Monday, November 11, 2013

A Victorian Collector
Entomologist (detail), mixed media on panel.

Clothing of the past, especially that of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, has compelled me since childhood--primarily because of my exposure to the Victorian illustrators of Dickens' works.

Captain Cuttle tries to escape Mrs. Mac Stinger in this illustration by Phiz (Hablot Knight Browne)
from Dombey and Son, by Charles Dickens.

 Most are engravings after the drawings, and all are in black and white, but the energy and atmosphere of them blows me away.

This old photo of a Victorian worker in sack coat and vest is one of the resources I used for the Entomologist's vest...

...but my drawings seldom bear much resemblance to the resource.

Entomologist. Mixed media on panel, 4" x 4". Private collection.

I'm working on a series of small works for an upcoming show, and have been trying my hand at new (for me) spins on familiar techniques.

For this painting, I used a warm mixture of sepia and india inks over a pencil drawing. A warm wash of raw umber followed, and then watercolor and acrylic ink colors came next. When the figures were done, I masked them with paper and spattered the piece using an atomizer. White gouache and a bit of white gesso provided the highlights. I sealed the painting with UV-blocking gloss varnish. It'll be mounted on wood and varnished one more time before the show.

Feel free to check out my Victorian/Edwardian resource board on Pinterest and
Thanks for checking out this post!



  1. Wow, Tom, love the image, the reference, and the breakdown of technique - always a wonderful insight, makes me think of new ways to tackle images, hopefully get a fresh handle on the work. Thanks tons.

    1. I'm really glad to hear that; this technique has been a very wonderful breakthrough for me--Thanks, AHA!


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