Friday, October 28, 2011

Painting Progress, Masquerades, & Big Bear

[My painting setup. Picture for reference: check. Disposable pallette: check. Paints: check. Paint Brushes: check. Pirate Ship: Check. Mini Cutout of Joe Turpel: Check.]

I'm really cookin' on this painting of Sara. I've had a lot more free time recently, but I hope all my paintings go this fast from now on. Here are some photos of my progress. I haven't used any black in the painting until I did the eye today - and then I used it on the eye lashes and a little in the eyebrow. But I kind of like the look of painting without black. Forces you to see the color in the shadows.

Hopefully I'll get some more work on it in tomorrow before the Halloween festivities begin. Jen, Caroline and I are going to a masquerade and we're gonna dance our little feet off without shame since no one will know who we are to make fun of us. I hope they play "Ballroom Blitz." Then we're off to Big Bear! I had previously thought that I had never been to Big Bear. Turns out I went when I was 3. But this will be the first time that I remember, so I'm gonna make the most of it! Which mainly means I will be in search of snow wherever I can find it so I can sled, make a snow angel, and throw a snowball at Jen. It's gonna be great.

Happy Halloween all!

- Amy
Listening to: "Swept Away (Sentimental Version)" by The Avett Brothers

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Jordan, Jordan Jr., & Newport Tattoo Costa Mesa

Last week I got to introduce Jordan to Jordan Jr. Sounds like a baby daddy situation, but it's not. For those of you who stumbled across this blog by googling "pink floyd pig flying," "constellation tattoos" or "ralph steadman art" (which apparently is half of my readership according to google analytics), I paint people. My recent subject - was Mr. Jordan Sabolick. We call the painting "Jordan Jr."

We met up at Peet's Coffee. It was pretty cool too because as I was walking towards the coffee shop, there was a Mexican family of four walking behind me, and Jordan was walking behind them apparently. I didn't realize this until I reached the table in front of the Peet's where I set the painting down and the dad of the family said, "hey that's him, isn't it?" pointing at Jordan. So 1 in 4 strangers agree: Jordan Jr. and Jordan look alike.  +10 points for my confidence. Then a woman walked by our little crowd and looked to see what the action was about. "Did you paint this? It's wonderful!" +10 more points for my confidence. As much fun as painting is, it is nothing compared to having your work seen and enjoyed. Which is why I'm so glad to have my work up over at Newport Tattoo: Costa Mesa.

Things were a little awkward at first between the two...

but in no time at all they were chatting it up like old pals.

After catching up with Jordan and taking some hilarious photos of him with the painting (to the chagrin of all inside), I headed down the 405 freeway to Newport Beach to join Jordan Jr. with my other paintings that reside at Newport Tattoo: Costa Mesa. Also residing there is Ryan Hopper, the artist, tattooer, and my next victim/subject. He wants to be painted at the wienerschnitzel with a corn dog. Hmmm. I'll let you know how that one pans out.

Now back to work on my painting of Miss Sara. It is really starting to look rad! It's got this great blue/purple color scheme going that I didn't plan, but am loving. Pictures tomorrow!

- Amy
Listening to: "Dancing On Our Graves" by the Cave Singers

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Lovely Sara Wilkins, New Paintings, & Reasons To Be Thankful

Click to enlarge.
I started sketching out my next few paintings that have been in the queue. The thumbnail sketch above is of the lovely Sara Wilkins. Sara, a former Orange Countian (born and bred too), is now a Portland transplant, but distance has not diminished our friendship. Sara is as good as they come - and somewhat of an anomoly. In the best sense of course. She can be a quiet observer or the life of the party; She can be the thoughtful listener or the fountain of hilarity; She's listening to Etta James one minute and the Kings of Leon the next; She's responsible but watch out when she lets loose; She's the voice of reason but she's also the first to take the plunge; She's the girl you'd take home to mom but she's also got a delightfully irreverent wild side; She'll chase you around a public parking lot when you're feeling "blah" but she can also play it cool as your escort to the local show; She's got clear opinions but she's incredibly open minded. It's all of these interesting and unique qualities that made me realize she was the perfect candidate for my Beatniks, Bastards, Saints series. Oh yeah, and the fact that she's a FOX. 

Below is the drawing on the wood - which is my least favorite part of a painting. Sketching it out. Especially doing it twice (once on paper and once on wood). This painting is even bigger than the one I did of Jordan (subject-wise, the board is the same size) and I'm finding it's hard to draw large scale. You're looking at a photo that is 5-6 times smaller as a reference. It's tough. But I want this one to be big because I'm going to give her an amazingly intricate halo. Plus I want to see how big I can go with the subjects before it just get's ridiculous. Next step, mix up a skintone for her (I'm using acrylics and I only like having to mix up the color once so I mix a big batch and save it in an air-tight container) and get painting! Now that I'm self-employed I can work on my paintings during the day in natural sunlight (as opposed to my prior night-owl habits when I had a 9-5 for "the man"). Not only that, I'm wrapping up a ton of projects so I can just paint my little heart out for the next day or so till the deadlines start looming again. Couldn't be happier that Hoodzpah is sustaining us and letting us flourish artistically. And really that success is owing mostly to our - for lack of a better, more original word - amazing friends. Pretty much everyone we work with is a friend or was referred by one of our lovely friends. On that thankful/reflective note, goodnight all. 

- Amy 
Listening to: Nada Surf's "Inside of Love"

Click to enlarge.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Joe Strummer, Ugly Babies, & Why You're The Tops

Click to enlarge. ©Amy Hood
Can it be? Am I really finished with this Joe Strummer illustration? I'm not sure of anything right now. It's 12:17 at night and I've been sitting at this desk for way too long with celery and a wineglass full of Newcastle Brown Ale as my only sustenance. As far as I can tell in my current state, I'm pretty stoked on it! But I could be like one of those annoying parents who think their kid is cuter than a basket full of puppies when they're really more like a basket full of monkeys (the ugly kind, not the cute fuzzy monkeys). So I look to you - my friends, fellow designers and whoever happens upon this blog - to give it to me. If something looks weird, tell me now. Give me the good, the bad, and the ugly. All recommendation for change will be taken into consideration. I'll use some criticism, and let's face it, I'm going to ignore some. Not necessarily because the idea sucks (although that's a reason too), but because it may just be too much more work. I got a lot of great feedback on my other illustration after I had already ran the prints, so I thought I'd not push the cart before the horse again this time. You guys are the tops!

I've been asked a lot what the hawk is about on his shoulder. I just distinctly remember hearing The Clash for the first time. It was "London Calling" and I was drawn in by this wild banchee/hawk like sound Joe Strummer was making in between verses and choruses. It was so wild. When I set out to do this illustration, I was remembering that and I realized just how similar Joe is to a hawk. Cool, calm and collected, but wild, fierce and free all at once. It's almost like his spirit animal.

Now for a riveting episode of X-Files before I go to bed. Moulder's dead panned wit cracks me up. Does he have a TMJ Disorder where his mouth can only open halfway? Is the mumbling a layer of the character? Is Duchovny even smart enough to think that up? It intrigues me.

- Amy
Listening to: "The Rescue Blues" by Ryan Adams
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