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Rina Piccolo Blog

Rina Piccolo's Blog is about cartooning, comics, illustration, and creativity.

New Art!

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New Art!

For about a year I've been in an experimental phase. If you're a visual artist, or any artist for that matter, you've no doubt experienced what I'm going through. It's a mood, or a feeling, or something that makes you want to search for the tools, media, and methods that will define how you approach your next project. More specifically, you search for the media that is best suited for  the type of art you want to make. Although it's a fun phase to be in-- it's exciting to explore new tools and media, or familiar tools and media in a new way-- it can also be exhausting and quite frustrating. Anyway, I decided to post a few of the pieces I've completed (the ones that I think are not disasters). Speaking of disasters, there is almost nothing in the world that crushes my spirit more than having spent a day creating a piece of shit. Have you been there? It makes me want to set fire to the bloody stupid thing I've made. On the flip side, when the Art Godesses shine favorably in my direction, and I make something worthwhile, I feel as high as a kite-- like I've just taken the world's most awesome drug. 

I hope you like these. They're not quite there yet, but every time I make a new piece, I get a little closer to that elusive thing we call "art"...

   "The Professor Bartender"  Watercolour paper mounted on wood. Materials: graphite, watercolour, Ink. The orange area is an oil pastel resist method that I wanted to try out. This piece is on the fence as to whether it wants to be a painting or a drawing. 
"The Professor Bartender"  Watercolour paper mounted on wood. Materials: graphite, watercolour, Ink. The orange area is an oil pastel resist method that I wanted to try out. This piece is on the fence as to whether it wants to be a painting or a drawing. 
  "Lady With Orange Bird Creatures" I wanted to see what I could do with a very quick sketch using only graphite...  the bird creatures are watercolour, and watercolour pencil.

"Lady With Orange Bird Creatures" I wanted to see what I could do with a very quick sketch using only graphite...  the bird creatures are watercolour, and watercolour pencil.

  "Angel Creature" I used this piece to try a technique that I learned for giving the illusion of depth. The object in the foreground appears closer to the viewer's eye. To do this I gave the shape a hard edge, and then took the "background" and blurred it with a smudging tool. Materials: graphite, watercolour, wax pastel.

"Angel Creature" I used this piece to try a technique that I learned for giving the illusion of depth. The object in the foreground appears closer to the viewer's eye. To do this I gave the shape a hard edge, and then took the "background" and blurred it with a smudging tool. Materials: graphite, watercolour, wax pastel.

  "Sisypuss" I took a Rhymes With Orange cartoon by Hilary Price (my collaborator!) and rendered it in oil pencils. When they're layered, oil pencils have the look of oil paint. While I like the result, I hate how physically exhausting they could be, especially if you're working on a large piece. I got a real workout on my arm that day!

"Sisypuss" I took a Rhymes With Orange cartoon by Hilary Price (my collaborator!) and rendered it in oil pencils. When they're layered, oil pencils have the look of oil paint. While I like the result, I hate how physically exhausting they could be, especially if you're working on a large piece. I got a real workout on my arm that day!

 
  "Lady At Window" For this one I experimented with acrylic inks (with highlights and some shading done with graphite, and wax pastel). These painterly plastic-like inks are amazing-- they're a cross between watercolours and acrylic paint. They're opaque, and quite thick, and you can paint layers over layers with them without losing the value of the layer underneath. Unlike watercolour they're pretty unforgiving-- once you put something down, it's permanent, and you can't "wake up colours" the way you can with watercolours. Still, I love working with them. On canvas they behave like acrylic paint, but with a smoother flow. I'm really happy with these, and will definitely continue to use them for painting and drawing. I did a second one using these materials, but on a different surface. This one above is on a high quality cold press watercolour paper, and the piece below is on smooth illustration board. I should add that I bought the pearlescent colours by mistake. But I liked the results!

"Lady At Window" For this one I experimented with acrylic inks (with highlights and some shading done with graphite, and wax pastel). These painterly plastic-like inks are amazing-- they're a cross between watercolours and acrylic paint. They're opaque, and quite thick, and you can paint layers over layers with them without losing the value of the layer underneath. Unlike watercolour they're pretty unforgiving-- once you put something down, it's permanent, and you can't "wake up colours" the way you can with watercolours. Still, I love working with them. On canvas they behave like acrylic paint, but with a smoother flow. I'm really happy with these, and will definitely continue to use them for painting and drawing. I did a second one using these materials, but on a different surface. This one above is on a high quality cold press watercolour paper, and the piece below is on smooth illustration board. I should add that I bought the pearlescent colours by mistake. But I liked the results!

  "Theatre At Night" Acrylic Inks -- the one decision I regretted on this piece is the black outlining ink lines (that's the cartoonist in me... I just couldn't resist doing it!)... afterwards I realized that by doing this, I made it look more like a drawing than a painting, which is not what I had wanted. The lesson I learned: in a painting, line work is determined by the borders of shapes and the contrast between values, whereas in a drawing shapes are determined by actual drawn lines that serve as borders/outlines. Well that's what experiments are all about-- learning.

"Theatre At Night" Acrylic Inks -- the one decision I regretted on this piece is the black outlining ink lines (that's the cartoonist in me... I just couldn't resist doing it!)... afterwards I realized that by doing this, I made it look more like a drawing than a painting, which is not what I had wanted. The lesson I learned: in a painting, line work is determined by the borders of shapes and the contrast between values, whereas in a drawing shapes are determined by actual drawn lines that serve as borders/outlines. Well that's what experiments are all about-- learning.

  "Old Man Bird with Orange Bird Creatures" back to graphite, wax crayon, and watercolors-- with some acrylic paint. I was experimenting on different types of illustration board. Also the size of this piece is 15" by 20" -- bigger than I'm used to.

"Old Man Bird with Orange Bird Creatures" back to graphite, wax crayon, and watercolors-- with some acrylic paint. I was experimenting on different types of illustration board. Also the size of this piece is 15" by 20" -- bigger than I'm used to.

  And this last is a sample illustration from my upcoming collection of comics and art. The collection is also one big experiment! (materials used here: the usual india ink, graphite and watercolour.

And this last is a sample illustration from my upcoming collection of comics and art. The collection is also one big experiment! (materials used here: the usual india ink, graphite and watercolour.

If you have any questions about these, or the materials I used to make them, please ask away on the comments... 

As always, thanks for reading!