Monday, December 29, 2008

Idea for Obama oil caricature painting

I've had this idea for a long while, with Obama as a rock star, all glitz and sex appeal, of sorts, with people yelling and flashing and waving/pumping their fists.

But I think I'll redo it with a more "cool" pose, and more of a snarling expression, rather than this dorky grin. Then make it into an oil work.

Fantasy Genre commissions

Pen and Ink. ...I find that I enjoy figure drawing. I made these too cartoony, I believe, stretching proportions this way and that from my imagination, without a real plan. Better to stick with more realism. But I'm beginning to enjoy this fantasy genre thing. And I think I should begin using oils. We'll see...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Oil Commission of James

James is a welder, and travels. He wanted something for his wife, back home in Virginia. 24" X 20" on masonite. I didn't get the lighting the way I wanted, so it was more of a challenge than I anticipated. Still improving... or trying to...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Oil Commission from client's photo

This was painted on masonite. 24" X 20".

The reference flash photo was very harsh, but I did the best I could to tame it. Client likes it.

My Sailboat Wind Song at dock

Photo taken today, December 4, 2008. I'm still trying to get out of here, but I have more oil commissions to complete. Not much money, but some at least. And I need as much experience as I can get in oil portraits.

New Oil Commission, 24"X20" on Wood Panel

I made some adjustments after this, but I forgot to take another pic before delivery. Otherwise, I enjoyed the challenge of the tricky shadow across the chest, and the hands.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My first oil portrait, and I even got paid!

Basically, I'm only doing oils now. I'm new to this medium, but I'm hooked. I'm in love with the fact that this is what the old masters used, basically. Yes, I'm a romantic...
This double portrait was painted on a wood panel, which was sealed/primed with four layers of gesso. 28" X 24".

Terrell and Judy, friends of mine.

Pastel Portraits from this summer

The bearded fellow is my friend. The cat is my friend's pet. The little boy is my nephew's son. The others are just practice, part real and part fiction.

What I Did on My Summer Vacation...

Just a quick note here: Yes, I'm alive. And, yes, I'm still living on my sailboat. I've had some problems, traveled a little bit, and I've been a little hungry from time to time, but I'm happy, I think.
Artistically, I've been working mainly on my portrait technique, and very recently have moved from pastels to oils. I've also relunctantly done a few caricature commissions, but I needed the money for, er, FOOD. But formal oil portraiture is my future, I believe, and I just finished my first oil commission.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I keep changing my mind...

If you know me, or if you look back over this blog, you know that I'm CONSTANTLY changing my mind. Fickle is the word you're searching for. lol... But, you know, today I'm in the middle of cleaning and packing and cleaning and packing and cleaning... and moving onto the sailboat, Wind Song, tomorrow, my 24' Islander... And I'd pretty much given up on being able to travel on it and live on it, deciding instead to travel and live on a sailing dinghy for the summer, and maybe even sell Wind Song. (I can't live on Wind Song at its current location, technically.) that it's all HERE, and I've worked my last shift at Disney in Orlando, and am FACING it, IT, IT, the new life, a cruising sailor, living on boats, my DREAM, I find that I feel ENTHUSED about Wind Song. It's a real cruising sailboat, although on the small size. This model has crossed oceans, even circumnavigated. And I own one! It's paid for! It's my HOME. I should do everything I can to keep it, live on it, etc. Which means I need to get the bottom fixed, and move it from the dock in Apollo Beach SOON and begin my travels, cheaply. Very exciting. I'm ridiculous and crazy, I know, but people DO this sort of stuff. I'm not the first or last, all this sailing and living on boats, and the difficulty which goes with it: no AC, lots of salty water, the smell of fish, the danger of storms, bad anchorages, pesty Coasties... But somehow I LOVE most of that. I think it should beat a life of merely sitting in front of this damn computer all day. And that IS the life I've been living.

