Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Rembrandt Painted Rock

Rembrandt painted his own portrait throughout his adult lifespan, giving future generations the unique opportunity to view, realistically, the aging of an historic figure.  Of all of his self-portraits, my favorite is from 1659, when he was 53.  So, I thought it would be a fun challenge (as opposed to those annoying ones in life) to recreate that image on a small rock.

This painted rock differs from the others in that it was painted with artist's acrylics instead of craft paint.  I wanted a more "painterly" feel for this one.  The addition of a glossy acrylic sealer when all was said and done gave it the final feel of being a varnished painting.
"Rembrandt 1659 Self-Portrait" painted rock

Friday, August 3, 2018

"Jungle Book" Painted Rock

As we wind down with the painted rocks (even I can get tired of something, even when it's going good), I find myself trying a few different things.  Up to this point, all of my rocks had been onesided, which if you think about it, makes sense; you can't display both sides at the same time, and so inevitably one face of the rock will be down on the surface (getting scuffed probably).  Well, I decided to do this at least once, so instead of using two rocks to paint these images, I decided to create a two-sided wraparound rock, with the image completely covering every inch of the surface.

These images, which are hardly new or never-before-seen, were inspired by still frames from the movie of course.  I did do a little custom touch with Mowgli's head, since in the scene he's only seen in profile, looking at Baloo.

The funnest, most rewarding part?  All of the jungle foliage.  For some reason, I really like how everything is indicated but not rendered.

This one's most likely staying here at the house.  My kids like it too much.
Jungle Book two-sided painted rock, side A. Acrylic paint on rock.
Jungle Book two-sided rock, side b. Acrylic paint on rock.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Yoda, The Painted Rock

Well, if you think about it, it was bound to happen.  Never before has a subject and surface been more perfectly in synch.  Perhaps if I'd painted the Flintstones.  I probably won't be hiding this one; he's just too cool, and will look nice in my workshop.  He's the perfect paperweight size.
acrylic on stone, 6.25 in. x 4 in.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Walt Disney, The Painted Rock

So.... it's summer.  Especially here in the Valley.  And while nature, from its gaping maw, belches its volcanic fury down upon us, we still attempt to have some enjoyment.  Thank GOD ABOVE for the invention of a.) the roof, and b.) air conditioning.

One of the ways to have a little fun is to do some crafty things, like how I've been painting rocks.  Every now and then, by the way, I wonder if this is responsible;  I mean, basically I'm saying that what I'm putting on a stone is superior to what nature had chosen a kazillion years ago.  It's me, and then this rock, and comparatively, I'm just passing through. But....

In this instance, there ain't no way that this rock could've been better than it is right now.  Of course (at least I hope it's "of course"), this is a depiction of Walt Disney.  You'll notice that I picked an image of him in his "Uncle Walt" phase.  I just like this version of him better.  He seems less aggressive, more confident, and yet more approachable.  And besides, this was from around the time Disneyland was started.

I've said it before and I'll say it again:  painting on rocks is not easy, at least not for me.  I constantly struggle with the distortion of the curved surface, and no matter how much filler and sanding I apply to the surface, it's still a little "gritty," and just about impossible for me to paint a smooth unbroken line.  The smaller the stone, the worse it gets.  And besides, why bother going through the effort on a tiny rock?

I'll be hiding this one in a day or so.  I'm actually going to the Walt Disney Family Museum this Monday, and my wife joked that I should hide it outside in that area.  But let's be honest, you know my luck.  I'll hide it on the grounds there, and then their landscaping service will come by and hit it with one of their mowers and do some kind of devastation.  So I think we'll just hide it here in town.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Luke Skywalker Portrait: Luke Joins Obi-Wan in Their Adventure

So after doing double duty on Ben's image, I decided after looking at him on my wall above my drawing table, that he needed Luke to be next to him.  Of course, that's what a normal person would get around to thinking.  Anyways, I ended up using the same approach as I had done with Kenobi, only this time I added a middle value of gray to the shadows, which gave his face more depth.

I think that, with this, I'm probably going to be moving on away from the geometric shape assemblage portraits.  They were fun brain teasers and  were engaging as a viewing experience, but I really want to get on with a wider array of color.  What started with Jabba the Hutt almost two years ago culminated with this guy, and I think that's about enough.  That'll do, pig. That'll do.

Jesus: The Painted Rock!

Last year, while on a trip to the beach at Morro Bay, I stared at massive Morro Rock, and thought about how it had been used as the background for one of Ralph McQuarrie's preproduction paintings of Threepio and Artoo in the desert.  While gazing at the huge formation, I also thought about how it looked like a shoulder.  I wondered who could have themselves, in a portrait, transition from this massive stone formation into a human.  And for whom would that make sense?

Given my religious upbringing, it was a natural choice.  So, it all should've been a smooth and naturally easy process, to paint an image on a rock.  Right?


What followed was months of on and off again attempts to get the image right.  The expression of Jesus was never correct.  I was finding it impossible to engineer the composition in order to fit everything I wanted to say.  As a matter of fact, there were things that I had to give up on with the final rock.

But then there just comes the day when it's time.  Put your notes away, I am passing out the exams.

And so I just did it.  It's rather odd for me, to paint something that's so storybook-looking, but I figure that the quick read of the overall image is more important than my selfish desire to impress people.

So in the end, it's a compromise, but hey, I actually did it instead of just daydreaming all of the time about it.  Most of the original idea is here: the nativity, the sermon on the mount, the crucifixion, and finally, the resurrection.  I think the best part of the image is Mary Magdalene, hands raised to cover her mouth in a gesture of shock.  By the way, yes, I know her skirt is too short.  But it looked lame-o to have her skirt go all the way to the ground.

Anyways, hope you enjoy the Jesus Rock!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Obi-Wan.... Again!

So, after looking at my Obi ink portrait for about three weeks or so, I decided that I didn't hate him enough to throw him out, but didn't love him enough to keep him as he was.  So... instead of reworking the original, I decided to start all over.

This time, it was much quicker.  After completing the initial black shapes, it was on to splattering ink with an old fossilized toothbrush, as well as this time adding some translucent raw sienna over the entire image, to make it look like it was old and affected by time and the environment-- like Alec Guinnes was.

I remedied the annoyance with the last one regarding not having a thick enough white border around the image.  I believe that it makes a BIG difference in the overall presntation, to have that hand-painted uneven white border all the way around.

On the whole, I feel satisfied now that this is the image I originally had in mind.