Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Plain White Piece of Paper

Blue Ribbon - 18x24 Oil on Board

My mouth is dry and sweat has begun to bead on my forehead. It’s been two weeks since I finished my last painting. I don’t know why, but for some unknown reason, the sandstorm that has swept great empty dunes over the creative desert of my brain won’t stop blowing. My eyes cringe against the wounding sunshine. In truth, I know what lies buried beneath the sand. There is a great treasure trove of ideas, hints at masterpieces. But no matter how hard I try, all I can do is stare out at the wasteland of sand that turns a brighter and brighter white as the time passes. My fingers grip tight over a quivering pencil.

This is what future faces me. The plain white gritting piece of paper.

Every ounce of effort must be applied just to put the graphite tip to that pristine white sheet. Why, I ask myself, is it so difficult? Then, in a quick, reckless stroke, a single line is applied, spoiling the clean space. A guttural emotion of triumph overwhelms me and with all hesitation abandoned, the pencil takes hold of my senses and releases what has been waiting, caged within.

Blue Ribbon Sketch

Okay, so that’s a little lyrical, but it gets the point across. We’ve all been faced with the struggle of starting something new—and yet all it really takes is simply putting the pencil to the paper and letting it do it’s job. Forget about making the perfect sketch. It will work itself out. It might take one time, it might take twenty. Here are some of the sketches I started out with before they became completed into paintings; some exceptionally simple, some worked out multiple ways, and some fairly fleshed out from the beginning. All of them began the same way—as a ridiculously frustrating plain white piece of paper.

Chuck sketch

Chuck - 12x12 Oil on Board



Game of Chase sketches

Game of Chase - 48x24 Oil on Canvas



The Insatiable Mr. Toad sketch

The Insatiable Mr. Toad - 18x24 Oil on Board



Etherium sketches

Etherium sketch

Etherium - 18x36 Oil on Board



Alice sketch

Alice sketches - notice how I ran out of paper
space? I just grabbed another piece of paper
and kept on going...

Alice background sketch

We're All Mad Here - 24x48 Oil on Board



Crimson Ribbon rough sketch with associated reference file markers

Crimson Ribbon composition sketch compiled in Photoshop
after drawing each element separately.

Crimson Ribbon - 18x36 Oil on Board



I Am sketch

I Am - 36x60 Oil and Gold Leaf on Board

4 comments:

  1. Fantastic! The struggle & pain is real, yet the solution is simply to start, as if para-ceta-mol stands for pencil-to-paper.
    Love the sketches and final on 'Etherium' ... the head is sketched pretty detailed compared to the rest, which probably helped when painting the final. The less refined parts of the sketch probably also helped by allowing some freedom during the painting stage.
    Nice article!!! Thank you for sharing.

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  2. Such stunning drawings! love your work. I think all artist know the feeling. I beat it by grabbing a brush as quickly as I can and ‘spoil’ the canvas fast. The sooner I get something on there the better. It doesn’t even have to be right or good, I can always fix later. Just get started. Gosh, that applies to so many things in life!

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