The romance of cruising the seas indeed enthralls me...We'll see what happens...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Go small, go cheap, go now

{OK, one more post... lol...}

Go small, go cheap, go now... That's a phrase you might hear from time to time, or something like it. And I am being forced to do just that. Or maybe it's the Evil Tim lurking inside my head. That's it. He's arranged all this for me.

This is the dinghy sailboat I'm building, although with some minor changes. It's just about the smallest, simplest boat one can create, and still have capacity for lots of stuff and for coastal cruising. I'll have my backpacker stove, and food and water and wine, and a bucket as the all-important head. I'll have an AM/FM radio, and a VHF radio, and maybe put a couple of solar panels on it. Maybe get a laptop. And I'll have all the clothes I need, and fishing equipment, and art supplies/equipment. Yes, it all should fit. This boat will hold me plus about 400 lbs. of supplies. I'll place a tarp over the boom as a tent, and I have mosquito netting. I'll have my knife, a few good books, and the whole world to explore! Don't worry about me. Calm yourself by saying, "He's just crazy," and go back to watching TV. I'll be fine.

These funny-looking, squarish sailboats are said to sail really well, to all points of wind, and around 3 to 4 knots. I'll paint little murals of dolphins and mermaids (in acrylics) on the outside. Cool. ...Until my finances improve, this may indeed be my home, of sorts (with occasional stops at my big sailboat). Ah, adventure!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Last Post?

Yes, this may be my last post, at least for a while. You see, all my plans are crumbling before me, in a sense. I mean, I know I have a reputation for being grumpy, and I don't want to sound that way, but, man, SO MANY things are going wrong, simply listing them makes me sound awful. (I even deleted some recent posts because I thought I was sounding too surly.) But, I should be clear and honest for those who care to read this.

I guess I'm frustrated. Very, very frustrated. And, I guess, honestly, it's all my fault. At least, I take responsibility for it.

Here's my list:

My shoulder is completely freezing-up again when painting at an upright easel. ...

I'm broke. (Largely due to shoulder problem of the last year or so.) ...

My sailboat needs work before it can be moved. MONEY needed. ...

I was told last week that I cannot live on the boat where it's currently located. Wow! I'm moving onto it in 4 days from now, one way or another! Maybe I can get away with staying on it for a few days, anyway. ...

The IRS just told me that I don't get the $600 stimulus check. This, after they sent me a letter a while back saying I WOULD get the check, and by June 13. This is a BIG BIG blow to me. ...

I'm seriously fighting depression. (I have a history of depression.) ...

My camera died. I was planning to use it as I went to clients' homes to take photographs for their pastel portraits. This had been my final plan. Do it just like the big boys, and take photos and make sketches and notes, right there in the home of the client, and then go back to my "studio" (the sailboat) and paint the portrait. I would charge $125 for a single, and $200 for a double, but with quality comparable to the big boys. And I simply don't have money for a new camera. But that's okay, since I don't have anyplace to live, or, thus, a "studio," now that I can't live on the sailboat. ...

Cannot print business cards or promotional material for new portrait business, since, again, I'm freakin' broke! (I know, I know, I'm terrible. I whine on and on.. ) ...

I thought I had much of next week to do my moving. A day or two ago I found out that I must be out Monday night. ...

Need wireless card for PC to use it on the boat. Of course, I can't live on the boat now, so I guess it's another moot point. ...

I haven't had a vacation in 4 years. That's right: FOUR YEARS, week in, week out, caricaturing tourists at Walt Disney World. I cannot express how freaked-out I get by the sound of loud children and shouting parents and crying artists. (That last one would be ME.) ... It's funny. You'd think I'd have some money. ...

My "back-up" plan had been to work at Busch Gardens. I figured I could take the bus up there from my boat. But the bus route is impossible from Apollo Beach to Busch Gardens. And my old old Jeep is having problems. Can't afford the outrageous gas prices anymore, anyway. Of course, my shoulder problem puts a dent in any future caricaturing, if I must be FAST to make much money. ...

