Hello from Florida

My name is Ken from the central east coast of Florida. I taught myself to paint landscapes in oils about 25 years ago but stopped after a year or so because I was unable to draw so my work felt unsatisfying - at least to me. I took up woodworking, carving, taught myself glass blowing - all in an effort to express myself but nothing really clicked for me. Back in 2005 I decided to confront my own fears about drawing and took a class at the local art shop with the idea that I would either find out if I had any ability or give up on the visual arts altogether. I was surprised to find out that I was able to draw and kept at it after the class ended. I found a forum on the net which was really instrumental in my gaining skill. In fact I am now a moderator in the Drawing and Sketching forum there.

I have had art in various galleries across the country but graphite simply does not sell well as people generally feel that graphite is nothing more than a sketch in addition to it having little color. With that in mind I find myself losing interest in drawing that much any more - especially as a drawing can easily take 120-200 hours to complete. Although I do enjoy teaching others how to draw and work with graphite. So I've grown interested in taking up oils again and came across the videos by Mark and found his style to be what I would want to do. So now I have to learn to "see" in color although I suspect the value range won't present too much of a problem.

The biggest hurdle I have now is that of inertia. I have so many other interests that it's easy to put off painting. I am having trouble sitting myself down and just getting started for some reason. But that's something I just have to deal with myself.

Below is a drawing of my cat, Casper. It is @10x16. Also shown is a drawing of General Ambrose Burnside, USA as he looked circa 1863. It is @13x16. Sorry about the quality of the photos .. graphite is notoriously hard to photograph well.
opnwyderMark_Carder[Deleted User]Illagojcdrshirley_seputHarrellCin_DCastillo


  • Ken

    Outstanding work with a pencil. Beautiful work!
    I am a disciple of Darrel Tank and his Five Pencil Method.

    BTW General Ambrose Burnside was not the first man to sport sideburns, however he was famous and well photographed. And he was instrumental in promoting the fashion of sideburns. So much so that the facial feature eventually bore his rearranged name.

  • Thanks Denis. I am familiar with Darrel's teaching .. my method is pretty much diametrically different. I hate sharp pencils - mine are all quite dull. And I also usually use the side of the pencil with the circlism method. We both do use layers - there are probably 30 or more layers in the one eye on Casper. But it just goes to show that there are a number of methods to application that can all work. I suspect the same is true with all mediums.

    I have studied the American Civil War period extensively and have drawn a series of many people from the era. My thinking was that they lend themselves to graphite especially well because most of the visual records we have of that time are B&W photographs. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be much of a market for them. There is a huge market for prints of contemporary color paintings of the period however, although there are only a very few artists making their living from that.
  • Welcome to the forum! I'm guessing that you will find Mark's method enormously useful as patience is hugely rewarded. You obviously have a mammoth supply of patience given the meticulous nature of your drawings (which are stunning, by the way). I'd give you two pieces of advice that I think are specific to your situation. First, be as patient putting together the right supplies and preparing your studio as you are with your drawings. Second, don't over-draw before you paint. Accurate outlines are all you need. I am very interested in seeing your first paintings. Good luck!
  • Thank you openwyder. I agree with your advice about the drawing ... what I do in a formal drawing is anything but an under/layout drawing. It seems to me it would be a huge waste of time to approach a painting with the same attention to detail in the layout sketch. And, yes .. patience is something I have in abundance. In fact there are two mantras I teach for people wanting to learn to draw. 1. Practice practice practice which speaks for itself. 2. Practice Patience. That really has 4 different sections. First of all, it takes time to learn to see and you can't rush it. Secondly, it takes time to learn to work with graphite (or whatever medium). Third, it takes time to learn to get a good likeness which comes once you build the skills to "see" and work with the medium. Lastly every drawing takes whatever time it takes to complete. You can't rush it .. if you do it will show and leave the work less than your best effort.
  • welcome and I look forward to seeing your work.
  • Welcome to the forum Ken :-h
  • Welcome the the forum :-) Look forward to seeing your work !
  • Thank you all. I look forward to doing some work with oils.To prepare for it I built myself an easel not long ago. I never had an easel like this so I just figured out how to make it from looking at pictures. While I'm sure there are things that could be improved, I won't know what they are until I use it for awhile and see what I like and what I do not.
  • Welcome. Your drawings are fantastic.
  • Your drawings are so,so good! Looking forward to seeing your work in oils.
  • Ken! Nice to have you here! I don't know if you remember me, but I used to post quite a bit on the WC drawing and sketching page as mnsrc. Anyway, welcome!
  • Thanks all ... i vaguely remember your handle Martin .. it's been awhile though.
  • Hi Ken, absolutely awesome renderings. The detail on Casper is astounding.
  • Hey there SparrowHawk... welcome... your easel looks great... all it needs is to have some paint smeared on it! :D
  • Welcome, SparrowHawk. Your drawings are beautiful. Looking forward to seeing your paintings!
  • Welcome Ken :-h. Love your work.
Sign In or Register to comment.