Friday, March 27, 2020

Idea Bounce, A Technique Talk blog post

Etruscan Girl
8"x10" acrylic paints on stretched canvas

This blog post chronicles how a visual idea can bounce from one person to another or even within just one artist's mind. And how easy it is to take a second idea bounce and make a new Main Character, even from a really old clay statue. 

In a recent fb feed, Tracy Barrett (author, SCBWI RA coordinator, dear friend) showed a photo she'd taken of a “Terracotta statue of a young woman: Etruscan, 3rdcent B.C.) in the Metropolitan Museum in NY

The first thing that struck my eye was the statue had chin length hair, rather than the usual long bound hair of that era. Her eyes looked HUGE, with a slightly “sulky” look to her mouth. Right then I began to “see” this young girl in modern dress. 

Based on yet another recent fb share, I remembered seeing some work by an artist that imagined what long ago folks might look like if depicted with today's digital media. 
So I thought I'd take a try at a “statue update” on this Etruscan girl, using my preferred “old school” media, paints.

The finished sketch looked similar to a image of Julius Caesar done by Becca Saladin at

I went on with the full painting you see at the top of this post. I added grown out, multi colored hair with blue tips, some lipstick and a t-shirt with suspenders.But looking at those HUGE eyes I wanted to try to go a bit anime. I sketched out my character, still with the sulky lips, and giving her wild blue hair, rose blush cheeks, generous nose and big highlit eyes.

I did this sketch combining acrylic paints and watercolor paints and pencils on watercolor paper. That way I could easily work in any direction that the drawing needed, without being bound by a single media's limitations.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Meet and Greet

Meet and Greet

11 x 14 acrylics on gallery wrapped canvas

This painting was inspired by a photo I took of a produce seller's sidewalk sign. Unnoticed by me at the time, in the background was this charming vignette of a young couple getting to meet and greet over tables of veggies and flowers

I loved the set up, but did extensive adjustments to the two main characters and the surroundings. Then I painted over and smudged a lot of the details I just can't seem to help painting! To enforce the sense of distance of the viewer from the encounter I added in the foreground a row of produce filled baskets, painted in sharp detail. 

I really enjoyed painting this vignette and working with the body language and gestures. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Memories of a Blue Market

Memories of a Blue Market

8” x 8” inches acrylic paints on gallery wrapped canvas

This small square painting tells my made up story of a couple meeting at an open air market, their afternoon flirtation, and their breakup.....all in one day. I painted the figures using the market setting and gestures from “real life”, but played with features and such to suit my story telling. 
I especially had fun painting the three “fool the eye” photographic images, making them look like they were “taped” to the canvas. They show a head shot of the guy the girl was flirting with, a candied image of her feeding him a cookie and then her view of him walking away at the end of the afternoon.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Fur Baby

Fur Baby
11 x 14 acrylic paints on gallery wrapped canvas

This painting called up the story telling side of my brain. At a recent out door fair, I saw a young lady carrying her perfectly healthy puppy, leash and all. Well that caught my attention, and I got to wondering, why would the puppy's owner be carrying her pet? Aside from the normal fun of carrying a wiggly puppy, I decided that she might have been carting the puppy to “save” it from another barking half-pint poochie. 
I painted this scene from my reference photos, playing with many festival goers appearances and lighting to “set” them all into the scene. I didn't have a photo of a yapping puppy on hand.....but it just so happened that our neighborhood had gotten a new canine resident. And that new little puppy decided that any pedestrian passersby, like Frank and me, were fair game to bark, bark,bark.... and yip yip at. So he ended up in my painting as the bitty yapping puppy.