Thursday, December 30, 2010

Making a wine label

A couple of months back I was asked to draw a cheerful label for Claudia Springs Winery in Philo, CA. They requested a graphite drawing of a particular old farmer enjoying their product in a light hearted sort of way. I wanted to get it done in time for my trip out to paint Aswah's VW as he is one of their only employees. However, with the moderator project on a deadline I had to work on that instead and this project was pushed until after my trip out west.

This worked out well as I was able to not only meet with Bob and Claudia at their home/ winery, but I was also able to go with Aswah to meet the descendants of the farmer that that this particular wine was named after. I was also lucky enough to be able to wander through their vineyard (Tesla Vineyard) and take lots of pictures during the harvest... like this one that highlights the delightful view from the farm (I gotta move soon):

Aswah also took a couple of pictures (probably more than I did!) and I hope he doesn't mind me stealing them to post up here. These are Aswahs pics! You can view his harvest album on his flickr page.

This is the granddaughter and great-grandbaby of the subject of my label. The baby was eating grapes right out of the bin and off the vine! Om nom nom...

Some more vine action, most of these plants are decades old!

And harvest in action:

Back to business here... I was asked to draw the grandfather of the the folks currently running the farm. His name was Vittorio and I was provided with the only picture that exists of him. Here he is:

I was asked to draw him older, so I crossed the picture above with several characteristics of this certifiably old guy...

...and came up with this drawing. I put a glass of wine sloshing about in his hand for effect.

Obviously, by itself the drawing above has no context. So I took one of my photographs from the vineyard (the first I posted) and heavily modified it to suit my drawing. I tried to match the gray scale and lightened/ blurred it to allow it to function as a background. Here is the final product. ;)

Monday, December 20, 2010

A post for Aunt Virginia

Hey people,

My Aunt had me draw up this grouping of characters for her Grandkids!
Power ranger, Buzz, Woody and Ninja!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

One dog, two dog.

So one is down for Jill! The next one will have to wait just a little bit though. Hope thats ok. I have to go down to my parents house for a couple of days to look after their house while they are in Texas. When I get back on Saturday, I plan on finishing up the second puppy painting... and maybe editing this one a little. So without further chatter (b/c I have to get going) here is one giant dog portrait for Jill in NC!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

random mid-day progress

hey there, here is some lunchtime progress so that I can get away from the easel for a bit.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Hey there, I am working on two paintings for Jill in Asheville, NC.

I took a large 2' x 4' piece of extra thick masonite and cut it into two squares. My signature portrait style incorporates some funky organic patterns as a background. This is how I do that!

First, I apply large amounts of gesso (primer.)

I apply some texture using a stiff brush.

Then I say the magic word and voila! A killer background with a nice taped grid already in place!

lol, There are actually a lot of steps in between, but my camera died. If you look closely in the background of that last picture, you can see the other square behind leaning against the wall. It is a mirror image of this one, but with different colors. More pics of that one later. :D

Keep checking in Jill!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A different dog painting!

Hello there, Yes I know its been a while since I posted, but I have been busy, honest! The holidays have brought with them a pretty full work load and this year it started with this smallish painting for Jennifer here in Massachusetts. She wants to surprise her mother with a painting of her little dog. Jennifer indicated that the style of my other dog portraits was probably a little too cool (lol) for her mom's taste so I toned things down a bit and went with they style of the moderator paintings. A little more realism, but without so much flamboyant color. Plus some outlining for effect. She also wanted a city skyline in the background, so that's in there too!

So here you go Jennifer, hope you like it! I sure do :D

Friday, November 5, 2010

oh yeah.

this little guy too.
A lime green splitty bus.
Acrylic and vinyl on stretched canvas.
4" x 4" (x 1.5" deep)
$40 + shipping

Yeah yeah, I know.

Its been a really long time since I posted... but hopefully this will make up for it!

Two projects done. The first was my Halloween costume. I made a grateful dead bear head out of armature wire, duct tape, glue and fabric. Here it is (not bad for my first mascot!)

...and on me:

Also on my easel was this painting for my friend Zach. His brother got hitched while I was out in CA so this is a wedding portrait of the two of them!

I tried out this new type of paint and really love it. It is called "Flashe" and instead of being an acrylic based paint, it has a vinyl base. The paint has all the control of enamels and all of the ease of acrylics! It's water soluble and has one coat coverage! The only drawback is that it is really matte in appearance. Which isn't bad in many of my applications but I suppose it could be. I use most of my black less as a color and more as an outliner... so as an outliner, it makes for a really strong contrast and works really well. I will likely sink some money into a whole bunch of these colors when I get the chance!

SO here it is in all its finished glory! 2' x 3' acrylic and vinyl on stretched canvas. I am driving it down to CT as soon as I am done typing here!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Greatly anticipated photos!

Hey there interested people! Here is the bus I just painted for Aswah and Lisa out in Philo, CA. These images (well most of them) are courtesy of Aswah as (in my typical fashion), I finished with zero time to take pictures. Essentially I finished, showered and took off towards the airport! Enjoy!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Oh boy!

