Friday, July 16, 2010

The Bald Truth

Welcome to the celebration! Come on in - grab some chips! So good to see you!

The plates are over there. The drinks are in the cooler.

What's the occasion, you ask? Of course, you wouldn't know - would you? Why, this is the first time that a painting on canvas has ever been featured at Dan's Canvas!

Yeah, go figure. After many years, I picked up the acrylic paints, and a small 8" x 8" canvas, and decided not to try too hard or take it too seriously, just get my brushes wet, grab a clock as a model, and see what happens. In the process I dripped some paint on the yellow border so rather than wipe it away, I decided to put some splashes of color around the clock. Then I wiped on some titanium white to soften the border area and they smeared a bit. The result is "Confetti Clock." Appropriate for the occasion, don't you think?

I'd like to introduce you to some other folks I've invited to the party. My most eminent guest is Richard Serra. Yeah, the sculptor. You can see one of his works behind him. I was watching an art documentary and his face was so interesting that I paused the documentary, and drew him in vine charcoal. The drawing is about 7" x 10".

Then later this week I was watching a good movie but grew restless anyway. My trusty Pigma Micron is never too far away, so I grabbed an envelope and began sketching from a photo that was on the cover of a magazine while I watched. The drawing on the right is the result.

Would you like another drink? There are some hors d'oeuvres over here.

It is definitely freeing to draw on an envelope and not worry about how it's going to come out. I also knew that there would never be watercolor added to this one, so I was able to really play with hatching to get the values. There is something to be said for grabbing loose sheets of paper, envelopes, whatever, to draw on - no pressure, all joy.

Once, a very long time ago, I snapped the picture of a crowd at Disney. In the crowd was this man on the left who has a very strong face, I think. He looks to me like a hero, a 9/11 firefighter. I had read about sketching in charcoal on canvas and spraying the charcoal drawing before painting and wanted to try it. This will be painted someday, but not until I feel somewhat competent in acrylics. He's waited this long. He can wait some more.

What's that? I can't hear you. Do you want to step outside?

Man, look at that that cool shadow on the wall! Let me just quickly snap this shot for Shadow Shot Sunday. Okay. Now what is it?

Oh, you notice that all the other guests at this party are bald? No worries - it is required that you be bald to attend this party, but I have the electric razor just over here. It shouldn't take more than a minute. Come with me.

Hey where are you going? Leaving so soon?!


  1. Well, I can stay all day. Mother nature took care of my dome without any need for razors...

    So, now that you've had so much fun and created such a nice acrylic piece, do you plan to do more?

    My favorite of your drawings this week is the one on the envelop. Sweet!

    Have a great weekend,


  2. Hey- I'll shave my head to come to your party! Oh Dan! Your acrylic is fantastic! Do you really have a clock like that? My parents had one when I was growing up. I really like that you've paired your first canvas painting post with drawings of strong, determined men. Very fitting. You are on your path, you are strong and determined. I can feel it, I can see it. WOW!!

  3. What a great party and I love your acrylic! Terrific! And your drawings are marvelous! All those and a terrific shadow shot as well! Now this is what I call a very creative post! Look forward to seeing more next week, Dan! Have a wonderful weekend and a great!


  4. I enjoyed each and every one of the featured works of art in this post, Dan. Talent that spans the media! Additionally, the talent that spun the "yarn" to tie (yes, pun intended) all this together. . . brilliant!!

  5. Great party! But I must say, what's the big deal about acrylics and canvas? They are easy as pie. I love acrylics, and could stretch and prime a canvas in my sleep. Watercolor and WC paper, on the other hand, scare the beejeemers outta me!

  6. Dan,

    what a treat! I really like the clock and the fact that it is acrylics on canvas.

    My hair is very short anyway, so shaving it shouldn't take too long. You said something about beer and wine (I think); do you have the makings for a Black Russian???


  7. Dan, this is great. I love acrylics and congrats on breaking out the canvas.

    The highlight on the eyelid in the first portrait is golden, perfect - it's the zing that makes the whole thing zap. If you follow any of that.

