Court Jones Blog
Happy Birthday Christopher Walken! 
Saturday, March 31, 2012, 12:35 PM - Caricatures
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Today is the birthday of one of my favorite actors, and probably my favorite caricature subject. I try to capture how he can look both scary and funny at the same time. Walken became well-known, early in his career for playing bad guys or mentally unhinged types. But he has done a lot more light-hearted and comedic roles in recent years. Some of my favorite Saturday Night Live moments are from his sketches: The Continental, Colonel Angus, and Shinshi-Shinshi to name a few.

Thank you, Mr. Walken, for the years of entertainment! Also, I painted this for an upcoming art show. More on that in a couple weeks...

Oil on gessoed panel, 12 x 16 inches




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Recent Portrait Sketches 
Wednesday, March 14, 2012, 12:07 AM - Paintings
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I've been in a head painting class at the Watts Atelier taught by Stan Prokopenko and have a few oil studies to share. They are on either gessoed panel or a linen panel. Each one was done from a 3 hour sitting.










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New 'Oscars' illustration for the Union-Tribune 
Friday, February 17, 2012, 10:49 AM - Caricatures
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It's that time of year again where critics and publications are making their predictions for the Academy Awards. So the San Diego Union-Tribune once again asked me to do an Oscar-themed illustration for the cover of the Night and Day Weekend section. The composition was left up entirely to me. But unlike last year's illustration, which only showed the critic's choice for the best actor and actress, I wanted to include all of the major contenders for the Best Picture Oscar itself. And with the limited time I had to work on it, I needed a way to represent the films as a whole, in a simple way, and not make it look like I was focusing on just the actors.

In order to avoid having to draw and paint full bodies or complicated backgrounds, I came up with the picture frame idea, with Oscar himself playing the role of the critical viewer in a gallery or museum who is contemplating his choices. And each gold frame has elements which reference each nominated film in some small way. I kept the frame for "The Help" simple because it seemed appropriate that a movie about domestic workers have a less fancy frame. Still though, this illustration ended up being quite an exercise in rendering shiny gold surfaces.

And I'm so happy I finally got a chance to caricature Owen Wilson. What a weird schnoz!

This was done entirely in Photoshop.




And here's a larger version, without the copy.


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Some new oil studies 
Monday, January 23, 2012, 09:57 PM - Paintings
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I finally am back in a head painting class at the Watts Atelier. It's good to be painting from a live model again. Quick studies like this help loosen me up and keep me focused on economizing each brush stroke.



And this is a small 8 x 10 inch study of a crow from a photo I found somewhere


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Traditional Corporate Christmas Card 
Wednesday, December 14, 2011, 10:20 AM - Paintings
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Right after the Pacific Magazine cover, I began work on another traditionally wrought subject--this time for a high-end shoe manufacturer. He wanted me to create an illustration that looks like it could have been done in the 1950s or '60s, but featuring his shoe brand. We had these printed on a few hundred greeting cards and shipped out to his retailers.

Gathering the photo reference for this presented some challenges. Namely, I couldn't think of anyone to pose for me who has a real vintage look in their faces and hairstyles. It's hard to explain, but I think people just looked different back then. At least the types of people you saw in ads and movies had certain characteristic traits. So I shot photos of the models in costume, along with the props in a living room setting with consistent lighting and then found some vintage stock photography of models faces from mid-century. The faces gave me particular problems, because I had to change the lighting and angles slightly to make them seem to fit on the bodies in that scene. I ended up totally repainting the mother and father's faces once each because they didn't quite work the first time.

Also, the dog I photographed was a completely different breed. But the client really wanted a chocolate lab puppy.

This was drawn in pencil on smooth bristol and then painted in Photoshop.




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