January 30, 2012


I will be hanging two new works at the Upcoming Pin Up show at the Untitled Arts Society Satellite Gallery this week.

Pin Up!
A group exhibition exploring feminism, sexuality and pop culture.

February 1 - February 4, 2012 @ 11AM - 4PM
UAS Satellite Gallery - 343 11th Ave SW
Closing reception on Saturday, February 4 @ 6-10PM

Pin-ups are mass-produced images of idealized sex symbols, intended to be "pinned up" to a wall. They are cut out of magazines and newspapers, or postcards and calendars. From the classic charms of Betty Garble, to the fetish modelling of Bettie Page, our version of the "pin-up" has changed over the ages and has accumulated over a century worth of history. 35 artists have worked within the confines of a "poster" format, showing a diversity of artist's interpretations through the themes of feminism, sexuality and popular culture.

The works are supposed to be 11 X 17. I decided to pint two pieces on canvas paper.  First I did a little online research and gathered some reference photos, did a little photoshop tweaking and printed out some reference. I cut them out by hand and merged the laser printed elements together so that I could do two different methods of image transfer. The method on the left was done by brushing acetone on the back of the paper and burnishing it with a spoon, then lifting of the paper. It worked fairly well, but stronger acetone and a photocopy over laser printing would make it work much better after a little experimenting. The second one was made by brushing matte medium on tot eh canvas paper then pressing the print face down 
onto the surface. After the clear medium dries you can wet the paper and rub it off.
One the images are on there, which saves time composing and drawing, I coated them with more clear medium to protect them.  I brushed in a background in bright red and followed by covering it with a gold colored Golden fluid acrylic. I blocked in some darks as well as most of the pickle.Overtop of dark brown I dry brushed the yellow that makes up the banana peel. I left the skin as I ran out of time that evening.
You can see my references here and how I taped the canvas paper to some cardboard then tacked it up onto the wall to work. This also held to keep the Canvas paper from wrinkling as much, the same thing you do with water-colour paper.  I decided to roughly brush in some dark brown to have a dripping vignette.

I added skin tones and some shadows in the dresses. I started placing the ladies facial features. I also dry brushed in the banana and lighter areas of the peel. I made her shoed bright red, I intend on adding sparkly red glitter to her shoes, like Dorothy's from the Wizard of Oz.  The next step is to add more details, pattern the clothing, add highlights, and sparkles to various elements. I may also outline them again and add more gold to the backgrounds. I can twit to see how they turn out!

January 26, 2012

The belly of the beast

Tee double dragons are winding down after far too many distractions slowed my progress. However, in-between jobs, photo shoots, and creating other works for an upcoming show of Pin ups at Untitled......I managed to get a bit of time in on the belly of the beast.
First I used a burnt umber to mark in the belly folds with a flat brush to contrast the other patenting where I did this in white.  I followed it up by painting in white outlines which really helps it to vibrate.
I felt the belly needed more punch so I dry-brushed black gesso from the bottom of the belly upward to express more dimension to the form. Now it is starting to make me happy, I can see the end in sight, and good ting, I plan on putting at least one of these in Motion Gallery!

January 21, 2012

Golden Dragon....

Its not a restaurant, its art.

I took part in the OYR/Green Fools +15 Chinese New Year parade in honour of the Dragon.  It all began when I turned the corner after parking my truck at Bankers Hall. Inside were bands, a choir, he mayor, a bunch of weirdos and a long red dragon. Luckily I was in my pirate duds, I was  planning a wee mutiny. I'm glad I wore red, it seemed to be the colour of choice. During the festivities I tried as I might to coax office workers to join our merry parade.
On with the show they say....

After the parade ended, I hit the studio. The lunar New Year quickly approaches and I need to get these two pieces done in honour of the celebration.  Today I applied the Gold.
What a difference this makes. I really am happy with the slightly translucent but highly reflective Golden brand Fluid Acrylic Deep Gold pigment. As suspected I used nearly the entire bottle on the backgrounds. I criss crossed brush strokes in my application.
In the right light you can see the shine this paint has. It really helps to set off the dragons and make them pop. Depending on how you look at them or how they are lit, you get a very different impression from the pieces. I ended up leaving the sides the colour of the underpainting, which shows thru when you look at it, so all those beautiful drips and colours are not completely covered.
After application of the nit ail layer of Gold, I gave each piece a light sand to allow the texture to show thru and reveal some of the coloured underpainting.
Here are the two pieces photoed on my studio wall before I left for the night. Being at this stage is going to help me further develop the works, now that I have a better idea of the figure ground relationship. I feel like I will go into the left piece and use darks on the belly and put some time into the face and claws.  I also need to test various varnishes to ensure I maintain the reflectivity after the application of the protective layer.

Still more to come.....

January 19, 2012

These will kick your ass.......

Double Dragons

Wednesday evening.
With the inspirational beats provided by DJ LurkN in my studio, I worked for 6 hrs. from 6pm until 12 am on purples.
The bold purple really pops like the oranges do on the sister painting.
Here you can see the fire I mentioned that pops. Also the hair painted on the back of the hands in two tomes of purple and some details on the tail.
Here I am at work on the two pieces, photo by Cosmic.

January 18, 2012

Double your pleasure, double your fun....

Double Dragons.

