Thursday, May 12, 2016

Mermaid: Blue Eyes #MerMay

Mermaid: Blue Eyes
Step by Step

To celebrate MerMay I'm putting up my step by step of my oil painting "Mermaid: Blue Eyes."
I'd done several small thumbnails of my idea of doing a portrait of a mermaid, using just her face, hands and hair in a square canvas, before doing the pencil directly onto the canvas board.
I first went over the pencil with a green line in oils
Did the face and skin tones, with greenish shadows
Starting the background
Putting the greens in the kelp
Giving more detail to the kelp fronds and her hair
Finishing the shell and sea life decorating her hair and a pet fish
Framed and sold! at IlluXcon 2014


Friday, April 29, 2016



I started this painting last year for IlluXcon 7 but wasn't able to finish it in time.  I started with a graphite drawing on watercolor paper and then sealed it with shellac.  I decided I would try to be fresh and experimental by doing the background first and loosely putting in leaves and greenery.  I added in flowers, birds and butterflies freely, without getting too tied down to realism or design.  It was interesting, a departure from my very planned out cover illustration work.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Small Paintings from Illuxcon Part 3

 Mermaid: Peridot

I decided to do another mermaid before I realized how popular mermaids had become with other fantasy artists.  They're everywhere now, and a frequent subject at IlluXcon.  I wondered what color of skin a mermaid would have before I started on the finish.  Would she have a color that camouflaged her from predators in the sea?  Or would Mer-people be the top fish in the ocean?  Maybe her skin is green simply because of the filtered light from above.   The original is 7.5" by 5.25", oils and graphite on shellacked acid free bristol board, mounted with archival boards and materials, and matted to size 11" x 14."

Happy Holidays,


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Small Paintings from IlluXcon Part 2

The Stars in Her Hair

This small painting for IlluXcon was made from the fuzziest photo I may have ever used for reference.  I was at a convention in Iowa many, many years ago when I took several pictures of a very lovely young girl whose mother was shepherding me, as artist guest, about the con.  I saved those pictures for years and years and only in the last decade did I bring them out and make some drawings and paintings from them.  She had a clear, victorian kind of beauty and so inspired this tiny homage to Dante Gabriel Rosetti's "The Blessed Damozel."
  • The blessed damozel leaned out
  • From the gold bar of Heaven;
  • Her eyes were deeper than the depth
  • Of waters stilled at even;
  • She had three lilies in her hand,
  • And the stars in her hair were seven.
Needless to say she has more stars in her hair than seven, because that amount just didn't look right. The whole effect makes me think of the spirit of sleep and nighttime. Below are the other small paintings I did from this same model.  All 3 little paintings are sold now.

The Pearl Circlet

The Pearl Earring


Don't let the bedbugs bite

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Small Paintings from IlluXcon Part 1

Cavalier Cat

This started as a small drawing I did while waiting for my child to finish a sports practice.  It was just from a picture on my iPhone of our siberian cat Rumble Roar, nothing very deliberate or with much planning.   After 30+ years doing very meticulous art for book covers, its rather a relief to do little works that will be finished in days instead of weeks.  I expanded it to put him in a cavalier costume, for he is a very even tempered gentlemanly cat, and I have a nice large book of Van Dyck paintings for reference.   I then put a layer of shellac over the graphite to seal the paper and painted the finish in oils.  It's mounted and matted with acid-free papers.

Rumble Roar with his portrait, pre-paint

Matted and mounted for IlluXcon

I'm hoping to do more animals in costume.  That was a lot of fun, especially learning how to make that silk effect on his doublet.


Me, feeling a bit poked at this season.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Holiday Handmade Cavalcade Tomorrow

Holiday Handmade Cavalcade
Saturday December 5th
One last post before the fair!  These fresh and modern botanicals will be available as originals, prints, and letter size cards.  They were a lot of fun to do, a nice change of pace from my fantasy work.  Next week, a post about the small works I did for IlluXcon.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Holiday Cards

Happy Holidays from New York
The Pizza Rat saved a slice for you!
When you're craving some fries
Greg Samsa found just the right gift for his sweetie
NYC Critters celebrate the season of giving

All on sale in my Etsy shop, and available in person at the Holiday Handmade Cavalcade at Chelsea Market in Manhattan this Saturday, December 5th, and at the Gowanus Holiday Market at Breukelen Colony on December 19-20.