Friday, October 28, 2011


This image was created for The Primate Diaries on Scientific American my ongoing collaboration with writer Eric Johnson. This image was created on 140 LB Arches watercolor paper. I absolutely love this paper there is nothing it can’t do. This image is mostly acrylic and gouache but the body was created using a large amount of ink that was laid on heavily with a squirrel hair water color brush then when dried I laid in some color pencil to model the body slightly since this is such heavy shadow. I selected to paid a very specific scene from the 1922 film, this is the scene where he looks directly in the camera before he bites his victim. I always felt that there was something both romantic and terrifying about that moment. Happy Halloween.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Chimp Sketch of the week #1

I will be posting one sketch a week of a chimp. The purpose of this is to be able to create art that is 100% for myself where I can simply exam the animal and expose it on an aesthetic level. This will also serve as an ongoing exercise into a more classic approach to picture making with the ability of freedom and experimentation. My plan is to wake up every Monday and challenge myself with a variety of Media to create a piece of art in 5-10 minutes.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


This illustration is another for the Primate Diaries it was created with black and white pencil with just a bit or white acrylic paint for highlights. It is drawn on a 140lb Arches host press watercolor paper with a wash of Lipton Tea to tone the paper. My intention here is to make this illustration appear to be old as if it survived the test of time after the Russians expelled the Jews from their home Anatevka were they lived there entire lives.

"And among ourselves, we get along perfectly well. Of course, there was the time when he sold him a horse, but delivered a mule, but that's all settled now. Now we live in simple peace and harmony and..."
(1st Man)
"It was a horse."
(2nd Man)
"It was a mule."
Tradition, tradition... tradition
Tradition, tradition... tradition
"Tradition. Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as... as a fiddler on the roof!"

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

With Respect to Whistlers Mother

I started with a simple sketch with ink to define the contours and the overall design thankfully on this one the composition and design was done for me by James McNeill Whistler back in 1871, I changed the composition slightly but the fact that this is a homage to Whistler made this part easier.
Next I added my darkest darks as a point of reference. Since all values are relative to the values they are up against it is important to define early a point that all values are compared against, for me that is always my darkest dark.
At this point I began to define the form with a wash. This is when I begin to soften the values with lamp black watercolor, I am also using plain water to spread the ink that already exists on the page. Since the ink I used is non-waterproof the ink smears and creates more solid shapes.
Now I cover the entire drawing with one coat of acrylic gloss varnish. This does two things; it brings the image down two steps in value and also creates a surface available for painting. Once it is dry since the value has gotten two values darker I hit it with my whitest whites and use a little bit of paint and color pencils to define the shapes a bit more.
The last step is color, using acrylic paint and gouache. I carved the chimp out with a light color using simple temperature changes to show shadow. Here I am using the original painting for color queues but I am still making decisions to intensify them. A little paint and color pencil to detail the curtain on the left and I call it quits.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Evolution of Darwin

Darwin and I got to know each other well this week while I painted his portrait for Scientific American