Court Jones Blog
A new illustration for The Night and Day 
Friday, February 25, 2011, 07:11 PM - Paintings
Posted by Administrator
The San Diego Union Tribune had me do a new illustration for their story on Oscar picks. I did this one in oils on gessoed panel. And before beginning, I decided to try to change up my illustration style a little bit. I wanted to simplify the process and use clean but painterly strokes. Dan Adel was my source of inspiration here, both compositionally and stylistically.

The painting shows Colin Firth from The King's Speech and Natalie Portman from Black Swan. Natalie's likeness was elusive. And when I finally got a sketch I liked, I found that once the Swan makeup is on her, it really camouflages her likeness anyway. And there didn't seem to be any way around it. If you look at the original Black Swan movie poster, it's pretty much impossible to tell who she is even in that. And that is a photo! So I thought I'd have a little fun with her and give her the crazy eyes from the end of the movie.

I don't know if I'll continue to paint in this simplified manner. But it is always a good exercise to experiment with your technique to try and figure out what works for you and what doesn't.







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A new commission is well received! 
Thursday, February 24, 2011, 01:11 AM - Caricatures
Posted by Administrator
Recently, I received a commission to paint a fast alla prima style caricature portrait for a young man in the Netherlands named Bowie. He just received the original in the mail and sent me this really nice video thank you card.





And here is my photo of the painting. I did this one without much of a pre-drawing. Just a quick sketch on paper, and I used that as a guide to paint the 12 x 16 inch gessoed panel.



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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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