BIKER BAR in Progress…

Lately I’ve been hard at work on a commission. The assignment was for me to paint 11 figures of the clients friends, himself, his girlfriend and a blues musician in a fictional bar in New Orleans.

For the pictures, he provided me photographs of all the subjects. Needless to say this isn’t ideal, considering they’re all mostly front-facing busts and the composition requires a variety of different poses.

Not only do I have to rotate the heads in my mind and render them on the page based only on a photograph, but I have to create each of the figures mostly out of whole cloth with just a few generic references.

It’s always better to draw from life, of course, but this is a gift and a surprise, so it can’t be helped.

If you view the Flickr slideshow documenting my progress so far, you see I layered the pencil drawing first in primary colored washes. Then, I layer the paint so that a little of the underlying layer shows through.

This is a handy technique for creating atmosphere, and giving flesh a translucence. I use this technique for all my major acrylic paintings and illustrations, like “Jazz Painting #4,” “Harem Painting,” and “Jazz Painting #5

You’ll notice in the background I’ve added a marching band, spectators and a couple of women flashing their tits (these aren’t fully rendered as of this posting.)

If you look close, you can see little clues as to the location of bar, though most of these will be difficult to see until the painting is done.

For instance, the Fleur d’Elise is a motif throughout the image, among other clues.

The slideshow featured in this post will update automatically as I add more images documenting its progress. Shouldn’t be too long — I set a deadline to have it done by the end of the month.

JAZZ PAINTING #5

This painting by Adam Maxwell Townsend depicts a crowded jazz club with a full band and cabaret dancers.
This painting depicts a crowded jazz club with a full band and cabaret dancers.

This painting is the fifth in my Jazz Paintings series, and the most complex, depicting a crowded 1920s-style cabaret show.

Each of the spectators is a portrait of a friend or neighbor I know. If you look closely, you may also recognize the pianist. I slipped myself in there as the band leader and also as a spectator.

The mirrors on either side of the stage reflect the back of the club where you can see the bar and neon signs hanging over it. The light sources are from the stage and the neon signs, to a lesser degree; a difficult lighting situation.

Here’s my Flickr slideshow documenting my progress in this piece from conception to completion. (This painting is from 2012):

Here’s my Flickr slideshow showing all five paintings from the most recent to the oldest:

PIRATE STORY (Sold)

Adam Maxwell Townsend did this acrylic painting in the style of a adventure storybook illustration, but the subjects are modern-day pirates rather than Long John Silver or Blackbeard.
Adam Maxwell Townsend did this acrylic painting in the style of a adventure storybook illustration, but the subjects are modern-day pirates rather than Long John Silver or Blackbeard.

This painting started out as a lark — at the time I started it in 2009, Somali pirates were big in the news. Working at a newspaper at the time, I had been following their exploits.

I had an extra piece of illustration board and started a pencil drawing — I used no real research or preliminary sketches, just my imagination and vague ideas I got from reading Associated Press and Reuters articles about the subject.

Interestingly, this became one of my most popular paintings; I sold it within 6 months and it was featured in FIND Art Magazine and shown at the FIND Art Gallery in Costa Mesa, Calif.

The size is 15″X20″. Within the next six months, I’m going to do a limited edition run of 100 full-size, signed and numbered prints for $100 each. I’ll post on the site when they’re available.

Here’s my Flickr slideshow showing my steps in the process for creating this piece: