I'm up to the Impressionists in my art class, so I painted this to show them the assignment. And then, my younger class saw that the older class was painting. They asked if they could paint as well, but could it be something easier? So I painted this for them:

A total win-win for me, the kids are engaged in painting and I had an excuse to paint again!



My entry for the 2018 Poldark art competition. I love this show!


Dr. Wintermute from "Splendours and Glooms" by Laura Amy Schlitz

I just finished Splendours and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz. It's a fantastic book! So this is my second illustration inspired by a book I've been reading - I want to try and keep this up with anything I read that I really enjoy.

Initially, I had planned to draw the two main characaters, Lizzie Rose and Parsefall. They are great characters; in fact, all of the characters are well done, even the villains. Any one of them would make a good illustration, but for some reason Dr. Wintermute spoke to me. I even knew what I was going to draw for the other two and his character took over my imagination instead. Maybe it's because he's a father and I am as well, but, whatever the reason, I felt like drawing his picture.

Back to the book - I highly recommend it! #SplendoursAndGlooms #LauraAmySchlitz


Halloween House

My painting students asked if I ever did anything creative, since I teach them still lifes. I told them I prefer it, and said we should do one next week. They all shuddered in horror at the thought of doing something creative with paint. So I decided to compromise. This is my house, but not my house. They have to bring pictures of their own house, and get all Halloween with it. They have a model, so it shouldn't be too overwhelmingly creative... or at least that's what I'll tell them (I feel like I should cackle gleefully).


Bridget Bishop

Starting a new thing here - I've decided that whenever I read a book, I ought to illustrate something from it. I just finished "Witchcraft at Salem" by Chadwick Hansen, which I picked ip in the Salem Witch Museum bookstore. After reading it, I was inspired to do this portrait of Bridget Bishop.

And Halloween coming up as well wasn't a bad incentive either.

According to Hansen, there were a lot of innocent people executed in the Salem witch craze, but Bridget Bishop was not one of them. Totally a witch, willing to use image magic to get back at people she didn't like. And creepy enough to freak people out enough to believe her curses actually worked. So a good first choice for my drawing project, especially in October.

As for the book, I can't recommend it highly enough. Aside from being really informative, it's just so well written that it was a joy to read.

On a completely unrelated note, I think "Chadwick Hansen" is the best name ever. Had I known about this book earlier, I may have named my son "Chadwick Hansen Valentino." I told my son about this. He said if I had, he would have always harbored some resentment towards me as long as he lived. So probably for the best that this is a recent find.


Dorothy and Toto(ro) in Oz

I was teaching character design in my art class, and used descriptions from the Wizard of Oz for inspiration. One of the students accidentally thought Dorothy's dog was named Totoro. I told her it was Toto, but thought, "I. Must. Draw. This."


Gnome vs. Gnome!

How long are gnomes' legs? WE ARE A HOUSE DIVIDED!*
It all started when I did the painting of the gnome for my son. When I started to sketch it, I drew the gnome with long legs. My wife, horrified, asked me to make them short legs, so I complied (even though I knew it to be COMPLETELY WRONG. Objectively speaking, of course).
Later, as I was driving with my daughter, I mentioned that her mom erroneously asked me to draw a short-legged gnome. My daughter did not take my side. In fact, as soon as we got home, she ran into the house, hugged my wife, and cried, "Mom, you're right about everything! I'm sorry I ever doubted you!" I wish I were making that up.
Undaunted in my certainty, I decided to take this question to the internet. So I leave it up to you - do gnomes have long or short legs?

Which gnome is correct? The wholly erroneous one on the left, or the amazingly accurate one on the right? I ask you, in my TOTALLY UNBIASED fashion.

Short Legs: Evidence #1:  

The Gnomes book, illustrated by Rien Poortvliet.
A super-awesome illustrator to be sure, a classic of the genre, and he painted them with short legs. But Dali painted super awesome pictures of elephants with long, skinny, pointy legs, and that doesn't make it true either!

Short Legs: Evidence #2: 

Every garden gnome in existence
Oh sure, you've got the strength of numbers on this one. But think about it - do you think LONG SKINNY ceramic legs would hold up? That's why they don't have ceramic garden giraffes either!

Long Legs: Evidence #1: 

The Nomes in the Land of Oz
Okay, so he spelled them "nomes." But hey, John R. Neill drew them with long legs no matter how they were spelled. And who are we to argue with the Royal Illustrator of Oz?

Long Legs: Evidence #2:

Elsie and the Gnome
Sure, these pictures may be debunked, but people believed them at the time. And when people were trying to disprove them, you know what they didn't say? They didn't say, "Hey, that can't be a real gnome because its legs are too long!" Looked just fine to everybody. I rest my case!

* Unevenly divided, as it is four against one (me), but divided nonetheless. I STAND FIRM!


Dancing Gnome

My son is going to play Liszt's "Gnomenreigen" at a piano competition this weekend. To get him into the feel of little gnomes dancing, my wife asked me if I could make a quick sketch of one to give him the idea. He liked it!


Sumo Claus

As I was drawing Santa for a friennd, I realized that if I were to draw a sumo wrestler, I'd draw him the same way.