In dimly lit spaces I feel like Matisse


Here’s a couple of drawings from last week.

Did you know that Matisse was going blind toward the end of his career, and resorted to cut paper instead of paint, so he could feel the shapes? I sometimes feel I can relate to him, in a small way— mainly in dim lighting. It’s an upsetting thing for a visual artist, to begin to lose the erstwhile sharpness, the detail. To have to rely upon lights and optical assistance to be able to even approach what your eyes have seen always, for decades.

It’s stressful, and somehow still surprising to me. I do see well in bright light with contacts. And fine in dim light, with glasses. It’s not a surprise, then, that I often rely on my accumulated inner library of gestures, angles, and details.

Interior / Exterior: a little watercolor drawing in process


I began this earlier in the week in pencil, and spent far longer on it than I expected to on that initial drawing, but have been aiming for greater attention to accuracy and detail so I can get faster at it.

I meant to scan it before inking, but I forgot. Here’s a part of the pencil from my pocket computer, though:
And the inking, which I did yesterday, below. You can still see the pencil lines here, anyway, as it was before I erased:

Next, my beginnings of putting bits of color in. At this point I was unsure how much I planned to fill in:

In the end I erased the stripes on the awning. Really, when I put them in (they were imaginary), it was mainly with the objective of simply keeping track of what was what— so many lines! I used the menu at the restaurant a lot as a straight edge.

For the final, I decided against filling in the iron of the windows, and only filled in the black awning outside, and the colorful bits n bobs, essentially leaving the architectural / structural things white (except for that wee shelf in the corner— a diagonal to the browns of the furniture).

 

Women in silks and wigs with rosy cheeks


I revisited those pencil sketches from my last post today, and had a bit of fun with some new markers and the watercolor half pans.

The fine grey marker with which I drew over the pencil in the first sketch proved to be water-based, so muddles my paints a bit. But the broad ones are definitely alcohol based, so will be fine to work in tandem with color.

After weeks of cool and rainy weather, it is at last a very fine day in Brooklyn, and I went walking this afternoon in shorts.  As there are over two hours of daylight remaining, I met yet go back out and look for subjects to sketch,

Luck is a residual of preparation: visiting artist talk


Monica Forsythe wrote an an article on Medium regarding my visiting artist talk for UMBC at the Spark Gallery during the Light City Festival in Baltimore. I’m honored and gratified to have made such an impression. It was a curious and enlightening endeavor. The preparation for the talk took me backwards through time, and reminded me where I came from. In college I was, oddly, a technophobe about computers— I was all about physical media.

In recent years, conversely, I’ve found the opposite to be true. The blank page or canvas can hold a terror it never did when I was younger; a result of reliance upon ‘save as’ and ‘undo.’ Yet I’ve never given up on the analog. I found ways to incorporate the flexibility of digital into my analog works. Scan, scan, scan; add, edit, layer.

The preparation for this talk had me go through years of process; recalling how I got from one place to the next. It was a revelation of remembrance; a kind of rejuvenation. It also reinforced how quickly things tend to change (the thesis for my whole talk)— how that’s more true than ever.

Thank you, Monica! I’ll be reading more Between the Frames in future, and keeping an eye out for your work.

Below: some selects from the presentation, for fun.
Title slide for ELizabeth Daggar visiting artist talk at Light City for UMBC

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Remember that project I mentioned? Inking fine lines

ink drawing portrait of a man
Here are some sneak peaks of the first two illustrations for the book I’m working on. These top to are photos showing much of the finished illustrations, and below are details of the scanned images.

ink drawing of a woman with long hair

I need to gain momentum; I’d like to complete 3-4 illustrations per week to keep this moving. Gotta stay motivated!
section of an ink drawing portraitsection of an ink drawing portrait
And here is a slice of the pencil for number two.

Do you have a new project for Spring?


I’ve begun a new project that I’ll be posting about here periodically (if not frequently). I’ll not reveal the details just yet, only a slice of the first drawing. I spent last weekend researching in preparation after an idea from last year resurfaced.

I love it when an idea that’s collected some dust raises its head again, unbidden. It usually means it’s worth pursuing. But until it picks up more momentum, that’s all I’m going to say. It’s still just a seedling at the moment— you understand. Look out for this also @edaggarart

What new project(s) do you have unfurling as the days get finer?

Have you tried the the Nik Collection for photos?

Brugge canal houses
Brugge canal houses: A photo from my Canon Powershot with some curves applied in Photoshop. This is what I used for testing out the Nik Collection; it’s a lo-res version of original image).

Google has a set of photo filters that are really pretty powerful. There are loads of presets, and with ranges of layers that can be selectively controlled.

They say the filters work with Photoshop, Lightroom, etc, but you’ll see that they are installed as stand alone apps; I presume they draw upon Photoshop‘s engine to work their magic.

You will suffer from option paralysis!

Below are a few samples, with names of filters within each set. Captions note which are presets, and which have been modified. One of the most impressive tools in all of these is the integration of control points, with which you can affect specific areas of the image, when a global change isn’t optimal.

Analog Efex

Classic camera 2 [preset]
Brugge canal houses
Classic camera 4 [preset]
Silver Efex

Classic camera 5 [modified settings] Continue reading