Monday, June 17, 2013

Page 18

I know I promised to show more of the Alcatraz comic book illustrations, but once again I've been tardy.
Here is the page that shows one of the escaped prisoners washed up at Fort Point in San Francisco. He did survive (for details you'll have to buy the book :). The main challenge here is that this is a true nocturne. He probably arrived here after 9 PM in December. Quite dark. So I used a bit of license with the phosphorescence of the waves.
I also must confess that I used Photoshop for the figure. I painted him separately, scanned him and dropped him in. It's a pretty nice painting with him or without him.

Fort Point Nocturne

Monday, May 6, 2013

Page 11

Here is my view of page 11 of the comic book. At this point in the story the two escapees are on the roof of the prison, after climbing up a pipe. I will use Photoshop to copy and paste their silhouettes onto the roof.
This escape took place the evening of December 16. I don't have any weather records, but I think it's a good chance that there was some winter fog around the bay, hence this treatment.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What I've Been Up to Lately

I know I've haven't posted anything lately. The trip to Guatemala (see post below) took up January. A couple of colds sapped my concentration for a couple of weeks. Nonetheless I have been busy.
The most enjoyable project has been a comic book about an escape from Alcatraz prison. A comic book? Yes, a comic book.

Last fall I was approached by a friend and artist, Wren Nowan, to collaborate on a comic book commissioned by the Golden Gate Parks Conservancy. Little did I know that he was an aficionado and talented comic book artist. My job, if I decided to accept it, was to do a few full page illustrations to help the story along. Naturally, I said yes.
Study Sketch

The first task was page 3. Wren had already developed a script and story board. The intent is to show the island in its isolated setting in the middle of the bay. I always do a pencil study sketch before painting. I chose a large sky to emphasize the solitary aspect of the island. For my final I increased the size of the sky. It will be cropped for the book, but I get to keep the original, so who knows?

The classic view of Alcatraz is seen from San Francisco. I chose to look the other way, and used a San Francisco skyline from 1960 or so, the time when this particular escape took place.

More to come later.

                                                                                                                 Alcatraz Island

Friday, February 1, 2013

Ten Days in Tuscany


The details have been finalized for a ten day watercolor workshop in the heart of Tuscany, September 24-October 5, 2013. We will be housed in wonderful villas at the Borgo Corsignano just outside the hill town of Poppi. I expect it to be a fun time, with outstanding subject matter and a great location to explore, not to mention a place to eat and drink well.
For more information, visit This is the tenth workshop in Italy organized by ArtROADS. You'll be well taken care of. There is an early bird (uccello in anticipio?) if you register by February 15, 2013.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Guatemala, A Little Larger

I received a couple of requests to print these larger. So here they are.

Dockside at the Posada

We spend a week near Santiago, at a posada at the edge of Lake Atitlan. This was a quick painting trying to show the mist on the mountains on the distance. It was a bit of a struggle, but in the end I was pleased. This was our view while sipping a Moza, the local dark beer.
Dockside Evening

Same viewpoint as above, only looking a bit to the left.
The Church of Santiago Atitlan

This painting was a bit of a struggle. Architectural subjects sometimes slow me down. But the most striking part of this was I was often surrounded by school children. It was the first day of the semester, and about halfway through school must have left out. Cultural boundaries are tighter there, and some times I could hardly move my brush because of the crush. I was kind of crunchy by the end, but now I look at the scene and smile.
The Fountain at Quinta de las Flores

This was the first painting I did, while a bit jet lagged. Our hotel in Antigua, the Quinta de las Flores had a wonderful garden. Though a bit foggy-headed, I couldn't resist the fountain
Lavanderia 1

A couple of hundred yards from our posada in Santiago was the village lavanderia. The following three paintings were all from the same area. I didn't include the women washing (although if you look above those white figures are women washing clothes) because it seemed a bit invasive. But the setting was quite pleasant and a peaceful place to paint. After three days, even some of the kids knew me.
Lavanderia 2

Lavanderia 3

Poolside at the Quinta

This was the final painting, again from the Quinta de las Flores. Overall, a great trip.

Outside the Quinta

This was just outside of the Quinta in Antigua. I lasted about fifteen minutes out there. There was so much traffic, including buses spewing diesel fumes, that I had to finish it inside. As a result I forgot to add some windows on the church, but overall it gave the feeling of the street.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Un Viaje a Guatemala

Here are the nine paintings I got done during my recent two week trip to Guatemala. I used my new Escoda number 12 nylon brush for all of these. It was a bit of a challenge doing large washes. The nylon just doesn't hold a lot of pigment and water. Next time I'll bring a mop.