Overcoming a creative block and finding inspiration can be a real challenge, there are times when each and every creative will fall into such a rut but there is a series of techniques that can be used to break out of the block. In this article we will look at how you can use Urban Sketching as a way to find creative inspiration.
The way of the Urban Sketchers have been overlooked by many creatives and not given the attention and credence deserved by the humble, yet incredibly rewarding act of simply getting stuck into documenting your surroundings using whatever tools are at your disposal.
Back to the subject of Urban Sketching, we all know that for most of the world it hasn’t been quite so easy as grabbing your equipment and heading out over the past year, that being said though it shouldn’t be written off or viewed as a limitation, we have Google Maps.
Some of the points covered throughout this article will be:
Overcoming a creative block can be a challenge, but whether you’re stuck in a creative rut or not, you can always use Pinterest to find creative inspiration and explore a world of ideas, imagination and possibilities. It is a great tool for artists, designers, writers, content marketers and more!
It’s easy to get inspired on Pinterest as it’s absolutely full to the brim with great examples of art, design, wall art, interior design, photography, drawings, paintings and ideas as well as diy tutorials and helpful step-by-step guides.
Pinterest actually sells itself on inspiration and it certainly lives up to that reputation as a ‘visual discovery engine for finding ideas’.
In light of getting myself stuck into Japanese culture and history as of late, working on my Geisha art project and working part time as a Sushi chef; I decided to venture into another area of Japanese tradition.
Sumi-e is the name given to a style of East Asian brush painting that uses black ink; this method was commonly employed by the master artists of the past in East Asian traditions to create calligraphy and landscapes drawings/paintings.
I absolutely love the look and feel of sumi-e landscape paintings and the atmosphere they evoke; I also love working with charcoal. That was enough reason for me to fuse the two things and work at creating a Japanese landscape piece that has a sumi-e look to it but the smoky, soft magic of a charcoal drawing.
So it’s the 21st of the month and that means one thing – YouTube video! This one is the first one I’ve done and therefore slightly rusty but the learning process has been immense, the software that I’ve decided to go with seems very promising as well.
So let’s begin the inspiration with a #MasterpieceMonday post – This particular artwork in its preparations and various copies of the original will be of special note for this month’s #StudyingTheMasters – also of note, this particular piece is a master study of a Leonardo da Vinci artwork by Rubens.
Peter Paul Rubens – The Battle of Anghiari Copy – 1603
‘The Battle of Anghiari’ by Peter Paul Rubens, is a copy of a fresco that was painted around 1503-06 by Leonardo da Vinci and although the fresco itself was never completed, it was also destroyed around 1560; some 43 years before Rubens made his copy.
Leonardo da Vinci had made a number of preparatory studies for the original painting that still exist and the central section of the composition is known through this copy by Rubens. Rubens’ copy was based on an engraving by Lorenzo Zacchia in 1553 based on the cartoon of Leonardo da Vinci.
Rubens was successful in portraying the intense fury, emotions and sense of power that was present in the original painting by Leonardo. There have also been similarities noted between this piece and The Hippopotamus and Crocodile Hunt painted by Ruben around 1616.
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Art depicting Geisha and Maiko is something that has drawn me in from the bustling county of Essex on the outskirts of London in the UK to explore the historical traditions of South-east Asia, Kyoto in Japan in particular. This oil painting is testament to that exploration and shows a rear-view portrait of a Maiko with emphasis on the hair and make-up.
While not strictly a Geisha, this piece was worked on and created as a figure study with an emphasis on capturing the female form through oil paint. The Haiku was one that I thought of while in the process of working on the artwork.
This original painting is currently available on my Etsy shop
So as a result of the current lockdown measures here in the UK I have been afforded a rare luxury within my artwork; time. Time to experiment and play about with ideas and techniques; time to learn from life studies and master studies; time to reflect on the work I’ve been doing with the pencils and brushes.
One area that I have been really getting stuck into is alla prima painting. I’ve done some pieces as still life artworks, setting up the subjects and lighting them in the way that I desire; there is no better way to learn a subject than by studying it in real life, in person. I’ve also done some alla prima paintings using reference and photography too, a total opposite to my normal slow and steady approach of building a painting up in layers, slowly and steadily.
All you need to do from here is click the image above and that should take you to my Instagram page and from there you can make your entry for a chance or two to win my original drawing of ‘The Child’.
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Having spent the last three months of 2019 working on my currently unfinished graphic novel ‘Corvus’ it has been nice to spend a bit of time in the first month of this year working on some other bits and pieces, new sketches and drawings, and even finishing up a painting that had been on the easel for some time.
Those other pieces can be addressed in a post for another time, this one however is dedicated to my latest charcoal drawing.