Thursday, September 9, 2010

My Painting Experiences: Past, Present and Future

I've been interested in switching things up in Sketchbook Pro lately. Since I joined Flickr I've seen iPad paintings that have inspired me to think outside the box. I've been tapping into my experience with oil and acrylic painting. I'm learning that experimentation and mastery helps me grow as an artist. Why pigeon hole myself as just a cartoonist or an illustrator? I want to tackle all sorts of styles. Let me get back to my point though, which is painting.

While I was attending Wilbur Cross High I went to ECA. There I really had my first real experiences with painting. It was very enlightening and I enjoyed myself. We used acrylic paint. Painting is very different from cartooning and it took me some time to catch on. During my foundation year at the School of Visual Arts I had no cartooning classes. It was just Fine Arts courses. One of the most useful courses was Painting. It was probably one of the most difficult classes of my college experience.

You see I commuted from New Haven, CT. That made everything extremely difficult. The class went for three hours and started at nine in the morning on a Monday. I would have to get up at 5:00 and then catch a 7:00 train. It was a bitch to say the least. Not to mention putting up canvases in the overhead rack that were still drying because I pulled an all nighter. I remember how sore my arms would be carrying my oil paintings to the west side building on 21st I think. I don't know. That might be wrong. It was across the way though. Complaints aside though I learned so much in the class. I learned about color and how to let go most importantly.

My cartooning was very rigid and calculated. My drawing was too. I quickly learned that this wasn't going to work for painting. I would spend all my time on the sketch and be slow to paint. I had to loosen up and let go. It took me a semester but by the second I caught on. I was starting with a loose sketch and then laying down flat colors before rendering and blending. My color sense improved so much. I applied it to every piece of art I did. As I learned about painting I also figured out the things that I didn't enjoy about the medium.

Painting can be very expensive and time consuming. You need canvas, paint and brushes. There's also the matter of setting up and then cleaning too. I mean that makes sense but those things prevented me from pursuing painting seriously. I didn't paint again until after college. My Uncle Bill flew me out to his home in Crystal, Minnesota to turn the panels of his garage into a painted comic strip. It was easily the most ambitious painting I've ever done. It took me the whole summer. (Well, mostly. We did take a trip to Las Vegas.) Like I said I do enjoy painting but I hate the cost and the set up.

Fortunately for me the iPad is a solution for me. It's so easy to open Sketchbook Pro and start a new piece. My plan now is to start a series of digital paintings that look like art you'd see in a museum. I'll be tackling still life, speed paintings and anything else I can think of. I completed my girlfriend's portrait and it looked like an oil painting. Now I want to make a series that is more abstract and fluid. This way my new portfolio will have a lot of variety. Ultimately variety is going to keep me inspired and if I'm inspired nine times out of ten I'll be working on something new. Stay tuned.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad (Anubis)

Location:Blake St,New Haven,United States