Lionfish Shampoo

Lionfishshampoo_PaigeCarpenter My entry for James Gurney's contest:

"How would an Art Nouveau designer (such as Alphonse Mucha or Henri Privat-Livemont) design a label for an imaginary product called "Lionfish Shampoo?" If you're not familiar with it, the lionfish is a remarkable looking (but dangerous) real fish, but you can take it in whatever direction you would like."

I discovered two things while designing this:

1) I love Alphonse Mucha's art.

2) Old-timey advertisements are so much cooler than their modern descendants.

IMC 2013 - Day Three

Today I began by obsessing over bones and muscles. I want my painting to have a very Classical/Grecian statue mood. Florence_statue_hercules_killing_the_centaur

(Update: a reader has informed me that this is a statue of Hercules fighting Nessus, sculpted by Giambologna.)  I found this amazing statue in one of my Google searches, but I can't find the name of the artist. This is Hercules fighting a centaur. I love that hand pressing against Hercules' chest. I want to use that hand.

So I went back to my reference photos and began piecing together arms and legs and torsos.


At this point Donato told me to stop obsessing over musculature and concentrate on the faces, since the faces are the most important thing-- that's where the viewer's eye will linger, and the emotion on the faces is what will make the painting.

So I went and drew emotive faces.


James Gurney came today to give a lecture. He walked around the studios and stopped to talk with me for a while. He said he loved those heads!

Several other people thought that these faces weren't expressive enough, so I turned on Youtube and got Tom Hiddleston's face and drew sad Loki and screaming Loki. That ought to be emotive enough.

In the end, I decided I really like that second pair of Thor and Loki heads. Those are the faces I'm going with. This is a moment of calm in the midst of the battle, when Thor has to decide if he really has the strength of will to bring that hammer down on Loki.

Plein-Air Painting

I haven't done any plein-air painting since my sophomore year in college.  I enrolled in a Painting 101 class that promised to teach oils, acrylics, and watercolors.  Unfortunately, I went to class hoping to learn the techniques of the Old Masters, and the professor had other ideas.   I wanted to paint like Vigée Le Brun, my teacher wanted me to paint like Edvard Munch. Our class did one plein-air painting session during the middle of summer, in a particularly ugly area of the campus.  (My teacher's theory was the uglier, the better.)  I was hot, irritated, and ants crawled all over my canvas.

This month, I've started working through James Gurney's Color and Light,and I'm giving plein-air painting another try.


First effort.  Sunshine.  This golden tree looked brilliant against the blue sky.  It's unusual for any trees to change colors in autumn/winter in Florida, so this tree really stood out.

IMC Day 5

Today James Gurney gave two lectures on Composition & Worldbuilding, and Color & Light.  (He signed my copy of Dinotopia!) Then he and Dan Dos Santos gave a painting demonstration with a live model:

Same subject, very different styles and colors.

And Donato Giancola worked on his painting of Gandalf and Frodo at Bag End:

I started painting Spring vs Winter. The value studies turned out to be very helpful, but since I'm not used to translating black and white to color, I've been using the black/white filter on my camera to check my references and my painting, making sure that things are dark or bright enough.

Skulls! I've never painted them before.