Friday, December 18, 2009

Blue Painting

The past couple of self portraits I've painted in oil were all painted with the same palette. I know that having a consistent palette is good but it was getting a little boring. Because I was becoming a little formulaic, all of my skin tones looked the same. When I started this painting I was going to focus on painting more thinly than I usually do. I was hoping to work it slower. It was going ok but when I got to the first wip here I really liked the way everything was a little green. It looked very different than anything I usually do. I went ahead and painted this self portrait with a different color range than my usual paintings. Its hard to tell but it actually uses the same palette as my other paintings but a little more focused on the blue and brown side of things. My disclaimer for this painting is that it looks terrible in the photo. Its much too washed out. You will just have to ask me to show you this painting in life to get a good look at it.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

3D Modeling

I just completed my 3D modeling class at Drexel. The object of the course was to familiarize students with Maya's modeling, lighting and texturing capabilities. This was my first experience with Maya and any 3d package. The final project was to create scene for a character to inhabit. The character I chose was a painter and my final scene was the painter's studio. The models were created in Maya while the textures were created in Illustrator and Photoshop. The first image is a screenshot from Maya.

The rest are renders of different angles of the scene. I used Mental Ray as the render engine and they took about two to five hours to render.

I spent a substantial amount of time setting this scene up. The lamp itself, with all the trial and error of different techniques, took close to 30 hours. All I can do is speculate how long the entire scene took to model, texture, and light but I would say it is easily around 50 hours, not including the lamp or the render times.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Viola da Gamba 2

A couple of posts back I showed an illustration I painted for a Viola da Gamba teacher. As is usual for my illustration I do several sketches preliminary sketches. The one the client ended up choosing was the stag. I did a dragon as well that I thought was interesting so I finished it up for myself. You'll notice the music notes floating around and above the character. When I originally did the sketches none of them included music notes. The idea came to me as I was finishing up the stag so I thought I'd throw them in because I thought it looked good. When I showed the final to the client, they didn't really like the notes. They weren't historically accurate to the vdg.

Luckily, I had put them on a separate layer so I just had to go back into Photoshop and turn that layer off. The moral of the story: stick to the sketches when doing the final image. Since this was a personal piece I could add whatever I felt like regardless of history.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Poster Contest

The Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design (Drexel's design school, and the one I am currently attending) had a call for poster designs. This is my entry.

I started out by trying some Graphic Design tricks by getting photos and arranging them creatively and applying Illustrator and Photoshop filters on them. The results were less than impressive and I got a little discouraged. I thought about it for a bit and realized graphic design isn't my strong point. I really don't know much about it. My strengths lie in drawing and (occassionly) painting. I pulled out my sketch book and started making up an abstract thumbnail.

I thought about Drexel and what it was all about. Drexel's mascot is a Dragon so I started with that. I had taken a photo of a sculpture at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota and really liked it. It is an angel looking upward. In this case I was thinking of angels symbolizing victory, success, and achievement, all things that a school would want to promote. I also put in some skulls, I just like drawing skulls. The lines were all in ink with Steadler pens (the best) on some hot pressed (or is it cold pressed, whichever the smooth kind is) heavy paper, I think the brand was Canson. After photographing it I brought it into Illustrator and live painted it to get a vector version of the drawing. From there I started adding color. I kept fairly graphic feel with the palette kind of like a Dr. Seuss book. (or at least what I remember it to look like, I haven't opened one in years)Unfortunately it was a race against the clock because the poster was due that day. From when I started to completion it took me about 8 hours. I would have liked to spend another 8 hours to get it where I really wanted it but I am satisfied with the results.

Voting on the entries starts next term and I am going to post the link here when it opens up.

November Paintings

Both of these paintings I completed last month but only now have I had the chance to photograph them. I have been painting fairly small lately. Nothing has been over six or seven inches. Working in the same scale is getting a little boring for me. All of my small brushes have spread out and become nearly unusable. This has lead me to using brushes that are at least half an inch wide. Its good for simplifying the forms and planes but I can't get any detail or refinement.

I have almost always worked the same way. Toned ground painted thinly with a fairly neutral color followed by non-thinned oils. I use fairly thick applications of paint in large strokes. It is the way I was taught. I've been playing around with the idea of a more deliberate and thinned approach. I don't know if I'll go all the way to glazing but thinner paint might make for more extended painting sessions. I can't seem to carry any kind of momentum for longer than an hour and a half to two hours. That might also be a scale issue but I don't think so. The self portraits I did back in April only took a little more than a couple of hours and they were significantly bigger.

In other news, I found this blog by the illustrator, James Gurney. He is known for his work on the Dinotopia books and another book he wrote Imaginative Realism. Every day he posts really interesting articles about being an artist, painters and illustrators of the past, and other really interesting stories. Definitely worth following if you are into artists, painting, or illustration.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


A little illustration for the Illustration Friday site. The theme was music.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

November Self Portrait

I revisted this palette for another self portrait in oil. Self portraits are probably the most painted subjects in painting history, probably for many reasons. My reason for painting so many self portraits? I am pretty much the only model I can get.

