Pippo Gullotto, and other sketches

Pippo Gullotto pencil Sketch
I wanted to publish a little tribute to my friend Pippo Gullotto (69), who I sketched today when I met him. I admit it’s not perfectly resembling him, but I was just standing with the sketchbook in my hands, and this is the best I could do. It does look like him… somehow! It’s just about 3 inches tall, so I didn’t have much room for details. He would looks just like Santa Claus dressed up in red.

I also sketched other people while I was there.
People at Randazzo Square

The rasta guy was completely smoked. He kept moving weirdly while some performers on the stage were testing instruments with microphones. Can you notice I shaded the left (lifted) foot of the top left guy? It’s not in shade, it was THAT dirty.

All in all, a productive sketching day. I also sketched a few people and a stand at the local market, in the morning:
Randazzo local market, people
Randazzo Local Market - fruits and vegetables in watercolor


Floating Castle

Floating Dark CastleOver the past couple of months, I’ve been having a weird concept in my head. The basic idea was of a dark scene with a floating castle made of something blue-ish like ice, reached by a stone bridge suspended in the air and sorrounded by nothing but dark miasma and evil mist.
Eventually, I worked on the concept and added a few differences, like the energy vortex and a perspective that is totally different from my original idea, where the castle itself was seen only partially from a first-person view at the entrance.

This is my very firstĀ complete illustration, as well as the first oil painting on illustration board and not primarily wet-on-wet. There are at least 6-7 layers of paint overall, the last one being mixed with a good amount of medium (50/50 of linseed oil andĀ turpentine)

The surface being mainly smooth, I pre-textured it following James Gurney’s method

The following images are the very first overall concept, followed by the entrance (yes, there is a strong Lord Of The Rings inspiration here!)
Floating Dark Castle Concept 1I had to go for something a lot simpler given the size and my incapacity (ugh) of rendering fine details in oil, still.

Floating Dark Castle Entrance


Experimenting sketchy shading

Sketchy Shading of a rusty metal still life
Once more following Artur Guptill’s “Sketching and Rendering in Pencil”, I somehow tried to applied the sketchy way of rendering shading he describes in Chapter IV, Part I.
I used a single pencil, 2b Mars Lumograph, although it’s recommended to use different grades for finished pieces. I guess this is fine since mine was more of an experiment. I setup a pretty simple still life with old, rusty metal objects:
Rusty Metal Still Life Photo Reference(notice the camera angle was slightly different from mine when I was drawing).
As you can see from my notes on the side, it took me roughly 3 hours. More to get the drawing accurate, to be honest, since the shading was pretty quick and probably not careful enough.


Tales of the Shepherd

Tales of Zestiria - Sorey

I’ve been playing this amazing game named Tales of Zestiria recently. Since the style resemble japanese anime,Ā and the protagonist is so cool (!) I thought I could spend a few hours drawing him. The english name is wrongly translitterated toĀ Sorey, although it should really be Slay.

2b and mechanical 2b (for the refined parts) on Winsor & Newton Cartridge pad, A4


Post Office dudes strike back

Post Office dudes strike back

IĀ had some time to sketch at the post office again (heh). I started sketching when I saw an old man getting to the employee to do something, and throwing his bike helmet into… a trash bin. It was his way to avoid the helmet from getting dirty on the floor as there was no place where to put it, and he needed both hands.
Then, I spotted another interesting subject. A middle-aged man was yawning in boredom while waiting, probably since quite a Ā lot before I came in. You can see him on the bottom left. The others are just generic doodles, quick faces andĀ a pose of people passing by.


Psyche Abduct – Master Study of Bouguereau

Psyche Abduct - Master Study of Bouguereau


I’ve been working on this study for the last week. Following the shading principle of parallel lines, as described in the 1917 classic “The Practice and Science of Drawing” by Harold Speed (Free version here). I chose this famous painting by Bouguereau because the original has a very delicate shading, which the parallel lines help to achieve in pencil, not making shapes too bold or strong)


Painting the British Graveyard in Gouache

English Graveyard in Gouache
Having joined the “Paint a Graveyard on Location” challenge atĀ Gurney Journey, I went to a small english cemetery located at about 20 minutes from my town. It was the graveyard of an old castle that belonged to the Nelson family (the one of Admiral Nelson).

It was the first test run of my new lightweight sketch easel (on which I will write a blog post soon), and gouache as well, having only used it a couple of times at home.

The result is… well. I am not happy with it. The dapples light caused by the tree canopy above me encouraged me to try some warm/cool contrast between the lit and shaded areas, but I took it excessively far and got a terrible effect.

The challenge requiring to use only 3 colors, I chose Raw Sienna, Burt Sienna and Ultramarine Light, all by Winsor&Netwon, with the addition of white of course.

I have really struggled to get smooth edges, as Gouache is so opaque that it dried the very second after I put it down on paper. Need more practice on this.