August 30, 2012

Ganesh - a bunch of details

The journey continues......
This is the deepest end of my studio, a welcoming sight, but plenty of work still needing to be done.
As you may see, I began shading over the face and trunk with variations of red, yellow and orange. I worked in to the ears and did touch ups and wrinkles over the entire piece.
I went back in with a pure hue of Cobalt blue and outlined all the fabric lines then I worked in darker areas of shading in order to give it more punch and contrast.
I put in wrinkles and folds on the knuckles and gave the nails some more definition. I also touched up the peaches some more. You can see how the paint is applied on the trunk here as well.
Here is the empty hand that needs the ritual implement added, n this case a hand axe.
Here is the axe with details that I created for the painting. I imagine a dark steel for the blade. The decorative top may be painted gold afterward too. I'm going to let it sit for a bit before I commit fully.

August 26, 2012

Ganesh - progress

I locked myself down this week-end to get some serious painting done on this piece.
The first thing is to block in more tonality to the blue fabric that wraps around Ganesh's body. It was a mixture of Cobalt blue and Titanium white. It took the majority of the session to finish, I still intend on adding deeper shadows, an outline as well as a pattern on the material.
Using Alizarin Crimson and deep yellow hue I also turned the circles in the bowl and on the crown to some juicy looking peaches. The interesting thing about Alizarin Crimson is that it yellows over time, so this fruit will continue to ripen with age.
I continued with the Alizarin Crimson remaining on my palette and outlined and added more details to the lotus flower in the top right corner of the painting.
Then I got bold and jumped right into pure red to outline many parts and to begin defining the elephant skin folds. I will later layer onto it covering a lot of it but allowing the dark red to show thru like a deeply cut shadow in a wrinkle.
Here you can see all the work done on the flowing fabric and red outlining and details on the face. I still have a lot of plans and a few more tricks up my sleeve for this piece, I guess you will just have to wait and see ;)

August 24, 2012

National signage

Some of the windows broke in the antique national doors and Kelly Ryan of Rad asked me to come paint on the newly installed windows.
This is the first door, it needed a wheelchair sign since it was a single user stall, it was getting busy all the time because people didn't realize there were tons more bathrooms down the hall.
After the size and location were signed off by the designer I went to work. I used a liner brush and one shot white to create the outline.
The sign can be seen by both sides so I started with the outline, normally the outline would be done second after the bulk of the lettering, but these need to look good on both sides. Here is the wheelchair outline from the inside of the stall.
They also needed one more door in the back to say private so customers quit walking back there. I traced out the letters from one of the doors I already finished from before. Lined it up so it is at the same height and began lettering in white.
Here is the completed outline for the lettering. I have to wait for the paint to dry and they are going to open so in order to keep the smell down I will come back and finish another day.

Here is the sign with the black line fill. It is in a dark corner so I had to use the flash to take this picture. I may revisit it when it is brighter.
Here is one of the two wheelchair signs from the inside with the black fill line. I used lettering brushes to the fill and with each color thinned the paint down by about 10% to make it flow a bit more. Even then it quickly becomes sticky, so it takes a little bit to get used to working with.

August 23, 2012

Last cartooning class at ACAD

I taught the final summer session of my cartooning class at ACAD last night. I am sad it is over, I looked forward to it every Wednesday night. I am very proud of the accomplishments of my student's. Their final pieces were a cut above my expectations!
We started out the final class with some super Brownies I baked up, filled with chopped up reese peanut butter cups and topped with Oreo minis. Then we got onto the warm up drawings. These warm up exercises are one of the best tools I offered them, we did different ones every class, so there is no way you can run out of ideas or get stumped as to what to draw.
 For this class, each person paired with someone in the class they have not worked with. I had them switch sketchbooks and draw a cartoon caricature of the other person based on a short conversation to find out their likes, dislikes and hobbies. Kinda like those mall caricature guys but even more cartoony and less like political satire artwork.
Before they returned the person's sketchbook I had them make a squiggle on the page. Then it was up to the person to turn it into a drawing. I did a few really quick ones on the white board while they worked.A bird in a tree, an old man in the wind with flies, bugs and leaves blowing toward him and getting stuck to his glasses like a windshield, a teddy bear, a dog and this guy:
We watched an episode of Schoolhouse rocks, followed by a silly adult version of Art Attack: Then I showed them an inspirational address by Neil Gaiman before the break before the final crit. See below, it's fantastic!
The students lined up their work facing away from us for critique each gave a little explanation of what their intention was before turning around their work and revealing it to the class. The worked turned out great, and the critique went on for a half hour more than expected. There is some real talent in my group and I look forward to seeing how they progress on their projects in the years to come.
A giraffe in high heels.

For those interested in making their cartoons and drawings move I put a little information about my upcoming Animation Fundamentals course this fall at Quickdraw. Call KT at 403-261-5767 to sign up, space is limited.

August 22, 2012

Ganesh - Deep Purple Rays

After my week plus of Systema training in Toronto and one night at home to recoup, I hopped right back into the studio as any professional bunny must!
"They keep going, and going....."
My task was to make finish off the background radial stripes. I mixed up a new purple, making this one favoring the red side of the spectrum and using a richer chroma Viridian hue for the green stripes.
 I gave a quick spray over the background with a clear varnish to ensure the tape would be removed without lifting the paint layer. I also stuck the tape to the wall first to remove some of the stickiness before application.
I find thatt he green painters tape is not sticky enough and creates areas of bleed so I decided to us regular masking tape. Here is the piece entirely taped up. I have already started applying the darker of the two green tones around the outside of the Ganesh painting.
I made a stronger contrast between the two tones for this hue. It should pop more and create a bit of dynamic undulating energy to the overall piece.
I then started to paint in the deep purple rays onto the missing stripes. I am putting it on fairly thick and painting around the edge of the canvas so that it need not be frames.
I then painted in the lighter purple hue to create a circle of light radiating out from the center of the painting. I really liked how the colors I mixed turned out.
I paid careful attention to my edges and to not push the paint underneath, that way there would be less clean up required once I removed the masking tape.
I removed all the masking tape. I used nearly an entire roll. You can see a small portion stuck to grandpa's chair. The oil paint was still wet and got all over me, but I couldn't wait until it dried to remove it to see what I have.

