Thursday, January 29, 2009

a new way of working...

Here is my Swiss Chard piece on my drafting table. As you can see, I have put in a background and the rest of the piece is still looking quite bright! :-) I am on the home stretch now and at this stage I am just going in to deepen some of the dark green values. The next time you see the chard it will be finished.

You can also see my laptop on my drafting table. Yup, perched on an angle and everything. This is the first time I have worked this way. Normally, if I am working from photos, I print off some references. I needed to see lots of detail and as the image I wanted to work from is quite wide, I decided to work directly from my Photoshoped images. I can click back and forth between pictures and zoom in when needed.

I have seen photos of some artists working directly from images on their computers but in these cases they were working next to their computer desk. I really like to colour with my work on an angle so leaving my drafting table wasn't an option. Fortunately with a laptop, my computer could come to the drafting table. The down side is that it takes a bit of self control not to check email or surf the net!

So how do you work, do you work from images on a computer screen?

Yesterday we received another eight inches (at least) of snow. Here is how my front yard looks today...

Drifts and drifts of the stuff. Fortunately I love winter and I love snow. I am not keen on the really cold temperatures but it has warmed up considerably so it is wonderful to be outside now. This morning I went snowshoeing with my dog and afterwards I filled the bird feeders (we have eleven feeders and three feeding platforms). I put out cracked corn, a millet mixture, sunflower seeds and suet. The birds and squirrels are happy and so am I. Sure beats driving a morning commute to work.

It is hard to believe that the Forsythia bush below will turn into the bottom picture in about nine or ten weeks.

Okay, I'm heading back to the studio...oh and the February newsletter is just about ready to post so watch for it this weekend.


Laura said...

I like to see how other people work (I hadn't appreciated how big your Swiss Chard drawing was:))

I currently have a VERY small working space mainly a desk that houses everything from my computer, pencils, daylight lamp, sharpner, etc. I have to use a small table easel to support my drawing board as I too like to work at an angle. It's all very cramped but hopefully it won't be this way for ever.

I normally work from photos too but think I might start working directly from the computer seeing as it is literally inches from my drawing board:) Only problem is I think I would be checking emails and blogs too often and get no work done:)

Paula Pertile said...

The chard is looking really great! Can't wait to see it all finished.
The laptop set up looks good too. I can't do that since I don't have a laptop. And I work on a slanty desk anyway. So I waste ink and print out my reference, the old fashioned way.

Lucky birdies. I've been worried about my hummingbirds, haven't seen them in ages...

Teresa Mallen said...

Hi Laura, I am fortunate to now have a large studio but I find I don't really work much differently than I did before moving here. I still end up having everything on my drafting table. I sure don't want to have to get out of my chair every time I need something. I'm just glad I bought a large drafting table!

And yes I must admit having the computer so close can be very tempting. I did well at first and then the day I started colouring in all the layers in the background, well lets just say I took a break. Much to my chagrin, my little break expanded to about 30 mins of surfing. I was quite miffed at myself as I really like working by natural light and I ended up losing precious 'light' time that afternoon. Learned my lesson. Now I stick to surfing after dark!

Hi Paula, my laptop is rather new and I love it. It replaces the dinosaur I got handed down from my husband. I had lots of advice to not get a laptop - you won't like typing on it, etc. but I wanted to be mobile so I took the risk. I bought a larger one so that the keyboard is a nice size. It has allowed me to work outside when it was warm, in the family room by the fire in this weather and I can use it in the studio when I teach. I hadn't thought of using it on my drafting table but it seems to be working out okay.

It is probably hard to tell but my table is slanted quite a bit. The weight of the laptop keeps it from moving and I have some mounting putty on the table to act as brakes if necessary.

It will be early May before I see Hummingbirds again. :-) I hope yours are okay!

Anonymous said...

gotta love winter XD

Anita said...

Teresa - I do sometimes work from a computer but try very hard to work from life now as the light is completely different. I never print out photos as my printer doesn't give a very accurate colour image.
Looking forward to seeing the Swiss Chard finished.
OH BOy and all that snow - actually I miss snow. Never thought I would hear myself say/see myself write that!

Teresa Mallen said...

Hi Joe, I see you are in the process of getting a blog up and running. I hope you are having fun!

Hi Anita, thanks for sharing your work process. I unfortunately couldn't work from life with the chard. The leaves started to seriously wilt during the photo shoot due to the strong sunshine and the warmth of the day. The photos weren't taken recently! :-) I guess the leaves would wilt due to the cold if I tried a photo shoot outside in this weather! Can't win. :-) I love to use natural light whenever possible for my photo references.