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“The experienced illustrator subscribes to the principle of the application of the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair. Should inspiration whisk down your chimney, be at your table. The first ten thousand drawings are the hardest. Put another way, you have ten thousand bad drawings within and should expel them as quickly as possible.”  -Wallace Tripp


This illustration for a bookplate was commissioned by a friend for his wife Sarah.  Her saint is Seraphim of Sarov.

Troparion of St. Seraphim, Tone 4
Thou didst love Christ from thy youth, O blessed one,
and longing to work for Him alone thou didst struggle in the wilderness with constant prayer and labor.
With penitent heart and great love for Christ thou wast favored by the Mother of God.
Wherefore we cry to thee:
Save us by thy prayers, O Seraphim our righteous Father.

This first piece by Gerome has always been intriguing to me since I first viewed it in high-school Humanities class.  I am thinking of doing a gun-slinger or duel illustration soon, and these are some images I found for a chill of inspiration.

File:Jean-Léon Gérôme - Duel After a Masquerade Ball.jpg

Jean-Léon Gérôme – Duel After a Masquerade Ball

Eugene Onegin and Vladimir Lensky’s duel – painted by Ilya Repin using Watercolours, white lead, and Indian ink on paper.

I am not able to find any information on this piece.

These are two acrylic portraits done on wooden nesting dolls.  They are real nesting dolls which fit together.  After this photo I put on a final coat of Mod Podge to protect them.

This was one of many projects that I get through the custom listings on

The buyer sent me about 2 dozen photos, and from those I made sketches so he could visualize the project and ask for changes where he thought they were needed.

These dolls were a real challenge for me.  When I do another set, I will not do more than one quick sketch on paper because the image was distorted when I transferred it to the blank dolls.  Instead I will do a sketch just for compositional purposes (to pick clothing and size relationships), but all the fine tuning of the faces will need to be done right on the wood.  The smooth finish of the wood is very easy to draw on (and erase and redraw).  Here is the sketch that I did in Photoshop with my Wacom tablet which I later transferred to the dolls and painted:

If you are interested in having your portrait painted on wooden Russian dolls, contact me for pricing.

Edgar Payne is one of my favorite landscape painters.  I am using his work and style to influence the painting I am doing this week.  The painting is a three foot by 5 foot Western landscape for my parents.  They found some film stills from the John Ford movie, The Searchers, for me to work from.

Each day in class we had the morning to draw our cast and the afternoon to sketch the figure.  So after 4 weeks this is what I came up with in the mornings:

Ear cast drawing unfinished by you.

Cast drawing by you.

I am sorry that I have not updated.  You have to understand that I am distracted by so many galleries, events, and museums.  So I will be catching up on Flickr uploads and blogging later on.  This workshop has taught me so much.  I will sum it up in one phrase:  “Structural metaphor”

Check out the GCA blog for more of the recent events here.