Odin

"Odin"

“Odin”

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The fourth card in the Tales of the Æsir set!

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The physical paintings for the first four portraits, 14″ by 18″, oils on stretched canvas.

I have completed the fourth portrait in my Tales of the Æsir series, titled “Odin.” I had a great model for this particular painting and really enjoyed painting a character with a bit more grit to their personality. According to the myths, Odin is the oldest of all the gods and acts as a sort of creator and a father figure. He’s really seen it all, from the beginning of time all the way up to the apocalypse called Ragnarok. Like most of the characters in these stories, Odin has many dimensions to his personality. He is both a wizard and a warrior, a soothsayer and a jester. One of my favorite stories about Odin involves him trading one of his eyes for infinite wisdom – talk about badass!

I know some people will inevitably say of this painting, “hey, doesn’t he look like Gandalf?” Actually, Gandalf looks like him! J.R.R. Tolkien took direct reference from the Norse myths as written by Snorri Sturluson and Gandalf is basically a nicer version of Odin who happens to still have both his eyes. Even the name “Gandalf” is stolen straight out of a list of dwarf names that Snorri draws up at one point.

In other news, I just sent off the first set of these four portraits to get printed as a collectable set. They’ll be available as a limited edition at Spectrum Live where I’ll also have other prints and original paintings available. Stay tuned for more on that coming soon!

Brand New

I am very excited to announce that I have completely redesigned my website! Please take a look around, if you haven’t already.

This was a massive overhaul, to say the least. I am very pleased with the new incarnation- it is now mobile friendly and resizes to fit the screen of your device, be it iPhone, iPad, Android or whatever whatcha’ma call it you may be using to surf the web. Also, I am excited to present my blog in a new format, with multiple post previews on a single page. It has some very nifty viewing options, like the cool little image gallery above. The first image you see there is a study for my next Norse portrait of everyone’s favorite wizard king, “Odin.”

As Bob Dylan said, “the times they are a changin” and my website has finally changed along with them. Keep an eye out for more updates to come!

Aja; Or, ‘How to Paint Polka Dots.’

“AJA”

16″ by 20″, oils on canvas.

I had the pleasure of painting from a live model this past weekend at the atelier school Arte Verissima in Piedmont. The model, Aja wore a great flamenco dress with an intriguing polka dot pattern. I am proud to say that I was the only artist in the room that dared to take on the polka dots. And I’m glad I did! So much of painting and drawing the figure is interpreting their attitude and using it to spice up your picture, like adding salt to a dish. Aja is a wonderful model with a an exuberant personality, and the loud polka dot pattern seemed to reinforce that.

I’m also fairly satisfied with how her face turned out. The weak point of this picture for me is her left arm… I continually struggled with placing it correctly in the socket of her shoulder. It still looks a bit awkward. Oh, the struggles of the artist!

Tales of the Aesir

Tales of the Aesir – Card Back

 

“HEL”

 

“LOKI”

It’s been a while! As every blogger says at one point or another – I have been really busy! Insert standard apology for not posting more often here…

Anyway, here is a new project that I am excited to unveil, titled “Tales of the Aesir.” It’s a collectable card set of Norse gods and goddesses. Each card profiles a specific deity with a description from Snorri Sturluson’s epic poem, “Prose Edda.” You can see more detailed posts about the paintings of these characters on my previous blog posts about Hel, Sif and Loki. These will be printed in a format about the size of a playing card, and I plan on selling them as a complete set, as well as including single cards as freebies with other prints. The idea is similar to when packs of gum used to have little collectable cards in them.
For inspiration, I of course looked towards the iconic fantasy trading card game Magic the Gathering, but I also was influenced by classic baseball card design as well. These designs aren’t quite finalized… but they’re pretty darn close! I plan to have the first set of four characters printed in time for the Spectrum Live convention at which I will be exhibiting this coming May. Stay tuned for more to come!

Loki

My latest Norse deity portrait is complete, “LOKI.” I was really feeling the pressure on this one, as Loki is one of the most well known Norse gods, second only to Thor or Odin. He is the perennial trickster and the most devious of all the gods. In Snorri Sturluson‘s tellings, he is frequently featured as a foil to his more boisterous half brother Thor. In other adaptations of the myths, Loki is often depicted as a ruthless back stabbing traitor, (his actions cause Ragnarok, the end of the world) but he is really much more multi-faceted and contradictory than that. I knew a simple “evil guy”portrait wouldn’t do him justice.
I hope my interpretation serves more to his duality than his villainy. I also included a progress gif that shows the evolution from a refined drawing to a finished painting. Only 4 painting sessions on this one- a record for me! Enjoy!

Hel and Sif

Hel


Sif

I have completed the first two portraits in my mini series of Norse deities, “HEL,” and “SIF.” Hel is goddess of the underworld, and she represents both the place and its ruler. She is described as half dead, half alive- most representations are rather gruesome due to this. However, in the stories Hel is never really portrayed as a villain. Rather, she is more of a neutral character. When she is appeased to release people from the land of the dead, she treats such requests fairly and with careful analysis, much more like a judge than a jailer. I played with this metaphor with the idea that she is a physical representation of yin and yang and halfway down her flesh simply turns black. She is yes and no, black and white, positive and negative. A much more interesting character than a grotesque zombie, I think.

Sif is the wife of Thor and is renowned for her beautiful, golden hair. The most important story featuring Sif is one in which Loki, the trickster god cuts off her hair in the middle of the night as a prank. Furious, Thor demands that Loki bring back her hair or he will break every bone in his body. Many stories start this way, with Loki setting off on some mission to make amends for one of his pranks. The following story takes Loki to the underground land of the dwarfs, where he manages to swindle them into spinning a magical wig made out of golden threads for Sif to wear. Ever after, she has the most beautiful hair in the kingdom.

Keep posted for more portraits coming soon!

Self Portrait with Coffee

My latest self portrait is finished, titled, “SELF PORTRAIT WITH COFFEE.” I took a different tack with this painting and imagined myself as a totally different person and then attempted to paint that person. So I suppose it’s not so much of a self portrait; maybe calling it more of an “altered portrait” is appropriate.

Enjoy!