Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
The next portrait my series, this is Brian Wilson,
creative genius of the Beach Boys, and sometimes
friend of Charles Manson. He was the force behind
the album Pet Sounds, one of the most influential
bits of recorded music committed to vinyl, Pet Sounds
is a monumentally joyous celebration of life, which
contrasts deeply with the personality of its creator; a
troubled, reclusive, drug addled mind, Wilson slowly
slipped into obscurity for the better part of 30 years
when his follow up to Pet Sounds and would-be opus,
the album Smile, became too much of an undertaking
for his fragile ego. He would leave the album in pieces
and unfinished until he returned to it in 2004, and
finishing a version of the fabled recording.
Friday, May 10, 2013
Here is the next in a series of portraits I'm working on. This is a
portrait of the writer J.M.Coetzee. Sometimes considered greatest
living writer, he's at least, possibly, the most decorated living writer
being the only author to win two Bookers, he also has a Nobel in
literature. He's South African and writes about colonialism,
racism, the ability of language to empower
or enslave, and sometimes the outright failure of language. In his
books conflicts are often irreconcilable, problems have no tangible
solutions, and the outlook is bleak. I created the portrait out of a digital
combination of ink, gauche, and Photoshop brushes, and tried to
combined sharp jagged angular features, with a sympathetic, and
somewhat confused stare.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
I've been working on a series of portraits as a personal
project recently (more coming soon) like most personal
projects I set up for myself, it's as much about the content
as it is about experimenting with new medium and process.
The above portrait is the great short story writer Raymond
Carver, one of the more influential writers in the short story
form from the last 30 years. His writing is incredibly lean,
brutally honest and full of from 80's Americana, trailer parks,
and suburbs populated with Violent and vulnerable characters
on the verge of, or diving straight into completed ruin and
destruction. (see his collection Cathedral if your interested)
For this image I was playing with a mixture of ink line (in face)
Pencil line (the coat) The face was first painted underneath with
gauche, the ink line was layered in digitally, and extra layers of
shading in his face and jacket were drawn separately on tracing
paper with flat black ink washes, then layered in digitally, lightened,
and made transparent. For touch ups, I went back and cleaned and
adjusted and tweaked areas with the clone tool, and digital painting.
This is somehow what I ended up with.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
I Did this piece for yesterdays Op-Ed, for a first
person account from Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel,
a prisoner at Guantanamo, about his hunger strike
due to his indefinite detentions since 2001. It's
always an honor, and a privilege to be able to
contribute to this section, but this piece in particular
seems to have caught peoples attention, and helped
generate a discussion in the media about the topic at
hand, and so I feel a special privilege to have been
able to contribute something to a very important
issue. I've been pleased with the reaction in the media,
several other news outlets highlighted the op-ed,
including, The Globe and Mail, Slat, and A Huffington
Post article describing the illustration as "Harrowing"
Which is a great honor!
Below check out some of the process involved in
creating the image.
These are some of the sketches I pitched to art
director Matt Dorfman (I did something like seven
sketches in all):
I started with the idea I wanted to do a
Ben Shahn-esque take on the subject.
We ended up going with the above sketch,
It seemed the simplest, starkest idea, and
it kept the portrait less specific (less of a
portrait, more of an idea). In the final I ran
through a couple versions, I really wanted
to get the feeling right for the article,
and I wanted to give Matt something to choose
from, these were two of the first versions, one
in ink, one in pencil, both with some shading and
the idea of the drip in the background as a kind
In the process of assembling these, I started to
strip out the details, take away the shadow, get
rid of the bag, and as a third option, I sent this:
Which because of it's simplicity struck Matt
as the most potent idea, and was inevitably the
one we went with.
Thanks to matt Dorfman for the chance to work on
Thursday, April 11, 2013
This is a new piece I did for the last Rites Gallery 5th Anniversary
show, titled "Flowers". The show opens this Saturday, the 13th,
the reception is from 7-12. The openings there are always a blast,
and it's always an honor to be invited to show there!
See a larger version of the piece Here.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Here is a sketch's and tonal/color study's I put together for
a piece I've been working on for an upcoming group show.
Initially I had thought of putting a cat in the drawing, but
It just didn't have the look I wanted (I was having trouble
taking the image of two angry men and a cat seriously!)
The final is in ink and watercolor, and the colors ended up
much different, but this helped me lay out a nice balance
of warm to cool colors, and the greyscale was done in four
tones, which helped break down a simple balance of dark to
light. I found I actually liked the abstract simplicity of these
sketches in their own right even though the final is quite
a bit different. I'll be posting the final shortly.