Court Jones Blog
Pre Nol 
Tuesday, December 21, 2010, 09:14 PM - Portraits
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I just finished yet another semester at the Watts Atelier. I only took one class this time around-a long portrait painting class. We had the model for three class sessions each, or about 9 hours. The last model we had was Fred, who dressed as Father Christmas for us.

This is on a Claessens linen mounted on a 14 x 18 inch panel




During the final class, I took the last 60 minutes of pose to do a small gestural study from another position. This next one is on a gessoed hardboard panel. 8 x 10 inches



As usual, I think I like my quick study more. Most people usually say they like my quicker studies more than my finished portraits as well. One of the most difficult things for me when doing a longer pose, or more formal portrait is to preserve the spontaneity and gestural strokes. The thing is...spontaneity is great. But it can often result in distortions and inaccuracies. The drawing of the features on this 60 minute Santa is a bit off in places. That's why your skills have to be up to snuff if you want to be a really good alla prima portrait (or any kind of) painter. You need to have a lot of training under your belt and must rely on your fundamental drawing skills to work quickly and accurately. And I'm definitely not always happy with my gestural work. But I am pretty happy with how this little painting turned out, despite the flaws here and there.

Here's a detailed closeup to get a better sense of how I handled the forms with the brush.



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"The Fighter" for the San Diego Union-Tribune 
Thursday, December 16, 2010, 04:12 PM - Paintings
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Last Sunday I painted a piece for the cover of the "Night & Day" magazine, which is a weekly supplemental to the San Diego Union Tribune. It hit newsstands today, so pick up a free copy while you still can. It's not the version that comes inside the U.T. but is distributed independently, usually right next to the U.T. on the stands.





They wanted a gritty-looking caricature painting showing the two main actors from The Fighter, Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale (who lost a lot of weight and voluntarily receeded his hairline for the part).

Below, you can see what the original image looks like. The "Night & Day" is printed on newsprint, so it looks significantly different. But at least it's in color. Not like in ye olde dayes.

I really wanted to do this one in oils, instead of digitally. I have come to rely too much on digital painting in recent years for my commercial work, and while it is just another art medium, it's not quite as rewarding as painting it with more traditional materials. It is more difficult to work with than Photoshop, of course. And it is not easy to get certain effects like you can digitally. But it does promote a more disciplined approach which requires more focused concentration and patience.

I designed and sketched this out earlier in the week. But because of my busy schedule doing holiday commissions for people and live gigs last week, I only had a 24 hour period to complete the actual painting. The original is on a 20 x 20 inch masonite board, triple gessoed using a paint roller (Note: This was my first time applying gesso with a house painting roller, but I really really liked the smooth but textured surface it gave me. It acted like a canvas grain and helped pull my paint off the brush.)




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His Popeiness 
Tuesday, October 26, 2010, 07:58 PM - Sketches
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So I just bought my own Cintiq today, which I am VERY happy about. Sketching digitally is so much more natural with it. Although I will need to spend some more time fiddling with the brightness, contrast and color settings, because when I import Cintiq sketches onto my desktop or to print, there's quite a big difference. I had to adjust the Levels in Photoshop to make this sketch look like I intended.


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Just a sweet transvestite 
Monday, October 25, 2010, 12:23 PM - Sketches
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A quick sketch for Halloween.



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Jack Black 
Wednesday, October 20, 2010, 09:12 PM - Paintings
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This Jack Black was a really fun piece to design and paint. It was done for a Facebook weekly competition called "Caricaturama Showdown 3000." I have been a huge Tenacious D fan for years (despite their small body of work). This was done in oils on a stretched linen canvas, 24 x 30 inches. Because of his rock persona, which is essentially parody of classic rock and hard metal gods, I chose to create something like you might have seen on a vintage metal album cover, ripe with demonic sexuality and a few phallic symbols here and there.

I haven't done a lot of story-based caricature illustrations. My portfolio is full of mostly portrait style head-shots. So I would love to devote more time to stuff like this, with more background and narrative involved.




And a few details...






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