29 October 2009

1960 Chrysler Desoto en Plastique


20" x 26", watercolour on Yupo, 2009, private collection

This painting is also in my current show at The Pilot Tavern in Yorkville (see this post for venue details), which will be up through Christmas.

I though I'd try something a little bit different with this one, so I painted the background dramatically as though the sun was setting and made much of the dark areas in the car a sort of purple to complement the surrounding colours. I didn't work in much of the "sunset" colours into the car for some reason and this strangely keeps the car separate from, rather than incorporating it into, the background.

Maybe I was thinking of the backgrounds of the 1960s Spider-Man animated series when painting this.


25 October 2009

Lincoln's Bicentennial Revisited


Finally: two examples of how my watercolour paintings of Abraham Lincoln and the two historic steam trains (discussed back in February) turned out on the printed material Union Pacific used to promote Lincoln's Bicentennial and his involvement with uniting the country through the railway. The top card is about 8.5" x 5" and there's nothing printed on the back. The bottom card (7" x 3") has the same Lincoln painting on the front as the top one, but with no text. Seen here is the back of the card with my painting(s) of the steam engines. There was also a 17" x 10" poster printed with Abe on the front (vertically) and the trains on the back (horizontally and much bigger, showing off the great details). The top card has a white border, as does the back of the bottom one, but the Abe image on the other side of the bottom card (not pictured) goes right to the edges.

To ensure those great details on the trains, I painted them and the background for them separately. If I remember correctly, each train painting ended up being done on a 15" x 22" piece of watercolour paper and the BG was maybe a little smaller. The folks at Bailey Lauerman then composited these into one image. They also did a seamless job of compositing my revised Lincoln onto my original painting.

I'm very happy with how my illustrations came out and also pleased that Bailey Lauerman did such a great job with the design and the printing. It was well worth the lack of sleep during that brief period.

13 October 2009

29

11" x 15", watercolour, 2001, private collection

In a way, this is a painting of a self-portrait since I took the photo myself, and that photo was among the first few that I took with my brand new Kodak 1-megapixel digital camera --which was pretty nice back then. It even had a 1" LCD screen at the back! So I was fooling around one night, testing the capabilities of the camera and ended up with the shot above: the orange blobs are actually lens flares and the shadow is being cast from a supporting pillar in my place at the time. I printed the photo on my also-not-bad-for-back-then printer and used that for painting ref. Nowadays, I take my photoshop-enhanced digital files to a photo place and get nice prints to use as my reference.

The title refers to my age at the time, although I can't remember which month I painted this, the photo was taken somewhere around April.

09 October 2009

Self-portrait: August, 1971

14" x 17", ink on paper, 2003

To celebrate my birthday today, I thought I'd post a self-portrait (but not a traditional one). Other than school assignments, I haven't done many self-portraits --only a couple, in fact, not including paintings in which I incidentally appear with others. Although the genre of self-portraiture is supposedly "venerable" and is certainly centuries old, I don't find myself to be a very interesting subject, visually, and prefer to paint other people and things. That said, I may very well do a few more self-portraits as I get older and, I hope, more interesting.

I found that the photo this is based on was date stamped "August 1971" which meant it was taken while my parents were at a Macedonian picnic about two months before I was born. Naturally, I felt it would serve for a cheeky painting...

06 October 2009

1973 Dodge Charger en Plastique

20" x 26", watercolour on Yupo, 2009

This painting is also in my current show at The Pilot Tavern in Yorkville (see this post for venue details), which will be up through Christmas.

When I was painting this car, I initially thought the white roof was convertible (and it's hard to tell from the photo ref) but I am assured by my cousin who's got a keen eye for cars -and could tell just by looking at my painting- that it's just a different colour.

Growing up I had a friend one street over whose dad had a car almost exactly like this (the roof was the same colour as the body and the colour may have been more on the gold side) and I remember getting a ride to school one snowy winter's day in that car. Back then I didn't know anybody else who had this kind of car and didn't seem to see one anywhere else, even in passing, so an early 70s Dodge Charger was always "Jim's dad's car" to me --even while painting this picture roughly thirty years later.
Jim, if you're reading this, drop me a line...