Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Hello, Neighbour

My street has some pretty lousy drainage.

The upside, however, is we get new neighbours in the springtime, after the snow melts and the rains come.  There's a duck family that nest in a puddle down the road from us.

I realized a couple weeks ago that I had never done a post for this piece.

I like how it turned out.

I'm always kind of intimidated by animals as a subject, but they actually seem to come out pretty well.

Acrylic on 8x10 wood panel.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Awaiting His Master's Return

Back when we lived in the Dollhouse, I had a big old orange tomcat. His name was Spartacus.

In the summer, sometimes he liked to sit in the window of the kitchen. It was one of those heavy wood framed windows, with leaded glass.

Acrylic on 12x16 cradled wood
I don't have a lot to say about this piece.  It was made during a period of duress, and I find it a calming image.

I miss that cat.

If anyone wants to see this piece in person, it will be on display at the Quest Art Gallery as part of their "The Road to Home" fundraiser.

The Busker

One of the problems I've had in the past that I've been trying to resolve is the tendency to paint the main subject of the image first, then fill in the background.

What this usually results in sometimes is an inconsistency in the background, especially when there is a lot of stuff going on. Sometimes it's inconsistencies in patterning and brushwork, sometimes it's a bit of an aura around the main subject.

For this piece, I endeavoured to fill in the entire background, and then once I was satisfied, I focused on the subject at hand, a gentleman I came across busking in Quebec City a few years back.  Quebec is full of different buskers.  It's really cool.  There was this guy, a guy on the boardwalk who played saxophone; a little old man who played guitar while his wife sang; a harpist; just music everywhere.

Acrylic on 11x14 canvas
So, for starters, I created a plain grey-ish background, and began the work of setting in the brickwork.  Getting the perspective right for the little background alcove was challenging.  I really wanted to give a three-dimensional perspective.

A photo posted by andie (@lilmscreant) on

I had a difficult time with the perspective on the ground tiles, which left them looking a bit like a rolling, fun-house floor.

A photo posted by andie (@lilmscreant) on

Adding the shading to the alcove at least made it look more 3-dimensional.

Once I was as close to satisfied as I was going to get, I used some unbleached titanium to block in my subject. I've found the unbleached titanium good for when I need to cover over mistakes, because it has pretty decent coverage, but also doesn't seem to bleed through whatever goes over it.

A photo posted by andie (@lilmscreant) on

Once I had something fairly person-looking, I blocked in the main colors...

A photo posted by andie (@lilmscreant) on

... Then the details, and done!

A photo posted by andie (@lilmscreant) on

Room for improvement?

As mentioned, the brickwork is wonky in places, which messes up some of the perspective. And, as always, freakin' HANDS.

Favourite bit?

The guy had some very dusty looking shorts on. I think I caught that nicely.  Body proportion is a thing I have a problem with sometimes, especially when not looking at the subject dead on. I feel like, this time, he's fairly proportioned, considering the original camera angle (hence the shortened legs... that, for once, is not me).

Monday, October 17, 2016

Autumn Treeline

Ontario gets some pretty awesome colour come mid-October.  My parents went out and took some pictures last week and my mom posted them to Facebook.

Needless to say, I scammed a couple for the inspiration album.

I really liked the perspective on this one. 

Acrylic on 8x10 Gessoboard
Fall colours are so much fun to paint.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Oak Tree in Autumn

I stumbled across this image while going through some pictures and I thought it'd be an interesting one to try and paint.  I'm not disappointed.

Acrylic on 11x14 canvas

It was the first time that I looked and knew exactly how I would go about creating this image.  It would be a matter of working slowly, in layers.  I made sure to have a couple other projects on the go, since some of the steps were fairly short and if I'm going to sit down to paint, I like to be at it for at least an hour or so.

Step 1:

I started by filling in the sky with a wash of cerulean blue, if I recall (either that or cobalt. Can't remember offhand.)  I allowed myself to be pretty messy with this step, since about 90% of it was going to get painted over, but I wanted to make sure there were enough bits of visible blue sky peeking through.