Someone just commented the other day that it sounded like I was trying to piss-off my caricaturing friends in Orlando, and "burn bridges." Is that possibly true? Do I have an automatic "self-defense" mechanism which "breaks" things for me? Or something? I don't understand ANY of that, if it's true. I tend to speak my mind more lately, I've noticed, but it in no way is intended piss-off anyone, or hurt anyone. And sometimes my sense of humor is misinterpreted. I don't know. That's really discouraging. ...

And I guess I should add this note: I've been making myself SICK with my art materials in my little bedroom/studio, living/breathing/sleeping with linseed oil/turpentine/pastels/whatever almost 24/7. I've figured this out (I actually didn't realize it for a LONG time!) and especially with the pastels, which I will now ONLY use outdoors, and will use a my big industrial dust mask when crushing and mixing the pastel powder... Just another thing I've been struggling with. But, then again, the ART I've been doing the last couple of months is VERY encouraging. It's the one thing keeping me going. I believe now, with certainty, that I am an artist, after a lifetime of other stuff, other struggles. But art IS a struggle. Really, I had no idea. And I've been teaching myself from books and DVDs this whole time. Difficult to the extreme. That's why I hate it when people say, "Oh, it's just a natural gift." WTF?!! ...

And one more thing. (I know, I know, nobody's reading this to this point, but, just in case...) I'm spending all my time thinking about how everything is going wrong. I cannot seem to comprehend it. I like to "wrap my mind around" things, but this is all overwhelming. I don't know where to start to get things done. "Wrapping my mind around" things has always been important for me. I'm uncomfortable being rushed. I ENJOY the act of thinking. I ENJOY sitting and drawing someone and THINKING about their face, and this slows EVERYTHING I do. Most people think I'm an idiot. I actually have an I.Q. over 140. ...But this need to "wrap my mind around" things utterly... this caused untold misery for me when I was a kid in school, and has also caused misery when in a romantic relationship or friendship even, and even now. I mean, I saw I number of my acquaintances this morning, but are any of them my friends? ...Friendship... What is that definition? A SOLID, meat-and-potatoes definition... I mean, a girl gave me a hug this morning. What IS that? Actually, I got TWO hugs, because I got one from a female stranger, too, after she saw the picture I drew of her. It is all, again, unfathomable. ...
* * *
... But, you know, this is good, writing in this blog. I get to "organize" these items a bit. ...
And if you are still reading this, I should tell you that I'll make it. It's a rough patch. But I have some ideas.

I'm building a dinghy sailboat. There's a thing called "dinghy cruising." It's popular in the UK, I think. I'll "live" on my dinghy, temporarily. I had thought about a canoe, but a dinghy will hold more. (Or maybe I'll go with a canoe... I'm hilarious.) ...
So I'll build my dinghy, and take a couple of weeks "off" from all this frustration, sail around Tampa Bay and Clearwater and whatnot, and then come back and tackle my life.
And if I must, I'll sell my Jeep. And if I must, I'll sell my big sailboat. At that point it would just be me and the sailing dinghy and maybe a kind of low-brow freedom, from which I'll plan the rest of my life, and make money in little chunks, and start doing portraits somehow, or even caricatures, or give-away paintings along the sidewalk, for donations, whatever, and then get a bigger boat. Occasionally FREE boats appear in places. But not too big, without a big income.

Yet, with all things said and done, I need a couple of weeks to "wrap my mind around" all this crap, and get away from the tourists and models who won't sit still, and, well, everything.

So you may not hear from me for a while... But I'll be around. Heck, maybe I'll be happy. We'll see.

{POSTSCRIPT: If anyone wants to contact me, just call me! My phone may be off, but you can leave a message, and I'll get back to you in a day or two, if I can. My number is that same 321- number I've had for a year now, for those who know... I'm not sure about email. I can hit-up Internet Cafes, or the library access points, but that's hit and miss. And I'm trying to switch over to a new account: ... Use that one.}

Saturday, June 07, 2008

And the (almost) finished portrait

I'm sure I'll make some adjustments after I let it sit for a day.

