Saturday, June 22, 2013

Stills to pay the Bills

Posted by: Dave

Well, the days are finally long enough where I can work from natural light again.  I know a lot of people do this year round, but I like to sleep in and stay up late to watch "Game of Thrones" with Kate (who read the books and is kindly enough to keep me updated with what's going on so I don't get lost).

I decided to really skull things up with this particular Vanitas, by creating a totem of skulls. It's been a lot of fun playing with unique objects to create interesting compositions.  The bear skull in the painting was from a hunting trip of Kate's cousin.  I actually even got to eat a bear burger from the animal, though I was a bit unimpressed.  Every time I try bear meat, I want to like it so much because it is the most manly meal possible, but it simply doesn't cut it like elk or venison does.  I killed the other animals myself with a shovel.  Didn't eat either of them, though I hear bald eagle is delicious.  Tastes like freedom... 

Note:  If you are an animal activist, don't read the paragraph above. 

I did something a bit different this time after the ébauche (not shown).  I modeled the forms of each of the skulls volumetrically to get an overall sense of form.  It is a nice intermediary stage between the ébauche and first painting that I have mentioned before on the blog.  I don't do it much, but it is nice to have an additional stage to build up paint and try to nail the colors. 

After I noticed how 1980's teal my background appeared, I toned it down and darkened it.

 Moving into first painting (still missing some leaves etc)

Start of painting with medium.

Anyway, enough about painting.  I want to talk about my new Fiskars axe.  One of my favorite things about living in the countryside is I can justify these purchases.  Plus it is a business write off as it can double as a painting mahl stick.....and a killing maul stick.  (see how I did that with the words)  Since buying my new axe, I have decimated everything in my path made of wood or otherwise and pray for the zombie apocalypse to happen.  When it comes to annihilating nature, shop Fiskars. 

 And now for the highlight.

NOTE:  for the kids at home, the bald eagle skull is actually just a very good replica.  I haven't destroyed the symbol of America (which happens to live mainly in Canada)


  1. Okay, I admit an axe makes a more manly maul stick *even* than the antique walking cane I use.

    (Who ever talked old people into using these ghastly quadrupedal metallic monstrosities with gigantic rubber grips? It looks like they took part of their hospital bed with them)

    Anyhow, nice skull work. Your skulls are also more manly than the deer and squirrel ones I've painted.

    Thanks for introducing me to the word "ebauche". I'll file that away for when I want to sound very smart.

  2. What an excellent idea About the Fiskars Axe. So do you think I might also find an axe with which to chop, perchance to maul, and even so creatively double as a mahl at the mall?