Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Few for the road

I'll be leaving for Gettysburg shortly and thought I'd post a few old "doodles" for the road.

1. This is one of many sketches I did years ago for a yet to be published article on Confederate battleshirts. This drawing did not make the cut for one of the six color illustrations I eventually got around to finishing. If I did the article today I'd probably do the color illustrations over as they look horrible to me now.

2. My inspiration for these zouaves came from reading about the 9th New York ("Hawkin's Zouaves") at the battle of Antietam. You might also note the heads of Gen. Francis Barlow and Gen. Winfield Hancock among them. NOTE: Somehow I reversed the image by mistake. You'll notice the equipment is on the opposite sides.

3. This last page was done I believe around the time I sculpted the 83rd Pa Vol (hometown regiment) figure for Fort DuQuesne Military Miniatures. The chasseur uniform looks really sharp. I hope to paint a figure study of a soldier in this uniform one day. Sorry, the drawing is pretty light.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

McPherson barn color study

I've decided to change gears and do a small landscape. To possibly save me from trashing another painting I've opted to do a color study of the subject first. The McPherson barn is one of the first things to come into view as you enter Gettysburg on I-30. We are very fortunate to have such a place preserved (for the most part) to honor the men of both sides who fought on the ground of this sleepy little Pennsylvania town in July of 1863. My painting is based on a photograph (a poor one) of the barn I took years ago. The finished painting will be 8 x 10, so I decided to make my study 4 x 5. As with my other paintings it is done in acrylics. I probably did more to this than I should have but it was a fun little project. This color study will serve as a handy little guide for determining the colors to be used.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Continental in hunting shirt 1780-1781

I think I'm going to call this study done. Though I could add maybe a little shading here and there on the musket, it would not hurt to leave it alone. The next painting will be an 8 X 10 landscape with a historic structure as the central focus.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sketches and doodles

When I'm kicking around ideas for figures or scenes I often sketch out full or partial figures as well as other little details. Often things such as anatomy and accuracy of uniforms and equipment are not as important as developing the idea itself. The sketches or doodles that follow are fairly old, in some cases 10 or more years. WOW!
1. Is a 2" x 2" head study of an early war Southern volunteer. I was playing around with watercolors in preparation for a series of 6 half figure paintings of Confederates wearing battle shirts for an article a friend had written. There were other practice heads and shirts detail painted on the board this guy is on, most of which I crossed out with black ink as I was not happy with them. Anyway I kept the board it's painted on just for this one head.
2. Is a series of head and partial figure doodles of members of the 20th Maine at Gettysburg. I believe I was inspired by the movie Gettysburg and the heroic stand of the 20th. These doodles were done in the hopes that at some time I
might put together a diorama or painting of my interpretation of this action. The only figure that does not really belong to this group is the Jacobite in the center of the page. Why I drew him I have NO idea.
3. Is a pen and ink drawing of a 120mm 14th Brooklyn figure I sculpted for Fort DuQuesne Military Miniatures way back when. The drawing shows the overall pose as well as the locations of the brass rod used for the armature.
In looking at these older drawings I quickly realized that I am ten times more absorbed with historical details than I was when these were done. I owe most of this to the load of quality reference books and information now available.

Try try again

Given my lack of activity here and on boards I used to actively post on I considered shutting my blog down. As of now I'm going to keep it up and just post when there's something worth posting. My painting of the Continental in the hunting shirt took a nosedive when I added a background. The colors made the uniform pop out but it just looked too surreal a setting. It was like placing a historical figure in a fantasy setting. It's a bit of a shame as I liked how the white of the uniform was turning out for the most part. The plan is to now do the figure with some background fading out around the figure. This should look better than just painting a white uniformed figure on a stark white board. after laying in the base colors for the figure I used liquid mask to block out the figure so I could add the initial background color. The mask easily comes off with an eraser or by rubbing your finger over the masked surface. The next step is to start adding some color.