Friday, January 24, 2014

"Finish Friday:" It's Vasco da Pollo.

So, it's Friday, and here's the intrepid explorer, Vasco da Pollo.  I like how he turned out.

It's funny how the mind brings up ideas when you're not expecting it to—as I worked on the finish for this bird, it occurred to me that the best chicken explorer name of all (see "Vasco da Llama," in my last post) would have been. . . Marco Pollo.

But I was already underway with this sketch, and with a color scheme in mind, and so I continued.  Maybe farther down the line, Marco Pollo will appear as one of these pieces.

I was interested in doing a very tonal background, with the suggestion of a city, as you often see in early paintings or prints.  If this were for a book, I'd have taken the time to do the research on a city in India which da Gama might have visited, and shown that city as the background.  Here, I just suggested the buildings.

I also remembered that da Gama was Portuguese, not Spanish, so the motto on his sash now reads:  Proteger a carne branca (see the previous post for more on this).

As with the last piece I did for this blog, this original painting of Vasco da Pollo was auctioned on eBay.

Here are some process images for this piece:

1) roughing in color washes in acrylic over the sketch on paper.  In this case, I printed out a copy of the sketch, glued it onto Strathmore 500 Series board, and painted directly on the printout.

2)  More tones coming in.

 3)  Closeup of his head.  At this point, I was happy with how his comb was popping against the background tone.  You can see I've laid in some tones in the eye to give it a little dimension and personality.

 4)  Background complete.  Trying to keep it a suggestion, rather than a tight rendering.  It's there for "flavoring" only.

5)  Finally, work on rendering Vasco da Pollo.


  1. Brian, I can't believe this!!! In ONE week, part time, here and there??? It's absolutely fantastic!

  2. Ditto what Christine said... it is absolutely amazing.

  3. Brian, I LOVE seeing your process! I'm so glad you're creating this blog and so impressed with the challenge you've set up for yourself. I'm also grateful for our good fortune. Imagine! We get to bid on all these fabulous pieces of your artwork? Lucky us! Thank you for all of these gifts.

  4. Long Live Vasco da Pollo! He looks like he stepped out of an Old Masters painting!