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Hello Folks!

How have you been?

Well.... in between a couple of Polynesian and Tropical themed paintings for this year's Tiki Oasis (and a bunch of drawings and sketchbook entries)

there was a refreshing oasis of time to have a few 6 by 4 foot painting sessions.


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We will start this week's tour with the top left of the canvas

(finally color-corrected so it actually looks like the original)

the fluffy,buoyant clouds are starting to take form,perhaps billowed into existence from one of the four winds peering out. Our trumpeting angel is taking shape,with some more rendering applied.Also, the architecture and columns (supporting clouds-a longtime theme inspired by a series of dreams during the early 90s)are beginning to spread out and reveal themselves.... The real fun part of these big canvasesis sitting down to paint only about 50% of the painting finished in one's head... That way,it is never automatic.....nevermechanical.. each line and shadow brings with it the potential to mess up the piece... (or at least put a stymie on an afternoon's session). It is that terror,that excitement,that DISCOVERY of NOT knowing how the painting will end up,is what is the truly enjoyable part of working on big canvases.. Drawings...meh! One messes up and it's just a piece of paper...no biggie!

a Hunnert Dollar canvas ..well....50% of a composition and reliance on artistic instinct make it JUST dangerous enough to create the tension required that needs to be communicated...


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Pictured above are the beginnings of some of the architecture,mentioned earlier,that seems to be blossoming here and there on the top part of this canvas....


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More columns and an arched bridge or aqueduct,and an archway where an angel is spilling out,ready to help corral the fallen angels downward.. I'm using an indigo paintpen for the clouds and architecture because it sets the elements a little farther back optically.In person the results are more than satisfactory!


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An up close picture of the doorway and brilliance spilling outward...


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An ultra-close shot to give y'alls a feel for the underdrawing,the subtle shading and taking advantage of the willy-nilly brushstroked ground colors....


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A little lower down the left side of the canvas,we see more Heavenly structures taking shape,as well as another of the four winds. I held back the decision to further populate the painting with all of the angelic host,the seraphim and cherubim,etc,but decided to save that for other paintings,and produce buildings that don't distract as much....


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Scooching down a bit more (is "scooching" a word?) an angel is bursting from a cloud and propelled by the wind's gust...The heavenly trumpets are beginning to blare near the bottom of this photo.


bg_43211402379806.jpgas the composition sinks lower,hints of the underworld are beginning to manifest...

A red creature thrashes wildly as his new body plummets towards the infernal region...

Near the bottom,a demon displays a lucid remorse,

a nod to the japanes legends concerning Oni converting to Buddhism.

Reminds me of a part in a favorite Bach piece

"Have mercy. Have mercy my God for my tears' sake...

have mercy.

Look here. Look here.

Heart and eye weep before you.

Weep before you. have mercy."

St. Matthew's Passion

Aria (alto): Erbarme dich, mein Gott, um meiner Zähren Willen!


bg_43221402380060.jpgA full reveal of the scene shows another fallen angel,his wings withering as he descends.

To the left,a dark and gloomy foreshadowing of Hell...


bg_43241402380400.jpgOur next picture brings us to the Top middle of the painting.This is the area where i'd like to have a downpour ,a schreeching,thrashing freefall..not as populated or intense as the deluge of beasties in Brueghel's masterwork,just enough to get the party started.... Here is what i started with...

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 A few more were added,even a nod to brueghel and Bosch with the hooded bird fellow in the upper right of this shot....but it still needed more...


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 I decided to add a dragon,of sorts behind this bunch,giving a spiral,tossled movement to their drop.... Another thing to notice here is the atmospheric illusion gained from using the black,indigo,and now a forest outline on the devils.... Using that and the remedial "place one thing in front of another thing" trick, a sense of distance is being realized.

 
bg_43261402381082.jpgThe angel at the bottom will be brandishing a spear,but i'd like to get the background and all that settled before arming him...


bg_43271402381186.jpgIn the center is a fellow i like to refer to as Screwtape,one of the characters from the famous C S Lewis work..Such an enjoyable read,and such insight into what motivates us truly and the subtle snares that evil lays out for each of us....


bg_43291402381656.jpgAnother little detail i'd like you to see (before we proceed downward) is the pillar in the background on the left side of this pic. It is an angel weeping tears onto a flame... a kind of architectural buttress of the overall theme....the loss of a third of the Angelic host...


bg_43281402381373.jpgHere's a closeup capturing the confusion and fury of the fallen,and the wind-swept bliss of the 2/3 who remained faithful...

