My New Year’s Resolution for 2018 is quite simple – to do more life drawing! (my other resolution is to improve my painting skills, but that one is always the same).
Life drawing, like so many other beneficial practices, is easy to fall out of. As a working artist, I’m always busy finishing commissions, completing revisions, and sometimes just doing paperwork. It’s a lot to handle and it can be so easy to shrug off the need for constant practice and studying from life with “ah, I’m too busy/tired/unmotivated for that sort of thing.” After all, life drawing has no immediate benefits beyond the practice itself. No one pays me to do these drawings and there’s no one breathing down my neck if I don’t produce them.
My latest painting is a commission of a friend and his roleplaying character. This collaboration actually started about a year and a half ago when his father contacted me regarding a portrait for his son as a birthday present. As is often the case with private commissions, it was some time before I was actually able to meet with the client to determine what sort of portrait would work best.
Every now and then, I decide to take a big leap forward with a new painting. “Wrong Turn,” is definitely one of the biggest leaps yet. As 43″ inches wide, this painting is one of the largest, most complex compositions I’ve attempted in recent years.
“You have to finish. There is no other option.”
These words were spoken to me by the renowned painter and illustrator Donato Giancola at the beginning of the Illustration Master Class. This year’s IMC was my very first as an attendee and I was curious as to how many students actually finished their painting in one week’s time. I already knew that the IMC was basically a crazy illustration blitz in which students of all skill levels learn an incredible amount of technical and conceptual skills with world class faculty in one week. What I was unsure of was how many students actually manage to finish a painting from start to finish in that time. I’d seen other people post their unfinished paintings from IMC to Facebook, talking about how much they’d learned and how they hoped to finish their work with the help of their newfound knowledge from the class.
Painting models from life is a precious thing. Over the years, I’ve learned just how rare it is to find a painting group that meets on a weekly basis. Several things must converge: a studio space large enough to hold several artists needs to be available (no easy thing in the Bay Area), professional models need to be willing to sit for long periods, a chief organizer needs to wrangle said models and artists together, and schedules need to be available that permit for said wrangling. It also helps if everyone gets along too!
I was invited to participate in a group exhibition at Sketchpad Gallery in San Francisco, titled “100.100.100”. The theme of the show was simple: 100 artists, each creating a single piece at 10″ by 10″, or 100 square inches.
I’m pleased to announce that my painting “Forbidden Knowledge” was accepted for inclusion in the annual art competition Infected by Art, Volume 5! What is most interesting about this is that Forbidden Knowledge is actually a paint over of a canvas I originally conceived four years ago, titled “Sage.”
In one week, I will be touching down in Pennsylvania for Illuxcon 9. I couldn’t be more excited!
I returned to Latvia a second time this year and was entranced by the glorious castle ruins there yet again.This time, I had a chance to visit the Latvian National Museum of Art and was delightfully surprised to find that Latvian artists from the past had also painted the same exact ruins that I have become enamored with.
I finished a complete color chart of my current palette a few weeks ago and have been meaning to write a post about the process. It was funny for a little while – people would ask me what I was working on in my studio, and I would answer, “Mixing paint. Making color charts.” It […]