My house-mate Wayne in pastel

This was challenging. First, the skin tones, then the odd angles, then the thought that Wayne is my harshest critic. Oh, well... And I can see now I need to make my own pastels. I need 'em EXTRA soft for velour. ...
In the first photo you can see I used the traditional grid method for the layout, after a quick freehand study. I figure if using a grid is OK by the old masters, it's OK for me. lol... (Modern portrait artists often actually use a projector, and simply trace the contours.) ...
It's always interesting to notice how much a contour drawing DOESN'T have a likeness, often. ....In the second photo, you see the transferred image on the velour. From that point on, it's just pastels and my eye.
And another note about using the grid method. I am fully aware that, as a budding portrait artist, I'll be working from photos mostly, and, often, from photos taken by the client, who "just LOVE" their over-exposed flash photo of little Bobby and his sister Wendy, or whoever. And that's FINE, but I DO need to know how to take that photo (or ANY photo) and rather quickly turn it into a full-size portrait. This is, basically, what I'm practicing here.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

My process... Draw, Trace, Pounce, Paint...

So this is what I've invented. Since velour paper is so unforgiving of mistakes, an excellent initial sketch/cartoon is necessary, and doing it on a separate piece of paper is recommended. I did this sketch WAY too fast, and it was pretty lousy, but I did that for a reason (...see previous post).
So, the process is this. DRAW the face on normal drawing paper. Next, TRACE the contours onto tracing paper. Next, turn the tracing paper over, and use a POUNCE WHEEL to trace along the lines and make those little holes. (With the paper turned over, the "indentations" in the little pounced holes face UP on the other side.) Turn paper right-side-up. Grab a soft pastel, and trace again along the the lines, which are now full of little rough holes. The pastel will get "knocked-off" into the little holes, and fall onto the velour paper. And that's it! ...Now the hard part begins...

Making it hard on myself...

I now have an official "process" of doing pastel portraits, and tonight I thought I'd test it by "making it tough." By that, I mean, I did a VERY fast pencil "layout," and then quickly transferred the (rather inferior) sketch to the velour paper for the actual painting part. Of course, the sketch was a bit "off" here and there, but I wanted to test my ability to "fix" poor drawings (from a poor photograph) during the pastel stage. You see, the velour paper is HORRIBLE when you're trying to fix mistakes, so I thought a test of its limits would be a good educational experience. You can see in the one photo how another artist painted this girl (with totally different lighting), and then you can see how I painted her. The cool thing is, the other artist is a successful French artist who does these things "live" down in the Caribbean (although he's since moved to France), and that is EXACTLY what I want to do. (Visit his website at Awesome artist.

...Anyway, I'm happy, in a sense, and unhappy, too. I wasn't able to fix the fundamental flaws in the likeness/headshape/etc., but then again, I think it just might be acceptable in a "live" situation. Of course, a more careful initial pencil layout sketch would aid enormously. ...Also, check-out the crazy flash lighting I had to figure-out. That was actually serious fun. Lots of unexpected reds and oranges and yellows in the face, and abrupt value changes.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

I started a Ron Paul portrait in acrylics...

...but, man, acrylics and oils are SLOW and messy... I started this Ron Paul portrait with the idea of experimenting, and I did so, and I've been REALLY studying color mixing for portraiture this past week or so, yet...Yet, I don't have time for this right now. I'd like to have my own "stand" somewhere, maybe at Clearwater Beach, where artists are allowed to set-up for a small fee, and I'd like to offer serious portraits (as well as crazy caricatures?), but I think I'll just stick with the pastels for now, like in the Angelina pic. Pastels are faster, and they're a traditional medium for quick portraits in an hour or two. ...Thought I'd go ahead and post this... I'll finish when I have time. It's really barely started, all rough and craggy, but kinda cool, for a start...