The Chinese New Year quickly approaches. A lot has been happening in my world to keep me away from the studio. I began my Monday ACAD class- Motion Graphics 1. That's right, I got into the sessional pool, and with little time to prepare so it's been a real haul, all hours focused on this one task creating 15 weeks of teaching materials and an outline. After the first class I am very excited about having a full  class and a studious bunch of 2nd year creative designers, illustrators and BFA chasers.

Here I began work on the rainbow scales of the male dragon. Since he started out as black I applied the rainbow of coloured scales in the opposite direction. Red near the belly moving in ROYGBIV toward the spine to blue. Each scale is painted in a light hue and then a darker one of the same colour is applied over top along the outer edge and as a central line for each and every scale. Yes, it takes time to do this sort of thing. You may notice I spent some time blocking in the antlers too, I did them on both paintings, on this one I modelled them after coral, the other (not pictured) is more natural colours. Here I discovered a tube of unbleached titanium white, what a beautiful ivory colour.
To get  a better idea what step would be next when I visit the studio again, I made a watered down Raw Umber and applied it over the blue background to make the dragon pop. Over this background I plan to apply Gold. But first, I will give it a sand to reveal the textural layers by revealing the bright blue hues underneath. I went down to Inglewood Art Supply and picked up a $28 bottle of Golden brand fluid acrylic. I am hoping this amount of paint can cover both backgrounds. after its applied, I will probably give it a  good sanding to age it and reveal more of the background texture.

More to come ......... =;D

January 8, 2012

Sōsetsuken (双截拳) Its not a real martial art....

Its a reference to the classic beat 'em up video game series initially developed by Technos Japan Corporation, Double Dragon.

Speaking of kicking ass...............I found out this morning via text that Motion Gallery sold my Purple & gold Rhinoceros painting =;) Yay!!!!

OK. Back to the double dragons painting process....

I used some sharpies to position the iris's. I used yellow on the green part of the claws near the knuckles and a light blue on the cobalt.  I outlined the spikes on the back with crimson and used a bright red to shade in the base of each one.  I added in gums and tear ducts and some graduation between the rainbow hues in the face.
I take all those photos with my iPhone so there are for reference and tend to be less than perfect but they give a good idea what I am up too. Here I've added colour to the eyes and done some detail work which tends to be a bit lost on such a large canvas, remember it is about 4 ft. square.  
I didn't do any work on the blue piece, feeling a bit blocked at the moment. The bright red background can be obnoxious up close burning out my retina. Before leaving the studio for the night, with a sore back and neck from all tight painting I rocked out, I scrubbed in a watered down raw umber to help pop the dragon out and to feel like I have a fresh view to work on next session.  

Next visit I will be working on the blue background piece for sure ;)

January 5, 2012

Keep on keeping on....

it's really dragon on and on... =;)

 The next stage was a big one, I spent some time on the blue dragon adding the spine in a frosty aquamarine tone.
 For the red one (below), I filled in the claws and did a dry rub over the tentacles.  I added the flames around the legs and arms and shaded them with orange and red.
I also spent about 4 hours, meticulously highlighting each an every scale with their respective hue family. I made the colours in glass baby food jars so I could store them longer and use them on the other piece. 
I addition I used a sharpie to add a dark line to each and every rainbow scale.  It took tremendous focus and concentration but I am really happy with how the scales turned out on this piece. 
I also used a filbert full of zinc white to score in a rounded edge on act belly fold. Zinc white is on the cool side and more translucent than titanium white but it still works to pop the scales without being to hard like a highlight,
I am still contemplating how to proceed with the other ones scales, something similar I think, but working over black presents some challenges.

Bring in the New Year

I  have been hiding under a rock lately.........

Actually, I haven't! The reason there are no posts lately or why I haven't used any social media this holiday, it is very refreshing to take a break. My laptop is still on the fritz and I took down the borrowed system to create room for a phenomenal boxing day feast I prepared.  I just haven't set it back up until today. In fact I didn't touch a computer for 2 weeks. Instead, I've been hard at work, painting and drawing and living up to my expectations, drawing daily and hoping to finish a book a month. I got spoiled this Christmas by Dunia and am reading the Steve Jobs Biography she got me. Every morning I continue my morning pages as I have done for well over a dozen years. Here is the update on the double dragons piece, though it is further as of tonight than what I am shown here. In due time I will catch up with myself ;)

I finally have the joy of adding bright colours to my paintings after all the drawing, underpainting and blocking in of the background. Above are the tubes I used to give you an idea. All the paints are canadian made Stevenson acrylics bought at Inglewood Art Supply, when you spend $200 you get 30% off, thats the kind of shopper I am ;)

Here are the colors I will be using in this session:
Quinacridone Red/Yellow, Hansa Orange, Hansa Yellow Middle, Cadmium Green, Phthalo Turquoise, Cobalt Blue (Golden brand)

Here is the male dragon on the blue background.  An array of rainbow colours have been splashed about on his skin and over his tentacles.  I dripped yellow ochre from the bottom of the canvas to the top and indian red from the top down to create more layering at the end of this session.
As you can see I have spent a lot more time on the repainting, it is where my ideas are more solid to work from, the second painting is more of an experiment from what I learn on the first painting. I had planned from the start to paint rainbow of scales that follows the shape of the body. I have also boldly blocked in features of the face and added red serrated fins to her back. They are outlined in crimson and are bright red despite the difficulty in reading it against a similar color background.  I dripped yellow ochre from the bottom of the canvas to the top and indian red from the top down to create more layering as in the other painting.