Fantasy Art

Fantasy Art
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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Grabapple Trees

Somewheres there's a kind of mantis bug what looks like a pertty flower and then grabs bees what comes near it. The Venus Fly Trap lures critters with a scent and then snaps shut on 'em like a miniature bear trap.
In round my hometown there was the Grabapple tree. At night they crawl about like a 'noctopus on their root-like legs and plant 'emselves in the yard of some home what never had an apple tree before. It took a right sucker to fall for that one, but then the world's full a suckers aint it?
Little Timmy Wilkinson disappeared one day after telling his mom he was gonna go pick apples on Henderson's Corner. The neighborhood got all up in a hurly-burly and even called the police who went door to door and looked sternly at any strangers an' suspicious looking individuals.
No one would listen to me when I told 'em there weren't no apple trees on Henderson's Corner. There wasn't neither I checked, but it'd already slithered down the bank into Bosky Creek where I'd seen it before. So I took a gas can and a book of matches down to the creek and standing up on the bank I sloshed gasoline on the grabapple and said "Let 'im go!"
I never knew if it understood me or if the gas made it sick, but either way it gives me a resentful look and spits up ol' Timmy like a hairball all covered in sticky goo. Folks said later he was "found in a tree" which is true enough I suppose. Timmy grew up fine, but couldn't never stand the thought of apples after that.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Oh Deer!

I spent a goodly bit of my youth hiking in the woods and hills around Prescott where I grew up. Most times it was just peaceful if a bit lonesome. Some days you'd meet other folks or see some wildlife or other.
One day I heard flute music playing in the distance which was peculiar. I crept up to peek between the branches and see who was playing. And there she was, delicate as a flower, sitting alone in the tall grass naked as far as I could see.
I couldn't resist taking a step closer for a better look when a twig snapped beneath my boot.
Up she jumps on four hoofed feet an' bounds away among the pines. As I watched her hinde end bouncing among the boles I tell you I could not have been more shocked. You never see them this far south in the Spring.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter!

Whatever that looks like to you.
To me it looks like chocolate.

Here's a mural I once painted for a church.  My heathenism didn't trouble them at all so long as I could do the job.  It was based on photos of what some people believe to be "The Tomb".  It certainly is A tomb from the right time period so that makes it a good reference either way.

Some pen and ink work that I used for bookmarks.  I sold them very well at Comic Con to all the moms and sisters who had no interest in comics but were tagging along for the trip.

A few years ago I found myself in possession of a pile of scrap wood and some free time so I made some Easter yard art.  People said they were cute, but looking back I find them kind of creepy looking.  Which is a little funny considering all the other stuff I draw.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Queen of the Apes

I was inspired by some other fantasy painting of a barbarian queen on a throne with henchmen all around her so I based this picture on that.  It's charcoal on Bristol board which was an interesting departure and not entirely a good idea.   I did it because I was losing confidence in the job I was doing with pen and ink.  I hadn't really done professional illustration in years especially not inking.  It was hard to keep the darks looking really dark because the charcoal wouldn't sink in to the surface.  I think I also used some white paint to pull up the highlights in the end.  Ultimately I wish I'd just used some of my wooden panes and painted the whole project in black and white paint since I'm comfortable with paint and not with pen and ink.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

7th Sea Pirate Roleplaying Game Illustrations 4

The idea of silhouettes layered over each other to create a sense of visual depth was something Burne Hogarth wrote about in his book "Dynamic Light and Shade".  He used this principle extensively in his work on the Tarzan newspaper comic strip which of course was printed very small in stark black and white.  I used the idea much less effectively by using gray tones because I assumed the work would be printed larger and therefore more easily visible.  I may go back and re-work a lot of these to make them stronger. even thought they may not be used again.

The figure was posed by me and the costume was a hodgepodge of movie stills and Gilbert and Sullivan stage photos.

