Archive for the ‘completed’ Category

Painting progress since the beginning…

March 12, 2018

I went looking back at some of my old paintings today. Right now I’m feeling grateful that I didn’t give up permanently early on! I have been doodling for most of my life but only started to feel more serious about trying to improve around 2006 or so.

I still don’t think I’m super serious about it, motivation and productivity can really be a struggle for me, but I guess early on I saw enough progress or it was rewarding enough in some way that it kept me motivated to continue (slowly) making art.

I’m also glad I have photos of most of the stuff I have done since 2007 onward, it’s neat to see kind of a chronological progression, especially comparing 2007 with 2010!

(Click for large version)






Peppermint Butler oil painting completed

January 3, 2018

Ah, yes I finished this one a while ago but wasn’t sure I was happy with the photos I took of it. It’s usually quite difficult to get good pics of oil paintings, especially if they are glossy. In any case, this has been done quite a long time so I think it’s time to post it.

This is the character Peppermint Butler from Adventure Time.

Peppermint Butler character from Adventure Time - painting by Airn LeBus, 8x10 inches, oil on panel

Peppermint Butler oil painting

I’ve had this super heavy ornate frame for a long time and made this painting specifically for this frame.

Pep Butler painting - Airn LeBus

In frame

Hand of Glory (digital)

January 30, 2014

Yes, a digital hand, with 5 digits. I did this a while ago for a contest, it’s a skateboard deck design. I made it in Photoshop.


Eye in Hand of Glory

Eye in Hand of Glory


I wanted to post it now because:

a.) I think it’s cool

b.) My next project may focus on a similar subject, but in a low-key, darkly rendered oil painting on wood panel.





The Ghost Girl of Willowglen Manor

January 20, 2013

I finished this project, “The Ghost Girl of Willowglen Manor”.

I started to get a little crazy in the foreground but painted over some of the weird ice-landscape I had made – I’ll save that for another painting. I really love unplanned weird plant life and strange rocks and stuff…the other project I am working on now has a lot of that too.

This is oil on canvas board, 14×18 inches:


The Ghost Girl of Willowglen Manor

The Ghost Girl of Willowglen Manor


This was a relatively quick and simple painting compared to my other works. I didn’t keep track of the hours like I normally do so I’m really not sure how long I spent on it, but probably 8 Β to 12 hours over about 3 months.

Here’s the previous post about this painting: Ghost Girl work in progress

A Country Girl Near the Dream City (revised – 2012)

June 28, 2012

I’ve been taking some previously completed paintings that I wasn’t happy with and making some changes to them when I thought that spending the time would be worth it. I recently made some big but fairly quick changes to “A Country Girl Near the Dream City”:

A Country Girl near the Dream City (2012)

A Country Girl near the Dream City (2012)

The way I see it, if I have something that I am almost happy with, it’s worth the risk of making it worse and it’s worth the extra time (let’s say an additional 15%) to try and make it better. I have been forcing myself to just focus on the key aspects that will improve the painting the most and have been pretty good about not letting myself start changing too much. I also ensure that I have a good plan of attack and have done studies so that I know how exactly to alter the painting once I get started. In this case I had been thinking about changes since last year, and did some tests in Photoshop to make sure that if I did alter stuff that it would look the way I wanted, rather than just employing trial and error which could end in frustration and an at least temporarily ruined painting.

This one went smoothly and I’m really glad that I took the extra couple hours so that now I have a painting I am much happier about.

A Chaotic Nocturnal Reverie altered and completed

June 2, 2012

I decided to make some major changes to this painting. I messed with the face a bit more but decided I wouldn’t be happy even if the face was OK since the figure etc were too flawed.I debated this for a while but decided to just paint over the figure completely. I had spent a HUGE amount of time changing the face and figure but painting over it is not going to take away the stuff I learned working on this project – and now I will have a painting I can be happier with.

Here is the full painting:

A Chaotic Nocturnal Reverie

"A Chaotic Nocturnal Reverie" by Airn LeBus, 16x20 inches, oil on canvas, 2012.

Here is a detail view:

A Chaotic Nocturnal Reverie (detail)

A Chaotic Nocturnal Reverie (detail)

My previous posts on this have a lot more info:

Final post on the earlier version



Memento Mori MMXII – completed

May 22, 2012

OK, I have completed my Memento Mori painting.

I’m pretty satisfied with this but towards the end I just wanted to wrap it up and work on other projects! I started this in October 2011 so I’ve been working on it for seven months, off and on.

Here’s the finished painting:

Memento Mori MMXII

Memento Mori MMXII

I spent about 21 hours painting this, in many separate sessions. I also spent about 4 hours drawing / planning it and then another couple hours making the maquette model to figure out the lighting and doing additional studies with a skull model etc. I talk more about that in previous posts (below).

Here’s a detail view:

Memento Mori MMXII (detail)

Memento Mori MMXII (detail)

I think that “Memento Mori” will be a running theme for me for at least my next few projects…I usually work on a few paintings at once so right now I am planning my next one while I also redo some parts of my tragically flawed A Chaotic Nocturnal Reverie painting.

Happily I am also going right from finishing this onto another oil on wood panel project, the Robert Campin study I am working on. I really love painting something with an archaic feel onto smooth wood panel whilst listening to some Medieval music…quite lovely.

Here are my other posts on this painting:

1. Memento Mori: work-in-progress

2. Memento Mori: update 2

3. Memento-Mori: update 3


Rattus Magnus

May 17, 2012

I painted this for a Halloween thing in 2011. I think I did it in 1 day. It’s 11×14 inches, oil on canvas.


Rattus Magnus

Rattus Magnus

Sketch after Ridolfo Ghirlandaio

May 10, 2012

I’ve really been drawing a lot but most of the stuff is pretty quick or for whatever reason I haven’t been posting the stuff here. Here’s one I did last night though, I spent about an hour doing this sketch from a photo of a really amazing painting by Ridolfo Ghirlandaio. This is about 3×4 inches and it’s Col-Erase pencils on a greyish paper. I really like being able to add highlights onto a drawing…my primary medium is oil paint and it’s so flexible! I usually feel pretty limited when I am drawing instead of painting…

Anyway, here’s the sketch:

After Ridolfo Ghirlandaio

After Ridolfo Ghirlandaio

Digital art – Barnabas Collins from Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows film

April 26, 2012

So I don’t normally do digital art but I decided to enter a contest and I thought digital was the only way to go based on the time I had to complete it and the nature of that site.

I submitted two versions to the contest. I included one of them below.

This took me a lot longer than I expected! Probably about 25 hours or so, over 5 days.

Hardly anyone viewed it, so I was a bit bummed out by the whole thing since I did work really hard on it. I’ve found that site to be like that though and won’t be spending much energy on it in the future…lots of art of dubious quality (in my opinion) gets thousands or tens of thousands of views but other stuff is almost totally unseen. Not too surprising I guess given the viral nature of the internet…and the audience on that site in particular seems partial to anime / cartoony art, retouched fantasy-style photos, etc.

In any case, here’s my digital “painting”:

Barnabas Collins digital painting by Airn LeBus

Barnabas Collins digital painting by Airn LeBus


I’ve unplugged my digital drawing tablet now though and have picked up a real brush to finish the oil painting I have been working on πŸ™‚