Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Viscount Bubbles - 4.... Rest in Peace Davy Jones .

Not a lot done today...I had to do the weekly trip to the supermarket, do school runs, cook evening meal. then I took annie to her clarinet lesson this evening. On the way home I was playing 'The Monkees'..The first album by the Monkees. When I got home I headed to my work desk to put in a couple of hours dotting but heard that Davy Jones, the lead singer with the monkees had died . aged 66, he passed away today. The monkees TV show was a must see for kids my age in the late 1960's. and my memories of  those days never died as their music has always been with me. In fact I only recently bought the first five albums in their remastered form.

Rest in Peace Davy Jones 1945 - 2012.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Viscount Bubbles - 3

Have established the hand now and can start to gauge how deep the shadowing for the face should be...(more development needed there!) I'm at an odd point in the picture. The last three pictures have all gone wrong by this point and have had to be reworked and developed further. but so far I'm fairly happy with this one. I should also point out that I'm 90% sure of what makes up the rest of the composition this time...usually I have areas of there's nothing wrong with that, I enjoy finding inspiration as I'm progressing, especially in light of the fact that it can take a few months to complete each piece.But I'm happy knowing where I'm going with this one and I have a very definite idea of how the finished work will look!......onwards!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Viscount Bubbles - 2

 Well...I'm underway, and here are the first tentative dots applied to demark the eyes and ear. I like to work over the pencil work, then erase it before carrying on developing the tones and shadows. Below I've extended the work to establish some of the facial shadows...the pencil work has not yet been rubbed out..
 The third picture below shows further work on the ear, and the start of the Starman's star robe. the shadows on the hand will be very subtle, and will be affected by the surrounding dark I will wait until the hand is surrounded by the robes before continuing work there. It's funny, I used photographs of myself as reference material for the pose, and  the frightening thing is that some of my facial features have also managed to show's not intentional and the character is not meant to represent myself....but odd non  the less!

Saturday, February 25, 2012 off and favourite artists.

I don't know about you, but I have leaned from experience that I need to take a break from my artwork..sometimes I have sat for hours at my drawing table and not produced anything...that's not the break I'm talking about. what I'm referring to is a conscious self imposed day off where I do not pick up my pen...and in this case it's all the more difficult since I'm right at the start of an exciting new piece for which i am poised to start dotting. but I am strict about this and therefore today has been about watching rugby on the television, cooking pasta and reading about art and artists I really admire.

I thought I'd share with you one particular artist..well actually twin brothers who both produced some of the most amazing illustrations over a long and varied career. Tim and Greg Hildbrandt were born on 23rd January 1939 in Detroit , Michigan, USA. they were responsible for a prodigious output of posters, comic book art, science fiction book covers and pin up art. Commercial art has always been viewed as the poorer brother of fine art, but the degree of talent, vision and technical skill shown by The Brothers Hildebrandt is second to non in my opinion.

Whether you agree or not about the subject matter Tim and Greg produced, any student or observer and connoisseur or realism painting, fantasy and pin up art cannot possibly be anything other than amazed and awestruck by their work.

Tim Hildebrandt died on 11 June 2006 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Greg was awarded the Chelsey award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement in 2010.

The official website can tell you much more than I possibly can...this can be found here.

And here is a small selection of images to wet your appetite!

 By Greg Hildebrandt
 Faramir - By Tim Hildebrandt
 Gandalf and Bilbo - by Greg Hildebrandt
 Warrior by Tim and Greg Hildebrandt

Greg Hildebrandt with his now famous movie poster artwork for Star Wars!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Viscount Bubbles - 1

 After many hours of development I've arrived at something I'm happy with. The Starman is concentrating on the floating/ levitated object in front of will be giving off a light which should illuminate his inner hands and face....I'll be using my reference photos taken earlier in the week to work from.

Below I've posted a photo showing a selection of the various sketches which lead to this final drawing...the final drawing can be seen buried somewhere in the middle of the photo. So there you have it...the start of what should be another interesting symbolism filled journey which will take me until the spring to complete.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sketchbook .....

Spent all day agonising over the way i want to portray my Starman...having settled on the face, I have tried many different combinations of hands and arms...the one above is looking promising, the ones below give you an idea of how I like to produce my drawing combining separate factors together on tracing paper.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

more Sketchbook .....

uh ho!...another miserable bitter looking old I guess he probably will be The Star man. You can see by comparing him to the sketch yesterday that I've used the original idea and developed it...Tomorrow I hope to unite him with his body and transfer him to the page where I'll begin the dot work!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sketchbook .....

Here's what I've been working with today...using my photos from yesterday,I built up a drawing which is the basis for whatever comes next...I know that sounds woolly, but I am split between depicting him with my face, of developing him as my Starman...( He's definitely not the Mad vicar!)...Behind him is what could also very easily be me as a child...the plants will most likely be Globe Thistles (Echinops)...