    New posts from some recent sketching over at my (sketchwindsor) place, though it's not quite the party going on here ;-)

  8. What an incredibly entertaining post! Love the hatching on the envelope! This is fantastic. Makes me want to sketch on envelopes and napkins, and scrap paper! Beautiful clock too by the way - excellent post - I so enjoyed my visit - but I ain't shavin' my head! Outta here!

  9. I love the party and I like the guests =) They way they are featured differently, and how they appeared and all... totally entertaining there!
    Love the clock too, and congratulations with your first canvas drawing, I have yet to break that barrier, perhaps someday when I actually feel adventurous.
    The shadow shot is nice!

  10. The Serra and sculpture drawing is great. His look is interesting--and so are his words. All of these are terrific.

    My best drawings are usually on lined paper--it just feels comfortable.

  11. Hilarious post! Love how you weave canvas drawings and paintings into a shadow shot meme! Very clever! And your final shadows are interesting! While the real trees grow up, the shadows on the wall are all lateral! Symbolic of lateral thinking as an artist?

  12. that clock should make you paint more and more. tick tock--it's TIME!
    (great painting)

  13. You are a riot! I love your art, your shadow shot and your whole post. Actually, your posts are always delightful! Ok, I'm just grabbing a big handful of chips on my way out. Thanks for the party. I'm now escaping quickly with all of my hair thanks very much. I really don't have the type of head that can carry off the whole bald look with any success...

    Have a great week :)

  14. It's a terrific clock, Dan, hard to believe it's your first painting on canvas.

  15. What a fabulous reason for a party - thanks for the invite. Fabulous painting!!!! I hope to see more now you've done the first Dan's Canvas.

  16. What a fabulous party!! So glad I got to drop in! I hadn't realized how beautifully you do portraits, Dan! Each of these guys are darned handsome! At this point, a razor to my head couldn't make me look any worse! LOLOL

  17. Your painting/drawings made a great main course for the party meal, with your shadow shot as a lovely dessert! Would stay longer, but my hairdresser might be cross with me if I let someone else do my hair!!

  18. Aw shucks! (Shuffles feet) Man, I really want to attend this party! But I KNOW, I KNOW, that I would look terrible with no hair! You don't understand...I have a small dome and a large jaw! I can't even think about how bad that would look! So, I'm standing at the doorstep, peeking inside the door.

    And first I see this acrylic painting, and wow! is it good! Love your charcoal drawings too. Is the spray just a regular spray fixative? The ink drawing is superb! I draw all over the envelopes in my house. It's tradition.

    That shadow shot is great! I think someone needs to go out there and trace it onto that wall and then paint it in. How wonderfully graphic that would be!

    Hey Pam!! Could you run over there and sneak me a beverage?? PLEEEASE???

  19. This is fantastic--the party, the guests, the shadow shot, the clock--all well done and very fun, but I'll have to join Raena and just peek in at the door since I am rather attached to my locks and I want to keep it that way! ;-)

  20. You are too funny .... also, you are a very good ... no, make that Fine ... artist. The clock is cool, the men strong and handsome, the food was great, and I really loved being outside with all of you to see the most interesting shadow. Please let us know when you're planning another get-together...shall we make it potluck? nancy

  21. Great post, great art and great party! Perfect!

  22. Great fun - love the portraits!

  23. Well, I think you should allow women to come to the party without shaving their heads! My hubby already has a fat wife, he doesn't need a fat, BALD wife! (It looks so much better on men!) So I can't stay for your party...but I DID want to say...
    Great job on the canvas! Just taking the step is a great ice breaker to do more!

    I loved the metal of the clock you've's hard to make shiny gold look good....and You did! Great job!

    I also liked all of your bald guests! You could really see their character in their faces.

    QUESTION: What did you mean when you said, "I had read about sketching in charcoal on canvas and spraying the charcoal drawing before painting" Why is this done? Do you spray it with water? Can you tell me more about this? I want to learn as much as I can...and I'm not very familiar with charcoal...I haven't touched it since I was 16....and that was 37 years ago!