I had started on step two before I got the idea to document my progress, hence the blotchy white in the corner.  Like I said, I let myself be very messy with this step.

Step 2:

Once the blue layer was fully dried, I went over it and filled in a good portion with some Titanium White, using a scumbling brush to make puffy, semi translucent cloud forms.  I added some neutral grey here and there to add lowlights to give the clouds some dimension. I tried not to fill in the entire canvas, as again, I wanted to make sure there was a good amount of visible sky.

Floofy clouds. Too bad most of this is getting covered up too.
Step 3:

Using Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Yellow, Raw Sienna, and Bronze Yellow, I added a layer of leaves. The main light source is coming in from the bottom-right corner, so I tried to make those leaves lighter and more translucent than the ones in the top right, which I gave more shadow and deeper coloring.

Step 4:

Using a combination of Burnt and Raw Umber, and a lot of retarder for flow, I blocked in the trunk and branches of the tree.  The original photo has more going on with some background trees, and a few branches that had fallen horizontally across the picture, but I left those out.

I seriously considered stopping at this stage. I really liked where it was, and was afraid of screwing it up. I'm glad I didn't though.
Step 5:

Lastly, using Unbleached Titanium, Raw Umber, Prism Violet and some Cobalt Blue in various mixtures, I added the texture of the bark, including some of the scars on the tree trunk.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Hell on Wheels

I am not a very good roller-skater, a sad fact I attribute to lousy balance, and weak, fat-girl ankles.

But every so often I try it.

Acrylic on 4X4 Gessoboard

Monday, September 5, 2016

Girl and Dog

I took my girls on an impromtu trip to Quebec City a few years back, over the Labour Day weekend.  Quebec City is a little over 900 km from where I live, so it required at least one overnighter.

A friend and former co-worker offered to put us up for the night at their house, which was also an operating dog kennel and breeders, so there were Australian Sheepdogs all over the place.

I snapped a picture of my youngest in the field with one of them.

Acrylic on 8x10 Wood Panel
I did this one very quickly, I think all told it took about and hour and a half. I just wanted to practice some techniques I had seen in a few books, mostly to practice getting depth through lighter backgrounds, darker foregrounds.

I link that it has a kind of impressionist feel to it.  The day was rather overcast so I don't have a really good light source, so that was kind of a bummer.

I like how the dog turned out though. Animals are a new thing for me, so I was happy with that aspect.  Overall I rather like this piece.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Another Evening in Tiny

I think I am eventually going to have an entire collection of Tiny Beach sunsets.  The problem is that there are so many of them. I really need to make a point of remembering which beach I am at when I take which reference picture. 

Acrylic on 10x8 Wood panel
I don't quite remember which beach this is.. I want to say that it's possibly the 11th concession again, but it could also be the 13th. 

Getting the texture on the surface of the water was difficult, to say the least.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Everything Happens in Florida

This piece certainly took a detour from the idea I had originally conceived.

In the beginning, the idea was that this would be another addition to my Tallahassee collection, inspired by the Mountain Goats album of the same name.  I had become fixated on a line from Southwood Plantation Road:

"Where at night, the stars flow like milk across the sky"

I wanted to show a towering, dilapidated house angled against a star-filled sky.  Alas, my abilities with perspective still need work, as does my spattering techniques.

I ended up sitting on this for a while, since while I liked the house, the surrounding canvas was pretty boring and the tree in the background looked pretty stupid.

A few months later, I'm working on another piece that required working in small steps, and I'm feeling kind of silly, so I decided that what this piece needed was a giant, purple alien-squid thing, descending upon the house.

I think it works.

I called it "Everything Happens in Florida" as a ode to the original concept, and because, well.. Florida is a weird place.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Self-Portrait - Bathroom Graffitti

There used to a band that I followed frequently. Not like Grateful Dead-Head type followed, but I'd try to catch their shows whenever they were in town.  They were called The Schomberg Fair (not to be confused with the Schomberg Agricultural Fair, although they did play there a few times), their genre was best described as "Speed Gospel" (banjos, twangy guitar, hard-and-fast rhythms, and the occasional Biblical reference), and I wish they were still around, because they were great musicians and pretty cool guys.

