Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Muppetium Falcon Prints!

Announcing giclee prints of the Muppet/Star Wars mash up, "Muppetium Falcon!"  Printed on canvas, the 11" x 14" giclees accurately recreate the original look of the oil painting and sell for an amazingly low price of $40.  Other available sizes are 8" x 10" for $25 and the full size of the original art, 16" x 20", for $80.  As a special holiday deal, I offer both the 16" x 20" and the 8" x 10" for only $100 and free shipping in the USA on all orders. These specials will be valid through January 6th, 2013, so order soon.  Sorry, I cannot guarantee Christmas delivery.  Custom sizes are available.  Contact me for pricing at Eric.Sweetman@gmail.com.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Finished Painting and a Special Holiday Deal!

Once I started blocking in Piggy, I couldn't stop.  There's something about the white on white costume that I really like.  Instead of being easy with one color, it's a complex exercise of warms and cools.  The iPhone camera doesn't show it very well, but it looks interesting to me.  Still lots of work to do.

Eyes.  Kermit and Beaker needed eyes.  The cockpit also needed quite a bit more detail to make it look active.  I knew there would be no way, and no reason, for me to recreate every panel from the film set, but it still needed the little details.

In the final image, I made sure the Swine Trek was in space, all the random space was filled, and that the Empire would fall to this plucky crew.

So, that's it.  Finished in two days, oil on canvas, 16" x 20".  BUT, if you love the picture and want it for your very own, I have excellent news!  I am getting giclee prints made!  8" x 10" will be $25, 9" x 12" for $30, and $80 will get you the full sized 16" x 20".  As a special holiday deal, I'm offering both a 16" x 20" and a 8" x 10" for $100, plus FREE SHIPPING!  All interested parties please contact me at Eric.Sweetman@gmail.com.  Holiday deal good through January 6, 2013.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

a little color here and there...

Welcome back.  In today's couple of photos, you can see the usual burnt sienna acrylic wash over the characters.  The black colored pencil did what I needed it to do and allowed me to see where I wanted to paint and where I didn't.  There isn't a photo of it, but I put a Prussian Blue acrylic over the entire background thinking the cool tone would keep it in the visual distance where the warm sienna would pop the characters forward.  It made sense in theory, but then I started painting over it anyway.

The background became somewhat warm in tone, but also very muddy.  Actually, this was desirable, because I could paint Beaker in bright oranges and yellows and he'd stand in contrast to the muddy blues, greens, and browns behind him.  Kermit would pop out as well, despite being a cool color.  I saved Miss Piggy for last because I was worried that I'd screw up her flesh tones.  More on that later.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pigs (and frogs and dogs and test subjects) in Space!

As promised, here are a couple of stages of sketching on the 16" X 20" canvas.  I start out with a regular pencil before going over the important lines with a black colored pencil.  The graphite tends to wash off the canvas when I apply the acrylic tone and what remains is so faint, I can't see what I drew, so the colored pencil keeps it visible.  It all gets covered up with oils anyway.

In the image above, I was free handing everything and the only reference picture other than the movie still was a photo my brother took of his Kermit photo puppet (yeah, he's got one).  It gave me a guide on which to base my lighting and color for the frog.  However, since I just started drawing, I didn't center my image very well.  I assumed that if I made it off center and at an angle, it would look cool and dramatic.  Not so much.

Further research (read: Google) helped tighten up Miss Piggy's head but I still had the composition issue.  Since I did not want to redraw everything,  I had to think of something that would help balance the picture.  Something outside the window?  Sure!  The Death Star?  No, this image is from The Empire Strikes Back.  Ooh!  How about a Star Destroyer?  Yeah, that'll work!  Except I ran into a friend at work (Hi, Christina!) who joked about Pigs in Space, triggering the idea of the USS Swine Trek.  Genius!

Later:  Painting

I'm back.

Once again, I've returned from a lengthy unscheduled hiatus from blogging.  While I have been kept busy, very little of said business has been art related, therefore, no posts.  Sorry.

Back in October, I participated in an art show with a Muppet theme.  I know, it seems tailor-made for me.  I entered my Fozzie, Electric Mayhem, and Cantus Fraggle portraits.  Although they didn't sell at the show, I got a lot of nice comments and it felt good getting my work in front of eyes.  The Electric Mayhem piece is in another show right now, "Art That Makes Me Smile, II," at the Barefoot Spa just off of Mills near downtown Orlando.  Again, I've heard nice feedback.

To satisfy my interests in documenting the process I use to create art, I have a new project to share.  It is a commissioned piece for Christmas and the only requirements were to mix Muppets and Star Wars.  Considering they are both under the gigantic Disney umbrella nowadays, it isn't much of a stretch.  In fact, Disney has mashup toys at the theme parks and WAAAAAY back during the Muppet Show run, Mark Hamill visited the stage with his "cousin", Luke Skywalker, and R2-D2, C3-P0, and Chewbacca.  I wanted to recreate a classic scene, but one that hasn't been over played.  I see lots of things with Kermit as Luke, Piggy with the cinnamon bun hairstyle, Fozzie as Chewbacca, that kind of thing.  This painting would be different.  Kermit as Han Solo, Rowlf as Chewbacca, Beaker as C3-P0, and, okay, Piggy as Leia, but in a different costume, the one from Hoth.

