Fantasy Art

Saturday, December 30, 2017

The old church

There's an old church in downtown Phoenix that I sketched in here to make up the background.

Friday, December 29, 2017

A pose with attitude

This was a short pose, but I liked it so I worked quickly to get as much information down as possible.  I like the movement and energy and attitude she conveys.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Big difference part 4

Well if you're going to go around looking cocky and arrogant you need a society to be arrogant at, so I had to draw a city.  In the world beyond my basement door there are many ancient ruins who's origins are unknown.  Now days people live in some of them again.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Big Difference part 3

Because I'm drawing right over the original sketch there's a lot of smearing and re-drawing so her face is gradually changing expression.  If I ever go on to make a painting of this it will change a lot more.

Hey by the way it's Christmas Day!  Merry Christmas all of you.  We don't really chat much on this blog, but I really appreciate that you come and visit me here.
I've had a number of new members join me on Patreon and for all I know they came to me from here so I'm extremely grateful for that. 
I hope Santa brings you everything you wish for.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Big Difference 2

At first I had no specific plan apart from wanting her arm moved out to her side.  Now the body is much more open, she looks defiant rather than defensive.  In the first image she looks friendly enough, but not necessarily strong and confidant.  We accomplished all of that without any changes to her facial expression.  Obviously it's not that a strong confidant person couldn't stand the way she was standing, the problem is that we only have this one drawing to communicate what kind of person she is so we've got to use any visual cue we have available to us.

I often like to place the sword where I want it to be and then build the costume around that, usually starting with belts and straps.  Having worn a sword a lot myself I instinctively remember that it's always in the way, but can be shifted around to where you need it,  Eventually you feel naked without it.  This girl doesn't feel naked at all.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Small Change, Big Difference

I loved this model for her willingness and ability to do standing poses for long periods.  That's difficult and rare, they usually sit because they think it will be easier, but for the most part it's not.  Modeling is hard, which is why there are so many life drawings out there where the model droops and sags like a bag of flour even when she's young and healthy
Something she did to give her arm a rest was to cross her hand over her hip and clamp it down with the other hand.  I appreciate why she did it, but it reveals itself to be the posture of someone who plans to hold very still for a long time.  She's much better than many poses because she's got movement and flair, but it doesn't quite convince you that this is a person casually going about her business.  Also the position of the upper arm robs you of part of her curvaceous body which stiffens her movement.  So tomorrow we'll look at what I did with that.
The top of her head is cropped because of my predisposition to try to maximize my paper.  I simply drew her a little too big.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Brewery part 8

OK so here's the final painting.
I didn't take a lot of process shots towards the end because I was running out of time.  The show was in a few days and  I needed to stop painting so it would be dry enough to transport.
The jewelry was finished with a few glints of pure white at the top and some more intense blue near the bottom.  The beer glass was painted exactly the same way the jewelry was.  It's the familiar shape rather than my painting skill that tells you it's a transparent glass not a metal object.
Dragonflies and turtles are part of my own personal symbolism the meaning of which I don't know if I'll ever care to divulge in public.

This painting spent a month on display in the Brewery alongside the Steampunk Octopus.  The octopus sold on the first day, but this one didn't sell.  I had no room to hang it up in the house so I offered it up cheap on line if anyone could come pick it up, but had no takers. 
I can't resent this.  I was just in too much of a hurry.  It has nicely rendered skin tones over a weak drawing.   The head and hands are too big and it really isn't all that interesting.  Too nude for some tastes, but not erotic enough for those who like that sort of thing.  (That was always my opinion of Playboy magazine: too sleazy for good taste, but too artsy for eroticism.)
She ended up being stored back out in the shed with hundreds of other boards and getting shuffled around as I was looking for one piece or another.  Finally it was so beaten and scratched up as to be unsalvageable, so I sanded it down and primered it again.  Now it awaits a new life as something entirely different.  

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Brewery part 7

For a visual aid on the jewelry I took my wife's necklace and hung it over one corner of the board.  I really liked the blue reflections which had more to do with the daylight coming through my window than with the painted blue window in the painting.

I wanted her bangles to be more gold colored so I stated with a mid tone brown and a dark brown shadow.  Not much detail is needed, I wanted it rough looking like something that had been shaped with a hammer.

Spots of yellow ocher on the shiny side with blue green mixed into the reflected light at the bottom and it's almost done.   Got to let it dry a little while before making any stronger highlights here.

