Well, I'm back in Chicago, and I am now in need of a vacation from my vacation! My wife Kat, and two girls Isabeau and Ava and I spent a week in Bushnell IL, relaxing, watching a ton of The Backyardigans, Dora the Explorer, and The Wonder Pets. At night my wife and I made popcorn and watched episodes of C.S.I., it was a nice time. I tried to get out a bit to do some painting and drawing. Since I just finished my book and have a lot more new pieces to introduce to my portfolio, I decided that I wanted to give caricature a break for a bit while on vacation. So I thought it would be fun to do some oil sketches, pen and pencil sketches, just drawing my surroundings a bit. Well, it so happens that bugs have evolved a tolerance of sorts for bug spray, at least in Bushnell . . . it was hopeless, I spent about two hours one night painting a plein air, or at least trying to, I was eaten alive by nazi gnats, flies, and mosquitoes. They were crawling up my back, flying into my nose, mouth, and eyes . . . . bedding down in my ears. I was going MAD-CRAZY. To my left there was a herd of cows that were literally puking and pooping the entire time. It was lovely. I didn't have much time for drawing and painting as I wanted to play with the kids as much as possible, but the times I squeezed in were discouraging. Because of the bugs, it was hard to find inspiration to paint and draw outdoors. I found myself locked in a screened in patio painting and sketching whatever was around. The plein air above was done in about 30 minutes, painted during a thunderstorm. It's oil on a 4"x8" panel, using a "zorn" palette. My goal was to capture this little scene with as little brush strokes as possible.
These are quick little thumbnails that I did in prep for paintings that I thought about doing.
The top sketch of a trailer was done while sitting in a van in the middle of the woods. I first sat on the ground and was soon eaten alive by zombieBUGS . . . . frustrated again, I drove into the woods with my van to sketch the trailer.
Locked within the enclosed patio and having the itch to sketch I decided to sketch the wood fencing on the porch. Exciting eh?
These sketches were again done while sitting in a "bug-free" van . . . I would drive around in the country and find old trailers and shacks and just sketch. All done very quickly, and very loose.
Being that this was really the only view from within the screened in porch, I did a quick digital plein air, painting by gut, no real palette in mind, just grabbing color and painting. This was done in about 10 to 15 minutes!