Artist Caitlin Geels
About Caitlin Geels
Caitlin was born in California and started drawing when she was 5 years old. Her Christian parents were always patient and supportive of what she did (except for the time that she scrawled in permanent marker over a family friend's painting, which ironically was a gift to Caitlin) and her grandmother was thrilled that she had inherited her artistic genes. From 5 to about 10 years old, she read every fantasy book she could find, which cultivated an imagination and love to create things that didn't exist. In 6th grade her mom enrolled her in private art lessons where she learned about the fundamentals of composition and fell in love with oil painting.
Her senior year in high school she enrolled in AP Art where her teacher encouraged her to use her love of cartooning in her pieces. By the end of the class, she found herself with plenty of great pieces for a portfolio and the knowledge that thumbnails are amazingly helpful to figure out everything and anything in a composition. After high school she went to the Savannah College of Art and Design in order to learn the craft of animation and will graduate in 2013 ready to take on the world!
Interview with the Artist
How does sketching/drawing/painting still life imagery in class affect your own personal imagery?
I had never been much for still lifes (because I would have to make them myself and I had no idea how to create an interesting one) but once I got into Foundations courses at college I found that I liked the detail one could achieve with such small, plain items. Because of those still lifes, I began to add more detail into drawings that I did outside of class and took more notice of everyday items that, when assembled, could be used to make something beautiful.
How did the Strathmore paper you used for the project affect your drawing (or painting) techniques?
My drawing style by nature is very precise and neat and I noticed that the Bristol Smooth surface was perfect for how I use graphite. The surface allowed me to get smooth blending with light layers and even took watercolor rather well. The Charcoal paper responded gamely to my abuse of it (I press quite hard with charcoal) and I was pleased to find that it didn't disintegrate under the frequent scratching, erasing, and smearing.
Which artist(s) inspire you?
My influences and inspirations are really spread all over the board, drawing from books and movies more than artists these days. Informally I'm a fan of the work of Bruce Timm, the animator who created designs for and helmed all of the DC Animated TV shows (like Batman and Justice League). As far as traditional work I would have to say that the 16th century Dutch vanitas still lifes have always awed me. They were truly masters of their craft!
What advice would you give to beginning artists?
Use plenty of reference, don't be afraid to draw badly in your sketchbook (we all have those days) because it's YOUR sketchbook and it's there for practice.