Order the Book here

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Monkey always Gets the Girl

From the Mongoni Island book.
There's a scene where a pirate is abducted by apes.  In the game it could be any member of the party male or female, but I couldn't resist the temptation to make her female since the image of a monster carrying a girl is such a classic trope of old science fiction and fantasy illustration.  We've seen it in King Kong, Robbie the Robot, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and many other classics.  Possibly a little sexist of me to perpetuate that, but I just love that kind of thing.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Arizona Grass Dragon

   The Arizona Grass Dragon is similar to the Prairie Dragon only the legs are a little bigger. Prairie dragons have those tiny legs which allow them to swim through the grass like a snake.
   It's just one more of those things you hardly ever see anymore not that they ever were all that easy to spot. As big as they were they could still glide among the weeds and bushes without hardly making a sound until they're sliding right past you. You just look down by your feet and there he is. Man I tell you I like to have jumped clean out of my skin! Then he turns his head and gives me a slight nod as if to say "Yeah I could've eaten you anytime I wanted to, but not today." And he slides away in a whisper of dry grass.
   Try to follow him and he's nowhere to be seen.
I tried once. Just as he slithered around a clump of bushes I ran to see where he'd gone and there was nothing. So I turned back the way I'd come and there he was hanging from a tree branch nose to nose with me. His mouth opened and he gave a hiss that startled me backwards ass over elbows. And I swore right there to stay out of his business from then on if he let me go.
   Some folks say I've got a fanciful imagination. "Gil" they say, "This all crazy talk! Dragons are just reptiles, they got no intelligence to make bargains with little boys."
   But you can say what you like, I know what I saw.

Friday, March 31, 2017

7th Sea, Pirate Roleplaying Game Illustrations 2

I did this front-piece for the book after seeing a similar thing by N.C. Wyeth for Robinson Crusoe.
Nobody illustrated pirate stories better than N.C. Wyeth so I looked at a lot of his work before starting on this project.
Here's the N.C. Wyeth piece that inspired my piece.  There will be someone telling me that I copied but I have no such misgivings.  I suppose it depends on what aspect of the image you're focused on.  It's a different ship, different water, different ribbon, different font, different colors, but if  'ship-and-ribbon' make up the totality of original design then one could still say it's a copy from a certain point of view.

If I seem defensive it's for good reason.  The business of fantasy illustration is filled with copiers and ten times as many accusers and a hundred times as many people who can't tell the difference and just go along with what the last guy said.  This can put a good many of us on the defensive in any case and then I go and do a project like this which skirts the line a little closer than usual as I'll show you over the next few days.
Like I said in my video I was very pressed for time and not feeling well at all.  Because of this I decided to let some of my artistic heroes give me a leg up for once.
 I've spent thousands of dollars over the years on fantasy art books, art instruction books and art reference photography books.  Some of those books are my prize possessions, many were a waste of money.  None of them could be said to have paid for themselves until now.
Now all these things are going to earn their keep and help me out a little in ways like this.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

7th Sea, Pirate Roleplaying Game Illustrations

Something I did some work on recently was illustrations for a fantasy role-playing game called Mongoni Island a 7th Sea Adventure.  7th Sea is a pirate themed game.
For the next couple weeks I'll be sharing art from the book along with some insights into my methods and inspirations.  I hope you will enjoy it.

This was the painting used for the front cover.  a similar drawing was also used for an interior illustration.

Here is a little video I made for my Patreon page that explains what I was doing and how I came to be involved.  One really cool thing about the video is that you get to see me almost faint towards the end.  Actually you probably couldn't tell but there's a long pause in my speech and I look a little confused and repeat myself.  I'd been really sick and never knew how physically demanding it is to make a video.


If you'd like to support my Patreon page for a mere dollar (and who wouldn't?) you can do so here:

Gilead's Patreon Site

You will have access to many more videos and to art that no one other than my patrons can see, plus sneak peeks at projects such as this one before the rest of the public can see them.

You could also buy this painting and many others for half price.
This Painting is Oil on board 20" X 24" $200. to the public $100. to my Patreon supporters.  Plus shipping.

Here's a link to the book.  It's digital only for the moment.  Plans for a hard copy are in the works.

The Book

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Door Behind the Bookcase

I couldn't tell you why it was our job to clean out the house when Mrs. Swenson died. She wasn't a friendly neighbor and had never invited any of us inside in all the years we'd lived next door. She was just a mean, pale, old shut-in who lived with her elderly mother. "It can be so ...draining caring for someone like that" people said. Whatever that meant.

I don't recall when the elder Mrs. Swenson died but I guessed she must have done. We'd never actually seen her.

The relatives had come and gone, grabbing whatever they wanted to keep and dashing off like they couldn't put the place behind 'em fast enough.

When I say WE had to clean the place up what that really meant was ME. My dad had a job, my mom was always busy, my brother and sister were older and had important things to do, so stuff like that always fell to me. I aint complainin' honestly just sayin' why it was I happened to be all alone in some stranger's house when happened.

