Atlas 5

Continuing the flesh tones down into the legs you can see here two different mixes of paint from two different painting sessions. They don’t quite match. Maybe one of the bulbs was out on his tanning bed.

Atlas4 Atlas5 Atlas6

Yes those toes are tiny. Not easy.

Atlas 2; refining and background

While refining the sketch of Atlas I have completely redrawn the head. I changed the tilt of his head to create a more somber almost regretful or defeated expression. Draping his hair over his face creates a sense of fatigue.


I have started drawing the earth which has cracked open as it landed having been shrugged off or dropped from shoulder level. I once watched a weight lifter try one too many reps and he dumped 600 pounds off his shoulders. The bar crashed to the floor and rocked the entire gym. It was quite an attention grabber.

I began researching how the stars in the background would look and I did a little reading about the Orion constellation. Orion is known as the Hunter and often appears hunting a lion with a club. In a black and white  sketch Orion appears more prominent than he will in the finished painting. I need to keep him subtle enough not to draw attention away from the central figure of Atlas.



This next painting is straight from my own imagination. I have been painting a lot lately and as I work through this one I think I can’t help but think I have polished my chops a bit. I have a long way to go but I really feel I am getting there. Let’s start sketching.


That captures the basic shape of it so let’s start refining and adding detail.


The face and head are a little off but muscles have some mass and density. It’s a good start so keep working.

Randy’s tribute

I decided early on to leave a lot of white space on this one to give it a quick and loose feel. This is the sort of thing, when viewed years later, that makes you either want to try it again or realize it was not such a good idea after all.


The fire protection gear is a very bright yellow. The problem then becomes what color are shadows on yellow? That one had me stumped so I grabbed some paint and took the time to do a color test of yellows.


After a quick consultation with the artist Ryan Marshall to make some decisions I began painting the folds in the jacket.


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.