Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Anatomy studies

I want to focus on animal anatomy for a while, just to boost my understanding of comparative anatomy and be able to bang out wicked looking creatures. So I started with these two pages and there'll be more to come. I was just looking to understand the relationships of the forelimb muscles, and finding similarities and differences. Before I did these I use to draw a bicep in most of my animals/creatures, but looking at the tiger and bear, and even the dog, there is no fully developed biceps like primates have. And the deltoid is proportionately larger in humans than in animals. Just some of the things I noticed :) I did another animal oil study last night that I'll post when I get back from work. Sorry i haven't been posting as much. I will try and amend that.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Animal studies

Polar bear was done 3 1/2 hours on monday night. Tiger 3 1/2 hours tuesday night. Both of them are oil on prepared cardboard. I have a lot of free time at work in the evenings those two days, so I figured I'd start making good use of my time there by painting. In my studio I'm never motivated to do these kinds of things since I just want to work on the good, meaty stuff to get a career. Which is stupid of me. I should do more of this now so it makes my portfolio pieces that much better later on. We'll see what I end up doing. I might spend the rest of 2009 actually just practicing my painting technique. Not a bad game plan. Hmm....

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Finished!! (almost)

Its done enough that I can post it online. But I want to tweak it some more traditionally so that its show worthy for the Spirit Gallery show. So I won't be doing a third painting as I need to finish this one, but I will put in a third piece that is a very nice, finished drawing. Huzzah!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Art Update

Here is a progress shot of my Princess of Mars painting. My goal is to block in all the figures to the same levels as the central thark by the end of saturday. If I can manage it by friday, even better. Then I'll have all of next week to finesse the details and fine tune things, even though next week will be hell at work. Also here is a sketchbook page of a head and hand study for a painting I want to try and get done for the show at the Spirit Gallery in September. I'm putting the martian painting as well as my phoenix painting for sure, but if I can manage to put in a third piece that would really be killer. Anywho, critiques and comments are welcome.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


This is the image I really had wanted to work on at the Master Class but was too afraid. I really didn't enjoy working on the composition I had so I felt that for my mental health it would be better to scrap it and start this one. I'm going to transfer it to canvas today and begin painting tonight. I am so much happier with this and I have a reeeeeally good feeling about the turn out for this piece. I think it'll be my first true showcase portfolio piece since graduating art school. It will be done by the deadline on september 1 and for the show at Spirit Gallery in CT. I might even do a smaller painting too since I'm on an art high.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Princess of Mars

These are the sketches and final comp for my Master Class painting. I'm still working on it and I hope to have it along with another painting done by the end of July. I'll have sketches, ideas, studies, and other smaller things to post throughout the month as I'll be planning a lot of my summer art while I paint. Without further ado, here are the finished drawings of John Carter, Dejah Thoris, the Great White Ape, and a little bonus picture.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Phoenix Reborn

Better quality photo of the finished painting.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pending finish

I was told last Wednesday I could submit art to the faculty show. Great! I thought. Then SHIT!!! I had nothing I felt proud of showing off, or that could display any skill in my working medium. So I started this painting. The drawing had been done for several weeks. Many milestones in this painting. First and foremost this is the first painting I am proud of working on since I graduated art school almost a year ago (tomorrow is one year, YIKES) And for those who know me, its also the first painting I actually finished since art school haha. Now, as far as "finish" is concerned, the image you see is not the actual finished painting. I'm going to work on a few of the small areas that are kind of glaringly off, and I'll work on them today. Also, the big bird in the back needs somein...its kind of blah. For the sake of the show though, I'm only going to touch up those few things. When I get it back I might go to town, I do want to have something nice to show for the master class coming up in June. The photo is also not the best, but anyway, I am very proud of what I accomplished in four days. I didn't paint friday, I felt the need to be a social person and went to a bar/club hehe.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Finished painting (gasp)

Yes, a finished painting. Albeit its only 5x7 inches, but a painting's a painting. Its the head study from the last post. Clayboard grows increasingly more forgivable the more one adds paint to the surface, but it still manages to dry fast. There's a little smudge mark that got on her near the corner of her lip, I'll paint over it so its presentable. But this is the finish. I'm really happy with the paint application and the fact that it remains smooth, but the paint strokes are there and visible. Enjoy :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Just a small 5x7 head study i'm working on. I'm going to finish it tonight at work. Its on clayboard which is a pretty interesting surface to paint on. It sucks up all the moisture and oil from every brush stroke I put down, which is really annoying. But the upside of it all is that its pretty dry to the touch within a couple hours. I did almost all the color work last night from about 11 to 1 in the am and I was able to scan it without it leaving any marks or wet paint on the scanner. The reference is from stock photo courtesy of I suggest checking her stuff out, she has a lot of cool photos for everyone to enjoy. Just an FYI- I'm not trying to follow the colors exactly, hence the really in your face purples. I'm working on another painting in the studio that I'll photograph maybe tonight or tomorrow. Time to go wash the obscene amount of pollen on my car, lest I die while I drive to work.

