Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Arkhip Kuindzhi
Patches of Moonlight

Earlier I posted a color study that I have used for the painting, in which I am finishing up at the moment of the Headless Horseman. The painting is a "Nocturne" or a painting of a night scene, and is the second painting I have done like it. Painting a nocturne is quite different, and a bit more challenging for me. Rather than trying to create light , you are challenged with creating a lack thereof, which entails a lot of other techniques and methods. . This type of painting examines darkness and conditions near its edge. Creating far more unique compositions, nocturnes heavily rely on abstract elements in order to hold the picture together. For this reason, shapes and silhouettes play a big role , often times edges are softened, and the values in the painting are often close to one another. (When I say values I do not mean your personal values, or whether you not you believe in abortion, etc... Rather, I mean values in terms of light to dark. A number 1 value being the lightest and a 10 being the darkest value. ) The typical color palette for this type of painting is of course cool,limited, and moody.

As always I like to look to some other artists for information and inspiration. Above and below I have included a number of nocturnes that have been painted by various artist over time, all equally amazing!!

Tsuchiya Koitsu
Maizuru Harbor at Night

N.C. Wyeth
The Black Spot

N.C. Wyeth
The Old Pew

N.C. Wyeth
The Treasure Cave

Frederic Remington
The Sentinel

Frederic Remington
The Old Stage-Coach of the Plains

Frederic Remington
The Hunters' Supper

James Abbot McNeil Whistler
Falling Rocket

Childe Hassam
Railway Crossing

St. Paul at his Desk

An old Usurer Examining a Coin

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Random Sketches

It's always fun to post random sketches. The ones included within this post were all created for different reasons and or purposes . Some are sketches from life, some are from my imagination, some from photos, some for projects, and some for just plain fun.

Ichabod Crane

Thumbnail for interior page of Norton B. Nice

Mark Twain Sketch

Francis Bacon sketch

Atlanta airport sketch
8.5"x 11"

Cambodian Nun
7"x 10"

Sea Goddess
8.5"x 11"

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Headless Horseman

Over the past few weeks I have been working on an illustration from Washington Irving's short story the Legend Sleepy Hollow. I wanted to focus on the Headless Horseman and I have managed to come up with various compositions and solutions. Finally I have gotten to where I am happy with one and I have included it from start to color study in this post. At the moment I am unsure of what medium I want to use to take it to the finish. I am leaning towards acrylics although it may be fun to do a large watercolor, in which I hope would be a bit more atmospheric and moody than my initial color study. There are still a few things that need to be solved in the illustration such as how and where ,and whether or not I am going to include the Horseman's cape. Including the cape may mean that the fun shape in which the Horseman and his horse create will be lost. So I am trying to find a way in which I can include it, where it will not interfere to much......

Below I have included my initial sketch, my final drawing ,and a color study :

Rough Sketch
5"x 5"

Final Drawing
8"x 8"

Color Study
Watercolor and Digital
8"x 8"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Art of William Gropper

Recently I was asked by Bosco Mckinney ( to create an illustration of the Headless Horseman, or something pertaining to Washington Irving's short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Typically when I am beginning a new illustration, along with doing tons of sketching, I usually search the inter web for anything relating to the subject in which I am working on.This usually leads me to finding some decent reference, influences, and often to the discovery of great artists that have somehow remained unknown to me in the past.

My recent search for anything having to do with the Headless Horseman lead me to the art of William Gropper(1877-1977). Below , along with several other of his illustrations , is Gropper's version of the Headless Horseman. Gropper's extreme perspective's, exaggerated figures, dynamic compositions, and radical political statements instantly struck a chord with me. Here again I find myself wondering how I did not come across this artists work at an early time?..

Gropper worked in the US as a cartoonist, painter, lithographer, and muralist. Labeled a radical , Gropper is best known for his political work in which he contributed to left wing publications such as the Revolutionary Age, The Liberator, The New Masses, The Worker, and The Morning Freiheit. Gropper studied under Ash Can school artists Robert Henri and George Bellows , so it comes as no surprise to me that his work is a s good as it is.

During the Great Depression Gropper's work was very influential as it spoke out against social injustice and other issues faced at the time. His illustrations were so powerful that one in which was printed in Vanity Fair in 1935, and depicted Emperor Hirohito , caused a diplomatic incident. This resulted in the Japanese Government demanding an official apology from Gropper. In May 1953 Gropper's attacks on Joseph McCarthy led to him being called before the House of Un- American Activities Committee, in which after pleading the 5th, he was black listed but not imprisoned.

To me his work embodies his radical nature, not only in content but in style as well, and is something I look forward to seeing more of.

Here is some of his work. A lot more can be found online.

William Gropper

Anti War Poster

Construction of a Dam

Top Man

The Headless Horseman

Finn Mac Cool

The Coffee Pot

Friday, March 5, 2010


Tomorrow we will be hosting the Power Struggle 4, at Prime Climb in Wallingford. This we hope to make an annual event. Although it involves a ton of work , energy, and effort, it is a ton of fun, and we hope to have many more in the future.

I helped organize the event, heckle retailers for free stuff, designed the poster, and am also setting a lot of the problems. It has been a lot of work and I look forward to tomorrows event.
Here is a link if you are interested in viewing a video from last years Power Struggle 3:

Hope to see you all there!!!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Madison Art Cinemas Show

Saturday was the opening for my show at the Madison Art Cinemas, in Madison Connecticut.
Things went quite well except for the fact that I was a bit unprepared, due to the fact that I had just returned from five weeks abroad. But hey, the paintings were framed and on the wall in time and I was able to hang out with the many great people that came trough. This despite the fact that it was 5:30 a.m according to my body's clock. So things could have been worse. Although I still need to get down there with some labels for the paintings, and a few other things, such as a copy or two of Norton B. Nice..

The show will be up for another month so if you are at all interested please stop by and have a look. I have hung a wide variety of work including the work I did for my thesis project at UHA, some new watercolors, and some digital work as well.

The address is 761 Boston Post, Rd. , Madison , Ct., 06443.

Or for more info visit the event page on Facebook:

Big thanks to all of the great friends and family that made it by on saturday, you guys are great!!!!! Thanks for the support!!! And a bigger thanks to "Assu" for sending me some photos to show!

Photos courtesy of :
Andrew "Assu" Joseph