Sketch of my honey.
Hello dear art lover!
I am a self employed, full time artist and have been for some years now. I struggle to make a living and most months I am one rent cheque away from eviction. I live very frugally and put as much as I can of what I earn back into new projects and materials.
I have never asked for money in any way online before, but I now see many people using this method successfully to enable them to continue working as a creative / content creator. As someone who works and lives alone I don’t really have much of a support network to speak of (don’t get out much, you see?) I’m really hoping that seeking patrons is the way to go.
As little as £1 or $1 a month for regular updates of work-in-progress pictures and sculptures could go towards keeping me with a roof over my head and food in my belly. Not to mention materials and supplies etc., which have become insanely expensive these days.
For larger monthly donations and one-off contributions I am offering original artworks, mostly illustrations, but also paintings and small sculptures. Simply send me a picture to work from and I will make an original piece of art. It can be a picture of anything at all.
I have also set up a ‘Goal’ on Patreon. The Goal is to make the garage in the garden into a studio so that I can work more easily all year round and create many more pieces of art and hopefully more sophisticated works of art too.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope it persuades you to become a patron, and if it does I will be eternally grateful.
Inktober came and went, and very enjoyable it was too. Not sure what happened to November, and now we are well into our way with December. But I did keep up with the sketching and doodling, inspired further by the gift from my partner of the wonderful book, The Bird King by Shaun Tan. – A book I’ve had for several weeks now but still have not got to the end of as I am revelling in each and every page.
Here’s some of my recent scribbles:
My beautiful sister.
Hope you liked the doodles. I love making these distorted figure drawings!
Please check my site for more paintings, sculptures, and drawings: Dean Harkness Design
And do please let me know what your favourite illustations and or illustrators are. I’m always open to suggestions and looking for new inspiration.
Thanks to a friend who posted a link to a great little post by Angry Dog Art about the KUM Automatic Long Lead / Pencil Sharpener I was reminded of clutch pencils, which by coincidence I had recently searched for online but not by that name as I didn’t know that that is what they are called.
I ordered one of the KUM sharpeners to begin with, and then searched online for ‘clutch pencils’, and not propelling pencils, claw pencils, or grabby thing pencils. Not surprisingly there are lots to choose from. I searched for one that I thought looked reasonably well made but also reasonably priced. One can spend a fortune, of course, but to my pleasant surprise I found a make of clutch pencil called KOH. On seeing an image of one I had a vague sense of having seen one before. It comes with a specially designed sharpener in one end that I would not have remembered seeing before without seeing it again. I don’t think I actually had one of these pencils as a child (and it would have been wasted on my if I had) but other kids had them, and maybe even one of my brothers did too. The design has not changed in over 30 years, at least!
This is the pencil:
and here is a picture of the built in sharpener
Clever stuff, huh? And all for the modest price of about £2.95
I’ve had a fine time over the past week or two using the new pencil to work on a bunch of illustrations for a children’s book I am currently doing for a friend (the person who shared the post about the sharpener, no less!) You can see Abi’s author site here: http://abiburlingham.com/
I also treated myself to a very chunky clutch pencil that I found in a local shop. It was less than a fiver and feels nice in the hand. I’ve sanded it and oiled it (it has a wooden body) but I haven’t actually drawn with it yet. This is what it looks like:
And here is a picture of the KUM sharpener:
It gives an extra long lead to pencils when sharpened, and has two small bladed for sharpening leads in clutch pencils too.
I shall invest in some more leads for the pencils soon. There’s a nice variety for the chunky one, including charcoal sticks and sepia sticks etc. Hopefully I can get some softer leads for the standard sized clutch pencil too.
If you made it this far then thanks for reading!
It is so weird how memory works (or doesn’t). What was the last thing you remembered that you had forgotten you had forgotten? 😉
I thought I would have finished this by now, but there is still a ways to go. But I am very happy with how things have developed. Rather than simply increasing the size and amount of detail in this new version of the figure I was hoping to actually push the design further and discover something new in the shapes and forms. And I did! Hallelujah!
I covered the stages of the sculpting process up to now in my last post. This is where it had got to by then.
While I was happy with the increased detail of the whole piece, and especially the feet, I did feel that I had mostly just made it bigger. Something was missing, which in artistic terms usually means the complete opposite and that something needs taking away. I continued to work on areas that I knew needed refining: The arms, hands, head, face, and hair. The neck… Oh, the neck! Had such problems with that for some reason; No wonder her head kept detaching itself (see previous post). Shoulders, back, waist, bum, thighs, knees, calves, feet and toes. I know it just sounds like a list of body parts, but truly, these become things in their own right when sculpting them. The hair was proving tricky too, especially around the neck area. —
As is often the way the next step I needed to take to push things further came to me while I was half asleep one night: The shins had to go! It was the shape the knees and feet made that interested me, and I realised that I could more or less connect the two and remove the shins almost entirely.
One of the main reasons for wanting to make this piece again, besides the fact that the original was only ever meant as a maquette, was that I was keen to make the feet far more realistic while at the same time also being quite distorted. It took a lot of cutting away but eventually, and with a wonderful sense of satisfaction, I cut away enough clay that one side of a foot finally connected with the other side, and they became an actual pair of feet rather than only looking okay from one side or the other, but not really from all round. They were now completely separate except for where the balls of the big toes touch… just.
I got some help at this stage with removing the stick that had been inside the body and head to work as a support. Luckily it came out without any problems. Phew!
This is what sculpting in my make-shift studio can sometimes look like.
Isn’t clay gorgeous!
Finally started to define the hair.
Hands still need defining.
Faces are always tricky at this scale, and at this angle. Ideally I need to raise the sculpture to above eye level in order to be able to work on it comfortably, but it can get a bit unstable so more often than not I just kneel on the floor so that the table is at shoulder-ish height.
There’s still quite a bit to do, but it’s all just finishing off detail now, and there are no more major changes to be made.
One rather huge thing that does have to be done, and I may already have left it too late, is that in any place where the clay is more than one inch thick I need to cut out a ‘window’, scoop out some clay, and re-attach the ‘window’ that was removed. Scary, but it has to be done if I am to have any hope of getting the finished piece fired in a kiln. Clay can explode if any thicker than an inch, so not only would it be a loss of work, but it could also potentially damage anything else in the kiln. I’m still trying to find a kiln in the local area, and making contact with people to see if they may be able to include a piece or two of mine some time in the not too distant future. Fingers crossed!
And thanks to you, whoever you are, for stopping by and reading.
Do please leave a comment, and or subscribe. I really enjoy hearing back from anyone who’s taken the time to read a post of mine.
Have an awesome September everybody!