July 26, 2012


Been on a blogging hiatus lately.  Doesn't mean I haven't keep busy.....

I have been teaching a cartooning course at ACAD on Wednesday evenings. This weeks class was on Perspective.
We covered how to draw three dimensional objects such as cubes and how to use this to do drafting and isometric drawings. I then had the students do a quick exercise where they created their name in block letters. I then taught them one and two point perspective. The students had to draw a city scape in both one and two point perspective.
I filled the board with other examples but didn't snap a shot for this blog. Then, I decided to take the idea of the block letters from before and used the techniques of two point perspective to do a large example on the whiteboard.
To the right you can see how I drew stacked cubes above, bisected and below the green horizon line. The vanishing points are marked in red. The sketch lines were done in blue. The shapes are inked in black. I also challenged them to try drawing a room interior in both 1 and 2 point perspective.
Same room, different view. Next week we will cover 3 point perspective ( birds eye and worms eye view) Exciting!!!

July 10, 2012

RAMA - The fall of light

The next stage

The fall of light, from light to dark and top to bottom.
The dramatically low light falls at about a 30 degree angle. This is the next stage in creating classic realism. First, it looks like flat, then like a cardboard cut out the has gradual shading from top to bottom. I wrapped up around midnight. On second viewing it with a fresh perspective. I can do much better. I intend on revisiting this stage to blend the tones together more gradually.

GANESH dead coloring

dead coloring begins to bring Ganesh to life.

As is my practice, I work on many pieces at once. My method keeps my mind keen and helps keep me busy rather than watching paint dry. It is oil paint after all. I am currently working back and forth between the two paintings, I have posted here recently. This is how the elephant god, Ganesh is progressing.
I  blocked in some bold mustard hue for the skin tone. It was mixed with Raw Sienna, a tinge of Cadmium Orange and lightened with some Naples yellow. The consistency was perfectly creamy, just how I like it, liquid love. It is slightly transparent, once brushed on you can see some of the shadow areas beneath. 
I filled in some orange for the fruit. I was feeling Cezanne come thru on the color but I think I may make the fruit peaches, not certain yet. I blended a nice soft blue made of cobalt blue and titanium white for the mid tones of the fabric. Some of the charcoal particles mixed in but I still have lots of work to do on this part anyhow. I blended the leftover blue and mustard yellow to make the grey/green base for the bowl and tusk.

 I also had enough juice left in me to paint a fancy lotus with a fragile stem. I am happy with the progress, however, didn't feel confident enough to tackle the axe or background so instead I turned my sights on the Rama fall of light, will post tomorrow;)

Thanks to everyone who has been reading my posts!

July 9, 2012

RAMA gets dead coloring

If yesterday was a battle, today was a victory.
It may seem flat and simple like a silk screen print but this is the very foundation that the painting is built upon, the dead coloring stage.
 I began the next step the drawing stage which follows the charcoal sketching stage. I outlined and created shadow areas for all the skin areas of the RAMA painting.This allows me to define the edges and a few of the details. Though it looks cartoony, it really helps to visualize the character better.
The paint used to outline the piece is thinned with odorless spirits. Though the reference is well lit and doesn't have super dark shadows I used this stage as on opportunity to play with the dark areas a bit. I cut back in some of the edges with red acrylic before proceeding to the next step.
The richness of oil cannot be underestimated, it is what makes me happy about the progress and quality of the work. I filled in the major skin tone areas with a medium value made from flake/lead white and red umber (Old Holland brand). I also decided that the background that was blocked in with red acrylic looked terrible! Actually the word I used was "shitty". Oil is so dramatically rich.  I used almost half a tube of Windsor and Newton Cadmium deep hue, but it was worth it! In this picture you can compare the top half in oil and the bottom in acrylic.
Here is the canvas, entirely painted over in oil. It is rich and full. I painted over the kilt with an even tone of the read. Now I am thinking about using gold design aspects to create visual interest for the piece. As in all art, more questions than answers are developing at this point, that's the challenge and  that's also half the FUN!

