Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sneak Peak!

This is likely going to be the last photo of me with my sanity intact until June. Until then I'll be doing ten paintings this size, with a central piece that's as tall, but almost three times as wide.

I don't know what I was thinking, or why I thought it was a good idea, but there you have it. I'll see you all on the other side.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bamf. Again.

I've been kind of a busy little bee over the past few weeks. I've got a grandiose project I'm working on for myself, and a book project I've had on the back burner for longer than I can remember on deck. Both projects call for a wider range of color, so I'm saying goodbye to my limited palette for a while, and getting reacquainted with my full spread - as it were.

To that end I've been doing a lot of little paintings in preparation. I think this is my favorite so far. The Amazing Nightcrawler! (I'm sure there will be more on the way.)

oil on linen. 4" x 6"

(Nightcrawler copyright owned by Marvel. Obviously.)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

...What I am is a man in a mask

"VoilĂ ! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. "

Just a quick and dirty study tonight. I guess I jumped on the band wagon a little with this one. Oh well. Worse things have happened.

Oil on linen. 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Harlowe's Halloween Hullabaloo

My friends' band performed last night, and though I hadn't thought to bring my brush pen, I did have my good ol' trusty Hi-Tec C Cavalier on me.

Yes, that's my friend dressed as Mario playing the violin. He was dressed up for Halloween, though I think he should dress like that all the time.

Pen on paper. 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" each.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I have a brush pen! I'm a real artist!

Two weeks back my friends' band was playing a show at a venue called The Old Church. The space was beautiful, and the bands were amazing. As I was sitting there, feeling all inspired and stuff, I took out my sketchbook, brush pen, and started doodling. This is what I came up with. It was kind of the night of f-holes, and I couldn't help but smirk to myself as I layed the last one down.

Of the four bands to perform that night my friends were the only ones to escape undrawn. Next time. Next time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sauvie Island

There's an island nearby, that's apparently all the rage. It's called Sauvie Island. All I've heard about it since moving to Portland is that it is the place to go pick some amazing berries. Which, reading between the lines, tells me that it's a great place to hang out in nature. Which means a great place to do some painting. I was intrigued.

Last week I received an order of casein. I aim to expand my experiments in that medium, and as it turns out, my friends were planning a berry picking excursion. I hitched along to get my paint on! All of my casein setup fits nicely in a little shoulder bag I carry (which is a nice change from lugging a french easel and a backpack full of gear), so I figured it would make for a fine recon mission - so to speak.

It was a hot, dry day, so I had to fight the paint a little (I was constantly reminded of why I love oils) to keep it from drying up too fast, but I think I was still victorious. All in all I think casein is slowly winning my heart over.

Kruger's Farm. Casein on paper. 8" x 5"

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

They're a lot easier to draw that way.

I recently discovered these Rembrandt - polycolor pencils by Lyra, and they're fantastic. They're delightfully buttery and rich in color. The dark sepia pencil is my favorite so far. Thankfully I had one (and my sketchbook) within reach the other night when my dog passed out in my lap.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Painting at Goat Island

Last week I set out into the world hoping to get some plein air painting done. I had intended to paint a particular field, one that I had driven past on my move up here, but I missed my exit. Instead I ended up near the Willamette River, which I figured was for the best. After all, it was an adventure, wasn't it?

Though they were entertaining and abundant, I resisted the urge to include the jet-skiers wake-boarders and focused on the humorously named Goat Island.

Goat island.
3 1/2" x 5 1/4". Oil on linen.

And when that was finished I turned 180 degrees and painted what was behind me. This painting was done with more urgency as the light was changing rapidly, and I was now racing the setting sun. But I think I pulled it out and I walked away with another delightful little study.

Northward Willamette.
3 1/2" x 5 1/4". Oil on linen.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

It's the Little Things, Really

While I was out running errands on Thursday I popped into a local art store to take a look around. A friend of mine discovered this place a few weeks back and told me I would absolutely love it. Once again, he was right. I was totally smitten with this place, and I thought it was simply the bee's knees.

Then I found their plaster models.

I bought a little bust and spent the rest of the evening just looking at it. It's so pretty. Tonight I set up a desk lamp and started sketching. I look forward to the journeys we shall take together. I'm so excited to finally have some plaster in my life.

It's the little things that make me happy.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Outrunning the Storm

Another little study as I gear up for something a wee bit more engaging. This time it's a lone BF-109 Messerschmitt, possibly trying to get back to Berlin before the coming storm. (Or perhaps I'm reading too much into things.) Hopefully I can tackle this beast in the immediate future.

Oil on (oil-primed) cotton canvas. 12" x 4 1/2"

Monday, June 20, 2011


I've got a pretty grandiose painting on the drawing board and it includes airplanes. As I was going about the planning stages of this project I realized it's been about a decade since I've last tried to paint airplanes. I thought I would be in my best interest to see if I could even do so convincingly before committing to a large-scale endeavor. Sitting down at the easel for about an hour netted me this little painting; it's nothing to write home about, but I think it's a success. I'll have more to share with you good folks in the future.

