Friday, December 31, 2010

Little Black and Whites of Saskatchewan

These little paintings were more experiments with charcoal and oil, and with being a bit more abstract. I may work some of them into much larger paintings with more detail, but for here's a little bit of prairie for you:

Thursday, December 30, 2010

B&W Horses - an experiment

I love the look of charcoal and oil paint, so I decided it was time to try it out for myself. I found an old mangled photo yesterday, and it was the perfect subject, a fountain I'd snapped a picture of years ago and kept around just in case. This is the finished (at this point, we'll see I suppose) product.

This was the first layer. I painted over the charcoal with some flake white diluted with lots of solvent. I took photos along the way so I could look back and figure out what to do differently next time.

I like this stage best, with the lighter background and sharper drawing, but unfortunately the charcoal would never stay like this and has to be painted over to stay on the canvas. However, I did experiment with drawing on top of a wet glaze, and the charcoal came out fairly defined and stayed put, so I'm going to try that a little earlier next painting (as in the second layer rather than the forth, like this painting), and I think I'll get better results in the end. Even though this is a painting it looks very much like how I sketch, layering vine charcoal and then compressed charcoal for depth, contrast, and definition. That's probably why I like it so much.

'Comic Book Portraits' - Van Der Linde

I'm afraid that I don't have the patience to make these portraits. It started out looking like the right person, but with all the thick lines, it really just got away from me. But to books look pretty cool, so I'm still happy with it. The style is based on Roy Lichtenstein's Pop Art. I even attempted some Ben Day dots, which are a pain in the ass, so I'm glad they turned out well. But I'm not doing them again until I'm famous and can afford minions to do them for me.

Monday, December 27, 2010

'Comic Book' Portraits - Ninja Steve

This one quickly got out of control when it came to the amount of detail I wanted. Originally I was simply going to have a completely black background with just the stars up at the front. Then I added the drips. Then I added the background. Then the red lines. It's a whole lot of stuff! And those throwing stars were extremely difficult to put in such a foreshortened perspective. Still, I think it was worth it, although now that it's done I'm wondering if they shouldn't be a little higher in the composition. Too late now because I'm not doing this again!

Sunday, December 26, 2010


I don't use pastels very often, but sometimes they're just appropriate for a nice, soft, intimate portrait. So here's only my third-fifth pastel portrait attempts. I'm very happy with it. I couldn't quite photograph it right, so it looks like my sister has a lot of makeup on she doesn't really, but this is pretty close.

Comic Book Portraits - St. Pierre

My second 'comic book' is much more literal than I had intended to be with these, but it just kind of worked with St. Pierre to have a full-out Golden Age style picture, so I did the full cover. His nickname is 'Pi,' and he's a pilot, so I used the RCAF logo but substituted a pi symbol as his superhero logo. This one was really fun to come up with.

Friday, December 24, 2010

What To Do With Leftover Turkey - Part II

Now that you've got tons of extra tarragon sauce, not to mention all the other bits of Christmas dinner that didn't get eaten, it's very easy to make it all into delicious turkey soup. Puree the veggies (boil extra carrots and onions if you don't have enough), chop up the turkey, and then add chicken broth and milk until you get it to the right consistency. Easy! And I promise, tastes like a whole new dish instead of leftovers.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What To Do With Leftover Turkey

Luckily for me I made an early Christmas dinner, so I can put up a post about leftovers in time to share what I make with them every big festival meal. It has to go up beforehand because the main ingredient is the amazing sauce we make for the turkey:

Tarragon sauce

5 tbsp butter
1/2 onion, minced
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp salt (unless you're using salty canned/powdered broth)
1 tsp freshly ground pepper (why would you have a different kind?)
3 tsp tarragon (at least)
2/3 cup heavy or whipping cream (it's Christmas. Live a little)
reserved basting liquid from turkey

In a heavy sauce pan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in onions and cook but don't brown. Add flour, blend and simmer several minutes. Stir in broth. Stir continuously until smooth and thick. Reduce heat, add seasoning. Gradually add cream and enough basting liquid to make a rich, smooth sauce.

This is from the Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery with just a couple tiny changes. It's unbelievably good. Roast loads of potatoes, onions, carrots, and garlic with the turkey and you'll be ready for Part Two of the leftover recipe, coming very soon.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

'Comic Book' Portraits - Smith

I'm back for three glorious weeks this Christmas and went straight to my studio. And kitchen. Oh, and bedroom of course. Real blankets! Sleeping in past 5! It's nice to be home, but I've got work to do.

This is the first in a series of portraits I want to complete. They're based on people from my platoon and are going to be done in a variety of comic and graphic novel inspired styles. This one is sort of a Frank Miller - Sin City thing. It's also based on the Mad Men season three poster. Not bad for a start. I'm hoping to have enough good pieces by the time this one is done to submit some applications and get a show at some point.