This is just a quick post for all of the folks waiting for artwork at this time. My cell phone died last night so i will not be able to contact several of you regarding your projects until I get that sorted out. Also, I have many hundreds of California pictures to sort through before I can start posting them, so please be patient! To complicate matters further, my external hard drive needed to be re-formatted b/c it became corrupted and I lost around 200 gigs of old artwork photos, movies music etc. On top of that, Over the past three weeks I amassed around 30 new job leads...

In other words PLEASE BE PATIENT WITH ME!!!! I am going a little crazy right now and will contact you as soon as I am able! AAAAGH!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Boy oh Boy!

So Northern California is absolutley incredible. Pack your bags jessica because this is where we are moving as soon as we can! The arts are so incorporated into the average persons life it seems too ideal to be real! I have had job leads all over the place... a guy wants me to paint his bus (aside from the one I am painting presently) i have a lead on a wine label gig ... plus, there are murals all over the place! And vw buses...more than I could accurately count!

Sadly, my internet connection isn't the best so I am unable to upload all the incredible pictures I have been taking, but rest assured... I will ahve plenty for you to mull over once I return to Massachusetts.

Today I finished sanding the old mural smooth. I get to start painting tomorrow! Hooray!

Monday, September 27, 2010

moderator project is done!

..and with only 4 hours before I need to leave for the airport. I still need to pack, take a shower and sleep (a little.) :D Thanks to Jessica too, because she gets to expertly pack these and ship them out this week. I have run out of time!

Anywho, here you go guys! As promised, 3 paintings for the four people who helped get our site back on track! Thanks so much~

Three paintings on masonite. 1' x 3' each.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

almost three

I started blocking out things on the third moderator thank you painting. It is also around 2:30am now... so I guess it is "almost three" in that respect also. Time for bed, but not before an update for snoopy and the other folks keeping a tab on this project :D

All together now, more detailed pics tomorrow in the sunshine!:

2 of 3

Ok, so my second moderator painting is done now! Hooray! ...only one more to go and I have the rest of today and all of tomorrow to finish it. Luckily, other than that and packing, I don't have anything else to worry about before heading off to California on Tuesday! Laundry is done, bills are paid, and money is in the bank. I think that's it! Look for all three paintings to be shipped out Tuesday or Wednesday. Check back tomorrow evening for the final painting!

Yosemite (Bali) Yellow and Aussan Brown are the official vw colors for these two buses. Both were very annoying to mix! Luckily the next painting's buses are red and white. Easy!

Friday, September 24, 2010

T-shirts done, back to the moderator's project!

Well, after fighting with the second screen most of the day I decided to re-do it and start over. It was sagging a lot and was blotching on the shirts. Luckily i was using my first run misprints to try out the second screen. So the only shirts lost to this morning's fight with the uncooperative screen were those that were already misprinted. See, these are the uglies:

and the bad screen after i ripped all the tape off. You can see how bad it was printing just to the right:

Well, I eventually got it sorted out and finished the shirts. Next (because I can't take a break right now) came the second painting for the moderators. I have it blocked out now and can start adding colors, details and a background. I feel that I am almost back on track to finish the final two paintings by Monday.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

print print print print print

ok, so all these have the design on them now. I wasn't keeping count, but it's supposed to be 72... who knows if it is exactly 6 dozen. It's a lot of shirts to be blunt about it. Filled our apartment, check out the pictures:

I still have to do 2 dozen of them with the second screen, but as I don't know how many of each size is required, it will have to wait until tomorrow morning. Just as well, these should be completely dry before I start handling them. No need to lose any to smudges, I have already had 5 misprints. 2 were lost to too many passes w/ the ink (blotchy image) and 3 were ruined to wrinkles in the fabric. Still wearable, but not the quality I strive for.

6 Dozen T-shirts!

Ok, so today I am taking break from painting and will be doing a whole bunch of t-shirts. This project is for my step mother's church in Simsbury, CT. They will be for the 20th Annual Great Pumpkin Fair. Of the 6 dozen shirts, around 2 dozen will have the "St. A's" (for St. Alban's) for the volunteers. Both original designs. Here are the two screens, original sketch and what 6 dozen convict orange... I mean pumpkin orange t-shirts looks like:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

one down, two to go.

Ok, so here is the first of the three moderators "thank you" paintings. An early water-cooled aussan brown VW Westfalia for a guy in Maryland! Next up is a painting of a baywindow bus!

After losing a days worth of work to being super sick, I have to get back to painting. This time next week I will be busy "researching" Aswah's new mural amongst the largest living things on this green earth and overlooking (for the first time in my life) the grand expanse of the pacific ocean from Californian shores! Most anyone who knows me, recognizes that this is a lifelong dream of mine! ... but... I can't think of that now... it is too distracting! two more paintings. 6 dozen t-shirts. GO!

So here is my newest work, ENJOY!:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Quick post, its pretty late

Earlier today, I finished and sent out Lynnandj's painting, so now it is onto the projects for the FMBC moderators. First on the list is an Aussan brown vanagon Westy. Tonight I did most of the hard work, and though it doesn't look very complete at the moment it is actually quite a bit of progress.

