Hypnos

Drawings, Mythology, Natural History, Process, Works for Sale
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Hypnos, 2017, ink on paper, 11″ x 8″

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Hypnos, detail

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Hypnos, detail

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Hypnos, detail

I just finished this new drawing. It was originally intended to be called Neume (see earlier post) but a different character emerged in my mind as I worked on it. I’ve added a few details for a closer look. This work will be for sale on my webstore shortly. If you are interested, hit me with an email or message.

Richard.

Neume

Drawings, Process, Work in Progress, Works for Sale
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Neume – work in progress

Last night, I cleaned out my trusty Rotrings so that I could do some pointillism work. I had an idea for a new drawing, a flower creature. This kind of drawing starts off as stream of consciousness, all about the sheer pleasure of line. The finish though will be very controlled and polished, as everything is pulled together into a galaxy tiny dots. What you see here is only the underdrawing. I like the collision of ideas: plant, animal, & sound. This piece is approximately 9″ x 6″ and will be available on my website soon.

. Richard.

Tin Man’s Dream

Drawings, Process, Work in Progress, Works for Sale
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Tin Man’s Dream, 2014-16, ink, 14″ x 10″

I finally finished rendering The Tin Man’s Dream in pointillism. This drawing was started back in 2014 as a line drawing. It sat for a year, during which time I digitally colored the image. At the end of last year I decided to complete it as a pointillism piece. I’m hanging on to the original, but I will be making a print in February, which will be available on my webstore. You can click on the images below to enlarge the images.

Dawn Botanist – detail

Drawings, Process, Work in Progress
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The Dawn Botanist, Tears of the Poppy – detail

This is a detail of the piece I am working at on this cold, cloudy November day. It’s a small figure but it took 3 hours to ink. The reason being that the brush I was using is superfine, and though the godless jpeg compression would not have you believe it, the gradations are quite subtle. I hope you enjoy this little peek. This morning’s musical selection in the studio was Foals. A really excellent band I was completely unaware of before 9 AM.

Also, a friendly reminder that the Bestowed Upon Us show opens tonight at the Alexi Era Gallery. If you are in the area, please go and check it out. I’ve seen the preview and it is a gorgeous show. Thanks for your support.

  • Richard.

Bug Things Coming

Inspiration, Painting, Process, Work in Progress
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Bug Head (working title)

Along with a couple fairly involved ink drawings, I also have several paintings on the go. Everything is in various states, from OMFG why did I start this thing? to hey this is working. So, those of you who paint will know the piece above (put through a render on my “tin type” app) only has a neutral layer of oil. What you see here will vanish pretty quickly. I’ll post updates as I go along. I’m racking up half finished works to get me through the winter, like a squirrel storing nuts, or maybe a nut storing squirrels. Who’s to say?

Today’s musical recommendation is Foam Island by Darkstar. Or anything by Darkstar actually. Music is essential in the studio. If you don’t know them, check out Foam Island, I doubt you will be disappointed.

  • Richard.

Aviator

Natural History, Painting, Process, Work in Progress
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Aviator, 2015, watercolour, 11″ x 7.5″
All images © Richard A. Kirk. Any reuse is strictly prohibited without permission of Richard A. Kirk

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Aviator – detail

This watercolour is a study for a future oil painting. I wanted to give the figure an avian quality, hence the placement of the eye. The whole piece hinges on that pitiless eye! I think it’s also quite funny. I have a series of paintings in mind featuring monsters in remote outdoor settings. I plan on doing these in the coming months, probably spread out over the year. If you’re wondering what that might look like, Tadpole Tales (below) is the kind of thing I am talking about. Each medium has its own qualities to recommend it.

