Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Week 15 Put Down Your Brushes

Today was the last full day of classes for me this semester, I have one last class, Intaglio on Thursday morning and then that's a wrap. Today was a crazy day as it was the day most everybody submits work for the annual Spring prizes for the school in sculpting, painting, drawing and printmaking. The ASE (annual Student Exhibition) will happen a week from now so all the 3rd, 4th year and MFA 2 students are in a tizzy about displaying their work and getting things finished on time.

I submitted to 4 painting prizes, so we'll see. It was cool to see all the work submitted all lining up against each other in the various categories, I have many talented school mates. I think this year's competition is stronger than last years. I have been running on fumes the last few days, trying to finish a storyboard and school work, the two worlds clashing in my studio and thus depriving me on much sleep. But after Thursday--parrr-tayyy, baby!

this is the final stage of the painting I did in Figure Comp following the techniques i picked up in the workshop given by Vincent Desiderio a month or so back. This painting has many layers of glazing then working back on top with fatter painting, then glazing again. this is how Desiderio works and it does give the flesh a glow more similar to real skin than using thick impastos. the thing is that this requires many passes at the painting, so this isn't a good way to work for you ala-prima fans and on bigger paintings this would be a very laborious process--a real commitment.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Old Man River

This is a painting I did for the Spring Competition at school which is this Monday. This was basically a one day painting to try and keep it fresh, it's 18 x 24 in oil. I took some pics at the river front on what was a horribly cold day April 15th, it was so cold and the wind blowing the rain so intensely that I couldn't hold the camera for long as my finger were frozen in a minute or less.

I'll find out Tuesday if it makes it in the show or end up a refuse!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

WEEK 14-Blow The Bridge!

These last few weeks except maybe for Saturday it almost always seems that despite the fact that the days are getting longer time seems to be getting shorter and it's always becoming night.

This is the last full week of classes at PAFA, so of course I have a horrible deadline on top of that to drive in an extra spike in the hand--as if I haven't suffered for my art enough...there will be many pots of coffee and little sleep this week.

I finished the cast hall painting last night after Figure Comp class. I adjusted values and glazed down the big room more and lightened the far room to push the contrasts and then visited little areas all over slightly adjusting transitions. So one nail out..I finished one paper and have one left to do which I'll be working on today and tomorrow, so that will leave me only Intaglio to finish up my prints in--plus my paintings for Spring Prizes which may come down to finishing up only one. I have several pieces to submit though. Still I am disappointed I didn't get to do more paintings I feel are worthy of submitting to the Spring Prizes at school, but deems da breaks when you have 3 jobs like i do. next year I'll have a lot more paintings that I will have done over the course of the summer and fall.

I have one more shot at this painting from the model Stephanie who's I learned yesterday is moving to England after the semester. Too bad for us as she is a good model and those are not easy to find. There is still a lot left to do here, her head needs lots of work as do many little transitions--but we'll see what I can do on Monday, then we toss it in the pile. Which pile? The OK, or the larger pile of crap paintings, all battles lost--we'll see.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cast Hall Progress

Here is the stage the Cast hall painting is at as I left it last night. This is for my Figure Comp class. I am pretty happy with it and I figure one more pass at it will probably finish it. I think adding in the easel with it's slight angle added just the little bit of movement that the painting needed, just that little angle adds some variety. I spent the night last night glazing down and working warms into cools and fighting with the lighting on the cast of David and then pushing the room back and adjusting contrasts all over. I will say that I did apply a lot of what I learned from both Scott Noel's classes as well as Vincent Desiderio's workshop I took a few weeks back in working on this painting. Loading in big areas of paint with the palette knife, trying to make the color the right color first, then load it in, and then glazing things. I really glazed on the legs and on the wall in the room by the doors. But I also want the painting to be a direct response to what I am seeing at the time vs what the painting needs to work as a painting. This is where I feel I have made the most growth as a painter, in deciding what the painting needs over direct reporting of what I see. That is the hardest part at times and often I had to think more than paint, get up, walk away and come back with a fresh eye.