Someone had given us a key and asked us to get rid of whatever remained in the house so it could be put on the market. Like I say I don't know why that was our business other than it being something no one else wanted to do. They'd said "Help yerself to anything you want" maybe that was our payment. Well I didn't want anything but to put the job behind me. The place smelled like old lady and it gave me the creeps. So I carried several truckloads of old furniture to the thrift store. (It was probably worth a fortune if I'd known)

And then I found it.
There was a door at the back of the house hidden behind a massive, heavy bookcase. It took some investigation to determine that indeed there was space for a small room at the back of the building with no entry or exit aside from this one sealed up door.
Who does such a thing?
Why exactly was it that the relatives didn't want this job? I had a sudden suspicion that the answer was on the other side of this door and I wasn't sure I wanted to know.
There was a tightness in my chest and I could feel my heart beating rapidly. It was the thrill of mystery and possibility combined with the dreadful suggestion of danger. There could be treasure! There could be corpses. There could be dark secrets or maybe nothing at all.
I dragged the heavy bookcase away from the wall. The deep impression in the carpet said it hadn't been moved in years.

The key in the lock turned reluctantly then snapped with heart stopping suddenness and the door creaked open to reveal ... a room... just an old lady's room, with lacy curtains and porcelain nick-naks.
... and the elder Mrs. Swenson rocking gently in her chair and smiling at me.
"Come in dear?" she said, "I haven't eaten in such a long time."

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Skinny Dipping

This was kind of a funny model who worked for us quite a lot for a while.  Your first impression of her is that she's twelve years old and you don't want to see her naked.  then you find out she's in her mid twenties, but you still don't want to see her because she still looks twelve.  Then when she's undressed she actually looks a little older, but not a lot.
 Your next impression is "For cripes sake woman will you please sit still?!"  She shakes and drifts all around.  But once you do get a drawing done it actually looks kind of nice and you think maybe she's OK after all.
In this sketch you can barely see that she was holding a broomstick, but not really using it to any advantage.  In fact she's trying to balance on her right foot and the stick is throwing her off so she wavered all over the place and it was extremely annoying.  Points for trying a challenging pose, but it's no good if you can't hold still.

Then I decided to use the unbalanced posture to my advantage.  I got rid of the stick and put her arms out to her sides like she was trying to hold her balance.  I wondered where to put her that this would make sense.  She could be walking along the top of a wall or a big tree branch, but I liked the idea of a slippery stream where she's going skinny dipping.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Barbarian King

There's probably a distinction between arrogance and honest self certainty but I'm not always sure that I can tell what it is.  Some people are inordinately full of themselves and some people are just plain superior to the rest of us for real.  I'm fairly sure Conan the Barbarian would be called arrogant by some people and would be confused by the accusation.  He wasn't arrogant he was superior.
As Americans we often confuse the right to be treated equally with the idea that nobody's any better than us in any way.  But that's a little like saying to a tall guy "Don't go walking in here acting all tall!"  The dude's either tall or he's not.
 Now be you Conan or a professional athlete, politician, or intellectual, if you're abusive you're going down.  There's 350 million of us, nobody's that superior.

Here was a throne-like chair and a thoroughly capable looking and thoroughly arrogant looking dude sitting on it.  So I decided he must be a king.  A barbarian king.

If he's a king then the chair wasn't quite throne-like enough so I added embellishments.  This is what I love about charcoal, it's forgiving enough to allow changes like this on the same sheet of paper.  Now his face looks less cocky and more glowering like King Conan or some other heroic fantasy figure.
While the first figure was nude the second one is at least borderline pornographic due to the paraphernalia.   Nonetheless I kind of wish I'd left it that way, it made him seem even more disdainful.

I can't decide if the helmet was a good choice or a bad one.  It's a cool helmet and I like the slight jaunty tilt to it, but I feel it takes it back in a less serious direction somehow.
What do you think?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Barbarian Queen 5

Here at last is the final painting and the client loved it so I'm happy.
But every time I look at it I see things I'd like to do a little better.  It's possible I'll always feel that way about all of my work, but some paintings kind of beg me to come back and do it over while some do not.  This one calls me back so one of these days we'll re-visit this story.
I do love the blue color.
I love the indistinct background that leaves the viewer filling in the missing information.
I don't love the lizard anymore although I did at the time.
And although the model really does have shoulders just like those portrayed here, I'd like to dial that down a little.  Paintings are visual and if something looks wrong visually it's wrong no matter how accurate it really is.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Barbarian Queen 4