I am really happy with how it turned out!

August 9, 2012

Ganesh, do you see what I see?

After teaching my Layout and composition class at ACAD, I rushed to my studio to get in the last 4 hours before I have to jet off to Toronto for my Systema training camp. I wont be able to work or post for about two weeks, so this one is a bit longer than norm. Below are some of the notes about panels, and bubbles and timing for comics that I put up on the whiteboard to go along with the handouts.
I was really happy I could go into the studio one last time. It is a bit frustrating having odd times to work. It is also too hot and there is no parking in the day. It is so hot my oil paint is bone dry in just a day! I cant imagine how frustrated the artists working in acrylic must be up here right now, oh right, there aren't any artists working in the studios lately.
My studio is a bit out of control right now, but rather than get distracted and clean and organize, it is far better that I strip down to my skivvies and get to work. I decided to take the plunge and add an eye to Ganeshes palm after a little bit of deliberation and research to determine if it is appropriate.
In doing so I trapped myself in to painting a bunch of lines in the palm. If I did one hand I had to continue with the rest...
Here is the hand that will be gripping an axe. I also made a lemon yellow for the cuticles on the nails. I redrew some of the palm outline as well and will most likely go back with a lighter flesh tone for highlights.
Here is the hand that is holding the flower. I decided to change some of the shapes a bit and will go back to paint in the knuckle details. I also intend on trimming the pointed finger back because it is too thick. I'll do that when I paint the rest of the radial background lines in.
Since I id  the hands, it stands to reason that I should also do the feet. I also did a little bit on the belly button, and you can see the palm which holds a bowl of sweets in the top right of this picture.
I then outlined the flowing fabric with cobalt blue thinned down with my 3:1 turpentine and linseed oil. This was a time consuming process and at times like these I really wish I had a proper pinstriping brush so that I could hold a lot more paint so I don't have to get paint for every inch and a half of line. At times like these you realize how important having the proper tool can be!
I put a red moon on the forehead with the last remaining red paint. By the end of the session, I was really happy that I spent the night working and didn't go out, or say farewell to any friends before my big trip. C'est la vie.  I can see what the next stages are for me to attack. I was reluctant to start on the head and all the folds of skin for a time when I have more confidence and determination.

I look forward to continuing upon my return, with a fresh new outlook and a fresh pair of eyes ;)

August 8, 2012

Ganesh, the 5 O'clock shadow

Surprisingly, the palette still had wet paint even though my studio is like an oven.
The first thing I tackled in this studio session is the shading of the flower. I  used Alizarin crimson
which is quite transparent. I used a soft bristled filbert to gently shade it. Meanwhile Carl Sagan is making whale song sounds in an episode of his Cosmos series on my laptop. I got out some sap green and added shadow definition to the stem.
 There was still plenty of red on the palette to begin putting down shadow definition on the lower half of the body. I also painted in the iris and eyeball with high light. I am going to wait until I paint the skin folds to add the eye lashes back in. It was too hot for me to keep working so I went home before 11. 

However, let it be known that it may be hot in the kitchen but my work ethic is still strong. Officially, as of today I sold my Burning Man ticket and will not be attending even though I've been going since 2002. Instead I will be in my studio painting during that time!

August 6, 2012

Ganesh gets a skin treatment

I created a palette of ranges and a tonal range from black to white.
I proceeded to describe the general fall of light over the Ganesh body. I started with the eyes because it is always a good place to start, hence the greys to shade the eyeball.
Starting at the bottom feet is a vibrant orange. As it moves up the body it gets more golden. I included some shadow areas along the way but will be revisiting them again later in another layer.
I added "flesh tone" to the palm and bottoms of the feet. Although this flesh tome is hardly fleshy at all and generally seems Pink to me.  Then I attacked areas with bold strokes of read. There is beginning to be some back and forth play between me and the canvas now, we begin having a conversation.
By the end of the session, my brushes and colors are getting a little muddy so I step back to assess some of the advances and mistakes that have developed and take a breather until the next session.

August 5, 2012

Shiva, keep on burning

I did another 5 hour session in the studio with focus on working more with the airbrush on the background flames on the Shiva piece.
Here are the tools I'm using. Compressor and Iwata Eclipse HPC airbrush. Creatix and Golden fluid acrylics with airbrush medium/extender. Home made shields cut out of watercolor paper.
The first thing I did was to use golden acrylic and smaller shield shapes to put down a variety of orange flame shapes. I really like how the airbrush can be used to create hard and soft lines.
I gently glazed over from bottom to top res-orange-yellow to create a gradual change in color. I think the flames are looking more violent now with more harder crisp edges.
Here is a shot of the entire piece so you can better see the darker red bottom and how it moves up into the yellow at the top. I think it is starting to look like a bushy ball of fire.
I then created yellow flames over the entire piece. I was hoping the yellow would be less opaque an I wasn't happy with how "canary" yellow the tone came out but I do like the gentle fades over the orange and red.
I used the airbrush and watered down reds and oranges to tone back the yellow and bring back the gradient I ant the whole piece to have from top to bottom. I am still not entirely happy with the flames yet, but I need to put in some more lights and then go over it with freehand to smooth out some areas. But first, I need to get to the art supply store for some more black Gesso and to get a different color yellow for the remaining flame layers.