Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Just a while ago I visited the "Two Twisted Posts" winery in Purcellville, Virginia. The wine was excellent and so was the wine lodge and woodsy site. The title of the twisted posts comes from a wine bottle emblem on an antique jug. It was too cold to sit oudoors and draw but I did get a photograph of the simple birch stick trellis in their yard. From this shot I could create an artist's concept of a real pair of twisted posts which would be a good display piece for visitors to pose with. Someone had already tried this with a burlap rag but it had lost its solidity in weather. There are other things to twist around a tree branch so I am offering this concept sketch to the folks at Two Twisted Posts. They are already building a fire pit for their chilled customers to sit by, so why not posts.
Ink and colored pencils on sketchbook page, 5 1/2" x 5", November 20, 2017.
Monday, November 20, 2017
There are some grizzled, aged fantasy fans who remember this cover I did for DarkoverCon 1981. This was when Darkover was a big thing and Marion Zimmer Bradley was more than an author, she was a lifestyle. The image in the central block depicts a meeting between two characters on the Astral Plane, with a medieval cathedral in the background. I copied the lettering and the very elaborate border from the "Kelmscott Chaucer" illustrated book by William Morris, published in 1896. The border was printed on green paper and the image was on white paper which I trimmed and glued onto the green background. Then I colored it in to make an illustration. This was not the actual program; the real thing was printed on light grey paper. It was the most lavish program cover ever done for DarkoverCon. The pale successor to DarkoverCon, ChessieCon, will take place this Thanksgiving weekend. They have no art show.
Print and watercolor, 8 1/2" x 11", fall 1981. Click for a bit larger view.
Sunday, November 19, 2017
This is one of my favorite little sketches ever, believe it or not. It was done during one of the family trips to Cape Cod, in 1974. It's late summer, and the New England weather is already cold, but there are still some people on the beach with their umbrellas looking for a last moment of sunlight. It looks somewhat like my geometric pieces, even though it is a seascape.
Ink and watercolor pencil on sketchbook page, 5 1/2" x 2 1/2", August 1974.
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Here's your posting for November 18, just under the clock wire to preserve the Daily Post Protocol. I may have posted this drawing before but I am not gonna go looking for it. The drawing is of the high steeple of the First Congregational Church of my home town, Natick, Massachusetts. The church was finished in 1880 and you can read about the church's history in this well-made web page. I drew this study through the window of my mother's art studio which was just about a block away from the church. Natick has numerous historic buildings and dates back as a town to the 17th century (1650s). It's a quiet, affluent, well-kept suburb of Boston and looks just like something Norman Rockwell would paint, including a village green and a gazebo bandstand. For another more elaborate view, please click here.
Black tech pen on sketcbook page, 5 1/2" x 8 1/2", January 2, 1999.
Friday, November 17, 2017
These are my favorite landscape colors, faded greens and golds either in early spring or late fall, under a cerulean sky. There may be a landform here, and the green gold leaves have probably been shed from grapevines. California, maybe, though I've never seen wine country first hand. Virginia is too hilly to be this fantasy. Except for the sounds of nature such as birds or crickets, it is silent. Pick up your cup of Sauvignon Blanc and enjoy.
Marker linework, colored and leafed in Photoshop, about 6" x 2 1/2", November 17, 2017.
Thursday, November 16, 2017
The game world of "Powers that Be" was populated by a number of different humanoid species, most of them taken from well-known fantasy series such as Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings." Hobbits were re-named "Halflings" and re-settled in urban areas or estates, usually working in lower-class occupations such as kitchen work, gardening, or cleaning. This Halfling is "Tralg," who is responsible for a section of a noble's garden where the magical "Orethail" plant is raised and harvested. Orethail is difficult to cultivate and is very valuable so Tralg has much more social status than a typical Halfling. Halflings may be tiny (average from 2 1/2 feet to 3 feet tall) but they are not stupid and should you need some Orethail, Tralg and his associates will drive, or dig, a hard bargain.
Black ink on illustration board, 5" x 6", early 2003.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
My family used to rent a house on Cape Cod, a different one every summer, for a few weeks so that we could enjoy the seaside and have guests.In 1978 I was one of the guests and of course I brought my art materials. I used ink, watercolor pencil, and watercolor. I wrote about my process on this older post from the By-Product. The house for 1978 was surrounded by the scrub evergreen forest typical of the Cape and there was a deck in the back of the house where I could draw, hence this study of the forest.
Looking at my old color sketchbook journal I see that it has faded quite a bit even though it is piled up with other sketchbooks and never sees the light. I noticed even when I made the drawings that the pencils were fade-able. I've restored color and contrast in this scan so it can live a long enhanced life in digital luxury.
Ink, watercolor pencil, and watercolor, 4 1/2" x 6", August 1978.