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 4

Let’s paint this thing!

Flesh tones are tough to mix. You can lean to far pink or to far orange and a mythical god does not do spray tan. I am using red, yellow, burnt sienna, and strangely green. This creates a dark “brown” but as you add it to white the flesh color reveals itself. I start with the face which is about the size of your thumb print so I am painting some subtle shapes and letting the pencil marks show through.


Moving down to the muscles the trick is use your darks and lights to shape the muscles by staying true to the light source. My anatomy classes from college are paying off for me here. I dissected a lot of formaldehyde soaked animals learning the underlying structures.


Painting hair is something I haven’t mastered yet. I’ll be doing a lot of repainting in the next few weeks.

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.

It’s 2013 and I am hitting the ground running with a quick practice painting

I am looking forward to 2013 and anxious to see how much I can improve in one year.

Let’s start off with a quick practice piece in acrylic. There was a scrap piece of drawing paper on the kitchen table so while preparing meals I started a doodle. Then day after day I just kept refining and changing until I ended up with this:


Interestingly the feathers were drawn like you would imagine a feather or an old time quill dip pen. That looked cartoonish but drawing the spaces between feathers created a more realistic texture.

The paint was applied in washy layers. I didn’t quite get the metallic feel of the gold leaf on the head dress. I may have to go back to it.