Sunday, June 21, 2009

Vikings. In space.

There was recently a "challenge" posted on a art forum I've been known to haunt and the prompt was simply to draw a viking. Unfortunately due to various circumstances beyond my control I missed the deadline, but I knew I was going to want to finish it at my earliest convenience. My plans all fell through on Friday, so I spent a few hours in my studio banging this number out. I didn't have any prep work on hand past a small thumbnail, which made painting feel a little like flying blind, but I think that made the experience a bit more reactionary and... fun.

I don't know what's been with me and my space kick lately, but I just had to have a viking in space. As the vikings of myth did, this viking would have a helmet (though to fend off asphyxiation more so than hostile projectiles) complete with horns. And naturally, as an explorer of outer space, they'd be fighting tentacled creatures instead of the Britons or other more "civilized" men.

Vikings were Nordic and by no means German, but I figured our hero here would be sporting dachshunds on his shield. I think they might have approved of these Germanic little badger hounds. I can think of one or two dachschunds that would have been helpful in an all out monster fight.

Oil on canvas. 12" x 24".

Sunday, June 14, 2009

When experiments fail

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that my lady has given me a bunch of panels that she found left over from a past life. So, in continuing my head studies, here's another one of Katharine.

Originally I had set out to paint something else on the board but quickly realized that the 8x10 surface was no where near suitable for what I had set out to accomplish. So I turned the board one quarter turn clockwise and just started painting. I had to abandon it after about an hour because the darn thing was WAY to absorbent.

I learned that it's important not to trust panels given to someone that are then given to you. As near as I can tell the woman they came from used absorbent ground instead of gesso to prime this batch, so everything I put down immediately seeped into the board. It was kind of like painting with the stuff glue sticks are made out of. I have since re-gessoed all of the remaining panels.

That being said, I'm pleased with the likeness and the overall handling of the paint (before I got too frustrated with the hair and summarily trashed it). I'd mark it as a stalemate. I've been told she looks intimidating, like she's going to try to eat your arm.

Oil on canvas board. 8x10

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Zombie Nazis from Space!

Or is it Nazi Zombies? Either way, this is what I get for talking to my friend. I don't remember what we were talking about or how the words "Nazi zombie from space" could possibly have fallen out of my mouth, but they did.

And I just couldn't let it go.

So I came home and did a little drawing, which turned into a little painting.

Oil on board. 5 x 7

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Once upon a time, back in the days of art school, a teacher tasked us with drawing 50 self portraits over the weekend. I suspect he wanted to force us to loosen up and not be so... academic in our approach to drawing. So, I sat down in front of a mirror and set about my task. Needless to say a lot of the drawings wound up as kindling (or would have if I had a fireplace) but there were a few I liked or was talked into keeping. This would have to be my favorite from that exercise, and as such I've had it pinned to my studio wall.

Recently I decided to pull it down and use it as a base for a painting. Sitting down in front of my trusty mirror again I set to the task of painting it out. Paying attention to the relationships between shapes was more important than getting the shapes accurate. I miss the fact that it looks like I'm on an oxygen tank in the initial pencil drawing. And I don't know why, but I like the look of the receding hairline in the drawing as well. Oh well, maybe next time.