The plot thickens...!

Monday, February 20, 2012


We were musing this morning on Facebook about what might make up a job description for someone who is creative and seeking an artist I can spend time thinking, listening to music, reading, movies/TV/ listening to the radio...libraries, name it, if it serves the requirements of stimulation for creation, it's in the job description of the artist! What comes out of the end of my pen onto the paper is a direct result of whats going on in my thoughts, my feelings, my imagination and to neglect the proper and dedicated development of these ideas is to prepare to produce inferior work that is not making the absolute best of your talent.

sometimes, like this evening, it's about having fun..playing. I had need to find some resource images for a character I'm hoping to have in my new picture. I needed specific hands and posture so got set up with my camera and it's self timer , and positioned a lamp that I would light my hands and head...below is one of the images from the series I took this might see it's origin in the sketches in a previous post...remember where you saw it and if you keep coming back, you'll see what becomes of it!

As always, the period of gestation for my work is often frustrating, but it can be can be a voyage of discoveries as sketches develop and take on a life of their own...that time is good..and that time is now!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday running!

Work is coming along well on preparation for the new picture...I've nearly decided on the elements that will compose what I'm going to call 'Bubbles'. I'm looking forward to getting started on the drawing work which should begin tomorrow.
I wanted to also share with you that today I managed to run 10.06 miles! It was such a beautiful day with bright regular running routine has become a little stale of late using the same routes...I try to set goals to challenge myself and see how far I can push myself...the furthest I've run in one go so far had been 8.50 today I planned my route and resolved to run the 10 miles. The route took me out of the city into the countryside which lit up in the late afternoon sunshine was wonderful...on return home I was almost sad to have finished and luckily for me still felt I have a couple more miles of gas in the tank ...I think the next goal is to complete a half marathon course which I guess will be 13 miles!
Here's a map of my run which was created using the tools on which is a wonderful resource for planning and measuring a route just about anywhere in the world! also goes so far as to tell you how many calories you can expect to burn in your run...apparently I used 1448.5 calories today!

I love my running...when I think back to this time last year when I was over 3 stone heavier and had never run more than 2 miles in my entire life...I can only be thankful that I am able to enjoy an active and fit body...not bad for a 50 year old eh?

10 mile run

10 mile run

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sketchbook gestations...

Regular readers here will know that the period between pieces is often a traumatic time for me....although I have countless sketchbooks full of ideas stretching back to the early 1980's...I find myself tormented over the what to apply my time to...knowing obviously that the next 2 - 6 months could be spent on the next drawing, I have to be sure that what I settle on is the right decision! so here are what you will be familiar with are some little sketches  of ideas that I don't mind you seeing....I've worked in greater detail on a couple of the ideas here and will make my decision sure you'll see me start at the very beginning as always!

Some people are shocked to find that my work is so exact and planned, that I work from these relatively small and simple sketches for my basic reference for composition...well, composition is's a matter of displacement and symmetry...of weights and perspective...these can be addressed in these simple sketches...the detail and final rendering happens at a later stage..and often during the actual dotting of the final piece!

Anyway....I'll shut up now and get on with the actual doing!...I hope you enjoy these crude scrawlings...if you follow me, you'll see what becomes of them! 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Spoonful - Finished.

48x27 cm
133 hours and 45 minutes.

So here's the finished piece along with a selection of close ups. thank you for your support during the time this picture was in production, I've found it a challenge and an ultimately frustrating piece...perhaps I'll return to the composition again one day and incorporate the 'Mad Vicar' pinching the first cello girl's nose as I had originally intended. Perhaps next time I'll use full colour which is something I've neglected since my last self portrait 'Jigsaw'.
For now however, there is something forming in the sketchbook and in my minds eye which will hopefully find it's realisation as my next piece....

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spoonful - 33

Spent all day on the bubbles....bubbles are fanciful..they have no rationale apart from the fact that they are fun...oh, sometimes they are used to illustrate certain elemental truths regarding air pressure and the nature of surface tension and the way liguids behave...they are also very pretty with their swirling colours and distorted reflections...tomorrow I have to work on the label of the medicine bottle and the image in the picture frame...then I'll be pretty much done!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Spoonful - 32

I've started work on the bubbles's an interesting process...the first one was slow and I was unsure about what effect I would get...(it was the one just in front of the bubble blowers hand)..I believe that's what is know as the paradigm...the one on which all the others are based! I've progressed, they've developed slightly..and I've had to go back and change the earlier ones to match the later ones...! there are plenty of bubbles to go which should keep me busy for quite a few hours yet!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Spoonful - 31

I've continued on the trees in the background today..interrupted only by the pressing need to go out and find a replacement for our destroyed car...I don't know about you or car dealers in your part of the world...but it's always a trying time of weighing up the need to be kind to the environment and work within a limited budget whilst also not wanting to drive a car that is indistinct and doesn't reflect the creative nature of those who'll be driving it....more news about that another time.

