The History: This is my story and I’m sticking to it… for now.
My Art Education professor gave us an open challenge for extra marks: Those who showed the most exploration of materials in each weekly challenge would get the bonus marks. The catch was we needed to explain our reasons for the materials we used and what results we were hoping to achieve. This was a challenge for me in that I simply loved playing with the materials and letting them guide my hands towards the final image. This was a great lesson in mindfulness and public speaking as well.
The Hollow Men were inspired from a poem of the same name by T.S. Elliot
There are perhaps other influences that rattled my subconscious when I drew these. The 80ies were full of contradictions… a battle between nihilism and hope. These images showed up in many other paintings, on many decorations and in many forms. They are truly left open for your interpretation… feel free to share your thoughts on these…
The Technique: How I did this awesomeness!
I started it similarly to the others, by drawing the outline of figures, only using a soft pencil instead of pastels. Then did each outline with a different material: pastel, gouache, & papier maché. The finishing touches were done on the background using some watercolours & Hodge Podge, mixed with some rubbed in dry chalks. It was a wonderfully messy affair.
The Influence: Confessions of a Plagiarist, sort of…
The main influences are the animation seen in Pink Floyd The Wall and possibly some of the animated work crated by Terry Gilliam in his Monty Python shorts. The literary inspiration was from an amazing poem by T.S. Elliot of the same name. I have a hard time pulling a single indicative line from The Hollow Men, because every line feeds this series of drawings in its own way. I strongly suggest you visit it.
It’s All Relative When you buy The Artist’s Stuff: Prints, Mugs, T-Shirts, Pillow, Shower Curtains, and other awesome stuff.
What inspires an artist?
“All they see” is the first and most literal answer.
For me, that is literally hundreds of gallery & museum exhibits, thousands of books, and tens of thousands of images online.
When asked where to start a book collections, I almost always recommend these art bibles: Janson’s “History of Art” OR Phaidon’s “The Art Book” Both give a nice overview with good pictures. Once you’ve discovered what you are attracted to there most, you can then dig deeper into that area.
If I had to pick only a few of my major influences, which is a very difficult task, it would be Modigliani, Picasso, Van Gogh, & Andrew Wyeth. Here are a few of the best books I recommend from them.
Here are a few others from my personal library, I return to over and over again.
If you have the time, you are free to visit my GoodReads library to see a fraction of the books I’ve read. The ones I remember, that is. Or you can visit the ever growing collection of images on my Pinterest account.
The Materials: Quick! Order this stuff right now, AND You too, can make masterpieces!
Crescent Cardboard Sheets: The Review: I’ve had leftover sheets from a variety of sources, including reused packaging materials, but the colours often get muted to the paper falls apart under the acrylic and water. So I splurged on some professional paper and got excellent colour retention and absorption.
Faber-Castell Creative Studio Non-Toxic Square Soft Pastel: The Review: I received this kit as a gift and used it sporadically until this project. The chalks are messy and not the easiest to make fast blends, and they are also very subtle in their diversity of tones and hues. One can make very strong colours with some rubbing and the blending is improved when you get your fingers dirty. The messy part allows one to reach for that Wabi Sabi beauty of making mistakes. These were a ball to get messy with. I had to supplement the kit with some additional Black & White sticks.
PRISMACOLOR Charcoal: The Review: Prismacolor has some of the best drawing pencils around, for colour and for durability of the pigments within the wood pencil. Unless you want to be working with crumbs and cracked bits, this is essential for charcoal products. This awesome kit gives you all the tools to smudge and finalize until your heart’s content.
Watercolour Brushes: The Review: I recommend getting a nice set of watercolour brushes for paint and inks. If possible aim for natural hairs, sable when possible. It hold the pigment and water better. If sable brushes are too pricey for you, then start with some bamboo handled calligraphy brushes. They are wonderfully versatile for line and broad stroke applications alike.
Reeves 5-Pack Gouache Tube Set: The Review: I started with reeves for the sharpness of their colours, and I still use them whenever I can find them. They dry quickly enough and are easy to blend. If you are not using them as watercolours, (ie diluting them) then I suggest using acrylic paint instead, as the thicker the application, the more they can flake.
Photoshop for Mac: The Review: You could use the free “ MAC Photos” program or Picassa and possibly get the same results, but Photoshop offers you the flexibility of presenting yourself as a pro photographer, like no other program. There’s a reason it’s considered the best of the best, after all. So, this allows you the possibility of selling this service to others and funding more of your creativity
Apple MacBook Pro 15.4″ Laptop:The Review: You may choose to get an iMac for the bigger screen, and I couldn’t disagree with the beauty of working with the 24” screen. I picked the laptop, because of the need to be mobile and the flexibility of multi-purposing it to use for client demos. As an alternative to the weight of this model, I would suggest the MacBook Air 13”. Most of us have become accustomed to mobile device size screens and it is much easier to carry around.
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR: The Review: My first DSLR camera was the EOS Rebel T3. This one is vastly superior to the old model. Canon has a well deserved reputation of having top rated cameras. It requires a little play time to master it, and that time will be lessened by defining a clear idea of what you want to do with it, then jumping on YouTube for the multitude of How To videos. If you want a smaller camera to carry around, try Canon EOS M10 Mirrorless Digital Camera OR go small & powerful with the Canon PowerShot Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD & built in wifi.
Canon PIXMA MX492 Inkjet Printer:The Review: For me this has been the easiest to us for cleaning and cartridge replacement. It works reasonably well with recycled inks and the wireless is easy to set-up. The Canon has worked best for me on ink usage. When purchasing printers, always consider the cost of ink replacement… for the most part, this is the big difference right now in printers. For big reproduction lines it is better to outsource. For scanning, they are as good as the camera in them… this is one reason I’m a fan of Canon products. It does do a nice job on printing photos on good photo paper, and the black print is crisp and clean, provided you do regular cleanings and keep it dust free.