Going From This to That in 2012 (Part 2)

From the Journal of Rick Jacobsen

The lightpad and a photocopy machine opened up many new possibilities.  I started working on the idea of painting Nikki , my wife, at my very own Xanadu: Lee Falls.  In English Literature, Xanadu is a real place that's so fantastic, it doesn't really exist.  Lee Falls was a fantastic place for me as a kid.  Memories of Lee Falls were so fantastic it can't possibly exist.   

A goal of mine was to paint Nikki, with a flower behind her ear, in a scene at Lee Falls. 

Figure 6: Nikki, Watercolor, 9"x12"


I then ventured out to use a photo copier to size a picture of Nikki and the Lightpad (explained in my first post) to trace the parts I wanted.  

The importance of drawing and shading began to emerge.  Getting proportions right was challenging and time consuming.  I didn't know it yet, but the things I needed most were called "layout tools."  Laying out the picture in light pencil soon proved to be highly satisfying. 

Nikki bought me Darryl Tank's 5-pencil Method video called, core concepts and exercises.   She also bought me his video titled, how to draw a portrait.  These videos quickly took me through all of the struggles that I had already experienced in laying out a portrait.  The video taught me how to use a ruler and divider to create an accurate layout. Nikki also gave me more 5-Pencil Method lessons on drawing mouths and ears.


Figure 7: Staedtler Divider

 Mario visited us for Easter.  He was very encouraging and suggested that I draw a man free hand.  So I did. 

Figure 8: Friday the 13th Man Graphite, 9"x12"

Friday the 13th Man was drawn entirely from memory on Friday the 13th.  I have tons of notes on memorizing the basic anatomy for drawing the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and most everything except the hair.  At this time, I hadn't yet worked on hair.   I was happy with the results.  He's a goofy looking man, but it clearly reflects progress.  We all agreed it was time to work on hair.

So, I drew Nikkie using the layout method taught in the 5-Pencil Method.  Notice the introduction of hair.  

Figure 9: Nikki Photo on the Grid 

Figure 10: Nikki drawn and grid erased.