Wednesday, January 27, 2010

DrawingFlies 52_05 Flashback PT Nymph

Drawing Flies 52_05 Flashback PT Nymph-Watercolor and Gouache in Moleskine sketchbook.

Original status: Available. Contact me for information.

Swing by Jason's blog to check out his rendition of the of the Flashback PT Nymph!

Tech Info- I have to admit that I really struggled with this one. I barely made it within the time limit. I was shooting for a dramatically top lit image of the fly. I am not thrilled with the composition, it is off balance. I also used small brushes instead of my larger ones. Using larger brushes forces me to loosen up and avoid getting to detail oriented too quick. I was too tight too quick and it was a time eater. It was just an off day and I struggled with the small size. There is always next week. I also feel the need to mix it up and try a different style. We will see what happens as next week comes around. As an experiment, I may try to rescue this image and will repost the results.

Update 1: Seems like Jason was feeling the same about his fly. Although I disagree. I like the simple straightforward and color qualities of his image. Just like the pattern itself. I also dig the colors and the fact that this fly looks like it can go zero to sixty in .09876 seconds!

Up for next week will be the Muddler Minnow.

Below are the three minute warm up sketches I did before I started painting.

Final shot from the drawing board.

8 New Limited Editions Prints

Stop on over to to check out the 8 new Limited edition prints Also check out the 90 prints in 90 seconds ArtCreel promotional below.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

TU Demo

I was invited by the Gary Borger Chapter of Trout Unlimited to talk about my new book and to give a painting demonstration. It is always a fun challenge to work on a painting in front of a group of individuals. There were many questions and we ended up with a decent painting at the end of the demo. I decided to do a generic hackle tip wing dry fly. The finish painting was donated to the chapter for their annual auction which raises funds for their many conservation efforts. Thanks to all who attended and to my buddy Corey for taking the great pictures.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Drawing Flies 52_04 Boss

Drawing Flies 52_04 Boss-Gouache on chipboard

Original status: Available. Contact me for information.

Swing by Jason's blog to check out his rendition of the of the Boss!

Tech Info- My original intent was to quickly sketch out the shape of the fly on some chip board, then come back and paint it with gouache. Typically I will do some quick sketches to loosen up and warm up. Instead I spattered some gouache on a piece of chip board grabbed a brush and just started painting. No pencils lines just a piece of board with some odd spatters on it. I started by applying dark gray qouache to block out the form. To get the gray I mixed a bit of black into white gouache. Next came the whites and blacks to make the form come to life. Added the Orange schlappen collar and a few tweaks to the bead chain eyes and tinsel to make it read.

Update 1: Awesome approach to Jason's Boss. Waiting to hear what happened to his scan.

Update 2: The fly for next week will be a Flashback Pheasant Tail nymph.

Below is a closeup so you can see the brush strokes. Look's much better from a distance!

The boss is a traditional West coast steelhead pattern that comes in many forms and colors. I landed my first West coast steelhead on this orange and black Boss. This was an extremely effective pattern during our Idaho steelhead trip.

Below is a picture of an orange and black Boss firmly planted in the maw of this beauty my buddy Corey landed. The boss was extracted and this magnificent fish was sent on her way so that she could continue on her journey and attempt to complete the task her biology was begging her to do.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Drawing Flies 52 03_Tarpon Fly

DF52 03_Tarpon Fly - Watercolor, gouache and graphite pencil 5" x 8".

Original status: Available. Contact me for information.

Swing by Jason's blog to check out his rendition of the of the Tarpon Fly!

Tech Info- I started this one by sketching in my Moleskine sketchbook with my favorite 6B graphite pencil. To get the saltwater feel, I used a blue green mixture for the background water color. A very "Miami" color in my mind. This image took 24 minutes and 32 seconds to complete. Quick and simple fly that has a fun and dynamic shape to it.

Above is quick graphite sketch I did on a piece of bond paper. I do a number of these sketches before starting so I can get a feel for the proportions and shape. I humped the wing a bit to give it a more dynamic and flowing shape. I felt the image would needed some more dark shapes to liven it up a bit. To achieve this, I added the grizzly pattern to the wing.

Update 1: Jason's version with ink and wash is outstanding! This is one of my favorite illustration styles. I have a love of the line and then when you add a wash good things always happen.

Jason, how about a bit of chrome action for this next one? Let's try one that I had good luck with out in Idaho. Let's try a BOSS.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Drawing Flies 52 02_Humpy

DF52 02_Humpy - Watercolor, gouache and graphite
pencil 5" x 8".

Original status: Available. Contact me for information.

Swing by Jason's blog to check out his rendition of the Humpy!

Tech Info- I started out sketching this one in my Moleskine sketchbook with my trusty 6B graphite pencil. I like to quickly block out the proportions and shapes with my pencil first. I do not get into too much detail at this stage, just some quick lines. I prefer to have the freedom to adjust my shapes when I start using my brush to lay in color and volume. After the pencil work is done, I throw down some quick washes to define the shape with watercolor. I use the biggest brush I can so that I deal with broad interesting shapes without any detail. I then start to add some qouache to help define the forms. These typically are the darks and shadows. At this stage the image basically looks like a fly in a dark room. Next comes the punch and sparkle, the highlights. During the entire process I always step back and take a look at the image. I also squint at the image to block out the details so I get a better view of the shapes and values. I adjust the image as necessary and call it done. I try to stop early enough so that I do not go back in and fiddle and overwork the painting. This image took 23 minutes and 10 seconds to complete.

The Humpy has a long and storied past. This article is an interesting read on the history. One of the activities I really enjoy to do along with painting and drawing flies is researching their history. I have discovered many a debate on the origin of certain flies. The other joy is discovering the numerous variations that have been created from various flies.

I am sure that Jason has more information on the history of the Humpy.

Above is an image of the finished product on my drawing board. You can see my old analog stop watch on the top left hand corner. I will try to post some in process images on future flies so that you can see the image as it progresses.

Update 1: Check out the simplicity of lines that Jason used to that create a beautiful fly shape with charcoal. Sweet work Jason! I really dig the initial sketches Jason did before diving into his illustration. Using Charcoal is just like riding a bike!

Stu Apt Tarpon is fly is up next for numero threeo.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Mickey Finn-01

Mickey Finn 01 - 12" x 10" - Gouache on black Canson paper. This is the first in the "Drawing Flies 52" weekly collaboration series with Jason Borger at Fish Flies and Water (FF&W) .

The one rule we have is that the image must be completed in 30 minutes or less. I was not sure if I could do this style of image in under 30 minutes. That became the challenge for me. I grabbed my sheet of black paper, stared at it for a moment, took a deep breath and clicked my stopwatch. I quickly prioritized the order of what needed to be painted first. Tinsel body and hook, glance at the stopwatch, then drop in the head while the body was drying, glance at the stopwatch, paint the yellow bucktail winging then let that dry, glance at the stopwatch... I think you get the idea. I completed the image in 25 minutes and 23 seconds. I knew in my mind that in order to pull this image off, I had to use a minimal number of brush strokes and had to strategically paint in a specific order so that the paint would have a chance to dry. Working on a plain colored background help reduce the time so I could concentrate on rendering the fly.

Be sure to stop by Jason's blog to check out his rendition of the Mickey Finn. I am sure that you will not be disappointed with his artistry! I really like the flowing, dynamic lines of Jason's rendition of the Finn. It takes a gifted hand to get such a great look in under 30 minutes.

Jason and I will have the next fly in the series posted on Thursday. I am going to go out on a limb and throw down our next fly, the humpy.