Viola da Gamba

An illustration for an advertisement for viola da gamba lessons. A viola da gamba is a string instrument that isn't played very widely. I start with an ink line drawing on paper. I then bring it in to Illustrator to vectorize it to resize once in photoshop. Once I have the colors painted in I use a combination of texture and pattern overlays followed by adjustment layers to get it just right.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Crazy Fairy

Alchemy is such a sweet program. I never seem to use it in my usual work flow of paintings or illustration. Since I am generally so busy, if its not in the usual work flow I don't get around to it. I've written about Alchemy before and in fact the header of this blog was created using Alchemy. The strength of the program is randomized sketching. After using it a bit though it tends to get predictable and less uncontrollable. Good thing or not I'm not sure. Anything I've done from it definitely has an "Alchemy" look to it. This one I drew in alchemy then brought it into Photoshop to add some more depth. (ahhh texture overlays, where would I be without you)

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Its the first day of November, my favorite month. I am going to paint so many sweet paintings this month, it'll be more than this blog can handle...

ok, now that I talked myself up, I have to back it up. heh. Well anyway here is a painting that I did last month and only just had the chance to scan it. I was trying to go for a perspective I don't usually take. In a way it is a painting of the floor. A space rather than an object. Something a little different from me.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Some quick sketches I've done lately. The first are some Philadelphia Orchestra Musicians and the second are hands from Bridgeman's hand book.

Friday, October 16, 2009

oil and pencils

Last weekend I picked up my brushes again. I painted a couple of quick sketches to get back the feel of oils. I always forget how much I love the smell of oil painting. I hope that I do not put my brushes back down for an extended time again. I also have sketches from my sketchbook. The internet is great because I control what makes it here. I don't have to put up anything I hate to look at.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Random work

A sketch for this week's ChoW, a sketch for a layout and an abandoned figure for an interface layout. Hopefully, I'll find some time to finish the chow by monday...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Figure Drawing

Some recent drawings from figure drawing sessions.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Painting game v 1.0

This isn't directly related to my artwork but here is a link to a Flash based painting game I created. Its a work in progress.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dr Sketchy's Harem Girls

There is an organization that puts on figure drawing sessions as events throughout the world in major cities called Dr. Sketchy. They have themed models with costumes and a bar to peruse while you draw. I went to the one in Philadelphia last night and these are some of the drawings I created there.


Its been fooooorever since I posted here. Thats changing now! Here are a couple of drawings I did over the summer.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wildland Weeds

No doubt I don't have to announce this but you may have noticed when you opened up your Spring 2009 copy of "Wildland Weeds" and then proceeded to the back page, you saw a familiar set of faces. I can tell you that no, you weren't hallucinating, that was indeed our own Everglades Comic that lay nice and pretty. Well it was exciting for me anyway. This comic ended up making the cut for the South East Exotic Pest Plant Council's quarterly publication. ( a mouthful, I know) It was a little funny that the comic chosen wasn't even about plants but they had to avoid my more risque material. I would tell you to go out and get yourself a copy but I have no idea where you would get one of these fine magazines. (I have ten and I am thinking about sneaking them into bookstores in the hopes someone will buy them)

deviantArt page and website update

I have updated the main site with loads more art, take a look! Also I just signed up for deviantArt. It is starting to get a little overwhelming with all of my various web art presences. DeviantArt is especially overwhelming with millions of artworks and just loads and loads of users. Anyway if you are intereested heres the link: It will also go up with my other links in the right hand corner. Right now it is going to be my least updated section. This blog will continue as the most updated part with my main site being the gallery of my best work.

Forever Forward

As I prepare to leave for Cali tomorrow I am pretty sad that it means packing up the oil paints for another 6 months. I suppose I could take them with me but its not going to happen. There is just too much baggage with oils. It would be overwhelming. I feel pretty good though, I improved with every brush stroke this month and was able to crank out a satisfiable amount of paintings of respectable quality. When I think back to six months prior and the paintings I did just before I left for Florida, I have only improved. I am trying to approach painting the way I do with drawing. As long as I continue to draw I don't feel like I will lose anything, in fact time has shown that I can only improve. Besides that I am bringing my computer and wacom pad so I will definitely continue with my digital work.

As for this particular piece, I started it wanting to do another pirate self portrait but kind of felt there wasn't anything there for me. The portrait was enough. Any more and I would just be beating a dead horse (to use a terrible metaphor). Once I got over the pirate theme I started thinking about myself and how I wanted to portry myself. What came out was an explorer/adventurer confidently setting off for a point unknown. I know its a little melodramatic but maybe thats all part of it too. I approached it as I did the last two portraits, same prepatory steps and the same pallette. Some painters I was looking at while working on this one were NC Wyeth and Justin Sweet. One classic and the other a modern day illustrator.