Monday, August 3, 2009


Who can paint a masterpiece in 5 hours? Apparently I can. My ability to procrastinate has resulted in a new record. This is both good and bad. Good because now I know that I have the ability to create something I am actually proud of hours before it is due, bad because now I know that I have the ability to create something I am actually proud of hours before it is due. No - that was not mistyped, it is good and bad for the same reason. I'm afraid that my creative irresponsibility will only get worse now. It is true though, that adrenaline is the magic ingredient that I require to accomplish anything.

This painting would have been a real toughy. Rusty is a good friend from college who lives in Kansas City, but I haven't seen him in a few years and I had never met his wife-to-be. I would have been clueless as to what to paint if it weren't for the wedding announcements that Rusty made. I'll post it later, but from these pretty things I learned that Rusty's favorite animal is a giraffe and Meagan's is a unicorn. Perfect. I had a tall canvas lying around - I'll make a girafficorn! Here's how it went down:

Start Time: 7:39am - day of the wedding.
End Time: 12:39pm - same day (keep in mind I showered, got ready and packed for my trip in here too)
Soundrack incase you care: Neverending White Lights, Future of Forestry, Abandon

I did a sketch during my monday morning meeting - so I knew what direction I was going to go. At 7:39am I threw it on there with my trusty red china marker.

Then I quickly threw down some paint, blocking in sections of shape and color covering every last speck of white. In art speak we call this "underpainting".

Then I started refining the image, asking myself some hard questions and making some tough decisions. Do I like this color for the sky? Isn't this head too big for the body? Should I take a shower now or wait until I'm done painting?
I start adding and taking away, holding my breath with every brush stroke wishing I had an appleZ to hit just incase (that's undo). But every mistake makes room for an improvement. Right?

Sorry there's not more explanation on this, but I was in a hurry. I didn't have time to stop and take too many pictures. But in the end I am REALLY HAPPY with this one, which is rare.

And I think they were too!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Love Buffet: Steve & Blaire

Being a friend of mine has it's benefits. At some point in our relationship you are bound to get a piece of art out of me*. I always promise a painting to pals when they get married. The reputation I have built for myself in this area is a little tarnished though since SOME people haven't actually gotten the painting on the day they get married. Okay, truth be told, some people are still waiting years later. But Blaire and Steve were smart enough to trick me. They requested that their painting be ON DISPLAY at the wedding. Clever, you two. Very clever. Now I HAD to get it done. Good, bad or ugly it was going to be there.

*You have no say on when that is.

I tried to get this all done in one day. It didn't happen, but it almost did. Wanna know how? Okay!

Step 1) Wake up and make coffee - lots of it.

2.) Begin morning procrastination. Have breakfast and watch Wet Hot American Summer for the 100th time.

3.) Turn it off, Jenny. Turn it off.

4.) Good Girl. Now start sketching.
The original thumbnail. The love buffet:

Refined Sketch:

5.) Put it on the canvas:

6.) Underpainting- so far so good.

7.) Steve's face. A step backwards. I'm not happy. Maybe it's just me, but as a general rule, I think women are easier for women to paint and vice versa.

Knowing this I thought I would start with Steve so I could get it over with. This put me in a funk so I moved on to Blaire.

8.) Much better. My spirits are lifted! We'll have to start Steve over again.

9.) Steve gets a facelift. He'll continue to get tweaked till an hour before the wedding.

10) Start thinking about the background.

Steps 11, 12, 13, 14,15) This background went through several versions of what was basically the same thing.

Step 16) RELAX and have a drink or 5. Good, bad, or ugly. IT'S DONE!!!!!