Today while on my lunchtime at work I thought I would do a little sketching of Michael Keaton from the Beetlejuice movie. This was my second attempt this week to try and get something good finished. My first attempt was very far from satisfying. And, this is nothing new to me lately because I’ve been struggling with drawing in the last couple of months. I feel like I have been trying to force myself into a different style that I’m just not comfortable with. So, today I thought I would just do a more finished pencil drawing. And I was pretty happy with it. From there I thought I would drop it into Photoshop and try to do some digital painting on it. I just wanted to try a quick painting on top of the drawing. More like a watercolor painting with a transparent layer over the drawing.
Last month during the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge, I finished this painting which I had started earlier in the year. It’s the first painting in a series of Nightmare Before Christmas paintings I’m planning on doing. All of them will be in this same size and format, oil on canvas.
Day 20 and it was another hot night in California, so, I decided to keep going with the Batman movie theme and I went with his arch nemesis, the Joker. This is the version from Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film portrayed by Jack Nicholson. While he is not my favorite Joker in the film franchise, I can’t deny how iconic his look was.
I’m not sure what made me want to paint this today but, I think it has to do with the heat wave running through the Bay Area in California. It was ugly this weekend. Danny DeVito as the Penguin kind of ugly.
March is upon us and at the end of the month Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is coming to the movie theaters. This is a film I’m very excited for and I figure this would be a good time to do some art based on the characters that will be in the movie for this month. Today features the Michael Keaton version of Batman from the 1989 Tim Burton film. When this movie came out, it was a big deal to me. At that point I was a huge Marvel Comics fan and had not paid a lot of attention to the Dark Knight. To be honest, I did not pay much attention to DC’s characters. Like most kids I knew who the big players were. I watched the Super Powers cartoon and the Batman tv show. But that was about it. This movie was very eye opening for me.
I can still remember reading the movie novelization, playing with the action figures, I had a cool Batman shirt and then going straight to the music store to get the Prince soundtrack right after the movie.
This movie is not perfect but I do still enjoy it. Michael Keaton’s performance was great. He played Bruce Wayne perfectly. His Batman was intense. I also enjoyed Kim Basinger as Vicki Vale. But, I’m torn by Jack Nicholson as Joker. I think the make up they did on him was great and of course his acting was just as good. I always felt he was a bit too old and he does some pretty lame things, like pulling a 5 foot long hand gun out of his pants to shoot down the Batwing plane with one shot. Ugh. The mood of the film itself is perfect for Gotham City. Tim Burton’s vision of the film is excellent. And a completely different version of the setting and characters that we were previously used to from the Batman tv show of the 60’s.
The painting itself was something kind of new for me also. I usually do not paint on a canvas textured surface. I typically go for a smooth surface to paint on like the paintings I did in January. And, I haven’t played around with oil paints since I had my last art show. Technique was also a new thing for me on this painting. I have been recently studying a new painting instructional book and also watching some dvds about painting. So, this is a new way of thinking when I paint.
We will have to see how this painting technique pans out for me in the future.
Here is the under painting before I started laying on the oil paint.
Next up we shall see who challenges Batman in the new film, Superman.
Day 14 is brought to us by the wonderful film from director Tim Burton, Edward Scissorhands. For this painting I went back to some of my favorite mediums, ink and watercolor paint. I feel most comfortable using ink in liquid form or markers/pens. I’ve been staying away from it for most of this challenge because I was thinking that people would rather see more “fine art” painting style. And ink, to me, is more of an illustration medium. This challenge might not be making me a noticeably better artist but it is seriously making me doubt my ideas about what and where I should be going with my art and technique.
I can admit that I’m starting to feel it. This process, even though this is my second time doing the 30 in 30 challenge, is starting to get to me. It’s not sitting down and doing the art that is hard but the process of deciding what subject matter is a huge struggle. Another thing that I am dealing with is that I think I need to start slowing down and taking more time with my work but that isn’t really an option with this challenge. Plus, doing all this while just starting the website and blog and Facebook account is hard too. And now with being able to look at stats on these pieces and taking note on reactions and more importantly, lack of reactions are making me rethink the work I’m doing. I think I am going to have to change and refocus on things after this month is over.