Monday, December 18, 2017

The Brewery part 6

I spend more time on the face than all the rest of the figure put together.    Blend it out, realize it's too uniform, add spots of light, or dark, or color, blend again until finally you like it or your deadline is here whichever comes first.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Brewery part 5

Especially on a large painting you want to work on it one section at a time because some of it will dry too much if you do it all at once.  This figure is almost life-sized for an adult and that's a lot of area to paint at one time.  So I finished the legs first, then her torso from the hips to her breasts, then the breasts, then her upper chest and neck, each arm, each hand and lastly her face and hair.

The top portion of the bench she's sitting on will most likely catch more light than the rest of the surfaces, so it needs to be lighter.  But I didn't want to put any white on it so I darkened the vertical surfaces to make the floor and bench seem lighter.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

the Brewery part 4

Notice the various different colors that have been placed along side of each other on the skin.  There's a mid tone, but that's actually three or four different shades from the pallet.  Then there's almost pure white on top of the knee, a dark rose color on the fronts of the knees and a mid tone mixed with olive green in the partially shaded areas.  Before blending I also put some darker browns (not very much) and some spots of red in the shadow portions of her legs.
Allow it to dry just a minute or two then use a soft dry brush to gently swish the edges of each color patch into the edges of the next one.  Wipe the brush off with a paper towel as it accumulates paint, but DO NOT use paint thinner until you're done or you'll be erasing paint.  At the blending phase you're not adding any paint to the canvas just knocking the existing paint sideways a tiny bit.  That's what makes it all blend together.

Very little of the stone texture will show through on the skin, but some small amount of it does.
If you look closely at the skin of your left arm you'll see such things as wrinkles, freckles, age spots, scars, hair follicles, veins, and cat scratches.  Or maybe that's just me.  At any rate your skin is not a uniform color or texture all over.
All of this would be tedious and unattractive to actually take the time to paint, but an underlying variation of color or texture such as this faux stone can create much of the impression of such things without the need of actually doing it.

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Brewery part 3

My process was exactly like that of previous paintings.  I used a dark thin wash of paint to knock in all the shadow areas and built upwards from there.  There's a dark blue like a night sky in the window behind her.  This photo has a lot of glare because the light in my studio is only a couple feet above the painting.  That's one of the hazards of doing big work in a small room.  The painting is four feet square.

Friday, December 8, 2017

The Brewery

This isn't a picture of a brewery, but it's one I painted for an event at a brewery.  The same event that I painted the Steampunk Octopus for.  They wanted art that would stay on the wall for a month and featured beer.  Other than that they didn't care what it was.  I wanted to paint a fantasy art babe as I often do so I chose this.

First I took out this old life drawing which was too small to trace onto the board, but I used it as a model and copied it onto the board with vine charcoal.
 It would have been better if I'd drawn her smaller and added more figures.  Maybe she could be partying with a bunch of goblins and fairies, that would have been more popular.  But I had very little time to get this done so I simplified, perhaps a little too much.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Maux Faux Part ...something...I forgot

If the story-line of this blog seems a little disjointed or non-sequential just know that it's a good deal more linear and structured than my actual life.

Here's a panel that I painted during the phase described HERE.
It is actually the twin to the panel used for the first Steampunk Octopus painting we did.  They were real-estate signs screwed on either side a big pole.  No I didn't steal them, the property developer knocked the pole down after buying the real-estate, but hadn't tossed it into the debris dumpster yet.  This happens a lot.  It's a rich source of painting material for me.  It's not that I can't afford at this point to buy a canvas, I could, but having used this kind of thing in the past I've grown fond of the idea.  It's part of my...part of my...idiom, that's it!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Desert Scene 7

A thin transparent glaze of yellow on all of the sunlit surfaces and a glaze of purple on all of the shadow surfaces.  Then a tiny bit of opaque color on the peak highlights and that's it for everything except the sky.  My big challenge with the sky was to make this big orange halo of the sunrise and then fade to blue without moving through brown or green.  I managed it by laying down the orange first much wider than I actually wanted it and allowing it to dry completely so no mixing took place.  Then adding a very opaque blue in several different shades so that very little orange could show through the blue and create a color mixture that way.  With the choppy brushstrokes I "fade" the color in with ragged, broken chunks of color.  The brushstrokes appear very lose, but they are much more calculated than they look so that they remained opaque.

