This is the blog of Thomas Schmall. If you like the artworks you see,
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Ink Lines and Pencil Squares

Posted on March 19, 2015 by Thomas | Artworks | Tags: , , , |

Running out of titles huh? Here are three new figure drawings of recent.

Figure Drawing, Pencil 1

Figure Drawing, Pencil on A4 paper

Figure Drawing, Pencil 2

Figure Drawing, Pencil on A4 paper

Figure Drawing, Ink

Figure Drawing, Ink on A4 Marker paper

Random Links of the Week

A couple of things I came across in the last weeks, that are worth sharing…

  • …like Robert Sapolsky talking about his new research into the Toxoplasmosis, the parasite that can change human behavior. It’s actual aim is to influence mice to take more risks. And to paraphrase Sapolsky: It knows more about the brain than all neuroscientists.

  • As we’re at good speakers, it’s worth checking Ricardo Semler’s TED talk on radical wisdom. He is most known for setting up a company without hierarchical structure – where employees can even set their own salary. But I like how he extends his thinking to education and even everyday life choices.

  • I really liked the New York Times article on The Cost of Paying Attention . It’s spot on with “…we have allowed our attention to be monetized, if you want yours back you’re going to have to pay for it.”

    I noticed myself when visiting Russia once, how relaxing it is not to have commercials plastered everywhere. Though it might have gotten worse since then. In Europe there is still at least some respect of auditory peace. In Japan on the other hand it was always surprising to me that every machine at home or in public are constantly speaking something. Political campaign-cars are driving through town spouting slogans through the streets. This and their aggressive commercials everywhere are an interesting contrast to their Zen image.

  • Back to art. Here’s a tutorial about composition by the amazing Robh Ruppel.
    First off the final result:

    Robh Ruppel - Trees and Path

    Robh Ruppel – digital image for the Composition tutorial

Progressive Poses

Posted on March 5, 2015 by Thomas | Artworks | Tags: , , , , , |

A recent life drawing – combining four poses into one.

In a session of our weekly figure drawing meetups, we tried to have the model slowly step up on a higher pedestal, to learn perspectives on the figure.
Before we get to the the picture, as bonus here’s a link to some fantastic new paintings by Phil Hale.

Figure Drawing Male - Ink

Four Figures – Ink and Markers on 30 x 40cm Bristol paper.

Parsifal Costumes – Part 2

Posted on March 3, 2015 by Thomas | Artworks | Tags: , , |

The remaining designs for Wagner’s Parsifal.

The (earlier costumes are in Part one). All of them are done with the designer Yan Tax.

Parsifal Tokyo Stage

The stage design with 3D visual effects.

Parsifal Opera Costume Design - Parsifal with spear

Parsifal, this time with spear and a more threatening looking dress.

Parsifal Opera Costume Design - Green Silk Dess

Kundry in a green silk dress.

Parsifal Kundry

Evelyn Herlitzius as Kundry in the green costume.

Parsifal Opera Costume Design - creme colored suit

Gurnemanz in the creme-color style.

Parsifal Opera Costume Design - Knight Stola

The creme colored suits were the general style of the grail knights.

bright costumes

The bright costumes in the play.

Parsifal Opera Costume Design - Amfortas white dress

The immortal knight Amfortas with his wound.

Parsifal Opera Costume Design - Child Begging Dress

A child in a beggar’s dress.

Parsifal Opera Costume Design - Earthen color Cape

One of the Amazones, that try to seduce Parsifal.

Parsifal Opera Costume Design - Seductive Girl Dress White

White dress with decorative armor pieces. There were 12 Amazones in all.

Parsifal Tokyo Stage

The seduction scene on the stage.

Parsifal Opera Costume Design - Leather coat

Kundry’s other side – in a brown and orange leather coat.

The Fractal Art of Jason Padgett

Posted on February 22, 2015 by Thomas | Discoveries | Tags: , , , |

Jason Padgett started creating The geometrical drawings out of nothing, after being brutally hit on the head.

They look fascinating. Sadly its a bit hard to come by well researched articles about this stunning story. This article in the NYPost about Padgett, describes his mathematical drive after his brain injury.

“Padgett is one of only 40 people in the world with “acquired ­savant syndrome,” a condition in which prodigious talents in math, art or music emerge in previously normal individuals following a brain injury or disease.”

There are also examples of a such injuries leading to musical genius, like in the case of Derek Amato. But let’s stick to the art guy – here is a little news item about Padgett:

Another interesting snippet is when he talks about how he sees movement.

