Tag Archives: van gogh

Dragon Comics 14

OK, I love this comic. I mean, I must have rewritten Rabbit’s dialog in the 2nd panel 12 times, and I’m still not completely satisfied, but this is precisely what I want to be doing: talking about serious things, and then flipping a switch and falling into a punchline.

This is another best viewed as large as your monitor can handle it, particularly the last panel.

When you don't wear clothes, body paint is pretty much the only way to add color to your wardrobe.

When you don’t wear clothes, body paint is pretty much the only way to add color to your wardrobe.

If you are not familiar with the work of Mondrian, check out this quick GIS. You’ve probably seen it, even if you don’t know his name. In fact, I’m only familiar with his name because I was on the forensics team in high school, in the “oral interpretation” division (i.e. reading out loud) and one of my pieces was Harlan Ellison’s “‘Repent, Harlequin,’ said the Ticktockman,”┬áin which Mondrian is a summation of all that’s wrong with a rigid and orderly mandate┬áin a modern, automated world. I’m not fond of the aesthetic myself.

Of course, Rabbit is adorning Dragon with the iconic image of Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night,” which most people are more familiar with. I have the print hanging on my bedroom door. I’ve also seen it held out as a piece beloved by people who took one art class in college and haven’t looked at a painting since then, but, obviously, I don’t have any space to be snooty about art. It’s a beautiful painting even divorced of meaning, and it had a lot of personal meaning for me. It very much is a work that, to me, expresses the kind of deep connection to the universe, intertwined with awe and wonder for the universe, that I feel when I look at a sunset or a storm cloud.

I learned a lot from studying Van Gogh’s “Blue Irises in a Yellow Vase“; from copying “The Starry Night” I basically learned how freaking amazing Van Gogh was. Do you have any idea how many colors there are in this picture? A lot. Even looking at a very good copy (I recall seeing 3D reproductions that actually used scanning technology to recreate his brushstrokes) you don’t see as deeply into the nuances as you do when you get down to the pixels. Wow. Just wow. I spent more time on “The Starry Night” than I did on anything else this week.

The Trickster’s Hat Part 10


Van Gogh’s iconic painting of Blue Irises in a Yellow Vase

It’s a really striking image, and much-copied. I love the thickness of the brush strokes, the boldness of the color.

My Blue Irises in a Yellow Vase.

My Blue Irises in a Yellow Vase.

Exercise 31 involved learning from others: pick a famous work, study it, learn from it, duplicate it, and then expand the project in some logical way. The example in the book suggested visiting a ballet school if, for example, your famous work was one of Degas’s.

Drawn fast, larger than actual size.

Drawn fast, larger than actual size.

For my extension, I visited the nearby Tucson Botanical Gardens and sketched flowers.

This is a hibiscus that lives in the greenhouse.

This is a hibiscus that lives in the greenhouse.

I like the rougher look to Van Gogh’s work, how it seems sloppy, but it’s not. The colors weren’t really available to me with the materials at hand, but some of them made a nice showing there, anyway.


Orchids are hard; I’ve been trying to draw a passable orchid for years. I sketched this one slowly and then took it home to use the pastels. Somehow it looks meaty, rather than delicate, and I’m afraid there’s something the slightest bit obscene about it. Orchids are complicated.

Sketching in the gardens was so enjoyable. It’s definitely the sort of thing I want to incorporate into my artist’s life to a much greater degree.


The final flower

The final flower