Thursday, May 27, 2010

God of the Upper World

In a post from 3-29-10 I showed just a peek of my painting in progress titled, "God of the Upper World". Well here is the completed painting. I know what most of you are thinking. What's up with the title? The Aztec and Maya people revered the Jaguar for its energy and agile abilities. So much so that they were looked upon as physical forms of great gods. The black or dark furred Jaguar, better known as a Panther, was called the god of the under world. The normal and lighter colored fur, as the one I have painted, was called the god of the upper world. The Jaguar became a symbol of royalty and bravery and Maya kings wore its pelt.

The idea and imagery for this painting developed from the following thought.

While the ancient Maya civilization was drawn to the spiritually charged relationship with the natural world they saw gods all around them in the earth, clouds, wind, crops and animals. They still cleared and took from the land and the gods as human kind always has.
In this painting the majestic Jaguar lay on his high throne overlooking the ruins and land of the once great civilization that has been re-claimed by nature and the
"God of the upper World".

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Nature Colored Pencil Class at VAAL Lesson #4 Coral Reef Textures

(click on image to enlarge)
In our fourth and final class our attention was guided towards the techniques and textures of the coral reef and its inhabitants. This subject allows for an abundance of variety in animal, plant, color, shape and texture.
Too little time for so much variety. I can only hope that my students enjoyed themselves at least half as much as I did. Thank you to all who participated and I am looking forward to my next workshop this coming August. Have a great summer!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Nature Colored Pencil Class at VAAL Lesson #3 Flowere/Plants

(Click on image to enlarge)
At times filling in the background color is really helpful for allowing parts of the flower to emerge such as the white petals of this Trillium or the pincushion-like area of the Coneflower. The blue violet color at the bottom of the Aster/Daisey flower was filled in last to simulate underneath petals.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Nature Colored Pencil Class at VAAL Lesson #2-Fur

(click on image to enlarge)
In our second week of class we focused on mammals and fur. Just as with birds, it is important to give your sketch guidelines for the direction and length of the fur. This step really pays off in the end. This example demonstrates the first layers of color usually put down with the touch and pull line technique. Adding more layers will give the fur depth and a more realistic appearance. Remember to work light to dark!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Nature Colored Pencil Class at VAAL Lesson #1-Birds

(click on image to enlarge)
I thought I would show my example of our first lesson of my 4 week Nature Calls Colored Pencil Class at (VAAL) Visual Arts Association of Livonia which took place on May 3. It is very rewarding to be able to share my abilities with this enthusiastic group of talented people.
My first lesson focused on birds and feather techniques. The preliminary sketch on the left helps define the overlapping wing and tail feathers which usually prove to be the most difficult.
Understanding the anatomy of the wing is extremely helpful to achieving a believable end result.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Rainbow Feathers Bird Expo

Parrot Portrait series #3
Well the event has once again come to a close. Rainbow Feathers put on a nice fair as usual. I enjoyed seeing past acquaintances and rubbing elbows/flight feathers with my feathered friends. I met many new friends as well and I appreciate your kind words and purchases. Thanks to those of you who came out to see me and I look forward to seeing you at the Ann Arbor Art Fair.