Jo Sheridan
Jo Sheridan
Nottingham UK
An academic engineer who has hit my creative streak late. Influences: Alan Lee, John Howe, film scores and art, dystopian teen worlds, portraits
Jo Sheridan
So - I'm no expert by any means - but what strikes me is how good your light/shadow relationship is on the back of the scarf (the dangly bit), but how you have not carried this through onto the face - the shadow on the blue bit of the scarf reads ok, but you need more contrast on the shadow side of the face and around the eyes and down the nose - this will start to make the face and head look the right shape... You've done a good job with the colours though - pretty good start I would say :)
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Jo Sheridan
Awesome!! - Sorry I know that isn't a very helpful critique, but this is great - I love the blue light coming from the back - and the expression is really interesting - it draws you in and you wonder what he's thinking about or looking at - with that slight smile...
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Liandro
Hey, @Jo Sheridan, thanks for reaching out! These are great!! I knew nothing about Fechin, so I googled him and got to find the artworks you used as reference - you really did some beautiful studies! I like them all, but I’m especially amazed by this one you did in colored pencils. Since the reference was painted in oils, you went through a good deal of interpretation and adaptation to get to this result with such a different medium, and I think it looks awesome. I love the line work and how you designed the edges in order to define the facial features as the center of interest. Strong form construction and nice use of color, too! I also took a look at Fechin’s quotes on the link you suggested further below and, yeah, it’s thought-provoking! He seemed very assertive about his view of art and the importance of tradition and technical execution. It makes sense when we consider that he went to the Imperial Academy of Arts and was a pupil to Ilya Repin. But the interesting thing I noticed is that he lived around the turn of the 20th century, so this classic and more conservative point of view was going completely against the modernist vanguards that were popping at the time - in fact, he seems to make his strong criticism to the “shallow-minded novelties” very clear in one of the quotes. Anyway, from what I know, a lot of schools and artists in Russia still did maintain a more classic tradition in spite of the modernist movements at that time - at least, more so than in Europe apparently. It’s like classicism wasn’t so “obscured” by modern art in Russia as it was in more western countries, and, personally I think that could be part of what makes the “Russian approach” attractive to some art students nowadays. Or, at least, that’s my guess. :) Keep up the good work, Jo! 🙌🏻
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Jo Sheridan
@Liandro - thanks for your thoughts Liandro - you clearly know a whole bunch of cool stuff about Art History and this is really interesting to read and digest - it almost makes me want to learn more about all this myself, so I shall just add it to my ever growing list of things that I find fascinating about Art and hope that at some point I have the time to pull at that thread a little bit...
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Jo Sheridan
Asked for help
@paper - Thought I'd have another go - this is a study of a Fechin Oil Painting - which I've just tried out in Polychromos pencils... I was actually quite surprised how forgiving they were, they mixed much more easily than I realised - a good thing as I only have a few colours. I think I'll have a go with Oil, but that will probably be a real test of this idea of "its more about the value than the colour" as I am a real novice when it comes to mixing paint - will be fun though as this is a great source to study. Hi @Liandro - be glad to get your thoughts...
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Jo Sheridan
Hello @paper So- I had a go in Oil - I am fascinated by how hard it was to keep the colour in this - you can see how bright I started out, and where I ended up! - I have to admit that this was attempt two - the first one was so grey/brown I had to start again...
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Jo Sheridan
Hi @Liandro I would just love to know where your inspiration comes from - your ideas are so different... I just love the contrast between the two expressions on your characters, the guy playing the floss is in a world entirely of his own - it just makes me smile to look at him
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Christopher Beaven
Great job on the sketch after Fechin. It looks wonderful! Is that charcoal on drawing paper?
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Jo Sheridan
Hi @Christopher Beaven - Glad you like him, it was really fun to draw... I did this with an 8B graphite on very smooth drawing paper - as charcoal is still a bit out of my comfort zone - so I didn't get the same texture around the edges, but I was still really pleased with how it came out. I'm trying to do more with Conte sticks which I am getting used to, but am struggling to find a charcocal / paper combination that isn't distractingly scratchy - I get that "fingernails on the blackboard" feel most of the time, if you know what I mean...
