Internet Challenges

bigapplecpEven as recently as twenty years ago, one would have to travel or move to a large city to find art groups to join.  Imagine, and many of us can remember, when just getting a reference photo was kind of a big deal.  You either took the photo yourself and then had to develop the film, process the photos, etc.  Or you went to the 1library or 2bookstore and spent forever going through the pages looking for just the right image.  Now, there are literally millions of free reference photos, and even more that are copyrighted, available for the artist student to download, practice, and challenge himself.  For instance, this apple was one of the challenges for April in the colored pencil section of Wet Canvas.  I enjoy looking for challenges all over the net.  Some of my favorites are, of course, Wet Canvas, Draw Space, Illustration Friday, and I think there are some on Scribble Talk, but I’m still new there and just feeling my way around.  If you know of any others, please feel free to add them in the comments or, better yet, e-mail me.  I’ll check it out and share it with the rest of the class.  I intend on doing at least one challenge like that every week and posting it here.  I intend on that happening on Thursdays.  We shall see.

1 For those of you under the age of 30, a library is like a bookstore except they expect you to return the borrowed books after you read them.

2 For those of you under 20, a bookstore is like the net with “pages” being made of flattened wood pulp instead of on a monitor, except that you have to buy the pages in bulk.

edm104scissorsEDM 104, draw some scissors was more of a challenge than I expected.  Foreshortening and still keeping the blades sharp, changing colors and textures using only .5mm graphite, and my beautiful young bride standing over my shoulder waiting for me to return her scissors to the kitchen all can be quite disconcerting.  I am pleased with the overall result, and yes my lover got her scissors back.  For the record, she had every reason to suspect that I wouldn’t return them.  I still have the bathroom scale, a spoon, and Girl1’s Buddy Holly sunglasses laying about in my studio space.

Figure Drawing and such

21apr09puritanFor the last three weeks, I have been going to figure drawing with the Oklahoma Artists Guild.  Since I was not an art major in college, I had never been in a figure drawing group before this.  I wasn’t even sure it was available outside of university life.  The first two weeks of the month they do a series of short poses between five and twenty minutes.  The third and fourth weeks of the month, they do long poses. 21apr09ii From 7-9, the model assumes one pose and stays there (except for breaks).  These sketches are from the third Tuesday, a long pose session.  After the first break I found myself concentrating on the things that defined the model.  That is I focused on things like her hands and feet, her shoulders and her face.  Then someone pointed out to me that I could draw hands, feet and faces anywhere.  That was a very good point.  My time with the model was limited and I should focus on the shapes and folds, shadows, muscle and fat that support the clothes of everyone else. 21apr09iii I should do that, but I was more interested in the way her hands folded over her ankle.  On the last Tuesday of the month, instead of going to the second long pose session of figure drawing, I will be going to the OKC chapter of the Colored Pencil Society of America.  More on that next week.

edm103saltandpeppershakersEdm 103, salt and pepper shakers, was a fun challenge.  First I had to decide which of the 1000 different sets belonging to my lovely wife I should draw.  I like the spherical ones on our dining room table, which of course is what I chose.  I’m afraid, however, that I might have chosen them for the wrong reason.  I actually chose them because I was avoiding the glass and metal ones.  I am still intimidated by reflective surfaces so I avoid them.  That is unfortunate because the works that I admire most are the close cropped still lifes that involve glass marbles, puddles of liquid, or shiny bowls.  This is something I will definitely be working on.  Of course, I will post the lessons and the progress here for you to follow along.

