Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gouache time lapse

I took some in progress pics of one of the little heads. I'm using gouache but in a very watercolory way, no white, just diluted shades of black paint. I work from light to dark in typical watercolor style. Alex Ross works the opposite way, establishing the blacks first then adding shades of grey. Maybe I'll give that a try once I get a better feel for things.
With acrylics and oils I jump in with much less of a drawing at the beginning and work from dark to light so this technique uses a whole 'nother side of my brain ;)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Girlie gouache heads

Here's my latest preoccupation, playing around with black and white gouache (opaque watercolor). These are all done on 8.5x11 Strathmore bristol board.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A girl

These days rather than painting in my sketchbook, I use small pieces of masonite or canvas board. One of the perks is that I can put them around the room and see them rather than just flipping past them in my sketchbook. This is probably one of the reasons why I like painting contented faces too, the last thing I need is a bunch of unhappy folks staring at me in the studio!
I primed a bunch of these masonite boards a while back using a roller which makes a slight texture on the surface which can be good and bad.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Just got my copy of the new book on J.C. Leyendecker. I have to say that it almost made me cry, it's that good. I admire people who can do things well but his ability was just staggering. Every painting was beautifully duds ever.
This is the kind of book that I dream depth, beautifully designed, and FULL COLOR on one of my all time favorite artists. With the exception of several pages of thumbnail magazine covers, almost all of the art is reproduced full page from the actual paintings, NOT the printed magazine covers. If you ever thought his work was impressive before, to see the paintings in vibrant color is awe inspiring. Go order it now, I'll wait.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Floppy hat girl

Now that's a big hat! This is another small (4x6) oil attempt. To simplify things I went back to my four color palette (yellow ochre,red,white and black) for this one. I figger that since I don't know what I'm doing with oils, the last thing I need to worry about is juggling a lot of colors. Since Batz Maru is my role model, I added him on the shirt for luck.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Yeah I know, before you even ask...I have no idea ;)
I was painting the figure and he just looked very serious and I thought I'd change up the mood, so when all else fails, I add fish.
This one is acrylic on masonite about 4"x6".
It's interesting switching between oils and acrylics since the painting process is different for each. I like the way you can work the oil paint even after it's been down for a while , but I also like the way the acrylics hold the brush strokes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Another furry hat girl

Girls in hats are one of the few things to look forward to as we creep into the cooler weather. Okay, so I don't usually see girls dressed like this on line at Starbucks but a fella can dream.
I'll have to work on how to scan or photograph these canvas ones better.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sketchpaints book for sale now!

I get the exhibit catalogs from Trees Place gallery all the time and along with the artwork always being really nice, I love the small formats that they use. The books are small, rectangular or square and printed in full color on slick paper. Just for fun, I thought it would be cool to see my stuff in that format so I put together a small collection of some of the sketchbook paintings that I've done.
I decided to sell some of the books here for $6.50 each, postage included within the USA. If you'd like one, you can contact me directly by clicking on the EMAIL ME! link in my link section. Just pass along your email address and I'll send you a request for payment via pay pal. Book measures 4.25" x 5.5", 16 glossy pages with cardstock cover.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Girl in oil

While I've always worked in acrylics, most of my favorite painters use oil paint so every once in a while I feel like I should as well. I dunno, there are things about oils that I like but I'm not convinced that it's for me. I know that I'd feel more like a "REAL ARTIST" if I could just figure out how to use them properly though.
The quest goes on....

Monday, August 18, 2008

I got schooled!

In keeping with my idea that you've got to remain a student if you want to improve, I recently took an oil painting workshop at the Norman Rockwell Museum. The workshop was taught by a super-brushy illustrator named Greg Manchess whose work I've always really liked. Since I've got very little experience in painting with oils and painting from the live model, it was a struggle but I learned a lot and am itching to continue. Greg is a great teacher and a fun guy so the time flew by.
If you're ever near Stockbridge, Mass you really owe it to yourself to check out the Rockwell museum. Even if you don't dig the subject matter, I guarantee that you will leave with a whole new appreciation of just how good a painter he was.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Loomis and Leyendecker are coming in September!

