Archive for the ‘drawings’ Category

Hexenring – linocut

December 20, 2009
Hexenring linocut

Hexenring linocut

I finished my first linocut, it’s of a ‘fairy circle’ or toadstool ring around a grave. In German it’s called a hexenring.

This is 4×5 inches. Linocuts are pretty interesting stuffs, you have to carve everything into the linoleum block in reverse, and then roll ink onto it and imprint on paper. I drew it all on the block directly in pencil, then pen, and then used a few different tools to carve it out. It took a long time :). I will probably do another one, but will either work larger or a bit less detailed…I tried to cram too much detail than is possible with the normal linocut tools so I had to scratch stuff out with a tool designed for scratchboard, which was kind of a pain. Still fun overall, and I like the old medieval feel of the process, like you are practicing an art form that is very old.


Lila Lee from the film Lemora miniature oil – work in progress

November 24, 2009

I’m currently working on my third miniature portrait…this time it’s Lila Lee from the film Lemora. The actress who portrayed her was the late Cheryl “Rainbeaux” Smith.

Lila Lee from Lemora

Lila Lee from Lemora

This is oil on wood panel and I’m painting the face in a raw umber dead layer but using color on most other stuff. I will glaze over the monochromatic underpainting once I think it looks correct.

I’m also using her as a reference to re-paint the face on my recent Alice in Wonderland painting…she is perfect for Alice!

Oh, here is the initial drawing I did for this…it’s unfinished:



Alice Pleasance Liddell miniature portrait painting

July 1, 2009

I’m including this miniature painting in the Alice in Wonkaland show. Alice Liddell was the real life inspiration for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This is based on a photo by Charles Dodgson aka Lewis Carroll. It’s 2 x 2.75 inches, acrylic on wood panel, 2009. I put it in a little frame and painted on it “Alice Pleasance Liddell 1852-1934”.

Miniature painting of Alice Pleasance Liddell by Airn LeBus, aft

Miniature painting of Alice Pleasance Liddell by Airn LeBus

See the Alice in Wonderland category for my other related stuff including a larger picnic scene with another Alice.

This is my first acrylic painting in more than a year, I normally paint with oils but I had limited time on this one since it was for a show and I used up all my time in the first attempt, which was oil. I abandoned that first attempt and redid the whole thing. This acrylic one took about 4-6 hours over about a week, in maybe 5 sessions. It’s the smallest painting I have tried and it was really fun! To give idea of size, one eye is about the size of half a rice grain. I will be doing some additional miniatures in the next few months, probably in oil though.

I did seven small drawings of this same thing, but really the second drawing was the best-looking, although kind of cartoony:


Alice Liddell drawing

I used a different drawing for the first version of the painting. I might post that painting later since I am changing it. I spent a TON of time on that first painting, which was in oil, and kept having problems with features being misaligned, etc etc etc. I kept making big changes to it and I think it was mostly because the original sketch (again, not shown here) was not correct. I redrew the whole thing a few times until I thought it was right and used that for the basis of the acrylic painting above.

If you want to learn more about Alice Liddell, Charles Dodgson, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, I would really recommend a cool book which I just discovered called The Other Alice. I bought it used on Amazon but it seems readily available wherever. It’s kind of both a kid’s and adult’s book and is chock full of illustrations.

Petrus Christus, Cleopatra, and Medusa

June 18, 2009

My framed Petrus Christus study next to my Cleopatra drawing (after Michelangelo). The cool Medusa statue was purchased at Michael’s craft store last Halloween 🙂

Petrus Christus study, Cleopatra, and Medusa

Petrus Christus study, Cleopatra, and Medusa

Wot I am working on right now

June 8, 2009

Many of my current interests are strewn around my computer so I took a snapshot to show wot I am working on besides my 2 Alice paintings and a Falero study which are not pictured. I have been drawing every day from this Andrew Loomis book “Figure Drawing For All It’s Worth” which is really awesome. I have also started a study of Jean-Baptiste Greuze’s “The White Hat”. Anyway see the picture, I even labeled the sections…you can tell I have too much time on my hands 🙂

wot i am workin on

wot i am workin on

Oh, FYI those paintings are all on wood panel and are drying face-down leaning on this plastic thing, I guess I should have turned them around for this picture…anyway you can see them in previous and upcoming posts. I am going to post the finished Petrus Christus study and Graveyard Girl painting in a few days.

