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Wendell Everett, Professional Painter - Semi NSFW

post #1 of 53
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I'm trying to get enough paintings together to do a show at the end of the summer.  I've finished two and should be done with my third tomorrow.  Here's the first painting I'm hoping to sell - it's 24"x30"

 

I'm going to probably run into a greencard situation when I immigrate in a couple years, so if I can start churning out paintings and make some scratch, that will be cool.  If it doesn't work out, I'll have stuff in my book to show for freelance work.

 

Let me know what you guys think.  I'll be posting here every time I make something I don't hate.

 

post #2 of 53
Dang Wendell Everett, you dance and make videos and sketch and make music and paint? Is there anything you don't do?
post #3 of 53

Looks great Wendell.  Great use of colour.  I'd hang that on my wall with pride if...you know I wasn't dirt poor.

 

All the best of luck and looking forward to seeing more of your work.

post #4 of 53
Like the colors, love the contrast with the black. Composition's kinda odd, though.
post #5 of 53

Nice work!  Good use of color, and great work on the facial expression, dimensions & shapes.  I really appreciate that the style of painting looks like a paper collage.

 

I am with commodorejohn in regards to the composition.  I feel like the piece would be a little more successful if her head overlapped the umbrella.  Also, the green flowers at the bottom feel at odds with the rest of the composition. They feel a bit tacked on - especially since flowers aren't really entirely green.  They look like an afterthought.  Finally, I think you could have pushed the shading a bit more on the left side of the face.

 

That said, still great work.  I am envious.  I've never been a very good painter.  Keep up the great work, man!

post #6 of 53
Thread Starter 

All good feedback.  I've had particular trouble with backgrounds since I started painting in high school.  Too much background work, and the foreground becomes diminished and poorly blocked - too little background and the work becomes undistinguished and flat.  I've been looking at Muncha's work and noticed Art Nouveau backgrounds can be pretty undefined, with lots of flowers and solid colors, just busy enough not to be boring.

 

  

 

Here's my design for the painting I'm almost finished with - I still have about 2/3 hours to go on the actual painting ... the actual paining looks pretty identical to the design, I'll post it soon.  This will probably be the most elaborate background I do for a while - these backgrounds with lots of figurative context are a pain in the ass - for my next compositions  I'll be sticking to self contained background elements like large floating flowers and circular designs like seashells - the idea will be to express repetition of shape in conjunction with color.  So far the background in these two paintings express movement with the line, but when the lines don't go anywhere interesting, the viewer gets discouraged, so I think it's better to work with circular lines and shapes.

 

 

I have some more thoughts, but I'll wait until I can post the actual painting.

post #7 of 53
Quote:

Originally Posted by WendellEverett View Post

 

so I think it's better to work with circular lines and shapes.

 

 

You are a really great painter!  More great work, however you might want to be careful when adding shapes to lines just for the sake of making them interesting.  In the painting above, the beach just seems to end below her body to make way for an inexplicable line design. I feel like I ache for the background that's missing from the painting. You could add some great value and color to really make the piece pop.

 

The lines and shapes you've used on the mermaid and rocks is spot on.  I love the pose.  I love that the subject's eye direct me through the piece.  Great decision there.  If anything, you could push the value below the bend in the tail. As it is, her tail appears to be far too short and disproportionate to her upper body.

 

I still wish I had command of paint like you do.  I'm just a pencil and paper or basic digital artist sort of fella.  Really awesome work!

post #8 of 53
The second painting is very cool too. I agree with WD that it seems there's a horizon line or something missing where the sand would meet the sky but I don't feel like the bend in the tail is lost so the proportions work for me. It should be noted I don't know what I'm talking about though, I'm not even a pencil and paper artist.
post #9 of 53
Thread Starter 

This is the actual painting ... finished it about an hour ago.  I thought it was looking good right up until the end when I did the face.  Even at 24 x 36, I couldn't get the type of face detail I achieved in my first painting, because I mostly work with larger brushes.  I'm going to probably block out the face, spray it with white primer, and start again with smaller brushes - try and layer the skin values without blending, which I think I did pretty well around the belly.

 

Another problem is there are about a dozen different colors in this painting - and I stenciled out about 8 of them for airbrushing.  With the first painting I only had to stencil out 4 colors, which went a lot better - both the hair and the dark blue in the design are too light, and once you spray, you're pretty much stuck.  The more colors you spray the more likely you are to screw some up - the first painting I sprayed the blue too dark but it ended up not as big of a problem.

