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!