The Man,
The Myth,
The Moooons

Acrylic on Canvas
24" x 24"

July 2010



Notes on Painting
The Man, The Myth, The Moooons

Sun Jul 4th
Scanned Joe's photo of Max on his computer scanner, and sent it to myself. Later, using Photoshop, erased Belmont Avenue background from Max.

Belmont Cowboy

Mon Jul 5th
Photoshopped Bryce Canyon scene behind Max. Firstly, because that was Max's favorite vacation spot, but moreso for the contrasting color to the blue in Max's face and clothes. These colors complement the colors in the Lisa portrait. Also Photoshopped two cows and a full moon. Then added Mars and Neptune because Max reads astrology mags. Neptune rules Max's sun sign Pisces, whereas Mars rules Max's rising sign Aries. Max seems always overwhelmed by responsibilities, specifically for his wife and mom. Perhaps that explains the two cows. Or could it be that joke about Custer's last thoughts?

Bryce Cowboy

Mon Jul 12th
Printed Max's photo for portrait painting.

Tues Jul 13th
Tried to project Max's photo onto wall with new projector, but nada; no image at all. Tried projecting Max photo again in dark. This time it was clear.

Wed Jul 14th
Divided photoshop of Max into 6 sections for printing. Used filter > stylized > contour to outline 6 sections. At 8:30 pm it was dark enough to trace the Max portrait on canvas using the new projector. Took about 30 minutes to complete trace. Filled in some details after dinner while watching "Work of Art".

Thurs Jul 15th
Began painting Max portrait.
Started with face and clothes. Because of an old cowboy artist rule, painted neckerchief in shape of Texas. Continued till 4 pm.

Fri Jul 16th
Worked from 9 to 3 something on Max portrait. Detailed neckerchief and filled in more of face. Perhaps having completed two portraits satisfactorily, am able to work longer hours because of more confidence? Printed cow and planets actual size for Max portrait.

Sat Jul 17th
Traced outline of planets and cows on glass laying on painting. Taped cows and planets to glass according to outlines.
Painted Max's eyes and more of Max's face in the Sante Fe style using desert colors. Then blended the colors with pink overlay. Painted Max's hair cobalt to contrast with his ultramarine hat. Not knowing how to paint a portrait keeps the face alive. If I knew how to get to where I was going, painting would no longer be an adventure, but only a routine. How many more portraits will I paint before I fall asleep at the wheel? Made an ongoing webpage for the Max portrait for Mouse to kibbitz daily. Sort of a Bob Ross video without the video, or Bob Ross.

Sun Jul 18th
Painted from 9 to 5. (What a way to make a living?) Detailed Max's eyes, but they seem too small. At first he was looking straight. Then to his right. Then back again. Why did that happen? Seems that once the eyes are correct, the portrait begins to resemble the "sitter". Starting to resemble an R. Crumb portrait.

Made eye glass lens on right side bigger. Looks disproportionate, but so does original photo. Poured clear gloss over Mars and two cows. Scraped off some paisleys on the neckerchief. Mouse called to say paint out double chin. Did not see a double chin, but made Max look thinner around neck I think. Mañana. Some are good at starting things; others, at finishing. But to finish anything artsy that lasts more than a day requires a personality that can fool itself into believing it is doing wonderfully when it is only making a mess.

Mon Jul 19th
When I woke up, felt reluctant to repaint eye on right because photos did not look right. Eyes too small and lens too big. However, on examining the painting, all looked correct. Fooled around with eyeglass lens some more. Now it is 5mm too wide. Left it as is. Shifted Max's left eye to look straight ahead. Scumbled around neck area. Wrote pisces, aries, and sagittarius symbols on scarf. Glazed hair with ultra blue. It has been 5 days to a recognizable image. Not much more to do on face.

Poured a clear base layer on glass for moon and neptune. Painted sky cerulean with white. Not quite the right color. Add cobalt to it. Printed neptune, mars, and moon symbols on hat.

Tues Jul 20th
Painted out neptune, mars, and moon symbols on hat. Hatched a little on far right of lens frame lessening the blue outline. Fooled around with the color balance around the dimple. Poured Neptune which later wrinkled. While spinning the blue spot, it fractaled into a blue eye. Scratched and scumbled colors for Mars.


Painted a cow with ultramarine spots, which cracked the titanium.


David M. suggested "SHERAPH" for "SHERIFF" badge. Could the Arabic "Sharif" and the Hebrew "Seraph" have the same etymology? Painted other cow with cobalt blue spots. Poured irid white and pearl onto Moon layer. Then poured blick white into mix. Swirled circles into mix to simulate meteor craters.


Wed Jul 21st
Worked on Max's jacket with ultra and pthalo. Repoured Neptune. This time using irid tint rather than titanium. No cracking.


Thurs Jul 22nd
Poured a ground to print SHERAPH badge. Peeled up and attached Moon to canvas. Scumbled sky with slightly lighter cobalt blue. Spread out right canyon wall with orange and yellow streaks. Noticed that left brain activity keeps me going when my right brain is totally lost.
Left=Technique, Habit, Experience, Memory
Why is it that Max's eyes do not look as real as in the actual portrait? Perhaps, the flash overlights the eyelids?