I also was really inspired and thinking about NC Wyeth's work too, I have been to the Brandywine River Museum twice in the last few months and that really holds a charge for me over a long time. The more you grow as a painter the more you see, understand, can appreciate and steal from great painters.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Week 13 Down to the Wire

These are the three paintings I have in progress right now at school. I am enjoying this one the most, painting in the cast hall at night is great--this is two sessions in and I'll try and do two more this week and next week, I still want to add a figure as it's for a homework assignment.
I took my third pass at this painting today, and have 3 more classes to try and get it completed. I made decent progress today and tried to really work on getting the her body to turn in the light. I did a little glazing to do that. next week I'll concentrate some more on her face and hand and then bring up the background more
This painting is giving me a fit, I am pretty happy with the gals figure but the model Jon kept falling asleep as I tried to paint his head on the seated pose...arrgghh! Well Friday I get to try again.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Cezanne Composition Study

Here is the final painting for my home work in my Figure Comp Class, a still life of my own using the composition from a Cezanne painting.

The idea was to set up my own still life based on the composition in a xerox of a Cezzane painting that Doug gave us, then try to use Cezanne's way of compressing, distorting perspective and space, yet try and do a successful painting of our own. It was a fun experimnet, oil on MDF board, 12x16.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Week 12--The Countdown

This being week 12, it's only 4 weeks or 3 weeks of actual class till the end of the semester, the last week of class is always crits.

Last semester the crits went really quick in most classes, and the there is the annual Spring Show which ties into the ASE and so many people are pulling their hair out and getting mad, frustrated and depressed as the road starts to run out. Some fellow students are worrying about even passing their classes.

So it's the usual Spring school daze. There has also been the usual high school drama with school, so I'm looking forward to the break from that as well. Sometimes it's not easy being around people on a different life track. I hope to submit some work to the Spring Competition, I have a few pieces in the works and hope to get a few more done, but with my busy Freelance schedule my reality is that I might not get all I want done. That's life, or my life since I am balancing so much on my plate now. I honestly look forward to the summer so I can do more of my own painting and drawing on subjects away from school and get into my own head-space as it were.

I might take two classes for extra credit to push my 2nd year closer to being done and I am offering a CE class on comics and cartooning at PAFA this summer.

Below are two paintings in progress from school, one for Al Gury's Life painting class and the other the last painting in Doug Martenson's Figure Comp class.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Big Meltdown and the Return of Dr. 7

Well last week it finally happened, the thing everyone who uses a computer fears--the hard drive on my Apple 17" laptop crashed and burned. It got dumped when it took a dive--pulled by my dogs legs being tangled with the cord--i grabbed it but I guess it still hit too hard.I rushed to save what I could on my external drive as it did it's death spiral and luckily I lost only a little, so far it seems mostly music and some art which I can rescan. What I really lost was e-mail, that kinda' sucked, but that's the breaks.

A quick trip to my Mac guys and new drive was installed, a 160 gig and I then spent the next few days rebuilding my computer. Some stuff is still off, like my Microsoft office won't work, and so I am still working on the restore, but I'm mostly back up.

Things are super busy between school, work and the crash so I haven't been able to respond or post here for a spell. I finished the second Secret Agent X-9 job for King Features which will see print in the overseas X-9 mag published by Egmont. Below I posted my pencils and inks for some of the last batch of pages. I was flying by the seat of my pants and really burning along--I even had to skip a few days of school to finish this up, one of the unfortunate things that happens at times when the realities of being a pro-artist clashes with me being a student--the pro always wins. Without the moolah generated by my commercial work I wouldn't even be able to afford school-let alone eat or pay my mortgage.

I drew all of these pages directly on the board with no layouts, I didn't even do any sketches before, I just read the script and winged it as I was so pressed for time.

the only ref I had was for the plane which I googled and a few strips by Al to match Dr. 7's costume from the old strips.

After I inked and scanned each page I brought in the zip-pattern on a layer and cut or erased away what I didn't want. I have an actual old sheet of zip-a-tone scanned in just for this purpose. When I was done I'd flatten the image and away we'd go. the white zip was me selecting the zip pattern in that area and painting it white to create the old white zip you used to be able to buy.