Here are a couple of drawings I found. Padgett sells prints at his fineartamerica page.

Padgett Energy Spiral

Energy Spiral (2008)

Padgett Perfect Square

Perfect Square (2013)

Padgett Photon Double Slit Test

Photon Double Slit Test (2006)

Padgett Quantum Hand

Quantum Hand Frequency (2006)

Padgett Quantum Fractal

Quantum Star Fractal (2010)

Padgett Pi

The Shape of Pi (2008)

Ink and Pencil at Amsterdam Meetups

Posted on February 16, 2015 by Thomas | Artworks | Tags: , , |

Two drawings from Amsterdam art get-togethers I joined.

These are head-scribbles from the The Open Draw drawing session – which meets every two weeks on Mondays.

Head Sketches

Ink drawing on A4 Marker paper

And this I made at the Amsterdam International Life Drawing Society, which had an event with the band Moonaddict playing live, while we were drawing.

Band playing - Pencil drawing

Pencil on 30x50cm paper.

Pencil Figures Two

Posted on February 8, 2015 by Thomas | Artworks | Tags: , , |

And a handful more penciled figure drawings.

Check the meetup group Weekly-Figure-Drawing-Amsterdam for joining.

Pencil Drawing, Girl playful

Pencil on A3 Bristol paper.



Sitting Life Drawing Model Pencil

Pencil on A3 Bristol paper.



Figure - Pencil and Pen

Pen and Pencil on A4 paper.

Parsifal in Tokyo – Part 1

Posted on February 4, 2015 by Thomas | Artworks | Tags: , , |

In October ran Wagner’s “Parsifal” in the New National Theater Tokyo. I’m quite happy how the costume designs for this worked out.

This is the first of two batches I’ll show. (Part two of the costumes is up too)

When I’ve read the story while listening, I was blown away. I was more of a Nibelungen Saga fan, which is already ahead of our time when it comes to story writing. It completely avoids the usual good-vs-bad dichotomy. But Parsifal is another step beyond – with mixing holy and cursed in one role.

Yet again, the stage design was great – here is a video, which shows the actual 3D effects they used. Japan, Japan: always with one foot in the future.


Parsifal Opera Costume Design - Parsifal

Parsifal himself.

Parsifal Opera Costume Design - Titurel

Titurel, the old keeper of the grail.

Titurel, Parsifal Opera

Titurel on the Throne.

Opera Costume - Kundry in silk dress with Veil

Kundry (a very interesting character) with a veil.

Parsifal Costume - Gurnemanz in black leather coat

Gurnemanz, with a leather coat.

Costume Photo, Gurnemanz Spear

Costume photo, with the spear.

Parsifal Costume - Knight in creme suit

A knight in a creme colored suit.

Parsifal Costume - Child

Child in the final ceremony.

Parsifal Opera Costume Design - Klingsor in violet suit

Klingsor, wanting to keep the holy grail.

Costume photo in the play.

Klingsor and Kundry in the play.

Parsifal Opera Costume Design - Amazone 11

One of the 12 amazones.

Parsifal Opera Costume Design - Squire woman in white plain suit

A squire in a plain white suit.

Weekly Life Drawing Group

Posted on January 13, 2015 by Thomas | Artworks | Tags: , , |

I’ve set up a Weekly-Figure-Drawing group on Meetup, in the hope to draft more regulars for our sessions.

So if you’re in Amsterdam, check it out. Here is a pic of our set-up – and below are the results from the last sessions.
Amsterdam Weekly Life Drawing

Life Drawing Pencil

Pencil on Bristol paper.



Pencil on A4 paper.



Figure - Pen

Pen on A4 paper.



Life Drawing Pencil

Pencil on A4 paper.



You Win Today, BearWhale!

Posted on January 6, 2015 by Thomas | Artworks | Tags: , , , , |

Some quick comics I did for fun, when weird things happened in the cryptocurrencies.

When I saw that one trader recently got the nickname Bearwhale (don’t ask), I just had to picture that…

Bearwhale Comic

The BearWhale got the last laugh.

I was doing a couple small deeds in the cryptocurrency these days: wrote the Proof-of-Stake explanation and the Nxt Wikipedia page. Nxt has some inspiring attitudes too.

Nxt comic

How the Nxt community works together.

Whales playing Pingpong with Nxtty

And they have whales. To be honest… I think I just like to draw those.