Saturday, November 27, 2010

Plein air time again!

It's been a while since I managed to get out and do a plein air painting - I tried last week but it wasn't to be. I threw my gear in the van and set off about town, looking for something "easy" to do, to get myself back into the swing of things. It was a hot humid day with thunderstorms a distinct possibility. As it happened, the thunderstorms never came but the clouds did.

I found some interesting spots but without sunlight they just didn't grab me enough to justify getting my brushes dirty. So home I went.

Today, however, was warm and sunny - windy too but with clear skies as far as you could see. So off I went in search of something new. I think I found it, on a back road/track, just north of Narrikup.

This mostly-gravel road has a few interesting sandy sections that give the landscape a very different feeling, somewhat like "warm snow". The shadows have a purply-grey coolness about them with stark warm highlights in areas where the sun breaks through. I enjoy painting sandy tracks more than gravel ones. They "feel" more natural somehow.

This section of track featured a WA Christmas Tree (Nuytsia floribunda) which stood out like a beacon against the other trees and scrub. It begged me to paint it.

wa christmas tree plein air oil painting

It's early in the flowering season yet for Nuytsias, but this one was a little ahead of most in the region. I'll have to remember to take another look in a couple of weeks as there are still a lot of unopened flowers on it.

 (No, I didn't stand in the middle of the road while painting.)

I had to work fast on this one as I could see the light was going to change dramatically. Not only did the track fall almost entirely into shadow, as you can see above, but the sunlight warmed considerably, giving the green-grey shrubbery a warm orange glow.

Plein air painting... you don't have to be mad, but it helps.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Alf Stewart digital sketch

I started this one a couple of months ago. With a feature-loaded face, I thought Australian actor Ray Meagher would be an easy person to caricature but I found him incredibly difficult and my efforts either looked grotesque or like portraits.

So here's a not-so-caricatured-portrait sketch of "Alf Stewart" from Home & Away.

alf stewart Ray Meagher sketch
 ("Alf Stewart" - digital sketch. Original 1000x1300px . © 2010, Andy Dolphin)

Any caricaturists reading this - have a go at Alf and let me know in a comment how you fare.

Created with a Wacom Graphire 4 tablet and Photoshop CS.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Gerard Henderson digital caricature update

Still working on this. I have to be careful not to adjust things so much that it ends up looking like a portrait instead of a caricature. I think I'm near enough that I can start adding some colour...

(Gerard Henderson - digital sketch. 1000x1000px . © 2010, Andy Dolphin)

...and here he is with a bit more adjusting and some basic shading.

(Gerard Henderson - digital sketch. 1000x1000px . © 2010, Andy Dolphin)

See the earlier stages at - Gerard Henderson digital caricature

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gerard Henderson Digital Caricature

I caught The Insiders on ABC TV on Sunday morning and got the urge to have a go at doing a caricature from the screen. I grabbed a biro and scrap of paper and began doodling quick sketches of Brian Toohey and Gerard Henderson. The efforts weren't great (time was short) but gave me the urge to try and do a finished caricature of Henderson.

I was struck by his pouty expression which deserted him only momentarily during the broadcast.

Online photos of him are rare but I'm going to see how I go. Here's an initial sketch (about ten minutes work) based on a combination of photo reference and my Sunday morning sketch. It looks a little like Rupert Murdoch at this stage.

(Gerard Henderson - digital sketch. 1000x1000px . © 2010, Andy Dolphin)

Here's a follow-up sketch. About another 20 minutes work here and it's starting to look a little less Murdoch and a little more Henderson.

gerard henderson caricature
(Gerard Henderson - digital sketch. 1000x1000px . © 2010, Andy Dolphin)