A couple of couples this week

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mr. and Mrs. Pitt... OK, let's move on

Brangelina, goodbye... I need to get out of this family, lol, but I'll post the final studies, ...I must say, I learned a lot. I might just keep doing portraits...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lesson Learned: Use WHITE paper with graphite

I used a toned "charcoal" paper, and a 6B graphite pencil. And it was looking kinda good until I realized I couldn't add much in the way of highlights. I grabbed some pastel sticks, but that stuff doesn't stick to graphite! I knew that, too... Guess I just wasn't thinking. ...Or is there an alternative? ...Anyway, so I just quit.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Adjusting Angelina

OK, so I threw-in some hair highlights... Not perfect, but better... Think I'm gonna just stop right here. I see some things to work on, but I need to get started on something new...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pastel Portraiture Revisited

My secret desire is to learn to do real portraits, but it's tough to figure it all out. The human face has a bewilderingly large number of variables: different hues, different values, varying chroma. But I may be starting a renewed effort to learn portraiture. This photo is of my latest effort...
.... To further explain: a year or two ago I tried learning to paint portraits with pastels on velour paper. I failed. Well, I watched a video the other day in which an artist (Joy Argento) does just this, painting a lovely pastel portrait of our friend Angelina on velour, which is a traditional way of using pastels (on VELOUR, that is) for portraiture. So I thought I'd try it again. I went to Art Systems on Friday and got some velour paper and a pastel set. I'm not sure if I used the right colors, but I think I did better than before. Velour is notoriously difficult to use, yet I seem to be getting the hang of it. Masters use velour beautifully. (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE AND SEE DETAILS.)

I am so very happy...

I just deleted the post I originally had here, because, honestly, the caricature painting I had posted was so bad, I should have never posted it anyway. Instead, I think I will do some complaining!!!

Well, not complaining, really, just an update, and a listing of some difficulties. It's pretty extraordinary. Here goes:
My move onto my sailboat in Apollo Beach occurs at the end of June, in a little over a month. Very exciting! But with some caveats:
I had figured, if all goes wrong, I could very simply live on the sailboat, and take the bus up to Busch Gardens in Tampa and draw caricatures. But it turns out that the bus schedule is impossible, so I'll need to use my (very) old Jeep. But it's a LONG commute, and the pay ain't that great, and that old Jeep of mine could die at any time, and the whole thing looks really bad.
I don't WANT to commute anymore, anyway. I want to live simply, sail, draw and paint, not get rich, but be happy and see beautiful things. Anyway... I'm moving forward: for better or worse, I'm moving onto the sailboat next month.
And here's another thing: my friend says that my marina slip fee will be "at least" $200 a month, so maybe I'm looking at 3 or 400? I don't know. It's a rather informal situation.
Also, I was expecting to pay very little to get my boat's bottom scraped and repainted, but I think now that it might cost $1000 or more. I DO NOT have that kind of money anymore.
My shoulder has caused me to work less, and will continue to do so, as well as hurting my enthusiasm for murals, which, honestly, takes a toll on my shoulder. I lied about that before. Sorry.
I mean, maybe I can get into portrait work, and get a better price for my artwork, but there's so much uncertainty in all this, that I've been VERY depressed.
I've also been sick for several weeks, just a nagging cold virus, and it's over now, but it's dramatically added to my foul temperament.
Next, my former understanding was that I would be getting $600 from the IRS, but I just learned TODAY that I will NOT be getting that check, since I have a debt to the IRS. That's the kicker. That's the one thing I couldn't afford to go wrong, and now it has. I'm in trouble.
I mean, none of this would have been THAT bad, I guess, but I learned a while back that I'm being taken off my work schedule come May 31. Not my idea. I always knew I could just stay on the schedule through most of June (our busiest month) and make some last-ditch savings for the move onto the boat, and that became my plan. That's not going to happen now, unless I can get lots of sub shifts, and at decent locations.
I could go on and on about this, but I don't want to subject y'all to my sailor cursing.