 

 

Here's my first painting in the series, so after three weeks I'm pretty much 1 for 3 in terms of making paintings that I think are worth putting in a gallery and trying to sell.  I think I'm going to stick with mermaids though - one thing I did wrong is buy a stock image of an actual mermaid for a reference - I need to buy high contrast photos of regular models and just add a tail, which is super duper easy to design.  I'm also going to work bigger - my mother has some 24 by 48 stretch bars, so I'll be able to make the tail longer next time - here's the reference btw, notice the face doesn't have great contrast or detail.

 

post #10 of 53
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Edit - I don't think I'm going to bother fixing the face.  I'll just take the two I don't like to a coffee shop and try and get $100 for them.  I don't really want any gallery owners seeing them anywho.

 

I think coffee shops will be to my bad paintings what movie soundtracks were to songs n the 90s - stuff not good enough to be in the album.

post #11 of 53
It's noticeable from the reference shot that it's not that there's a sky/sand line missing from the painting, it's that in the photo the beach actually falls away beneath the model whereas in the painting it appears to be level, I think mostly because of the way the mermaid's shadow is painted all the way up under her, "touching" her rather than laying beneath and separate. Don't know if that makes any sense.
post #12 of 53
Thread Starter 

Here's the design for my next painting - I kept it down to 5 colors - 7 if you count black and white.  I'm going to stretch out some neat pink floral fabric for canvas and block out what I want to paint with KILLZ brand primer .... I don't know if it will actually work, it's an experiment in fear.  For this one I looked right at some Muncha paintings while I did the nose and eyes, which kept things a lot cleaner, even if it does look like an Archie comic a bit.  It really helped that I've already done a mermaid tail, so I knew exactly what type of reference to use.  This one is going to be huge - 48 by 24.  I'll put it up here in a few days.

post #13 of 53
Thread Starter 

 

 

This ended up taking entirely too long - it took eight hours, so I didn't have time to put an otter and some coral in the back tonight.  I've developed a formula to knock out the faces fast, and the hair and tail should be a lot easier going forward - I struggled a bit, but I think I've got it.  Going to do one more "practice" composition of a mermaid sitting, and then start knocking 'em out to develop a Wendell Everett Mermaid brand to help pay for the kid I'm having in January.

post #14 of 53
No time for an otter? This modern life ...

I'm all for experiments in fear though.
post #15 of 53
Thread Starter 

 

I'm giving this design my SEAL of approval.  Gonna go print out these designs and start painting

post #16 of 53
Thread Starter 

 

Finished my first good mermaid painting.  Going to rework the second design - keep the seals and the bottom of the tail, but make the mermaid again using the same model I used for this painting.  Probably going to get this professionally scanned for $100 to make smaller prints - Hoping to sell for $600, so my take is about $360.  Material cost was about $60.  That would be about $50 a day for labor - basically McDonald's money - but if I can get 12 or so good mermaid paintings I think I can transition into cards, calendars, etc.  I pay a license on the stock photos and change them enough that I think I'm operating pretty legit.

 

post #17 of 53
That came out really sweet Wendell Everett. The floral fabric background is super-effective. I mean, the fact you hung it non-centred above the fireplace is an assault on my character, but if I had $600 I'd buy that painting.
post #18 of 53
Thread Starter 

Well, that took all day.  Going to paint all weekend.  Forgot to order light blue airbrush paint so I'm going to try my luck mixing acrylic with airbrush medium.

post #19 of 53
Thread Starter 

 

 

Had a lot of trouble finishing my last painting because the face was too small to add detail.  The process of priming the fabric makes it very tough and great for spraying stencils and using paint pens, but it's very coarse for brush work - ended up trying to re-paint the face to be just just perfect, but ended up making the canvas over-saturated and the paint couldn't dry.  Even if I worked it out, the face area has a patch of interrupted canvas texture which screws up the color consistency through the composition.

 

So, instead of re-starting the same design, I've decided I'm only going to work with big faces, which means the mermaid pose will almost always be the same.  Through slight variation of pose, model, color and back-ground, I hope to create a good series with enough variety.

 

Been showing my work on Facebook and have a solid connection to have my work reviewed by a good gallery in LA.  Have to hold off on selling work until I can finish a second good mermaid painting to show to the gallery owner - hoping to get this hammered out before the weekend and have both paintings professionally scanned and emailed to LA by this time next week.

post #20 of 53
Thread Starter 

 

Toned down some of the color variance and detail to make this easier to paint - widened the tail a bit too.  Prob not going to mess with this again before I print out the reference.

post #21 of 53
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Edited by WendellEverett - 7/31/14 at 8:54pm
post #22 of 53
Thread Starter 

So, took the two paintings into the print-shop to be professionally photographed and color matched.  Talked to the guy about his process - the camera at the place costs $40,000, and if I want replicas printed onto canvas, they use $30,000 Epsons that are the size of a Buick.  Having the two paintings photographed and color-matched is about $150.  I pick up the files on Friday and will post them here.

