Sunday, July 30, 2006


After much morning drama, which included me loosing my wallet for 2 hours (in my house no less) causing us to miss Traci and Rich's baby shower,and then getting stuck in horrble traffic, meaning a super-late start, Echo and I finally made it down to Brandywine Park in Wilmington to paint. We drove sepreately as she has to work Sunday and got seperated on the drive down, so by the time I made it to the park she and Thomas we waiting. It was aslo 95 degrees and a bit muggy, the flies were biting my legs within 15 minutes..@#%&*! next time long pants. We all too advantage of the shade under the big overpass, but still it was one hot momma, luckily I packed our cooler with water and ice drinks.

We missed our painting buddies Pahl and Catherine who went on ahead of us, so by the time we found the spot and set up it was probably 430. So despite our intention to get set up early and paint, we ended up having to chase the sun as we painted. I had primed a few canvases this morning with acrylic, setting them in the sun to dry, and Echo and I each picked a 12 x 9 to do, not too big as we wouldn't have time to do a larger paintings with the time clicking away.

Thomas lays in his charcooal sketch.

I went to work fast massing in the shapes and trying to get the major valuse down and related to each other, wanting to keep the foreground and background clear.

here is the painting where I stopped it, there was still a lot more to do, but time , or the sun ran out.
See a larger pic HERE.

I was particularly excited to paint today because last week we wanted to go and were rained out and Echo had never tried painting in oils before. It has been a year exactly almost to the date since I last painted anything, and that was the stil life I did when staying with Bret in Prescott AZ last summer after San Diego con.
So each picked our view and I made up both palettes, I put freezer paper over the tops and uses clips to hold it down, this saved the muss and fuss at the end as we could just toss it away or fold it up andscrape any extra good paint off at home. two empty FEDEX boxes would hold the pallettes for the trip home.
s quick.

I started in right away and tried to block in the big masses and values fast as I could see the shadows were now going to start marching fast and 30 minutes would result in a big change in the values of the foreground and background. I keep an eye on Echo and Thomas, going over and giving Thomas some pointers on his charcoal drawing he had underway. Echo seemed to take to this whole thing like a duck to water, she made fast progress with here block-in.

As we painted away many people who were enjoying the day outside would stop and comment, one little kid really wanted to come close and his mom asked it it was ok.
A friendly park ranger stopped to chat and tell us of other cool places to paint further down into the park, so we may try that next time.

I have to say it was exilerating, totally absorbing and frustrating at the same time. You realize that once you are outside nature has the upper hand and you have to keep moving fast, and fight the urge to add details too early. I also realize how much I have to go as a painter, painting one painting a year isn't gonna get me anywhere! So Echo and I have vowed to try and do it once a week along with the figure this will be a big commitment.

Anyway, we had about 2-2 1/2 hours to accomplish what we could today, we wrapped up a liitle before 8, by that time the sun had dropped below the treeline and the values were all changed too much to continue. Echo finished first while I tried to dash in a few little extra bits, so the painting was stopped but the painting really isn't finished. I aslo need to buy some better brushes, the ones I have are ok.

Looking forward to next week already.


Kelly said...

Great job dude! The change from light to shadow on the bridge is especially nice.
Now, I don't know if I should say this or not, but sometimes your typos make me chuckle. Today was especially good--Phatlo blue (color of veins mixed with cellulite?), Burn Sinea (what happens to a man when he tries to quickly torch away his nose hairs instead of slowly clipping them like most guys--who even bother?), AND you gave Thomas pointers on his charCOLA drawing??? Why are you fucking with that poor kids brain? I find it rather disturbing that you would send one of your students into the art world thinking that drawing with charCOLA is going to garner success of some kind--you evil bastard!

Kelly said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Craig Zablo said...

I love how you guys get together to sketch or paint or just hang out.

Too cool. And then you're even nice enough to share pics with us.


John Beatty said...

Looks like a fun day! I would love to do that sometime.

I'm actually trying to organize a "Sketch Society" [fancy name for sketching in coffee shops, bars, etc..] here in Daytona and the Central Florida Area!


Mike M said...

Kelly, yeah my spelling sucks sometimes, especially when I am tired, hahaha. I guess I was just too lazy to proof it last night.

I chose the bridge because it had that great contrast from warm to cool. I am pleased as punch with what Echo did, I coached her a bit here and there when she started off, then just sat back. We should all try and do it next weekend, there are plenty of nice places to pain there, but we'll start earlier, say around noon.

Mike M said...

Craig, thanks, Yeah having a girlfriend who is an artist helps though :-)

the best thing is she really pushes to do it too, she really loves to go out sketching.

Mike M said...

John, that would be awesome! I think that may be the most important thing you do this year. Even if the artists don't do comics, being around a creative cliate, other creatives is a real boost. There must be folks who like to sketch draw and paint there. i bet even putting up a few flyers at the local borders, Starbucks to meet up would really work.

Might meet some good looking talented gals too...another bennie!

Travis Christian said...

Mike, I'm with Craig. I too think it's very cool that you integrate art into your daily routine. I'm completly self taught (you can probably tell by veiwing my blog! Sheesh.), and Bakersfield, CA isn't really too "art driven". So to make a long story short, these great practices like drawing in crowded places, or painting somewhere beautiful is very helpful to me.
Thanks for your advice a few posts ago. I have made it a goal to sketch at this Starbuck's down the street at least once a week. Drawing from real life is a tool, and most importantly, it's free (well if you don't count the coffee, I suppose)! I think the main thing that'll help me is to be continuous.
Anyway Mike, I'm glad to have the opportunity to learn from what you're doing. Like I said, Bakersfield is a little minute on the art side. So I rely greatly on the internet and books! Thanks.

TheMulf said...

Next time I do that im brining one of those awesome umbrella hats! Sun in your face motivates you to duck and hide. ACKKK THE SUN.

Echo said...

Remember to wear long pants next time:)
I had a lot of fun that day and I am glad that we did go!

Mike M said...

Travis, I am self-taught as well, never finished college. Many great artists were self-taught, there is no shame in that. School may introduce you to ideas, concepts,partices and techniques, but in the end you teach yourself through practice, practice, drawings and painting with great dilligence. That isn't to say I haven't learned things from other artists I am friends with or worked alongside, like Al Williamson and Ricardo Villagran. i am like a sponge, i will learn from anyone or any source i can.

Art my friend is where you create it. You live in claifornia, not too far from LA, I am sure there are many drawers lurking in your area, classes, studios etc. Or do like I suggested to John, start one yourself, meet a group of like-minded artists and see where it goes. Post flyers at the art shops, books stores, coffee hangs etc.

I learned much of what I know from books, god do I wish there was an internet when I was a kid! I am glad you are learning from what I post here.

Mike M said...

Echo, I am glad we went too! I am putting the pants in the jeep tonight! :=)

Mike M said...

Thomas, no pain no gain..or no sunburn...Get a hat man....or a beeer hat!

Travis Christian said...

Thanks, Mike.

Bobby Timony said...

Ma, you guys do the coolest stuff. Nice paintings!

Mike M said...

Thanks Bobby. How's things with you?

william wray said...

Nice Job Mike. You make it look easy , but it ain't. The guys who can draw well before they try landscape patinting always have the advantage. Next time when you do that much green, try pushing a little cold red into the shadows. Complements!

Bobby Timony said...

I'm okay Mike. Thanks for asking.
I'm currently looking for some steady work, but I'm not idle. I'm finishing up the first 24 page chapter of my graphic novel.

Mike M said...

Thanks Bill, your work lately has been a big inspiration.

harlequinpan said...

Very interesting trip.