Oil on (oil-primed) cotton canvas. 12" x 4 1/4"

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Desolation Road

Last year I read this book. I thought it was weird, especially at the beginning and at the end, but it was good. At the time I remember thinking that I wanted to take a crack at a cover image. As life tends to, things got in the way, and the project got shuffled to the back burner. Thankfully there was something about it that just stuck with me and, after a lot longer than I care to admit, I finally got around to making a painting happen.

The next few weeks are going to be pretty hectic for me, but I think a calm period is in sight. There are some pretty big projects brewing on that horizon, and I'm filled with excitement at the thought of what's to come.

Oil on linen. 22" x 32".

Monday, March 14, 2011


A few weeks ago I jotted out some X-men inspired thumbnails and then kind of abandoned them. (They're thumbnails, it happens.) In a lull between projects I decided to flesh one of them out and further my exploration of a new pencil. It's quick and dirty, but I like the direction it's leading me in. More to come -- I hope!

Pencil and quick digital color.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ugly Mug Mondays! #15

Just a quickie for Ugly Mug Monday! this week. There's a lot of real work that I should be focusing on, but all work and no play causes Jack Nicholson (and myself) to go insane and try to murder his family.

I feel I took it too far and over-worked it, but that's how it goes. I wish pencil were as facile as paint can be. Oh well.

Pencil on bristol. 2.5" x 3.5"

Rock Out with Your Spout Out

When I was in school I took a class in the sculpture department. After the midterm he split us into two groups: the first group simply had to make the best sculpture they could, but only one piece; the second group had to make 100 lbs. worth of sculptures. Six weeks passed and the final critique was upon us. The sculptures were displayed around the room, and do you know what was immediately apparent? The work of the kids in the second group was far superior to the work of the kids in the first group, and here's why:

The kids in the first group sat around and planned, and sketched, and worried, and fretted about what would make "the best sculpture ever". They did more thinking than doing, and talk is cheap. The kids in the second group would make a sculpture, and then they'd have to make another one. And another one. And another one. And, you guessed it, another one. By doing so they learned what didn't work and transferred the knowledge to the next piece.

The message was simple: you learn to do by doing; not by thinking; not by planning; not by scheming -- by doing. That's the point behind these 10-minute paintings. If you want to learn a lot about painting (or drawing, or sculpting, or seeing), then I'd highly recommend you give this a shot. I've learned a lot so far, and I can't wait to see what I learn in the future!

Each square is about 4" x 4". Oil on illustration board.

The story about the sculpture class didn't actually happen to me, it happened to a friend of mine, but it's just easier to tell in the first person. Besides, the moral doesn't change.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Reunited, and it feels SO good!

Is there anything in this world more pure than drawing from a live model? Figure drawing is a long drink of cool water as you come in from the tilling the fields in the hot August sun. It's therapeutic. It's cathartic. It's awesome. It's what keeps you sharp and helps you discard the clutter in order to focus on the fundamentals. People should do it as much as humanly possible. (And then do it some more!)

From last night's figure drawing session:

2-minute poses

20-minute poses

40-minute pose

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ugly Mug Mondays! #14

I am King Cheez-It. I am not amused.

I was digging through files on my computer and I came across a handful from my last trip to New York. I became overly addicted to Cheez-Its and, well, you've got to do something with the empty boxes, don't you? And sometimes you've just got to wear a box on your head.

Casein on canvas paper. 2.5" x 3.5"

Ten-Minute Challenge

I recently came across an interesting little call to arms -- so to speak. The idea is simple enough, as all great ideas are; pick a subject and paint it. Over and over and over again. But there's a catch: you only get ten minutes for each painting.

This was my first crack at it. All in all I think they turned out well. I got kind of tired after the fourth one; painting at a sprint kind of wears you down. I'm going to work this into my daily painting routine; at least for the foreseeable future. Now all I'll have to do is figure out a better place to set up. (I was almost quite literally painting in the dark this afternoon.)

Each square is about 4" x 4". Oil on illustration board.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ugly Mug Mondays! #13

Ugly Mug Mondays! are going to be making a return in a big way! This one is a littledifferent from the last ten ugly mug posts I've offered, but I've learned a lot since then, so I don't think anyone will hold it against me. I like the little casein paintings I was doing and I plan on getting back to those, but I have plans for this particular drawing. Stay tuned!

11 x 14. Pencil on layout bond.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Back to the drawing board!

I've never understood why people despair over that phrase. You mean I get to spend more time drawing? Cool! I've always enjoyed drawing; so much so that I'm never without a sketchbook so I can sit and sketch wherever I am. Unfortunately I don't spend as much time doing more serious drawings as I'd like. Now that I have all of this extra time on my hands I plan on changing that! I'm going to be spending a lot more time at the drawing board!

Charcoal and conte.