Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Taking a Dust Bath

Sparrows do it. Donkeys do it. Elephants do it. And ostriches do it. It makes sense to me that a big feathered dinosaur like Yutyrannus would take a dust bath, too. 

I checked with a couple of paleontologists and they said that the 30 foot long tyrannosaur relative would more likely squat down with their belly to the dirt than roll over on their side.

In this short video of the process, I take you behind the scenes. (Link to Facebook video)

My sketches are in gouache, which gives a quick impression that I can show to the art director of Ranger Rick Magazine, where the illustrations appear in the March 2017 issue.

I make a new maquette because none of my existing dinosaur maquettes are in this pose. The head looks big because of camera distortion. 

The sculpt is made with a 2-part epoxy called Magic Sculpt over a core of Sculpey. I use aluminum wire for the armature. (Thanks, Clayton) Even though the maquette doesn't have a feathery surface, the big planes are clear, so I can light it and have a sense of light and shadow.

Monday, February 20, 2017

New Dino Paintings: Flyover Preview

Here's a flyover preview of three new feathered-dinosaur paintings. (Link to video on Facebook)

The set-up for shooting flyovers is all home made. The camera is suspended from a Lego cart (tires removed). That cart rolls on two dollar-store metal broomsticks, pulled by a geared down Lego motor. Smoke machine is off to the right.

I'll be sharing more about these paintings over the next few days.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Hotel Catalina

Hotel Catalina, oil, 8 x 12 inches, Catalina Island
I painted this view of Hotel Catalina about 35 years ago. The layers of paint are fairly thinly applied on a panel that was pre-primed with a warm acrylic ground. For the window details, I used a 1/4 inch synthetic flat brush, using Liquin for the medium.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Tennessee man builds Dinotopia in miniature

Photos by Jack Vance of the Johnson City Times
Bill Lankford, 78, of Johnson City, Tennessee, built this amazing miniature of Dinotopia.

He worked on the 12-foot-long creation for over a year. It includes stairways, bridges, canals inspired by scenes from Waterfall City, Pooktook, and Sauropolis. 

His wife Linda helped him by sculpting over 100 humans and dinosaurs using epoxy sculpting compound

The miniature world has been packed up and shipped to Taipei to be exhibited in the Miniatures Museum of Taiwan.

Feature article about Lankford's Dinotopia miniature.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Painting stripes on a bongo

When you're painting in oil, it's possible to lay down light shapes over dark ones while the dark under-layer is still wet. But to do that, you've got to keep the under-layer thin and not too wet.

That's how I painted the white stripes on this bongo. I was lucky that at this antelope at a zoo was resting long enough for me to paint this study (about 45 minutes).

Over a tinted Venetian red priming, I lightly painted the brown body without the stripes. I used a small amount of Liquin as my medium, with white synthetic flat brush for the brushes. I then painted the stripes on top of the wet paint, and they came off the brush without disturbing the layers beneath.

Having slightly wet paint can actually improve the handling of subsequent strokes, and that's why people oil out when they're going back into a dry painting.
Previously: What is oiling out?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Casein Video Review

ImagineFX Magazine reviews the new casein video in their February issue.

"Illustrator James Gurney offers a guide to a much-underrated medium — but there's creative gold inside for any artist.

"Partway through this video, the latest in James Gurney's series showing how to use different media in outdoor painting sessions, the illustrator explains that casein may not be as ubiquitous in the artist's arsenal as watercolour or gouache, but it's a very effective medium. Like acrylic, you can apply casein in thin washes or as thick, opaque daubs, making it a versatile choice when you don't want to carry too much around.

"In the 74 minute video, James presents seven sketchbook projects where he relied on casein to get the job done, as part of his continual work to gather reference on the interaction of light and the natural world. As the camera follows him from a picturesque Catskills mountain stream through a Wyoming horse ranch and into the main street of a small Colorado town, you'll see how James uses casein's properties to capture each scene with great efficiency.

"His approach is pragmatic, placing the paint in service to his concept. Sometimes he records the scene as he sees it. Sometimes he uses his surroundings as raw material for an idea he wants to explore, as in the project where a mundane roadside scene becomes a shimmering contre-jour light show.

"It's this down-to-earth attitude to his materials that always makes James worth  watching, even if you're rather be painting on your iPad. Whether by coincidence or design, there's a broad theme of simplifying complexity running through these projects. As James paints a boat workshop, for example, he focuses on colour temperatures and values to make sense of the many overlapping forms. You'll see in a couple of other projects, meanwhile, how he constructs his initial sketches to ensure the proportions are correct. Whatever your preferred medium, an hour and a quarter in James's company is time well spent."
Casein Painting in the Wild DVD direct from manufacturer
Casein Painting in the Wild DVD on Amazon
(74 minutes NTSC Region 1 North America)...............$24.50
Casein Painting in the Wild from Gumroad and Sellfy
Buy now (HD MP4).........$14.95

Casein supplies on Amazon
More info about ImagineFX