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50 Canadians

Earlier this year I started a new series of portraits of Canadians,  The first one I did was of CBC’s Rex Murphy followed by a portrait of Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin.  I met the mayor today and presented the painting to him.  I was thrilled when he said it was “more than amazing”.

I plan on doing fifty of these and have two more in progress right now.  They are three by five inches, acrylic on canvas.

Here are the first two:

Rex MurphyMayor Dean Fortin

 

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2014 in Paintings

 

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Andrew Loomis, for what it’s worth.

A few months back as I was working on a series of digital paintings on my iPod I decided to try something like a figure drawing.  Up to this point I’d only done portraits – mainly because of the small screen size – and I suppose I’m more drawn to portraits, anyway.

A friend of mine told me about the work of Andrew Loomis and I picked up a copy of his book, Figure Drawing: For All it’s Worth.  I decided to do a study of one of his drawings, only paint it in a style reminiscent of Gil Elvgren.

It was fun to do, but painting this small is a real challenge – getting the face right was the hardest part.  Anyway, here it is:

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2012 in Digital Painting, Paintings

 

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Art from Brave

  • Last year I worked on Pixar’s Brave for the Leapfrog Explorer.  It was a big project and my main task for this was painting backgrounds.  One challenge for work like this is the way the ground plane is tilted up at such a strong angle.  The reason this is done is that many objects need to be placed in the scene for the player to find.  Another challenge for these backgrounds is that only a small part of them is seen at any one time which creates challenges for composition – also the perspective would naturally shift in a scene that a character walks across them, but as these are flat backgrounds you have to create a strange type perspective that doesn’t really make sence.

In June I went to the Pixar campus in Emeryville, California.  It is such an amazing place.  As Brave was just being released they had the place decorated to celebrate.  They had enormous tapestries in the lobby and even the security was dressed in Scottish regalia.  The receptionist was also dressed up and when asked by another visitor if that was how she usually dressed she came back with, “Yeah, this is just how I like to dress when I’m pumping gas on the way to work.”

I was excited to see they had even made a full size the stone circle from the movie.  Here’s a picture of me awkwardly posing next to it:

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2012 in Brave, Digital Painting, Pixar

 

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My Cat, Nina. 1996-2012

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2012 in Paintings

 

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Brushes portraits continued…

This is the latest portrait I’ve done in the Held series.  Like the others I painted it on my iPod touch.  This one is based on a mugshot from the 1920’s.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2012 in Paintings

 

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Brushes on the iPod touch: Series 3

The third series I’ve been working on is portraits of my family.   My son was interested in the portraits that have become the Held series and asked if I would paint his portrait, too.  I had him sit for me a few times.  I  don’t think I’ve completed a piece that I’ve had as much emotional investment in before.

He wore that red shirt specially for this portrait – it’s actually a Smurfs shirt.  I didn’t put that in, though, as I thought it would be distracting.  I have three other portraits in progress for this series (including one of my cat) which I will be posting soon.

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2011 in Paintings

 

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Digital Painting on an iPod: Series 2

This is the first image of a second series of paintings made on an iPod touch.  Part of the reason I’ve been doing portraits like this is I like the feeling of intimacy these pictures have, held on a small screen.  It reminds me of the miniature paintings travelers would carry with them before the invention of photography.   Portraits like that were often used as a form of introduction, or to have an image of a loved one with you when you couldn’t be together.

After doing a number of portraits of people like this I felt compelled to do something a little different.  So here we have the first of a set of animals, in this case a chimpanzee.  The challenge with this painting was to imbue it with a sense of presence, but not a human one.

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2011 in Paintings

 

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