Saturday, March 29, 2008

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Painting of the Week: Steinbeck Book Cover

So for one of my assignments at school I am going to Illustrate Steinbecks novel: Travels With Charley. I love the book, and plus imagery of America seems to be what I'm really into nowadays. Steinbecks books meant a lot me when I was in high-school, I'm sure they still do now. But I don't have too much time to read lately, hopefully that will change and I'll be able to crack open Grapes of Wrath or Travels with Charley again, it's been a few years since I've read them.

If you find yourself in Philadelphia anytime soon, swing by 320 South Broad Street, Philadelphia PA 19102. The William H. Ely Senior Illustration show is currently hanging and I am a part of it!

Heres a song thats not Steinbeck related at all.. but I've been listening to it on repeat the last week. It's very mellow and has gotten me through the late nights and stress of my thesis and other projects. It's off Neil Youngs newest cd, he's been making great records for so long.

Neil Young - The Way

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Neil Aspinall 1942-2008

Neil Aspinall was the road manager for the Beatles and eventually the Manager of Apple Corps. He was involved in some great projects, like the "Beatles Anthology" and "1". I think it's a great tragedy that the Beatles lost the rights to so much of their work, but I think Neil and the rest of Apple Corps did a good job at keeping the Beatles legacy alive. Neil also played on a few Beatles tunes, on Sgt Peppers, Magical Mystery Tour and ect. It's sad that he died, so few are left who remember what happened when such great work was made.

It took me a long time to find the Beatles, I never really liked the artists I was listening to before them, I mean, I dug them - but I was trying to listen to punk ska stuff or weezer or something, but when I first heard Rubber Soul it just clicked that this was what I wanted music to be. It had a sense of humor, it was serious, it was well composed, it was meaningful. The rest of my musical taste was derived from what they were listening to, Elvis, Dylan, The Band. At the same time I never want to overestimate what they did, I don't really get the people who sat outside their house or cried when they saw them and all that. And I get frustrated when things like "Across the Universe" come out - because it's just this repackaging of an asthetic they created and it's not authentic and it misses the point.

I just want to listen to the records.

The Beatles - Yes It Is

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Dr. John

In addition to my other ongoing projects I am going to institute a "Painting of the Week" section of my blog. The reason I decided to is because I am taking an independent study with Tim O'Brien and I want to really up my chops and the quality of my work for it. I thought the best way to do that was to hit my nose to the grindstone. Not that I don't already work hard, but I always feel I can do more... Plus it will give people a reason to come back and check out what I'm working on.

Dr. John is a great R/B singer and pianist. Two interesting facts about him; he got his pinky finger shot off in a bar fight, and he was the inspiration for Jim Henson's Dr. Teeth. I already did this portrait once before, but after some crit from Tim I went back and worked on it. In the first version there was no background, but after looking over Winslow Homers Florida watercolors I decided it would be appropriate to put him in a swampy area. I'm pretty proud of the way it came out - feel free to tell me what you think. Here are a couple of the Winslow Homer paintings I was inspired by:

Winslow Homer is one of my main influences. He is a great master of watercolors - the clarity in his looseness is amazing. I pore over all of his paintings every time I get ready to paint one of my own. And every time I'm satisfied with a painting I look back at his work and realize how much further I still have to go.

Homer said of painting, "it is a gift to be able to see the beauties of nature... you must not paint everything you see. You must wait, and wait patiently until the exceptional, the wonderful effect or aspect comes."

Dr. John - Sack-A-Lee

Thursday, March 06, 2008

New Projects On The Way

So I've been in between projects this last week - so I thought I'd upload some stuff in progress. The first isn't a project, just a fun sketch of Hellboy to pass the time. I always draw something of mignolas every once in a while just to remember why I do what I do. The last images are a couple of finished panels for a project I'm working on about "The Band." I'm almost done with the first page and it should be about three pages long. Any feedback on anything is welcome.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Sketchbook Update

Someday everythings gonna be different
When I paint my masterpiece

Another week gone by, just thought i'd update with some work from my sketchbook. This was done from life in about 20 minutes, I did a couple others but this one was the jewel of the bunch (it was done in my figure drawing class). Life drawing is a very complicated thing that takes many years to nail, and I am by no means a master. My professor Al Gury is such a master, it is a pleasure every week to watch him draw the figure effortlessly and accurately. It is uplifting and simultaneously depressing to watch an amazing painter work, but in the end it always hardens my resolve to become as good of an illustrator as I can manage.

The Band - When I Paint My Masterpiece