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paper
This is fucking awesome,Fechin is an amazing artist,I'm glad you got introduced to him :D (Also did you use graphite to draw this?)
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Jo Sheridan
Wow, praise indeed - thank you! - I was working off an amazing resource :) - I did use graphite, I went with an 8B - I really wasn't sure whether this is what Fechin would have used - it looked like he could have used charcoal - but I've not got a hang of that properly yet...
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Jo Sheridan
added a new topic
Fechin fans
6mo
Just discovered Fechin's sketches - couldn't resist having a go...
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Jo Sheridan
I like this a lot - its the looseness of the lines that look cool and the way you have situated this tiny piece into the background. I've been doing some sculpture/bust studies too - I'm pleased with the results but they are more constrained than yours - I'm still at the "must make it look right and finished stage
NMA100 78
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David 300
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Jo Sheridan
Very observant @Jesper Axelsson - I did this middle one as part of a course looking at "The Russian Approach" to cast drawing :)
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Christopher Beaven
Honestly I think everyone is going to have a different answer here. I use this easel: https://www.dickblick.com/products/richeson-italian-steel-tripod-easel/. This works well for me when I'm drawing on newsprint and standing as well as painting on canvas and sitting. The easel can't take a lot of weight so I use a 3/4 inch piece of foam core board and about 20 sheets of newsprint. The foam core board keeps things really light. But if you put too much weight on the easel it shakes a bunch more. I like it the best because it can go really tall and fold up fairly small for transport. I like it because I can use it anywhere. Now that I'm talking about this I should make a video about it. There are a lot of details that go into it. Let me know if you have any questions about specific easels I"ve painted and drawn on multiple different types.
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Jo Sheridan
Thanks for this Christopher - just reading the way you have written about it helps me understand what I need to take into consideration, so that is really helpful. I'm considering making one as I'm pretty handy down in the woodshed and it strikes me that my folding table top easel would make a good design for a taller one - being in there today has highlighted how low my ceiling is - so I need to be really careful with the height I think...
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Jo Sheridan
I would like to buy an easel, but I'm struggling to understand what differentiates them...So far I either sit with a pad of paper on my knee, or I have a table top easel (which I bought for my kids years ago) which holds UK A4 (21 x 30cm) and A3 (30x42cm) paper/boards which I have used for graphite sketches and Oil painting. I should like to be able to buy paper in rolls and stretch it onto a board bigger than this to get into some larger scale drawing/pastels/sanguine/graphite and also watercolours and Oils - therefore I think I need an easel that I can stand up at to make this work... I will be indoors. I get confused when easels are labelled for Oils or for Watercolour - what about them makes them medium specific. I like the look of a studio easel, but then the reviews of it talked about it hitting the ceiling? really?? what is going on there? If anyone has any suggestions for a type of easel that is not too expensive and can be used for a wide range of mediums and which won't put a hole in my ceiling - I would love to hear from them. Thanks.
Jo Sheridan
I totally understand where you are coming from - I started Stan's anatomy course about a year and a half ago and I got through bones and sort of lost the will to live on the muscle bits because I couldn't visualise the muscles from the outside... I had some time off, and have recently been watching different videos that concentrate just on the head or just on the hands - and I find that focusing on a single body part makes it feel more manageable. I have to admit I have found some of the resources on the New Masters Academy website really useful - drawing skulls and cadavers with various bits cut out - sounds grim I know, but its pretty interesting when you get into it - the difference is that you spend more time on single bits so it all moves more slowly and you start to feel more comfortable and familiar with one set of muscles before you get onto something else - I'm posting my cadaver sketch of deep facial muscles so you can see the sort of approach in case you think it might help
NMA100 97
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Liandro
Hey @Christopher Beaven! I know @Jo Sheridan was making some cool stuff with oils a while ago, I wonder if she still is. I’m definitely not an oil painter, but I checked out your website and, whoa, your artwork is stunning! I was also curious about your story. You say you made a commitment with yourself and have been making art daily for nine years so far - that’s a pretty impressive streak. In you “About” section, you say “Establishing my identity as an artist meant I practiced as an artist every day” - I found this sentence very striking because it reminded me of something I once heard from @Steve Huston: “You want to be an artist? You gotta draw and paint every day - that’s what artists do” (maybe not these exact words, but the meaning was it). I figure yeah - perhaps building a career, earning money or achieving “success” requires more, but, before any of that, BEING an artist per se is really that simple: it’s about the habit. If we’re making art every day (or at least most days, at a regular pace in the “big picture”), we’re living as artists. And it feels natural: as you say, there’s no “must” or “have to”, it’s just part of who we are. It’s a “want-to”.
