Court Jones Blog
Breaking in a new canvas 
Wednesday, September 07, 2011, 09:40 AM - Paintings
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I've been using Claessen's Belgian oil primed linen for my fine art work for the past few years. It's the canvas of choice of many artists I admire like Jeremy Lipking and Morgan Weistling. And it is pretty great to paint on. But it's really tough to stretch since it's so rigid, and for some reason, it doesn't like to adhere to hardboards very well with any type of glue that I've tried. It either bubbles up in places, or the edges peel away. So I decided to try something new.

I ordered a small sample of Raphael oil primed linen and did this little oil sketch below to take it for a test drive. I immediately noticed it's more slick than the Claessen's. Paint doesn't stick to it as well, initially. But that actually can be a bonus, when you begin a painting; a little goes a long way. You can easily spread color around and block in the big shapes quickly, without much resistance. But then, more effort is required to get thicker paint to stay in place as you go along. Needless to say, my soft Langnickle sable brushes were my primary tools. I used some stiff bristle brushes at the end to lay down the thickest areas. But I couldn't use the bristles very much, because they ended up removing more paint than they laid down on that slick surface.

This Raphael canvas adheres really well to boards, and it is more flexible and easier to stretch than the Claessen's. So I went ahead and ordered the whole role of Raphael. And there's a lot of it, so I'll be using it for quite a while. And I do like the finished look of the surface--the way the paint interacts with this linen's weave.

This 8 x 10" study was done from a book of Steve McCurry portrait photos.


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Walken a thin line. 
Monday, August 29, 2011, 04:18 PM - Caricatures
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I apologize for the lack of posts this summer. I promise to be better about posting new stuff!

This is a small oil painting I just finished for this week's Caricaturama Showdown competition on Facebook. The subject was Christopher Walken. He has always been one of my favorite faces to draw. And whenever I attempt another Walken caricature, I try a different spin to try to find the definitive likeness. I don't think I"m quite there yet. But this was a very fun one to paint because I was pretending I was Velasquez or Rembrandt in the overall look and atmosphere. So I changed the background and clothing from the original photo to create a more timeless portrait.

His face torments and haunts me in my dreams. So he is Walken, the tormentor.

Oil on Claessens linen, 16 x 20"



And a detail shot


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Annual Show of the San Diego Portrait Society 
Sunday, May 22, 2011, 02:24 PM - Portraits
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Yesterday was the reception for the annual all-member show for the San Diego Portrait Society. And I am very pleased to announce that my two paintings "Train of Thought" and "Don" won awards,

My 12 x 16" painting of my late friend Don Flaws won First Place Honorable Mention.







And my 24 x 30" painting entitled "Train of Thought" won Best of Show for this year.





And a detail:





This is a great honor for me as it is a show with a lot of other really strong and well-executed paintings. If you are in San Diego, you can still see the show until May 29. The gallery hours for the Poway Center for the Performing Arts are Tuesday through Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm and Saturdays from 11:00am to 3:00pm or during regularly scheduled performances at the theater (www.powayarts.org).

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A couple new still life paintings 
Friday, March 18, 2011, 07:44 PM - Other Fine Art
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I did a couple new small still life studies this week. One of these days I may actually start to put the flowers IN the vases.

Oil on panel (9 x 12")


Oil on canvas panel (8 x 10")

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A new illustration for The Night and Day 
Friday, February 25, 2011, 07:11 PM - Paintings
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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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