Court Jones Blog
Shiny Things 
Monday, October 17, 2011, 08:38 PM - Paintings
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Here's a couple recent small still life studies. I love painting metallic surfaces, both shiny and patinated. And I've been wanting to start painting vintage toys for a while. The problem is, you have to find and collect them first! So here's the first one I found at Comic Con.





And a little vessel I found at a consignment shop.


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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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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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"The Fighter" for the San Diego Union-Tribune 
Thursday, December 16, 2010, 04:12 PM - Paintings
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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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Jack Black 
Wednesday, October 20, 2010, 09:12 PM - Paintings
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This Jack Black was a really fun piece to design and paint. It was done for a Facebook weekly competition called "Caricaturama Showdown 3000." I have been a huge Tenacious D fan for years (despite their small body of work). This was done in oils on a stretched linen canvas, 24 x 30 inches. Because of his rock persona, which is essentially parody of classic rock and hard metal gods, I chose to create something like you might have seen on a vintage metal album cover, ripe with demonic sexuality and a few phallic symbols here and there.

I haven't done a lot of story-based caricature illustrations. My portfolio is full of mostly portrait style head-shots. So I would love to devote more time to stuff like this, with more background and narrative involved.




And a few details...






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