Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Medieval Knight and his Buddy, revisited

 Stealing Eggs. Mixed media on board, 5" x 7". Private collection.
Not sure from where the actual idea for this painting came, but I definitely know the inspiration, which I'll talk about below. 

But the process?
For me, the picture often simply develops as I'm drawing it on the final surface.  Nowadays composition seems to come more easily, and so the picture simply emerges simultaneously along with the idea.

 My sketchbook is full of faces and figures, so when I begin a painting, it's not like I have to have a resource. My head is already full of little guys, and my hand is so used to drawing them that they sort of fall out of my pencil onto the paper.
This guy's cuirass came from a demo I painted for my students as I was teaching a layering technique. I saved that pic, and it came in handy!

 I've always loved the bird and the knight's faces, looking guiltily in opposite directions as they check to see if they've been followed after pilfering the bucket of eggs.

I've been inspired by W. Heath Robinson since my college-days. During my time in art school, a fusty old bookstore was a favorite haunt. 
One day I unearthed this book from the depths of a barrister's bookcase in the store.  I replaced it, making sure it was hidden from another potential buyer. It took me awhile to scrape up the cash, but I managed, and bought it a few months later--not one regret! 

The closest date of publication I can find is 1908.
It is filled with Robinson's goofy color plates and margin drawings--remarkable masterpieces that make my drawing-fingers itch every time I leaf through the pages (which are so old that the edges are crumbling).

I've had plenty of times of buyer's remorse, but never when it's come to building up my cache of inspiration-resources.

Thanks, as always, for visiting!

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