Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Evolution of an Artist, Part Two

Last time, I showed you my evolution as a dynamic painter. There were people flying, bikes crashing, colors flashing, and Abraham Lincoln wearing a codpiece. And we saw that I am still, and will always be, in the process. If I was one of the humans in the evolution poster, I'd be the slightly hunched one with lots of hair that you can't really get clear pictures of.

But as much fun as I have building complex perspectives, sometimes simple is best. The most simple and impactful image, in my mind, is a portrait.

They say a face is worth a thousand words. They don't say that? A picture is? But what about a picture of a face? Yeah, that's what I thought. Back to what I was saying: They say a picture is word a thousand worth, and I'm inclined to agree. Don't re-read that sentence, it didn't make sense. You did? Sigh.

It is difficult to capture a person with line, or in paint, and even harder to say something about that person as you do it. I'm not there yet, but I've come a long way. How long, you ask? Do I have a delicious morsel for you, sweet buttercup.

This is a self portrait from high school. I was so proud of this piece. Instead of drawing something that had the appearance of becoming three dimensional, I sculpted something and nailed it to my artwork!

M.C. Escher, I bested you at the age of 16, thought I. This artwork was accepted to the St. Mary's art show, which is a little town that our littler town orbits like a moon. At the show, I was practically beaming, strutting from one end of the floor to the other. The young artiste.

A man walked up to me and pointed at my work. "You did this?" He asked.

"Yes!"Puffed I, chest forward.

"Well I was just wondering why you ruined a perfectly lovely drawing by nailing a hand to it." He was the hellspawned rebirth of M.C. Escher, jealous of my pioneering ways.

I have no proof of this.

Sufficiently deflated, I resigned to doing portraits the old fashioned way, by making them look like faces.

Ooof. Well, mostly like faces. Let's try that again.

Ah, better. Sadly, I didn't have the means to build a hand to nail to this one. Both of these are from freshman year at CCAD. Yeah, that's how good I was at painting. I think last time I saw a face that scary it was bearing down on the Nazis at the end of Indiana Jones. Just look away. It pretty much saves you from the wrath of God.

Speaking of Nazis, is that a Hilter 'stache or a shadow under her nose? Spoiler: it's a shadow. I'm kinda getting the hang of this paint with color thing. Kinda. This is from sophomore year.

Ah, you can see the influence of my illustration training in this picture of a penis. Freud! I mean Freud! You can see here that I am really trying to figure out colors and form. At this point, everything is still exaggerated. Look at that red nose.

My senior year, I decided to draw myself again, except this time thirty years in the future. I guess this is technically a portrait of my dad, but really. Black and white is still my strong suit here, and you can see I am just not that comfortable with painting yet:

After senior year, I sat on my hands for a while, just to keep them warm. This didn't allow me to draw very much, but I did get this done one day.

It is amazing how clearly comfortable I am with the charcoal medium. But the more I paint, the better I become. My most recent portrait shows that maybe, one day, when I lose all the hair and start sitting up straight, campers will actually be able to take clear photos of me.

I still want a funnel cake.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Evolution of an Artist

One of the most rewarding things about being a visual artist is the most obvious: it is entirely clear when you gain knowledge and skill. To see your own visual language form and change and improve is really something that artists alone can enjoy. And maybe actors. Like Bruce Willis, because he is so versatile. Like, sometimes he's a cop, and sometimes he's an off-duty cop. But I digress.

Let me take you on a journey through highschool and into the present day, through artistic pitfalls and the ever changing labyrinth of personal expression. It's like A Christmas Carol, except it isn't.

Our story begins in highschool, where a corner-cutting David works in what he believes will be his medium of choice for all time: Colored Pencils.

Ah, the memories. I remember looking at all the rest of the paper above his arms and thinking, I have to color all of this!? Why bother, when you can cut it out and poorly collage some circus elements on top of it? I should have super-glued a funnel cake to it. Now I am hungry for funnel cakes...

The next evolution of my perspectiveyness is from sophomore year of college. Roll it.

This is actually a fair representation of my dorm room. Well, not the violent paintsplosion as much as the completely barren walls. At least I didn't glue popcorn to this one.

Ah oils, I meet thee at last. What is that thing in the background though? Oh, that would be a boy made out of Playdoh!. It's a good thing I covered up his redshort nether regions tastefully with the strap of a bike helmet. Better yet, would you like to see Abraham Lincoln?

I am missing something. Can you tell what it is? No, it isn't Mercutio in drag. It is REFERENCE. You can sincerely tell the moment I start using photo reference to inform my paintings. It happens right about here:

You should see how many pictures I took. Too many. There, I answered your nonquestion. But here, finally, I am beginning to see the level of skill I need to finish out my ideas. Bring it home, Pillow King.

One of the weirdest things, for me, is to see each piece and remember what it was like to feel like it was the best piece I had ever done. And at the time, it was. Five years down the road I'll be saying the same thing for the Pillow King. But look at the similarities! You can see aspects of every painting done previously in the last piece. In fact, I've almost made a full circle back to my Trapeze work, with bold colors and flying figures. She's almost wearing the same damn shirt! I should have glued a funnel cake to it. Man, I am hungry.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Veil

We will never have flying cars for personal use. Of all the things we might have in the future: cyborgs, space exploration, a penchant for ridiculous fashion, we will never have flying cars. It isn't impossible to invent. It is impossible to make it safe.

