Thursday, October 23, 2014

Monster Portraits Month: Ashley!



    It's still MONSTER PORTRAITS MONTH! Here's a look at another one of the winners of the Free Portrait Contest earlier in the month, Ashley! Spoooooky!

    So you didn't win the contest or missed it entirely? Do not worry! I'm offering 5x7 ink Monster Portraits for only $10 plus shipping through my original art shop, PABshop! Just go to philipabuck.bigcartel.com for details! But remember, this deal is for the rest of this October only! So hurry and get yourself MONSTERIZED!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Monster Portraits Month: Cooper!


    It's still MONSTER PORTRAITS MONTH! Here's a look at one of the winners of the Free Portrait Contest earlier in the month, Creeper Cooper! He's such a cool kid!

   So you didn't win the contest or missed it entirely? Don't fret! I'm offering 5x7 ink Monster Portraits for only $10 plus shipping through my original art shop, PABshop! Just go to philipabuck.bigcartel.com or click the "PABshop" link above to place your order and get further instructions on how to get your very own original MONSTER PORTRAIT! But remember, this deal is for the rest of this October only! So hurry and get yourself MONSTERIZED!

    God Bless, guys! Talk to you soon!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

MONSTER PORTRAITS MONTH!


    Did you hear about the contest and special portraits I've been talking about on my social media accounts? Well if you missed the free Monster Portrait contest, don't worry! I'm still offering 5x7 ink Monster Portraits for only $10 plus shipping through my original art shop, PABshop! Just head over to philipabuck.bigcartel.com or click the "PABshop" link above to place your order and get further instructions on how to get your very own original MONSTER PORTRAIT! But remember, this deal is for the rest of this October only! So hurry and get yourself MONSTERIZED!
God Bless, you guys!

P.S. A special thanks to my sister, Mary for being my model for the portrait above.

Monday, October 6, 2014

NEEDS MORE BLUE!

Click the strip to read it larger!











    Back when I was attending Carson-Newman University, I had the privilege and pleasure of being taught by many great professors. One of these fine individuals was William C. Houston. He not only taught many of the courses I attended, but I also was lucky enough to have him as my advisor. This past Spring, Mr. Houston retired after teaching at Carson-Newman for 38 years.

    Mr. Houston is the kind of person who really invests in people and really goes the extra mile to help them out. He is also known for being pretty hilarious. As a very small way of thanking him for his great impact on my education, career, and life, I made him this comic strip that refers to one of his more widely known ongoing jokes.1

   The tale goes roughly something like this, while at some sort of faculty get together or while sitting at lunch, many other professors were discussing how much they had to grade and how much work it was. One of them, whether out of genuine curiosity or sarcasm said something to the effect of, "How do you grade your classes?" Mr. Houston responded something like, "I just walk into the classroom. Look at all the paintings and say, 'NEEDS MORE BLUE!' and leave."2

   Of course, I can't tell the story as well as some. And he may have actually said, "More Blue!" in the story. But ever since then students, alumni, and teachers alike will occasionally comment, "Needs more blue," or shout it across the campus lawn when they see him. The whole thing stuck. Some fellow classmates and I even named the weekly art blog we used to run, "NEEDS MORE BLUE."

   So there's the story. Now maybe the comic strip above is even funnier? Be sure to check out the grand artwork of William C. Houston sometime. And THANKS MR. HOUSTON! God bless, everybody. Talk to you soon!

1 That's a lie. It actually refers to two inside jokes, one classic sci-fi film, his love of music, and his own artwork. You can see more of the second joke in great photography by another fine individual, Michael Alvis. 
2 I think he only graded this way on rare occasions.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Wonder Woman, Changes, and Commissions

Image of Original 8"x10" ink drawings
Wonder Woman enjoys skateboarding. Did you know that? This is just an example of the kind of cool stuff I'll draw for you when you commission an 8 x 10 ink drawing in the PABshop.
 
    Hello! Did you guys know that I've given the PABshop a makeover? I have! What's the PABshop you ask? Why, it's only my awesome online store where you can get cool stuff I've made. I'm mostly talking commissioned art work that's been specially made for you! Just because I've given the shop a new look and a few tweaks to make it easier to use, don't worry- the 5 x 7 inch drawings and 8 x 10 inch drawings are still available!

Image of Original 5"x7" Ink Drawings
This cool detective is an example of the kind of stuff you can get from the PABshop when you buy a 5 x7 ink drawing.

