Archive for the ‘completed’ Category

A Country Girl near the Dream City

October 14, 2011

Update: I revised this painting later, new version is here

OK, I finished this a while ago but didn’t post it partly cuz I have been planning for a big Europe trip which I just came back from. I got to see lots of amazing art and scenery and stuff and am now fully inspired and ready to start on some new projects 🙂

I wanted this one to be a fairly quick project and I succeeded in that respect, this took me only about 12 hours to paint – that’s very short for me. It’s 11 x 14 inches, oil on canvas. I call it “A Country girl near the Dream City”:

A Country Girl near the Dream City

A Country Girl near the Dream City

A main goal was to use some atmospheric perspective in the landscape background and to use canvas instead of wood panel to try to get a nice soft feel, especially in the background. I am really happy with the way the landscape turned out and also had fun with the hair, which I did a bit differently this time. Some influences on this one were Tamara de Lempicka, Albrecht Dürer, and Leonardo da Vinci.

I used cobalt blue in the sky, landscape, and clothing. The landscape is mostly yellow ochre and other yellows plus cobalt blue.

I’m not sure how long I spent on the drawing and planning but I started painting on  March 2, 2011 and was done on April 3. I had a show I wanted this to be in so I didn’t putz around – it’s funny how much faster and smarter I work when I have a deadline. Looking back over my notes I had a good time painting this and it went very smoothly with minimal frustration – very nice after a couple recent projects that I kept changing over and over.

Here is the drawing:

Country Girl drawing

Country Girl drawing

 

After I completed the drawing I xeroxed it in order to preserve the original and rubbed graphite on the back of the copy. I then taped it to the canvas and went over it with a ballpoint pen to transfer the lines onto the canvas. I then went over those faint lines with a fine sepia sharpie and put a thin wash of transparent olive-green (black combined with yellow) acrylic to wash away the graphite and lock everything into place. I then painted everything directly with oils, no glazing or monochromatic underpainting on this one.

 

Transferring the drawing to canvas

Transferring the drawing to canvas

 

 

Duplicitous Dionara and Devious Diandra

March 31, 2011

This is my finished painting “Duplicitous Dionara and Devious Diandra”. It is 11 x 14 inches, oil on wood panel.

Duplicitous Dionara and Devious Diandra

Duplicitous Dionara and Devious Diandra

Duplicitous Dionara and Devious Diandra (detail)

Duplicitous Dionara and Devious Diandra (detail)

For this one I used a monochromatic underpainting / dead layer which I later glazed over in color. Here are the work-in-progress posts I did which include some photos of the dead layer: Duplicitous WIP posts

I spent about 30 hours painting this over about 8 months. I’m not sure how much time I spent doing studies and planning but I would guess 10-15 hours. That’s more than I usually spend planning…it helped me to avoid having to change stuff in the middle of the project.

Overall I spent the most time on the hair. When I first started this project it was supposed to be a quick one…I ended up making the hair complicated though and spent a rather long time on the faces too, so the project ended up being much longer and more complicated than I had expected.

Here are the main oil colors I used for this painting:

Underpainting of flesh areas: Raw umber and titanium white

Flesh tones – glazed and opaque color: Yellow ochre, cadmium red hue, titanium white, raw umber, burnt umber

Dress: Titanium white, phthalo blue, raw umber

Here are a some of the preparatory drawings I did for the hair and dress as well as a detail of the main drawing:

Hair studies for Duplicitous

Hair studies for Duplicitous

Dress studies for Duplicitous

Dress studies for Duplicitous

"Duplicitous" sketch

"Duplicitous" sketch

I don’t look on the studies as being just useful for this painting since they help me increase my drawing skills in general. On the hair I also wanted to learn how to do ringlets and curls better and I’m sure I will use that style in other works.

A Chaotic Nocturnal Reverie

March 22, 2011

I worked on this painting for about a year and recently decided that it’s finally done. I’m calling it “A Chaotic Nocturnal Reverie” and it’s 16 x 20 inches, oil on canvas:

A Chaotic Nocturnal Reverie

A Chaotic Nocturnal Reverie

Initially this painting was going to be for an erotic art show that a friend was having, but over time it ended up being more restrained in that regard and I decided to make it more arcane than profane and stress the psychotic over the erotic.

I spent about 65 hours painting and maybe another 10 to 20 hours on planning and drawing. I had to change the face and figure many times since my original planning had a bunch of issues. I basically painted them over to the point where I could have finished several other similarly-sized paintings in the time I spent on this one. It was worth it though, because I have learned a ton and my next paintings will go much smoother. I have learned a hard lesson about planning and using weird blurry photo figure references that are basically useless and cause more harm than help…next time I might hire a figure model instead.

I also had to radically alter the overall tone of the painting a bunch of times, especially the tombstones, in order to get closer to the overall look and feel I was going for. The sky was probably the only thing that was not painted over a bunch of times, although just like everything else I radically changed it halfway through. One reason I had all these problems is that I was excited to start the painting so I thought I would leave some things to figure out later – that didn’t work out so well this time.

These are the main colors I used:

Flesh tones: Titanium white, raw umber, yellow ochre, cadmium red hue

Landscape: Terre verte, yellow ochre, raw umber, titanium white

Sky / clouds: Mars black, titanium white, ultramarine blue, yellow ochre

In my newest painting I am using cobalt blue and cadmium yellow medium for the greens and am liking that better that the terre verte + raw umber which doesn’t provide much coverage and really sinks in a lot. By “sinks in” I mean it dries out and becomes very matte-looking, so I need to rub oil onto it later to get it to look more glossy like the rest of the painting. I normally need to do that in places anyway but it was more of an issue with this painting than usual.

