Sunday, 27 February 2011

Bouguereau's Nympha and Satyr.

Just a quick post to show some love for William Bouguereau, and admiration, in particular, for his painting Nymphs and Satyr (1873). Apropos of nothing in particular, except I was put in mind of it discussing the perfect female figure with a learned associate. It's indeed a beguiling, joyous, luminous picture. By all accounts the original has the power to stop people in their tracks, a power that clearly transcends its subject matter. My friend happens to be a surgeon, well placed to comment on the nigh-miraculous anatomical perfection of the figures in Bouguereau's paintings. He also commented on the light that is in the painting. As a humble artist slowly achieving incremental technical improvements, I can only hold this up as a gage by which to measure awesomeness, and a distant goal to aspire to. It shows what human hands are capable of creating.

Subject matter wise the image is somewhat echoed by J. W. Waterhouse's Hylas and the Nymphs (1896), though obviously Bouguereau's piece is more lively (despite being more finely rendered). Waterhouse introduced a wistful, intense, slightly sombre tone (common to many of his works). The way one of the females grip's the solitary male figure's arm is very similar in both these paintings. Waterhouse's hero is being lured to his doom; there is nothing, meanwhile, to suggest that anything more untoward than a dunking awaits Bouguereau's satyr. Fortunately his female companions are nymphs of the wood rather than the water, and they are more interested in teasing than entrapping.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

I should blog more.

I have this blog, so really I should blog more- for the entertainment and edification of my bakers dozen cherished subscribers, and to let the world know that I'm still doing stuff. I've heard a horror story, I think emanating from horror maestro and blogging stalwart Christopher Burdett (who was recently interviewed on the WIP Podcast), that if art directors and industry professionals come across an art blog that has not been recently updated, they presume the artist is no longer operating.

I do have projects on the go. I've recently been doing some preparatory work for a sci-fi book cover, which will be an interesting development, all being well. This last couple of days, meanwhile, I've also worked on a design for a Christmas card, which hopefully IBD Licensing will be interested in taking up. (A New England style church in winter, which should hopefully be popular with American customers). It's entailed me snapping out of the Adams-family mindset and activating the cosy/ friendly side of my imagination, and that can't be unhealthy every so-often!

I've also been making some headway with the flash modules of the home learning course in web design, and it will be nice to get that behind me. It may even prove useful at some stage. Personal project wise, I was fortunate enough to find a buyer for the most recent mermaid painting- before it was even finished, so that was nice. I've also done a few more beasties for my animal a-z, namely a fat lizard called an Uromastyx and a Wolf (a wold which looks slightly like a polar bear). I started the animal series ages ago as a means of getting myself out of my comfort zone, and to inject variety into my output. (The poor old cat is no longer with us since then). I've also had a commission to design some medieval style seals (not the animal kind, although horses and humans feature). Aside from that I also have a few things to follow up from the Spring Fair, involving licencing of artwork.

I wonder if I should update this blog with daily sketches and doodles, but to be honest most of the stuff I do that's worth showing goes up on, my oldest haunt on the net. I have a life drawing class coming up in a couple of weeks. I need to do more anatomical studies.

Best regards to everyone who's reading this. Good luck in whatever you're doing besides, as long as it isn't too naughty. Peace.

Friday, 18 February 2011

New Facebook Page.

Hi all. I've made a facebook 'fan' page, to contribute to the promotion of my artwork. It will be an additional place for posting news, views, works in progress and a wider selection of artwork than there is on my official site. Bless your hearts if you go there and click 'like'.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Mermaid of the Deep.

Mermaid of the Deep by ~dashinvaine on deviantART

Finally got one of the mermaid paintings done. In the course of this I discovered the importance of painting a unified tone in the background, and this has to be done before adding other features. I made a rod for my own back painting the masts of the shipwreck and parts of the mermaid before I'd sorted the background, and had a devil of a time eliminating patches of yellowy green. The digital camera exaggerated the differences, but also helped me to identify places that needed repainting. A more dynamic/less static pose and more consistent lighting might have made this painting better. It could also have done with some more narrative elements, but it's done now.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

To the NEC again.

I went to the Spring Fair at the Bermingham NEC again. Doesn't seem so long since the last one. Did a fair amount of promotion for freelance work and licencing, and hopefully it will be productive.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Star Wars Art Visions.

I found myself walking past a book shop in High Wycombe today, and treat myself to a pretty lush art book called 'Star Wars Art Visions'. I loved the Star Wars films when I was little, and had lots of the plastic figures, plus a wooden ATAT that my dad made.

The paintings in this book transcend the sci-fi genre of the original inspiration, and are themselves very inspiring. Some of the artwork is really exquisite, produced by such artistic luminaries as Ed Binkley, Donato Giancola, Boris Vajello and H R Giger, plus offerings from a good number of amazing painters that I'd not heard of before. One of my favourite images after an initial skim through is 'Vader's Dream' by Kirk Reinert, which recalls the Symbolist movement. Many artistic styles are represented, and there's something for all tastes (from cartoons and manga to epic fantasy, romanticism and classical realism- even cubism!). Even if you're not remotely interested in Star Wars per se, you should find something that's up your street. Indeed sometimes the references to Star Wars are very subtle and oblique.

It can be found on here.