Friday, December 29, 2006

4th Pennsylvania Battalion painting

I started this piece a few days after finishing the painting for the APG fund raiser. This figure study will have a complete landscape surrounding it as opposed to just having a shadow and or bit of ground beneath his feet. With the experience gained on the past couple of paintings I hope to improve the look of the figure as well as the landscape on this piece. The uniform worn by this rifleman will be a cut down blue coat with white facings. I'm not sure what color the waistcoat and breeches are going to be, but they're going to be worn out and dirty.

The sky and background, along with the trees furthest from the viewer are complete. The larger trees will have more detail. I managed to salvage some leaves off of my patio that will be used as the model for the numerous leaves that will be scattered about. The painting is 8 x 10 and is done in acrylics.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Fairchild project

I just completed my donation for the Artist Preservation Group's next fundraiser. The proceeds from the works auctioned off will go towards the restoration of Lucius Fairchild's forage cap and vest that he was wearing at the battle of Gettysburg where Fairchild lost an arm. For more information on the APG and it's efforts go to the links and click on the Artist Preservation Group.

The painting was done in acrylics and gouache on multimedia board and is 11 x 14. This is the first time that I have done a figure study with a complete background. While there is still more to learn about the technical side of painting, I managed to finish the painting without getting too stressed out.

Monday, December 11, 2006


While I'm getting a lot done, not all of it is miniature or art related. Although it's neat to see in progress work or a figure done step-by-step , finished work is nice to see also. So while the wheels of progress turn slowly, I thought to share a few things with you. We all have things that inspired or fostered passion in our hobbies. There were two distinct things that fueled my interests for American military history, especially uniforms. The first was the American Heritage book of the Civil war. In addition to having period photos and artwork, the maps drawn by David Greenspan more than captured my imagination. I'm sure many a boy remembers these fantastic "bird's eye" views of the Civil War's major battles. I would sit for hours looking at these maps populated with hundreds of little Union and Confederate soldiers fighting one another at places like Little Round Top or Antietam's Dunker Church. The maps also served as a great reference for recreating these battles with toy soldiers. Around 1973-74 my parent's bought me the Marx Toys Blue & Gray playset that was sold by Sears. This was the other thing that had me hooked for life. Long gone are the days where you will get a building made of tin, or cannons that actually fire little projectiles. A year or two later I was also the proud owner of Marx's Sons of Liberty playset. Needless to say the Civil War and American Revolution became my two most favorite periods of history. What I find amazing is the number of people that not only owned but were inspired by the very same things.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Let it snow

We're finally getting some serious snow accumulation here at home. Being a homebody this is really my favorite time of the year. There's no better excuse for working on figure stuff than getting a foot of snow that keeps you indoors. I tried to get a decent picture of the view outside of my workroom window. After several attempts I decided on an alternative to my Winter themed posting. I sketched out the snowman then transferred him to a piece of Multimedia Board (it's great stuff) and painted him in acrylics. He's on a 5" X 10" piece with the image measuring out at about 5". This piece sidetracked me for about 4 hours from beginning to end. It was fun to do a children's type illustration which also gave me a little more "brush time". The only thing I did not do was tweak the color a bit. My scanner almost always leaves the browns more red than an earthy color.

Now it's time to get back to the few projects I have awaiting completion. The 1/35 Confederate Marine and 54mm 2nd Wisconsin figure are nearly done. They will free up even more time to complete my contribution to the Artist Preservation Group (APG). I am painting a portrait of Colonel Lucius Fairchild of the 2nd Wisconsin. The proceeds of the coming auction will go towards the restoration of Fairchild's forage cap and vest. Go to my links and check out the APG's website to find out about the organization and it's efforts to help preserve our history.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Confederate States Marine Corps

This is a 1/35 scale figure that I am doing for a collector. It is made of Aves and Duro putty. The head is from Tiger Models. The cartridge box and rifle are from Dragon Models 1/35 Union Infantry set. The CS box plate on the cartridge box is from Shenandoah Miniatures. The steps and deck planking are made from basswood, with the railings made from brass rod stock. The only items not attached to the figure are the socket for the bayonet and the rifle sling. The figure was inspired by a Don Troiani painting.

I found that posing a figure going down stairs is not an easy thing to do. My hat is definitely off to those sculptors that are masters at posing figures with a lot of animation. Sorry if the picture is a little dark. Photography is not my strong suit, but I'm learning...slowly.

Monday, November 27, 2006

4th Pennsylvania Battalion, 1776

This is a pencil sketch for a future figure study painting. It's another early war subject that is wearing a patched and cut down uniform that was issued early in 1776. Like the American Civil War of later years there were a variety of uniforms worn by the fledgling American army.

I need to make a few anatomical corrections before transferring the drawing to multimedia board. I have not yet decided on the size for this one. It will either be 8 x 10 or 11 x 14. I like the 8 x 10 size, although the larger size is probably more practical for use in reproduction.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Drummer, 4th Maryland Independent Company, 1776

The 4th was one of seven Independent Companies raised in 1776. The contractor's reciept for their coats did not include include buttons, but hooks and eyes instead. Besides being drawn to musician's uniforms, this little detail made it all the more interesting. The figure study was painted in Gouache and Acrylics on Multimedia Artboard. The painting measures 8 x 10.

This is the first piece of color flat art I've done in a long time. I'm happy with the results, though there are some things I would probably do a little different today. Gouache is a very tricky medium to work with as the paint "reactivates" itself whenever water or other colors are laid on top. Just for fun I may do this subject over again in a year. I'd be curious to see how different my approach and results would be.