Prong

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Prong, 2016, ink on paper, 12″ x 9″

This is a new drawing just finished today. I’ve had this creature in my head for the last couple of weeks and needed to let it out. What interested me about this subject was the questions between the main figure and the weird cyclopean pupa thing on its back. Is it a child of the pronged creature, something found, or a partner in crime? I’ll let you decide. Leave your thoughts in the comments section. I’ll be dropping Prong to my webstore shortly for anyone who feels like liquidating some of that tax return!

Since my last post I finished the new novel! 120K words! I am currently doing a final read through before submitting it to my agent later this month. I’m very excited about this one. and I can’t wait for the day I can share it with readers. If you like the kind of things I draw, you will definitely like this novel. It has many of the same dark fantasy elements.

I’m already thinking about the book, but for the rest of this month I am jumping back into the art work to illustrate a short story collection – author to be announced – and doing a brand new piece inspired by the writing of H. P. Lovecraft (see previous post f0r details.)

  • Richard.

Dawn Botanist – detail

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The Dawn Botanist, Tears of the Poppy – detail

This is a detail of the piece I am working at on this cold, cloudy November day. It’s a small figure but it took 3 hours to ink. The reason being that the brush I was using is superfine, and though the godless jpeg compression would not have you believe it, the gradations are quite subtle. I hope you enjoy this little peek. This morning’s musical selection in the studio was Foals. A really excellent band I was completely unaware of before 9 AM.

Also, a friendly reminder that the Bestowed Upon Us show opens tonight at the Alexi Era Gallery. If you are in the area, please go and check it out. I’ve seen the preview and it is a gorgeous show. Thanks for your support.

  • Richard.

Aviator

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Aviator, 2015, watercolour, 11″ x 7.5″
All images © Richard A. Kirk. Any reuse is strictly prohibited without permission of Richard A. Kirk
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Aviator – detail

This watercolour is a study for a future oil painting. I wanted to give the figure an avian quality, hence the placement of the eye. The whole piece hinges on that pitiless eye! I think it’s also quite funny. I have a series of paintings in mind featuring monsters in remote outdoor settings. I plan on doing these in the coming months, probably spread out over the year. If you’re wondering what that might look like, Tadpole Tales (below) is the kind of thing I am talking about. Each medium has its own qualities to recommend it.

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Tadpole Tales, 2014, oil, 8″ x 8″

The Dawn Botanist – Tears of the Poppy (Detail)

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The Dawn Botanist – Tears of the Poppy (Detail)
All images © Richard A. Kirk. Any reuse is strictly prohibited without permission of Richard A. Kirk

There is still much to be done on this new drawing, but having finished one fairly defined section I thought I’d share a work in progress (WIP). If you saw my earlier post on this piece, you’ll notice that I have added to the title. “Tears of the Poppy” is a line taken from the text of Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow, a book that has been occupying my reading time and weirdly, or perhaps not so weirdly, my dreams for a few weeks now. The phrase fits the theme of this work.

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Harrowing Sediment and Other Prints

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Harrowing Sediment

This artwork is called Harrowing Sediment. The original (still available, incidentally) was created for a show in 2012. Details can be seen below.
Harrowing Sediment and other images are available as prints in my Big Cartel art shop. If you order this image, before the end of November, I will include a free miniature print – while they last. The miniature prints were from a show called Monstrous Tinies. All of my prints are executed on archival quality German etching paper. The paper is a heavy stock giving it a substantial feel and providing an image with incredible fidelity to the original work. All prints are enclosed in a protective Mylar sleeve and shipped flat, supported by layers of foam-core. Ensuring that the prints arrive intact, is very important to me.
In a few days I will be making an announcement about a special new print, done in partnership with LUNA 7.

  • Richard.
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Harrowing Sediment – The Tick – detail
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Harrowing Sediment – The Lads – detail
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Harrowing Sediment – The Lamp – detail
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Harrowing Sediment – The Handmaiden – lamp

Hunger

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Hunger, 2015, acrylic ink, 14″ x 10″
All images © Richard A. Kirk

I had to take advantage of the light this morning to do a watercolor (or strictly speaking an acrylic ink) painting. The paper wasp nest on the figure’s head is directly inspired by a yellow-jacket nest I’ve been watching over the summer in our garden. The recent cold mornings have killed off the nest, but over the past few months it was fascinating to watch the activity rise and fall with fluctuations in temperature and humidity. This figure is an anthropomorphic representation of hunger, a hunger that might be literal, but which I intended to be a more abstract.

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Hunger – detail

The Dawn Botanist

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Graphite Under-drawing for the Dawn Botanist (working title)
All images © Richard A. Kirk.

Here is a look at the drawing’s bones. What you see here will soon disappear under layers of ink. I find these line drawings have a beauty of their own, which is why I always take the time to make a high resolution scan of them before rendering.

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The Dawn Botanist – detail

The ink looks a bit darker here than it is in the original. This is a first pass with a uniform value. With the next pass, I’ll be deepening shadows and accentuating highlights.

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Simple tools

One of the great things about working in ink is the simplicity of of the tools. It’s amazing what you can do with a bottle of ink, some water and a brush.

Like a lot of artists, my favorite time to work is in the early morning. The house and the neighborhood are quiet, the mind is rested and not yet full of the concerns of the day. In the morning, it is possible to focus and get a different perspective on a creative project. I can’t tell you how many times I have woken up, walked down to my studio and looked at some problem that seemed intractable the night before, just to see how obvious the solution really was. I rely on this little gift of clarity. That is why I like to do the problem solving at the sketching or under-drawing stage. Once the ink is on the paper, I have to live with my mistakes and let them become part of what I have created.

  • Richard.

The Green Demon (on sale)

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Green Demon, 2014, ink on paper, 11″ x 7″
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Detail

The Green Demon is on sale in my webstore. Its a piece I did last year when I was doing a small series of demons. I am using the proceeds of these small sale pieces to publish a book of 5 short fantasy stories called Magpie’s Ladder.

– Richard.

The Veil (on sale)

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The Veil, 2015, acrylic ink on paper, 12″ x 7″ (size approximate)
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Detail

Update: The Veil is sold!

The Veil is a cross hatched drawing done with a dip pen and then painted with acrylic inks. The drawing was done last year but the coloring was done today. One of these days I’d love to illustrate a book in this technique.

This piece is on sale. If you are interested you can check it out in my webstore. Each time one of my sale pieces sells, I put up a new sale piece (eventually).

– Richard.