Thursday, August 29, 2013

Drawing rabbits

Some of my newest paintings contain a portrait of my pet rabbit(s) painted at home, from life. I think these portraits are pretty good.

Folks keep telling me "Hope you can find some people who like rabbits to buy those paintings."

rabbit with papaya and apples, acrylic on canvas

And it's funny, but I don't think I need rabbit people. Since I don't have kids and live alone, I think of them just as figure paintings or life studies and would think that anyone would like them. I thought art history buffs would like them (since they are sort of a riff on the tromp l'oeil paintings that have dead rabbits in them.)

And I have a book project about a rabbit that I am working on, and just opened up another old project, "Dumbbunny", a story about the Easter Bunny that my best and most long-time friend, Mary, and I started many years ago. Her mother wrote the story originally in the 50s or 60s. It was sort of mostly done but we had problems with the plot (for the 21st Century). Mary just fixed it and now I am making final drawings and trying to figure out color and layout.

Anyhow a day drawing rabbits is a good day.

I have rabbit models at home, and now with the internet, it is easy to find models in the poses I need. Well maybe not easy but I can find poses lose enough to extrapolate the rest in my head. It was so much harder before as I have never been good drawing out of my head. The book "Rabbit Language" and the first version of this one was really hard for me to draw. Also having digital cameras is huge -- I can take photos whenever I find a rabbit in the pose I need. I can put various things together in Photoshop to help me think about the composition before I start. And I will probably do the color in Photoshop (not sure yet).

The idea is the hardest thing. Once I have it, it's easy to just try to draw it freehand. There is a very high fear level. It is even harder than painting because in painting you can go over it again if you have to. A messed up drawing you need to start fresh (although there may be some Photoshopping). It is funny after all these years of drawing that there is so much fear, that "I can't do this". And then really it's one drawing at a time.

Am procrastinating. It can be really hard to sit down to work! I could go to the gym, look at Facebook, or do a million other things. I guess that's why I have an art studio in the first place!

However, I find once I get started, it really helps to have some uninterrupted time such as a really long weekend. I now understand why novelists book hotel rooms to get away and work on their books. Every interruption (such as going to work, going to the gym, a Giants game) can completely stall me in my tracks.

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