Monday, December 31, 2012

Ending the Year

The Spyglass - oil on canvas 16" x 20"

Not many posts for 2012.  It was quite a busy year and I'll have to write more about it later.  Some of you may remember the above painting in it's pencil stage earlier this year.  Below, just for fun, an acrylic painting experiment done for a blog background.  I believe it's a castle in Ireland.  Happy New Year everyone! 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Somewhat Adamant Valkyrie

I ran out of paper, so she get's a short-spear.

A couple weeks ago I watched the performance from the Met of Richard Wagner's  The Ring of the Nibelung, or some of it anyway.  It's very long, and some nights went to one in the morning.  I got to see some of the cool parts, like when Siegmund told Brünnhilde (paraphrasing), "I'd rather go to Hell in a hand-basket, than to Valhalla in a saddlebag!"  They had this amazing state of the art set with large rotating panels.  You can see it in the trailer.  They made all sorts of backgrounds with it by rotating them and projecting images onto the surface.

When reading the story (click on the four opera names), I wondered how much it influenced Tolkien when writing Lord of the Rings?  Also if you haven't seen Arthur Rackam's illustrations of the Ring Cycle, check it out!  Some of them are on the Wikipedia page.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Pencil Prelim II

Just so these last two posts make some sense, this is another small pencil study done for later reference.  These were drawn smaller than they are probably previewing on your monitor, which is bad in the publishing industry!  So stand waaay far away!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Study of a 17th Century Polish Cavalryman

This study of Polish Cavalryman was painted on a wood panel made to look like a metallic plate.  The effect was done using acrylic copper and gold paint on a tan background, with a coat of Liquitex Matte Medium on top to help the oils stick.  One of those last minute decisions that turned out pretty cool.

I hate to see this blog just sitting here, but I've been extraordinarily busy working on a large book project.  I'll try to update more regularly over the next few weeks.  Now, however, I have to make final preparations for this blasted hurricane that coming.  After the wind then!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Crazy Cossacks - Sunday afternoon sketching

Cossack Character Sketches - colored pencil and graphite
Clockwise from upper left; Kumbilo, Lord Bunkers, Lombardi the Muscovite, Boyar Brice, and Portia.

I recently finished a project with Scholastic, the second in a series, and took a break this weekend to paint a little, and play with an old set of color pencils.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Thursday, July 5, 2012

2011/2012 ARC Salon Finalist.

Resolve - 36" x 28" oil on canvas

I'm pleased to announce that my painting was selected as a finalist for the International 2011-2012 Art Renewal Center Salon Competition.  You can see the winners and other finalists at the Art Renewal Center's website by clicking here.

The caliber of artists in the competition is astounding.  It is truly an honor to have been a part of it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Run Orc! Run!!

The First Annual Goblin Run, with Wizard Gandalf overseeing the race!  -or-  Gandalf's new "Scorched Orc" Policy.  -or-  "Leave no Orc unburned!"

What if there was a series of "Run Orc! Run!" sketches.  I mean Orcs have it pretty rough.  Admittedly they bring most of it upon themselves, but it's still a pitiable state.  I can think of a million things that could go wrong for an Orc, what with giant spiders, and dragons, and the general fact that no one cares.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Weekend Break - With Pencils

Wish I had a buckler.  It wouldn't help me through the work week much but then again… maybe I should try it!

I'm one year closer to 30 and feeling it in my bones.  It's tough having young people laugh and say your old, and old people laugh and say your not.  I thought being a teenager was hard.  I want a buckler…

This blog has been pretty low speed these last few months, but roughs for a couple of books have taken up most my time.  Publishers have deadlines and blogs don't, so aside the bloggidy blog gets pushed.  I really wanted to have a color image on the opposite page of the sad seafaring man.  I had a small sketch of a beautiful woman, and putting it in a two page spread below would look cool. When I get something I'll swap it out.  Have a great weekend!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Super Sculpey Tutorial

 I should stop saying, "coming soon" on this blog.  It never happens.  Here I've put together a little something on how I use Super Sculpey modeling clay, as I mentioned I would in my last post.  I've played with it for about two years now.  There's a lot to learn when working in 3D and more to consider depending on what you'll do with your creation - make a mold for production or just a one of a kind piece.

 I'm learning new things all the time and may find a better way but this is what works for me so far.
The first thing is to have a reference drawing in size to the desired scale of your finished piece.  Using wire I picked up at the hardware store, I created an armature to support the clay.  Toothpicks can work, but wire is best for long flowing shapes or figures.  Now with this one I did something new.  I made a small clay interior structure for additional support and then baked it.  The reason is I've had trouble in the past with the clay working it's way loose from the lone wire structure as I tried to shape it.  This gives the detail layers of clay applied later something else to grip.  I'm not sure if this is a proper way to use the Sculpey as you have to bake it several times in layers, but the pieces I did bonded very well.  I found that when I had to redo the boots on this piece, I had to carve and cut the clay off the original skeleton.  Since this isn't structural or anything, it works for me.

I used a brown shade of Sculpey for the boots and face since they cast shadow and catch light well helping me see the details.  The fleshy Sculpey is more pliable and was used for everything else.  I forgot to take a picture of it in this stage.

The grey figurine you see is painted with black and white Gesso.  I did this to help see any finger prints and imperfections I wanted to correct through sanding and carving.  It was about this time that I ran out of weekend and had to finish up.  The color figurine was painted using Acrylic Liquitex.  This paint has a slight sheen to it so for any areas I wanted to dull down, I just mixed the acrylic with Gesso.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Pencil Study

Still can't post most of the stuff I've been working on lately.  It's either incomplete or under contract.  I did manage to put together a tutorial on using Sculpey modeling clay.  I'll post it in the next few days.

Above is a pencil study for a piece in the works.  More coming soon.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Brandy and Brice - Colonial Pirates

Bloggers are allowed a nonsensical post every now and again over a period of time.  This is one.  An 18th century game mod is the inspirational source behind these little sketches, some of which were done on a tax form that didn't come out of the printer right… which reminds me I have something to do.  Also Tricornes are awesome fun to draw.

The Gael - Last of the Mohicans Theme made for some good listening while I doodled these.  I'll be gone for a bit as I've got a lot on my plate.  More paintings in the future.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Preliminary Drawing

Saturday was a stormy start to last weekend.  It was nice to pull out a lamp, set myself up in a comfortable spot, and draw while listening to the thunder.

This sketch is of my brother holding a small spyglass that belonged to my grandfather.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

On the Easel

A recently completed oil painting on board.  Thanks to my cousin Paige who modeled for me.