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.