  • Richard
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Tadpole Tales, 2014, oil, 8″ x 8″

Found Memory

Books, Drawings, Illustration, Process
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L’Himby, 1996, ink and watercolour. Illustration for Imajica CCG

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L’Himby card from the Imajica CCG, published by Harper Collins, 1997

I guess most artists must have a place where old sketches and ideas stratify over the years. Mine is known by the unremarkable designation of “the paper rack,” which is actually an old library atlas stand. It is so overburdened that one day I expect it will fall through the floor into the basement. Yesterday I was rooting through the paper rack looking for something, and I came across 3 rough sketches for a project I did back in the 90s. The project was a collectible card game based on Clive Barker’s Imajica. I did a number of cards, along with a small army of other illustrators. The whole thing was coordinated by Hans Rueffert and Sean Curran.

The top image is the finished artwork – ink and watercolour. Below, is the card as it actually appeared, 2.5″ x 3.5.” Naturally I had to fill it with as much detail as possible. The line graphite drawing was the under-drawing to the painting. The other images you see here were simply my thinking through various problems. It’s hard to believe this was 18 years ago.

  • Richard.
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Pencil under-drawing

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Colour notes

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Concept drawing

The Dawn Botanist – Tears of the Poppy (Detail)

Drawings, Inspiration, Natural History, Process, Work in Progress
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The Dawn Botanist – Tears of the Poppy (Detail)
All images © Richard A. Kirk. Any reuse is strictly prohibited without permission of Richard A. Kirk

There is still much to be done on this new drawing, but having finished one fairly defined section I thought I’d share a work in progress (WIP). If you saw my earlier post on this piece, you’ll notice that I have added to the title. “Tears of the Poppy” is a line taken from the text of Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow, a book that has been occupying my reading time and weirdly, or perhaps not so weirdly, my dreams for a few weeks now. The phrase fits the theme of this work.

  • Richard

The Dawn Botanist

Drawings, Inspiration, Process, Work in Progress
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Graphite Under-drawing for the Dawn Botanist (working title)
All images © Richard A. Kirk.

Here is a look at the drawing’s bones. What you see here will soon disappear under layers of ink. I find these line drawings have a beauty of their own, which is why I always take the time to make a high resolution scan of them before rendering.

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The Dawn Botanist – detail

The ink looks a bit darker here than it is in the original. This is a first pass with a uniform value. With the next pass, I’ll be deepening shadows and accentuating highlights.

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Simple tools

One of the great things about working in ink is the simplicity of of the tools. It’s amazing what you can do with a bottle of ink, some water and a brush.

Like a lot of artists, my favorite time to work is in the early morning. The house and the neighborhood are quiet, the mind is rested and not yet full of the concerns of the day. In the morning, it is possible to focus and get a different perspective on a creative project. I can’t tell you how many times I have woken up, walked down to my studio and looked at some problem that seemed intractable the night before, just to see how obvious the solution really was. I rely on this little gift of clarity. That is why I like to do the problem solving at the sketching or under-drawing stage. Once the ink is on the paper, I have to live with my mistakes and let them become part of what I have created.

  • Richard.

Opening Doors

Drawings, Exhibitions, Natural History, Process
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The Fish Parade, 2004, ink on paper, 10″ x 14″

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Moon Gathering, 2015, Pigma ink on paper, 11″ x 15″

“I tell you, there are more worlds, and more doors to them, than you will think of in many years!”
― George MacDonald, Lilith

 I’ve been thinking of doors to different worlds for many years. Or maybe its the same world, just many different doors. The first drawing was done in 2004, the second this summer. The theme is similar, a child accompanied by fantastical creatures on a journey to somewhere. The earlier one was done when my daughter was small. It’s a portrait of her. The second was from a photograph of a Victorian child, in somewhat different circumstances than I have depicted here. I wonder what the adult, which the child later became, would have thought of my drawing?

On a technical note, the top piece was brush and ink on heavy Arches hotpress paper. The bottom piece was my first largish work done with Micron Pigma pens. The inks are designed for archival purposes, so I felt secure using them. All in all though, I prefer my carbon black Liquitex.

PS. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Moon Gathering is currently available from Copro Gallery in California. It was part of the Roadside Attractions II show, curated by Cris Velasco.