Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Week 11

The hands on the clock seem to be spinning and the pages on the calender are flying off like in an old cartoon and the final month of school happens. In a month we are done and out the door for summer. hard to believe that the semester seems to have evaporated so, but this is true and i am playing catch-up here in Casa Manley. Like a factory calling in extra shifts the lights burn long into the night and smoke pours from the stacks. At the end of the month is the Spring Prizes at school where you enter into multiple drawing, painting, sculpting and print making competitions. I already have some pieces ready and I am working on a few more, so I plan on entering into as many categories as possible.

The painting above is my wash in-wipe-out under-drawing I completed in my Figure painting class yesrteday with Al Gury. I spent the whole class really paying close attention and working slower, even wiping out things many times. I learned that if I don't feel confident about the shapes and the drawing--I always go wrong. At the recent eakins competition I ended up making the major mistake on not spending enough time drawing and always felt wrong about what I had done as my start and then tried to save it as I went along--major, major mistake. I should have wiped that dam thing out till I felt like I got down what I wanted. So my new saying is in the beginning of the painting "If in doubt--wipe it out". Next week I'll start massing in and blocking in the tones.

This is one of the homework assignments in my figure comp class is to take a painting, do a study of its as a drawing, then arrange a still life ourselves borrowing the composition and do our own painting. So of the pieces the teacher had I choose a Cezanne still life. The painting above is an in process shot of my painting. I'll finish it up in the next week. I'm trying to distort the perspective in the same way Cezanne did and hope to get to see the show of his work currently on at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Eakins Painting Competition

This weekend was the two=day Eakins painting competition at school. We had from 9-4 on Saturday and today to do a painting, the winner got $200 and a place in the spring show.

Here is my painting, I not very happy with it in the end as I didn't end up doing what I wanted, but there are little spots I like and I like the environment. We drew lots as the the placement of our easel and went at it...it was fun and I enjoyed the company of my fellow painters and their paintings very much--congrats to the winners.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Week 9

The weeks draw down fast now, only six weeks left in the semester and the work is piling on at home and at school. This is a little color/value study i did Monday in Al Gury's class for the last pose we have for the semester. I always like my small studies better than the finishes and i really want to get the same feeling in this last painting I got here. I missed the last pose for the previous model so that will be one for the ages I guess.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Marvel U Cover Color

Here is the final color version of the Marvel U handbook for Twomorrow's Publishing.
This was a fun cover to do mainly because I got Tom Palmer to ink it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Last night was the annual PAFA Draw-A-Thon, the all night, or 7pm to 7 am drawing marathon-pizza-bash-shin-dig at the HLB, or the Historic landmark Build, IE, the old school. I was one of the student organizers this year and helped set-up and run/monitor one of the studios. It's always a great bit of fun drawing or painting all night and we had a blast, at least in our studio we did. I got two painting worked on, the first is the above long pose painting and the second is the much quicker 90 minute study done below. The core of the Dirty palette Club was there and we had a great time. i stayed all night though most students gave up the ghost about 3. I am used to pulling all-nighters from my years grinding in the salt mines of comics.

Pizza was delivered twice and coffee flowed all night. The Donuts were delivered in the morning for the survivors by Anne and Justin. All in all it was a great time and thanks to the school for doing this every spring. I look forward to next year's all night drawing party.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Marvel U handbook Pencils and Inks

A little while ago I penciled this cover for one of Twomorrow's Publishing upcoming books, a field guide to the marvel Universe. And since it was covering the classic Silverage Marvel years John Morrow and I though it would be awesome to get Tom Palmer to ink the cover. I've known Tom for many years, and he is not only one of the best inker/artists ever in the biz, but he's is one of the nicest men I have ever met in comics. I know, it's a bit cliche to say that, but Tom is really a great guy, very much they type of person you'd hope he would be when you meet him. I worked with Tom before on Spirits of Vengeance, and even got him to ink a few pages on Darkhawk once, so this is pure heaven for me. It makes me feel like a REAL comic artist when I get one of my art heroes to work with me. Tom's inks are above and my pencils below.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Vincent Desiderio Workshop