This painting is based off a picture that my friend Amber took at their "Mercy" CD release party at Sneaky Dee's in Toronto, back in roughly 2011/2012.

Acrylic on 8x10 wood panel
I used the Liquitex soft body acrylics for this piece, as I find they are really good for bright vivid colours, which was the most important aspect for this piece, as the original reference photo is also very bright.

I had a good deal of difficulty with two parts of this picture: The hands, naturally, as it has become apparent that hands are my nemesis; and getting the correct angle of my face, since I am not used to trying to draw/paint faces that are facing aways.

I'm really happy with that ear. It's a small detail, but man.. ears are hard. I also like the way the fur on the cuffs and collar of my jacket turned out. I miss that jacket, even if the zipper never did work properly.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Cawaja Beach Sunset

I live about 10 minutes away from what is apparently the largest freshwater beach in either North America or possibly the world.

They get some pretty nice sunsets.

I'm considering making this a part of a set... Eventually I may have a sunset painting from each beach throughout the township.

This is Cawaja Beach, or the 11th Concession of Tiny.

Acrylic on 8x8 Gessoboard
Fun tidbit. Underneath this sunset scene is a botched attempt at a Gord Downie portrait which came out looking disturbingly like an ex.  So I painted over it with this pretty sunset.  Good times.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Modern Day Behemoth

This piece was a royal pain in the ass.

Acrylic on 11x14 canvas
The gentleman friend does a lot of work out in Western Ontario. Occasionally I will drive out to where he works and find myself awed (and a little disturbed, granted) by the fields of wind turbines that have sprung up, hundreds of meters above the tree line.

The original concept for this painting was a field of turbines, towering over the trees, fields, and farmhouses.

And I Just. Couldn't. Get. It. Right.

I must have scrubbed, and repainted, and regretted, and swore, I don't know how many times. Finally I decided to go in an entirely different direction and focus on a single turbine against the sky.

At first, I didn't like the end result, but I guess it has kind of grown on me. I still have problems with perspective, as you can see, but I like the slightly cartoonish quality to the piece.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Gus, The Polar Bear From Central Park

I'm going a little out of sequence, as I have a couple other pieces I finished before this one.

However, this one is kind of special as it parks one of the few times that I've had an idea in my head that came out pretty much how I envisioned it.

Acrylic on 5x7 wood
For the last week, I've had the Tragically Hip's "Gus, the Polar Bear from Central Park" in my head, which is a song about a depressed polar bear in the Central Park Zoo.

I'll be totally honest. I've never been to the Central Park Zoo, or even New York for that matter, and my vision of Gus in his pen is pretty much informed by snippets that I remember of the movie Madagascar.  Hence, the brick walls and wrought iron fencing.

I've not painted a lot of animals so I made use of some reference photos just to make sure my bear looked like, well, a bear.

But overall, the image I got was the one I saw in my head all last week as I was humming this song to myself.  So I am happy.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Daigle House

The original working title for this was originally just "Abandoned Farmhouse on the Trans-Canada Highway" but having done a bit of research I found that the place was known locally as "The Daigle House". 

This house stood not too far from Highway 17, outside of the town of Iron Bridge, ON, which if I recall is about an hour or two from Sault St. Marie.  My kids and I stumbled upon it while heading home from an epic road trip to Fort Frances.

What you don't see in this picture is the graffiti that covered the structure, and the small swarm of monarch butterflies that had converged near the front steps the day this picture was taken.

11x14 acrylic on wood panel
There's a lot I like about this piece, but my favourite detail is probably the most subtle. I'm absolutely in love with the little bit of sky that is visible in the top left-hand corner.  The sky that day was somewhat overcast, and I feel like I caught the little smidgens of blue that were peeking out perfectly.