Monday, March 23, 2009


I work the front desk at the museum from 5-10 in the evenings now. With all that time leftover and nothing to do except for the occasional classroom change, I use this time to draw. Tonight I flipped thru an issue of Aperture, found a really intriguing photo by Sybille Bergemann and proceeded to copy it into my sketchbook. This drawing is the kind of drawing I do that makes me sad I can't paint as well as I draw. Sometimes I want to take a break from drawing, so that my painting ability can catch up. I know its silly, and considering how much I have learned about painting in the 10 months since graduating, but I still get down on myself for that. But whenever I feel like this, a renewed vigor takes over me and I want nothing more than to prove myself wrong, which is what usually ends up happening. I have been a huuuuge slacker for the past month and change, I haven't accomplished much art, haven't been able to come up with any ideas. I'm kind of dry now, but I'm slowly coming out of it. Looking thru old sketchbooks I found a couple pages that had some interesting ideas that really drew me into reconsidering making them actual pieces. So we'll see. That phoenix piece I have in mind will definitely be completed. It looks sweet in my mind's eye. Without more ranting, here's the drawing of the photo :)

Saturday, March 21, 2009


These are a few of the better pages in my moleskin that I started a couple months ago. Some hands and random poses montaged on top of each other, some figure drawing, portrait, armor design and my first good phoenix. The phoenix has like 6 pages devoted to it, sketch after sketch, study after study. This is final working design #1 that I am happy with.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


So i uploaded my newly designed web page to the web. Its a bit boring and kinda conservative, but at least it looks professional in comparison to the color fiesta I had before. Its the same name as before, i have to fix one link, the apollo and dionysus painting, as it is a bit on the non-working side. In paint related news, I spent about 4 hours working on the dragonflower painting, the bulk of which was spent on the head. Although i spent a tad longer than usual on one, small 2 inch area, I think I've come across my paint application style. Donato is probably my favorite painter and illustrator alive. I look at his work constantly and wish I could see it in person again and more often. Bouguereau is my second favorite "master" namely for his finesse and modeling of the flesh. I don't want to paint like either, don't want to be a Donato/Boug clone. And I think I've succeeded. Because even though I have Bouguereau paintings as well as Donato paintings around my easel/studio to look at for technique's purpose my own paint application has turned out to be much more painterly and loose, but handled with precision. I'm very happy! I think the next several paintings will be very crucial to the development of my technique (not to be confused with my style, i'm a realist). Expect a Lord of the Rings painting within the next couple months. Can't wait. Weeeeeeeee

Thursday, February 26, 2009

New art update

I'm still working on my second Bouguereau copy as well as my grandfather's portrait. I've been slacking for a while but I'm back in the game and really motivated. I want to finish a couple things before March ends to have ready to show at the Illustration Master Class in June. Here's the Boug copy of "The Abduction of Psyche" as well as a 3 hour portrait I did in class tuesday night. The Boug copy is just the first layer of paint. I'm trying to keep the skin tones bright and higher chromatically so that when I go and place the grayer skin tones on top the vibrant undertones show thru in some areas, like Bouguereau himself worked. I actually am doing this painting with the color palette of Bouguereau, at least according to his students, courtesy of the ARC website. The three hour portrait was just too much fun to do. It was a two week project, but I missed last week's class and so had to play catch up with the rest of the class. I exceeded my own expectations and received the biggest compliment of all when the lovely Joan, our model, told me as we walked to our cars that she really liked my portrait of her. A+ Julian, A+. Feel free to rip me to shreds though haha.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bouguereau copy