Tuesdays and Illustrated Friday

ifthebardRecently I discovered a new challenge site that I believe will be a lot of fun.  Illustrated Friday posts a theme for you to illustrate every week (on Fridays).  Artists of all media and skill level are welcome to participate.  Many of the folks over there post tips and techniques and will readily answer your questions.  But beyond that, it’s just as the intro describes it: a no stress, fun excuse to use your creativity.  The theme for this week is “Theater.”  Head on over there and give it a go!

edm102exerciseequipmentEDM 102, draw a piece of exercise equipment you use, is just a little presumptuous.  I guess I could have drawn my sneakers, or my feet for that matter.  I have been walking a lot lately.  As a matter of fact, not only have I been speed walking during my lunch breaks at work, but now the whole family walks every evening.  We either walk to the grocery store, or to a restaurant, or just around a couple of blocks after dinner.  But we are walking every day.  Pretty much the only piece of equipment I use is my MP3 player.  I haven’t been using that much lately either as one of my co-workers has joined me in the luchtime trots.  I won’t argue with success, I’ve lost 52 pounds since December.



EDM 101: Draw a power plug

It’s finally here!  It is the official launch of The Artistic Biker.  No more late nights working out bugs! (Yeah, right) No more stressing at the last minute whether or not the blog is going to be ready on time! (Double yeah, right) And finally an end to the chaos, organization has finally settle… Oh who am I kidding.

What better way to launch a new website than with EDM 101: Draw a power plug.  Plug me in and turn me on!  Um… moving along.

April 2009 Virtual Sketch Date

April 2009 Virtual Sketch Date

Also, this month’s Virtual Sketch Date challenge was a rhododendron bud.  The reference photo was provided by Jeanette Jobson.  Here is my loose watercolor interpretation.

The Artistic Biker is home now to all things related to Blade’s Art.  As I travel the highways on the bike, meet people, draw, paint, dance naked in the streams… O.K. maybe not that last part, at least not here in pictures… But as I travel I will be posting here to tell you all about it.  I have a loosely defined schedule in mind and a few things that are still developing.

First, I would like to point out the Blog Roll on the right hand side.  These are the blogs that I read and follow daily.  I think that you too could find joy and benefit from checking them out.  If  you have one you would like me to consider, feel free to contact me and I will look into it.  There are a ton of other sites that I peruse irregularly, mostly because they post irregularly.  The same is true for the links that are not blogs.  The ones I frequent most often are in the sidebar.   The master list of links will be listed HERE on a seperate Linky page.  I will be doing a weekly review of all of the links I’m given and that I find through the week.  More on that as the week progresses.

Next I would like to point out the “Comment Love” icon in the comment area of the posts.  When you fill out the comment fields with your blog information, comment love will direct readers to your most recent blog post.  If you are registered with comment love, it will also track click-throughs for you so you will know how many people have followed your link.  I think that’s just pretty cool.

Two features that are not online yet are the forum and the catalogue.  The forum will be up as soon as I figure out all the tweaks to make it’s theme match the rest of my site.  The catalogue is developing nicely.  I have several quality products mostly geared towards studio portability and innovation.  If you have a product you would like featured, please contact me for review.

Finally, I would like for you to notice the Pay Pal Donate button.  Art supplies and motorcycle maintenance are not free.  If you are at all entertained by something on this site, please donate to the cause.

On The OKC Festival of the Arts…

This was stolen from Adam Knapp's

This image was stolen from Adam Knapp's

The Festival of the Arts started in downtown Oklahoma City a couple of days ago.  Wednesday or Thursday would have been an absolute best time to skip work and go.  However, with the strain at both our jobs, taking off right now just wasn’t possible.  Probably tonight, and definitely tomorrow we will brave that crowd.  The girls will have the opportunity see a variety of stage acts, street performers, make pottery and paint, while I gorge myself on gyros, beer, and fresh roasted honey almonds.  I’ve never been able to buy artwork from one of these festivals, because when I see a piece that I truly love, I study it for as long as I can before they run me off or the family drags me out.  I think to myself about how I would do something like that.  Of course, up ’til now I never have.  I have never even done a completed painting.  That will change this year!

There is a whole series of these festivals going on over the next few weeks.  Rest assured there will be pictures, stories and commentary for me to share with you.

I am happy to announce that the majority of the bugs at The Artistic Biker have been discovered.  I see some very late nights between now and Monday morning getting everything worked out.  I would like to thank all of you that went there to help me test.