Last weekend I had the great pleasure to take the two day workshop that Vincent Desiderio held at the Academy. Desiderio graduated from the Academy in 1980, moved to NYC and entered into the big dog fine art field and has become very successful.He's represented by the Marlborough Gallery In Chelsea. Desiderio is also a Big Brain artist. He has a great grasp and understanding of art history that underlies and empowers his contemporary figurative/narrative paintings. The intellectual side or thinking that goes into his work is considerable and he filled our heads with a lot of his philosophy this weekend before he was painting and while he was painting. "Painting can develop a language that has the authority of science. Painting should be a conversation with doubt and a reconciliation of that doubt. Artists must be more proactive in rediscovering ones self. Become engaged with yourself, create something you can believe, don’t fall victim to theoreticism. Cronies, gallery owners or markets cannot predetermine every action by an artist. Make an endowment of your internal life; it is infinity to plumb." this was just some of the thoughts Desiderio poured into our brains before he started his demo.

Here Desiderio showed us one of the main points in his painting demo, which is that shadows act like mirrors, they reflect light. he talked exetnsively about Caravaggio's technique. "that everything should be painted as if on a grey day", and the shadows and the light are accents.
The guys a dynamo, which you'd need to be to do the large scale paintings that he does. It's great that he comes a few times a year back to school to give back b to us current students the bebnefit of his talent, hard work and experience.

We were instructed to do under-paintings in brown ink, a shellac based one if we could find it. The second day we shellaced our canvases or paper first and then we did our under-painting in ink on the shellac.
The we all waited for our canvases to dry.

Then Desiderio started the demo, which I filmed and these pics are captures from the video I shot.
Desiderio completed the blocking in, let it set up and then went over the whole thing again with a bigger brush, and using teh ink darked the whole picture even more.
Then taking a small amount of Titanium White and adding a little Burnt Sienna, mixed them together and painted that mixture on top of the dark brown under-drawing creating a blue hue! So, two warms can make a blue hue optically. He used small brushes, one for each color and one just for scumbling of blending together two areas, he also paid attention to the edges as he worked.
The he went to town working in a scumble to complete the figure above, he kept the values close and mixed in a little ivory black to make the middle tone of the shadow in the models back.

Desiderio's way of working is this combination of scumbling on the paint, using Liquin as his medium, he also never uses any terps, he cleans his brush with the medium he uses to prevent the solvent from weakening the way the paint will lay in the "bed" of the medium, so it retains it's vibrancy and doesn't dull and sink into the canvas. then letting it all dry, he may glaze over the whole painting again and then scumble back on top of that, repeating this basic way of working for the entire painting.

Here is my washed in under painting, we had to work fast as the talk and demo took up the bulk of the class.
Here is the painting I did on the second day after the demo, it's more of a study and while this painting is far from great, I did learn some things that I am trying now on another painting. this technique requires a long time to work over the painting in steps.
Here is the painting study I did on the first day. All in all it was a great experience and was maybe the best experience I've had learning at school so far, so thanks to Vincent and to the painting Dept for setting this up for us students.

Martian Preview/Interview

Today over on The Comicon.com's Pulse News there is an interview with me on the Martians Go Home comic I'm doing for Sequential Pulp comics

Friday, March 13, 2009

Apple Study

This is a quick little painting I did last night during a meeting of the Dirty Palette Club. I tried to keep it loose and more like a sketch. It's 11 x 14 on canvas. You can see more of what we are up to as a group on the blog.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

WEEK 8--The Final Countdown

Well Spring Break is over and we are on the decent into the Spring Shows and the end of the semester. Today I picked my classes for the fall, so I am basically set for the rest of 2009. Come fall of 2010 I will be a full 3rd year student.

I will probably augment some classes over the summer to pick up a few extra credits and I might even try a class over at Studio Incamminati if I have the extra time and money. I will have a full schedule working over the summer on Martian Go Home.

This painting in Al's class lay fallow for almost 2 weeks with the break. So I am trying to bust it up much looser as we only have one more pose on this. I taped my little study to the painting to remind me of how bold I wanted to go. I'm using a big brush too, a big fat flat, as big as I can use so I also have to keep it loose.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Martians Go Home Pencils

I am working full bore now on my new series for Sequential Comics called martains Go Home, and like I said in a previous post I'll be covering my working process on the book. To start out here are 3 pages and you can see the thumbnail roughs above where I broke the script by Martin Powell down. For me this is the most creative part of comics, not that drawing or inking isn't creative, but figuring out how to show something, or why to show something is the most challenging part of storytelling. I was also thinking a lot about acting, how the characters act and their gestures, or Luke's gestures. He's a bit buzzed from drinking and frustrated writing his story, so i wanted to convey that clearly.
After I had the roughs done I went straight at the board and using a Col-erase 2004 Blue pencil I roughed in the page.