 


bg_43321402382672.jpgOn a whim, i decided to put a building here. the view was great and the acreage was a steal....


bg_43301402382281.jpgHere is further right at the top of the pieces,Pictured here is the building further along

floating ...waiting for other buildings and activity to pop up around it....

Also the beginnings of the sword bearing accusing angel and an angel with a set of scales,

the fulcrum of all major judgment paintings...well, why not dust it off and bring it along to this significant event?

 


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And here it is,even further along,with the scales of judgment materializing and some more heavenly columns...

 


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An extreme close-up with some structures filling in the background..

 


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And we finally float over to the right side of the top of the canvas...An unfinished wing,Number Three Wind fellow,and some clouds.....Still more miles to go before i sleep on this corner!

 


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(please excuse the glare)

Here is the scale-bearer,visually explaining (by displaying the scales) to the fallen,

of their fate...

 


bg_43371402383310.jpgHere's an angel bein born right before your eyes! Not really, but you can see the under drawing and the slow buildup of his face and robe... This is located right under the scale bearer and amongst the folds of his garments,little flashes of Underworld buildings begin to appear....

 


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and here's another building,barely sketched (with a charcoal pencil) and shaded with blue.

 

Well, i think i'm about tuckered out for the evening.I'll share more later as snippets of time skitter by. Thanks for visiting and allowing me to share the process with all of you! If you have any questions or whatnot,feel free to hit me up via the Contact page on this site!

Have a good night!

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 





 

 

 


Hello Again!

and thanks for coming by to visit!

Well, the last entry shared some studies and possibilities for this Monolith

so it's about time i shared someof the MEAT of a painting....the paintin!

Here ...again,is the workspace and a beginning shot to give you all an impression of where and how i work on these Big'uns...
bg_42301401338202.jpgand a picture of the table i've been using... A sturdy beautiful piece by the infamous Bamboo Ben (and a favorite of Doug Horne's  whenever he comes over to Artjam). It was created by an artist and has been used by many artists,so hopefully that absorbed mana  will CHARGE the air with crackles of creativity!


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The materials used on this painting will mostly be acrylic and cel-vinyl paint...I try and use matt acrylics because they mix with the cel-vinyls better ...The third medium i will be using is Decocolor or sharpie paintpen...i try and use that last,but one can go over it with the latter materials as long as the work is given a couple of hearty coats of sealant a few times during the process..... Also, Energy drinks and cigarettes help keep the mind alert for these sessions.

Playing Bach's Mass in B-Minor or Faure's Requiem can also help to enhance the spiritual intensity desired for this work....

 

Here's a quick catch-up for the steps that were not photographed,due to an oppressive need to begin immediately on it,during the time....

To quote buddy Guy, "When my left eye starts ta jumpin..."

The desire to paint sometimes becomes an all-consuming need that nothing else can quench,

not even a good book or naps!

The first thing i did was to grab a few colors:

teal,yellow,orange,mustard,white,some red,and some nice pool seafoam green.

Burnt umber was originally chosen for the shading,but was replaced by the teal,which provided for a more cool and windy...tumultuous landscape...and the blues would have fun playing with the warms near the bottom,creating optical popping excitements here and there.


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Here is the upper left portion of the canvas.... The four winds will be making an appearance in this piece..the four directions,and also of note,the four seraphim around the throne of God are hinted at here (to put them in this painting would be far too distracting), as well as providing thrust for the angels as they careen out of the clouds... In reference to the Seraphim again,in Ezekiel's vision they were pictured flying to and fro,across the corners of the globe,almost like messengers relaying information to the throne...

