charlesbasman

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Drawing inspiration from nature

In my promise to myself to try new things this year, I have completed a new series of large landscape drawings. My focus was or course, Prospect park. Its a place I’ve been going to for a while, as it seems to surprise me all the time with new scenery.

The first drawing was  of a lake which I had painted several times.  You don’t realize the time when your focused and struggling to make something turn out just right. Hours went by until I was satisfied.

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The first in the series, as I sat in a not so comfortable position. Its view I painted several times.

Charcoal can be a messy medium, but the black and white contrasts can be very rich and dramatic.

 

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The second in the series, from the vale of cashmere. Its another area where I painted before.

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The last in a series, another view of the vale of cashmere.

 

So, for now, the series of drawings is done, but I may return for more in the near future.

To see more, please visit my website at Basmanstudio.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The mural of Houston street

Just recently this summer, I had the opportunity to help paint a mural as part of the Community mural school, a workshop which teaches youth about art movements in New York City from the 1950s to 2000’s.

It was much more work than I imagined, but it was certainly fun and very rewarding. Along with fellow artists Alexandra Evans and Anna Souvorov, we managed to create a garden scene, part of a long mural which adorns outside walls.

I was given the freedom to add whatever I wanted, so I thought it fitting to add a snake and a red bird. The snake is probably a bit ominous, but I figured, its a garden after all.

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It was so easy to lose track of time while painting on such a large scale, as Alexandra and I kept on working, not realizing how many hours passed by.

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We managed to complete the mural in a single day, in a marathon of creativity and inspiration under the hot summer sun. We all made a great team

 

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The completed mural, which is temporarily on display on 33 East 1rst street.

Come by and take a look!

 

 

 

The prospect of a park

This summer I have been creating a new series of large landscapes that depict certain areas of Prospect park in Brooklyn. I decided to write a short blog about my progress so far.

What attracts me to this park is the wildness and poetry of the landscape. Its not as cleanly laid out as Central park.

The first in the series I started in late spring, while the colors were still filled with reds and violets.

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I returned several times to the same spot, as I waited for the right moment to continue painting. I was thinking of artists like Klimt, as I was looking to give my colors a jewel like quality.

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The second in the series was painted in an area kind of hidden from most people, but the view was magical. I seemed to attract a lot of attention there, and I received a lot of comments as people walked by. The funniest one was a little girl who offered to buy my painting when she had the money.

So, it continues as I hunt for a new location and add one more painting to the Prospect park series. I may even add gold leaf to one, something I never tried before.

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Thank you for reading and you may visit my website, which has been recently updated with new work at http://www.Basmanstudio.com.

 

 

You have to draw the line somewhere.

 Redchalkholder

Sanguine (Hematite) is a red-brown iron-oxide chalk, usually mined in Italy. Otherwise know also as red chalk, which has been used for hundreds of years since the old masters, going back to Leonardo da Vinci and even earlier. It is much older than modern drawing crayons, which use an oil binder with pigment. So this is probably as raw as you can get in drawing.

Its was interesting to buy, as it came in its rocky form, as if it was just chipped off a cave and placed in a bag, which is probably the case. It came in “lumps” of rock, which needed to be broken up to be used.

The first thing for me to do was to sharpen it, and place it in a brass holder for drawing.

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I began by using it for figurative work, such as the one hour poses in the image above.

The qualities achieved when using red chalk are rich warm tones that have a velvety look. It wasn’t easy to use at first, as I had to constantly sharpen it, but I was quite pleased with the result.

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My curiosity satisfied, I used it again and again, especially at the Metropolitan, while drawing ancient Roman sculptures.

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And Greek sculptures as well. Sometimes the red chalk can be brittle, and break very easily, so the challenge for me was to use it gently and build up volume and tone gradually. I find it very easy to smooth out shadows with my fingers and achieve a beautiful soft gradation.

 

Since I believe that by trying new things you grow as a person, I certainly believe that holds true for an artist. This is a new material for me and I intend to keep using it as I discover more of its qualities.

Gold and art

After having completed my latest lithograph of Perseus and Andromeda, I decided to add some gold to certain areas of the print. Its an entirely new process for me. and one which I have been looking to try for a while.

 

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The Question for me was, where to add gold? I then realized Medusas hair would be the ideal place, as its almost at the center of the image.

After reading up on gold leaf, I started to realize what a delicate procedure it was. The leaf itself is very thin and must be handled carefully. The thought of using it scared me at first, since everyone was telling me how it can literally turn to dust if not handled the right way.

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After placing adhesive on the area where I wanted gold, I placed the leaf on the image with a soft cloth over it, and rubbed it gently with a burnishing tool, which can be seen next to her head.  The result was Medusas snakes having touches of real gold.

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I was so pleased with the result that I decided to add gold to my large mermaid lithograph, on the mermaids tail. I guess I went a bit gold crazy.

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As I become more practiced in using gold leaf, I will add it to some paintings, perhaps a landscape created this spring or summer. Its a beautiful material, and it adds a nice touch to a finished work.

Printing Perseus

Since I first started creating lithographs about four years ago, I always felt the desire to produce something slightly more ambitious than the previous print. For this reason, I started with my new series of large-scale lithographs dealing with the mythological hero.

My first lithograph in this series is Perseus and Andromeda. It’s an idea I kept putting off, probably because I felt the subject matter was not something I normally do.

As artists though, we sometimes have to step out of our comfort zone. That’s when great things happen, and learning begins. I have to say that after months of working on this one lithograph, I certainly learned patience.

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 New paper, waiting to be used.

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Lithograph stone, inked and ready to be transferred onto wet paper.

 

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Some of the printed editions, with slight variations in tone and contrast.

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The final print.

 

As I become more experienced in this form of printmaking, the more daring and ambitious I get. This is just one in a series of large-scale lithographs I will be producing this year dealing with the mythological hero.

Follow me on Instagram at Basmanstudio or visit Basmanstudio.com to see more of my work.

Weather or not

 

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One of the main obstacles facing any painter working outside is the weather. I have recently encountered this problem while working on the largest landscape I have ever painted. By going back to the same location, I found that the entire scene has changed from the last time I painted there.

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An artist has to be adaptable, so as the weather changed, so did my painting. Part of the struggle and excitement of painting from nature is the unpredictability. Nature never really does stand still.

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All the colors became softer, and I felt as if there wasn’t anyone around for miles. Every now and then someone would come by, but I was lucky to find a spot not frequented by many people.

As usual, I lost track of time, and left after four straight hours of painting.

So, as I continue with carrying my heavy canvas and materials to the same location a few more times, the more the scenery may change, and I have to change with it.