Thursday, December 7, 2017

Natalie - watercolor

watercolor, 2017
available, 9"x12"

      Just a quick, loose portrait of a model from some glamour site. There's very little about this one I don't like -- except maybe the scan. Scanning always adds contrast and washes out some of the lighter spots, hiding much of the subtlety inherent in the real painting. I recently went through some originals and was struck at how much better many of them were than I remember them because I'm used to seeing the scanned file. I'm still trying to figure out an easy method of shooting originals with my camera. Theoretically, I should get a much better, truer-to-life image that way.
       I used a pretty limited palette on this one, yellow ochre, a warm red and ultramarine blue for the skin tones - with just a touch of permanent rose to bring the nose forward. The hair and lips needed a couple more colors and I think the background blue is a loose mix of ultramarine and cobalt. The fewer colors you use, the less chance of mud, everyone always says.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Cow #1 - gouache

gouache, 2017
available, 11"x15"

      A painterly cow portrait to go with my rooster a couple weeks back. Cow portraits have been popular for a several years, so I thought I'd try one. Not bad, but I don't think I'll make a career of it.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Carricknahowley - watercolor

watercolor, 2017
available, 9"x12"

      I'm very happy with this one. It's just loose enough; it's Ireland; the sky isn't completely terrible. I actually found the location through a YouTube clip from a BBC show called Awash With Colour wherein Dermot Cavanagh teaches a celebrity to paint a particular scene in Ireland. In one episode Cavanagh and the celebrity of the week (I don't remember who it was now.) painted this location from a different perspective. I found the location and several photos of it through Google Maps.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Smiling 65 Galaxie 500 - ink+watercolor

mixed, 2017
available, 9"x12"

      My mom had a 1965 Ford Galaxie 500 when I was little. It wasn't a red convertible like this one. It was a sensible white four-door hardtop bought just before I was born. My dad drove a little two-door Ford Falcon with an engine that barely fit in the engine compartment. 
      It may sound strange but I'll always associate the grille of the 65 Galaxie with my mom's big, bright smile. I guess it's a mental association akin to pareidolia in which our brains automatically search for pattern and familiarity in an otherwise random jumble of stimuli. It's part of what makes us see familiar shapes in clouds or faces in the burn pattern of toast. I suppose a lot of people see faces in cars - some cars more than others; it's probably the genesis of the Cars animated movies. Maybe everybody thinks of their mom when they see a particular car. I consider myself blessed to get to see mine smiling at me when I see this one.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

St. Paul's - watercolor

watercolor, 2017
available, 11"x15"

      This was an attempt at a very loose rendering of St. Paul's in London. It has it's merits. But it could be better. It's from a very old black-and-white photo from the '50s.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Sunday Best - watercolor

watercolor, 2017
available, 11"x15"

      Now that Horror Month is over let's head back to church. This one was done from an old black-and-white photo. Family photos were taken very seriously at one time. I'm sure this family is wearing their finest clothes to show off one of their prized possessions, their new automobile. I'm pretty happy with this one, though I'd like to have been a little looser.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Dreamer - charcoal

charcoal, 2017
available, 8"x11"

      Now we're talking. One Saturday in February 1986 I took a beautiful and sassy young redhead on a first date to see A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge. We're still together, though she's less a fan of horror movies than she was back then. I'm pretty happy with this one (and her!). Freddy's melted skin was pretty tough, but I think it worked out.

      Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Brother - charcoal

charcoal, 2017
available, 8x11

      I call Michael Myers of Halloween fame The Brother, of course, because his sole purpose was to terrorize and kill his baby sister, the only family he missed in his original killing spree. But this actually is The Brother #2 as I've already featured Barbra's short-lived brother, Johnny, from Night Of The Living Dead. This one was difficult and didn't quite work out as well as most of my other horror portraits. You would think the lack of features in the mask would make it easy to draw. But that's the problem. The lack of features means there's very little to give the "face" form and it was very hard to render the subtleties in the warped mask.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Ancestor - charcoal

charcoal, 2017
available, 8"x11"

      Good old Barnabas Collins of Dark Shadows -- the good one played by Jonathan Frid for the television show of the late '60s/early '70s, not Johnny Depp's horrible attempt.