The funny thing is, I AM happy. I think it's because my artwork has become the center of my life. I couldn't say that a few months ago. All I want now is to live cheaply and work on my art. And if I must sell my Jeep, I will. And if I must sell my sailboat, I will. I'll live on a canoe or something, and paint portraits by the beach, or whatever. But GO FORWARD with the art. Live cheaply and beautifully, by the sea. And I am doing that now, in one way or another. It's very exciting. Whatever happens, happens. It'll work-out.
...Just a little frightening.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Thomas Jefferson

I love the portrait of Jefferson below. I strikes me now, a thought!: Portraiture (the greatest of the arts) was long perfected even 200 years ago. It's fascinating to consider: such a technical and ephemeral skill, so magical to the masses, is now being forgotten as silicone tech courageously destroys all else.

And now for some Jefferson quotes. (I hope I don't go to jail for spreading these revolutionary ideas!)...
"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. "

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."

"I think myself that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious. "

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. "

"I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive."

"Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear."

"What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? ...The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all."

"Most bad government has grown out of too much government."

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty."

"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first."

"History, in general, only informs us what bad government is."

"If there is one principle more deeply rooted in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest."

"It is better to tolerate that rare instance of a parent’s refusing to let his child be educated, than to shock the common feelings by a forcible transportation and education of the infant against the will of his father."

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground."

Friday, April 25, 2008

Discovery of the Atelier

So why doesn't anyone tell me these things...? I guess I'm doomed to discover 'em on my own.

What I thought I knew, I was wrong; what I thought was wrong, I knew. ...In other words. my "impulse" since teaching myself to draw, back a few years ago, in my 30's, was to very carefully learn to draw in a classical sense, whatever that means, I thought. I mean, I had no idea. I was just a nomad, a poorly-disciplined reader of philosophy and porn and vodka labels. But I was vaguely aware that learning to be an artist was something more than occasional sketches, or silly jobs making cartoons of tourists. And when I started making MONEY making cartoons of tourists, I was snobbish, thinking how lousy were the starving artists, who couldn't draw a face, yet had a degree in art, or who were unwilling to draw a face in a comic context, for mere financial gain. But I've come full circle, now. I desperately wish to be like the old masters, and I've discovered HOW, now. The old-fashioned way, through an ATELIER. I didn't know these still existed, but they do exist, and they're making a comeback. I've included with this post an entry from Wikipedia. Now, all I need do is FIND an atelier studio which is in a warm clime (so I can sleep in my boat) and which won't charge me much... Anybody got any ideas? ...Here's the Wikipedia post:

Atelier Method

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The Atelier Method is a method of fine art instruction modeled after the private art studio schools of 15th-19th century Europe. Taking its name from the French word for "artist's studio," the Atelier Method is a form of private instruction in which an artist, usually a professional painter, works closely with a small number of students to progressively train them. Atelier schools can be found around the world, particularly in North America and Western Europe.



[edit] Philosophy

Atelier programs teach a form of realism based upon careful observations of nature with attention to detail. A series of tasks (cast drawing, cast painting, drawing and painting from the live model, and still life, for example) are done by the student. Students must complete each task to the instructor's satisfaction before progressing to the next. This system is referred to as "systematic progression" or "systematic teaching and learning." The methods used by Atelier instructors may vary greatly from one studio to another; however, artists using the "Atelier" approach tend to be united in their desire to reintroduce classical methods and techniques to modern painting.

[edit] Methods

Because they lack a central governing body, Atelier instructors are free to teach whatever methods they wish. However, there are several methods that are common to most Atelier schools. Atelier schools and teachers generally agree that the practice of careful drawing is the basis of painting.