I'm pretty pleased with the tree as well.

As usual, my perspective needs some work, but I feel like I'm getting better.

Sadly, what was left of the Daigle House burned down in early 2014.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Penetanguishene Harbour at Dusk [UPDATED]

12x 12 acrylic on canvas
Stumbled across the reference picture on the Penetanguishene Instagram page and thought it was kind of cool.

The original reference photo credit goes to Devon Mary Ward.

I'm not entirely sure if I'm happy with this. Some of the colors I like, and I like how the lights on the shore turned out.  I'll be submitting this and this piece to an upcoming "Places and Spaces" show at the Quest Art Gallery.

Wish me luck.

UPDATE: This piece was accepted and will be on display at the Quest Art Gallery in Midland, Ontario from June 24, 2016 to August 20, 2016.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Barrens, Muskoka Road 13

Between Highway 400 and Highway 11 in Ontario, there is a corridor of lakes, wilderness, and cottage country.

One of the roads that runs (partway) across this corridor is Muskoka Road 13, also known as Southwood Road (which never fails to get The Mountain Goats' "Southwood Plantation Road" stuck in my head.

Along this road there is a place known as the Barrens. It's a small, open lake, surrounded by Canadian Shield and low-lying shrubs. It's kilometers away from any civilization and I'm told at night it's one of the best places to look at the stars, due to its lack of light pollution.

It's one of my favourite places.

Acrylic on 20x16 Canvas
Of course, it's still rather popular and people sometimes leave garbage behind, which sucks, but made for an interesting detail in this particular landscape piece.

This piece took me about four 1-2 hour sessions to complete, and just seemed fall together beautifully.  As I've mentioned before, I love working with soft body acrylics, as the colours are rather vivid and the textures seem a lot smoother. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Abdundance (Not Safe For Work - Nudity)

I am a fat woman.

I say this not as self-derision but a statement of fact regarding the physical space I take up in this world.  It's more than the average woman.

I'm fat, yo.

As such, I've struggled with self-image over the years.

Two things have helped me come to grips with my self-image: the fat positivity movement, and art.

I like painting and drawing fat bodies. I like being able to see a drawing or painting I've made of a fat body moving, or dancing, or merely existing without shame, and feeling like I've created something beautiful.

In turn, I feel a bit better about the body I inhabit. That it has beauty as well. (There's a guy I share my heart and home with.. he tells me it does.  A lot. But I don't always believe him).

This is not a self-portrait, merely a celebration of body type that I share.

I call her 'Abundance'.

Acrylic on 10x12 wood panel
I pulled a bit of inspiration from religious imagery, with the aura around her head, but I also feel like the green/blue background evokes nature, land and water.  She's kind of an Earth Mother figure.

Reagan said she looks like Ariel. I think she's got some Melisandre in her as well (Gord knows, she likes being naked).

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Oil Tank Tulips

I am not a gardener, by any means.

One of the previous neighbors, I believe, was.

Every year I have about a half-dozen tulips that come up beside my oil tank.

That is my 'garden'.

Acrylic on 8x10 Masonite board

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Death Has Been Into His Record Collection

2016 has been a shitty year, for musicians especially.  Droppin' like flies.

Acrylic on 9x12 Masonite
I still like the concept. Execution could be improved. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Over by Chris P's Parents Place

This a quick post, since I have been working on stuff lately, but not posting as much. After getting a few projects done, I've hit a wee bit of a slump.

So I'll do some posting instead.

8x8 acrylic on gessoboard
I saw this picture on a friend's Instagram feed and (almost) immediately asked if he'd be okay if I painted it (you know, after getting over the whole 'would that be weird?' thing).

I'm pretty damn happy with this. This was my first time making use of matte gel, since it was a very muted palette (which I'm not totally used to).  As well, I did a bit of knife work to get the weathering on the wooden boards.

Check out Chris' comics and other work on his instagram

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Home of Beautiful Sunsets - My First Commission!