The board was bigger than the paper so it was not until the drawing was transferred that I could start filling in the remainder of the background.  Not that it has or needs to have a lot of detail.  I wanted vertical lines behind her to suggest a tall space and horizontal lines out front of her to suggest a level surface for her feet to rest upon.
I meant for the two vertical shapes to be pillars, but they could be anything; a doorway, a window, curtains or banners.  I was waffling on what to put in the area to her right.  In one earlier sketch you can see that there was another animal briefly.  I asked a friend of mine what I should put there; a burly barbarian guard, a demon, dragon?  She said "a planter with palm branches."
"A Planter?!!!  With Palm Branches?!!!"  So I tried it and she was absolutely right it's perfect.

I then glazed over the whole thing with a thin wash of blue acrylic paint.  Once that was dry I achieved many of the white highlights by scraping it with a razor blade.  This gave a nice rough effect for the stone especially.
I did this intending to work over the entire piece in warmer tones of oil paint keeping the blue under-painting for all of the shadow areas.  But someone saw the painting and wanted to buy it just like it was.  I said "no, it isn't finished."  They pulled hundred dollar bills from their pocket so I said "OK" because that's just the kind of artistic integrity I'm known for.
I did however insist that they let me do a little painting on the figure before I sent it off to them because up close it really was a little rough.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Barbarian Queen 3

Now that I like all the elements of the draw and their placement I can rub charcoal on the back of the paper and transfer it to a board for painting on.  This board was fairly smooth and had a couple coats of Kilz primer on it which is as flat a finish as paper.  As always the board is recycled wood.  If you are careful you can do a very nice charcoal drawing on a board prepared this way, but you can't do any erasing.  However mistakes can be painted out with more primer if need be.  Then I spray the board with workable fixative and she's ready to paint.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Pear Shapes 2

So lets talk for a moment about what is my favorite subject and almost certainly yours as well: Pear Shapes.  Pear shapes which are basically two circles or ovals mashed together are the foundation of many objects in the world.  Make yourself comfortable drawing and shading this basic shape and you are most of the way towards being able to draw pretty much everything.
The next two images illustrate this point overtly.  The rest of the images illustrate it more subtly. 

I always carry a little sketchbook everywhere I go so that I can doodle any time I'm bored.  But I only get bored if I'm not doodling.  Even if my head is entirely empty and I have no impulse to draw any particular thing I'll often begin with a pear shape.   Pretty soon something else will suggest itself to me and arms and legs and heads will appear. 

Note that as you move towards greater realism this in no way ceases to be true.  On the contrary we find hints of repeating pear shapes in the masses of the arms and legs, tail neck and head.

The centaurs cat body began with a pear shape defining his belly and rib-cage.  The humanoid part is an inverted pear defining his chest and abdomen.

This portrait of myself as Santa Clause began as a pear.  The nose did too.

They don't have to be pretty.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Pear shapes 1

After I've traced the image onto a new paper I tape that up in the window and place yet another clean sheet on top of that.  On this one I only need to roughly trace the girl's but and leg and the shape of the throne.   This gives me a space to design a pet for her.  I know how big I can make him and how to wrap him around the edge of the chair and the girl's leg without covering her up or otherwise conflicting with the image.

I start, as I usually do, with pear shapes.

Drawing with a soft vine charcoal I can scribble out some details, wipe them off and re-scribble until I like what I have.

Once I've got something I like I can place this sketch back in the window and hang my new tracing of the girl in front and trace the monster onto the drawing with her.

And Bob's yer Uncle!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Barbarian Queen 2

Later while working on the drawing at home I made some improvements on the cat, but I still really didn't like it, possibly I'd drawn too many cats around that time and just wanted to mix things up a little.  Also I thought her posture was a little stiff.

 Placing the drawing in the window for a light-box, I'm able to tape a clean paper in front of it and trace the image.  Doing this allows me to shift and rotate the paper around as I see fit and thus altering the posture of the legs etc.  Here I've tilted her to the left so that when I trace her right leg it will angle up a little more than it did in the original sketch.

With the two sketches side by side you can compare the positions of the legs.  Her right leg angles up a little and her left lower leg angles back a little.  It's subtle  but the new one is more dynamic.  It has just that touch of energy and drama that the previous flat footed stance was missing.  This is another instinct acquired from sign painting.  Horizontal and vertical lines are stable and have a quiet dignity.  Diagonal lines feel unstable.  They have a sense of urgency and tension making you feel that something is about to happen.  Neither is right or wrong inherently it just depends on the feeling you're hoping to convey.

