Tackling more detail in these ballpoint mazes. I make the initial drawing in red ballpoint, then deepen the shadows and paths with blue and a little black Micron pen.
Check out my maze in the September issue of Les Explorateurs!! French Canadian science and nature magazine for kids. There will be new mazes in at least 3 upcoming issues! 🎉 I’m super excited! Plus: meerkats!
I’m trying to paint every morning.
All the paintings are oil studies and started around 6am. The scene is facing west toward the Whitestone Bridge and Manhattan. I adjust the horizon depending if I want to paint the foreground water, which is especially challenging. The short term goal is teaching discipline, and, in a couple of months, have enough to fill a really big wall. Long term, I want a better grasp of the medium so I can dump 50 hours on a painting (a maze?) and not be overly disappointed!
The panels are gessoed hardboard, 8”x12”
All these and more are now for sale in my shop!
In April, I visited the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens in West Palm Beach, Florida. Winding paths through palm gardens and monumental sculptures- it’s perfect. I took many pictures... Norton’s towering Gate sculptures loom out of the foliage or are revealed around bends of the path.
This summer I made a maze based on the gardens. Here is a detail.
You can see the full puzzle on my Twitter!
I find making circular mazes a challenge. I have designed a few flat circular puzzles and then redrawn them as steps and buildings, but the results are unsatisfactory. The final work feels heavy and burdensome. They are overly complicated. So when I discovered Henry Cheung’s Instagram feed @henryscheung I was inspired! He photographs the circle mazes he has elegantly doodled in coffee shops adjacent to lattes on warm surfaces of wood, tile, or stone.
After liking a bunch of his photos, Henry and I chatted about mazes. He was cool with me trying to convert one of his puzzles into my style! I printed out a few and got to sketching. The first one was a little lumpy. For my second attempt, I laid down some guidelines to keep the isometric under control. This was better.
I drew my version too small. I wanted more detail, so I scaled it up to ink onto larger watercolor paper. I will eventually paint it, but for now I’m happy with the digital coloring. This way I can play with color choices before laying down the real thing!
The final result is great. Collaborations are awesome! Follow @henryscheung on Instagram, your feed will be more beautiful.
The previously posted towers were studies for this new watercolor maze. The colors are more gentle than my earlier trials.
These are Strathmore watercolor postcards. Studies for a larger piece coming soon!
Want something new almost every day? Follow my Instagram! It’s much less formal than this blog. Sometimes I post mazes, but often I post other projects I’m working on. Here are my last three posts:
Ballpoint practice with White House chief of staff John Kelly. I’m not a fan, just think he has an interesting face. He reminds me of the cop played by Richard Burgi in the Firefly episode “The Message”.
Also getting into relief print. I was totally into woodblock as a younger man and have been carving again. You can see that my skills are a bit rusty, but my work translates well. Follow my progress on Instagram!
Last year I printed promotional postcards to share at signings and with bookstores and contacts. I used the online company, Next Day Flyers. One of the folks at the company liked the cards so much, they wanted to do an interview about the book, my work, and why I chose Next Day Flyers! Check it out —>
Next Day Flyers did a great job. I had not had anything printed for a while and settled on them based on rating and price. Since I had plenty of time, turn-around was not an issue. It was important that the card felt like a traditional postcard to be saved and not like a throwaway advertisement. I did a little research on card weights, sizes, and finishes and found just what I needed in their inventory. I designed my cards in Photoshop and uploaded my art into their template. The template is straight-forward with layers, guidelines and font choices. The cards arrived on schedule.
I’m glad I did my research and the final product turned out perfect!
Oh, if you want a postcard, just send me an email. Be sure to let me know if you want it with a message or pristine in an envelope.
Here’s a little maze I did in ballpoint pen. Unusually, I didn’t lay it out first, just started in the uppper left and worked across the page. Real iRobot plotter style.
Check out my Threadless shop! Many colors and styles for men, women, and kids!
More designs coming soon!
Not finished, but more watercolor play.
It's been a while since I've posted a maze. Here I'm playing with Brutalist Architecture- which has been quite the internet trend for a bit now. I am happy with how the maze turned out. It is simple, a little tricky, and has very clear paths.
If you want more cool buildings every day, follow @BrutalHouse on Twitter!
Still playing with ink and watercolor.
I'm really into the artists Cinta Vidal and Sadi Tekin right now. Vidal paints beautiful multi-perspective buildings and interiors. Like my cube mazes, but intimate and fully realistic. Tekin is a very clever illustrator with great line work and often gentle colors.
So here, the maze is simple, but I wanted the paths to be on every visible side with the steps connecting them (Vidal). I also tried to use the least amount of pigment to emphasize the lines and space. (Tekin)
I quickly added the labels digitally for posting with one of my favorite photo apps, Halftone.
Full non-digital maze! Very fun to make. Using watercolor in such an uptight way seems to run against the medium, but too bad. Possibly I'll make some prints available. Email me if you're interested!
I wound up submitting 4 cards to the Single Fare show. Hundreds of artists and over 2000 cardsRead More
Opening the ink and paint for the metrocard project has made me excited to continue the non-digital stuff for a bit. Before trying to paint an entire piece, I made some tiny watercolor studies. These are a little shaky, as I'm still adjusting to the different pen widths. Also, watercolor is WAY out of my comfort zone.
It is very fun though!
These are tiny mazes I made for SingleFare4, a fundraiser for the New York Academy of Art. Artists from all over contribute small scale paintings on NYC metro cards. I will also be attending the opening, to show my support and pick up some great work.
It has been a while since I've worked with real brushes and ink, and it is a joy! Also, the work is SMALL! I'm still adjusting to the scale. Some of the miniature oil paintings submitted are quite amazing. Some color ballpoint work is just insane. It is open to all, but the deadline is August 23.
You can see more on Instagram -@singlefare and #singlefare4
Acrylic with Micron pen. I gessoed the cards first.
Details from the massive garden maze. I was worried that being more disciplined with the perspective would feel uptight, but I think it pays off.
I am very happy how the inking came out on this one! It resembles the intricate line work of Star Destroyer illustrations or Möbius ships - a little. I was able to use some of the concepts I played with on Orbital, like stacked paths and staircases. I'll probably do the shading in mostly grays, but may check out some old SciFi (John Berkey) book covers too.