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Jo Sheridan
Hi @Christopher Beaven Jo Sheridan here - thanks to @Liandro for remembering that I was dabbling in oil paints - I think I was posting a lot as I was trying to work out where to start with it all and was finding it really tough to make sense of all the videos out there. I must admit, that like you, I found that most on Proko are into character design and digital media, which isn't really me at all... I have found more like minded students on the New Masters Academy website - although this is a yearly subscription model here. I did do Steven Baumans Proko course on traditional approaches to Oil Painting which was an interesting ride - and probably not the place to start out - but I still really enjoyed it - I did stop at the Grisaille stage, so will come back to full colour later on... I got distracted by the NMA 100 day challenge - which I did complete - doing a drawing to do with the head every day for 100 days which was a real bootcamp, - and I agree with Liandro - Steve Houston does talk about "making a lot of starts" and I didn't really get that until I did the challenge - makes a real difference. I do plan to get back to my Oil painting once the weather in the UK warms up a bit as I do my messy art in a shed at the bottom of the garden and its too cold down there at the moment. I'll check out your YouTube channel when I get the chance...
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Johnathan
Go through this stuff multiples times (like I did) to really let it sink in. This course helped me get past the simple Loomis method and add more structured complexity to the face, rather than just faking everying in over a Loomis head. I can keep refering back to this course when im having trouble with planes of the face.
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Jo Sheridan
Wow, I love this. I also struggle to connect Loomis to real life in any useful way and found this more boxy planes idea much more useful to get the eyes down into their sockets, and the nose and mouth out of the lower face area
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Jo Sheridan
What I love so much about this class is the mix of media that you have used - my heart sank when you did your first digital example because I don't really do digital, but the pencil sketches and watercolour stuff is brilliant. Having made that comment, you have inspired me to go back to my Wacom tablet and have another go and the results have been pretty good actually, so I have moved forwards in so many ways and will definitely go back to some more of your videos as you explain things really clearly. But first I'm going to do some studies and probably go back through this whole class again just to make sure I haven't missed anything because it was great. I attach my copy of your digital painting which turned out so much better than I expected. Thanks Marco...
NMA100 55
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Jo Sheridan
Gallery artist or illustrator :)
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Jo Sheridan
Wow @Liandro this is really powerful now - my goodness it makes me really anxious for the little dog! Loving the sock and the way you have changed how the weight of the guy deforms the table. I think I see the detail in the dark section because I looked at your first version - I wonder how it reads for someone who is looking at it for the first time? - Did you try seeing how this reads if you reduce the contrast between light and dark just a little bit? I think I want to feel less concerned for the dog's wellbeing and more entertained by the fact that he has eaten the shoe...
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Maria
I'm struggling with this also -- not so much about being on Insta/Facebook but not being able to do art for as long as I'd like to because I don't have something else to distract me when I get bored. So I often like to watch shows/binge YouTube while drawing...Do I really need to focus when drawing?
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Jo Sheridan
Inside the mind of a master procrastinator | Tim Urban - YouTube. Take a look at this TED talk - its funny but really hits hard at the end - It could really help you focus...
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Jo Sheridan
Hi there, is this because you are not drawing something that gets you really excited, or have not created the right "mood" in your drawing space? Personally this happens to me when I am painting or drawing something that doesn't connect with me - With good music and a topic I care about - hours go by and I forget to eat... There is a line in an old film "Dead Poets Society" where one of the characters is running around shouting "Gotta do more - wanna be more" - this describes my motivation and the feeling in the pit of my stomach when I am really into my subject - try to find it....
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Jo Sheridan
Well one that comes straight to mind is Fabien Perez...
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