 

Getting replicas printed also is expensive - $80 to have canvas printed at 18"x36".  What's nice is that if I want to show at a gallery, I can print out two "paintings", but I have to sell them for at least $150 to turn a profit if the gallery takes 40%.  I need to sell the originals for at least $250 to make a profit.  What's nice about having professionally photographed paintings is that I can show them to galleries .... although 90% of galleries will take my paintings just looking at iPhone photos, getting exact relpica photos might help me get into the 10% that sell for higher prices.

 

I have to wait until my friend gets the good photographs and shows them to the gallery in LA, in the mean-time I've been thinking about how I don't really need to paint (unless the LA gallery owner wants a bunch of paintings, which is a long shot).  I can print out 11" x 17" on card stock of my Photoshop stuff for less than $2 and sell it on Etsy for like $10 - $20, might even be able to print out posters for cheap too.  I can also print out copies of the paintings that I have professionally photographed.  Anyways, here's a couple mermaids I'm working on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #23 of 53
Thread Starter 

Ok - so I'm officially sick of mermaids for a bit.  One thing that I noticed is that the models on the $1 stock image place aren't that hot - and that it's screwing up my process.  As an experiment I used someone who is definitely attractive and it was MUCH easier to hammer things out.  I've ordered six 24" stretcher bars for about $50 and they'll be here in a couple weeks - I'm going to work on some smaller designs using characters from Mad Max and Doomsday, and Maybe a couple Nikki Minaj pictures (I love her) - I'm not going to reproduce these anyways, and the above image is a good example of the bare minimum something can be changed from a photo and still be considered "art".  Even if I can't get these into galleries, I think they'll be pretty easy to sell on Etsy or at a street fair, where I only have to put them in the $40 to $60 range to turn a profit.

 

Even though 24" x 24" is technically half the size of 24" x 48", the materials cost should be a third, mostly because stretcher bars are a lot cheaper.  If I paint the above design on 24" x 24" the materials cost should be in the $20 ballpark, instead of the $50 - $75 I've been spending on the bigger paintings.

post #24 of 53
Thread Starter 

Tonight I learned that drawing transparent chain mail that's layered on like five shoulder pads is kinda hard to draw.  Fuck it - I'll just cover it up with a Thunderdome.

post #25 of 53
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post #26 of 53
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Here's some JPGs of my paintings after being professionally photographed.  I've sent copies to my LA connection and have to sit on my hands until I hear back - but I will likely sell the Mad Max stuff off of Etsy as soon as I crank out the three paintings.  Stretched and primed three canvases for the background today, so the Max stuff should be done in the next few weeks.

 

 

Still need to get to designing my road dog.  I've never seen such a low res photo have such amazing detail:

 

 

Mr. Welles should get a lifetime achievement award for his work in two movies thirty years ago.  I'm going to turn these into an incredible painting:

 

 

After the Max stuff, might move into Doom territory

 

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 90

 

And there's still tons of Max references I could adapt - depends on how fast/much I sell my first four Max paintings.

 

 

 

post #27 of 53
Thread Starter 

 

Can't wait to paint this.

post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by WendellEverett View Post
 

 

Can't wait to paint this.

 

Love it.

post #29 of 53
Thread Starter 

 

Finished my Imperator Furiosa painting today.  Real happy how it turned out - the face doesn’t have as much yellow as the camera picks up.  24” x 24” Acrylic and Oil on Canvas.   Max is coming along - will try and finish by the weekend.

post #30 of 53
Thread Starter 

 

I'm pretty happy the way Max turned out, but the car is a mess - there are at least two lines that are way off perspective, although I'm happy with the windshield and the side door.  One of the reasons I got off mermaids was to save time - and movie star pictures are easy to plan, but they take just as long to paint.  After I'm done with the my Vernon Wells I've already designed and finish the Game of Thrones Arcade Cabinet - I'll probably go back to mermaids, since they're easier to paint and I think they're more likely to sell ... they just take longer to design in Photoshop


Edited by WendellEverett - 8/14/14 at 5:00pm
post #31 of 53
Thread Starter 

Now that my Summer vacation is over, I'm back to just an hour or so a day.  I've started the Vernon Wells painting and might finish it soon.  Also have a practice Danerys / Drogo half-way done on large canvas, it's in the Arcade Cabinet of Thrones thread.