I've also begun work on sketches for the next picture...I'm always scribbling out new ideas, but I think I have the basis for something interesting!...again, more about that another time!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Spoonful - 30

I'm now quite tired of this's not achieved what I wanted it least so far. It doesn't look like I wanted it to...but I'm going to finish it soon. I've worked hard on adding the trees in to the back ground...I've completed the Matron's belt buckle..I hope you can see what it depicts?..I only have the final trees to the far left to finish..then attend to the middle ground and add in a crow or two and I think I'll be finished.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Spoonful - 29

I've not been able to spend very long on my work here today. Last weekend we had snow here in my part of England...not much of it, but enough to knock out the day to day running of the transport network to some degree. To cut a long story short, someone drove their car into our car...we weren't in our car at the time.,, we'd parked it up on an adjacent road to enable us to drive it the next day after the snow ( we live on a narrow avenue on a hill which is difficult to drive up or down when snow is on the ground!) anyway, the result was our car was damaged beyond repair. So calls back and forth between insurance companies, police, hire car companies and garages has dominated the last few days. Today I had to be available to not only facilitate the collection of a courtesy car we'd been allocated whilst our car's damage was being assessed, but I had to go to a hire company in another part of the city to take delivery of a car which we'll use until the finance surrounding the insurance company is resolved. I also had to deal with Annie's school pick up...the her school Valentines disco, and eventually a visit to the supermarket.

Phew! I'm glad that's all over at the end of this day  as yet another fall of snow is forecast over night. I've made sure that the shiny new VW hire care car is not in a place where it can get run into.

Tomorrow I shall press on with my work here and move into the final stages...not long to go now!

Spoonful - 28

I'm probably going quite mad...I seem to be having a flurry of ideas for new in particular I've already mentioned this week (or was it last week?) regarding the bubble blowing Cello Girl...I also have ideas revolving around another self portrait...and in response to having watched so much ballet in the last couple of months, I'd like to try at some point to try my hand at depicting a scene from one of my favourite ballets 'the Firebird' by Igor Stravinsky...don't get your hopes up..but it's a wonderful piece which suggests some dramatic and fantastic images.... I'll probably end up sticking with my own Corps De Ballet for now.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Spoonful - 27

Monday, February 06, 2012

Spoonful - 26

I opted to have my last girl with her eyes open...I don't know about  you, but I like to be drawn into a scene...of course the viewer as 'voyuer' is an acceptable method, but i want you see that the 'artist' or rather the 'creative' that is the last girl has a degree of self realisation as she wonders why she's in the she ponders her fate, do you the viewer call her to step out of you alert the otherwise oblivious girls to wake to their fate? it right to tell an artist when you feel they are conforming?...that they are being suckered into a falseness...a world where money and fame outweigh artistic integrity?

Sunday, February 05, 2012

An insight.......

whilst working on the final Cello girl for my current picture, I tried various poses for her to adopt. I'd worked on the idea that she would be slightly bending forward...but due to the limited space . I opted for her to stand erect. However..I've continued developing the previous sketch for her bending forward. Above is a photo showing very rough ideas on tracing paper....I like to work on tracing paper so that I can rework ideas selecting the good points..then trace onto a new piece for further development....I really like the pose and would consider incorporating it into another composition...but please with all my sketched ideas...they tend to languish in the 'vaults' until needed...this might be next week, or it might be next decade! but either way...they  'live'......and are in gestation...

Friday, February 03, 2012

Spoonful - 26

I'm really pleased with my work today..I spent a good amount of time working on drawing for the final Cello girl..I found a photo of a woman blowing bubbles which gave me the refference for the possition of the hands..but as for the face, I used my imagination which worked up to a point...I'm not inking it yet because I might like her to have her eyes open and turned towards the viewer...this might work as I usually like to draw you into the picture to be involved at some level...I'll see what it looks like tomorrow after a night's sleep.
It's always wonderful to hear what you think of my work..I have a small but very valuable regular readership, a couple of whom comment on a regular basis..I'm not being melodramatic when I say that I am fuelled and invigorated by such comments. From my exhibitions I know that this type of work divides opinion..basically into two categories...those who love it, which is the majority, and those who don't which thankfully is a very small minority. Since I have now stopped exhibiting, I get very little feedback on what I'm doing, so your comments are ever more valuable. Thank you to those who have and continue to comment and consequently affect the work that I do.!...

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Spoonful - 25

My parade of oddness is almost at an more Cello girl to go...bubbles and background stuff to complete...then all the little details that have yet to be addressed like the picture in Cell girl 4 's hand...Matron's belt buckle...the spoon...the cello edging etc etc.....

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Spoonful - 24

Progress today has centred around the planets and the fourth Cello girl's glove...just under five hours work...