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.