Ruby Throated Humming Bird Background

Scrubbing in the background, I’m using a lot of oil in the paint to make it washy. This bird is very small and can hover so naturally it would be in flight but still in the leafy shrubbery so the background is painted to give an abstract hint of leaves.

The oil I used has solvent mixed with it so it dries very fast. The problem is in the small confines of the studio one has to worry about the fumes. Brain damage, as it were, but probably fewer side effects than some of the drugs advertised on TV. After all having a little extra belly fat is better than bleeding from the toe nails.

I added another flower and then scrubbed in the background.

Return of the Ruby Throated Hummingbird

The last attempt at Hummingbirds was my first time using gouache. As I put layers on top of layers the colors were mixing like drunken frat boys in a mosh pit. My underlying drawing disappeared, my edges blurred like a night drive in the rain without windshield wipers, and the colors mixed into a gray goo. The piece looked like an impressionists treatment of a mud hole. I left the field of battle bloodied and defeated.

Undaunted I once again put on my ratty jeans, paint stained sweatshirt, and warm socks, pick up my sword and shield,  and march down the hall to the studio. Never give up, never surrender, never stick your finger in a light socket. Trust me.

This time I am returning to the oil paint. I have no photo of the bird in this pose. The pose of the bird is right out of my head with some reference photos on the side so hopefully I have the proportions right. The composition is much simpler than my last attempt. I still have scars from beating my head on that brick wall.

Here is the pencil sketch ready for clear gesso to lock it down and carry the oil paint.

I’m jumping all over the place but I have finished Flame Thrower. The fire still isn’t as real as I would like but here is what I came up with. Another one finished. I think this will be a T Shirt. Feel free to let me know what you think.

Elk Throne Ink

So I broke out the ink and the old quill. A new nib was needed and they don’t always work well right out of the box. With the nib full of ink and pressing hard it just wouldn’t lay down a line. Maddening really, but by turning it over and flexing the point a bit I managed to work it into shape.

I had to adjust some anatomy and add more background elements for this one. It was a good exercise to fine tune my motor skills. Here is the finished piece and a close up.

Elk Throne

I got the itch to brush up my comic book illustrator skills so I just started sketching out of my head on a 9×12 Bristol board. Once the figure was established decisions had to be made for costuming and furniture.

The armor came together bit by bit along with the head piece. As you can see the Kings of old would never have hired me as their armorer. I’m not sure where the idea for the Elk Antler throne came from but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Here is a rough scan of the pencil sketch. My new OS doesn’t seem to want to play fair with my old scanner and the manufacturer doesn’t seem to want put out a driver for the new OS. Can you say COLLUSION? Well, that was a good first try, keep practicing.