This is the copy I mentioned before that I was working on. I spent about 10 hours on it. I posted the half way finished version a couple days ago, its here again for further comparison. Looking my finish next to the actual piece, which I downloaded from, I still see a lot of mistakes. HOWEVER... there are quite a few landmark milestones as far as my painting application and technique is concerned. I'm incredibly happy with how the values turned out. They're subtle and similar to the way Bouguereau handled modeling form. The skin tone is not the same as the original, but I'm not bothered by it. The value structure is still there, off by a smidge, but there. I'm going to do two more Bouguereau studies and time myself at 10 hours each. I'll even keep a time chart to make sure I don't over do it. I could have continued on this, obviously, but I felt that the 10 hours is good training to build speed and accuracy. I have the last of a bunch of favor pieces to do in Feb, but I'll time manage myself to allow 10 hours for these copies so I can do one per week. After the last one is done, I'll do a portrait or self-portrait with Bouguereau inspired palette and technique. It'll definitely be an intensive painting month. I look forward to seeing my own progress. All comments welcome.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Fun fact: Stick your oil palette in the freezer. THe paint stays fresh longer, doesn't skin over, and is ready to use the next day and can stay wet for a loong time. How did I figure this out? Well I read Terese Nielson's blog, she mentioned keeping it in the freezer as a way to keep it fresh. I, for some time, had been keeping my palette for my intermediate painting class in my car all week. It hasn't been out of my car for about 3 weeks. Every time I've gone into class, my puddles of paint are pretty good, ready to use. Even the fast drying earth colors only had a very mild skin on them. So reading Terese's blog informed my unexpected experimentation. So since that I've been jamming my palette into my mini fridge in my studio. Works like a charm! I should try the clove oil she mentioned as well...

I've been working on a Bouguereau copy. One of his studies of a head for a painting. Its almost done. I'll most likely have pictures up soon, I'm quite proud of it.

BREAKING NEWS! My brother just saw a ghost in our basement. We were watching the G3 concert Dvd downstairs before, taking a break from painting (me) and homework (him). My mom asked me to go cook spaghettis, so I paused the dvd and andy turned off the lights and the tv, and all that. So whatever. Literally about 5 minutes before I began typing this he calls me, I go and i hear the music playing, so I'm like meh, I don't feel like going downstairs. he comes up, and he tells me he just saw a ghost. I stare at him with a face saying "you're full of shit" but he says he went downstairs, he thought i was watching the DVD because it was. Now remember, I heard the DVD playing loud when I went to see why he called me. He then said he went to get his airsoft gun (he felt safer with it, so let him be) and as he rounded the corner to see if I was there, he saw a figure turn and vanish. Creepy! Especially since my studio is RIGHT THERE and I'm a night person. I'm going to be pooping in me pants tonight :)

Monday, January 19, 2009


Hello hello hello! So 2 posts ago I introduced some sketches and a sketchbook finish render for an idea of a girl coming out of a flower. Here is the final drawing as well as the painting after 2 hours last night (stage 2) and then how it looks now after painting for about 6 hours on and off today (stage 3). I even got a name for it, and I might be inspired enough to write a short story or poem to go with the finish. We'll see how that pans out. But this is a big thing for me because this is the first time in a long time that I have used acrylics. I'm not using it to finish the painting, but more for a really worked out underpainting for when I start going over it in oils. I'm leaving the flower and the girl for strictly oils, since that level of detail and subtlety I only know how to do in oils. But being able to paint that much of the landscape background in one day... I must say I'm quite intrigued. So here it is, without further ado.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Save the date!!!

March 8, 2009 at the Montclair Art Museum, the kind folks who gave me a job, are having a momentous and utterly extraordinary opening. The Wyeths: Three Generations will have over 60 paintings, drawings, etc from N.C., Andrew, and James. Its bound to be a spectacular event and I'm hoping that any illustrator who lives anywhere within driving distance of the MAM will be able to make it out. Here's the website for the museum with a bit more information:
I'll post any news I find out from work on here for everyone to read. Just wanted to share in the awesomeness.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

New idea

The initial sketch evolved in my sketchbook a couple months ago, inspired by a stock photo from deviantart. It sat in my sketchbook, just waiting for me to use it. So finally, I dug it out, redrew it in my other sketchbook and fine tuned it, making it pretty. Then I thought, gee... what on earth can I possibly do with this drawing to take it from the page to a painting? So I spent a few days pondering. AHA! The serpentine coils around her initially was just fabric, but I started thinking of it as a vine, with thorns. So she'll be coming out in bloom from the flower that I drew, composited from a couple flower photos I found. The question at hand is what will be in the background? I want the horizon line to be low. She's high up in the air coming out of this thing, we're looking at her and down at whatever. Mountains perhaps? Those sound good since I want to try using muted colors and a limited palette, reserving accent tones for her and the flower only. Maybe a galaxy? Or a planet being slowly eaten up by a black hole? I'm still doing sketches for that, but here are the 3 initial stages of this personal project. Enjoy!