Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Three and a half years ago, I got the high minded idea to illustrate Beowulf.

I was a slacker then and it never happened, but I did read Seamus Heaney's fantastic translation, and now I'm warming back up to the idea.  This is a bit more of a test than anything else, mainly to see how the pen and ink works.  I'll be drifting heavily into the Hobbit work over the next month or so, but coming back to these in the spring.

"Grendel's Fen."  Pen and ink and lots of little lines.  This could perhaps also be titled, "How to put way too much detail in your drawing."  Around 8 to 10 hours, lots of big time inspiration from Bernie Wrightson's Frankenstein, and hopefully worth the scroll on the big version.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Seems Appropriate...


A little more labored than Kenobi, and at times I feel like it may have bordered on clumsy...probably because I forgot that this is just an EXERCISE.  Something one does to get better, or stay fit, not something one does to create a masterpiece.  Though I think I like it now a little more than I initially did...

I suppose one should never underestimate the power of the Dark Side...

Alright, enough Geekery, the shiny black was interesting to paint, especially since I don't use black paint, and it was fun to splash a bunch of hot red around as well.

Another couple of hours in oils.  Any feedback is always welcome.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

"This is not the painting you're looking for..."

Because even after 33 years, Alec Guinness is still Bad A.

Greg Manchess, who is the man, created a painting of C3PO for Spectrum 16 that is absolutely amazing and got me jazzed to splash some paint around in a distinctly Star Wars manner.  Donato Giancola, who is also the man, had a great bit of advice about painting from a photo:  approach it as though you are painting from life and you have a model who is really good at holding long poses.  That proved useful here, picking and choosing what to include, determining what was important and how to show it, and in general not being a slave to the photo but working "with" it.

Also, I'll be damned if he didn't just post a painting he did of Old Ben Kenobi as well.  Awesome, just awesome.  And I've got a long ways to go.  Goes without saying, though I'll say it anyway, that I'm incredibly excited about being able to study under these two masters this summer.

Oils and around two hours or so of sloshing some fat juicy paint around.

Edit:  New photo, slightly better light.  At least there's much better contrast in the top half of the image.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

And Now For Something Completely Different...

My Art I students had to create a drawing that used symmetry and pattern for their final this marking term.  I figured I would play along as well via a way too elaborate doodle.

Swampthing, with antlers...and stars.


Color Pencil and more time than I probably should have spent on it.  But it was good fun and a nice break from more structured things.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Fiddlin' with FX

The finish.

The reference.

Wanted to try my hand at painting a tricky lighting effect without resorting to tricky painting effects.  Was hoping to bang this little exercise out in about an hour, but it ended up taking two.  Just laying down strokes of color and value, I'm of a strong belief that most things can be shown in that manner.  Could've played up the pinks around the central bolt a bit more for the true "glow" effect.  The hues trended a bit more towards the yellows and oranges, particularly in the tree.  Probably a subconscious move towards complements.  Oils.

Would be Dragonslayers...

So brave those three mice.

This one came together a lot faster than the other three.  I believe that's a good thing.

Also, check the older posts of the mice for new images in color as opposed to b/w.  I initially did not like the earth tones that the ink gave off when photographed, though I now feel that was a mistake.  I believe it adds quite a bit of depth and character to the images.

"Can we keep it?"

The third escapade of the three mice.  A student asked me if they planned on eating the chickens...

That never really crossed my mind, I just figured they would need some kind of implement to corral the chickens.

Same method of inkwashes and charcoal though I hit this one and the next much heavier with the chalk.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Mice again, the last two to come this weekend.

There's something in there that they want...too bad the stooge on the bottom lost his footing.

And I'm not sure if the pumpkin wants to eat them or not.