Sunday, January 27, 2008


It's amazing what you can do when you have two bags of plastic soldiers, a heat gun, and way too much time on your hands. I guess it's not unlike chasing ants with a magnifying glass, except in this case the targets are stationary and they're not alive. Actually, you could say I breathed life into them with the help of a heat gun and lots of paint.

Why a heat gun, you ask? Well, it eliminates the need for glue and also allows you to mold the little plastic guys somewhat. You do have to be careful not to singe them though, unless of course you want them singed.

There's a lot more to this project than just melting a bunch of soldiers together, of course. In fact what I've created here is a veritable blood bath of toy soldiers! But it's not just about gore, it's actually more to do with a certain president's oil war.

Oil Bowl

There's not enough oil in the world to cover the blood that's been shed as a result of greed and deceit.

So this isn't just a sculpture. It's a statement.

Height: 4"
Diameter: 7"
Circumference at top: 25"

Additionally, the pedestal is made of five soldiers that are down on one knee, in a slightly off kilter star formation,
aiming their rifles outward. The whole piece is melted together, one soldier at a time. I then primed it with gesso and applied numerous layers of paint by letting it run down from the rim via a sponge brush. I started with a few coats of a couple of blood reds, followed by several coats of black. The paints I used have a glossy finish, so that is what you are seeing there. I have not varnished the piece or otherwise finished it.

This sculpture is quite sturdy, but it should be treated as a
sculpture and not a receptacle.

*All images can be clicked to be viewed at a larger size.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I finished up this painting that's been fighting me for over a week! It has evolved somewhat beyond what I'd originally planned, but then what I'd originally planned didn't work out quite how I wanted it to and got acetone poured on it and was scrubbed off and painted over. So maybe this is better. In some ways it's not, but you don't know the difference. I mean, some of the crucial contours were lost in translation, between the original pencil sketch and the application of many layers of paint.

See! It just looks a bit outta whack to me, which could possibly be due in part to the fact that I spent the good part of a day just to get the flow of the blood just right. And I did have it just right in the original sketch! So hopefully I made up in character and texture for what I lost in form.

(That's before it was quite finished.)

This one's painted on an 8 x 10" piece of mat board, but the image takes up about 5 x 7". I painted the whole board though, so it can be framed in an 8 X 10" frame. It just felt like it needed space.

The finished pic above is a scan, so it doesn't quite capture all the detail. This piece is very textural and there's a lot of contrast between the textures. There are areas of impasto and some areas that are just washes. I'm really quite pleased with the fact that I got the opacity of the blood right the first try! Now why couldn't the rest of it have gone that way...

Monday, January 14, 2008


I'm sure you were wondering if that title was inspired by the novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, upon which the movie Bladerunner was based. The answer would be yes! In fact it could be an answer to the question of that novel's title. Certainly it is the title of the painting that I finished this evening.

Once again, this painting was done over two days, though this one wasn't quite as time consuming. Last night I built up the washes that make the background. Layers of blue, blue green, blue black, and maybe even a rubbing of some black. When I was happy I'd applied enough washes, I set it aside to dry over night and put my tired eyes to bed.

When I got up this morning, bright eyed and bushy tailed, I immediately picked up my miniature canvas and proceeded to plot out the subject on it. I knew what it was going to be and how it would be placed, I just didn't know how much of the figure it would involve to achieve what I wanted. So that took some fiddling and I actually ended up allowing the figure to take up more of the space than I'd originally envisioned.

Once I'd finally worked out the placement it was time to lay down the sketch and get out the paint brushes. The paintjob on this one is thankfully a lot simpler than my last painting. Yes, I said I probably wouldn't be attempting to paint metal again any time soon, but that was before I accidentally discovered that when water is applied to the metallic pen I used to outline the figure it turns to a wash! Who knew!? So this opened up all sorts of possibilities.

Now armed with this new secret knowledge, I was prepared for what would've been the daunting task of rendering the metal surfaces of this melancholy being. I was even able to acheive some subtle blending of a couple of metallic inks to add some slight hints of dimension. And now I get to share with you the results of this awesome discovery!


Unfortunately I had to resort to using a webcam pic for this post, but I will scan the painting in the morning and hope to god it comes out much clearer, as this picture just doesn't quite capture it. Oh and the type at the bottom isn't actually on the painting. Once I'd photographed it and colour matched it as closely as possible, I noticed that I'd not signed the painting yet, so I decided to just add a text layer to it, rather than wrestle the webcam again.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Air Head

Guess who was up until the crack of dawn finishing a new painting!? I was too tired to post anything by the time I was finished with it, but now I have a scan of it so you can see it a little better than if I'd used my webcam. Because the painting is glossy there are some reflections that interfere with the appearance a bit, but overall you can get an idea of the colour scheme and the subtle shadings.

This is another ACEO painted on a playing card, so it is 2 1/2 x 3 1/2". I'd have never thought I would be able to paint in such a small space, but as it turns out I've been enjoying the challenge of trying to get as much detail into these little guys as possible. I may need a new set of eyes a lot sooner or at least a new 5/0 round brush. (That would be a brush that's about the size of a tooth pick.)

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

First Venture Into ACEO.

I'd heard about ACEOs in my quest for Art on eBay and didn't think much of it at first. Then I realized I was seeing listings for them everywhere and figured I should look into it. This resulted in my starting to collect these miniature works of art.

I found that I enjoyed the little gems so much that maybe I'd even try it myself some time. It would be a new challenge for me, as I prefer to work in a much larger scale, but it seemed doable. I just had no idea how much so until I attempted my first ACEO - a self portrait.

To me this isn't just any self portrait. Aside from it being a miniature, it is painted and in full colour, where I'd only ever done self portraits in pencil or monochromatic marker, so I wasn't even sure I could actually do it. Nonetheless, I got out my stack of playing cards, a pencil, gesso, and acrylic paints and just went for it!

(Obviously this is an enlargement, as ACEOs are 2 1/2 by 3 1/2".)

I think it came out ok. I've provided the large version to show some of the detail better, as this painting is posted on eBay, along with my other ACEOs.

You can view the listing for this painting by clicking the above image and from there you'll be able to link to my others.

THANKS so much for looking!