[edit] Drawing and painting from plaster casts

Student Cast Drawing after Ariadne. Mims Studios School of Fine Art, Southern Pines, NC.
Student Cast Drawing after Ariadne. Mims Studios School of Fine Art, Southern Pines, NC.

Atelier students often begin to draw or paint using plaster casts as subjects. These casts are usually faces, hands, or other parts of the human anatomy. Plaster casts provide some of the benefits of live, human models, such as the presence of natural shadows. They also have their own distinct advantages: they remain perfectly still and their white color allows the student to focus on the pure, grayscale tones of shadows. This is the method that contemporary painter Jacob Collins pursues at his schools, the Water Street Atelier and the Grand Central Academy.

[edit] Sight-size drawing

Sight-Size drawing is a method of drawing an object exactly as it appears to the artist on a one to one scale. The artist first sets a vantage point where the subject and the drawing surface appear to be the same size. Then, using a variety of measuring tools -- which can include strings, sticks, mirrors, levels, and plumb-bobs -- the artist draws the subject so that, when viewed from the set vantage point, the drawing and the subject have exactly the same dimensions. When properly done, sight-size drawing can result in extremely accurate and realistic drawings. It can also be used to draw the exact dimensions for a subject in preparation for a painting.

Contemporary realist painter Adrian Gottlieb notes that "while professional painters pursuing a full-time career will develop an 'eye' that precludes the need for measuring devices and plumb lines (tools necessary during the training period), the observation method itself is not abandoned - instead it becomes second nature. Sight-size can be taught and applied in conjunction with a particular sensitivity to gesture to create life-like imagery; especially when applied to portraiture and figurative works."

Monday, April 21, 2008

Wind Song, here I come...

So this is the deal: It's official, I'm moving onto Wind Song in June. It's in Apollo Beach, on Tampa Bay, if you don't remember. Of course, this has been the plan all along, but I'd thought I'd remind everyone. My apartment lease is up at the end of June, and I just now emailed Barbie and "reminded" her of my plans: when my lease is up, I'll be moving onto the sailboat. And that's the plan, and it's only 8 weeks away! Man, this is SOON, I just realized. Whew! I need to get busy. I mean, if it weren't for my bum shoulder, I'd be working EVERY DAY. But that ain't gonna happen. I'll do what I can for now, and when it's time to go, I'll go.
To be honest, I don't have any real work lined-up in Tampa. Hmm, maybe murals, but, oddly, I've felt terribly non-committal to murals. In fact, I've been doing NOTHING toward 'em, of late. Maybe I can draw caricatures at Busch Gardens, but I haven't talked to those guys, and I don't think Dion even knows who I am. And, heck, maybe they wouldn't even WANT me. Or I can draw caricatures at the beach or something. Or, if things get REALLY bad, financially, or whatever, I can always throw-off the dock lines and sail away, and fish, and beg, and/or whatever. I figure I can always walk door-to-door and paint pretty pictures on mailboxes., no, REALLY, I would do that.
And, yes, WIND SONG, the smallish 24-foot sailboat is gonna be my new home, NOT the bigger boat. That deal didn't work-out. But that's fine. I don't need another bill. Part of the POINT is to get away from bills. I owe the IRS about $10,000, mainly because I refuse to deduct ANYTHING. I say, "Fuck you, HERE YA GO, take this, this is WAY too much, but you CANNOT audit me, because there is NOTHING to audit!" I'll pay the full amount and be happy, just so they can't mess with me. It's rather satisfying. I give 'em $150 a month, and they don't bother me. ... And one day, in 4 or 5 years, I'll have it paid-off. (My four years of caricaturing in Orlando has been both a gigantic blessing and a gigantic curse.)
Beyond that, there's much to say, and there's nothing to say. I'm sitting alone in my apartment. I think I must want it that way. All else is a kind of messiness of the soul, you know: friendship and love. ...I guess that's the best way to put it. ...Damn, I'm an idiot.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Is my thinking fundamentally flawed?

