Saturday, May 28, 2016

Facebook Live meets a manual typewriter

Yesterday Jeanette and I decide to try out an experiment.

It's the day before graduation at Bard College. Students are roaming around campus with their parents. We place the typewriter on a table in the student center, and I arrange the sketch easel.

We hope the typewriter will lure someone to pose for an impromptu portrait. First Cullan, and then his mom, try it out.

We set up the iPad to webcast the action via Facebook Live. The first session has audio issues due to problems with our old iPad (sorry). We switch over to an Android cellphone, and then it works fine. Here's the 16 minute webcast. (Link to video).

I start sketching Jeanette, but abandon the start and turn the page when Kathleen sits down. I lay down a few lines in watercolor pencils, then launch off with brush and watercolor to place the main shapes. With progressively smaller brushes, I place the smaller details.

Kathleen, watercolor and gouache 
Thanks to everyone who joined the webcast and left a comment. Let me know in the comments what you'd like to see on a future webcast. Thanks to Kathleen, Cullan, and Joe for lending a hand and being such good sports.
My next video tutorial "Portraits in the Wild" comes out June 13. It's full of moments like this.

"Gouache in the Wild" HD MP4 Download at Gumroad

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Amai said...

I can't believe they missed the end of the painting to go do laundry! I hope they do google you to see how lovely it turned out. Thanks for posting it here... I saw the note about the facebook live, but couldn't figure out how to see it live.

I also found it neat to see you having trouble wrangling people. I tend to find that hard, but I always sort of imagined that when you get to the skill level you're at, people line up to take part...

Lou said...

I happened to be at the computer and got your Blogger alert James. I don't do Facebook but switched to my wife's account and tried various ways to get to you without success. I'll try again next time if I again happen to be at the computer.
An interesting use would be to visit an art installation (I'm thinking works that you're particularly well versed on like illustrators, etc) and have you provide a running commentary (and take questions) as you looked at various pieces. But, would have to be done with a lot of courteous discretion. I sure wouldn't want to be at the same show and have somebody doing a live program. Maybe you could get them to let you in a bit early, or stay late.

James Gurney said...

Thanks, Amai and Lou. Sorry I didn't post links to FB when I made the announcement. It was really just a spur-of-the-moment tech test. Now I think we have a better idea how to launch, and next time we try it, we'll probably give 24 hours notice.

What I thought I might try next time is to do a gouache grisaille study of a small plaster head. I could set that up in the student center too. It might not have quite the unpredictability factor, but without the random stranger element, Jeanette could focus more on the comment stream and I could focus more on the painting itself.