 

Been drawing with a no. 2 pencil about an hour a night.  This is the best drawing I've done in awhile.  Will definitely clean it in PS and trace it onto canvas

 

 

Also did some tracing/ drawing of Emily Meade, the teen on HBO's The Leftovers - might incorporate this into another mermaid.  

 

post #32 of 53
Thread Starter 

post #33 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by WendellEverett View Post



That's the friendliest I've ever seen him look. I think it's the way his left eyelid arches.
post #34 of 53
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post #35 of 53
Thread Starter 

 

 

I'm actually not really wild about my Game of Thrones painting, so I might not even sell it.  Going to be giving a few paintings to a friend to sell on Etsy, and I'm going to enter two paintings in a contest/show - paid the $30 entry fee, it's in October.

 

Kind of glad that I got another mermaid design finished.   Anyway, this one has good contrast and shit.  Think it's a winner!

 


Edited by WendellEverett - 9/1/14 at 5:22pm
post #36 of 53
Thread Starter 

 

Beginning to get much faster at designs now that I've gotten better with a few anime / art nouveau tricks, especially with the eyes and noses; not outlining the inner bottom of the eye, three of four big pointy eyelashes, sharp thin eyebrows, oval lips, and the same highlight patterns - triangles for the cheeks and forehead, oval for the lip, nose, and chin, shadow on the sides of the face, under one side of the nose, but sparingly under the eyes.

post #37 of 53
Thread Starter 

 

Going to start painting these at 36" x 18" - which is about as big as you can go before the UPS/FedEx/USPS rates start getting out of control. Working smaller should make these a little easier to hammer out and bring production cost down  significantly - but it will make adding detail harder, which is why I've started cropping in closer ... I actually think that from a composition angle my work is improving, even if I've been rushing through my line quality and color values.  My last three designs have all been done in individual sittings, and I'm throwing out less work, so I'm definitely getting more efficient.  I'll be switching gears to selling so I can re-coop some of my production cost .... I have to text my Etsy guy, he also wants to play BF4 so I should really get on it.

post #38 of 53
Thread Starter 

 

 

 

Well I've got some designs I've got to paint by October 3, which is when I put up a show in downtown Southport, NC in a casual upper-mid scale wine tasting gallery type place.  Probably going to do the two blue haired mermaids on 36 x 18.  The gallery takes 50% and the owner says the sweet spot for quick sales is $150, but the production cost is still in the $40, so my take would be like $35.  Not great for a ton of work, but at least the designs are only taking 3 hours or so by now, and smaller paintings also take less time.  Mostly I have to get the some more paintings scanned and and sell the 12x24 prints at $150 - the prints are about $55, so I make about $20 on those.  Scanning them costs another $60 a pop. so it's kind of like buying stocks.  Also having dinner with the Etsy guy on Saturday and will give him the Road Warrior stuff.  I'll post some pictures of the show when it happens.

 

 


Edited by WendellEverett - 9/11/14 at 10:39pm
post #39 of 53
Thread Starter 

Gave the Etsy Guy the Furiosa and Vernon Wells paintings to put on Etsy.  $100 plus prob $20-$25 shipping.  I give him about $20 and the materials are prob in the $40-$50 range, so my take is about $40 on those.  Going to give him 24x12 mermaid prints to also sell for $100, my take on those is more like $30.  Should have a link soon.

 

Gallery gets 3 medium sized original in the $150 - $200 range, plus one huge framed mermaid original for $600.  If I sell all four originals plus a mermaid print, my take will be about $600, which would cover a huge chunk of the materials this summer.  Including the airbrush compressor I've spent easily a grand on paint, canvas, stretcher bars, printing, scanning etc in the last few months.

 

At the end of the month I'll have four mermaids I can make prints from, and I should know if the Road Warrior stuff sells.  The Etsy guy thinks I should do Star Wars stuff - Storm Trooper, Fett, and Bounty Huter Leia are all pretty easy to draw, so might do a SW series (after I do my Nikki Minaj painting). IG-88 is actually my favorite, but I know from doing the Mad Max Interceptor that it's a pain in the ass to do straight lines with the paint pens, since you can't really use a ruler (it would smudge all over the place)

 

The LA gallery guy wants to see more stuff - a long shot but not a dead end.  Can't really write about it any more since theoretically he could backwards search the images and read everything I'm thinking.  At least this forum is members-only.

post #40 of 53
Makes sense that Star Wars stuff would sell but I know from a pal who tried to sell some SW parody T-shirts it can be hard to get them cleared through some online sellers. I have no idea about Etsy but it's probably worth looking into before you spend the time and materials on it. If that works out maybe some Iron Man and Batman themed work would also be popular. Maybe even Katniss.

