Sketchbook: Robot #4

I've always found something relaxing about painting robots in my sketchbooks. Perhaps it's the simplicity of shapes that somehow yield a character almost out of thin air, or maybe the freedom of designing something that doesn't have to necessarily work in reality but lives fully in the realm of my imagination. I can always just sit down at my drafting table and hammer one of these guys out in a few hours without having to do any preliminary work. I start with a severely limited palette of black, white (gesso), and a mixture of burnt sienna and raw umber. I use a few little techniques for texture I learned from Kazu Sano throughout the process, but, really, I'm just experimenting with flat shapes and seeing where that takes me. Obviously I add more color to the palette but there's a lot to be said for keeping everything simple almost until the end. 

I'm not going for photorealism or anything like that. I just use my 'bots as a way to escape and do something that doesn't take much thought. On that note, relax, turn off the screen every once in a while, and create something you can touch. 

The Instagram version of the finish.

It all starts with a shape and some value. At this point I have a pretty good idea of where I want the image to go.

There's something nice about the quality of this phase. I could have stopped here and I'm sure I would have been happy with it.

Some unexpected results that I can use later on came from this final. It's more about the experimentation than the end sometimes.

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