July 8, 2012


my battle with the elephant headed god has begun

 At first I made a central horizontal and vertical axis on my 5 X 5 canvas. I used red and blue colorerase pencils to mark it out. I then created intersecting diagonals or radial lines. I used string to create a compass and created some circles to help plan out the sacred geometry used to create the image of deities.
 I had some reference images printed out and created a dark red grid to base the character on. My studio is so hot and has no windows, I'm drawing in my skivvies. That;s just an aside, don't imagine it unless you are female.
I used the central axis for the sternum and drew in the weighty seated part of the figure. I decided to drop one leg so it could also be in dance and to create a dynamic symmetry. I also used the second square for the third eye area of the elephant head. I tilted the head in to echo the leg angle.
I began t block in the tilted head and trunk. I am using vine charcoal and a brush to rub it out. My hands are black by this point. Hi five!
Constructing this image has been a real battle!  I decided it is necessary to enlarge the limbs and the feet. Getting the placement just right takes a bit of trial and error.
I finish off putting in the four limbs and sketching in a bit of material around the figure. I decided to get rid of the lotus throne for the time being. By the end of the session I gave it a spray of workable fixative which stinks so bad and is a carcinogen so I have to exit the studio and call it a night.

July 7, 2012


 shoots his mighty arrow
 I began work on a painting of Rama after a fantastic photo session with the very ripped and handsome Mr. Jules Lloyd. It was hot in the lights and at my top floor studio so there was a healthy sheen on the both of us, by the time we were finished. I had to use a camera Borrowed from KT and it took a bit to get used to the low light aperture but some of the photos came out fantastic. But I had to pick only one to work from.
I spent some time selecting which image I would use and which canvas it would be painted on. I graphed out some lines to get it centered. I intend on raising the arm up so the arrow is not so linear and horizontal with the canvas to make it more dynamic.
This is the rough placement of the figure drawn in with charcoal. Afterward I gave it a quick coat with workable fixative so it wouldn't smudge all over the place when I began to apply paint.
The initial sketch is to rough in the placement, the next stage is where I will turn this into a more refined "cartoon" outline drawing.
It was getting on in the night. I was listening to Penn's Sunday school podcast. I didn't have the focus to do the line work and I had a good idea that I wanted to create a red field to work in. Who knows? I may make the background gold and have his clothing be red with gold embellishments. It really helped me to feel like I made progress to come back to the next day as well.

Sometimes you have to use a "Smart art making technique" rather than sticking to the original plan!

July 3, 2012

Full Frontal

NUTV (Episode 65)

University TV station grabbed some clips of me and my good friend KT in regards to animation.

heres the link:http://nutv.ca/shows/fullfrontal/65

Unfortunately you'll have to scan through about 30 min. into the program. And its only seconds long, that was two hours out of my day and all they take is the shortest sound bite=:| 

C'est la vie! That's show biz!

July 1, 2012

preparation for studio shots

I hung hooks and anchors into the brick and mortar. Then I strung up glow rope across and overhead in order to be able to hang accessories and flowing garments during the modelling sessions. 
To the left is the black canvas for my Shiva painting. Above is the glow rope strung at about 240 cm height. The black pelican case is where the models will stand, slightly raised off the ground. I have lights borrowed from Emmedia and a few of my own to set up for each session. After doing this I spent a few hours preparing the canvases with the sacred geometry layout.
I made a central vertical and horizontal axis and two diagonals. I decided not to use graphite because it can lift into the painted layers. Instead, I am using colorerase pencils to do my initial planning lines. In the past masters would have used chalk lines.  I tied a string around the pencil and held one end in the center axis. By doing this I could draw circles like a compass. I also made measurements from the center to create the two octagons. I created many lines flaring out from the center because this will be a painting of Ganesh and I hope to have a dynamic background.
Beside the large Ganesh canvas it is another identical size canvas where I went about the same process. I made fewer radiating lines and changed the pattern but did create a large circle in which the figure will be placed. This canvas will most likely be used for one of the female godesses lakshimi or saraswati. I also worked on creating the geometry on a number of other canvases.