    Well, I better run before I lose my hair!

  24. Well done Dan, thats a really good first try for acrylics and I like the clock (fun subject). And for the party, thank heavens I dont have to be bald to attend (my man would have issues with that : ) Hmmm, me too to think of it. But great sketches.

  25. Dan, great post as always! really enjoyed joining your soiree.
    The acrylic painting rocks. I've had a canvas and acrylic paints sitting in my apartment for a few weeks now and your post has pushed me to break them open.... by the way, your confetti clock is great!

  26. I'll come to your party - provided you use the mop of hair you'll get from shaving my head for paint brushes. Its the nearest I'm likely to get to being involved in a good painting!

    Lovely post, entertaining, and I could weep with envy to see what you can do with the back of an envelope! Your skill is astounding!

  27. Well, it was a great party! Don and Wil stayed of course, and many more of you than I expected. Vicki and PAMO and Maundering Mutterer all shaved their heads right away - brave women - and Raena, poor thing, peeking through the door, you had to feel sorry for her. I handed her a camera, and the rest of us all stood in line and bent over and she took a picture of us as a pearl necklace! Thanks all for coming! And well, the rest of many of you had appointments to go to! Wrong weekend I guess.

    So, PAMO, sis, it is my mom's clock. I painted it when I was visiting her house.

    Christie - you are something else. I have never stretched or even gessoed a canvas in my life. I can understand what you say about watercolor, and I love the medium and will continue with it, but good acrylics or oils just blow me away!

    Raena and Pam - the spray is a regular fixative. Does this work? Is it okay to have fixative on the canvas and under the paint? I don't know, and Pam, I am not one to teach. One painter in a book I have says it does and that excited me, so I wanted to try - we will see. Every other painter I've seen begins the sketch in paint or in pencil.

    Thanks all, for liking the art, and enjoying the post.

    Until the next party.. :)

  28. So I am a day late and a dollar short! I love that clock. Great work, especially in a new medium. I am sorry I missed the party!

  29. I'm glad I arrived in time to mark your first foray onto canvas. Congratulations! I love the clock and the drawings. Richard Serra reminds me of Jean Luc Picard, don't you think? Another great baldie!

  30. Awesome post -- and portraits of baldness matched with greatness. What I wouldn't give to have your facility with a Pigma Micron.

  31. Those are all great works! You work well in many different mediums!:)

  32. Great acrylic painting! Hard to believe that's your first! I do hope I see more paintings on canvas from you.

  33. Fantastic party, Dan! (Considering the temperatures, shaving my head is the most reasonable thing to do anyway!)

    All of your pictures are impressive, but I especially love the clock! I've got a thing for mechanical clocks, although I wouldn't be able to have one myself - my sister has one and its loud, hectic ticking is driving me crazy. :D
    Also, the envelope guy is utterly amazing! <3

  34. I love your confetti clock!!! I love everything in it, colors, texture, and the great drawing of the clock! I've wanting to try acrylics for some time, maybe this is going to help me!
    The portraits are great, and my absolute favorite is the second one, with the fantastic hatching job.
    And as I didn't come for some time, I also wanted to comment on the adorable little dog playing with a ball, just below... so cute ^^! (and greatly done!)

  35. Thanks to all of you fashionably late folks. I had to bring out the cooler again! You all look great bald.

  36. Razor aside, I'm so glad I found your blog. Your illustrative art is wonderful, and your painting on canvas should certainly NOT be the last acrylic painting you share here...
    Gotta put you in the blogroll, kid.
    ps/Thanks for commenting on my work ~ Glad to know somebody gets the whole subject-slowly-revealed thing!

  37. hahaha.... very creative "party", Dan!!! How nice that you are dipping your toes (or fingers?) into other mediums.

  38. Dan, it's been a while since I stopped by, and when I come back, I always wonder why I've been away so long. Love this!