    That's right, guys. You can still choose either of these option and give me a topic or subject to draw and I'll draw something like the two ink drawing above for you. And you get the original artwork... to keep! :)


    I hope you'll take a moment to check out  all the neat stuff that I'm offering in the PABshop. I also hope you'll enjoy the short process video above from my new Instagram account. I'm looking forward to making something with you all! Thanks for checking in! God bless.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Princess Leia Portrait in the PABshop!


Princess Leia Ink Portrait. 5x7 inches, indian ink on bristol.

    Hi guys! Long time no see. Sorry about that, you guys. Between making lots of art & having computer issues, it's been a little tricky to maintain the site & post new stuff regularly. Let me make it up to you. I just finished this ink drawing of Princess Leia and I'm selling it in the PABshop! That's right, it can be all yours ...to own. Just click the "shop" link above or HERE to check it out and buy away! 

"Doodles, we are!"

    Before I was certain which Star Wars character I wanted to draw, I did quite a number of sketches, but I kept coming back around to the awesome bun-headed rebel.

Little Leias!

    Some of the sketches came out pretty good. Others turned out pretty wacky. I kept sketching, because I still hadn't decided exactly what style I wanted to use. I also wanted to get more familiar with the character's personality and recognizable traits.

Click the image to see it bigger!

    After I more comfortable with drawing the Leia, I began roughing out the pencils on the final piece of Bristol board paper.

Finished! Inked with Faber-Castell PITT artist pens.

    And here's the finished piece! You may have already seen some of these process photos over on my Twitter, Tumblr, or my new Instagram account. I apologize for the bit of redundancy. :)
 
    Don't forget that this original drawing can be yours! And can always order an original drawing of a subject of your choice from the PABshop as well. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a great weekend, guys and gals! God Bless!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday, June 9, 2014

Jesus, da Vinci, And Me: The Last Supper In Watercolor

Detail of Jesus Christ in watercolor, from The Last Supper by Philip A. Buck. (Click images to see them bigger.)

    Hi there! As you may remember, I've been working on a large (at least compared to much of my other recent work,) watercolor commission. No? You don't remember? That's cool. I was hired to paint a watercolor of Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper. And now it's finally finished!

    The piece would need to resemble the Renaissance master's mural, but could have my own, slight changes- the client was very flexible about all of this. Like most people, I've been a fan of Leonardo da Vinci's for quite some time. I knew this would be quite a challenge (how do you translate a da Vinci into watercolor?! He was so good!) but I was also very excited to dive into the project. It was enjoyable to research and remind myself of the amazing man and his incredible art. I believe I've spoken before about how many elements of his work have openly appeared in my own work over the years.

    I was also excited and a bit anxious about the subject matter. The Last Supper. Jesus Christ and his apostles taking the first Communion (also know as The Lord's Supper or The Eucharist,) before he would be betrayed and later crucified. And the Apostles hearing that one of them would be the one to betray their Lord. The divinity and importance of the scene wasn't lost on me! I was eager to share, in my own way, this great story. But respectfully and skillfully copying a master's famous interpretation of the special meal was fairly intimidating.

My notes on da Vinci and his painting, The Last Supper include lots of rough sketches.

    For a good look at the original painting by da Vinci and some great insights about it, check out this video by Smart History from Khan Academy.  It was videos like this and books like Leonardo da Vinci by Lucia Aquino (shown above. to the left,) that continued to inspire me while giving me much needed information about da Vinci and his famous painting. But where to start? I first completed some studies to help me get a clearer feel and direction on how to "imitate" da Vinci in pencil and watercolor. I then took notes of my research on the master and his painting.

View of my desk: the watercolor paper, soaked and stapled
with Christ, apostles, and architecture penciled in.

    I then prepared the watercolor paper by soaking it and stapling it to a "watercolor board." After that I started planning out the painting in pencil. I measured and marked places on the paper where the architecture and figures would go in relation to the original painting. This stage took quite a while (he sure did love his math!) I couldn't get any good pictures of this stage because the pencils were so light. I then lightly roughed in the figures and furniture. 

A closer look at the watercolor paper with Christ, apostles, and architecture penciled in.

    I came back and tightened up the details on the figures. I knew it would probably look much different by the time it was painted, but I wanted to give the picture a good and accurate foundation. I also originally planned to just do mostly washes of color over the line-work. However, as I painted the figures I went for a more fully rendered look instead. Here are just a couple of photos of the pencils I did of the small figures:

Detail of pencil sketch of Jesus Christ at the table of The Last Supper by Philip A. Buck.


A close up of Jesus in the pencils stage.

    Here you can barely see the light pencil lines I used to guide the elements of architecture radiating outward from Christ's right temple. The horizon line for the painting is generally aligned with his eyes.

