Monday, September 15, 2014

Plein Air Burlington 2014

Last week I took part in the 2014 Plein Air Burlington Festival, a week long painting event in Burlington New Jersey. I wasn't able to take part in the painting competition due to the fact I was down at the Baltimore Comicon that weekend, but I did teach a two-day plein air workshop that was a lot of fun.

Thanks to my friend Shaun Stipick who heads the event and the Lyceum in Burlington I was able to teach the workshop and paint at two different locations over the two day.  The first day we set up at the marina, I asked the painters what they would like to paint and that was the first choice. You can see my rig and my demo, which I never finished as I focused my attention on the students work during the afternoon.

 My friends William and Alina stopped by after Alina helped judge the show, she was one of the three judges of the PA competition. They both taught a workshop during the week-long event as well.

This is Michele's wonderful piece that I worked with her during the afternoon of the first day.

The next day Michele showed me around the town and a few spots as she lives and works there and knew the area well. We ended up at this great old power plant that was being torn down.

Chuck one of the workmen there was rally nice and very helpful as were all of the workers who passed bay and watched us paint.

I stared my demo and talked about how you handle such a complicated structure with careful observation, triangulation and simplification. Below is the painting where I left it as the sun had changed position too much.

Michele painting away and Shaun even got to show up and join us to paint


Here I am with Michele who was really great to work with and was so nice to bu me lunch both days. Michele did two great paintings and was a lot of fun to paint along with.

Saturday I returned to the Lyceum for the reception for the show and met a lot of the painters who participated. I think I made a few new friends and have been invited to paint along with a group of New Jersey painters. 

                             Alina talks with a few of the painters who had work in the show

                         Here are the winning paintings in order below, from first to fourth

Next year I will take part in the plein air painting competition itself and I think this show will grow in attendance and importance as a strong regional event. My thanks again the Shaun and Michele for a great week of painting!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Baltimore Con Followup

Last weekend I returend to the Baltimore Con for the first time in many years. The last time I attended was my first year back in school at PAFA, so it had been a long time, a long time that I had attended any cons at all. But starting this year I decided to try going back and testing the waters again. Baltimore was always my favorite, Marc Nathan and his crew do a great comic centric show.

It seems that I was missed from the convention circuit as well as I signed stacks of books and card and did a lot of commissions and sold art. I also got to see a few fellow pros in passing as I was swamped in drawing the whole time. Since I had so many commissions and was still on deadline  I skipped the bar hop this year and spent the evening working in my hotel room.

 I was set up at the Kids Love Comics booth along with my buddy Jamar Nicholas and we had a great time.

Cosplay was so much bigger this year than the last time I attended the con and that seems to be the way the future looks for shows.
 I did several of the sketch covers which are difficult to draw on because of the size and the surface get dirty pretty easy. But it also seems Darkhawk is still pretty popular so maybe Marvel should have Danny and I do another series.

It was a good time a a nice break from the studio here and a I look forward to coming back next year.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Plein Air Workshop!

Next month as part of the Plein Air Burlington Festival I will be giving a  2-day workshop. Check out their website to register and for more info.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Death of a Hipster

                                                          Death of a Hipster 9 x 12 Oil

The latest painting off the easel and the first still life I've done in a while (no puns pleeeze ;-)) . I started this a while ago, maybe even last year and set it aside and found it while cleaning and decided to finish it. Its in oil on a Ampersand panel.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Judge Parker Process

Here are the pencils and inks for an upcoming JP Sunday strip. We are moving on into the new Neddy storyline and I'm sure longtime readers will enjoy it. It's interesting to go back and draw characters that Baretto drew on his run like Rocky ledge.

I'm sure the snarks and Trolls will not enjoy this run, or just obsess over the female characters breasts--which frankly I just don't get, I mean real boobs are always just a few clicks away on the web. I don't check in on the  the Comics Kingdom site very often, but when I do I see the same sad sack trolls trying to be funny by snarking there. How pathetic these fools are.

For the trolls there is no pleasing, and I would in fact never try to appease them, I hope they are never pleased and become so enraged they drop the strip. That would be too much to hope though. That way better fans, real fans will be able to feel free to comment again. King is aware of the issue and has banned some trolls. I've had some great feedback from a few readers recently, new readers and  who have been following the strip since the 50s! I'm sure most of the readers are above 50, and enjoy reading something that they have followed as a daily routine for decades, there are not many things in the world that you can say that about.

 I also found out that over 10,000 readers read the strip on-line every day, Wow, which is also great. I guess our audience is building daily through the internet. So the trolls on the Comics Kingdom site who come in to hate on the strips every day are not even 1%. They are also cowards. Creators have a public face, these turds don't even have a real name and nothing at risk creatively on a daily basis. These clowns are the worst type of people who like to try and tear down the work of others, and I'm sure they are all excellent at their jobs---world beaters--award winners who all have work pasted up on their mommies fridge. Thekings of industry--if they even have a job. I'm sure they certainly have nothing that fills their life with passion or accomplishment or they would be out there doing it instead of like the trolls they are, peeing on the legs of real creative people. I suppose this is just the result of the internet culture allowing so many messed up people the ability to take these pot-shots from the anonymity of their troll dens. Luckily the fans of almost anything are not like that, but trolls are a troubling sign of our ever growing on-line culture.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Painting Up Hill

 I just completed this painting entitled, Up Hill last night in the studio.  It's 12 x 16 on on a cradled panel from Dick Blick that has a kind of textured surface that was fun to paint on. Below tou can see my first blick-in that I let sit for a day while I I mostly used flast on this a finished this week's worth of Judge parker strips.

I mostly used flats on this to block it in then a red sable and a Kafka No 2 pin striping brush for the rest. I love the Kafka brushes in general and use them a lot because they are great for pulling a line and hold their shape as well as a lot of paint. I love painting this time of day where you get the cool and warms colors mixing into each other. This is coming up the hill to the terminal at 69th street and based on a pic I snapped driving home one day from school a year or so ago.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

More Urban Landscapes

I have been hopping back and forth between doing the Judge and painting this week. It was a good week, maybe the best post school with the new set-up and home. I finished these two paintings this week and have two more on the easel that I hope to finish by early next week.
I always have a camera with me thanks to my iPhone so I always find opportunities for paintings like the abandoned Water ice shop, which is a former Dairy Queen I saw on one of my midnight strolls. I have taken up to walking in the evenings to destress and stretch the legs after being in the studio all day.

I have taken to painting on panel of late and was just down at the Dick Blick in Center City and restocked on panels for the big push I have planed this summer painting wise. I still hope to get back to Plein air painting this coming week.

 I-95 11 x 14 Oil on panel

One of the things I do when driving around is snap pics with my iPhone and this painting based on a very dark and pretty blurry pic I took driving into Philly on I-95, but it had a great composition for a painting when I reviewed it.  There wasn't much detail and it was really dark as the camera was aimed towards the sun but often these snapshots will give me an idea or basis for a painting. So the color on this is made up since the picture had so little as well as detail. I have to say  one of the colors I have come to love is thalo green. It can really add something of a surprise color punch to a painting. Its such a strong color though it can overpower a painting too, like thalo blue. Just a touch can spark up a green though in a surprising way. Its a great way to add a vibrancy without adding white to chalk down the color. To me the biggest hurdle in a landscape is handling the color green--and the human eye can see more shade of green than any other color.

So often I see a great view to paint and its from some vantage point like the middle of the expressway or road where I could never set up to work. My solution then is to just shoot away with my iphone or even video the spot as i pass it and try screen grabs or freeze frames later.