Saturday, 13 November 2010

Marian finished.

I've finished my painting 'Marian'. It's also been added to my store, in the 'light fantasy section.

Marian by ~dashinvaine on deviantART

Friday, 12 November 2010

Marian, nearly finished

My latest oil painting revealed itself to be of Maid Marian, of Robin Hood lore. Coming on reasonably well, I feel, and nearly done. Stylistically I'm aiming for something inbetween those immortals J. W. Waterhouse and Keith Parkinson. (I only said 'aiming'.)

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Tate Britain

I popped into Tate Britain today, and some changes have been made. No sign of Draper's 'Lament For Icarus' or Waterhouse's 'Saint Eulalia' anymore. Instead we have more rooms than ever of minimalist blank canvasses, Damian Hurst's stupid dotty offering and some photos of the tights bunny thing. On one wall, something resembling a crooked ladder was stuck up. Another room was sealed off, with a real ladder lying in the middle of the floor, glimpsed through a tear in some plastic sheeting. The sign read 'room closed for installation'. I LOLd. I'm still not sure if the ladder was waiting for some workmen or whether it was itself the installation.

There were a few interesting new things, like a Harrier jet hanging from the ceiling, and I did yawn once or twice looking at some of Constable's paintings, by contrast. Obviously the spectacle of a jet fighter hanging nose down inside classical building is novel and visually more impressive than a painting of trees, but I don't call it art and I don't buy all the artist, Fiona Banner's pseudo-intellectual justification for the idea, which I suspect was made up after the idea was thought of. (There was another jet further on which was parked upside down. Upside-downness is a favourite theme of modernists, as Burdick observed).

By and large my opinion is that if you want to call yourself an artist, what you exhibit should be a product of your hand as well as your mind, and it shoud involve skill in composition and execution. Recycled aircraft and simplistic abstract paintings don't qualify.

Galleries like this tell the official story of art history, yet seem to conform to a particular ideology. People profess to appreciate this stuff and find it profound because they have been conditioned to, more often than not, and because they don't want to commit artistic heresy, or be labelled 'Philistine'. But of course only a fool can't see the splendid cloth of gold from which the naked Emperor's glorious costume is made.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

More WIPS on the Mermaid

Painting mermaids seems to be a good source of solace from the continuing problems afflicting on the surface of the world. Not that I suppose all is well at the bottom of the ocean. It seems to be mankind's greed for oil that has caused a great deal of carnage in two different Gulfs. It is one of the reasons why I am considering not replacing my car, (fond of it though I was).

A couple more sessions of work on the Red Mermaid painting result in the following...

I'm fairly pleased with how this painting's progressing. I've used a bit of metallic gold and silver paint in the face to add a bit of sparkle, not that it really photographs. I quite like the way the unfinished hair already seems to blend into the depth, and hopefully I'll be able to retain this effect.

I've got another mermaid on the go, too, but I didn't like the face I gave her yesterday (as per below) and today only got as far as scrubbing it out. She is une sirene sans visage, maintenant.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Illustration Process

An Example of a little illustration job for 'In From the Cold', part of the Dragon Warriors series from Magnum Opus Press.

- ½ page of the PCs – Male Sorcerer, 2 male Knights, male Assassin, Female Mystik, female Barbarian.

It was initially suggested that I might put the characters in a tavern scene, so my earliest sketches reflected this idea...

This being given approval by an assistant editor, the sketch was worked up to this in photoshop...

However it was ultimately decided that it would be desirable to have more of a focus on the characters, and it was suggested that they could be assembled in the Sorcerer's house at the commencement of the quest. I therefore redid the scene, managing to reuse a few elements of the earlier version...

Several other illustrations were done at the time including one with the following biref:

- ½ Page of the Melech demon breathing fire at the demonologist who is protected by the pentacle of protection. (These demons are tall, muscular, bronze-skinned humanoids, with malevolent but not unhandsome features and dancing flames for hair. They can breathe fire up to 10m)
I submitted quite a few different sketches for this one...

The assistant editor chose the strongest image and I sketched out the final composition...

The first version of the image submitted was this:

I was asked to revise it making the magic protection from the pentagram seem less like a glass dome. I duly submitted the following, which was signed off.

The other images done did not require revisions...

Monday, 1 November 2010

WIP Red Mermaid

Something else I've just started on. Looking a bit like a De Kooning at the moment. I don't think that's such a good thing, so I will be trying to refine it a bit. Still not entirely sure whether to have her underwater or in a grotto on the surface. We shall see.