Friday, December 10, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Saturday evening I went to a soundscape performance by Robert Fripp at the World Financial Center. It was about an hour and I spent the time sketching during the performance. I decided to see what would happen if I tried to make a painting in one hour based on some of those sketches. Oil on panel~ 5" x 7"
Friday, December 3, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Need a holiday season gift idea?
I have some of my extracts available for $100 each. They're acrylics on Rives BFK paper, 8" X 10". They're available at http://www.brucejensen.com/art/extracts.html and payment is processed through paypal. Click through the thumbnails, maybe you'll find something you like!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I'm happy to report that my second attempt at painting this one came out better than the first.
The color palette I've been using for the these has been Lascaux: oxide olive brown, oxide yellow, oxide red and ultramarine blue. I've switched the ultramarine out for a Liquitex pthalocyanine blue.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Actually I decided to start over, and repaint extract 13. It was overworked and getting muddy. Today, I'm skipping forward and posting extract 14 which I recently finished. I'll be working toward a better resolution for the missing 宇宙人.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Most of my alien menagerie project exists as piles of pencil sketches. The time I have to work on oil paintings is less than I'd like, so they take quite a long time to complete. "Extracts" is the name I've given to a series of more casual paintings that I can complete with more speed and spontaneity.
The aliens in these pieces are pulled straight from my sketchbooks. I'm not worried about setting up an environment for these, or how they might fit into a more elaborate piece or series someday. I like to think of them as plates from a journal or guidebook of various 宇宙人。
They're acrylics on Rives BFK paper (7.5x10"). It was really fun to pick up acrylics again for these pieces. I used them for most of my career as an illustrator. There's a comfort of familiarity that I haven't acquired for oils just yet.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Initially I was stumped by what the setting and dynamic of the winter creature would be. I considered a hibernating character. Perhaps the scene would be in a burrow, or maybe the box could be a freezer. I wasn't happy with the idea of painting a sleeping character though. On the upside, I rather liked the idea that came out of this line of thought, that we'd be viewing the scene through a frosted pane of glass with the center wiped clear.
Eventually I started playing with the idea of a snowman. Simple, obvious, though not 'biological', it served as a fun point of departure and pretty quickly evolved into the character I'm painting for this series. My snowman became white and fluffy, so now I'm working the balance between cute and weird.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Snowball on a stick is pretty limited as reference goes. To prepare for the painting I'm working on I built a model, or maquette.
I'd pretty much figured out how I wanted the alien to appear in my "winter" painting. With pencil sketches and a digital color study finished, I decided to go a step further than usual. I wanted to explore the building of a maquette. It's not a step in previsualization that I have ever used before. I arrived at this decision inspired by Jim Gurney's book IMAGINATIVE REALISM. His examples of the benefits of maquettes are priceless. My alien has some pretty absurd, if simple 'anatomy'. From my model, I wanted to learn more about how the fur could look, how the light falls on it, and the flow of the coat. It seemed even more logical to build a model, as stop motion animation characters were among my inspirational influences for this painting. There's some Rankin/ Bass abominable snowman in this fellow.
It's been a fun preliminary process. I'm keeping the maquette nearby while working on the painting, and this model doesn't melt under the lights.
*on upload youtube suggested I tag the video as "pets" & "kitten" hmmmm
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
When is a painting finished?
Sometimes a piece is finished by the necessity of a deadline, which can actually be a very useful. Lacking that, the question becomes more open ended. I've worked on this piece at various times, off and on. I considered it close to finished and sat it aside for months. I worked on other things and eventually came back and gave it more attention. I finally feel comfortable with calling it finished.
For a long time alien menagerie was a stack of pencil sketches and notes. I worked on and accumulated them for years without moving forward with them as paintings. Commercial work always took precedence, but slowly I've been finding ways to make more time for these pieces. I designed this guy a few years ago, while participating in an online design forum. It was a way to push my sketches and ideas for alien menagerie into a more fully realized form by making a digital painting weekly. The moderator of the forum had a thing about plants not being eligible as a source for creature design, so I took that as something to challenge in and of itself! I was quite fond of the result and knew I'd come back to eventually.
When I'm organizing ideas, I tend to think in terms of a thematic series. Lots of lists live among my sketches. This creature fit nicely into a series of four pieces on the theme of seasons. 春夏秋冬。This is summer.
Spring would be the logical place to start, but I didn't.
Winter is in progress.
This won't be a daily blog. Writing for me is a long process of write, erase, and write again, so I'm not a terribly efficient or confident wordsmith. That being said, I hope this becomes a useful avenue where I can express some of the thinking behind the pictures I make, and perhaps give a little insight into just what the heck I'm doing.
Finishing summer seems like a good place to start. September is a good time for starting something new.