellow strokes of paint were added in the background using lemon yellow and titanium white. I added the yellow directly into the blue tones in the background with out pre-mixing the paint on my palette. This approach prevents unwanted green tones from developing. I want the yellow and blue to create sudden shifts in color that show up as distinctive brush strokes. I followed the same approach in adding in lighter blue tones to the right of his face.

Pulling some of the deeper red tones in the shadows of his face into the background to the left, helps to unify the whole painting. These tones were added near the end of the painting process because I felt the background was still too "foreign" in color range when compared to the face, meaning the two areas did not adequately relate to each other. Pulling some warm tones into cool shadows tends to enrich the color and deepen the shadow tones, while bringing a certain balance back to the painting.

1 comment:

  1. I really like the colors in the background, and all the brushstrokes visible in the detail that you have highlighted.