Detail: Bartholomew (also called "Nathanael,") James (son of Alphaeus,  known as
 "the Younger" or "the Lesser,") and Andrew lightly sketched in pencil.

Detail: Judas (lower and turning,) Peter (also called "Simon" and "Cephas,") and John in pencil.

Detail: The apostles Thomas (also called "Didymus,") James ( son of Zebedee , "the Major,
the Elder" or "the Greater") and Philip.

Detail: Matthew (also called "Levi,") Jude (also called "Thaddaeus,") and Simon ("the Zealot.")
  
Painting begins!

    I then painted the figures. I did this in layers, adding more varying tones and details as I went. I also employed watercolor pencils constantly to redefine elements like their eyes, shadows, the wrinkles in their cloaks, and their hair.

The upper room takes shape.

    After the figures were painted in, I started working on the background. Since my client wanted to display the finished piece in her rustic cabin, we chose an "earth tone" pallet of colors as opposed to a direct translation of da Vinci's color choices.



    You can see here that I continued by painting the table, the food, and the landscape that can be seen behind Jesus. After that, I just had to do touch ups and take it off of the board. Finished!

Detail: Bartholomew, James, and Andrew in watercolor.

    I deliberately changed some of the figures' features and wardrobes so that they would be a little more historically accurate (at least in my limited research,) than the Renaissance-stylized, European men and clothes that are in the original. At the same time, I tried not to change them too much; I was commissioned to paint after da Vinci's Last Supper, after all.

Detail: Judas, Peter, and John in watercolor.


Detail: Jesus Christ in watercolor.


Detail: Thomas, James, and Philip in watercolor.


Detail: Matthew, Jude, and Simon in watercolor.



The Last Supper, After Leonardo da Vinci by Philip A. Buck.
Watercolor and watercolor pencils on watercolor paper. Approximately 28 x 15 inches.
(Click image to view larger.)

    Finally, here is the finished piece. After going through the whole process and studying da Vinci's painting so closely, my already great appreciation for the work and artist increased immeasurably. I also had deeper consideration of the Apostles and Jesus as men. Men who did miraculous things, but also men who came and ate together. And also about the heavy, bitter sweet burden that must have been for Jesus, knowing it would be there last meal altogether, but also knowing of the good yet to come after his resurrection. There's a lot to think about in this scene, and in the way Leonardo da Vinci wonderfully portrayed it.

    Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read this! I hope you enjoyed another look at my process. Now it's on to more paintings for me. Until next update, you can find me tweeting, plussing, tumbling, and behancing elsewhere on the web. God bless, you guys!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Happy Easter!

Detail of Jesus Christ in my current project, recreating da Vinci's The Last Supper. Graphite pencils on watercolor paper.

    Hey everybody! How are you? I hope you just answered, "Pretty great, thanks!" I just wanted to wish you all a good Good Friday and a Happy Easter! I hope it finds you all well. No matter how awful, crazy, scary, or confusing things get we always have the blessed assurance of Christ's love. He showed us how much he loves us with his sacrifice for our sins on the cross and then came back to life in glory! Still to this day, he's there for us whenever we need him. It's pretty wonderful when you stop and think about it. Let's spread his love! Let's all celebrate!!! God bless you, guys! I hope you have a great weekend!

        "For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."  -John 3:16 [New Living Translation]

Monday, March 31, 2014

Graphite da Vinci Studies


    Hello! Lately, I've been working on a commission for a client who asked for my interpretation of a specific painting by Leonardo da Vinci. Obviously nothing I can do will ever come close to the work of such a master, but I'm still trying to capture a "da Vinci feel" in the piece while making it my own as well. Before I got started, I began studying up on his works.

    For many years I've found da Vinci and his work fascinating and inspiring. His paintings have been referenced in more than a few of my own (1,2,3.) But, it had been a while since I'd spent time with his work, so i felt reading about him, his creative approach and studying his art would be essential to getting this piece right. Above and below are snapshots of some of the sketches I did from his paintings and drawings.


    There are so many great resources out there about da Vinci, some a little more reliable than others. I enjoy reading his thoughts about painting and soaking in his sketches and unfinished works. 


    Completing my own "da Vinci" is, of course, no easy task, but hopefully I'll be able to share the finished piece with you all soon. (This one's taking a while haha!) I thought you all would enjoy seeing these sketches until then. Well, I've got to get back to work! God bless, and have a great week!

P.S. Many new products are available over at my Society6 store. Just click here or click the "Shop" button at the top of the page to check them out!