September 10, 2016
September 8, 2016
Well, it’s September now. Better start in on the backlog.
Here are the rest of the skull watercolors I’ve done to date, in the order done. Got busy with other stuff, but that will be the next post.
Deer and Ostrich. The ostrich is a little weak.
Pig, Seymour (Bones), and Three Views of a Human Skull:
The pig painting was thoughtfully ruined by my cat.
Squirrel and Cheetah:
I wasn’t really happy with these last few, so I took a little break from the watercolors for a few weeks. And then my birthday came.
The thing about birthdays is, if you want something for your birthday, you should get it for yourself. I happen to collect skulls and so every year I treat myself by buying one skull.
Oops. Got a little carried away this year.
For starters, I knew I wanted a monkey. I also knew I didn’t want to spend more than $150. I posted on a bunch of Facebook groups where people buy and sell skulls, but no response. I started looking around for alternatives.
I found an interesting skull, a good addition to my collection, on a wholesale skull-and-shell site. And it was only $45 too! Bonus! I went to check out… and found that I had to buy a minimum of $100 worth of stuff (wholesale, remember?). No problem, $100 was less than I was planning on spending anyway, so I ended up getting this:
Clockwise from the left, a gar, a bat skeleton, a hyrax (the original impetus for my purchase), two chicken skulls and two turtle (“cooter”) skulls (these last were minimum purchases). Cost me about $115 plus tax. I gave a friend the surplus skulls, then painted these:
Hyrax, Gar with Tape Dispenser, Cooter, and Two Views of a Chicken Skull:
The hyrax looks like a rodent but is actually more closely related to the elephant and the manatee.
And then… someone contacted me with a monkey skull for sale. It was half price, $75… I just couldn’t resist…
February 21, 2016
I’m reposting my skull watercolors because I took better photos of them; plus some new ones.
Alligator (Aligator mississippiensis)
Otter (Lantra canadensis)
Opposum (Didelphis viginiana)
Beaver (Castor canadensis)
Mink (Neovison vison)
Coyote (Canis latrans)
Caracal (Caracal caracal)
February 14, 2016
Here’s a pile of recent stuff, including another skull watercolor, my annual self-portrait, and a big honkin’ pile of nudes.
Both the oil paintings — the self portrait and the nude — are painted on toned canvas, what is technically known as an imprimatura. I’ve generally avoided this approach for the past umpteen years, for the same reason I’ve stayed away from watercolor—it’s too easy. When you paint on an imprimatura, you’re basically conceding the painting is about light, not color. The imprimatura is a hallmark of academic painting, what 20th century critics rightly disparaged as “brown gravy.” However, I decided to give it a go because I wanted to get in some quick oil sketches at my figure drawing session. The last pose is forty minutes and although I’m fast, I’m not that fast (see my December 15, 2015 post for examples of quick oil paintings of nudes on a white ground).
By the way, I love drawing and painting the female nude, I actually prefer it to the male, but this all female regimen is getting a little old. It would be nice to get some male figures studies in, just for old times sake.
February 13, 2016
With the cold weather I can’t go outside to paint and I’ve been casting about for other options. I started a skull oil painting in the basement and was extremely unhappy with it, despite several sittings and spending more than 15 hours at the easel. So I decided to try some watercolors, a medium I’ve more or less ignored for the past twenty-odd years. My first attempt was way too ambitious, so I scaled things back, and came up with the following:
My reason for avoiding watercolors, by the way, is that I felt I could not do them justice given my limited time to make art and my commitment to oil painting. Nothing ticks me off more than people who say, “I’m a painter, and a fabric artist, and I write poetry, and I’m a singer/songwriter.” I want to say, “Pick two of them and do a third one as a hobby.” However, I’m reasonably pleased with these, and there are plenty more skulls in my collection.
December 17, 2015
I recently finished up a large drawing pad of figure drawings on toned paper so I thought I’d flip through what I’ve been working on over the past few weeks. They’re all female nudes. I simply haven’t been able to get to any venues with male nudes lately, although I wouldn’t mind doing so.
Videoed with helpful interruption from talkative neighbor for your viewing pleasure.