Also,i began to carry over a favorite theme of Spiritual architecture,the landscape of Heaven and Hell for this painting...For heaven i usually refer to Classical Roman or Medievel sources...the Roman style,for the period during Christ's lifetime,and the architecture of the Middle Ages because of their artistic legacy of Biblical Masterworks...The pillars supporting clouds theme is a motif that has been with these paintings since the early 90's...They were inspired by a dream fo great verdant expanses,bridges leading to nowhere,Roman columns supporting storm clouds,and a field of dancers,naked and each chained by one foot to the sky,a symbol later interpreted as Humanities sometimes reluctant link to the Divine....

Anyways,i thought this would be another appropriate venue for some buildings.

Didn't Christ say "My mansion has many rooms."? Well, here are some of the courtyards and outer facades,at least...


bg_42331401340986.jpgHere's a close-up,where you can see the rough underdrawing before erasing/cleanup. i use a charcoal or water-soluble pencil for the underdrawing,that way it can be wiped off with a damp cloth and gentle swirls,leaving a pristine fancypants painting in it's wake...

This step is before i add the teal shadowing and work over that...

after sketching the figures,i will paint in some rough shadows and lighting,just to get the form of  the subjects...After that i tighten it up a little more,and then add the black paintpen.

the black paintpen covering is usually the halfway point in finishing a character.... After that step,wash upon wash of light and shadow is applied before a final touchup with the black and 3-4 highlight colors (white/yellow/flesh.etc). You can see both the black and white paintpen work on the wing in the foreground.Notice how it is used WITH the acrylic ground,and not just alone... 3-4 feet away and this puppy OPTICALLY BLENDS! I can't wait to share this with the Public in November!


bg_42381401342374.jpgHere is the same scene from above with more shading and lighting giving it more dimension and a bit of cartoonish realism,if that's what it's called....


bg_42341401341633.jpgHere is an Angelic Herald with a Trumpet swooping in from the top left corner. Note JUST the Blackline was established over the base shading...this is because it's going to be worked over a BUNCH of times before he's all dialed in.


bg_42351401341888.jpgHere's an Angel brandishing a sword,helping to cast these fallen angels into their new home...

As you can see,parts of him are more polished than others,as i flit like a butterfly from one area of the canvas to the next...


bg_42361401342021.jpgA row of colums and clouds have been added since the first shot....Note how for the foreground figures and items,i use a black paintpen....BUT! if you look in the distance,i have used the Indigo pen....What this does is brings the black outlined items closer to the viewer ,while the indigo sweeps it into the background....A lil trick we artists use to create the illusion of expanse......


bg_42371401342232.jpgAnd a little bridge and columns from my dream of long ago... You can also see the start of the trumpet and the attitude of the angel's hands holding onto it.....


bg_42391401342523.jpgHere's one of the fallen ones,transforming into a beast as he is flung downward....If you notice the charcoal sketching,there seems to be some trumpets and a sad praying devil in the background....


bg_42401401342655.jpgPictured above is a little lower down the left side of the canvas... You can see Heaven above and a hint of Hell below (with trumpets!). The landscape is changing from soft comfortable clouds into the jagged ragged stalagmites and tites of the Subterranean Prison....

Also,we have the second Wind,Blowing a gust that propels and angel upwards...


bg_42411401342922.jpgAnd here we have arrived in Hell... Infernal groans and cries mixed with the Clarion peal of Heavenly musicians... Tho not as noticeable as a previous descriptive shot,this part of the landscape/architecture utilizes THREE outlines to denote distance.... Black,indigo,and for the farthest areas i will be using Hunters green....You can kind of see it in the top part of the middle.. In person,the impact is astonishing..but since we are on the internets,try squinting and refocusing on that area...You'll get a slight ilusion of that illusion....

 


bg_42421401343230.jpgHere's the same landscape,but shifted to the right a little...That way you can admire the huge carved friezes under construction... For the hell columns,i am leaving them unfluted...i like the fact they are just dull stone,unpolished marble....

