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 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!

Monday, March 10, 2014

TRUE GRIT in Watercolor

Detail of the painting. Click images to see them larger.

    Howdy and hello! Lately I've been doing studies and preliminary work for a watercolor commission I'm working on. I needed to do a "test painting" or two in order to figure out exactly which way I wanted to approach the actual painting step of the process. I knew I was going to be using a lot of browns and earth tones. I figured I may as well paint something that, if it turned out well, I could give to my dad as a finished painting. My Pops likes westerns and he and I really enjoy watching the Coen Bros version of True Grit. It's one of our go-to movies for funny quotes. What better to paint, but the main characters from the film?!

    Above and below are two photos of the finished painting in full. The top photo shows the brownish colors which dominate the palette better than the one below.

    This photo shows some other elements, such as the details and tones, a bit better.

Weird snapshot of the painting framed.
    My dad was quite pleased with the surprise painting! He asked me to help him frame it and set it up in his office. Cool! :) It's fun to get to surprise people with a gift of artwork every now and then. Or as Rooster Cogburn would say, "You are not LaBeouf."
    God bless, guys! Have a great week!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mourning Song_Evening Love

    Hey everybody! I recently had the honor of being a part of an amazing music project and I want to share it with you all. One of my best friends, Antonio Gomez, and his family recently experienced a great loss. His response was to begin the album project Mourning Song_Evening Love. Below, as well as in the video above, he explains:

     Lost a lot of close loved ones lately and created an album to express the emotions. Thanks to kickstarter and many backers, I was able to produce this music in my home-studio. I hope you enjoy it!!

    Antonio (also known as "GomezMuzik") came to me and asked if I'd like to do the album artwork for the project. I was honored he'd come to me with the opportunity to be a part of something so special. He wanted the artwork to reflect the album's music and purpose:  

Its about emotions that are bottled up needing to be released.. pain, hurt, love, joy (from the memories) of a lost loved one... ...representation of what your emotions do when trying to navigate a loss.

    Above and below are just some of the thumbnail sketches I did while working out different ideas and approaches for the image. In the top left of the image above, is my reproduction of a doodle Antonio did for me as a starting place. This allowed him to explain some of the symbolism and concepts he was wanting in the image. It also gave me a great jumping off point and key visual elements to rework in new ways.

   Since the illustration was going to be made into a stamp (such a cool idea) for the album cover, it needed to have a simpler, black line design that was easy to reproduce. I looked at a lot of old ink prints, signs, and stamps for inspiration, as well as other sources like old drawings and elements from nature. The top row was actually inspired by tree cuts and fungi!

    Here are the "Post-It Note" sketches I did after I received his initial feedback. He told me which parts of the sketches really stood out and spoke to him and I tried to quickly take those pieces and put them together in the sketches above. 

    And here it is! The final version of the album artwork for Mourning Song_Evening Love. I took Antonio's notes on the last sketches and tried to apply them to the drawing. I sketched it out on a piece of Bristol paper and then inked over it with brush pens. After that, I cleaned it up in Photoshop and sent it his way for final approval. He liked it. :)

   This really was a collaboration in the truest sense of the word. I'm some humbled and honored that I got to have a small part in this beautiful, healing project God is using to help those who've experienced or are experiencing some kind of loss. If you'd like to listen to or purchase GomezMuzik's first full album, Mourning Song_Evening Love, click here for a digital copy or here for a physical copy! The album is also available on iTunes! For more of his work and info on his upcoming shows, just visit his website or follow him on twitter.

    I hope you all are blessed by this project as much as I've been. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look at my illustration process. God Bless!

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Amplifier- Z is for Thanks a Zillion!

Click to the image to view it larger.

    Wow. Here it is, guys. My last "Alternative Alphabet" illustration for The Amplifier. Appearing in the current issue of the paper, this illustration incorporates a few of the figures that have shown up along the way from "A" to "Z."  My collaborator/art director, Leslie had the idea to do this and I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity to revisit some of the characters I'd illustrated. What a great way to show our thanks and appreciation to those who contribute to the paper and those it aids.

    In this edition, The Amp staff put every previous illustration from the series in the paper as well as spotlighting some of the favorites and featuring a great article Leslie wrote about our experience on the project on the front page. How cool is that?!
Here is The Amp's mission as described on its website:

The Amplifier exists to give voice and economic opportunity to those living beyond the margins of our community and to address the social issues that affect them.

    For more information on the paper and how you can help click the website link above. It has been an honor to contribute and be involved even in a small way with what the folks at The Amp are doing. I hope you all get a chance to pick a paper up soon. God bless!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sketch of Melonie Diaz

Graphite on sketchbook paper, about 4 x 4.5 inches.
    Hey, guys! I hope you are all doing well. I thought you might like to see this sketch I did a week or so ago of actress, Melonie Diaz. She is a very talented actor (Be Kind Rewind is one of my favorites!) and also has a great look. When I saw her in this photo, I just had to do a sketch of it. Aw man, now I'm just thinking about how fun a Be Kind Rewind sequel would be... but it's such a great stand alone film. I don't know! haha! Anyways, I hope you all have a surprisingly glorious week! God bless!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Rapunzel Sketch

Graphite on sketchbook paper, 4x4 inches.

    Hi, folks! Here's a recent sketch of Rapunzel from Disney's Tangled. I drew it while admiring the production sculptures by Kent Melton. It was just going to be a quick sketch, but I kind of got carried away (as I often tend to do!)
    I hope this new year has been kind to you all! It's already been a year of change and lots of art for me. I hope to have a lot of new/recent work to share with you soon. Until then, God bless!

P.S. Don't forget you can always follow my daily shenanigans on Twitter and see what inspires and intrigues me over on my Tumblr!