Thursday, January 24, 2008

Finally Finished.

Oil on Linen, 24x18

This painting has been a long time coming. I have had it up for well over a year, but have gone 6 months here and there without painting on it at all, as I was getting distracted with other, less difficult paintings. I finally got serious and made myself finish it, and at long last I took the still life down today. So, it is officially done. I am pretty happy with it. I think it is definitely the best still life I have done so far. I may do a few quick ones to cleanse my palate before diving into any with serious finish.
BTW, this is not photorealism.
I thought this might be interesting, I posted a while ago about this painting. You can see how it has come along and how I made some changes that I think helped the composition- namely adding the red scarf through the middle.
Click here to see the post.

Monday, January 14, 2008

WInter Drawing Class

Here is a photo of the drawing class I am teaching this winter. I am lucky enough to be using the wonderful Mount Adams studio of painter Quang Ho. I am trying to teach a crash course in traditional cast drawing. This is not an easy task as I think it generally takes a good full year of drawing from the cast to really catch on. I will say that everyone seems to be enjoying the class and getting everything that can be gotten out a 10 week course. The studio has been a bit of a challenge as it is not easy to get the temperature to a comfortable level in such a large space. Everyone is bundling up and drawing.
Anyone interested in future classes may email me at

Thursday, January 10, 2008

An Illustrious Month

I have not been painting too much lately, but mostly staying home to catch up on a huge list of illustration orders that have been piling up. I thought I would post a few here just to show you what I have been working on. I had a list of over 120 to do and since a little before Christmas have gotten through about half of them. I do the bulk of my illustrations for a company called Columbia Games. They publish and sell a fantasy role-playing game called Harn. The rest of the work I do are for the fans that play the game and want illustrations for their own group of players. Much of the fan produced work is posted online in PDFs that can be downloaded for free. While I do make these up, I am generally working from a pretty specific description. So I have to try to match the text of the article. Sometimes the description is pretty open ended, like "a tough looking Viking Lord". It is a fun diversion from painting, and it is nice to get paid to play around and draw characters, medieval castles and the occasional monster.

Here are a just a few that I have drawn in the past few weeks. The one above is an odd magician story teller, and the other two are Vikings I did for someone in Sweden for their game.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Why I Hate Photorealism

This picture was created by famous photo realist painter, Richard Estes.
In my opinion, photorealism is to art, what dictation is to literature.
It is nothing more than mindless copying. There is little 'art' involved in its creation. All you need is a camera, some basic ability in painting and knowledge of photo realist technique. Simply take your camera and shoot a picture. Develop it as a slide, project it on the canvas, trace the lines, start matching the colors and filling in the spaces. It is basically an advanced paint by numbers project.
As a photo realist, you don't have to make any decisions past pointing the camera at your subject and figuring out where to have the film developed. After that you just mindlessly copy an image that comes out of a camera.
You don't have to know your subject. You don't have to study, learn or feel the soul and spirit of nature. You are just one more step away from nature and the wisdom needed to truthfully render it's beauty. You barely need to look or use any wisdom or understanding. You are a machine that wastes time doing what a camera can do in an instant. Time that could have been spent doing something productive, like sitting the park feeding the pigeons.