Thursday, January 5, 2012

Jeff Kennedy's Drawing Fish 52

One of the most interesting parts of writing T.F.M. for the past several years has been the collaborations that have occurred along the way.  One of the highlights has been working with artist Jeff Kennedy and being able to use his Retro Fly artwork on a few items of T.F.M. apparel and decals as well. The T.F.M. Retro Fly has certainly become recognizable as part of the branding of this website and I greatly appreciate Jeff giving me permission to use his artwork.

Jeff Kennedy and Jason Borger of the Fish, Flies & Water blog worked together last year on a project they called Drawing Fish 52, in which weekly they agreed on a fish species that they each would draw in thirty minutes or less with whatever medium they decided to use and then post it up on each of their websites.

Last week I traded emails with Jeff Kennedy and asked if he would answer a few questions on the Drawing Fish 52 project and give readers a heads up of what's in store for 2012.  I also collected all the fish artwork that Jeff has created this year for the slideshow that accompanies this post as well.    

Throughout the year with the Drawing Fish 52 project who made the decisions about what fish was next on the list and where did the inspiration come from for each fish chosen?

We alternated every week. There were a few occasions where I was overwhelmed with my full time job and Jason stepped in with the weekly suggestion.  I was extremely grateful!

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

What was the toughest part about keeping this project going throughout the year?

There were a few week's that my full time job was extremely demanding of my time and energy. Those week's were tough, but I found that once I laid down the first lines, I was transported into the world I enjoy, creating art.  My full time jobs demands precision and logical accuracy.  My artwork allows me to flow and embrace the emotions that I feel as the color dances across the surface of my paper.

What all mediums did you use during the course of this project?

My go to mediums during the project were a Sharpie pen, oatmeal colored scrapbook paper, watercolor, gouache and pastel.  Gouache is essentially a watercolor with the addition of an opaque medium.  Gouache was the medium of choice during the golden age of advertising illustration.  You could render images quickly, because it was water based and dried quickly.  What I like about gouache is that you can always come back into the image and add the whites and highlights.  When working with pure watercolor you need to plan you painting in advance to allow the white of the paper to be your white.  When you have thirty minutes to create your image, you do not have a lot of planning time.  The combination that I felt really worked was using a Sharpie pen, a watercolor wash, gouache and pastel.

What is the focus for 2012 with your artwork? Is there another extensive project in the works?

The project for 2012 will be Drawing Flies and Fish 52. Each week we will alternate between choosing a fish, a fly or a combination of both, artist choice.  As in the past, each week we will alternate who chooses which combination will be created.  We may have a few weeks were we invite others to recommend the subject for that week.  The rules are the same with only thirty minutes maximum from start to finish on each piece of artwork.  We have had interest in others following along and painting with us.  So we will be announce a week ahead so that others can join in.  We are also moving from out Thursday postings to Saturday.  We also plan to pull in some guest artists to join in on the fun this year.  We may also look at putting together a book of images from the 2011 project.

Check out the Drawing Flies 365 website to see more of Jeff Kennedy's artwork and to follow along with the Drawing Flies and Fish 52 project too.

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