Framing the Funny with Brian Burt

by Brian Burt

This demo is an excerpt from Daniel Brown’s feature article “Small Worlds” in The Artist’s Magazine (September 2013). If you’d like to read the full issue, click here. If you’d like to subscribe, click here.

1. Sketch: I did this quick study on a piece of newsprint, using brown pastel. Note how I drew an interior frame, which helped me understand the comic intimacy of the scene.

Sketch

 

 

2. Laying in the color: Using soft pastels and a very limited palette, I added color. The colors are local, without nuance. The shadow is simply a uniformly dark shape at this point.

Laying in the color

 

 

3. Refining the objects: Looking hard at my setup, I added a few details so that the potatoes are starting to look like potatoes.

tam_sept_burt03

 

 

4. Insinuating humor: I liked the way the red potatoes on the left were leaning together, as if they were engaged in a conversation or a tryst.

Insinuating humor

 

 

5. Adding more elements: I decided that the space on the left needed something more in order to emphasize the asymmetry, so I drew in some green potatoes. Having one potato appear to be halved added an element of interest.

Adding more elements

 

 

6. Fixing the light: At this point I needed to make the surface visually luscious by concentrating on intensifying the light and further saturating the color in Song of Solanum (pastel, 18×24).

Fixing the Light


Meet Brian Burt

“When I was very young, my favorite toys were coloring books and crayons, and when I was old enough, I loved copying the Peanuts cartoon strip on Sundays,” says Brian Burt. Having earned a BFA in Painting from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Burt studied at Atelier Lack in Minneapolis. His work has been featured in Pastel Journal; he has also been profiled in Southwest Art. Cincinnati Art Galleries represents his work; he will be the subject of a solo show in November 2013. To learn more, visit his website at www.bmburt.com.


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