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Monday, January 31, 2011

Sketch Children & Capture Moment of Life

This week, let's sketch children. Often parents or teachers or care givers are with children. Get permission first(*my business card is a helpful ID device). Making friends with children is the best way to sketch them. Technically, the quicker, the better to capture moving children.
I sat next to a mother and a girl having a cream bun...putting cream on around her mouth. While chatting, I sketched her. We, three had a fun.

Not only front faces, I study back figures, too.

Often my style is called, "Loose." A very long way to come to my current style. Try not to draw or paint too much. Overwork is no good for a loose style. If a drawing line is correct, a simple and "single" line is enough and sufficient.

Squint eyes and enhance values. As long as a value and a line are correct, you can do anything in painting --- is my finding.
Regarding drawing skills, bad news is there's no royal road for learning. Good news is everyday sketch improves drawing skills certainly. So, please do not give up and keep up quick sketching even 5 or 10 minutes daily that makes a huge difference in years.

A boy above pulled down the pants and got into a fountain. His parents happily allowed me to sketch him. (*Furthermore, the father took the photos of my sketches and proudly urged me, "Tell them my son, 'so-and-so' is the model!" Ahahaha! Oh, Mom & Dad love the son so much!) Really a fun.
Children's any face expressions or postures are very fascinating. I sometimes sketch a crying child and try to calm her/him down with parents!
(= you can imagine how quickly I sketch kids in bad temper.)

Kids often come close to me, a sketcher and love drawing, too. They soon get I'm working on something important. Children really respect a sketcher and never, ever interrupt my work.



I'm a
hunter to capture the moment, as I hardly use photo references.
In my experience, after millions of life model sketches, photo references are
helpful. Why? Eyes tell where are a subject's real lines and correct values based on photos. (*I hope my poor English makes sense!)
Life sketching enables an artist to build accurate and detailed visual information on a simple sketch --- even on a stick figure. Oh, yes, a cartoonist is a good example. All good cartoonists are great life sketchers. A reversed way -- using photo references first -- seems counterproductive to learn figurative drawings.
So, "Sketch, sketch, sketch!" That's all and my joy.
The illustration above is based on my daily sketches.
In addition, a
person in the work passed away. One family member talked to me(*they remembered we had chatted over a sketch at that time). I asked the person to wait right there and printed out my illustration for the family. We shed tears and held hands together. So, I believe a life sketcher is a guardian of time.

If you are interested in my past posts on quickies,
How to Make Quickies PART1

Importance of lines, drawing skills (Edgar Dogas's mentor's quote)How to Make Quickies PART2

Watercolor Quickies = Witty Short Speeches
How to Make Quickies PART3
Loose style = calculated spontaneity
How to Make Quickies PART4
Capturing Face Expressions
Sketch--Part 1 Women
Sketch--Part2 Men
Sketch Part3 Older People
Sketch Part4 Chilndren
Sketch Part5 Children, Artist as Guardian of Time
Enjoy a dessin and a croquis! Let us live our lives fully!


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Monday, January 24, 2011

Seek New Approaches in Old Masters, Plus Cartoon

Friends, I'm now playing around wash and colors in background for portraits. I'm thrilled with it.
Big brush strokes make a drama (*good paper is essential!).
Another experiment is a "limited pallet."

In order to seek new approaches, I look up great masters. Copying brings new ideas. This "private tutoring by great masters" is freebie! Friends, what a luxury tut! Sure, sketching excites you.

Here, my copies of French masters' drawings from the exhibition, "David to Cezanne" at NSW Art Gallery.

Above, Jean-Baptise Carpeaux, "Ugolino" 1860. (* "Sculptor" and painter) How impressive the model's sharp eyes and strong body language!! And simple expression. Carpeaux never wastes any line. The copying excited me so much. I should use a pen more often.

Below. Francois Marius Granet study of the death of Poussin 1842 ( for a bigger work ). How "simple," again, and a very well-organized composition in a single color! The sketch taught me the importance of a "thumbnail" and monochrome for value study.


My monochrome color work was "Young Boy" for "20 minutes challenge" (below).

 Another giant, Rembrandt might be in my unconsciousness.
Sydney university invited Australian Linguistics Conference in 2004. Good girl Sadami was sketching speakers rather than listening to lectures:).
At a lunch break, we went to a second-hand book market. I bought "Rembrandt." Other students teased at me, "Sadami gonna be a famous artist!" I just blushed up. No idea to become an artist, but I secretly loved drawing and had admired Rembrandt. On a back cover, the single color work struck me, particularly, "Sleeping Woman 1654".

Breathtakingly, I looked, looked, looked into it.... and determined to explore watercolor...and to the present. I made it happen!