In my time, I have not sold a lot of paintings, but I've sold a few. Recently, after a near bidding war over my Grundy Lake Sunset (and by bidding war I mean a conversation that went "I'd like to buy that one too." "Oh, I've already promised it to someone else" "Darn.") I got a request from Sharon—a family friend who has already previously purchased two of my originals (here and here)—to paint a picture of the sunset from off her back deck.

Acrylic on 12x10 canvas
For years, before it was amalgamated into Tay Township, a sign at the main entrance to Victoria Harbour, ON boasted of being 'The Home of Beautiful Sunsets'.  It was not in any way false advertising.

I had two challenges in this piece; first, the photos I was working from were cell phone images of not terribly high quality, so to be honest, a lot of the background detail is out of my imagination.  Second, I have an odd love-hate with painting sun-glare.  This time I managed to get the look I wanted by alternating glazes of cadmium yellow hue and titanium white.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Girls in Old Quebec - Redux

This re-do is a bit different than ones that I've done before. Most of the time when I've made a second attempt at a painting, I paint overtop of what is already there.

This time, I decided to just go from scratch.

You may have seen my earlier post of a picture I did of my girls on a visit to Quebec a few years ago, and read of my trials trying to use gouache as a medium.

I kind of suck at gouache.  Acrylic is really more my 'thing'.

So I decided that since I still really like this image and wanted to do it more justice, I'd try to tackle it in acrylic this time.

To refresh your memory, here is the original piece I did in gouache:

Gouache on 12x16 canvas

And here is my second attempt:

Acrylic on 11x14 canvas
Putting preference of medium aside, I like to think this is a pretty good indication of my progress as a painter.  While there is still some issue with proportion (that wall in the background was actually about three times Reagan's height, rather than double).

Truth be told, I was never happy with the original.  This, I am happy with.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Grundy Lake Sunset

I was pleasantly surprised how quickly this came together.

Grundy Lake is a provincial park that my family and I camped at for a number of years.  We usually managed to luck out and get a site with very close access to the water, and some very nice sunsets.

Acrylic on 12x9 wood panel. SOLD.
Like my previous piece, I took advantage of the ability to move colour around and instead of being frustrated by my inability to create solid colours, I tried to use the transparency of the paint mixed with the gel medium to my advantage.

I like a lot about this picture. I feel like I caught the brightness of the sun. I find getting whites and yellows to have that ultra-bright glare can be difficult in paint. They seem to come out dull, or the glare looks less like glare and more like.. well, paint.

If I had to pick one thing that bugs me, it's that the reflection of the sun is not quite lined up with the sun itself.

Oh well. Otherwise, I am pleased.

Purple Fantasy Mountain

Night time scenes are challenging.  Did you know that?

I'm starting to figure that out.

I guess what it basically comes down to is that instead of figuring where to shade, you have to concentrate on where to show light.

And always the muted colours.

Acrylic on 10x8 panel - SOLD
I'll be honest. My original thoughts were to paint a scene of our local waterfront at night.  There is a spot just outside of town where you come down a hill and you can see the entire bay all lit up.  I thought I might be able to paint from memory, but lets be honest, that didn't happen, so I just kind of let this picture take me where it wanted.  Where I ended up was not even remotely to where I started out.

Oh, there was water, so that's kind of the same, right?

(I still plan to paint that scene, at some point. But I need to take some reference photos first. Or get myself a plein air set-up.)

Wood supports don't seem to suck color up as quickly as canvas does (even primed) so there's a lot of opportunity to move color around, which can be liberating and frustrating, at the same time. I must have colored the board in with purples and blues, and then wiped them off again, about twenty times.

What resulted was an interesting sort of glazing effect. I was using a lot of gloss gel which gave a bit of transparency to the color as well.  This worked out well for the sky and water, giving both a bit of depth.

The frustrating part would come when I got things looking just about right, and then I'd try to blend a bit more and rub a whole swath of color right off the board.

That happened a few times, and it sucked.

