Thursday, January 04, 2007

Some Drawr-ings

I'm in the middle of wrapping up a few projects, but during my 'breaks' I've been playing around in a couple of my sketchbooks. I usually don't use color in my sketchbooks, but I took a chance on a page I absentmindedly sketched at the dining table the other night while my wife and a close friend of ours were up watching YouTube videos. It's taken me several years, but I think I'm finally warming up to acrylics!

Hopefully I'll be showing a lot more of these since I'd really like to find more time to experiment with this medium. It's also a great way for me to enjoy being spontaneous with colors, textures, and design.... things I love in illustration, only here I'm not worrying about putting out a finished product. And more likely than not, a lot of the techniques I discover will end up in my actual illustration work, specifically addressing some of the limitations I've been dealing with in my digital work lately.

I also went to an early breakfast this morning at the Tartine Bakery in San Francisco with Alex and a few of our friends. The end of the line was actually inside of the bakery rather than outside, thanks no doubt to an epidemic of New Year's Resolutions floating around. Afterwards, a few of us went to a cafe to read, study, or sketch. I doodled a bit before it was time to go home and work.

I rarely seem to sketch publicly anymore, mostly because I spend too much time stuck in my own head these days (see left page versus the right). But I did enjoy myself, and it was great to spend a morning in the City and break up the usual routine of spending all day in my studio.

Aside from my job projects, the other big thing I'm working on is redesigning my website. I've got a pretty clear idea of what I'm going to do, and it will involve a few characters from this page:

Hopefully you guys will have a decent place to see my work in the very near future. Until then, thanks for visiting (whether it's my portfolio or this humble news page). Have a great weekend, everyone!

p.s. And if any of you can tell me how to get rid of the borderline in these last two images, I would be most grateful!


jacob said...

Mike that top coloured page is wonderful! The application of the highlight on the man's nose is just yummy! The subtle colour really just... works! Good to see your thoughts out loud, really helps me start to understand things.


Julien alday said...

Hello, Mike !
I'm pretty busy right now but I found the way to "delete" the borderlines. Here a screenshot that I wish be helpful. Just cut and paste the link in another window.
Basically, you have to change one number in the html code of your blog. But this will be apply to all the pictures of your blog. Not on the last two pictures of your last post, sorry.

Don't forget to save your code once it's changed. [because I made that mistake, thinking the hardest was made, hahaha ! Haaaa... I'm so weak].

So it's applied to my blog too, check it for see if that works and if that fit to your request. Once I'm done with all the stuff I have to do, I will come back for a proper reply about your art ! ;)

Can Alex and you walk on feathers for the five next generations.
Puissance & Gloire !

Bruce said...

Yep, those acrylics are good for that fast, spontaneous experimentation and from the looks of that sketch page you excel at this too! Your faces look like they all belong on that page, whereas when I do something like this they all look like they are coming from different neighborhoods. I hope you do show more of stuff like this because they are a lot of fun.

Anonymous said...

really great blog. very inspirational.
beautiful work. i love your sketches and the little-girl-and-her-bike-story looks fantastic. can't wait for the colored version.


Unknown said...

Man -we are so on the same wavelength. I just incorporated an acrylic sketch into a digital piece I did for a client recently. Still figuring out the best way to get the effects I want, but I think it might really help my digital work feel more organic.
Your sketch is awesome though- it could be a gallery painting!
Looking forward to the new site as well - those little drawings are super :)

Andy Murray said...

Darn you, Dutton! Your prodding made me go ahead and post some more on my bloggie! Don't worry, pretty soon I'll have an extra special bundle of art love with your name allllllll over it :)

In other news, I am IMMENSELY proud of you for making the trip to Haggin. It beat the pants off of LACMA which I visited the day before. Go figure. Later!

Anonymous said...

I love the sketch of the man in the boat...really charming...he looks quite pensive as if in his own head as well. Also love the calligraphy to the side. I always found acrylic to be a difficult and unforgiving medium due to the quick drying time, but your use of acrylic looks nice, almost like watercolor.


Mike Dutton said...

Jake - Thanks. Noses and their highlights are my favorite too. :)

Julien - Thanks for the tip. I'll come back and fix this update somewhere down the line.

Bruce - Hey Bruce. I actually had no intention of matching up the faces. hehe. I was trying to play around with different styles, but I maybe did not push that enough. It is probably one of the most mindless bit of doodling I've ever done, which made it very enjoyable in the end.

Michael - Look for the bicycle story in my next update after the Brothers McDutton update. It's wrapping up very soon.

Scott - That's one reason I avoided coloring in sketchbooks. I'm afraid of getting too attached to them and I'd hate to rip them out! There's no way this could sell though. It's on basically 60 lb paper. But I can definitely see myself doing this kind of work on a larger scale.... or in a certain traveling sketchbook.

Andy - I noticed. :) Hope to see more in the near future! And yeah, the Leyendecker trip was well worth it. I'm glad I caught it before it left. As for the rest of the museum, it's also worth a visit, though I wish they allowed photography in some of the historical displays. I wanted to shoot those old tractors from every possible angle.

Ana - Oh, that was definitely no calligraphy. It was probably the most illegible form of handwriting known to man! I still struggle with the drying time but I've found that a lot of gloss or glazing medium helps me achieve what I'm aiming for. Working in the heavier opaques take a bit more though and I usually have several layers of washes and glazes underneath before I lay on the thick stuff.