Friday, August 28, 2009

painting in oils - 7

Here's where I am at this point, very close to done ("done" in this instance meaning "being done"and "moving on")

I softened the left side of the nose from the previous stage and this seemed to me to help the piece when you see it from a couple feet away. I still think the face looks best close up.

The piece came out much more haunting than I ever meant it too. Snow White's raven black hair, blood red lips, and skin as white as snow is actually a little spooky.

I'm going to wait to post the final until it's dry and I can scan it. With a lot of the hair wet and background wet still it doesn't photograph well.

There's a couple more things I'm going to do, but overall I'm pleased with the experiment and I'm ready to move on to number 2.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

painting in oils - 6

Approaching final details with this piece. I'm laying in the final darks, a mixture of Prussian Blue, Alizarin Crimson, and Burnt Umber. This makes a nice raven blue-black that I like.

With her hair now undeniably black it really throws the face into a deathly pale light. In the next stage I gave her blood-red lips (all along she's meant to be Snow White) and it makes her face much more haunting that I had imagined or intended. I feel like it works but it surprised me.

The thing that keeps nagging me about this is I feel that when it's close up, when you see the face full (like in the last detail pictures) it works. Everything works for me. But, when you step back too far it doesn't hold up quite as well. I'm not sure why this is. I'm curious if anyone thinks that too or has any ideas.

Next post : Final.

Monday, August 24, 2009

painting in oils - 5

With this phase in the oil painting I felt like I was zeroing in on the final piece.

* * *

I glazed red again pretty aggressively because the coolness of the previous stage really bothered me. I thought I wanted the shadows to be cool but I just didn't like it.

When I rubbed it out I felt like I was getting closer to what I was looking for.

Then I began the final Titanium white highlights stage.

Next post : Final details / darkening the hair / reddening the lips.

Friday, August 21, 2009

painting in oils - 4

With this new stage in the painting I threw caution to the wind and glazed blue, an unadvised step but one that I think has won out in the subsequent steps that will be posted the following week.

Before the blue.

During the blue.

Post blue glaze, eye area cleaned of blue glaze. Kind of makes them terrifying.


Finally, since I had lost some of my highlights in earlier glazing stages I decided to go back and reintroduce certain highlights, namely the forehead, eyes, nose and left side of the face; lightly.

Next post : Warm it up a little already! I decided to re-glaze the red and warm some of the blue glaze. From there I went to doing my final pass at the highlights (since I obliterated them in the coming next stage) and started final detail work.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

painting in oils - 3

Here we are at stage 3, the first glaze of red. It went ok. It pushed the highlights back more than I thought it would but I'll be refining the painting at the end so that's fine. I'm still being overly cautious at this point.

Next post : I went crazy and blued up my shadows, glazed the whole thing blue. Prussian blue to the rescue! (or doom) remains to be seen.

*** Next post coming later this afternoon; Caution -- I throw it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

painting in oils - 2

This next stage I added the Titanium White highlights. I was really stuck by how enjoyable this was. I was extra careful, probably over cautious applying the paint but it still worked out pretty close to how I was hoping.

Highlights; painterly and literal.


I "drew" in a little more hair with the paint to balance it some more.

The best part was the little ruffle below the neck, I thought, "I wonder what this will look like if it was all white." I painted it, it looked terrible, I wiped it clean. It felt like I just did a card trick where I threw 52 cards into the air and they all fell neatly into my cupped hands, I clapped and they vanished. Somehow the simplest things are lacking in my education and understanding of oils. I mean, of course, if you let something dry completely you can work over it and if it doesn't work you can wipe it out. But to actually see it? Abra-freaking-cadabra.

I'm told the key at this stage is opaque highlights, transparent shadows.

Next post : The first color glaze, RED

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

painting in oils - 1

I love oil. I believe it's the second most worthy medium after marble sculpture. I don't do sculpture but to me it's the single greatest art form imaginable. Then comes oil.

Watercolor? It's for lighthouses unless you are John Singer Sargent. Sidewalk chalk? Maybe.

In any case that is my opinion.

I'm working towards learning the Dutch-Flemish method of painting. To my understanding, it simply involves a fully resolved underpainting with finished values; color applied in glazes.

With that in mind, here is the first stage :

I've fixed the drawing to a board and with some kind of medium (I forget what, Justin helped me with this part) You can see the drawing just barely in the first picture below, the stray pencil lines. I wish I had photographed it before hand. I did a probably half finished drawing.

Once that was dry I did my first toning. I used Burnt Umber. I then rubbed out the face some to make some light/shadow and started drawing in the details with paint.

Next I painted the hair. I had forgotten how wonderful it is to glide a brush filled with oil across a surface.

This first pass at the underpainting is complete. I let this dry. When it's totally dry I could (and did) make mistakes in the next phase but because the foundation was dry I could simply rub the mistake out.

In all likeliness, what I'm doing here is trying to make oils work like watercolors, watercolors come more naturally to me. I have a harder time working opaquely. So color glazes, being more akin to watercolor has me intrigued.

Next post : The painting the highlights.

Monday, August 17, 2009

SDCC 2009 - all the stuff

I didn't pick up too much this past year, a combination of no room to pack it / we'd spent a lot already getting prints / the sketchbooks made.

Here's a few of the pieces I bought/was given/traded for at the San Diego Comic-Con back at the end of July.



Man, I love Rebecca Guay's paintings. I picked up a print.


Jake Parker and I traded sketchbooks and in the picture you can see my copy of Flight 6.


Our good friends over in Paris, Daniel and Olivier ( Galerie Daniel Maghen ) gave me one of their new books.


Here's my personal card and the card I made up to help promote Terrible Yellow Eyes.


The excellent Bill Robinson gave me a pack of prints which included his TYE contribution!


Mike Daley and I traded a print or something for this awesome piece of Medusa.


Pascal Campion has no equal. He does one beautiful piece every morning. They are funny, charming, and touching. I'm pretty much in awe. Oogeley Boogeley is the collection of his works.


Claire Wendling is heart stoppingly incredible. I picked up her new book.


Last but certainly not least, I got a little Totoro. Because who could not.


I wanted to tell you all that I'm sorry about the lack of postings last week, things were just terribly busy and I missed most of the week. I like to post once a day but last week just didn't work out, so here's to the new week!

A little preview of the postings, I'm learning oil painting from Justin and I've been at work in my free time on a new painting. So far so good. I'll be posting the progress this week.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Chicken Nugget Lemon Tooty celebration!

Chicken Nugget Lemon Tooty is just one of those blogs -- it's where genuine creativity and pure fun meet. It's three kids who draw all the time and their Dad posts their work. How great is that!

Recently they came up on the 3 year anniversary of CNLT and their Dad, Aaron, wanted to do something special for them. He put out a call for anyone to take one of the kids drawing and reinterpret it.

Well, I love Lily's drawings. I decided to take one of hers and have some fun :


I did my best.