Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"He slimed me, Ray"

For this year's pumpkin I wanted to try my hand at "pumpkin sculpting." I've always admired pumpkins created this way but never actually attempted it myself. After watching some youtube videos and marveling at the pumpkins of Ray Villafane, I decided I was ready.

He's an ugly little spud, isn't he?
For my subject I decided on Slimer from Ghostbusters. His body shape and exaggerated features seemed ideal for a pumpkin, plus he's an old childhood favorite of mine. (Sidenote: we just went to see Ghostbusters in the theater here in Portland and were once again blown away by how good that movie still is. The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was meant to be on the big screen)

The process is incredibly time consuming, though I imagine it goes quicker the more times you do it. I think a major failing on my part was not picking a pumpkin that was already suited to the shape of his face. This would have made the important features like his cheeks come out even more.

As you can see I can coffee with Slimer this morning

I think that the pumpkin came out alright, but isn't immediately recognizable as Slimer, which is kind of a bummer for me. I really wanted to nail it my first try.

Big stupid grin

Below you can see what he looks like lit up in the stairs leading up to my attic. This is the darkest place in my house right now. 

Gotta remember to get some candles before tonight

I'm not giving up on the process though. Its too bad pumpkin carving only happens one month out of the year. Any suggestions on what else I could carve in this style?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Glaring in Red

I can't take credit for the image, but I was inspired by this photo of my friend and was compelled to draw it. I find that I gravitate towards confrontational poses and extreme angles, which is probably why I'm such a huge fan of Egon Schiele's work. 

Also experimenting with monotone coloration. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Problem Solving

 Here are some concept sketches when I was working on that wedding commission of a fox and bear. I wasn't entirely sure how I was going to render their expressions or clothing so I did some sketches to explore some different options.

The Fox Bride looking foxy

Bear Groom is a little sleepy

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Aunt Rita

My show DISTANT RELATIVES has moved from the Emerson Space Case to Fresh Pot coffee shop on Mississippi st., which I'm very excited about. It's a bigger space and I wanted to add another piece to the series to fill out the wall. The series is meant to be ongoing so this wasn't a problem except that I was a little pressed for time. 

Anyhow, this is my Great Aunt Rita, the older sister of my grandfather Paul. She sent me a $10 birthday check every year of my childhood, though I had never seen or talked to her. All I knew was what I heard from the rest of my relatives which was that she was a bit blunt, rude at times, and lived by herself in Fall River, Massachusetts. And of course I always dreaded the "chore" of writing a thank you card back to her. 

A couple of years back I finally got the chance to speak to her. It was during one of her weekly phone conversations with my Grandmother. A surreal experience finally being able to put a voice and a cadence to this person I had heard so much about, especially because I still had no idea what she looked like, but the conversation was pleasant enough, brief as it was. She passed away last year leaving a will that sparked a renewed rivalry between the west and east coast sides of the family that has yet to be settled, but of which my Grandfather still brings up to me from time to time. 

The hours that I spent staring at her face as I worked on this piece, struggling to get her features right, making sure that the shadows weren't overstated and that the space between her nose and mouth wasn't too wide (it is), is the closest thing to quality time that I'll ever experience with my Aunt Rita, but even still I'm glad we got to have that time together. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tiger in a Bow Tie

It's been a while since I've done a good old animal portrait and when I first got my new studio I went into auto pilot and started creating this. I normally wouldn't pick an animal as commonly known as the tiger, but it was the best reference photo I had at my disposal, so there you go. 

This is a colored pencil base with watercolor over it, which is actually a totally new medium for me, but I think it turned out nicely. I'm hoping to do a few on wood panel soon. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fox and Bear

Last Spring I was commissioned to draw this picture as a wedding present. The facial features of the fox and bear are based off the facial features of the happy couple, however the clothing is taken from a vintage photograph that I have. This actually turned out to be a much tougher task than I thought it would be, but it all worked out in the end.