Shakespeare Acrylic Portrait

Shakespeare

I’m painting a portrait of the Bard on watercolor paper stapled to a square maple board. Initially I drew an outline, using a proportional divider to guarantee the correct basic proportions, such as the distance between the eyes, the position of the hairline and the chin, the ruffles of the collar, etc. It’s an old engineer’s trick which I have no qualms utilizing.

I’m a total amateur so I haven’t a clue if I’m approaching a painting the “right” way. I’m just having fun figuring things out on my own. I don’t have a deft hand, but as I’ve indicated I rely on engineering tricks to get things right — my only strength as an “artist” — a term I’m still not comfortable with and do not use to define myself.

Graduation

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Nathan

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Last night I had the pleasure of reading names at graduation. Before the ceremony I had fun hanging out with students. I never miss graduation because, except for a wedding, it is about the most life-affirming event one can attend — full of hope for the future in ways that few things are in life.

A Student Collage of Me

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A student sent me this via email with the following message: “Here is the collage I made of you for IB Art. Thank you for being my muse.” This is the sort of thing teachers live for.

Yearbook

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It was quite a surprise to see that the graduating senior class voted me as one of their two favorite teachers. I never buy a copy of the yearbook, but it’s always great to have one’s picture in it.

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There was also a short write-up about me and my newfound artistic endeavor.

The Crucible Audiobook

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This is a full-cast performance by The Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center featuring Robert Foxworth, Pamela Payton-Wright, Stuart Pankin, and Jerome Dempsey and cast. I use this full audio recording of The Crucible in my classroom and intend no copyright infringement. It’s for educational purposes only.

It was produced by Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center (under the direction of Jules Irving and Robert Symonds) and directed by John Berry.

Act One

Act Two

Act Three

Act Four

 

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Polaroid Snapshot No. 1

Polaroid No 1

I finally got a battery for the Polaroid Land 250 camera I purchased on eBay. I aimed it at a flowery vine creeping up a wooden fence in our backyard. The results were pretty good for a vintage camera.

The Illustrated Shakespeare

twogentlemen_frontThe first volume of The Illustrated Shakespeare, a projected thirty-eight books — one a month for the next thirty-eight months — is scheduled for publication Monday, January 9.

It’s an ambitious project, and one for which I’m proud to be the illustrator, something that might come as a complete surprise to anyone who knows me since I’ve always spoken of my writing and not a word about art. Nevertheless, each book is supposed to be done in a different style. My challenge is to mix it up as much as I can. The Two Gentlemen of Verona is not an oft-read play, but it was the Bard’s first.

The books are being printed in alphabetical order, so the two gentlemen are up first.

Shakespeare Reimagined

shakespearelowrezThis is the first portrait I ever painted in gouache — the Bard of Avon, based on the famous Chandos portrait. I chose gouache for this painting because it’s more opaque than the watercolors I typically use. Plus these Holbein brand paints helped me get the dark background I wanted.

This particular portrait is reproduced on the back cover of an upcoming paperback edition of The Two Gentlemen of Verona soon to be published by Coyote Canyon Press. I designed the cover and also completed forty-five pencil illustrations for the book. Publication date is January 8, 2017.

Raymond Carver Postcard

When I send postcards to friends, I often draw a picture. My friend, the novelist David Winkler, loves the literary characters I draw. He’s always been a fan of the short stories of Raymond Carver, so this one was fitting.

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Kurt Vonnegut

I’ve alway liked the writing of Kurt Vonnegut, so he was a natural choice for my first attempt to draw a likeness of a famous writer. I think I captured a pretty good Kurt.

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