Monday, November 17, 2014

My Art and "City Drawings"


The process of  making my Art and "city drawings"

For Tickets to my 5th RAW: NATURAL BORN ARTISTS showcase in Houston, Texas at Studio Live on Wednesday July 29th 2015 
Click here more information and tickets ($15)

I begin with a blank piece of white, generic 8.5x11 printer paper set on a smooth plastic clipboard

These are the PILOT G2 PENS I use for all my drawings

In the past I've used a variety of colored pencils; ROSE ART, CRAYOLA, and SARGENT but beginning with “ATLANTA, GEORGIA” I've decided to use only PRISMACOLOR colored pencils from now on

 Some of the pencils that I used on drawings before #ATL were part of a large set of Prismacolor pencils I was given by my older brother who is also an artist. In some of my previous drawings the sky and a few buildings were colored with pencils less than half an inch in length! I've been using them since I was around 10 years old.

This is an example of how small some of the pencils are in comparison to the new set I bought

For a few years I was using a folding table to draw, but this past Christmas some friends pitched in and bought me a drafting table!! :) here's how it looks

When I'm beginning the journey of a “city drawing” I first choose my destination, the city that I want to capture on the small empty page. I usually prefer to draw cities vertically in order to emphasize the height of the buildings, but in the case of my “SAN FRANCISCO, CA” drawing I chose to represent the city horizontally (Currently the only city I've drawn in this way)

"San Francisco, CA"
If I'm drawing an abstract or surreal scene I usually think of a theme and then shut my mind off and just draw what I feel, let my hand draw random shapes, and then choose bright colors

"The Artist Can Only Draw From the Colors Within Himself"
"The Artist Can Only Draw From the Colors Within Herself"
Years ago I created a yellow, diamond headed character I called "A.A.Arrow" but since I never figured out what both "A's" stood for, I decided to take off one of them and just make his name "A.Arrow".. Still haven't figured out what the A stands for, but who said art needs explanation or reason?! Here's some abstract pieces featuring my beloved alter-ego

"Inside The Mind of A.Arrow"
"Inside A.Arrow"
As a lover of architecture and focusing on it with my photography, I've tried my hand at abstract buildings and cities to take a break from the realism of my "city drawings"

"New Babylon"
Using "OVERPOPULATION" as an inspiration, I decided to do a series of three drawings loosely based on it... the "eyes" series!

"Primary Eyes"
"Secondary Butterleyes"
"Three Blind Eyes"

I also occasionally draw political abstract scenes and as someone that loves the idea of conspiracy and reads "1984" at least once a year, well, here's some examples for you to interpret as you will...

"Trojan Horse-Fly"
My desire is to capture the architecture, culture, art, emotion, and scenery of every city that I draw. In the case of cities that I've visited or been through before, I add specific images that represent my experience...

Examples: My childhood home as the centerpiece of "OAKLAND, CA"

My character “A. Arrow” walks down the 16th Street Mall in downtown “DENVER, CO”

 (to read about my “detour” through the Mile High City CLICK HERE)

The smog that always made me get sick fills the sky in my “LOS ANGELES, CA” and I'm reminded of the many memorable trips to Disneyland

Last but not least the PAC-MAN graffiti and words “Never Give Up” on a train bridge over Lady Bird Lake in “THE ATX” Austin, Texas directly across the pedestrian bridge where I sat many times (before the graffiti was there) contemplating suicide and giving up

If I choose a city where I've never been the first thing I do is research the city on the internet using Google, Wikipedia, and most importantly Emporis which helps me see the most important buildings in the city from a wide variety of angles. This was helpful with my "FORT WORTH, TX" drawing since it is the only major city in Texas I've not visited (yet)

I occasionally choose buildings that have been demolished and have historic importance such as the (upside-down) City Hall  building in "EL PASO, TX"

I always look for important public art structures, interesting parks, museums, state and local government buildings, and in most of the drawings I try to incorporate the city's flag, state's flag, and and in “SEATTLE, WA” I decided to make their central library windows contain the city's flag.

Before I start drawing I choose what I want as the focal point of the drawing which I generally put at the bottom center. Also, I always research the tallest buildings in the city and try and in some way make it obvious by making the tallest building the biggest in the drawing. In the case of “MEXICO CITY, MEXICO” I literally put the tallest buildings in order from one side of the drawing to the other and back again

Here's one of my first truly "international" drawings of "SHANGHAI, CHINA"

And here's one of my most recent drawings "SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA" definitely one of my most colorful!

Sometimes I choose to place art or buildings in the exact way one would see them when visiting the city. This is easier for me when I actually visit the city. In the drawings of cities where I've visited, I use photos I've taken as inspiration. Such as "HOUSTON, TX"

"CCTX" Corpus Christi, Texas

"THE DTX" Dallas, Texas


And the city I call my home, "SAN ANTONIO, TX"

The most important thing besides choosing the cultural, artistic, and architectural highlights of a city is deciding on placement in the drawing. This depends on different factors for me. To be honest, there are some buildings I don't like and I generally try and make these smaller or less important while giving a bigger place to what I feel is more visually and thus artistically interesting

"ATLANTA, GEORGIA" which was revealed and SOLD in full color at the #HOLIDAYRAWk art show in Austin!
"Atlanta, Georgia"
The longest it has taken me to complete a drawing would be two to three months and the fastest has been a little less than a month, but generally it takes me about 30 days; two or more hours a day of drawing or researching for 5 days out of every week

Thanks for reading! :)

My most recent city drawing and first of 2015 - #SATX2 was revealed at the San Antonio #PRESENT show!


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