Barbarian Queen 1

As you know Gilbert Arizona lies at what was once the westernmost fringe of the Roman empire.  Romans and Celts clashed with Picts from the north and Apaches from the west. Centaurs ravaged the land from central Arizona to the Sea of Texas where the Mississippi river now flows. Goblin hoards poured from the mountains.  Eventually the Romans were driven back to the British Isles, leaving the indigenous people to fend for themselves.
But Gilbert was an ancient place long before that time.  The land is sprinkled with ancient burial mounds known as "fairy mounds" to the locals and said to be gateways to another world.  In fact one such mound was leveled to make room for the very house we're living in now.  Personally I never listen to such childish nonsense as fairy mounds and gateways to magical realms, but I do pack up my drawing kit and go visit those realms as frequently as possible.

On one such visit I had the pleasure of drawing this young lady here.  Now I'll be the first to admit that I'm indulging in a little flight of fantasy here, she really didn't have a cat with her, I just thought she should have one so I drew it in.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The First Step in Illustration

I don't often take on illustration projects anymore, but I'm working on one right now.  There isn't really a nondisclosure agreement on it, but I've decided mostly to only share the process on my Patreon page.  So if you'd like to see what that's all about go here: and contribute a dollar.  Then, if you want to, you could withdraw your pledge after a month once you've seen all you want to see.  I won't resent you if you do that, and while you are there you even qualify to get 50% off on some of my artwork that is available for sale.  So for a $1.00 contribution you could buy a $500.00 painting for $250.00 and then bail out.  I promise I won't resent that either.

The project is a role playing game about pirates on an island ruled by semi intelligent apes.
Here's a little video I made for my patrons.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Snow White Part 5

The little space goblins are enthralled by the young lady's attributes as am I.

Eventually all the the excess space at the top and left of the painting started to bother me so I took the painting outside to my work table and cut it down with a power saw.  I had an old picture frame that was right for the new size so after touching up the few scratches this caused the painting was finished and sold.

There is as much wrong with this painting as there is right so let's review the goods and bads.
1. The idea, I love the little goblins and the play on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
2.  Her skin tones came out very nicely.  This is still the hardest thing for me to do and I'm proud of any painting where it comes out nice.
3. You've gotta admit that's one nifty space pistol.  I know you want one of those.

1.  I hate the orange color on the back wall, wish I'd painted it out entirely.
2.  That negative space between her back and her left hand and fruit bowl.  It makes this ugly straight line.  My eye goes directly there whenever I look at this picture and I suspect yours does too.  There are much nicer things to look at in this picture, but that dark straight line grabs your attention.  I should have moved the bowl so that it overlaps her figure and breaks up the straight line.  Or just cheat and give her a little more curve in the hip. Actually most of the straightness was caused by her hip curve being hidden by the blanket in the photo, but it doesn't look that way in the painting.  Terrible mistake, completely ruins it for me.
3.  And I'm sure I don't have to tell you her head's too small.

Most of the time I'm a -learn your lessons and move on- kind of guy, but I'd like to revisit this one someday.  It could be so much better.  Who knows, I might even put clothes on her next time.
 ...just kidding.

Sometimes I crop a slice out of a photo of my work and print bookmarks from them.  Some compositions lend themselves to this better than others.This one loses the cool space gun, but still has boobies so it's all good.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Snow White Part 4

I tend to save the skin on the central figure for almost the last and the head and hands of the figure for absolute last.  There are two reasons for this.  
Firstly, as the most important elements of the painting I save them to get the greatest amount of attention.   This is the dishonest answer.
Secondly, the actual reason, is that I'm a coward and this is the part of the painting that intimidates me the most.  I'm completely comfortable drawing the figure in charcoal, but when it comes to painting I always feel like a raw beginner again.  The head hands and feet are the most challenging so I put them off.  Many artists paint the central figure first to establish the colors, and the strongest contrasts of light and dark.  this makes it easy to do a background that doesn't overpower the figure.  If you've already done an overpowering background it's hard to make the figure stand out as the focal point, the star of the show.

