Saturday, March 09, 2013

Fun Art Inspired by Carla Sonheim

Carla Sonheim is an artist who has a fun blog.  She teaches classes and has a few books out explaining her techniques and ideas.  I really like her blog and her artwork and after reading her books and seeing some of her videos, I admire her for being a generous artist!  She not only explains her techniques, but is humble and helpful for other artists.  She is generous with her practice ideas, games and processes as well as encouraging anyone who wants to draw, paint or color to do so.
One of her ideas that I find particularly interesting is looking at the sidewalk and imagining the animals you see in the cracks!  When I first heard this, I thought, how weird.  But, then I started to look at the cracks. I saw elephants, fish, birds... and just like Carla's work, I saw animals that were parts of each!
I started sketching them. I was hooked!
Now, I can't help but see imaginary creatures in water splatters, aged brick, patches of dirt...you name it!
Here is how it works.
Crack 1
 First, spot a crack... the more cracked the better because you have lots of shapes, lines and angles to spark your imagination.  From the above crack, I spotted this...
Crack 1 - Running Dog
Kind of looks like a dog running.
Crack 2
Here is another crack.  This one has a little more depth and texture.
Crack 2 - Sheep Outline
 Look at what I saw. I think it looks like a sheep.
Crack 3  - Sheep
So, I added some color and made the sheep appear more obvious.
Crack 3
 Here is a third crack.  This was is really interesting and has a lot going on.
Crack 3 Outline
 I outlined the shape, choosing to follow some cracks and ignore others. I didn't really see any animal - maybe a trunk in the top left?
Crack 3 Outline turned 90 degrees
So, I turned the picture around 90 degrees and immediately saw an animal!
Crack 3 - Cat
A furry cat!
I don't usually make my sketches on the computer, on the image.  I wanted to demonstrate the process, but check out Carla's website and her books if you want it from the horse's mouth.  
The way I usually do it, is I make a quick sketch of the crack in pencil.  After I have the item outlined, I go back to it later and try and figure out what animal I see (or at least what parts).  Then I color it in, add fur, a tail, hair, trunk, claws, wings, gills, etc.)  I'll post my sketches on Monday. 


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