Probably, each artist has critical encounters with other artists and decision. Anyone starts with copying and develop originality. My admiring artists have been changed from time to time in seek of a style.
Creative activities are identity forming and identity performance. Some people talk to me, "I wish I could draw like you," whistle my sketching on streets. My answer is always the same, "Be what you are."
My one regret in life is that
I am not someone

else.


Woody Allen
ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ
(That quote was on a linguist's door. Bahaha!?)
Let us find who we are in our journeys.

Well, a
coffee break for you! A cartoon, "Australian Survival Game" from "A Day in Poor Artist's Life" series.
Is your life ok? Hope this post brings you some smile.
Friends, happy painting, drawing and do lots of "Bhahaha" and survive!!
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Paralympians--My Heros

Yahoo, Friends, I enjoyed Paralympic Warm Up in Sydney at the stadium in Sydney Olympic Park. It was held just before "The International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships" from January 21-30, 2011 in Christchurch, New Zealand.
For the first time, I met the paralympians and watched their great game in my eyes. Not many audience were at seats. But "not busy" was good for me to meet athletes in person, had a chat with them and their lovely coach, Ms Mandi Cole "volunteering" (what a tough word in an economic aspect...she is so noble.) So, Mandi(below) professionally coaches Olympic athletes, too, in Victoria.
Paralympians and Olympic athletes practice together. Mandi also looks after Japanese paralympic players. International. But Friends, what's the difference of disabilities in people? No. Nothing to do with narrow concepts of nationalities or races.

I saw how caring Mandi was! Really, really sensitive and extensive for each team member and even to me, a stranger with a walking stick. Her rapport with the team was great, as if she were providing "love." INDEED! Once, Mandi sensed an athlete needed backup, she immediately came closer and had a talk with an enormous care. It moved me so much. (even though she was very, very shy regarding my sketching! Cute!!)
From Mandi, I've learned lots about paralympic athletes and games.
"Sadami, look at a board over there. The number besides an athlete means a defined difficulty such as an amputated leg, arm, where was amputated, blind, intellectual disabilities etc." I see...
"And they can check a world record (in their categories) such as a blind can run right on a track etc" Got it! "Get into IPC web and you can get detailed information," Mandi added.

The game and players touched my heart. Oh, I nearly shed tears. A blind long jumper got set, but the audience's noises disturbed his trial. Background music was stopped and an announcement asked us cooperation. We kept dead silence. Then, his coach started clapping his hands and shouting. High tension. Go! He made it!! All of us gave the player a big applause. This isn't real Olympic spirit? We cheer up anyone!
You should see how strong and fast amputated athletes run. Amazing. They had specially designed amputated legs for sports. Wheelchair races were very exciting that reminded me of the movie, "Ben-hur."
According to Mandi, "(a wheelchair is) Very, very light." Although I sent big cheers for Australia, I sent the biggest cheer for the last runner and so did other team members!! Very humane and touchy.

In my observation, all amputated long jumpers used their amputated legs for jump. Is it a rule? "No," said Mandi. "An amputated leg has a spring and more bounce than the other. It is slightly longer than the other." Oh, I see...

The paralympians are young and full of energy. I saw their family members, too. Nothing. Nothing different from a person without disabilities. I know some people give up their lives and hope...and do not try rehabilitation at all. Friends, do you realize I use the term, "people with disabilities, " not "disabled people." I believe these athletes are never disabled. Neither am I.

This encounter cheered me up very much. I heard that a middle aged gentleman recently amputated has decided to challenge learning a wheelchair. Wow, great encouraging!! Mandi recommends me a bicycle or a tricycle like my podiatrist. My podiatrist is making new orthoticses right now. I do not give up hope. Rehabilitation is boring, which requires a very long term. (*at least 3 months are needed to see some result from physiotherapy). Some people drop out from it.
But I'd like to tell,"Don't lose heart. Never give up your great abilities and the potential. Where there's a will, there's a way and always PEOPLE who happily help you like Mandi! You're not alone and shining, when you maximize you." So, Friends, if you know anyone with disabilities and down-and-out, please pass this post to her/him.

yes...Sadami is flying!
Lastly, special thanks for all the paralympians and Mandi who gave me courage and hope for the future. I'll never forget you all!Hip, Hip, Hurray, Hurray, my heroes!!


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Monday, January 10, 2011

First Chinese Emperor Exhibition at NWS Art Gallery

Friends, I sketched the entombed terracotta soldiers at the First Chinese Emperor Exhibition at NSW Art Gallery *Qin Shihuang 秦始皇(259–210 BCE*=Before the Common Era)

Essential Materials for Sketching at Public Place & Museum : guts/strong nerve for spot-on job, pure concentration on work despite onlookers, sharp eyes in very dim rooms, good legs for hours standing.
Arche
, 300, A4. 1 Brush#12. Tiny Paint Kit.
In all, life size 8 warriors and 2 horses are displayed. The videos show the huge tomb and the excavation process. The first sketch, a charioteer caught my heart. He looks very nice and handsome. Many soldiers are quite Dundees. Their "fashionable" hair styles in variation and mustaches tickle girls in 2011.