Here are a couple detail views of the painting:

A Chaotic Nocturnal Reverie (detail 1)

A Chaotic Nocturnal Reverie (detail 1)

A Chaotic Nocturnal Reverie (detail 2)

A Chaotic Nocturnal Reverie (detail 2)

As is often the case, I love parts of this and am loathe to look at other parts…but I guess that is pretty common among artists. Time to start the next project, hopefully learning from this one! I took something like 19 pages of notes on this as I was working on it, so I have plenty of info to digest about what worked well and what I want to avoid next time.

Portrait of Sarah

November 15, 2010

I finished this painting a while ago but apparently I forgot to post anything about it 🙂

This is a friend of mine; I took some pictures in a makeshift studio AKA my living room and used one as a basis for this painting. It’s oil on panel, 8×10 inches and I finished it in a few hour-long sessions.

Portrait of Sarah by Airn LeBus

Portrait of Sarah by Airn LeBus

Moving some stuff over to airnlebus.com

November 10, 2010

I think I’m going to move the images of my completed art from this site over to airnlebus.com. I have a few different websites and am not sure if I should consolidate them all into one, but for now I think I will keep chromaticblack.com as my blog where I have works-in-progress and stuff, and have airnlebus.com just for completed art.

Witchy Scone Scone watercolor

June 3, 2010

Everyone gets a scone! This is watercolor and pen on watercolor paper, 5×7 inches.

Witchy Scone Scone

Witchy Scone Scone

I have at least one more little watercolor drawing in the works, will post it when done. I also want to do more stuff with witches…witches, medusa, sphinxes, and Egyptian stuff! 🙂

P.S. This is pretty much the first thing I have done with a figure in it, so I’m pretty excited about that.

Conté drawing of the Virgin Mary after Leonardo da Vinci

May 6, 2010

I just recently started messing with Conté crayons and tried drawing this Leonardo piece a few times. This one is 8 x 10 inches, conté crayons on lightly textured paper:

The Virgin Mary in conte crayons, after Leonardo da Vinci

The Virgin Mary in conte crayons, after Leonardo da Vinci

I like using Conté! It’s not as messy as I first thought, and I think it’s really well-suited to these classical-style drawings. Being able to add highlights is important to me, and is something that I miss when drawing with pencil. I also like being able to blend with my fingers and re-work areas many times. On the drawing above I toned the paper first with sanguine Conté and blended it with a paper towel.I’ve found that I need to work in a larger scale than I normally do, and that the paper texture really matters. I definitely plan on doing a lot more with these and am happy I have a new medium to play around with 🙂

Small drawing of Zoe Rae on blue paper

April 12, 2010

Here is another recent small drawing that I did…this is silent-era actress Zoe Rae.

It’s normal graphite pencil and Col-erase colored pencil on blue paper, about  2 x 2 inches.

Zoe Rae drawing

Zoe Rae drawing

My version of ‘The White Hat’ by Jean-Baptiste Greuze is complete

March 2, 2010

Phew, I have finally finished my version of a Jean-Baptiste Greuze painting, “The White Hat”. I started this way back in June of 2009, and finished it in late February 2010. This is oil on canvas.

The White Hat - after Greuze

The White Hat - after Greuze, by Airn LeBus. Oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inches, 2010.

The White Hat - after Greuze (detail)

The White Hat - after Greuze (detail)

I’m not sure if there was an issue with my original drawing or if something happened whilst painting, but I started to realize the facial features were really out of place and spent the last several sessions altering and moving things around, even completely painting over an eye that had been nearly finished. It was difficult but I’m glad I changed it because it looks much better now.

I used a direct technique, no underpainting…the paint is pretty thin, and very matte/non-glossy at this point (I might oil it out and/or varnish it later). If I were to do another painting in this vein, I might try painting more thickly, and with more contrast between the darks and lights. I do like the soft feel this has though, I think it works with the subject matter and color scheme.

I had some difficulties with the source photo I used, it seemed inaccurate contrast-wise and was missing a lot of detail that I had to try and “make up” or guess. The hat and clothing and stuff was also kind of difficult to figure out from the photo, and I tried to do my own version of some of it but really at my skill level should have probably just stuck to what Greuze had done. In any case I am happy with the overall results and definitely learned a lot and have a nice painting to hang on my wall.

The total time I spent on painting only was about 24 hours, usually in 1.5-hour sessions. In addition to that there was the drawing, preparing the canvas, transferring the drawing, and stuff like trying to figure out how to fix the features when they were awry (which took a pretty good chunk of time).

Lila Lee from Lemora (Rainbeaux Smith) miniature painting is complete

February 28, 2010

I finished this small painting of Lila Lee from the film Lemora a few days ago. The actress Cheryl “Rainbeaux” Smith played the part in the movie.

I started this in September of last year, working on it pretty infrequently; only about 8 sessions of painting over a six-month period. I always have a lot of projects going at once…

Here’s the finished painting:

"Lila Lee" by Airn LeBus. Oil on wood panel, 2.5 x 3 inches, 2010.

"Lila Lee" by Airn LeBus. Oil on wood panel, 2.5 x 3 inches, 2010.

Initially I was going to paint this with a raw umber dead layer underpainting and glaze color over it, but it was looking too dark and I liked the way it was already, so I just added some color to it and left it as-is.