Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Super Models

faux window with birds
Originally uploaded by S'mee.

Sometimes artwork is for the birds. This is an example of faux windows. In a model home, the developer wanted the windowless laundry room to look less claustrophobic, cheery, and someplace pleasant to a chore. I began by chalking out the space and matching the ledge and colours to the existing windows in the house. (This is where my painter's fan deck comes in handy!) I snap some photos for reference (my model of the house features). Next came the painting as desired by the client. Sometimes they want a few plants other times they go for a virtual jungle!

This client, the developer, wanted "subtle vines, very few, but straggling into the room. And birds." So this is what I came up with. We also have a two little birds sitting on one of the door frames unraveling a baby sock.

It's difficult to see in this photo, but the sky is lighter at the horizon line than it is towards the atmosphere. The haze and clouds are done with white, blues and a tad of yellow. The birds were taken from a local ornithology catalog, although they have the benefit of plenty of food! No one wants skinny birds. Most folks think that an artist just has these pictures already in their memory banks and can reproduce them without models. There are some who can, but most cannot. I try to use models as much as possible, so I can get the details correct; such as the higher the sky - the deeper the blue.

Ever really look at things? Most pine trees are more blue than green, dirt is rarely brown and clouds come in so many more colours than white. But our collective memories tell us that clouds are white - all the time, unless they are stormy and then they are always grey. Not so much.

Where would you place eyes on a head? Most people don't realize they are dead center, (about a nostril to nostril width apart) when looking straight on the face, tip of head to tip of chin. Of course there are always exceptions, but again that proves my point on the necessity of models.

Next time you venture to draw, which I hope you do, use a model! Take time to look at your model with seeing eyes, not memory eyes. It will make all the difference! And remember, even Michelangelo had to pick up a brush for the first time.

add to sk*rt

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