Wow..., each one has a different personality and a face expression. Look taller than me(=170cm) and slender. Most original colors painted on them were gone. They, tens of thousands of terracotta have silently served the emperor for more than 2,000 years.



The work above was very hard to paint in a so poor light, nearly darkness. (I wanted to cry out! But I did not give up painting!)

The horses are beautiful and idealized. They look neat&tidy and strong. I enjoyed putting colors in a
background.


The genearl's head protection(or hair style??) is very unique.
The military officer in an armour looks so elegant from a side. Obviously, he was holding a weapon in his hand.
A written language changes much more slowly than an oral language. An interesting finding, "Chinese characters are still the same." = They were systematically established and already used at the First Emperor's era. Amazing! Japanese borrowed Chinese characters long time ago before original Japanese letters developed and still uses traditional Chinese characters up to now. So, I comprehend old Chinese letters aftermath two thousands yrs! If a solider and I should meet, certainly, we can enjoy a chat on paper. Isn't it nice that stimulates imagination ? (*I'm unable to pronounce them. Phonologically, Chinese, a tone language is totally different from Japanese, not a tone language.) What would these warriors tell me?

How many people worked for years to make those terracotta armies, elaborated crafts and the huge tomb?
Little Sadami really loved reading books on old civilizations and had a great interest in dead languages. At uni, I wondered if I could be an archaeologist at a 1st yr. No, I would not. But history units revealed that most historical "left overs"--written records, crafts etc, were made by a hegemonic group or the powerful. Always, powerless or voiceless people are invisible in history.

The First Emperor was working on another famous project, the Great Walls. Once, I read a very sad Chinese "folk tale" ; so many heart-breaking wives and women's cries actually made bricks off from walls, as their husbands, loves, sons had to leave them behind...probably, most labours, I assume, never came back...
"(Recorded) history is a winner's history," a lecturer's say echos in my heart... The soldiers remain silent.Unlike the first emperor, my life is a tiny drop in an ocean. So, I always want to look at us, the voiceless and depict our daily life in drawing and painting. The evidence of life.
Hey, Friends, I've started handling a background ?! Yep! I'll keep up!
Enjoy life fully!














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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!!

Friends, Happy New Year!!
Are you floating or drawn in an ocean of wine or champing?

*I met this macho man in a train on the way to fire works. Of course, I wanted to sketch his "pretty cap," so cute! My quickie made him so happy and he sent it to friends by a mobile phone. Other people in the train got amazed that I did it on the spot, while having a chat with him. Hahahaha?!


My new year resolutions for art and blogging are reasonably achieveable. Never rigid nor tough on myself.

1) From 10th, Jan, upload the blog every Monday like before.

2) Explore watercolor.
Play with different techniques, styles and materials. More experiments. When I sketch on a spot in limited time, it's physically hard to put wash on a background like a studio work. My assignment is how to handle a background and do not lose livliness like quickies.
Friends, your blogs have stimulated me so much!

3) Challenge landscape.

I'm sketching buildings or landscape nearly everyday. A long way to go.

4) More illustrations, focus on story telling.
Illustrate a classic story.

5) Lots of cartoons. Stress busters.

*The work above is my true episode in childhood. After that, I learned that human beings need wings! My wings are imagination and creativity in art.
6) Life drawing. Watercolor "directly" on paper.
Friends, your comments,
"Do you paint first?" gave me that idea.
The work above was made several years ago. Having a couple for models was very rare. At that time, I was exploring a loose style. Not easy and suffered much. But today, a loose style is great fun. Now, I want to paint papers directly to save time, above all, to make work more dynamic and lively.

7) Still Life, especially, "Flowers."
Blog Friend, Irina Sztukowski
's great advice.

8) Develop my ideas/quick drawings.
By the way, how do you pin down when you hit an idea? Inspirations are much like butterflies for me. Ubiquitous and gone so quick. I always make a quick drawing. Otherwise, I'll forget it. But I did not use well captured ideas last year.
So, maximize quickies this year.

Thinking too much is no good for me. Just moving hands is the best.
(*At uni, I was known a person who thought which leg should be put into pants on a morning bed side.) So...

9) Just DO it, Sadami!!
...is my resolution. And, after that, "Daarrling, I'll set you free..." and reward myself
ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ .

My favorite say goes...

To live your life in your own way
To reach the goals you've set for yourself
To be the person you want to be
That's success

I become "myself." That's all.

May 2011 will be a wonderful and productive year for you all.
May a good health will be with you.
Take care.


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