After I rough out each page I go in with a mechanical pencil with a 2B lead and tighten up the drawing. Now since I am inking this I don't need to go crazy-tight with the pencils, I can leave some finish for the inking stage. This is also a humorous book, so I can push poses and gestures which is a lot of fun.

After I use the mechanical pencil I use a regular 2 B lead pencils a put the bolder blacks in.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Chuck DPC Final

Here is the finished painting of my buddy and neighbor Chuck Van Zyl that I painted during the weekly Dirty Palette Club meetings. I am going to submit this the the next spring show at school on Monday. This was a three session painting, once a week on Thursdays. I'm pretty happy with it and Chuck was an excellent model, we hope to have him pose for us again.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Brandywine Road Trip

Yesterday the boys of the Dirty Palette Club and I piled into my Jeep and made a road trip down to the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, PA. It was about a 40 minute road trip from the Academy where I picked everybody up. Besides Will and myself, none of the other guys had been to the museum before, so there was a lot of anticipation and of course rowdy humor on the ride down.I brought along some comics, art magazines and the new Sparrow art book featuring my buddy Bill Wray's work.

I try and go at least once a year, for me it's like traveling to Mecca, going back to the source seeing those paintings by NC Wyeth and Howard Pyle. This is where everything comes from in American Illustration. The best of the best and I get such a charge looking at those painting, and now being in school and learning about painting, and painting more and more myself, I see and learn more on each successive trip. The whole trip was almost worth it just to hear David say "Holy fuck!" under his breath when he walked into the room with NC Wyeth's paintings the first time.

Another thing is that every trip they have something new hanging and this time there were several new paintings from NC and an awesome Dean Cornwell and one by Harvey Dunn.
They also had a few nice plien air paintings by Frank Schoonover, a very nice Daniel Garber, even a Thomas Anshutz, so plenty of painting by former Academy students like ourselves.

After we hit the first two galleries we ate lunch at the museum cafe, then we saw the NC gallery and then the Andrew Wyeth gallery where his granddaughter was giving a little tour. We listened from the side as we looked at his amazing tempera and watercolor paintings. there is no way to really be able to appreciate the amazing subtlety of his work even from the best reproduction. When he passed recently, we really lost a giant in the world of art.

I have often had debates with some fellow students at school who knock his work, say his work is lesser or without merit because there can be a narrative or that it has a sentimentality to it, a melancholy. Once in class we were comparing art by Andrew Wyeth and Antonio Lopez Garcia, and people were all over Wyeth, basically calling him something akin to a Hallmark card artist. I was aghast and told them i thought that was bullshit! I think both artist's work is actually very similar, their love for where they live, the amazing technical ability , the dreamlike quality and the ability to make a moment of time beautiful. I find both artists highly poetic, the main difference I see is that the sunny climate of Spain is very different that the hills of Chadds Ford. Their palette and therefore the atmosphere is divergent there,I feel both of the painters are extremely emotionally honest. Wyeth's granddaughter said in her talk that after Andrew's father died in that car accident with the train, it so profoundly changed him, his art changed, and that he would not have been able to paint something like Christina's World if that hadn't happened to him.

The also had a new section with Jamie Wyeth's painting in the museum, some of which I like very much. It must be hard in a family of such giants to find your own way. There was a portrait painted by Jamie when he was 17 that was just stunning, it is really inspirational to stand in front of such true talent and ability--and it makes me want to do nothing but paint!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Brush Seller

This is a drawing I did in my sketchbook based on a pic I snapped of an old guy selling brushes when I was in Kunming, China. I was thinking about maybe doing a print of this in my intaglio class.

Monday, March 02, 2009

March Creepertins

The March Creepertins strip.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Martians, Martians Everywhere

Here are a bunch of sketches from my development art for the adaption of Fredericks Brown's book, Martians Go Home which I'm currently drawing for Sequential Pulp Comics.

I'll be posting art from my progress on the book as I go along.