I'm currently taking a little break learning to paint properly, so there's not much doing at Pin-Up Towers at the moment. Keep 'em peeled for a new, improved batch of daft pictures in the new year.
Some vets just know how to take good care of animals - like the lovely Lena Mae, a dab hand with that emergency nail polish. This was a fun little collaboration with another burlesque starlet following on my 'odd jobs' theme.
On the technical side, I was using a half oil medium (damar resin and linseed oil) which makes the paint flow better and gives a nice glassy surface. Had some trouble with the squirrel monkey though - pretty difficult finding the right colours there.
The London Rockin' Rollers - These lovely ladies were kind enough to sit for me in exchange for possibly using this image for their promotional material. It's my first multi figure arrangement and was about as tricky as I was expecting - although was finished in a little less time than three separate pictures... The girls all sat individually (in their skating gear), and I put the finished piece together according to an initial thumbnail sketch they had agreed on earlier. Good fun.
- p.s If you've never seen Roller Derby, get yourself along to a bout - it rocks!
Finally! An end to my months of struggling - I have prints of my work! Six months ago I would never have believed taking a photo of some artwork and getting it printed so that it matched the original was going to be anywhere near as difficult as it's turned out to be. Lots of experimenting, lots of reading and some sound advice has resulted in my first set of beautiful, exceptionally high quality fine art prints. It's the last piece in the puzzle of being able to offer work for sale at a reasonable price. Now it's back to the easel to actually have something worth selling...
Hardly Davidson Unicycles unused promo image - ok, maybe not. Things have been a bit quiet on the easel lately while I struggle with digital colour issues, so I used an old life drawing to pay homage to the classic 'girl on a bike' image. Considering I had no colour reference at all I don't think it's that bad - a bit uniform across the skin tones maybe and the face isn't as strong as I would have liked but I think my beefed up unicycle is fab!
The profession of 'Giant Monster' fell neatly in the lap of the lovely Agent Lynch - 60's aficionado and natural B-movie starlet. Borrowing heavily on influences from 'Attack of the 50ft Woman' with a dash of 'King Kong', this one was a lot of fun to do. Another successful sitting, this unfortunately descended into a nightmare of re-working and fixing. A second sitting and a new set of reference photos were necessary to get a better likeness and there's been a fair amount of re-painting to sort out various problems. The building on the right (supposedly the Empire State Building) was always meant to look like a prop, but painting something that looks fake just looks - well, fake! So it's been tricky, but I don't think I can do much more to it, one thing that will definitely sell this is some lurid B-Movie typography splashed across the image. Final verdict - hmm.. fun, but didn't turn out as well as hoped.
Next up was the first of my 'When I grow up a want to be a....' series, featuring pinups acting out the whims of their inner child (actually some of the 'professions' on my list of things to paint have genuinely come from small children, and are really quite wonderful). This is the thoroughly professional and jolly nice Moonie King, in full D.I.Y mermaid mode.
The sitting went really well, the sketch was accurate and the colour study was good so I didn't take photos this time. In retrospect I think I should have taken some though, despite there being some nice painting going on here it's not a brilliant likeness which is a shame because the image feels quite personal. Perhaps if I'd made the pose a bit more dynamic and cheeky it wouldn't have mattered. Still, these are the lessons I'm out to learn so it's all helpful in the long run. The verdict on this one - another smiley face :)
Here's the first of my little flurry of pinups that I pushed through at the end of the year - Stella Goes Sailing. Featuring my muse and dear chum, the infamous Stella Plumes. The outfit was her choice and lent itself beautifully to a bit of classic Vargas-esque white on white. The simplicity of the design is lovely and definitely something I'll be pursuing I think. We had a nightmare at the sitting trying to get her face looking right in the sketches but it just wasn't happening so photos were taken for later study. Just as well really, the final painting is actually a pretty good likeness. Verdict: Happy :)