I’m more active on Instagram and Facebook nowadays

Lately I’m posting more frequently on my Instagram account and The Art of Airn LeBus on Facebook.

-Airn

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Painting progress since the beginning…

I went looking back at some of my old paintings today. Right now I’m feeling grateful that I didn’t give up permanently early on! I have been doodling for most of my life but only started to feel more serious about trying to improve around 2006 or so.

I still don’t think I’m super serious about it, motivation and productivity can really be a struggle for me, but I guess early on I saw enough progress or it was rewarding enough in some way that it kept me motivated to continue (slowly) making art.

I’m also glad I have photos of most of the stuff I have done since 2007 onward, it’s neat to see kind of a chronological progression, especially comparing 2007 with 2010!

(Click for large version)

 

 

 

 

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Hand of Glory work in progress

Here’s where I’m at so far with this Hand of Glory piece. Part of the way through I changed my plans and did some studying of calligraphy for a while, practicing styles I saw in old illuminated manuscripts. The light area at the bottom will have some calligraphy which I will do in oil paints.

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Peppermint Butler oil painting completed

Ah, yes I finished this one a while ago but wasn’t sure I was happy with the photos I took of it. It’s usually quite difficult to get good pics of oil paintings, especially if they are glossy. In any case, this has been done quite a long time so I think it’s time to post it.

This is the character Peppermint Butler from Adventure Time.

Peppermint Butler character from Adventure Time - painting by Airn LeBus, 8x10 inches, oil on panel

Peppermint Butler oil painting

I’ve had this super heavy ornate frame for a long time and made this painting specifically for this frame.

Pep Butler painting - Airn LeBus

In frame

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Blog vs. Facebook thoughts, Amsterdam, and Claudia from Interview with the Vampire

OK, so I moved to Amsterdam from California last August. I haven’t painted since then!

However, I finally set up a usable area in my apartment this weekend and started painting this smallish image of Claudia from Interview with the Vampire. This is something I drew on wood panel back in November 2014, specifically for this old oval frame I found. Spent a little while laying down the first layers of paint, feels good to be paintin’ again.

 

claudia 1 claudia WIP 1

I was also thinking about this site, one reason I don’t post very often is that it’s kind of like writing into the abyss, since I don’t get a ton of traffic and comments it’s a lot easier to post on Facebook or Instagram where I can tell people are seeing it. In any case I’ll make a bit of an effort for a while to keep this updated and see if it’s worth it.

 

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Peppermint Butler oil painting (work-in-progress)

I love this little guy from Adventure Time so I’m doing an oil painting. It will go in a crazy ornate baroque picture frame that I have had sitting around for ages. This is supposed to evoke Sir Thomas Lawrence or  Sir Joshua Reynolds, an old royal/military portrait that would hang in an English country estate.

Here it is after a few sessions, still have a while to go. Mostly deciding what to do as I go along, without much planning.

 

Peppermint Butler WIP

Peppermint Butler WIP

 

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Europe trip and new Hand of Glory project

I’ve been getting more productive art-wise again after an extended break. I went to Europe recently and saw a ton of amazing art in Spain, England, and France, so that inspired me. I visited the Prado in Madrid for the first time and saw some incredible stuff, including an important self-portrait by personal favorite Albrecht Dürer. I also saw some gorgeous paintings by Anton Raphael Mengs, with whom I was previously unfamiliar.

Another source of inspiration: while visiting Montmartre Cemetery in Paris, I came across Jean-Baptiste Greuze’s tomb. I love his art and did a study of The White Hat, so I feel something of a connection with his work.

I’m currently wrapping up another project that I’ve been working on for a couple years, and will post more about that later.

My next painting will be a dark realistic oil painting of a Hand of Glory. It will have tattooed symbols on it, inspired by some old alchemist illustrations/diagrams, and will be painted on wood panel in monochrome, subsequently glazed over sparingly with skin tone. I think it’s going to be a fairly simple project…I wanted to do something straightforward to return to painting. My last project was a bit too ambitious and complicated, so I ended up struggling and letting it sit for long periods of time. This new one should be much simpler but still interesting and will nicely complement my Memento Mori skull painting.

I’m not sure when I first encountered references to a Hand of Glory but I remember it from the original Wicker Man film and from the old game “Thief: The Dark Project”. There’s also a great song by the band Witch called Hand of Glory that may have inspired me to pick this subject. On a side note, I want to mention that the Thief game series has really amazing art and atmosphere…the first three games have inspired various projects of mine including stained glass and a song.

Hand reference photo

Hand reference photo

For this Hand of Glory project, I took some moody low-key photos of my hand a few months ago, and used one as a reference to do a pencil sketch directly on wood panel. I revised it over a few days, looking at my own left hand while sketching to alter it. After I was satisfied, I went over the outline with fine sepia sharpie marker and then erased most of the pencil. I then mixed black and yellow acrylic paint into a thin wash and sealed in the drawing, making the brushstrokes in such a way that if they show through later intentionally they’ll add some interesting underlying texture to the painting.

Here’s my start to the project. This is 11×14 inches and the hand is somewhat larger-than-life:

Hand of Glory sketch on panel

Hand of Glory sketch on panel

 

Hand on panel with wash

Hand on panel with wash

 

 

 

 

 

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Hand of Glory (digital)

Yes, a digital hand, with 5 digits. I did this a while ago for a contest, it’s a skateboard deck design. I made it in Photoshop.

 

Eye in Hand of Glory

Eye in Hand of Glory

 

I wanted to post it now because:

a.) I think it’s cool

b.) My next project may focus on a similar subject, but in a low-key, darkly rendered oil painting on wood panel.

 

 

 

 

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Workin on this painting again

Yup, I took something like a year-long break from this piece but have been working on it again.

This is a detail view of the painting. It’s oil on canvas.

 

Work in prog

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The Ghost Girl of Willowglen Manor

I finished this project, “The Ghost Girl of Willowglen Manor”.

I started to get a little crazy in the foreground but painted over some of the weird ice-landscape I had made – I’ll save that for another painting. I really love unplanned weird plant life and strange rocks and stuff…the other project I am working on now has a lot of that too.

This is oil on canvas board, 14×18 inches:

 

The Ghost Girl of Willowglen Manor

The Ghost Girl of Willowglen Manor

 

This was a relatively quick and simple painting compared to my other works. I didn’t keep track of the hours like I normally do so I’m really not sure how long I spent on it, but probably 8  to 12 hours over about 3 months.

Here’s the previous post about this painting: Ghost Girl work in progress

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