Fri Jul 23rd
Poured the left side of canyon, mostly orange with yellow streaks. Then added cad red to cow rock. Scumbled a fir tree on right side. Yesterday poured a rectangle of clear acrylic large enough to cover SHERAPH badge. After drying, coated it with 2 layers of digital ground gloss. Peeled up rectangle and placed on glass to dry for awhile. Taped rectangle to center of used sheet of regular paper covering previously printed SHERAPH badge image. Taped on all 4 sides with masking tape. From Photoshop, printed badge (as with the White Rabbit last month). However, ink was not dark enough to see on blue background. So painted the back of it with irid tint. Now cannot see lettering. After orange canyon wall dried, peeled up Neptune skin and laid it into painting.

Sat Jul 24th
Painted back of SHERAPH badge with pearl over irid tint painted yesterday. Scumbled a little on jacket. Glazed left side of canyon with reds and yellows to give it that horizontal layered look that canyons over eons build up. Enlarged tree on right side. Printed another SHERAPH badge. This time set at Best Print.

Sun Jul 25th
Scumbled Max's neck to lighten it. Continued detailing canyon walls. Added shadows to canyon. Biggest shadow is an arched cave. Modified moon surface.

Mon Jul 26th
Made Max's neck thinner via request from Mouse. Added some perspective to canyon wall inside shadow area. Textured upper right canyon wall. Added craters to Moon. Scratched off medium-sized paisleys on scarf.

Tues Jul 27th
Added more textures to canyon walls.

Wed Jul 28th
Glazes on canyon began looking more natural. Marbleized left front rock with yellow and orange. Snake in cave appeared eidetically. Marblized Max's hair on right with ultrablue and silver irid tint. Laid down 3 coats of white for another printing of badge.

Thurs Jul 29th
Added a butte in lower right with shadow. Glazed marbleized hair thalo blue. Cross-hatched collar. Added right ear lobe. Slanted lines slightly on left canyon wall. Added 3 trees: lower right, middle at cave, one at neck. Washed a little cobalt into sky around moon. Added blue and orange extending canyon to right of rightmost rock. Printed another SHERAPH badge. This time on 3 coats of titanium white background with 2 coats digital ground on top.

Fri Jul 30th
Coated SHERAPH badge with clear acrylic, but ink blurred underneath creating a rusty color. Thalo blued jacket collar. Scumbled sky around moon over cobalt wash yesterday. Scumbled yellow and cad red lite into mars. Added polar cap. Drew white sideburns over right ear.

Sat Jul 31st
Thalo blued Max hair and jacket. Added crimson and hansa hilites to canyon walls.

Sun Aug 1st, 2010
Glazed 1 cow purple. Randomly scribbled crimson on canyon wall with a dry stick. Attached Mars and scumbled it with more orange, yellow and white. Outlined Neptune where it touched canyon peaks. Attached cows. Prepared white square for another badge.

Mon Aug 2nd
Printed and cut out SHERAPH badge. Scumbled crimson randomly into canyon walls. Glazed lower cow with ochre, hansa, and orange. Bought Krylon spray and 2 filberts #4 and #8 at Plaza Arts.

Tues Aug 3rd
Sprayed badge outside with Krylon fixative for ink jet prints. Outlined badge with red gold. Then removed most of it. Outlined badge with blue sharpie. Shot photos of portrait outside in shade and in light. One in light is better. Darkened left side of coat with thalo blue.

Wed Aug 4th
Replaced 3 marks on neckerchief with symbols for Mars, Neptune, and the Moon. At McKays bookstore, found a book with Thomas Moran's Green River painting of buttes. Saw how to revive canyon walls with more texture and rhythm.

Thurs Aug 5th
Marbled top left butte to see if it would liven up canyon. Did. Painted out butte in lower right. Browsed Moran paintings in books at NSCC library.

Fri Aug 6th
Marbled remainder of canyon on left side. Later, marbled the layers of right side of canyon. May not look more natural, but it feels more natural.

Sat Aug 7th
A little more marbling of canyon walls. A bit of a problem separating left canyon wall and shadow from tall butte in front. In the photo, they are not actually separated.

Sun Aug 8th
Decided not to glaze canyon marbled walls with another coat of liquid orange. Glazed only two layers with yellow. Then later reglazed it with orange. Made tree on right bigger. Anymore minor changes will not alter portrait much. Confining scribbled rhythms to canyon layers appears a bit obsessive -- something Van Gogh or R. Crumb might do. Good company. Time to quit. Next...

Fri Aug 13th
Carried Max painting to Lisa who was taking the day off. She liked the portrait, and put it way up high behind a fan where it could not be seen.

The Max

Wrote nursery rhyme on back of Max portrait:
"Hey diddle diddle, the cat and his fiddle, The cows moo under the moon. A little dog laughs to see such sport While his Mars runs away with Neptune!"