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