I thought it was a big painting.  Look how tiny it seems on this huge wall!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Desert Scene 6

The sun will be rising just to the left of the main cactus there so I shaded objects on the left side if they were left of the sunrise and on the right side if they're to the right.  There's also shadow on the near side of things since we're looking right at the light-source.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Desert Scene 5

Sorry it's taking me forever and a month to get through this one, but there was holidays and stuff you know.
So here I am using a thin wash of dark brown and black mixed with a little purple to create all of the shadow areas around rocks, cactus and even the shadow side of the mountains.  This was pretty quick and accounts for most of the painting in terms of square footage.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Desert Scene 4

So now we go ahead and splatter and sponge the panel pretty much the same way we did Here.
The reason I did this backwards was simply because I hadn't made the decision to do the splattering at all until this point.  There's going to be a lot of rocks and other landscape features and I thought it would be a quick and easy way to get the look and feel of stone.
In the photograph you can barely see my drawing anymore, but in person it was a little more clear.

Just about to begin painting a subject that I don't have lots of experience with so I taped a bunch of magazine pages with desert photos and paintings to my board.  We're not by any means copying a picture, just getting the idea of color choices, shading etc.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Desert Scene 3

With a splash of Brown, Red and Orange paints I take a wet rag and mop the colors around being careful not to scrub out the drawing.  Some artists hate that the charcoal mixes with the paint at this stage, but I like it, it contributes to the tone of the under-painting.

Now that the entire surface is covered in color I'm free to make lose expressive brushstrokes without fear that I'll "miss a spot" and there will be little white spaces showing through.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Desert Scene 2

This is about a 3' X 6" board salvaged from the college theater department.  They'd made a bunch of backdrop pieces that they then cut up and threw in the dumpster.  As you readily see this time I'm doing it backwards from my usual method.  This time I'm sketching my  design on the board first and then I'll do the faux finish on top of that.  The danger of course is that your drawing could completely disappear and you'll have to do it over.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Desert Scene

There's been some delay in finishing my set of monster paintings that I showed you earlier.  So rather than suspend the blog until they're done I thought we'd go back to the"Maux Faux" series.

A friend of mine had just moved into a big house and wanted a big desert scene painting with bright colors.  He sent me a couple very different looking examples that he'd found on the web just to get a range of ideas and styles.  So I painted this on a small sheet of cardboard to make sure we were both thinking on the same track.  Sometimes you can think you know what a client wants and you're way off, but this time he loved it and gave the go ahead.
18" X 24" house-paint on cardboard.

Friday, November 3, 2017

How to Paint a Werewolf

I'm not currently on any sort of timeline or schedule.  I'm not working for anyone, don't have any assignments or deadlines which means I get a lot more work done.  For many people it would have the opposite effect, they get serious about production when the pressure is on.  For some reason I've turned into a guy who pushes back against pressure.  I work at my greatest efficiency when there's nothing to do.
So as Halloween was approaching I was struck by the mood to do some more classic movie monster art like those in the previous post.  This idea occurred far to late to capitalize on the season.  I couldn't finish them and sell them for Halloween, but I didn't care because that really isn't the idea.  Halloween simply put me in the mood.
So the project I'm working on currently (There's more faux finish stories to tell later) is my "How to Paint a Werewolf" video series which I'm showing on Facebook Live.
Here's Video #1
Here's Video #2
Bear in mind that these are currently terrible videos because I have no equipment or skills in that area, but I'm learning fairly quickly.

Here are a few sketches in charcoal on some old boards which were pre-painted with house-paint.

Next make a sloppy mess with brown house-paint over the whole drawing.

Before that gets much of a chance to dry wipe it off with a paper towel.

Now paint the background black including the edges of the wood. 

I use a lot of black on these to give the effect of the creature emerging out of the darkness, so most of him wants to be in total shadow. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

In honor of Halloween I thought I'd share some monster art I did last year or the year before...or 3 years ago?  It's all a blur.
Acrylics on recycled wooden planks.  All sold.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Steampunk Octopus part 8

Somewhere in between the previous two sketches and the previous three paintings was Phoenix Comic Con.  While we were there I had my big sketchpad and a wonderful lady named Dee Astell asked me to draw a picture of an octopus and a penguin wearing fez's and having a beer.  Dee and her husband Hal Astell are very active, hard working, selfless contributors to the local science fiction and fantasy scene so I was happy to make this for them.  I think they intended to pay me for it, but there's no way I could let them do that.

