Friday, April 25, 2008

It's Not Oil, but Hey!

I can't say I didn't have a nice two weeks off. While playing Mr. Mom is fun and all, and does all that child/parent bonding nonsense, I am glad to be off to the peace and quiet of the workplace. Quiet, that is, except for the hacking and coughing and throat clearing coming from my cubicle. I've had this throat thing for awhile now. My boss concurred that I should find an Ear/Nose/Throat specialist. I guess me clearing my throat every 5 minutes is driving him nuts!

It's nice to be back painting with purpose again. I had the pleasure of working on this one today as an exercise in Illustration. The subject is "The Cremation of Sam McGee" by the poet Robert W. Service. It's a great poem, and I hope you read it here. I'm sure most of your monitors aren't calibrated, so if the image looks really weird just use your imagination and project some awesomeness that might not really be there....I know my monitors at home are WACKED.

I'm going to be teaching a Photoshop Speedpainting class at work in a few months, so I'm trying to brush up on my skillz and stuff. Look for me posting my class notes and instruction when they're complete!

This painting was done with only a few custom brushes. One of the reasons I like Photoshop so much is the complete control over color and value. I do a lot of Color Dodging, Curves adjustments, and Hue and Saturation tweaks over the course of a piece. Also, I'm very comfortable in the Brush creator now...

While useful, these tools are also a crutch. It is generally good practice to be able to just lay out the color/value exactly as it should be, as if you mixed the paint and put it on the canvas. That's why traditional skills are so important!

Speaking of learning art skillz, I've been enjoying the blog of the artist James Gurney. He is most well-known for his Dinotopia work. I am impressed with his dedication to daily blogging and lessons on art. I think it's a great resource for anyone interested in developing their artistic eye.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ice Cream and Cookies

Yesterday morning, my clever daughter woke me up with a desperate plea.

Abbie: "Daddy, I need a note to get ice cream and cookies at school!"

Half awake, I mumbled incoherently.

Abbie: "Daddy, I will write the note. I will write, 'Abbie can have ice cream' and then you write 'cookies', ok?"

Me: "Ok. Yawn!"

A couple of minutes later, Abbie produces a well-written note and I finish and sign it.

It hadn't occurred to me what had just happened. I thought there was some shindig at the school with ice cream and cookies, and parents needed to make sure their kid had a note so they could partake. When I mentioned the note incident to Alissa, she laughed and informed me that there was ice cream and cookies EVERY day at the school, at lunch time! We took the note, but I gave her a new one today when she bought lunch.

Abbie had cleverly circumvented The Great Veto by approaching a sleepy Dad next to passed-out Mom and procured a signature under very questionable methods. These same powers of deception appear to be genetic, as Abbie's mother had also been guilty of similar capers in her not-so-honest youth (Grandma is in town with lots of stories!).

In my heart, I felt pride at her cunning.

In my tummy, I knew I wanted some ice cream and cookies too.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


So, I ordered some paint from the greatest online art store EVAR, Jerry's Art-a-Rama. Now I won't have an excuse not to paint! I really need to work on a lot of things, and the procrastinator in me can come up with all sorts of excuses.

I bought most of the paint from Richard Schmid's list. Because he's cool. And, I trust him. You should, too! =)

Alissa doesn't believe me, but I AM taking my travel easel up to her parents place in rural PA. Plein Air, baby! Plus, what else can you do in the Wilderness?

Anyhow, expect more painting studies in the future. However, nothing as cool as this, or even this. Perhaps someday! I can always dream, can't I? How can anyone paint without "Undo"? frowns. At least I admit that I have a crutch.

Meanwhile, here is my new self-portrait. Enjoy!

Monday, April 7, 2008


I probably spent too long on this painting (Photoshop). Wifey says it took me about an hour. I got caught up in the details, as usual. Don't forget to LIQUIFY!

I don't even use a straight razor, but I use aftershave. I'm kind of particular, and I really like this particular aftershave made by Adidas. It's brisk and clean-smelling, without smelling like old man cologne. Well, I ran out of the stuff and forgot to mention this to The Shopper, so I am forced to endure the perfumery of my back-up bottle of Aqua-Velva.

Aftershave makes my skin feel better, and more refreshed. I'm wondering if I'm alone here, as I was surprised to see that Target had the meager selection of 3 different aftershaves, and Wal-mart only had a few more.

Are we an aftershave-less society? Say it ain't so!

Sunday, April 6, 2008


The girls wanted me to draw them. They love it. These are really small...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

It's a Boy!!

Lucas Adam. We did NOT name him after George Lucas, neither after Alissa's brother. They just happen to have those names...

6 lbs 10 oz and 20"

He's a little guy, came a few weeks early, but both mom and baby are doing great!!