Alice in Wonderland oil painting – work in progress

May 18, 2009

I’m in the early stages of a new Alice in Wonderland project. It’s for a group show at the Muddy Waters cafe in Santa Barbara. The show is called Alice in Wonkaland…entries can be either related to Alice in Wonderland or Willie Wonka, or both! If you want more details on the show or if you’d like to submit something, please contact Traci Lane at this page on Myspace.

My own painting is going to be 11×14 inches, oil on canvas. I am going to paint direct this time, no monochromatic underpainting on this one.

Here’s a detail of the preliminary sketch:

Alice in Wonderland sketch - preliminary drawing for oil painting

Alice in Wonderland sketch - preliminary drawing for oil painting

I changed the drawing a little since that photo…thankfully I checked it in an 11×14 frame before transferring it to the canvas — I was not happy with the cropping and would have been very bummed later! I’ll post more photos once I get some paint down.

Update:  this painting is done. To see the finished one and other Alice stuff, look at the Alice in Wonderland category.

Oh, I think I am also going to submit a miniature oil painting portrait of Alice Pleasance Liddell, I’ll post a pic of that later…it looks too crummy right now to post 🙂

New completed paintings and drawings gallery

April 7, 2009

I totally redesigned the completed paintings gallery and added some recent stuff. You can always get to it from the icon under GALLERIES on the top right side of the blog.

Bust of Cleopatra – after Michelangelo

February 27, 2009

I’m continuing my drawing self-study…who better to learn from than one of the old masters, good old Michelangelo himself. I did this one with no grid or other optical aid, tryin’ to train the eye and hone the discipline. Prolly took me around 7 hours or so over 5 sessions. This is HB pencil on some Strathmore Bristol Smooth paper that I toned with a 6B graphite stick. It’s about 4×6 inches.

Bust of Cleopatra (after Michelangelo), drawn by Airn LeBus

Girl Wearing a Veil (after Vigee Le Brun)

February 20, 2009

I really admire Elizabeth-Louise Vigee-Le Brun and the impressive number of wonderful paintings she has left us. Later I will try to copy at least of one of her paintings, mostly for learning purposes, but for now I tried duplicating one of her chalk drawings. This was kinda a quickie, maybe I will try a better one later with chalk or graphite…I was not too into colored pencils, I rarely use them and now I remember why. I couldn’t really erase and they break when I try to sharpen them with my normal sharpener, I was just flailing in general.

Still I like this enough to post it here. I wanted to do this without a grid or any visual aid, and I’m happy with the likeness, the shading and such was rough but the overall form worked out pretty well. I’ve been working through the exercises in “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain Workbook” and some of the sighting stuff and negative space tips etc have definitely helped me, I had tried this same drawing a few weeks ago with a much crummier result. I’m also really learning to stop and check the work out from a few feet away, upside down, etc, to prevent problems with proportion and other unhappy surprises later.

Next I am trying a drawing by Michaelangelo, this time with graphite pencils (that I can erase) on smooth paper (on which I can shade smoothly).

Here is my drawing after Vigee-Le Brun, my version is about 4×5 inches and is colored pencils on fairly rough, colored paper:

Drawing after Vigee-Le Brun

Drawing after Vigee-Le Brun, Girl Wearing a Veil

Self portrait drawing

January 22, 2009

I need to get better at drawing so I can execute huge masterpiece oil paintings full of flowing figures flying through floating fauna and the eldritch ruins of towering arcane architecture rendered in Van Eyck-like detail. So I have been drawing each day. One thing I have been doing is the projects in “Drawing On the Right Side of the Brain Workbook”. I have not read the actual separate book, but the workbook has been useful on its own and I like having structured little projects to do.

This was not a specific project from the book but I have been wanting to do a self portrait anyway for a while since I have only done one other shaky self portrait sketch. I will do an oil painting later, perhaps from this drawing.

I really like drawing on toned paper, I had not tried it until a week ago when I read about it in the workbook. Weird that I never saw this in my high school art classes or anything…anyway I love it and it makes me want to draw more often.

Here’s the drawing:

Self portrait drawing by Airn LeBus

Self portrait drawing by Airn LeBus

This is on 9 x 12 inch smooth paper that I toned with 4B graphite. I sat in front of a mirror and drew this over a few sessions with 2B, 4B, and 6B pencils. At first I thought I finished it but went back and changed some features so it looked more like me. It probably took me about 5 hours total.