I don't have a lot of complaints here. The stars look a little juvenile, but that's about it.  I like the look of the water quite a bit.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

.@hawksleyworkman Triptych - Redux

I took a stab at fixing up a triptych of images that I had painted back in roughly 2010, and I am not disappointed.

I think at the time I was going through a period where I was not particularly patient enough to go through the trouble of actually priming the canvases I was working on, which tends to show through, as the cheap paint I was using at the time gets sucked right into the canvas, leaving a lot of splotches.

A few years later, I know better. I've also improved at shading, body proportion, and facial features.

This is a trio of small paintings based on the musical works of Hawksley Workman, a delightfully eclectic and ridiculously talented musician out of Huntsville, Ontario.

The pictures on the left are the updated paintings and the ones on the right are the originals.

Paper Shoes - 6x6 acrylic on canvas

Smoke, Baby - 6x6 acrylic on Canvas

Oh, You Delicate Heart - 6x6 acrylic on Canvas
One of the main things I did was try to match up the purple background to give a little more unifying consistency. I added detail to the visible facial features (2 and 3) and more proportion to the bodies in 1 and 3.

I also added a bit of a gradient to picture number 3 because I wanted to give the impression of being in a crouched position, so the gradient suggests a bit of a ground level.

Bits I'm not so thrilled about?

1) Not much to complain about, here. I'm honestly pretty pleased.
2) I'm rather ambivalent about how she looks.  I love the details of her face (I'm very proud of that nose!) but the age looks off.  Also weird micro-hand.  I also overworked the smoke.. I used a dry-brush effect to get it all wispy, but I should have left well alone after the second sweep.
3) The feet could have used work, and as is usually the case, her right hand looks like a meaty man-claw

Things I like: 

1) The skirt, the hands, and the fact that her arms are just a bit pudgy.
2) That nose! I love that nose!  It's one of the best noses I've ever done! I also enjoy the shading under the chin.
3) I really like the way her shirt looks more drapey than it did before.  Also, while I expressed frustration with the right hand, I really like how the left hand turned out.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Self-Portrait with Guitar

I'm not exactly sure what was a more disappointing and frustrating experience; painting this piece, or trying to take a picture of it that didn't show ALL of the GLARE and ALL OF THE CAT HAIR that is consistently on EVERYTHING.

One day, if I ever become a renowned artist, historians will be able to authenticate my works by running a DNA analysis on ALL THE DAMN CAT HAIR embedded into each piece, because it never, ever fails.

So I'm not going to lie: this photo has been doctored a fair bit to reduce some of the glare and emphasize the dark background. I used to have a decent scanner, which may have mitigated the issue, but I don't anymore.

Acrylic on 10x8 Masonite
Back when I used to go to open mike nights, a habit I definitely need to get back into, a local photographer (whose name escapes me, but as soon as I remember it, I'll give some credit) took pictures of the performers. I bought a print for myself.  It used a lot of negative space which I thought looked really cool.

Unfortunately it was a regular pain-in-butt to paint.  You know how I hate hands?  Hands shrouded in darkness is even harder. I finally got my right hand looking the way I wanted, but I never quite got the left hand working quite right (ha!).

I do, however, like the way that the guitar worked out.  Trying to get the lighting on my face was troublesome: it took a while before I stopped looking like a bearded man.  I kind of look like a Muppet, but I can live with that.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

And We Called Her "Julie"

There's a story behind this.

A few years ago, one of my best friends and I took a trip to Toronto to visit another friend who was quite sick and in hospital.  Said other friend is doing much better these days. That being said, sign your donor cards, folks!

Dan and I used to have a penchant for mischief. Generally well-intentioned, mostly harmless mischief.

On our way to the hospital we stopped to pick up some get well cards, but since it was close to christmas and get well cards are depressing as all hell, I think we ended up with Swedish Christmas cards and a vibrating stuffed penguin, because Carlton Cards used to be a hell of a place.

At the check out, Dan exclaimed "Look, Andie! Balloons!" pointing at the helium filled mylar balloons.

