Category Archives: Painting

Baron Von Münchhausen

Baron Von Münchhausen

Summary: A late night internet expedition leads to Doré, Terri Gilliam, absurd romanticism, and results in an illustration of Baron Von Münchhausen.  

It was a dark and stormy night.

Well, it was dark at least, and I was doing some late night internet ramblings into The Public Domain Review website which a friend had turned me on to. The website is really fun to dig through! I highly encourage exploring it for yourself. I had come across an article titled “Picturing Don Quixote” with luscious illustrations by Gustave Doré. Now, I didn’t know that he’d done illustrations for Don Quixote, but like everything else he’s seemingly done, they were gorgeous.

Gustave Doré’s depiction of Don Quixote amid his fantasies of chilvaric romance, the frontispiece to the 1863 Paris Hachette edition.

In the way that one things leads to another, I began thinking about Terri Gilliam’s film about Don Quixote, and that then lead to thoughts of his film about Baron Von Münchhausen. Seemingly these two characters are cut from the same cloth.

There is something that is really appealing about the absurdity of their unfettered romanticism in the face of the wide world. It is quintessentially Gilliamesque.

Once the idea of the Baron occurred to me and I realized that these are public domain stories, I began to do some internet research with half a mind towards a new project. I discovered that the original stories are based on a real guy, and that there is a museum that is dedicated to the Baron in Latvia. There have been many incarnations of these stories. I love that the Baron, and the situations that he finds himself in, became wilder with each version.

Days later, as I was listening to an audio book reading of the original stories, I drew this picture of the Baron riding a cannon ball. This seems to be a favorite scene for illustrators as there are many versions of it out there. Shamelessly I worked from an old photo that was for a movie poster and created this scene.

Initial sketch of Baron Von Münchhausen. Pencil and watercolor.

 

Shortly there after, an invitation arrived to participate in an art show called 100.100.100, hosted by The Sketchbook Gallery in San Francisco. The only requirement was that the image needed to be 10×10″. Going back to my sketchbook, I bagan reworking this image.

Colored pencil development sketch.
Final line drawing on vellum.

Sure, I’m no Gustav Doré, but I do like to have some fun from time to time!

One more note for you lovers of illustration out there, check out the moon that I borrowed from George Herriman. There are a bunch of little details, the shoe, the turning edge of gold on the glove, the gang of three at the cannon, etc, that I really enjoyed putting into this piece. This won’t be the last we hear of good old Baron Von Münchhausen!

Thank you for reading. As ever, I respond well to enthusiasm, feel free to leave a comment here, share this with your friends, and follow me on the Insta-tweet-a-books.

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The Devil Gets His Brew

The Devil Gets His Brew

Summary: A brief discussion of diabolical draftsmanship and details discovered during the creation of this devilish illustration.  Ok, truth time. I listen to the Grateful Dead… a lot. I know a lot of you might be stunned, but I feel like I just need to come clean on this one. Anyway… this project starts with the Grateful Dead song, “FriendContinue Reading

Sherlock Holmes Character Study and a Video

Sherlock Holmes Character Study and a Video

Summary: I Share a character study and a video of my watercolor painting. Happy New Year! A few of you may have seen via my Instagram or Twitter feed that I was developing a character study for my Sherlock Holmes character. For those who were paying particular attention, you would have noticed that I did it twice! TheContinue Reading

Sleepy San Francisco Squirrel

Sleepy San Francisco Squirrel

Summary: An illustration based on a recent trip to my old stomping grounds, San Francisco. The illustration MFA program that I am enrolled in is great and has us traveling around the country for different contact periods throughout the year. We meet three times a year, spring and fall, and we always go to Hartford Univeristy in Connecticut inContinue Reading

Drawing to a Beautiful Conclusion

Summary: In the previous post I talked about the beginnings and the initial thoughts and concepts behind this illustration. We left off in that post at the first round of thumbnails. This post will follow up by talking about revisions, rough comps, and the resulting phases of this process, ending with the exciting final product!Continue Reading

Watercolor Process