A Vulcan, from Star Trek Large Handbook Sketchbook
I still find faces to be challenging. I had drawn this from a photograph of Spock from the first Star Trek reboot movie. I had taken a photo off our television screen, the scene where Spock Prime (Leonard Nimoy) talks to Spock (Zachary Quinto) at the end of the movie. Facial portraits are so difficult for me. You have to get all of the relationships right between all of the parts of the face.. the distance between the eyes, from eyes to ears, to nose, to mouth, to chin. If you get too many of these landmarks wrong, the face becomes unrecognizable, thus I had to entitle this one A Vulcan, I really didn't do enough justice to say it was Spock (Prime or otherwise). But, as they say, practice, practice, practice. Of course, I could have turned to one of my old tricks where I trace the image onto the paper, but I didn't want to go through all of that. I had planted myself in front of the TV and was enjoying the movie and didn't want to get all technical. I'm happy with the general anatomy, and I'm steadily improving on getting the shading right to make the face more three-dimensional.
The movie we were watching was For the Love of Spock. It has a very limited theatrical release, nowhere near Phoenix. So we rented it from Amazon. The movie was directed by Leonard Nimoy's son, Adam Nimoy, and the movie not only released many photos and film clips I had never seen before, but it gave an interesting glimpse of how devoted L. Nimoy was to his Trek fans. In one of the scenes, the show had gone into syndication, and the actors were offered the opportunity to do the voice acting for the animated series. However, two of the original cast members, George Takei and Nichelle Nichols, were not invited. When Nimoy heard of this, he said that the whole point of Star Trek was the inclusiveness of the concept, and he didn't like the fact that both faces of color were specifically excluded. he basically told them if George and Nichelle were not a part of it, he would not do it, and thus George and Nichelle were added. The movie included several other interesting turning points, where Leonard Nimoy the Actor basically told the director how he thought Spock would do things, and how all of these moments basically have created the Spock canon as we know it.
The movie did rehash the age-old story of sons desperately trying to understand their fathers (this was the main theme when Gene Roddenberry's son directed a similarly themed documentary a few years ago), and while it added much to our understanding of Adam Nimoy, I can see how it detracted from the story. But overall, it was a very good movie.
Goldie in Watercolor Painted from a photograph taken in April 2016, near Poplar Bluff, Missouri 5x7 Strathmore "Visual Journal" sketchbook DaVinci, Cotman and Schminke Watercolors
Watercolor of dairy cow Painted from a photograph taken at the Wisconsin State Fair, August 2016 5x7 Strathmore "Visual Journal" sketchbook DaVinci, Cotman and Schminke watercolors
I don't know why but I find painting portraits of animals to be my artistic niche. I've continued painting "urban sketches" but I guess it doesn't resonate with me as much as the face of a living thing does. I'm really happy with my painting of Goldie, a stray cat that Brent's Dad took in a few months ago. He hadn't been getting along with the other cats in the house, so he was relegated to living in the basement. It's quite nice down there, and he has plenty of light, but I'm sure it was lonely, so we made it a point to help him get acclimated to living with the four other cats in the household.
Not as thrilled with the painting of the cow. There was something up with the paper (probably touched it too often and too much of my skin oils got on it) but there were many patches that resisted watercolor, and I also was experimenting with utilizing non-so-real hues. A process that I don't really like to use that often. And I really shouldn't have made her skin folds so prominent.