Monday, July 29, 2013

Leonardo DiCaprio Portrait: Part II

Part II:  The second in a series about the creative process I use to make an iconic portrait of a character

Playing with pieces of the original images

I know I want to use just part of DiCaprio’s face though I want that new image to be recognizable as Leonardo DiCaprio. So, as step one in the creative process I looked for still shots from “Gatsby” and “J. Edgar.” Three of those I found are posted here.*

In step two I isolated pieces of the photographs that I liked. These are a few of the pieces of Leo that I cut from the photos.* Next, I will choose the image/images I want to work with. I’ve already discussed how I put some of these images together in my last entry dated July 22, 2013.

Image Credits

Image of Leonardo as Gatsby, photo not credited at Alt Film Guide, “Movie Review: Baz Luhrmann, Leonardo DiCaprio THE GREAT GATSBY 2013,” Updated: May 15, 2013, viewed Monday, 10:20 AM. EDT, July 29, 2013.

Leonardo DiCaprio stars as J. Edgar Hoover in Warner Bros. Pictures’ J. Edgar (2011) at Aceshowbiz: The Ace In Entertainment Zone, © 2005-2013, viewed, 10:31 AM. EDT, Monday, July 29, 2013.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Leonardo DiCaprio Portrait

A series of blog entries in which I discuss the process I am using to create an over-sized portrait

I will be presenting a log about the preparation for the actual artwork, an oversized portrait of Leonardo DiCaprio

Image #1

As part of the décor for the banquet room in our goddaughter’s Restaurant, Characters Gastropub in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, I’m beginning work on a new over sized portrait. The restaurant is decorated with many of my old Super Real powdered graphite and pencil drawings of motion picture characters from the 1980’s, as well as one 4’ x 10’ painting of Marilyn Monroe’s eyes. Now, Meghan has redone the banquet room and it is conspicuously without a single character.

I’ve spent several days thinking about the who/what/when/where of the new character, and after considering many of the male leads of the 1980’s to the present, I’ve decided on Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio makes the most sense to me because he has managed to graduate from the male ingénue teenager and twenty something heartthrob to a genuine male lead in his middle years. And, he has not done the typical “bang-bang-shoot-um-kill-um-blow-it-up-blood-&-guts” genre that is the staple 21st Century American Hollywood motion picture. Instead he has chosen vehicles that require more thought on the part of the viewer, often images that portray nuanced characters in our history, and/or are the subjects of great literature.

I also know that I can use only photographs that are under copyright. I do not want to go through a lengthy process of contact, rejection and perhaps receiving permission for use. So, I will alter the images through many creative processes that allow use because they are too far removed from the original. I have about 40 images I’ve been playing with, and I will put some of the resultant altered images on this blog in order to demonstrate some of the playfulness involved in the creative process of one particular artist, "yours truly."

Playful image #1 is the compilation of two images. I used one of DiCaprio as J. Edgar Hoover, and another of him as “The Great Gatsby.” I put the two images into Photoshop and began removing chunks of each while layering them over top of the original complete images. I will also put these through other processes even though I’m quite sure I will not use the result for the actual painting. Though it has provided amusement it doesn’t portray either character very well. In fact, it is a bit frightening, which has nothing to do with the actual person, Leonardo DiCaprio. That being said, it is part of a process that will eventually result in the actual image I will use for the portrait.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Spring Flowers

This fuchsia rhododendron bloomed for just one week in May. The blossoms were huge clusters 8 to 10 inches across, individual blooms about 4 inches across. I have named the color “impossibly pink.” The bush had languished for years, but this year it doubled in size and was covered with those unbelievable blossoms.

My photo is okay artistically, typical of the genre “pretty flower photos taken by amateur gardeners.” However, those blooms were one of Mother Nature’s magnificently perfect artistic creations.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Rethinking, Refurbishing and Repurposing

The Big Question mark (June 30, 2013) by yours truly *

Okay, so this most recent outburst of productive activity is done, at least as far as production of so many works at once is concerned. I have another exhibition of the LGBT Pictionary to prepare for as promised by Art Serve in south Florida. But, I will give myself, and husband Joe a break. I’ve agreed with Joe to make only 4 works during the next 12 months. Of course one of those proposed is to be a Brobdingnagian portrait, 60” x 90” on six panels, but more of that when the work is actually in progress. I will make the 3 other works using either mixed media distressed paint or pastels, and one or more of them will be additions to the LGBT Pictionary.

Additionally, so much of what I see and read on the Internet is meaningless drivel, that which has some merit goes unnoticed and/or is criticized because it is not a monetary (reads) capitalist venture. So, I’m proposing to do fewer entries, perhaps as few as two a month, and more of those will be about Art in general instead of art by yours truly.*2  I do have an idea for another blog that I will link to this one, a sort of novel in installments, a fiction about a character that is like me a visual artist. However unlike me, the guy believes himself to be the second coming of Christ. No, that isn’t correct. Actually, he believes himself to be one of many Jesus of Nazareth reincarnations, the Christ of our many Western Christian Churches. It occurs to me that such a blog might possibly generate a great deal of anger and hate. Never the less, I also know that I am of very little importance, and that my production, visual and written is of little consequence. Based on that personal assessment, I may just do the deed; though this will be the only time I mention the possibility in The Art of John Bittinger Klomp. The link will just appear among the many others on the right side panel of the blog. In fact, since it is slightly tongue in cheek, I may use the "monetize" link on Blogger to set up advertisements - sort of like the moneychangers in the temple thing that so upset the real Jesus Christ in the actual ancient world.

I haven’t decided if I will revamp the visual appearance of this blog, but I may do that as well. Perhaps there will be fewer of the political images and more Art images. I have to decide if I can stand not writing about and or creating my graphic images about politics. Thus, the artwork with which I illustrate this entry, the “Big Question Mark.”


* This illustration can be copied and used. I have not made any copyright claims on it, though I always do on my paintings, pastels, and most photographs.

*2 Interestingly, this link - as well as many others in this entry - to Wikipedia connects to one of the most successful organizations on the Internet, Wikipedia, whose founder, Jimmy Wales - did or did not want to make money on the venture. However, he insisted and still insists that the venture be free of monetized capitalist venture. Instead, it must be an instrument of "The People." Damn, if that isn't a Marxist (BAD WORD) idea! Perhaps this last - though I am the only person to make this observation OUT LOUD - is why there has been so much critical comment about Wikipedia and Jimmy Wales by so many in and out of the various establishments.