 


bg_42431401343363.jpgIf we scootch down even deeper towards the bottom of the canvas,an angel is revealed in the act of driving a devil into the pit...You can see the raw highlights and shadows under the paintpen..That's what we call a Second Stage,before all the UMPH is added....

 


bg_42441401343525.jpgHere is the same scene after a little more work.enhancing the flames and starting another cavern near the bottom.as well as the beginnings of yet another little devil,clinging to the rock,and hoping to escape the oncoming impact...Also, note the sleeves of the angel and their sleight development from the previous shot......Also Note that the above picture is closer to the painting's actual colors...

 

Thus concludes our second installment of the 6x 4 foot eventual masterwork. i hope you enjoyed all the pictures and musings and babblings,and i hope they inspire YOU to go out there and create something Beautiful,something that makes your fellow human THINK,or FEEL...

Until the next blog....

 

Thanks for Visitin!




















 


Hello Folks! Thanks for Checking out the Blog section of this website.I will try to amuse and amaze here on a regular basis....
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Just started a 6 by 4 foot monstrosity for a solo exhibition in November....

Thought i'd share how one of these behemoths is born....

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I was originally going to paint the throne of God,

as viewed by John in the Book of Revelation

but i think 6x4 is too small.....

6 x 10 at LEAST for such a grand and powerful subject....

My second choice was for another Saint Surveillance,one more in relation with the environment around it,

which was to be filled with riot police,protestors,and delightful weaponry.

But! it was TOO Big and TOO Oppressive,

especially as a painting that would greet folks to an Art Opening....

Soooo....

my third choice was to revisit  an old favorite theme i had tackled in two earlier pieces....

The Fall of the Rebel Angels...

the War in Heaven,

and the ultimate penalty  suffered by the third that turned away....

Bruegel's approach shows the Fallen Angels being transformed into all types of beasties..

an outward reflection of their spiritual malaise...

I've always dug that concept as well as the variety and originality of his creations.

Grunewald's "Temptation of Saint Anthony"  also has some great reference

for the task at hand....

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So, first step........

Sketchbook studies...figuring out the movement and the character of the piece...


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Here are a few pages of Angel studies...trying to give them each their own personality and

appearance...


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A lot of these are quick pencil sketches,which are then covered with a sumi brush pen and then blended with a small amount of water....


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After concentrating on the Warrior aspect of the Angels,it was time to examine the Fallen ones...At first,the notion of them remaining unchanged (with the exception of bat-like wings) but defeated was a possibility until the lure of painting monsters and devils nixed that thought...


bg_41851400737327.jpgFinally after this,it was time to bust out the Aquarelle watercolor paper and work out some compositional studies with the space alloted.Here is a study of the Angels only,situating where they will battle on the canvas...Of course,with all of these studies,the trick is to do them fast and instinctual and then later,cherry-pick the best poses,the best face,the best attitude,out of them all....
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And now for the fun part,the Fallen Angels transformed to match the evil and depravity they have inside....

For this stage,there was no direction or compositional matters to mull over,it was just pure 12-year old ken drawing monsters for a spell...


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and from these,some ink  and pen on Watercolor paper studies were in order...


bg_41901400738092.jpg"Crack in the Wall of Hell"

This drawing was an attempt to create a dissassociated theme from characters slated for the rebel Angels painting. Killing two birds with one stone...


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Here is an unfinished drawing working out the way the Fallen Angels are to fall,and how they react once landing in the maelstrom....

And finally,after initially slopping paint around on the canvas,an initial placement of the characters was worked out in the sketchbook and then sketched roughly onto the painted canvas with a black pastel pencil (they wipe off easy with water,as well as blend with the paint applied over it a bit,which helps to work out the initial shading...


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Check in for the next installment when i share photos of the ACTUAL painting so far!

in the meantime ,here's one teaser and a few shots of me actually paintin!


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Thanks again for visiting and please drop by often as i will be updating this and the site on a fairly regular basis JUST FOR YOU!