Portrait WIP

Alright, I’ve been promising for a while that I would finally post some photos of the finished mural I did, and today I’m heading out to finally take some. For now, here’s something I started working on.

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Just something on the side, practicing coloring and using some new brushes.


Mural 4

I’m soooooo close! I actually could have finished today, but the sun was rough. It was definitely the toastiest day yet, and since I’m not in any rush to have this completed I went ahead and stopped a bit early. I have half of the jelly fish tentacles left to do, plus some dots and details and what nots. I’ll get a couple good photos when it’s all done, but for now here are two that I snapped before I left.



Mural 3

So! Day… I’m not sure how many days it’s been now… So! Update 3 on the mural in Sayulita. I’m finally getting all the base parts done and working on some details. I feel like I didn’t get as much done as I normally do today, but it’s just because it was a lot of over painting and small details. Oh and in the last post I mentioned I might experiment with a tool to make the dots go faster, and it actually worked pretty well! Here it is…


Very high tech… I wrapped a scrap of t-shirt around the end of the brush with my hair tie. When I wanted to make larger dots I just doubled up the fabric. It worked like a charm and I finished up coral, stars and octopus!


There are going to be a bunch of cute little fish and what nots filling up lots of the empty space… But I’m not really sure what I want to do with the big purple rock thing that the corals are on. I was going to do dots… but that seems so boring. I was also thinking of doing some lines all through it, sort of like a fingerprint pattern, in colors just a little darker or lighter than the purple that’s on there… I don’t know. But there’s plenty more to work on while I think about it.

Oh! And then there’s Tony. He’s been helping me out the entire time. He was asked by the family that runs the Kinder to make sure I have everything I need while I’m working and he’s been an enormous help. Here he is posing below the door way and gate that he painted while I worked on the wall.


Mural Painting 1

I’ve been looking forward to starting my own mural for the past few weeks and yesterday I finally got a chance to begin! It’s been a slow start so far, but it’s coming along. I’m painting in a town called Sayulita, about an hour north of Puerto Vallarta, on the outside of a Kindergarten near the middle of town. The wall is long and low (about 5 feet high) with a little pyramid shape sticking up about 2/3 of the way down the wall. I started with a flat blue base coat yesterday and there was a little miscommunication on the amount needed, so I ended up running out just a couple feet from the end of the wall. Since the wall still needed lots of touchups to cover spots and and what-not I had to stop for the day. Today we got another couple gallons of blue so the last bit of the wall was covered up in no time, then another light cover up layer over the first, plus some little touchups and the wall was primed and ready to go!

I had a few rough drawings and a thumbnail sketch of the over all composition that I was working from.

sketch1 sketch2

The real detailed sketching/pre-painting part always happens in my head, usually as I fall asleep at night. After a few nights of day dream painting and leaping out of bed to sketch “just one more idea” it all starts to comes together, but even now as I lay it out and begin to paint, the idea is flexible and loose. The colors are all over the place too. I have an idea of colors that I really like, and I’ve looked through the available paint left over from the other artists that were in town so I know what’s available and what I might be able to mix, but where exactly each color goes… I won’t know that until I’m in front of the wall with the color in my hand.

I’m getting ahead of myself, though. After the blue base paint was all done it was time for some layout. I used chalk, since it’s easy to fix with a quick wipe of a damp cloth. I still keep the lines loose while I focus on hammering out the composition with the actual proportions of the wall. Once everything (or at least mostly everything) is in place, it’s finally time for some color! Unfortunately, I plan on mixing the base blue with a black and a white to make different tones, but the black and white paints were locked up and no one was able to get to them! Aaaaah, so that was it for today! I could have started in on the accent colors, but that would have been skipping a pretty important step and I know I wouldn’t have been very happy with the result. So tomorrow the plan is to get the black and white (one way or another…) and get the base shapes painted in.

Ah, and of course, I forgot my camera today, so no photos of the wall yet. I’ll try to remember to grab it tomorrow so I can get a picture before I start the colors.

Skull Man Progress 3

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Starting to work in some color/form now… I think I’ve decided to go with a little bit more of a painterly style, but with a very restricted color palette.


Color Sketching

I took a few days off for the Holidays and I’ve been using some of my spare time to work on digital painting. Here’s one that I was working on a couple days ago. There are no high or low lights in it yet, so she has a very flat, dead tone. I was just messing around with using a single layer and keeping to the sketch without relying too much on it.


WIP Skin Tones

It’s been years since I did any real painterly painting, which is awful, and I’ve never done any digital painting so I decided it’s time to remedy that. I’ve been playing around with brushes and color palettes, and practicing skin tones: adding reds, blues, greens to the high and low lights… It’s tough to keep them from looking dead lol

Here’s one of the faces I was working on earlier. I’ve just barely worked in the base colors. The form of the rest of the face is sill pretty off, but I spent most of my time on the nose, trying to get the shape and color to work together.

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“I Like Turtles.”

I get most of my best ideas late (LATE) at night, usually as I’m drifting off to sleep and letting my mind wonder. Last year I had children’s books on the brain, and an idea popped into my head of the story of a sea turtle. It was one of those great moments where the whole thing appeared in my mind as a complete story, so I jumped out of bed, grabbed the nearest pen and paper and scribbled the whole thing down. For the next few weeks I was just a little obsessed with drawing/painting/creating turtles.

This was one of the paintings I did. It’s acrylic on canvas and the golds and silvers are metallic. I watered down the silver in the blue background so that from certain angles the swirls disappear and reappear again when you move around it.

I love paintings that really show the brush strokes and use globs of paint that reach right off the canvas. If you look at this one from the side you can see how much the paint stands up, especially the dots in the swirls and around the turtle. Okay… you can’t really see it in the photo, sorry =/

I did another much larger version in the same style, but never had time to finish it. The shape of the turtles is carved out of the paint, so it’s actually just light and shadows that create the shape rather than paint. I used two photos here so you can actually see the difference in the paint as it moves. The red of the shells has a metallic gold mixed into it, so as you move around it there is a lot of change in the colors!

To wrap up this post… well, I think this little boy says it best.

Wall Murals

Only in the last few months have my eyes really opened up to wall murals and graffiti. I’ve seen it around before of course, but I never really paid attention to it. I always thought of ugly tags when I thought of graffiti, or cheesy wanna-be-Bob-Ross landscapes in dentist offices when I thought of murals. I had no idea how wrong I was and now I’m making up for lost time.

I finally went out and bought a couple cans of spray paint and damn it was way more fun then I thought it’d be. But before that I tried my hand at painting with regular house paint a very simple image on a wall next to my house… with mixed results.

Here’s the image I drew on my computer first.

Here’s an absolutely amazing video I found yesterday to give you an idea of the pure amazingness happening on walls out there. So you can see the image on the wall didn’t translate very well haha. I ran into a few problems while painting; the texture of the wall was crazy. It took me hours just to get the base blue on the wall, and it never really filled in very well. The colors that I had my local paint shop mix up weren’t exactly what I had in mind. They turned out more baby pink and blue… oops. And then there was actually transferring the image to scale. Way tougher than I expected it to be! But hey, despite all that I’m pretty happy with it for a first try.

Oh, and here’s my color test for the spray paints =)

Now to make up for my sad mural skills, here’s a mind blowing video of MadC’s Jurassic Park wall in Germany.