Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Bird in Hand

Silverpoint heightened with white

Let's see, the last two posts have been about critters and hands. This image seems to be a good way to tie those together and then maybe move on to something else. This was actually based on a stock photo by the lovely Longstock that I just couldn't resist. For more of her stock work take a look here. link


Anonymous said...

This is beautiful work. I like how innocent it feels.

Dave B said...

Thank you and thanks for taking the time to comment. I'm really glad it evoked a feeling in you especially the one I wanted to show.

The Space Above the Couch said...

This is a perfect composition and such a beautiful image. Almost from another age. I'm inspired to try silverpoint, and to take your advice about practicing hand studies. You are an amazing draftsperson. I linked here hoping to see examples of egg tempera, and I will have to make my way through the rest of your blog.

all the best, jp

Dave B said...

Thanks so much. I'm seeing more and more silverpoint lately, not sure how I feel about that really. I guess there's room for everybody.

I don't do much tempera these days, the last one was a couple years ago I think. Originally I turned to egg tempera because I couldn't get oil to do what I wanted it to, now I can to a certain extent at least. But tempera still has a certain appeal. It's more of a draftsman's medium and I do love to draw. Time becomes a problem though. Temperas, especially large ones, just seem to take forever. Off the top of my head there are 3 temperas posted here, all fairly early. Since I still don't have a camera to put new things up maybe now would be a good time to post an old tempera.

jpohl said...

oh my goodness.. i missed the part that said you used a stock photo. that's so funny.. but you certainly elevated it.

I think the fast past of the modern world has drawn many people back to traditional media (there even seems to be a revival in the use of fountain pens.) It's probably a natural and healthy reaction, and maybe a little ironic as the web and new technology is the thing opening the doors for so many.

I'm switching from to tempera from oil for health reasons, but because I love the way learning things keeps the creative process alive. I want to experiment with ink under paintings aswell, but from what I've seen (mostly online as we are pretty far removed from museums on the edge of the arctic circle) I have to wonder if gold and silver point heightens temperas luminosity. I've always been more of a painter than a draftsperson, but maybe that's as good a reason as any to push myself in new directions. thank you for the inspiration.

Don't worry, if it wasn't for bad art, how would we know what is good?

Dave B said...

That's an interesting idea about the return to more traditional media. Not too long ago there was a discussion on one of the forums (I forget which) about this very possibly being the last generation of brush and canvas artists. Everything seemed to be moving toward digital. If that's what happens, well so be it. Speaking for myself I started with silverpoint simply because I'm cheap. (I prefer to think of it as thrifty.) Part of the graduation requirement was to take a semester what was classified as a craft, namely ceramics, textiles or jewelry making. Ceramics was messy and always full. Textiles, I'm not even sure they had a teacher for that so jewelry making it was. Rather enjoyed it to tell the truth. Anyway, class was over, requirement fulfilled and I still had a few inches of silver wire left over. Trying silverpoint just seemed like a good idea.

Sorry to hear about the health problems. With tempera the thing to watch out for is working with dry pigments. They can get airborne real easy. Silver or gold underdrawings really don't have much to do with luminosity. The thing about tempera in classical usage is to work from dark to light. When you do that they take on a pearly quality. So that's why the ink drawing is important. It gives you something dark to work over right away. But that's not the only way to use it nor is it necessarily the best way. Experiment some and look around the web. You'll find a way that works for you.

jpohl said...

my health is pretty good, but I didn't like the way working 30 hours straight with oils used to make me feel... and it was starting to limit the hours I could work. I wasn't the kind of artist who could work in a white coat and not be covered in paint. Maybe green tea saved me (^; but I had two very healthy babies and want to play it safe while I work around them. I'll also be much more cautious about ventilation and barrier cream and the like if I start in oil again. I though i had read that the classical tendency was to work from mid tones... but I'm still figuring so much out. I'm about to order Koo Shadler's book, and her paintings are among the most luminous I've seen (at least from what I can tell online.) I'm pretty sure she works with silverpoint underdrawings... but I will try both and see what happens. I have a feeling it does help you work things up more gradually... there may be more of a tendency to rush ahead in ink and kill the light. Maybe i'll even use both with ink for deeper shadows.. but it's going to be long long path and a lot of exploration. so far i'm still excited about it. Praying for patience. I did a little silver point in art school, but was heavily into oil and modernism at the time and wouldn't never have seen myself wanting to try it again 15 years later. I'm going to start with mostly dispersions for the babies sakes I think and invest in a good air cleaner for grinding some of the more exotic pigments. I'm just a bit paranoid.. if somebody lights up a cigarette down the street I rush them inside. A little overly protective I know... so it's a good thing tempera is speaking to me. Just hoping i'm up to the challenge.