A tribute to the primitive backwoodsmen of the Carolinas and Georgia that often made up contingents of colonial militia in the southern revolutionary campaigns. A favorite artistic subject of mine.
I am training myself to use Corel Painter IX, this being a trial run on a full illustration. I did this mostly with digital watercolor brushes, adding highlights on a separate layer with digital oil pastels. I haven’t used Painter since version 5 years ago. At that time it seemed slow and clumsy. It is much improved and a more honest artist’s tool now with smoother more manageable brushes that accurately mimic natural media and paper grain. Closer integration with Photoshop style layers and the ability to save those layer in .psd format is huge.
I’m guessing all the ethanol produced from corn these days has saved many a farmer. I have a flex fuel vehicle and love using E85, mostly because I save around .15 a gallon, its high octane, and my car runs well on it. Will alternative fuels such as ethanol save the world from global warming? Doubtful. There are too many scientists now suggesting that global warming is a natural earth cycle and not man made (you won’t hear that in the media by the way). But, this is not a political blog so I won’t get into it any further. What I am looking forward to is saving lots of this year’s local crop in the freezer. The Silver Queen variety in this region is absolutely delicious. In the mean time, I hope you enjoy the illustration. Which, incidentally, was done many years ago on colored pastel paper with colored pencil and a bit of pastel.
The desire to get out in the crisp October air and do some sketching brought me to a local park and these interesting tree roots. I only got in about 15 minutes of sketch time on location before I found, much to my amazement, that I was smack dab in the middle of a Frisbee golf course. I tried to ignore what I thought was some maniac yelling and whistling to “look out”. I ventured a gaze and discovered he was yelling at me. After about 4 groups of Frisbee golfers came through, I decided to pick up and move on. I continued to work on the drawing at home from my imagination.
Tree roots like these always seem to have sort of an ancient quality to them. To add to the antique feel, I scanned the drawing and added a texture and a little Photoshop coloring. Turned out to be a descent fit for the Illustration Friday subject this week.
…of a little woods next to the park. I caught a Wood Spirit watching me go by. He lives in an old gnarled tree trunk and I don’t think he knows I saw him.
I’ve recently become intrigued by the tradition of Wood Spirit carving like the ones done in walking sticks or Cottonwood bark and have always wanted to try it. I have done a few practice pieces to get my carving techniques down but nothing grand. This is a rough sketch I did last night that might translate to an actual wood carving some day.
The carving below is one of my practice sticks studies.
The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.
Standing on what too long we bore
With shoulders bent and downcast eyes,
We may discern–unseen before–
A path to higher destinies.
Nor deem the irrevocable Past,
As wholly wasted, wholly vain,
If, rising on its wrecks, at last
To something nobler we attain.
These are the last few sentences of a Longfellow poem entitled The Ladder of St. Augustine. They have always reminded me of the many soldiers in conflicts past who have answered the call of duty and paid the dearest price for our freedoms.
This is an acrylic underpainting I’ve begun for a portrait of a 101st Airborne infantryman in World War II. I plan to finish the painting in transparent oil glazes. I will post the results as the work progresses. The contributions of the 101st are legend and a perfect illustration of the spirit the poem speaks of.
My answer to this weeks IF subject. Arnold Swartzenegger. Apparently there’s a governor hiding in there somewhere. Pretty good camouflage. He had me fooled.
Did this painting years ago. Its a small oil painting. The original is around 5″x 7″ .
Translation: Audacity, audacity, always audacity. This was General George Patton’s motto for the men under his command in the Third Army as they rapidly outmaneuvered and pushed back the German army in WWII France. Patton’s ironic reversal of the Blitzkrieg tactics so effective for the Germans in the early war years won him popular acclaim as one of the boldest and most brilliant tactical generals of all time.
Illustration Friday: Cars
So what does this have to do with cars? Patton survived two world wars, three battle wounds and many narrow escapes in battle. His final demise, ironically enough, was due to – you guessed it – a car crash.
This is acrylic and pencil and started out as a media technique study but I think it will serve as a good under painting for an oil or acrylic glaze technique. So I may try coloring it in the future. If so I will post the results.
Signs of the Times
This is an old assignment I did in the mid 90’s for a computer hardware company. The truest sign of the times in this piece is not really evident. This is an acrylic airbrush painting. While there are lots of traditional mediums I still enjoy, today I would rarely pull out an airbrush. I would do this assignment digitally. Interesting how our techniques, materials and processes change. Leave me a comment and tell me how yours have changed?
Do I remember when my daughter was 6? Barely! She’s 22 now and getting married in 2 weeks. Where has the time gone?
Specifically Green Beret Army Staff Sgt. Robert Preiss. He was reported missing in action in Vietnam in 1970 but his remains were never found or verified until 1998 when DNA forensic techniques finally made it possible. His mother never gave up hope that he was alive and she died in 1984 never knowing her son’s remains had been found. The victims of war are not always those in the war zone.
The drawing is done with a Photoshop pencil brush I cooked up and have been experimenting with. The background is watercolor. The coloring of the figure is digital.
…With My Lethal Eye!
This was inspired by a photo of an Army sniper with the 5th Infantry Division in Iraq.
I really had fun with this and it went pretty quick. Much of the painting is digital except for a pencil drawing and a watercolor texture for the background (actually I used acrylic which acts similarly). I scanned the pencil drawing first then rescanned the drawing after adding a little underpainting on the figure and the watercolor background. The rest is a combination of layers of digital paint in Photoshop.
A Ponder & Dream moment as well as a descent subject for this weeks IF. Perhaps one of the most notable WWII figures and principally responsible for engineering victory in the Pacific was Douglas MacArthur. Total War to him, as to many, meant no other alternative than Total Victory and he didn’t shrink from it. Despite disagreements with Truman in the Korean War and criticism that he was arrogant, he was still considered a national hero and his skilled and confident leadership led to victories still held as brilliant examples of military strategy.
Mixed media: colored pencil, acrylic, and oil
I am new to blogging and new to Illustration Friday so I guess you could call me a double newbie. As for communication? Its a beautiful thing.
Pencil with digital color