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.

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

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.

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

Ghost Girl work in prog

Although I haven’t posted in a while, I have indeed been doing stuffs…here’s one of the projects I’m workin’ on.

Not sure what this one will be called but for now I’m calling it Ghost Girl. I started it at a party a few weeks ago where I was doing some live painting.

Ghost Girl WIP 12-12-12

Ghost Girl WIP 12-12-12

 

I normally keep a lot of notes on my projects but on this one since it’s supposed to be quick I’m not doing so…therefore I’m not sure how long I’ve been working on it exactly but it’s something like 4 hours. I plan to finish it in another couple sessions. It’s 14×18 inches, oil on canvas board.

This is more colorful than much of my previous work…the greens are Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue mixed with combinations of Mars Black, French Ultramarine, and Cobalt Blue. I wanted the landscape greens to be more drab so they are black and yellow whereas the face is using more of the blue and yellow. Other colors I’ve been using are Phthalo Blue, Yellow Ochre, Raw Umber, Cadmium Red Hue, and Titanium White.

Update: I finished this and realized it’s obviously called The Ghost Girl of Willowglen Manor. Here’s the finished version.

 

A Country Girl Near the Dream City (revised – 2012)

I’ve been taking some previously completed paintings that I wasn’t happy with and making some changes to them when I thought that spending the time would be worth it. I recently made some big but fairly quick changes to “A Country Girl Near the Dream City”:

A Country Girl near the Dream City (2012)

A Country Girl near the Dream City (2012)

The way I see it, if I have something that I am almost happy with, it’s worth the risk of making it worse and it’s worth the extra time (let’s say an additional 15%) to try and make it better. I have been forcing myself to just focus on the key aspects that will improve the painting the most and have been pretty good about not letting myself start changing too much. I also ensure that I have a good plan of attack and have done studies so that I know how exactly to alter the painting once I get started. In this case I had been thinking about changes since last year, and did some tests in Photoshop to make sure that if I did alter stuff that it would look the way I wanted, rather than just employing trial and error which could end in frustration and an at least temporarily ruined painting.

This one went smoothly and I’m really glad that I took the extra couple hours so that now I have a painting I am much happier about.

A Chaotic Nocturnal Reverie altered and completed

I decided to make some major changes to this painting. I messed with the face a bit more but decided I wouldn’t be happy even if the face was OK since the figure etc were too flawed.I debated this for a while but decided to just paint over the figure completely. I had spent a HUGE amount of time changing the face and figure but painting over it is not going to take away the stuff I learned working on this project – and now I will have a painting I can be happier with.

Here is the full painting:

A Chaotic Nocturnal Reverie

"A Chaotic Nocturnal Reverie" by Airn LeBus, 16x20 inches, oil on canvas, 2012.

Here is a detail view:

A Chaotic Nocturnal Reverie (detail)

A Chaotic Nocturnal Reverie (detail)

My previous posts on this have a lot more info:

Final post on the earlier version