All my life, more or less, especially during my adult years, I've considered mankind to be a fine, good entity. Mistakes will happen, but, I have thought, the goal of the good is universal. Now, I am thinking, such speculation is incorrect. You see, the Internet has opened all sorts of knowledge, and I've been reading A LOT recently, and watching the videos of the History Channel, among others. I'm finding terrible things in our history. Things of history which are virtually without controversy. Things which define us as evil, more or less. And I'm not talking about NAZIs, necessarily, but about the United States, and ancient Greece, and the fella next door, and my own soul. The perils of optimism seem to be overtaking me....
...To be continued... ...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

...and here's one from Saturday

I like the guy, but not the to speak. She is far too awkward, but I got a nice likeness on her boyfriend, and his drawing/painting is more natural and lively, especially the coloring. ...I'm really trying to focus on lively, impressionistic coloring, or as much as is possible in the short time frame of caricatures and the limited palette of naples yellow red, vermilion, and burnt sienna... and a couple of primaries, more or less...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A photo of me at the helm of Moon Song ...

Helped move this boat a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to Captain Richard for the photo. ...Click photo to enlarge (with some browsers)...

Still sick, but getting better...

I felt half normal tonight, but drew badly, then did better. Here's one of a little girl from tonight, plus one from AK a couple of weeks ago (which I just discovered on my camera)... Look at the similarity between the little girl in the one pic, and the man in the other pic. Same nose, and similar hue/value relationship in the middle third of the face... I mean, I SUCK. ..."To DARE, that is the calling..."

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Couple More from Last Week

Disney All-Star Resorts caricature stand work from last week. Thought the boy's drawing was cute, but poor likeness, and the girl's pic was good likeness, but in a weird way... I'm always surprised that any of us can get decent likeness when knocking these things out in 15 minutes (or less...)...

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Suddenly, in the middle of my shift yesterday, I got sick, a sore throat, congestion, chills, aches, shakes... Great! (Sarcasm, there.) ...Anyway, so I immediately got off the fast and got some nutrition and vitamins in me. ...Really bad timing. I have a LONG gig tomorrow, and then a stressful (in a fun way) butt sketch gig on the next day. I really need the money, so there ain't no way I'm calling in sick. ...Been in bed all day, drank lots of water, then did some more practice sketches, and now I gotta go sit at the Nick stand... Woo-hoo!
As far as these practice sketches go, I was looking at actual photos of people on the website, rather than looking at DRAWINGS of people. This should help me.
It seems to me that life drawing like this is all about gesture, which, to me, means the "feel" of the sweeping angles of objects. ...And I find myself exaggerating a bit on these...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Butt Sketches

Surprise, surprise! I somehow got a butt sketching gig. And only 4 days notice! ...So, what'd I do tonight? I drew some butt sketches, of course! Actually, they're really fun. I've only practiced these a couple of times in the past (like, a year ago!), and I've never used a marker (pencil only), but here I am, about to go to a gig next Tuesday. Whew! That email frightened me. ...I immediately got out a Pitt brush pen and used that, after carefully penciling it all in. Whole thing takes about 10 minutes. I need to cut that down to about 4 or 5 minutes, I think. Shouldn't be a problem. ... Now, most of these drawings (which I include here) are based on drawings in Keelan's website (K.Parham, that is). But that's only because it's really hard to get reference material for this sort of stuff. In real life, people don't STOP very often, and then online I simply can't find much, just hit and miss, here and there. So I just looked at Keelan's drawings and pretended they were real people. It's funny, because, at first, I tried to match the pics EXACTLY, but then I felt my own style coming on, and I just let it go. ...Not perfect, but I'm satisfied with these early attempts. I'm sure to be practicing these a lot more in the next 3 days. Whew!
(Note: That other one is of a Chinese girl painting... Just an image from the WWW.) ...Hmm, I need to get proper markers for shading...