It’s strange, here I am continuing my series of one line drawing artworks of famous landmarks from around the world and I was trying to think of what iconic building represents the United States the most . . . and the first thing that came to mind were the World Trade Centres. It’s amazing what type of an impact that event had on me and mankind, but I decided not to draw them for a few reasons. One, they no longer exist. Two, they are boring compared to other American landmarks. And, Three, there are other more interesting (less current) landmarks to consider.
THE STATUE OF LIBERTY (ONE LINE DRAWING) – Created using a single line that never overlaps, this drawing continues our theme of architectural landmarks from around the world, this time, the most iconic ladies of the United States of America.
I thought of Mount Rushmore, and the Empire States Building, the Hollywood Signs, and Capital Building; but ended up deciding to go with the Statue of Liberty – the first thing immigrants used to see as they entered into New York.
I’ve never seen it in person, but I always found that it had a very fascinating story on how it was gifted, funded, and constructed. Whenever you draw these types of things you tend to see the hidden details, the lines and construction pieces. Especially in a one line drawing, they can be links from one point to another.
This drawing was pretty straight forward for me. Some who’ve seen it say it looks simpler than the others, but held next to them all I think it stands its own ground much the same. It doesn’t need to be an expansive building to be impressive.
I wasn’t sure if I would be able to finish this one on time – it certainly was a race to the finish line, but yes, my latest One Line Drawing of the Arc de Triomphe is complete!
Once again, my most ambitious effort in this style, I had to figure out how to draw statues and swirling geometric shapes without getting myself trapped. There is probably about 40 hours of work put into this one single drawing, taking me more than double the time of my previous drawings, but I think the effort paid off in the end.
ARC DE TRIOMPHE (ONE LINE DRAWING) – my most ambitious one line drawing yet, the details and endless statues were a real daunting task that I am amazed I weaved a path through.
The way I tackled drawing the statues was by sketching out the figures and using the shadows as my guidelines. On some, I outlines the figures, and in others, I suggested them in a kind of negative aspect-field to suggest where the figures stood. As for the geometric swirls . . . It was all about using a ruler, precise measurements and a steady hand.
There were numerous times where I felt as thought I was becoming trapped in this piece, but I always found a way out of it. Although I’ve been to the arch in person, I still find it fascinating just the huge scope and size of the structure, and am fascinated by the amount of arches that criss-cross one another. If I’m not mistaken, I believe the sculptures represent the reign of Napoleon and the come back from the French Revolution.
I didn’t know how I was going to start this daunting piece so I kind of just went at it, starting from the left, moving up, down and to the right. If you follow the line you will see that I quickly jump right into the first and largest statue. I figured that if I couldn’t figure that out, then there was no point wasting any effort doing everything else around it in case I screwed it up. Thankfully, I was satisfied with how it turned out.
It’s Friday, and I have a new Focus Art artwork to show everyone. This one is of a bull African Elephant.
I tried really hard to hint towards many other shades of colours that could be found reflecting off of the natural brownish/grey skin tone of the elephant – like blues, purples, greens, and ochres. I found the skin very challenging because of the size I have painted this picture at. Probably if I were to do it again I would do it much larger so I could focus on the cracked skin details, which I just wasn’t able to fully commit to because of the scale.
AFRICAN ELEPHANT (FOCUS ART) – I was interested in the hidden layers of colour that one might not always see in the saturated brownish/grey colour of the bull elephants skin.
I am quite happy with my undersketch, which I spent more time completing and shading than the other previous focus art pieces.
I created this elephant by combining three different photos together in order to create my own pose. I liked the battle worn weary look of one elephant, but felt the ears were not as large as other elephants in other photos. Plus I liked the dominant foot forward look of another elephant and decided to mash them all together.
Once again, I have completed yet another One Line Drawing, this time of the Roman Colosseum. I’m not sure if this was my most ambitious one yet – because the Leaning Tower of Pisa was quite difficult as well, but for sure this was a great challenge. Unlike the repeated patterns of the Leaning Towers arches, the Colosseum’s arches are in ruins, broken, and falling apart. This means that not only does their perspective angle change, but so does their actual structure. We have three different views of them, the exterior completed arch with facade built around it . . . the inner hallway archway, and the imprinted arch left on the inside ring of the Colosseum.
When you actually sit back and look at the Colosseum you begin to notice just how it was built. It is made up of three rings that steadily grow taller and taller. On the inner-most ring you can see that the arches have been dismantelled and all that remain are the shadows of where the arches used to be, as well as the holes where wooden support beams once would have held up the structure.
THE ROMAN COLOSSEUM – Another ambitious one line drawing, it is interesting to see the details that make up the three inner rings of the Colosseum. While drawing these buildings you really begin to notice how they were built and other details you’ve never noticed before.