Here's me talking to Hal at the end of Comic Con.  I don't know if I was saying something amusing, but I look amusing saying it.  That's Paul Tanton in the back and my wife Stellar to the right.

Years ago I painted in-house advertising for the grocery store business.  We called it POS which stands for Point of Sale, except when it stood for the other thing.  I started as a sign painter for Albertson's but soon became the go to guy for point of sale advertising art for all the grocery chains in the Southwest division which was mostly Arizona and adjacent parts of New Mexico, California and Nevada.  It was an odd sort of business, but it was kind of fun.
Every year in March I painted hundreds of penguins for National Frozen Food Month.  They had an annual awards ceremony where they awarded the Golden Penguin Awards for the best Frozen food displays.  My artwork was in more winning displays than anyone else in history. 
Sound silly?  It was.  It was also a very big deal.  The grocery store business could buy Hollywood and the global gaming market out of petty cash.  Multi-million dollar agreements happened largely on the strength of a company's commitment to projects like these displays.   I got paid diddly, but it was fun.

Anyways I told you all of that to tell you this: Painting penguins has been a major element of my life, painting octopuses has also been a major element of my life, and painting signs on windows, particularly pizza shop windows, has been a major element of my life.  So I decided to put them all together in one painting of a penguin and an octopus having pizza inside a shop with one of my signs painted on the window. 
The painting was done on an old white-board.  I sanded it down to the raw Masonite, primered it and painted the frame and background black.  The rest of it was very much like painting a window splash.

"The Best Things In Life"
36" X 24"
Oil paint on board

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Steampunk Octopus part 7

So when the convention was over and all of my paintings were sold a gentleman approached me and asked if I could paint him one just like the last one I showed you.  I was not very keen to do that since I don't like repeating a painting nor do I want commissions at the moment, but there are some exceptions I'm willing to make.  Sometimes it's nice to stand back and look at a painting, decide what you wish you'd done different and then have another go at it.  I really do like this one a lot better.  For one thing the Steampunk aspect was a little less important to this guy, he just likes octopuses and being British he's very fond of tea so those were the requirements.    It's a small thing but I like that the teapot is lifted up and that the cup sits at an angle, it gives so much more motion and life to the story.  I also had a great time with the random swirls of color on his skin, that made the whole project for me.
I don't know what it says about this Fantasy Artist that I enjoyed painting the teapot possibly more than all the rest of it.

"A Spot of Tea"
24" X 24"
Oil paint on a recycled cabinet door.

Here are some close-ups of the random colors.  What I'd done is painted the purple and blue nicely blended a few days before so it was completely dry.  Then I laid it flat on a table and in certain spots around the painting ( such as along the length of a tentacle) I made a little puddle of paint thinner and linseed oil.  Then I got some teal and white onto a brush and just kind of let it fall into the puddle.  I did nothing to control where it went or what shape it took just stood back and let it ooze and flow.  Left it lying flat until it was dry.
 Wonderful weird unpredictable stuff, I absolutely love it and will do it a lot more in the future.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Steampunk Octopus part 6

Later that same weekend that I'd drawn the other sketch I went to a Tea Duel.  Tea Dueling is a viciously competitive steampunk sport where duelists dunk a cookie into a cup of tea and then hold it upright trying to avoid the cookie turning to mush and falling over.  It takes skill, wit, and cunning.  While there I was looking over the rule book by Kurt Kave.  When I asked how much it cost he started to answer but his lady friend jumped in and said "A sketch, it costs a sketch!"  So I happily sketched this one in exchange for the book.
Incidentally the designer of the book is Johnna Buttrick who won the sketch in the previous post.  It's like it's all tied together in some twisted, tangled, tentacled mass of destiny and suction cups.

Here we are manfully engaging in a tea duel where I was dreadfully out of my element.  That's Kurt leaning across the table.

And here I am in my element, gleefully sketching away.

There are many element of the sketch that I like better than the painting.  In the sketch the frame shape is drawn in and therefore easy to draw over.  There's a lot that is compositionally satisfying about the teapot and cup being outside the frame and also the tentacle on the left and pressure gauge on the right extending outside the frame creates a balance.  In the painting I was bound by the physical three dimensional properties of an actual frame.  I felt that the tentacles could wrap around the frame fairly nicely, but for a hard object like the teapot to bend over the frame's edge would break the illusion too much.

"Tea Dueling"
24" X 24" Oil paint on a recycled cabinet door.