I sure don't want the Summer to end, but there are some great reasons to look forward to September, two of my favorite artists have new books coming out....a brand spankin' new book about J.C. Leyendecker and a looooooong overdue reprinting of Andrew Loomis' Creative Illustration.
Along with a lot of other comic fans in the eighties, I discovered the great Andrew Loomis drawing books through Steve Rude's Nexus series. From the moment I got my hands on one of his books, I knew that I had found gold. While my tastes in lots of things come and go as time goes by, I still want to be Andrew Loomis when I grow up ;)
I have all of his books and every time I pour through them I make some kind of connection that I hadn't before.
While "Figure Drawing for all it's worth" seems like a better choice to test the waters with, "Creative Illustration" is a great book too, it covers everything from composition, to drawing and painting techniques to making a career in art.
I''ve heard that the new publisher may do other Loomis books if this one is well received, so go preorder it now!
Heck, I'm ordering it even though I've already got a copy of the original!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More Moleskine girls

No time for painting, but I thought that I could bury you in more moleskine sketches ;)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Moleskine day...

While I haven't been turning out too many paintings lately, I do continue to fill up my faithful little moleskine book with spontaneous little ink sketches in cafes and airports!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Eye Candy for me!

Just heard that I got some of my paintings accepted into the next Eye Candy for Strangers book, woo hoo! Each Eye Candy book features the girl art of a bunch of artists. I sent in a batch of jpgs of my sketchpaintings for consideration, but I have no idea if they will be using one or all of them, so we'll all find out together I guess ;)
I think that the book is scheduled to be out towards the end of the year. Brandstudios publishes a great line of art books, check them out. The books always make me wonder,"Who the hell is this guy?" and ,"Wow, this is great stuff, why haven't I seen this before!"

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A happy profile

I know it's been a while, but here you go.
I keep a folder on my computer of photos that for one reason or another I think would be good starting points for these loose paintings. Case in point, here's one that I snagged from Molly Crabapple's Dr. Sketchy site.
You would think that with all of the crazy sh#t going on there ;) that something else would jump out at me, but I really liked this profile shot of Molly.
This is also a good example of how far I stray from my reference material too. I just focus on the aspects that draw me in and ignore the rest.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Another gothy girl

In paintings, I like it when the hair and clothes kind of merge into one shape I think that it makes the skin pop even more. I wanted to keep the emphasis on the pale skin here so I didn't put much detail anywhere else. This one was painted on a piece of cardboard from the back of a drawing pad which is a really nice surface to work on.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The furry black hat

This time of year in New England we are all bundled up so I guess that was the motivation for this one, plus I like girls in hats! I was drawn to the way the hat covered her eyes in particular, you don't see that very often in portraits.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Victorian beauty

While I may be comfortable living in the "modern" world, I can't deny that there is something very appealing about the slower pace of the 19th century that tugs at my soul...especially the girls in fancy dresses and the art!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

goth girl

I admit it, I like to see people dressed up, whether it's in nice clothes or some kind of crazy outfit. I've always admired punks and goths for the pure dedication to their, no one else in the world shouts out,"THIS IS WHO I AM!" better than they do.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Pink girl's progress

Here are some progress pics I took while I was working on the pink girl. I told you that you would be horrified! One thing about acrylic paints is that you can paint on just about anything, and I guess I proved it this time. This one was painted on an old book cover. The cover was falling off and I was going to chuck the book when it struck me that hardcover book covers are basically canvas boards but with a finer weave than most commercially made canvas boards. The finer weave worked out well at this small scale and it was actually a nice surface to work on...crazy I know.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Pink girl

Well this was a change of pace. First of all because I don't usually paint kids and secondly because I painted it on a piece of canvas board (well kind of). I took some in prog photos that I'll post soon and you'll be horrified to find out what I painted this one on ;)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Heart shaped tattoo

This one kicked my butt...repeatedly! I started and abandoned it a couple of months ago. I've found that if things are not working it's best to just move on. But since it's in my sketchbook, it just kept staring back at me whenever I flipped past! Every once in a while when I had my paints out I'd take another whack at it. I've long since come to grips with the hard fact that I'm not the kind of artist that can just 'do it', most things are still hard, which is probably the challenge of it all.

Hoodie snowstorm

I didn't get to it in time, but I was toying with the idea of making a quickie Christmas card out of the Hoodie girl. I adjusted the colors and added an instant snow storm in Photoshop.