We can't really have thinking robots either. Let's face it, people, it just takes one loose wire, overly logical computing assessment, or Will Smith before they go haywire. I mean, this robot chick looks nice. She's giving us some kind of weird look, but it's friendly enough.

I painted her in oils on illustration board. She's 16x19. But like I said, just one solar flare later she's opening air locks and flooding the enrichment center with a deadly neurotoxin.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Nebulous Future

I am the art version of Mr. Rodgers. How say you, David? You do not have a special garden filled with puppets, or a train that runs through your living room. You don't have a special bond with the mail man and tour the box factory on a regular basis. I don't even know if I want you to be my neighbor.

Alright, all of those are valid points, even if they're a little harsh. But I do one thing just as he does. When I get serious about work, I change clothes. I don't change my sweater though, mind you. I change pants. No, I do not have another, similar pair of pants under my pair of pants that I cover up again with a new pair of pants. I wear paint pants.

They aren't my favorite pair, but my mom loves them almost as much as she likes my unkempt facial hair, so I try to wear both whenever she is around.

I am not a messy painter. But sometimes, as Mr. Rodgers knows, a man has to get serious. This is my first time painting a nebula, but it actually went pretty smoothly, outside of me having to wipe a bunch of paint away and start from scratch(I only did that once, so I am declaring it a victory). It was a daunting task, and one that I had help with. Mr. Donato Giancola unknowingly assisted my ignorance in the ways of space-dust. The link is the trailer for an amazing tutorial. Without further ado, here is the painted piece.

She probably has a few more hours of touch ups and highlight balance. I will probably go back into the wiring below her and do something a little less nebulous. Bah ha. Well at least the subject of this piece isn't 'veiled.' The nebula I chose to put behind her was the Western Veiled Nebula. It's funny. That I said veiled.

Well at least someone got it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Decision time!

I have two digital comps that will help me decide where to take my painting next. They are fairly good looking on their own, though, so I thought I would offer the illusion of choice. Which is to say, I've made up my mind, but I'd like to see what you guys think. Should I paint A?:

Should I finish it out in the style of B?:

Or really make it the best painting EVAR with C?:

Or my own fanboy creation?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Almost there

Well you must be getting tired of this piece by now. But, thanks to the lack of a job (for the moment) and my realization that I need to have a much higher output of artwork, here she is nearly complete, almost a week from inception. She's just shy of 16x20. Anyone who decides to take a gander, feel free to make suggestions for the background. I am planning on keeping it very simple, but that doesn't mean I couldn't put a subtle gradient back there. Hmm?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Every day

She'll be ready by the end of the week. Hope you like it so far!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Old Paintings, new awards

This is the second art show in as many months that I've entered one old painting and one new painting, and the older painting won a prize! I entered the robot piece, "November Mourning," which I have since changed (updated pic on the way) and my cowboy piece, "Cowboy Carrion." My best 'Tragic John Wayne' impression netted first place overall, and my robot piece got nothing. Perhaps I will call it "November Neglected." I also got (finally) a clear-ish picture of the "Dark Pearl." As if you hadn't seen enough of this painting. Still, I think this photo finally starts to do it justice. Thanks Parents!

Also, Future Girl update:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Busy Bee

I have gifts for you today! Everyone look under your chair! Now look back at the screen. Let's pretend you weren't already looking at the screen before you read that last message. Now look at all the pretty progress pics I have! First off, I have the 1980's love-child of Madonna and Molly Ringwold:

I know I've said that every painting goes through an ugly stage, but this is more of a 'kill it with fire' stage.

I tapped into my inner Breakfast Club, and dance-montaged my painting away. At the end of the three minutes and thirty-eight seconds it took for "We Are Not Alone" to finish wailing, I had gotten this much done:

It is amazing what you can do when you set down the paints and dance. I call her "Girl with the Pearl Eye."

I liked the creepy way her milky eye stared into my soul, but my sister (the gracious model) came in and told me to finish it. I resisted, but she dragged me into her office and told me I was a punk and dared me to hit her. So I got back to work.

I was going to finish here, but something felt off. I needed to have an emotional outpouring and fall for the innocent prudish girl. Which is painter-code speak for 'do the hair.'

And that ends my first day of painting on 'Future Girl,' also known as, 'The Painting I Will Re-name Because Future Girl is Dumb.' After a good six hours and the realization that prudish girls put out too, I put on my leather gloves and headed to the nearest football field for some hardcore freeze-frame fist pumping.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New paintings

Hokay, so. After moving to another state, I am back in business. First off, I have progress on a new painting comission:

It is kind of confidential, so this will have to do for now.

Lately I've been in a rut. I am surrounded by so many unfinished paintings that have just 'this much' to do before they are finished. I am at all times obsessed with trying to produce sale-able gallery work that can fit into my illustration portfolio. So I nay-say this, I poo-poo that, but in the name of keeping my artistic integrity, I have limited my output both painting and creative wise.

Who cares how socially relevant a dude with a jet pack punching some sorry alien is? It looks cool, and it works great for an AD. I keep telling myself that, and then doing something else. Ha. So this is the latest in my series of paintings I feel fit all the criteria. After this painting maybe I'll do my best 'spaceman punch' piece.

I want SIMPLE. Just a really nice portrait with a hint of science fiction. This will be my final entry into the joint show I am doing with my dad, Gary Hovey, at Bears Mill.