Let's take a look at the concept sketch:

Nothing too spectacular, just a penciled idea.  I knew I wanted Beaker in the group; I just didn't leave enough room for him.  Here's the scene from the movie:

Coming up next:  The canvas sketch!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Basically finished

Here it is, mostly finished.  The only extra thing I need to add is some gold leaf on Dr. Teeth's tooth.  I could simply paint it in yellow, but I want the reflections to change based on one's position relative to the art and the lighting in the room.  I credit my brother, Ian, for the title of this piece.

"Posilutely Electro-fying!," 24" X 30", oil on canvas.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Soooooooooo close.

Okay...I had a pretty busy Independence Day.  I did some face painting in Celebration, FL, as part of their fireworks festival.  It was fun, but kept me away from the Mayhem so I'm not quite finished yet.  Hopefully, that will change in the next day or two.
As you can see, some changes were made from the original sketch: Janice is raising a tambourine and Zoot is  playing his sax and angled inward instead of looking out to the viewer.  Both changes are intended to redirect the eye around the image rather than following Janice's eyeline off the edge.  Previously, I thought about using a guitar to bounce the eye back into the picture, but Janice is a left handed guitarist, so the presentation wouldn't work.  See, I think about these things every once in a while.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Welcome to July everybody!  I was busy yesterday, what with mowing the jungle left after "Debby" moved out to sea and helping out a friend with a mural in his guest bedroom.  After doing an errand or two and paying a couple bills, I didn't have a whole lot of time left in the day to paint, but I did anyway.  Unfortunately, I was too tired to notice that I put the hi-hat and snare on the wrong side of the drum kit.  It is an easy fix, though.  By the time I post again, you won't notice the error.

In other news, I wanted to mention my good friend, Tony Ley.  One year ago, he started this crazy mission of celebrating a holiday every single day.  This commitment demanded a lot of time and energy, but it also brought attention to all kinds of causes and silliness and acts of love.  I even participated in a couple of the celebrations.  So, what did he decide to do after that year ended?  He decided to do it all again.  Please take a gander at Tony's ambitious endeavor at The Celebrate! Project.  You can participate as much as you want!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Early mayhem.

The pencils for this Muppet painting were completed before I started Fozzie, but I didn't feel ready to jump into the painting stage until now.  I had to redraw it after applying the acrylic wash because most of my graphite washed away.  Usually, I clean up the pencils with a colored pencil finish since the wax keeps it from disappearing, but I wasn't thinking at the time.  Now, with the colored pencil layer over the acrylic, the pencil pigment blends into the oil paint.  I'm trying to make the most of that effect, but it involves additional layers of paint once the base dries a bit.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tough Crowd

Here you go, the finished painting.  You may notice a bit of a color difference; chalk it up to natural lighting.  I took this picture outside on the driveway instead of indoors with the iPhone flash.  Big difference.

I call this:
"Tough Crowd," 2012, 16"x20", oil on canvas

Saturday, June 9, 2012

More Fozzie

I'm excited to be close to finishing up Fozzie.  He needs to dry a little before I can go back in and do the finishing touches that will make it pop.  I also need to figure out where I can get a really good picture taken of it for my files.  You've been enjoying the photographic quality of my iPhone, but it would be nice to have some clean pictures that better match the actual color of the painting.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wocka, wocka.


Hey, I'm back.  The urge to draw and paint finally overcame my exhaustion with work and I'm adding a couple of new Muppet portraits to my collection.  As always, I like to share the steps along the way, so here is my original drawing on the canvas, a 16"x20" piece I picked up at Michaels' a few years ago.  Next is my first step, just filling in the bricks on the wall.  I want it to look like Fozzie is at an open mike night at the Improv, with less than amused audience members.  A cream pie and a tomato are thrown on the wall behind him.  The last picture here is what I managed to do during the 45 minutes I had between my morning shower and my drive to work.  I'm getting a little better idea of how to recreate the texture of the fur.  More to come.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Can you tell me how to get...?

How do you get to Sesame Street? First, find your way to Astoria, Queens. Beyond that, you're on your own.

This painting is brought to you by the letter "J", and the numbers 1 and 4. The "J" stands for Jasmine, my niece. Her first birthday is coming up in August and I thought it would be amazing if I actually was prepared with a gift for her. I'm so far ahead now that I don't know what to do with myself. The number 4 represents her family, all of whom share the same initials. Jasmine shares her birthday with her big brother, who will be 7, so I guess I have to figure out another painting in the near future.

Oh, for those who are curious about these things, the painting is 20" X 24", oil on canvas. Took maybe 12 hours spread out over several days.

What the...? Another post?

Yeah, I know it isn't expected, but I've actually done more art things lately. I have more on my plate still, but I'll get to posting them as soon as I can.

This image is for the book Stories and Shows from Pinocchio's Marionette Theater. You may be wondering how I could be doing new art for a book that not only was published three years ago, but was also taken out of print almost immediately due to a lawsuit involving copyrights. Well, I am happy to say that the suit was settled and the author, Dave Eaton, is legally allowed to print his book again. Rather than simply starting up the presses again, Dave decided to spruce up the book a little by adding one of the few scripts he left out of the first edition, Peter & Wendy. Dave nearly used some public domain image to accompany his story, but fortunately came to his senses and dropped me an email. And that is the story behind this fun little doodle.
No Foolin'.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Thar's oil in them thar rocks!

Okay, it's really an oil painting of Cantus from Fraggle Rock. Sorry for being so busy with non painting things. I had planned on having this one done and up for view by mid January. Obviously, that didn't happen.
I'll get another painting up here soon.

Oil on canvas, 16" X 20"