Monday, February 22, 2010


In anticipation of possibly attending this year's Illustration Master Class in Amherst, Massachusetts, I've started an oil painting inspired sci-fi self-portrait. The concept started out as a simple painting of an aging starship captain, but it has thus far evolved into more of an undersea crisis.

This exercise is forcing me to come to terms with the myriad reasons why I tend to avoid using photographic reference. My long-term goal is to incorporate more photo ref into my work, and to do so with confidence.

[Work in Progress thread at ]

Saturday, February 13, 2010

"Dranal" nears completion

I think I started "Dranal" around mid-year in 2009, and set it aside. And while I don't remember what specifically inspired the piece, it's interesting to note the popularity of Old Testament-inspired "angels vs. demons" themed works currently on the market, and continued influence of "goth" subculture on fantasy art, games, literature, film, and fashion. The digital paintings of New Zealand artist Rochelle Green are still among of my personal favorites of the genre. Her art resonates with an elegant blend of horror, eroticism and tragic beauty.

So it's fair to say that I have Green, along with several other artists to thank for setting the bar high for this kind of work, which is still very much outside of my confort zone. "Dranal" is a study, and as such, wrought with little imperfections, discoveries and experiments. I am especially enjoying using a looser, more textural technique, and exploring ways of putting more color into shadows in skin tones. I expect to have the finished piece posted in a week or so.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hat Tossings

Well, it looks like my entries for this year's Spectrum arrived on time via Fed Ex. Surprisingly, I didn't do much painting in 2009. Instead, I worked on fewer pieces over an extended period of time.

I've also started a thread over at CGSociety for their B-Movie challenge. There, I'm developing a movie poster about a monster made of movie posters, tentatively named "Pulpo". These challenges are always a good way for me to reflect on my own process, particularly the things I do first, and the things I tend to avoid until I absolutely have to do them. Right now, the need to build a paper model of the creature is knawing at me. I also expect to need to paint an urban street scene, possibly with people running around. Crowds and buildings seem to be a challenge for me at the moment.

I'm also enjoying my weekly "drawing circus" class meetings with Edward Stanton at the Richmond Art Center. I spent the last class cutting silhouettes from pages torn form an old issue of Art Forum magazine while the model, Lala, posed and danced. The forms I ended up with were for the most part figurative, some grotesque and distorted. Many would make great creature designs. "Drawing" with a sharp pair of scissors is a lot of fun and seems to come naturally.