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The Spyglass - Oil on Canvas
Alexandria - Oil on Gessoed Board
I'm happy to announce that two of my paintings were chosen for the figurative category in the 2012/2013 Art Renewal Salon Competition. Congratulations to all the winners and finalists.
I'll be finishing up with a couple book projects in the next two weeks. Then I can get back to a few portraits that have been collecting dust... literally. There are about three things that I've worked on since the middle of last year that I still can't talk about here. Publishing can take some time, and I've just finished a painting that has yet to be unveiled.
I do have a creative and useful accomplishment to mention however. For years my dad has wanted to build a bookcase and just recently we purchased the right tools. We got together a few weekends ago and built the bookcase you see here. I was in serious need of this thing as I was constantly moving books and paper from desk, to chair, to desk, and couldn't do several things at once because of the clutter.
The wood was cheep pine and probably not worth what I paid so I can't brag about that. I painted a faux finish to give an aged look. On the edges I added a bronze enamel, which gave the feel of old wood peeking through.
I saw the film "John Carter" a few weekends ago. It was a cool movie despite what critics say. Not long after watching it, I started to wonder what would have happened if the movie had a different protagonist? What if another Civil War veteran had been transported to Barsoom instead of John Carter? Someone like...
How would the characters relate to his somewhat erratic and "fiery" disposition? How would the warring Tharks have received him?
Above is a notebook drawing I worked on this weekend. I was studying some examples of medieval clothing and did a mix of various fashions. Hope you like it.
If you're interested in purchasing the original, you can click the buy button to the right. The price is $75. I put a few watercolor washes over the graphite to help blend the darker tones. It's roughly 8" by 10" (image size) on 70 pound sketch paper.
I missed the opportunity for a Saint Patrick's day post, which is just dandy. No Leprechaun or cool picture of St. Patrick as I would have liked.
So here's a Raptor in a uniform. He claims to be a professor whose experiments went terribly wrong. For all we know he could have always been a dinosaur. Sometimes all you've got is a person's word but I wouldn't trust him. Not this guy...
There were other sketches with this one, but they've got guns
. Just think Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea!!!
If you're attacked by a bulletproof, fire generating, electromagnetic, rock man from outer-space, chances are you can knock him out with a whack on the back of the neck using your trusty pistol.
In other news, I've been busy at work on the studio in-between books. The windows are in and the place looks completely different. Next comes electricity and plumbing. Pictures as soon as it looks presentable!
Here are a few character sketches for some generic heroes I'll be building (low polly) in the 3d program Blender. I've been playing with it the last few weeks and I've made some progress in the sculpting department. Still need a better grasp on rigging and some of the detail aspects of UV mapping.
A few exaggerated sketches of Hollywood hero types.
...says I don't update my blog enough... and unfortunately he's right. However this does give me an opportunity to share with you a Hatke original I purchased a few months back.
I haven't framed it yet since it often finds it's way onto my easel. The brush work is particularly good, and when I paint, I like to have examples close by of how it's supposed to be done!
Check out Ben's blog here
Been trying to get a spark back in my recreational drawing. It hasn't been there these last few months it seems, possibly because I'm expanding my studio and it's made things a mess. Maybe it's this yucky winter weather and short days, I don't know. Anyway... Don't stop drawing!
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!
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.
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!!
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!
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.
A recent portrait commissioned by my friends Cecilia and Sadako.
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.
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.
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.
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 deta
The knife man with the funny pants has the last laugh.
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!
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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.