I smiled at the cashier and said "Oh, I can't say no. He's been so good today."  I should probably mention that he was probably about 32 at the time.

Vengeance for this crack was swift, and came in the form of a 30-some-odd-old, 6'2" ish man literally skipping down the hall of the Bayfield Mall, giant yellow happy-face balloon in hand.

We called her "Julie."

Acrylic in 10x8 wood panel
 This is "Julie" riding the TTC.  Yes, we took that thing all the way to the city, in the car, through Yorkdale, on the subway, and into the hospital.

(There does exist footage of my friend getting rather fresh with Julie on the subway, but you didn't hear that from me).

Julie at the hospital, in her full glory. The nurses got a kick out of this.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Dancer Romancer

So, I've had a number of pieces inspired by an eclectic ensemble out of Peterborough by the name of The Burning Hell.

The first song I heard by them, and the first song of theirs I learned to play by them was a tune called "Dancer-Romancer" which basically states that we're all here by chance, whether ant or tree or human being, and we're all going to die, eventually.

This picture here is a literally interpretation of the third verse:
When the little baby plays in his little baby box of sand
Will he crush the little ant with his little hand
Will a lightning storm bring tall tree crashing down
on the little sand box and if it does will there 
be a little sound if there's no one around
Acrylic on 12x20 gallery canvas
I wanted to get all the subjects in this verse incorporated into one scene, so there's a lot going on here.

I decided to make the baby more of a toddler, and also a girl, because why not?

In my head this was going to have a very extreme forced perspective, more of an ants-eye-view, but I'm not that skilled yet.  That being said, I do like the way this turned out.  I got to make use of some of my mediums to give the sandbox that gritty texture.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Some Canadian Content for #SketchySunday

I'm from Canada. I take an odd amount of pride in our popular culture.

People say that Canada has no good television, and it's such a lie. It's just a matter of knowing where to find it, and watching it so it doesn't get cancelled after one bloody season (R.I.P, Strange Empire).

One show that I'm currently fixated on is X Company, which is loosely based on actual events. It's about a group of spies trained out of a spy camp in Central Ontario during WW2.

This is a scene from last week's episode where Aurora Luft befriends the wife of a German official, in an attempt to gain counter intelligence. It took me a pretty long time. I'm sort of happy with it, but I do realize that both women have facial features that are too big for their head.

The other sketch I worked on this week is a picture of Greg Keelor and Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo, a very well known Alt-Country group based out of Ontario (I think!).

The reference picture had a lot of backlight so in my attempt to catch that, I just ended up drawing a lot of lines too lightly. But I like it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tay Township Roadside

I like to go on drives.

I enjoy getting lost, exploring twisty, turn-y roads and trying to gauge whether that "No Exit" sign is just a suggestion (Plot twist, sometimes it is).

Occasionally I'll snap some photos.

This was one of them, taken near the hole-in-the-wall on Highway 12 just outside of Victoria Harbour on a early spring evening.

Acrylic on 8x10 masonite board
For a piece that I'm still deciding on whether or not I like it, a surprising number of other people seem to enjoy this piece.  It now holds a record 26 likes on my Instagram page, so that's something, I suppose.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

#Sketchy Sunday: Random Portraiture

I've been sick, so instead of painting this week, I've been working on doing some sketching and pencil drawings to improve my portraiture. It's much easier to sketch from the comfort of my couch.

These are a few things I've been working on over the last week.

This is just a dude I drew. I need work on doing masculine features (also, eye-spacing). He puts me in mind of Homer Simpson.

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A Jessica Williams that doesn't really look much like Jessica Williams, but I still thought it was nice picture.

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When I was looking up reference pictures of Jessica Williams, Google suggested Jessica Walter. So I ran with it. This is the one I am most proud of at this time.

  And this is the one I am most sentimentally attached to (but am also very proud of): Mr. Stompin' Tom Connors.

And lastly, because yesterday would have been his 49th birthday, I did an okay-but-not-awesome Kurt Cobain: