We've begun our journey into easily one of the best times of the year. The month of October. Leaves are changing, a brisk chill is in the air and, of course, there's Halloween. Because of this I'm that much more excited to post this piece - a birthday commission for the son of a good friend of mine. A painting of Alfred E. Newman.
This is in fact the first time I've ever illustrated the infamous character from the long-running and just as infamous, MAD Magazine. And having the request to "zombify" him made it all the more enticing.
Being that he's a zombie I found the consistency of paint, and in this case acrylic paint, can coincide rather well with the texture of skin. And skin that's, we'll say, not quite so fresh? Even better. One can loosen the grip on the brush more and allow the brushstrokes to just paint it themselves.
Having never illustrated Al prior the more I studied him the more character features began to emerge consistently from cover after cover of MAD. Extremely specific features. From the his well-known smirk & freckles to his slightly less obvious off-center eye. Something I hadn't picked up on before. The guy's a peculiar subject. But a consistently peculiar subject, I'll give him that.
I'm also excited to announce I've done something with this piece that I've NEVER done with any other piece of artwork. Though you'll have to wait to find out what that is. Don't fret though, I'll keep you posted.
Anyways, hope you all dig it (especially Cobey) and I'll talk with everyone soon!
Just thought I'd share a couple on-location pics from the painting I'm working on for the Historic Annapolis Foundation. As I've mentioned before the painting is not only of The William Paca House but also the very impressive garden that exists outside.
What's interesting about the garden is that prior to the 1960's the garden had completely disappeared. Over the years it simply declined to the where it was all but lost. Then in the 1960-70's "extensive excavations and other research revealed the original garden's features and led to their re-creation."
Working onsite such as I'm able to do really lends itself to appreciating the comfort and even serenity of the garden. Especially considering how much time I'm typically working within the studio.
Though that certainly doesn't mean the garden isn't without it's own version of excitement. I had a quick photo-opp with this colorful leggy fellow
busy at work right behind where I was busy at work. Cute, right?
Hope you enjoy the pics. Have a great weekend and I'll talk with you on Monday!
This is the next stage in the evolution of the William Paca House painting; of which I've been commissioned by the Historic Annapolis Foundation to create.
This, the "drawing" stage, is rendered using charcoal on 22 x 30in. Rives BFK. Vine charcoal to be specific. A medium I've much experience with though one whose company I haven't had the pleasure of in some time. So this project personally has already begun on a high note. I'd say the phrase "getting your hands dirty" aptly applies.
Now that the composition of the architecture and landscape is in place we, Historic Annapolis and myself, are seeking to determine the best possible way to include the characters of the setting, that being William Paca, his wife Mary and all those involved with the home. This includes not only who will be present but also the activities they'll be participating in (given the time period), whom they'll be interacting with, along with their specific placement in the composition - and all of these elements circling around the factual information available on the history of the home and those characters within.
Hope you enjoy and I'll keep you posted!
Here we have an additional sneak peek at the mural I've been at work on for the Securityplus Federal Credit Union. As I mentioned in one of the previous posts one of the major themes for the mural is the transition of time from the companies early beginnings in 1938 onto present day, while touching on what it is they bring to the table for their members and how that's grown over the years. And of course as time moves forward so does do their members.
In an earlier post I had a fellow from the late 30's, early 40's styling with a blue gray fedora (which I can personally appreciate). Here we have one of our modern present-day members, of course wearing quite the grin (which I can also appreciate).
Hope you all enjoy and I'll talk with you soon!
Good day everyone,
I thought I'd share a sketch with you for a new project I've begun for the Historic Annapolis Foundation,
the same kind folks who organized and put on the theatrical performance, Project Run-a-way
, last year.
This is the William Paca House & Garden
, located in Annapolis, Maryland - a "National Historic Landmark that was restored by Historic Annapolis to its colonial-era splendor".
It was the original home to William Paca, a signatory to the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Maryland, who then went on to become Governor of Maryland, as well as a United States federal judge.
Here's a bit more information from the Historic Annapolis website..."The William Paca House is one of Annapolis’s—and America’s—most impressive restored 18th-century mansions. When built by Paca in 1763–65, it was one of the first five-part Georgian homes in Annapolis. Its style evokes the English country villas of the time.Paca, a young lawyer who became one of four Declaration of Independence signers from Maryland as well as governor of Maryland from 1782-85, sold the house in 1780. The property changed hands many times in the 19th century, before becoming part of Carvel Hall—one of the city’s most popular hotels for much of the 20th century. By 1965, however, it faced demolition.Historic Annapolis worked with other preservationists to purchase and save the property. Through meticulous restoration, the home has been returned to its distinctive colonial-era state. Museum-quality period furnishings, including Paca family silver and ceramics fill its rooms."
The Historic Annapolis Foundation has commissioned me to create a painting of the home and garden. Throughout it's history there have been a number of paintings created of it, though interpreted with historically inaccurate stylization or exaggerated subject matter regarding wealth, status and so on, depending on the particular era of the painting.
Therefore, one of the unique goals with the painting is, for the first time, to show the home as it truly was in 1773. Including all those who lived, or were involved, in the home - not only depicting William Paca and his wife Mary but many of the slaves & servants who maintained the home & garden. Everything that will be included in the painting will be as accurate as possible to what is known of the home, garden & characters at that time.
As you can assume I'm very excited to be on board for this and really look forward to sharing the progress of the painting with you! Hope you all enjoy this preliminary sketch and I'll talk with you soon.
Here's another detail from the Securityplus mural I've been working on.
If you're familiar with Baltimore you're probably in the know on the importance of the Inner Harbor - a major seaport in the United States since the 18th century. This detail here depicts an active scene on the Baltimore City waterfront in the late 1930's, where the first Credit Union branch was located.
Hope you enjoy!
Here's another sneak peek at the mural I've been working on for the Securityplus Federal Credit Union.
A major theme is the passage of time, with respect to the variety of services their members have, which enabled me the opportunity to paint a 1950's Thunderbird. No complaints here!
Recently I've been working on a painting for the Securityplus Federal Credit Union, an organization that's been a part of Baltimore, MD since 1938.
It's been an amazing experience not only because of the medium I enjoy working with, acrylic, but as you'll see in future posts the 5 x 1.5 foot composition was something of a new & interesting challenge.
For now though I'll leave you with this detail of a couple content members of times gone by. Hope you enjoy and I'll talk with you soon!
Whatsup ladies & gents, here we have the final stage of the ADRIFT concept piece...
As you may already be able to tell this is created using that weird substance known as "paint". It's been quite a little while since I broke open the acrylics and gave them some attention so I thought this would be an opportune time to do just that.
I love working in color and I love working with paint, despite believing they're two of the most difficult areas of art-making, but from start to finish I had nothing but fun on this. There's a curious quality to paint that allows it to just give a work life, especially if you've been on a black & white binge-fest.
So starting off I tried to keep the process as simple as possible - with laying the ground down, using simplified versions of the color scheme, and then as things progressed narrowing in on the details, the light laying on the various surfaces, the shadows that light casts, and any reflected light bouncing around. Mix that together and this is what I came up with.
Hope you've all enjoyed this sneak-peak at my creative process and I'll talk with you soon.
In this stage (part deux) the goal is to clarify the original sketch. This is done in a few ways. One is by cleaning up the line work and identifying where the light lands on each particular subject, as well as where the shadows fall. Another area I bridge into is reference photos. Not knowing precisely what the walls of a canyon look like or what the design of a 1950's house boat is I span the all powerful google, or any other resource, for answers.
I've also decided to move the composition up an inch or two to allow for room for the text that's to be included later on - an extremely important part of illustration (one I've learned the hard way a couple of times)
As you can see too I've left out the shading from the previous sketch. The reason for this is that the "drawing" stage is meant to support the stage that follows. By leaving the shading absent I find it easier to reproduce this stage into the next. And it also allows for a sense of improvisation, which is incredibly important for keeping the image feeling fresh with vitality and life. Always a consistent goal.
Hope you enjoy and I'll back on Monday with the completed illustration,