Last week we met Sarah Turner.

Well, *I* met her a while ago at a wedding, but she was introduced to this blog in the form of a watercolor.  Don’t be surprised to find an eventual collaboration, as we’ve turned out to be kindred spirits to an almost eerie degree. 

Also slightly creepy is just how artistic her extended family is.  On Friday, I had the opportunity to be reminded of this when Sarah’s brother-in-law, Matthew, sat for the ol’ co-op.

He’s a luthier by training and vocation.  In other words, he builds (and repairs) guitars.  I checked, and the root of the word comes from “lute” – a precursor to the modern guitar that was popular in renaissance times.

This studio-session was put to good use by practicing some of the ink-inspired brushwork that was highlighted in the previous blog post.


 Matthew III - sm

This portrait was completed conjured from india ink using a brush on paper.  It took a little while to get the feel of the brush – it was a larger one than was used last time, and therefore carried more ink in the bristled.  This led to some slightly ham-handed lines, especially where I started – the glasses. 

I hit my stride before too long.  The lines of the mouth, the back of the neck and the shoulder on the right side of the picture are deftly-drawn and well placed.  The daubs making up the shadowed area of the beard and hair are a delight, even if they border on the repetitive.  Overall, though there’s a good deal of variety in stroke.   I think this is what another artist meant when he referred to the drawing as “Van Gogh-esque”.  I’ve seen some really wild ink drawings by Van Gogh made up of similarly wide-ranging marks. 

This drawing was not my first attempt of the evening (nor the last).  It’s predecessor will perhaps be featured in another outtakes post.  Just remember that for every good drawing, plenty of crummy ones were tossed in the wastebasket.

However, Fortune was smiling on me that night.  A second lovely image came out of the session, this time in watercolor:

Matthew II - sm

This one sprang from a fit of frustration with the first (unshown) picture.  The pink and peach of the face and arms as well as the underlying light blue of the shirt were slathered on page, almost haphazardly.  No underpainting or pencil sketch was done to line things up, I put my faith in my eyes instead.  Later on (after the ink drawing had been completed) this colorful piece was revisited and details added.

A large part of the success of this one can probably be attributed to the trust I placed in my own abilities – it was a combination of making good conscious decisions, and hands that are finally beginning to act on intuition – built over years of practice.

After the sitting was over, Matthew came over to chat.  As luck would have it, he’s not only artistic, but a blast to talk with.  Sarah and I spent the next day walking around one of the many lakes in Minneapolis, scheming.  Maybe something will come of those plans.  If so, you’ll see it here. 

This entry was published on August 5, 2013 at 12:14 am. It’s filed under Bold Color, Drawings, Figures, Portraits, The Artistic Process, Watercolors and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

6 thoughts on “Matthew

  1. love this.
    this site looks great btw.
    i prefer this layout to the main portfolio. its seem light and fresh.

    • Hey thanks for the feedback. I absolutely adore you work, so your words carry weight. The portfolio site is a tad “serious” but that seems to suit it. Meanwhile, I’ll just keep drawing and painting and try to get some paid work.

  2. The ink piece is really wonderful. I love the curve of your strokes and the rendering of the nose and ear. Also like that you left the eyes minimal. It overall has great energy and flow.

    • Working this way feels strangely natural, though there’s still room grow into it. Thank you for the specific feedback.

      For the eyes, I was half-thinking of the line quality in Hayao Miyazaki’s comic ‘Naasica of the Valley of Wind’. He has a way of drawing things being seen through fog that is just great.

  3. Your pen and brush drawing is very successful, I like the back of the shoulder. Next time without the pencil marks maybe? Be brave!

    • Ah… I appreciate your calling me out on that. The painting I’d abandoned before embarking on this one displayed such miserable anatomy, due to poor planning, that I decided to plot out the ink one in advance.

      Baby steps toward boldness?

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