Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Digital Figure Study

Some practice from photo ref.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Repin, Clouds and Mountains

Some studies in oil.

Quick copy of a Repin portrait. I mainly wanted to study some of the paint application and color used in the skin. Mine ended up a little less chromatic in the ruddy areas, which is a problem I run into constantly when painting skin. I may need to practice some red swatches. The drawing's also a bit off here, but it was dashed off pretty quickly. This was done on tracing paper.

Mountain study from photo. Also on tracing paper. I should try doing on illustration on mylar sometime...

Cloud study from imagination. After horribly botching a recent painting (which I won't share here...) I started doing a bunch of cloud studies so that I go in better prepared next time. Still working at it. This is on canvas panel, one of the most vile surfaces known to man.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Quick Studies

Some quick studies in oil. The first 3 were 30 minute setups, the latter 2 were 40 minutes.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Recent Paintings

I haven't posted the illustrations I've done in a while, so here are a few.

This one was done for the Momento Mori group show at the Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco, back in August.

I never posted a picture of the finish on this one. On the whole I'm pretty happy with it, although some of the color stuff I had going on in the original study didn't make it to the final.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Doodle at work. I've discovered my favorite drawing pen.

I need more practice with buildings.

Sort of exploring pictures from Indian mythology.


On the bus.

Gouache study.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Few Sketches

My buddy Tracy. She remains my favorite person in the world to paint, for whatever reason.

Quick gouache sketch at the zoo. The giraffe was kind enough to hold still for a few minutes.


Sometimes I draw cartoons.

Character design stuff.

More zoo sketches.

She really did have Sargent wrists.


The cable car was fun. Gouache is the greatest thing ever.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Illustration in Progress

I was asked to post some step-by-step images of a painting I'm working on, so here's some of it so far. This isn't based on any particular story; I was doing some sketches of trees from imagination and this picture popped into my head. It's a kid following a fairy up a tree.

I only went through a few rough sketches before arriving at the final thumbnail, which is probably 2X3 inches at most. I had a pretty good idea of what it was going to look like, so I mainly needed to work out the pose.

I often try to skip the color study stage of a painting, and I regret it every single time that I do. I think I've learned my lesson now. These are fairly small, so they stay very loose and are usually higher chroma than the final painting. I used to do these digitally, but for some reason I actually find it harder to think in Photoshop, so I don't explore as much. Nowadays I do color studies in gouache.

I did the final pencil drawing straight on the toned panel (no photo, sorry) and then massed in the values transparently. The lights are scrubbed in with lead white. The two large masses of leaves on top are now a dark value instead of the light one from the sketch, on advice from my teacher.

With the underpainting dry, I started blocking in the background color, following the study as closely as possible. The color temperatures become a little hard to read for me at this point because of the warm underpainting. I know that the greens I've blocked in are going to appear warm later, but at this stage it takes a lot of faith to not keep dumping orange in them.

More of the background is painted in. Adding the violet branch and the cool green accents in the foreground make the background color temperature look more correct, although there's still a ways to go. The values are thrown off a little now, but not worringly so.

The darks in the foreground are laid in, so the values are mostly corrected. Until about a week ago I would've tried to be really fancy with the brushwork on that big branch and it would've come out looking thick, muddy and awful. I'm not experienced enough at this to try being clever with brushes yet. The darks here are mostly scrubbed on transparently, nearly all of the 'modeling' is just the underpainting showing through. I added some violets in the midtones more opaquely, as it approaches the light. The painting looked its best at this point I think- from here on I start ruining it

I got a little carried away throwing greens on to the branch. It took away some of the modeling from the previous step, when I fix it tomorrow I need to be careful to lay it on in a way that describes the form. Color is very far from being one of my strong points, so when I try getting cute with it, the day ends with sad Sid.

This is where it was at the end of the day. I hate painting lots of little objects so I got lazy with the leaves; the shapes need to be more refined and less "yay, (bad) brushwork!" I'm also not too happy with how a lot of warmth in the painting is gone, but it's hard to judge at this point. I'll have a better idea of where to go once the boy's shirt and skin are painted in, since those are the strongest warm notes in the color study.

I'll do another post when this is done. Expect more self-loathing as it approaches finish :).