None of which seems to bother anyone in the illustration business these days.  If anything they seem impressed by it.  They glorify it.  Look at a copy of Spectrum Annual to see what I mean.  You'll see page after page of cluttered confusing graphics where every inch of the surface is as attention grabbing as the main character.  It's less of a narrative and more like a rectangular block of texture.  Like static on a TV screen.  It's not that the artists featured aren't amazingly talented, they are.  Zoom in on any portion of a painting and you will see startling realism, and astonishing detail.  But they don't know when to stop.  Or else the client doesn't allow them to stop.  Perhaps once one artists has packed a rectangle with eye stabbing microscopic filigree from corner to corner everyone else feels cheated if they don't get the same volume per square inch on their own project.

On the other hand perhaps I'm just old and bitter.  I'm certainly old.  And, it must be said, I'd tried many times in the past to get into the illustration business or to get my art into Spectrum to no success.  That can make you bitter if you let it.
But these days I don't care that much.  I rarely take on illustration assignments and when I do it's more as a favor for a friend than a career building ambition.  So any bitterness I once nurtured has hopefully been thrown aside.
 I wrestle with that question whenever I find myself feeling disdainful of modern illustration.  Is it an honest dislike or is it sour grapes?

I'm going to say much more on this topic, but not today.

At this stage the girl in the painting no longer bears any resemblance to my model.  This usually happens which is why I'm not a portrait painter.  Painting portraits is an entirely different skill from painting people, perhaps in the same way that writing songs is different from writing stories.  Both admirable skills, but not the same skill.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Snow White Part 3

These little minion space goblins make the painting but at the same time they don't dominate it.  They are more the setting than the object of our attention which is of course the girl.  as such they don't get lavish detail or bold colors, they need to be interesting, more collectively than individually, but not distracting.  This is a balance that I may have only partially succeeded with.  The purple contrasts with the yellows in the back wall and the yellow green of the goblins providing a sense of space behind them.  Still seeing the world through a sign painters eyes it's possible I exaggerated this a bit much.

Look closely at the shadow in the center of her thigh and you can still see the hard zigzag line where I transferred the image with a ball point pen.

The background and foreground elements are as done as I plan to do them.  The minions seem to dominate for the moment but only because they have been resolved and solidified more than the girl has at this point.
Superficially the fruit-bowl looks like apples pears and grapes, but if you look closer they are all as alien as the rest of the scene.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Snow White Part 2

Her hand was in the wrong position.  She may have moved from one sitting to another, but more likely I moved at some point.  Even leaning forward and back can change your vantage point enough to distort a picture if you fail to compensate for it.  If I was closer to her I'd see more of the front of her belly and the length of her fore-arm, lean back and I'm seeing her more from the side.  At any rate I needed to erase her hand and re-draw it in the right position.  At this stage "Erase" means paint over it.

My friend found a website with a list of "Rules of etiquette for life drawing."  I'm perversely proud to say that my group violates every rule on the the list cheerfully and egregiously.
1. No talking.  (We chatter the whole time)
2. No laughing or making jokes.   (We're a riotous band of hooligans)
3. Do not attempt speak to the model at any time whether she's working or on break.  (As long as she holds still we chat up the model all day)
4. Maintain a strictly professional relationship with the model and your fellow students, do not attempt to make friends or include them in any social activities.    (Our models and fellow students have become some of my best friends.  We go out after class and go to parties at each other's houses)
5. No Photographs under any circumstances ever, don't ask, don't think about it.  (OK We never do it without asking, but we always ask and they usually say yes so I tip them extra and take a pile of photos without which I'd have a hard time doing paintings like this one.  several times the model handed me her own camera and asked me to take some pictures with that while I was at it.)

I kind of want to say that I respect the traditions of other groups, but no I really don't, I think they're silly prudish and self limiting.  I'd argue that, having never had sex with any of my models, no improprieties have taken place, but by some standards everything we do is impropriety enough.  So there you go, if you came here looking for scandal there it is.

I have promised never to share my photos on the internet to which several models have said "post them anywhere you like I don't care" but I still don't, just in case some kind of problem could emerge from that later.  But I'll make a few exceptions with carefully cropped anonymous photos like this one.  This shows that at some point either I moved or the model did and her hand just looks all wrong in the position I originally put it in.  So I painted it out and moved it.

The thing about that kind of sponging texture, like we did on the wall, is that you will lose the effect if you paint over it too many times and then you can't go back unless you paint the whole thing white again and start over.  I really liked the gritty stony texture that I had originally, but I eventually glazed over it so many times that it became smooth an opaque looking, almost creamy.  Plus it got too red and then too dark.  I always wished I'd kept it in this warm range.