Whenever I draw something of historical origin I always become interested in learning a little bit about it. I’ve read much about the Colosseum many times before – because it is a cool structure, but this time I wanted to see if it was ever restored. Over time the Colosseum began to be dismantelled and the pieces were used to build other buildings around the area. But if you notice, the edges of the rings are all smooth, and so I thought that someone must have taken the time to fix the building up a bit. It turns out that this happened in the 1700’s when people became more in tune with classical buildings once again.
I actually had to restart this drawing after already being a third of the way through. It wasn’t that my first attempt was bad, it looks quite good, actually. But it was a little smaller and I also drew pillars and walls that lead into the dark shades arches, and it just looked too busy. I wasn’t sure that people would understand what I was attempting to do, and I thought I could do a better job. So I restarted and came up with a different way of drawing the shadows. Hopefully you think that it was the right thing to do and that it turned out to be a success.
Yes, I missed last week’s Friday-Art-Day submission. Not because I didn’t have any art done, it just completely slipped my mind as I’ve been transitioning between moving to Toronto briefly for a new job teaching at an international school, and traveling back and forth to home on the weekends.
However, I’m back in fine order with a new oil painting to show you of a blue and yellow Macaw Parrot. I’m quite satisfied with this painting because I was able to complete it relatively quickly, in about twelve hours – which is stunning to me. I’ve always been a very slow laborious painter and I’ve been practicing forcing myself to work faster. Sometimes you get comfortable trying to make everything look just perfect – and while I still have that standard in mind, I’m constantly trying to push myself to work faster. The faster I can do something, the more affordable it is for me to produce something, making it more affordable for you to buy, and making it more reasonable to allow me to do this in my spare time and hopefully one day as a full time position.
MACAW PARROT – FOCUS ART – I’m quite proud of the amount of realism I was able to produce in the beak area. Another interesting thing to notice is the hidden shades of colour in the white of the face. It isn’t white at all, but entirely blue, pink and purple. It’s just an illusion to make the face look rounded.
Anyways, I’m not sure that I was able to achieve the true vibrancy of the feathers as I wanted, but that was due to the limitations of the blue pigments that I had. I have about 7 or 9 different blue hues, and this is the closest I could get to their true colours. I also discovered with this painting that the oil paints really like to mix with the pencil lines, so I need to be careful how thickly I draw them in area’s that are meant to be bright and colourful. I never noticed the struggle before because my other two previous paintings were darker.
I’m quite proud of how the beak turned out on this fellow, in person it’s difficult to tell that it isn’t just a photograph. There are other area’s in the picture that give it away that this is a painting, but that beak sure is something. At least I think so. I’m also happy in the way I was able to paint the face. I took a ton of photo’s of my process, which I’ll try to put together this weekend. While painting the face I began with the white area’s, except they were not white at all, but coats of light pink, purple and blue. It wasn’t until I added the black around them that they flattened and the true colours became hidden once again. But that was my intention. Lot’s of people look at something for how they think it is, but it isn’t until they actually look at it that they’ll notice it may be something completely different… like the shade of white being multiple colours to create a shaded round effect.
Here you will see the amount of colours I used to make the white area of the face look shaded and round.
This Great Horned Owl is the second painting in my series of Focus Paintings in which I try to make the viewer focus on the most important features of the figure before slowly disintegrating from a realistic painting into sketchy pencil lines.
GREAT HORNED OWL – FOCUS ART – This isn’t the first time I’ve painted a Great Horned Owl, and it was actually my earlier version from many years ago that first inspired me to come up with this style. I had painted the eyes and felt that the painting looked finished – even though it hardly was! Well, that idea stayed with me for a long time and I decided to purposely paint pictures in this way.
This was a real pleasure to paint, because the eyes are not only big, vibrant, and captivating, but they also have a very nice ring of feathers around them that help spotlight your focus on them even more. It was interesting painting feathers using this new dry brush technique – it is still only the second time that I’ve used it, but it sped up my painting speed by hours and hours and I think I’m going to stick with it for a long time to come!
I think that I did a good job making the feathers look soft and delicate. To create the image of this owl I photoshopped three different owls together to make it look just right. I added some ‘morning shade’ blue to the white highlights of the breast to make it more interesting, and probably could have added a little more sketch lines – but when you see it in person you will notice that the painting does a good job blending from painting to pencil. It makes it hard to even notice the transition it is so smooth.
If you read the caption under the photo you will see that this whole “FOCUSED ART” style was inspired by an earlier painting of an owl. I figured I would upload it here so you could see what I mean. This was done using watercolour.
This is my second attempt at this painting. I was more focused on capturing the life of the animal in the eyes than anything else. I quite like the incomplete look and think I may expand on this later on.