The idea here was to place everything in the spots in which they belong. Tomorrow (after a day trip to cape cod) I will go in with the infamous early westy "aussan" Brown. Love it, or hate it its undeniably a vw color.

Right now though, it is time for bed!

LynnandJ done

Well, I might be able to produce a better photograph with some time on photoshop, but this one is done, ready to pack up and ship! Hope you guys like it :D

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Too busy to post!

So I have been running around like a madman working on more artwork than I can describe now. On that matter, I will have to be brief in my posting today.

First, more progress for LynnandJ. I am nearly done, and was bummed that I missed them driving through my area. It would have been good to hand deliver this one! Oh well, that is why we have the USPS.
Since my last posting, I have started the orbs w/ reflections and have repainted the same one now about 6 times trying to get the effect I want. Once i discover what that is and how to do it, it will be a matter of 10 minutes and the painting will be finished. I also outlined the entire work twice which did a great job at bringing out the background colors. Then I went into a number of little obsessions that resulted in better coverage (it is hard to see in the pics, but the entire canvas has a neat-o crackle finish over the surface. It looks cool, but makes the painting process a little more labor intensive. So here you go guys, I will try to finish this up today. Send me a PM or e-mail!

Also in the studio are a couple of paintings for the moderators. There will be three of them, but as of right now I have only started two. Not much to say about them at the moment and i think my time is better spent today painting than gabbing on my blog, so I will let them speak for themselves.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Some work accomplished

I spent a number of hours staring at this painting thinking up backgrounds before I came up with this one. It will be built up significantly before its done, but I want to have a lot of the blue around those big trees.

I didn't play around with the color levels so the white of her dress is actually white, and not blue. More work on this today.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A post for Zach (and you too!)

So I was just speaking with Zach, a friend who I have known on and off for several years now. ...and this is for him and for anyone else that is looking to hire me for various projects.

First, a link to my general pricing. (...well it's not a link really, because the link function does not function on my blog for some reason, so you will have to cut and paste.) This is on a VW related site, but lists some commonly requested sizes and prices for my masonite paintings. The more traditional stretched canvas option costs extra, contact me to discuss.

Also, my flickr site has many progress pics from past projects and should be a place to look at if you are interested. You might have to do some sifting as this is where I put just about all my internet destined pictures.

Finally, I am on facebook. search "PAINTEDBUS"

...oh, and right now (late august) I am scheduling jobs to start in October. So, if you are interested in my work, expect at least a 1-2 month wait.

Some work on LynnandJ's project

I spent most of my time this weekend at various beaches and re-stuffing the drivers seat on my 64 bug instead of painting. Hey, I deserve weekends too right :D

Anywho, here is some progress from today. I have spent most of my time working on the face. We are creatures that depend largely on very subtle facial features. If something is just a little bit off, it is wrong. Most folks don't know why it is wrong, it just is.

My experience is that even if 95% is correct, others will routinely fail to recognize people they have known for their entire lives. This is one of the reasons I consciously avoid painting my wife, my dad, my mother etc. Because I go crazy trying to fill in all the information that I know is there, even if its not something that should be highlighted in a drawing or painting.

I have often relied on crutches to get over my obsession on these little details. (Not that its really a bad thing but I do need to make money so spending 90+ hours on a $100 drawing is just not cost effective.)

One example of such a crutch is Photoshop. I often work from photographs, but often purposely alter them so that there is NO WAY I can make them exact.

Another way to avoid detail OCD is what I am doing here. On this and on several other recent projects, I have started painting much looser. What this does for me is prevents me from using my little brushes (time wasters, the whole lot of them) and it encourages me to focus more on tonal gradients (the abstract shapes of value that assemble together to create form) and gesture (the implied movement of a given object.)

What this does for the viewers is it permits them to project their interpretation on the work and fill in the details. Win win :D

More to come tonight!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Lynn and J's project

It just occurred to me that I have this awesome oval canvas that would work perfectly for a drawing that I am going to do. I am supposed to draw this out in graphite, but when I saw this old starter canvas hanging out it seemed to fit really really well. What do you think J?

Daylight does help.

Here you go! Clear sunny skies today, so pictures are easy to take.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Steelersbus's painting is done

So here it is... 2am and I *think* I can move on to the next project. I will still have to wait until early tomorrow morning or sunset to get some good photos of this one though. This painting has been persistently difficult to photograph from the very beginning...

On a more art oriented note...

This new style seems to be pretty acceptable. I can paint quickly, while still getting plenty of life into my work (ie. not stencil style.) I will also stop worrying about having things perfect, because they will never be perfect. I can save my art OCD for my graphite drawings. Which, incidentally is whats up next. Attention Lynn and J, this is you! :D

I will finish tonight

...but I will have to take the pictures tomorrow. I am getting some pretty awful pictures of this painting while its in my studio. :D
I just noticed that this image got a little stretched out when I cropped it.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Final work for the night.

Well, here it where it sits now. I will finish up tomorrow.

Fresh eyes are the key to painting well. I am still not happy with the photo btw. Sometimes my camera just doesn't like certain paintings.

Or I am a terrible photographer. Either way its supposed to be sunny and gorgeous tomorrow, so good picture taking weather is almost guaranteed.