Tuesday, March 30, 2010

sequential spots

as I've mentioned before, in Gil Ashby's senior studio section we have been working on a collective comic book project.
I had a difficult time bringing my 3 pages in on deadline, but they got there. We will be publishing through lulu.com and when the time comes I will advise of the link so you can get your own copy. In the meantime here are a few of the raw spots that I included in my comic pages.

the models were Angelo Villalba, his girlfriend Anna, and my main homeslice Johad Ellis.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Second Life of a Collage Element

As mentioned previously, I am working on a project for Mr Chuck Gillies period costume illustration class in which I am portraying the drowned corpse of Ophelia, from William Shakespeare's Hamlet.
I intend to show her from above, submerged in water and partially ensconced by waterlilies. In concert with my senior studio thesis work, I wanted to incorporate linocut print as a collage element into the image, like I've done here and here and here.
I will paint Ophelia, as modeled by the lovely Maria Sylwestrzak, in oil, with the waterlilies carved, printed, hand-colored and collaged in.
Now, to my way of thinking, if I am going to go to all that trouble for these waterlilies, the print should be designed in such a manner that it can function as a stand alone piece, worthy of being printed in an edition after the one-of-a-kind Ophelia painting is long since finished.
This is the waterlily print that I made and printed, from which some of the waterlilies have been culled to be torn up and pasted in with Ophelia's dead body. I set aside one of the hand-colored prints for my poor mom, who has to put up with so much of my crap.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Hey team
a few weeks ago I mentioned an upcoming project for Mr Chuck Gillies period costume illustration class.
Well now it's finished!

As a challenge to myself I tried to paint with a brighter, more saturated palette for this piece. Ordinarily I paint in very muted colors, so this time I forced myself to go brighter by purchasing a swanky new tube of cerulean blue and I even used a couple squirts of that veridian green I despise so much.
I also experimented with collage in this piece but ended up painting over it before the day was through. I screenprinted a pattern of fish scales for the mermaid's tail, that I collaged in, with calamitous results. Lesson learned: unlike oil based inks for linocut printing, the waterbased screenprinting inks will run and fall apart when gone over with a brush of matte medium. Patterns fades, everything else gets muddied, and the whole thing looks a mess. Vigorous palette-knifing was needed to correct that failed experiment.
However, I now have a pile of pages of screenprinted fish scale pattern. I have an idea for a project that could utilize them, esp. now that I know I will have to treat the pages with crystal clear or some other fixative before they are touched by a wet brush.
I looked a lot at Cornwell for this piece, and though it had its trials, I am pleased with the results. In the end, there were several of my classmates who did images of pirates interacting with mermaids for this project, but I was the only one with the balls to do my mermaid tits out.

Monday, March 22, 2010

And now a difficult choice must be made . . .

As you know, team, a few weeks ago I found out that I had been accepted with scholarship to the New York Academy.
Today I found out that I was also accepted to the MFA Illustration as Visual Essay program at SVA. That masters program has been a goal of mine for a long, long, long time now, and I didn't think I would get in.
There are factors to consider for both schools, this is a very difficult decision . . .
Your thoughts?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

more reference shoot shenanigans

Hey team,
Last summer I had an idea for a painting that would require quality reference of a Moluccan Cockatoo. As luck would have it, my friend Tracey Jean Dalton is the owner of a three-year old cockatoo named Lewie. We booked some time in a studio, and Tracey brought Lewie in to shoot with my model. For this image I asked Sean Nemoto, a friend of mine from transportation design to pose for me. He has posed for me before.
Now of course my final image will be a little more interesting than man and cockatoo.
No, sir. There will be eight cockatoos when all is said and done. And I expect the cockatoos will be a fair but pinker in my rendition than Lewie is in real life.
Per usual, i expect to have this one all done and painted up inside of 3 weeks, so check back for the finish

Thursday, March 18, 2010

More Coming Attractions!

for my next painting, once again I have taken a beautiful girl and dunked her underwater!
What will I do when I don't have access to my fellow students at CCS to serve as models? These guys have been so cooperative and so enabling of my madness . . .
for this project I wanted to do an image of Ophelia from William Shakespeare's Hamlet. A staging of Hamlet that would have taken certain liberties and placed it in Ancient Greece . . . hence the toga . . . it's all very farfetched, I know.that there is Veronica Bayagich helping out with the drapery and graciously allowing us to use her bathtub.

I wanted to show Ophelia's drowned corpse from above, partially enveloped by waterlilies . . .
. . . so I made Maria wrap herself in a toga and climb into a bathtub full of water so I could stand over her and take photos!
here are some silly caps from the shoot . . . check back in about 3 weeks for the finished piece

Monday, March 15, 2010

Joanna Newsom

I love Joanna Newsom.
I thought it fortuitous that she happened to be playing in Grand Rapids while I would be home for spring break. Unfortunately, the show was totally sold out. Luckily however, I was able to attend as a member of the press.
This review that I wrote ran on Revue West Michigan's blog, and I had the opportunity to insist that an illustration that I myself did accompanied it. You know, instead of vulgar photography the way so many publications opt for these days.
I am told that the story got blogged about and sent out into the tweetisphere.
Hope you like the piece.
And also hopefully eventually the piece makes it all the way back to Joanna Newsom herself.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

sketches for sequential

oh crap you guys

aparrently the ongoing sequential project that we are doing collectively for Gil's senior studio . . . is due finished on thursday

oh crap

here are some . . . sketches?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I have been accepted to the incoming class for graduate studies at New York Academy
Now I am still waiting to hear from some of the other schools I applied to, but truthfully there is only one other school I would consider over the Academy anyway, so in all likelihood I am moving to NYC and going to the Academy. So me and Jenny Saville will be homeslices and I can join the Upright Citizens Brigade and so so so many possibilities in NYC.

Everything changes starting now!