Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Here is the final cover illo featuring Robin Hood and maid Marian for the fine folks over at Airship 27. This is my second cover for them, the first one which I did last year garnered my the Pulp Cover of the Year award. This cover was to feature Robin and Marian breaking into the castle, and so one I had my idea I had my two friends Will Sentman and Alina Osipov model for me. Will was the model for the first cover I painted and he has plenty of Ren-fair costumes which came in handy. I shot several pics but never could get the exact poses I wanted so I just used what I needed, mostly folds, drapery, from several poses and most of both figures are drawn from imagination. I don't want to be a hostage to a photo and time was tight so I could only get both together for one session.
Once the sketch was approved I got a nice heavy piece of old Scanner Illustration board and put 4 coats of gesso down.
Then I xeroxed my sketch enlarging it and taped it together to make a transfer.
Then taking a 6B pencil I coated the back of the drawing and taped it to the illustration board.
Then I traced it off on the board.
I decided to not do a color sketch this time and just went for it--I figured I had a strong idea of what I wanted, a two color world, the warm inside of the castle vs the cool night outside lit by the moon. I also was thinking of the great pulp artists like George and Jerome Rozen and of NC Wyeth as well.
I massed or blocked in the composition ignoring any detail, just concentrating on the shapes and color atmosphere. I still had my drawing and so working from that and the photos I worked in the details after the big masses were well established. If I got too picky I'd either mass it up or wipe it off and work back into the "bed' of the big shapes. Between session I would oil the painting out with some linseed oil and a paper towel. this kept the darks from sinking in and the colors vibrant. The only medium I used was some Liquin fine detail. I probably painted each face 4 times, maybe even more, I even took some yellow ochre and glazed over the inside of the castle and the figures once to bring them inside the warm of the castle interior. The idea of keeping one color inside vs outside I get directly from my lessons at PAFA with Scott Noel and Peter Van Dyck. I feel part of the way we achieve a believability and marry the figures into an environment is to keep everything in that same atmosphere. This was a lot of fun and went fairly fast once I got going, I really wanted to have that fun old pulp feel, so I wanted realism but only to a point. The folks at Airship love it--and a happy client is what's important here as well.
The new gallery I am a part of, Parke Schaffer Fine Arts has it's grand opening this Thursday. There are a lot of heavy hitters in the gallery like my friend William Wray and Aaron Westerberg. The gallery will also have artists in the gallery doing demos and meeting the public every Saturday in October, right now I believe I am scheduled for October 8th. Its a great looking gallery and easy to get too, right off Route 30 in Wayne, an easy trip from 1-476 in Wayne. the gallery is filled with all top tier talent that Parke, the gallery owner spent a lot of time recruiting from all over the country and I'm happy to be a part of it. I have five pieces in the gallery including the recently completed Morning Signal.
If you are in the area stop on by and support this new gallery and the artists on their opening in these hard economic times.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
well about 10:30 last night hurricane Irene knocked out my power--of course on a deadline...but I guess I'm always on a deadline. So out came the candles and I drew for as long as I could that way on the next week's JP strips, but I could run my computer so soon I was done after roughing out the first few strips. It does give you and idea of what drawing by candle light must have been like--and it sucked!
Friday, August 26, 2011
Today was my first day of class in my fall semester at PAFA in my final year in the Certificate program. It feels good to get everything rolling again officially though I never really stopped painting over the summer. I have only one class this fall, portrait painting with Peter Van Dyck. Today was the first class and Peter had us dive right in. We have to have 2 classes every semester where we don't have a model but that didn't stop the class, instead Peter had us start by painting the space, the setup that we will paint the model into when she shows up next week. Working on some museum board that was coated with some acrylic medium I blasted right in on this piece, next week we'll work on it again and add the model.
Peter talking to the class about how the set-up the inner and outer worlds /spaces in the painting and what drew his eye as far as composition.
I love school but I am glad to be starting my final year, next year I plan on attending the masters program at PAFA, but I feel the urge to get my undergrad done.It's a mixture of feelings for sure. I honestly feel impatient with taking classes at this point. A lot will change in the next year, school, life, my studio, my daily routine and some friends will go away and some will stay, but that's life. I can now look back and see how far I have come in the 5 years I have been going to PAFA as a painter and also as a person and it has all been a wonderful experience, but every bird has to leave the nest.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Last week was probably my busiest week of the summer bewteen my regular workload of the JP sytrip and teaching a week-long intensive comic book workshop for PAFA's Summer camp. The class was one week, 10-3pm and the ages of the students ranged from 9-13 and included a wide range of abilities. Like all workshops like this one there were a few naturals in the room, kids who just got cartooning and were off and running. There were a few who were on the fence or there because their parents sent them and one who just slept the who time or played video games. There was also a lot of happy campers, 27 to be exact, so luckily I had to great assistants Lexi and Leigh to help me a ton with managing the kids--they saved my bacon as they say.
One of the things I did this time was to do a group comic where I'd have the class come up with the characters and then draw the first panel and then the kids would take turns drawing the next panel. We did four of them: Chainsaw Duck vs Sasquatch, Hobo vs. a jewish teenage zombie, Godzilla vs everybody, including Superman, and an Emo Clown and a dog who walked upright. Like most comics drawn by the young--everybody died, was run over, cooked, eaten or plastered on the front of an ambulance. Kids love to kill or main or destroy their characters--death is funny at 12! Both the boys and the girls equally expressed their desire to run a talking dog over with a car on paper.
A cool caricature of yours truly...
While they took turns drawing on the group comic they also drew their own comics, Titles like Insurance Bunny, The Other Side of the Street (a comic strip series) or Wizards vs WWII. I got them to understand and play with design somewhat by drawing portraits then making caricatures from them, including these two of me which I think are awesome. They were probably the most productive class ever, the walls of studio 5 were plastered with their or as we pinned up each page. on Friday the proud parents came in to see the work of their proud offspring and there were happy photos and cheese puff and apple juice for all.