Monday, March 26, 2007


I forgot to mention in my previous elephant post that "Plein Air Pachyderm" is 8X11 inches. That's a pretty small painting for me. I plan to do more though.

This one is 11X14 inches and more properly belongs in my Gnemo's Sketchbook blog. I'm posting it here because I'm on the theme of elephant forms. The link for Gnemo's Sketchbook is to your right under the link to my website. In the next couple of days I'll post it there again with the full story of the marsulephants and a few marsulephant drawings. It's too late and I'm too tired to write about these creatures and the symbiotic relationship they have with booth trees they live in.

Why, someone might ask, do I have two blogs and who is this 'Gnemo' who signed this painting? I'm too tired to explain and just about everyone is tired of hearing it anyway.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Plein Air Pachyderm

This elephant miniaturist is dedicated to my outdoor painting and drawing friends:

William Wray
Laurent Beauvallet
William K. Moore
Jennifer McChristian
Leslie Sealey

I'm still pretty busy but I hope to start posting again regularly. In the meantime you can check out the beautiful work of the artists I've provided links for. Please tell them I sent you.


Sunday, March 04, 2007

Drawing with Paint

It’s about time I made a new entry in my blog. I’ve had the new art for a while but, for many reasons (my recurring head pain for one: see earlier entry) I haven’t gotten around to putting it up.

Last week I had to get a couple of fairly finished looking cover sketches done so, just to make it more fun, I decided to do it in a different way than I’ve done in the past.

First I’ll explain how I typically work: rather than draw with a pencil or transfer a drawing over to my painting surface I just redraw it with paint. Paint is great to draw with. It has a great deal more flexibility than a pencil has. Typically I can block in the composition quickly with umber and begin painting in color. It helps to put a thin layer of medium on the surface before drawpainting (I’ve coined a word) because it helps the paint flow. If you want to erase a section you’ve painted a rag dampened with linseed oil works nicely.

The new thing I decided to do was take the drawpainting a little further than I normally do, take a digital photograph of it and tint it in Photoshop. I know illustrators who do entire oil paintings this way. My friend Abe Echevarria who studied with the famous illustrator Morton Roberts learned this glazing approach from him. At top is the first step of my umber/sienna drawing. Almost all of this will be obscured when I go to finish the painting. Normally I’d paint into it with color while it’s still wet. As long as the basic forms are there I don’t mind losing my drawing. Anything I drew once I can draw again.

Above is the second step done digitally. I cheated on the clouds by importing some clouds from an older painting I did.

Note: Not long ago I bought a nice digital camera just for taking pictures of my paintings. It allows me to take high-resolution pictures at a size publishers can use. Even when a publisher needs something a little larger I can shoot two halves of a painting and seam it together in Photoshop for a much larger file.

PS: Of minor interest, I’m posting this from a new computer, a MacBook. It’s a test to see if I can do this stuff on the road and to play with a new toy.