Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Skin Bar

Hylas and the Nymphs 1896 John William Waterhouse
When the ship of the Argonauts reached the island of Cios, Hylas, the young and handsome companion of Hercules, was sent ashore in search of water. He discovered a fountain, but the nymphs of the place were so enchanted by his beauty that they pulled him to the depths of their watery abode, and in spite of the cries of Hercules which made the shores reverberate with the name Hylas, the young man was never seen again. What happened to Hylas is unknown...especially because none of this ever happened, but that's besides the point. He probably got lured into some she-devil trap and had his life force sucked dry by the topless demons. If you ever find yourself at some swank resort looking for a glass of water and come across a pool of naked ladies, don't stop to ask for directions, just keep going or you'll end up like Hylas. I've always loved Waterhouse and the stories behind the paintings are a big part of the reason why. Copying this painting gave me the opportunity to learn different techniques for underpainting with vibrant colors that shine through the darker tones laid on top.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Night of the Living Goya

I'm skipping ahead here a bit to get to my semester studying the undead. Zombies. Basically, I spent months watching George Romero films and classics like I Walked With A Zombie and White Zombie, read a few books on the subject, Book of the Dead, Passage of Darkness, The Undead and Philosophy, and Pretend We're Dead, and then I got to paint zombie versions of masterpiece paintings by Goya and Vermeer. I have to tell you, this was the most fun I had teaching myself anything. The first posting from this semester is Night of the Living Goya, an oil on wood panel measuring 18"x24". The original is nasty enough, so I really had to take the gore up as best as I could. The hardest part was probably matching the colors Goya used to make this cannibalism pretty. My professors asked me why I wanted to do this. Honestly, because it was fun. There are more intellectual reasons for researching zombies like the similarities between post tramatic stress disorder, Hatian zombification, and slavery, but I'll save that for later. For now, enjoy the undead.