Court Jones Blog
Front Page, Baby! 
Friday, January 14, 2011, 03:12 PM - Caricatures
Posted by Administrator
Here's my latest illo for the San Diego Union Tribune's Night and Day section, weekend edition. This time, the editors added a small version of my work in the masthead of A1. That's top o' the front page, to you and me.




Here's the paper out in the newsstands today:




And here's the full illustration on the cover of the Night and Day section:




And here's the original image. I drew and painted this entirely in Photoshop from start to finish, because I thought all the different elements in the composition would be a little too much to tackle in oils. JLo's face gave me the most trouble. She looks so different in every photo. I tried several versions of her, working from different photos and expressions until I finally arrived at this one, which I'm really happy with.




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A New Caricature Portrait Commission in Oil 
Friday, January 07, 2011, 05:15 PM - Caricatures
Posted by Administrator
I just delivered a double portrait today to a colleague who commissioned me to caricature and paint him and his wife as a surprise gift to her. Some of you may know Dan M. from ISCA. He and his wife are a delightful couple who live in Southern California. I had lunch with them and spent the day hanging out at their ranch as I stealthfully took photo references of her (and him). In the end, we decided to use their wedding photo taken in a studio. The soft lighting presented some challenges. Modeling the forms required using a more narrow range of values than I usually like to work within. There were no strong shadows to fall back on to make them look three-dimensional. Just subtle half-tones. But I am very happy with how it turned out.

This was painted in oil on a 24 x 30 inch Claessens double oil-primed linen canvas.






And some details.








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Pre Nol 
Tuesday, December 21, 2010, 09:14 PM - Portraits
Posted by Administrator
I just finished yet another semester at the Watts Atelier. I only took one class this time around-a long portrait painting class. We had the model for three class sessions each, or about 9 hours. The last model we had was Fred, who dressed as Father Christmas for us.

This is on a Claessens linen mounted on a 14 x 18 inch panel




During the final class, I took the last 60 minutes of pose to do a small gestural study from another position. This next one is on a gessoed hardboard panel. 8 x 10 inches



As usual, I think I like my quick study more. Most people usually say they like my quicker studies more than my finished portraits as well. One of the most difficult things for me when doing a longer pose, or more formal portrait is to preserve the spontaneity and gestural strokes. The thing is...spontaneity is great. But it can often result in distortions and inaccuracies. The drawing of the features on this 60 minute Santa is a bit off in places. That's why your skills have to be up to snuff if you want to be a really good alla prima portrait (or any kind of) painter. You need to have a lot of training under your belt and must rely on your fundamental drawing skills to work quickly and accurately. And I'm definitely not always happy with my gestural work. But I am pretty happy with how this little painting turned out, despite the flaws here and there.

Here's a detailed closeup to get a better sense of how I handled the forms with the brush.



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"The Fighter" for the San Diego Union-Tribune 
Thursday, December 16, 2010, 04:12 PM - Paintings
Posted by Administrator
Last Sunday I painted a piece for the cover of the "Night & Day" magazine, which is a weekly supplemental to the San Diego Union Tribune. It hit newsstands today, so pick up a free copy while you still can. It's not the version that comes inside the U.T. but is distributed independently, usually right next to the U.T. on the stands.





They wanted a gritty-looking caricature painting showing the two main actors from The Fighter, Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale (who lost a lot of weight and voluntarily receeded his hairline for the part).

Below, you can see what the original image looks like. The "Night & Day" is printed on newsprint, so it looks significantly different. But at least it's in color. Not like in ye olde dayes.

I really wanted to do this one in oils, instead of digitally. I have come to rely too much on digital painting in recent years for my commercial work, and while it is just another art medium, it's not quite as rewarding as painting it with more traditional materials. It is more difficult to work with than Photoshop, of course. And it is not easy to get certain effects like you can digitally. But it does promote a more disciplined approach which requires more focused concentration and patience.

I designed and sketched this out earlier in the week. But because of my busy schedule doing holiday commissions for people and live gigs last week, I only had a 24 hour period to complete the actual painting. The original is on a 20 x 20 inch masonite board, triple gessoed using a paint roller (Note: This was my first time applying gesso with a house painting roller, but I really really liked the smooth but textured surface it gave me. It acted like a canvas grain and helped pull my paint off the brush.)




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Anatomy Seminar Slides 
Wednesday, November 24, 2010, 09:07 PM - Anatomy
Posted by Administrator
For those of you who attended my seminar on facial anatomy at the recent ISCA Convention in Las Vegas (see previous post), you may remember I said I would upload some of the diagrams and charts to my blog. So here they are, and hopefully you will find them a helpful addendum to whatever notes or sketches you may have made. For those of you who missed it, enjoy some out-of-context facial anatomy information. :)

I occasionally teach a ten week course in facial anatomy and expressions at the Watts Atelier. This information is from the part of the class focusing on the expression of "Happiness" or the basic true smile (as opposed to a fake forced smile, of course). There are six more expressions I cover in the class. Explaining the inner workings of this single expression is a bit much for a blog post. But if you read over this information carefully, you should actually be able to get a fundamental understanding of what happens under the skin when we smile. And hopefully you can apply that to your live drawings and paintings, be they portrait or caricature.








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