The Never-ending Layout

This piece has a lot going on in it.  I knew the layout would be involved but frankly it’s a pain in the ass.  🙂  There’s been lots of erasing going on.  I’m looking forward to getting to the detail stage.  You can see that I started a little of that on the central figure.  The last one I did had a really brushy style with hatching all over the place.  This one will be a lot different with much cleaner line work and color differentiation, very little in the way of shading.  Here’s the progress so far:

‘New Art’

When I started doing famous artworks on the whiteboard, there were two artists in particular I wanted to represent at some point.  The first was Cezanne and the second is Alphonse Mucha.  I’ve always thought Art Nouveau was an amazing style but it took a comic artist named Adam Hughes to make me fully appreciate it.  I know that sounds a little backwards but his Art Nouveau influence is very evident in a lot of his cover work and especially in his convention sketches.  I decided to try an Art Nouveau piece this time around and you’d be amazed at how few Muchas there are in landscape orientation.  I could do one of the portrait-style ones but the size would be severely limiting.  Here’s the beginning of roughing out ‘Amants.’

Not known for his people skills…

So maybe Cezanne wasn’t the most likable character in the biz.  Maybe it took him six years to finish a painting sometimes.  Who cares.  The guy was a genius.

I’m psyched about how this one came out.  I really did try and shape it in a way that honored Cezanne’s style and I think I came about as close as I can considering the materials involved.  It was also nice doing one with a few people in it and feeling like it came out ok.  People are freaking hard to draw.  I’ve been considering taking a figure drawing class lately and I think that would really help me get a better grasp on anatomy.  I sure do need it.  *Raises glass to Cezanne*  Here’s the finished product.

The Fourth Man

Gotta take a second and pimp a show that I’m hoping will fill the void left by LOST’s departure.  AMC has been making some pretty awesome shows lately.  Mad Men might be the best show on TV.  Breaking Bad is awesome and intense and I haven’t tried Rubicon yet but I’m sure it is probably pretty good.  On Halloween night The Walking Dead debuts.  It is based on a zombie comic book by Robert Kirkman and has some top notch-writing.  The fact that there is a zombie plague really serves as backdrop to some pretty fascinating character drama about survival and the toll it takes.  Give the show a shot, it’ll be tough and gory.  If that’s your thing, by all means watch.  TV needs some real shows with actual creativity behind them, not more ‘reality’ shows with the latest crew of people looking for their 15 minutes.

Here is the latest progress on The Cardplayers.  It’s really starting to come together and I finally got around to adding that pesky fourth man.  I’m still experimenting with how to handle the background.  I’ve already tried and erased some things that weren’t quite working but I’ll keep plugging away at it.  Hopefully I won’t screw it up at the end because I’ve really enjoyed working on this one and like the way it is turning out.  Some of the techniques used on this one would have worked really well on a couple previous pieces.  Oh well, the learning is what it’s all about, right?


It seems fitting that the guys in this painting are wearing coats.  The weather is turning here and we haven’t really eased into Fall at all.  There was literally a 20 degree drop in one day.  Bizarre.  Whatever.  I’ve been looking forward to a respite from 90+ weather and now I have my wish.  Another fitting thing about the subject matter of this work is that each year I go on a trip with a bunch of buddies to the beach, where we do nothing but shoot the shit, drink beer, play cards, etc.  It’s a good getaway and the trip is coming up in a couple of weeks.  This painting sort of feels like an old-time version of that.  Very much looking forward to it.

This piece seems to be a swan song of sorts for my favorite marker.  It’s really the secret weapon marker that allows me a great deal of latitude when it comes to achieving certain values that would otherwise be difficult to attain.  I think I have found a trick for altering one of the other markers to fill the void.  We’ll see how it turns out, hopefully it will work.  I can’t tell what it is though… the magician has to keep some of his tricks a secret.  🙂   So, bon voyage, marker with the blue trim.  You’ve done yeoman’s work.

The Devil is in the details

As promised, here is a close-up of the cardplayer’s face on the far right of the painting.  I have done a few additions since this photo but it should give you the general idea of the style I’m going for this time around.  All the hatching should give that looseness that I’m try to mimic from the painting.  The mediums are completely different, of course, so I can only get it so close but I think this will end up being effective.  The real test will be the background because it’s a big flat space with not much going on, save for some patchy spots of differing color.  I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.  🙂