As for straight lines, is it possible with your techiques to rule a pencil line to go over with the paint pen?
post #41 of 53
Thread Starter 

That's actually a good idea.  The paint pens are kinda a pain in the ass because you need to finesse the pressure to get an even flow, and that means using a lot of speed and working over areas with rough textures.  I will try using a a ruler to get better lines, but I'm also just going to start avoiding things with non-organic lines like buildings and cars

 

Anyways - finished another mermaid.  Not going to bother scanning this one.  The flower on the left is all fucked up, and I sprayed the lips and white spots on the face instead of using paint pens, which fucked up the registration.  At least she kinda looks like Gina Gershon.  I want to see if I can get $180 for this opening night at the show, if I can't I'll knock it down to $150 (I get $75) to cover my materials.

 

post #42 of 53
Thread Starter 

 

 

New mermaid design.  Going to print this out with the Nicki Minage tomorrow and should paint them pretty quick

post #43 of 53
Thread Starter 

 

Thought the design from last night could use some work.  this is the most I've worked on a design for a while - Prob 6 hours or so.  Hopefully the painting turns out good enough I can make a print from it.

post #44 of 53
Thread Starter 

Big show in Southport tomorrow night .... or as I like to think of it, the Safe Haven Historical District.  There's little shrines to Julianna Hough, Josh Duhamle, and Ryan Seacrest scattered around town, which you could skateboard across in about two minutes.  Around 4th of July, it has the same foot traffic as Manhattan.

 

post #45 of 53
Thread Starter 

Made this for tumblr and it got a few notes.  Also made just north of a Franklin at the gallery, I sold out of all my prints for $15 a piece and even sold the painting from the first post.  Put a lot of the stuff at fire sale prices to re-coop costs, they don't call me every time I make a sale, but hopefully I'll make back a lot of the materials costs from last summer.  Been working on my lines a lot more in PS - I think this Britney piece looks a lot cleaner than usual but took like FOREVER.  Also kind of proud of the background since I did the paisley design with a sharpie, took a photo with my phone, and then processed the hell out of them in PS.  My brother in law writes comic scripts so I might start just doing free work for him - I want to learn Magna Studio's modeling tools.  I didn't light the world on fire profit-wise, but I had a fun experience and think I could get something rolling if I started leaning more towards digital prints - the cost/mess/time-suck of paint really wears me out sometimes.

post #46 of 53
Thread Starter 

Well, the gallery owner ran into me in the supermarket today and told me I sold three paintings during the summer but he had "trouble" emailing me for some reason (eye roll).  I have no idea how much money this means since all he knew for sure he sold was the Mad Max.  If the big mermaid sold this could mean half a stack in my pocket - I told him I'd come by for the check Tuesday or Wednesday.  Since I sold all my prints and four paintings in less than a year,  technically I feel like a "success".  I could end up painting the Britney if I want to jump back into things .... I'll post here how it goes since I know you're all on pins and needles.

post #47 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by WendellEverett View Post

... I'll post here how it goes since I know you're all on pins and needles.

Glad to hear it man, get that paper! Did you ever do any comic work with your brother?
post #48 of 53
Thread Starter 

It was actually my brother in law .... and, naw, not really.

 

I picked up a check for just shy of $300.  What I learned is price is overwhelmingly the most important factor - the buyers bought the cheapest, lowest quality stuff while the big, expensive stuff stays on the shelf.  The take away is to start make paintings that cost about $20 - $30 in materials to produce and sell quick for $80 - $100, which is about a $20 profit after the gallery gets a cut.  I made $40 profits off the paintings I sold, but they literally sat on the shelf for a year.  Right now I have my biggest, highest quality stuff priced to make $150 profits, not because they're really worth it, but because I don't really want to sell them.

 

The other trick will be to make two copies of each painting - if I like how it turns out, I can keep one.  I'm not selling the Vernon Welles I made (I'm keeping that), but I could easily make two more, keep the best one, and sell the others for $75 - $100.

 

The news that I actually sold four paintings kinda kills my idea of becoming a Youtuber dead.  I can probably start making $2 - $5 an hour as a self-employed artist right now, which is like a 100x multiplier of what I'm making on Youtube with 16 subscribers.  Honestly, I feel like a lot of the paintings I made turned out like crap - I rushed things to make enough pieces for a show, and I let production costs spiral out of control.  As I go into 2016 I'm going to treat things more like a job - keep my eyes on ways to cut costs while doing better, more original work.

post #49 of 53
Thread Starter 

Well, I was by the gallery and they're down to one painting.  I actually have a bunch of materials left over from 2014, so I'm getting back to work.  I got a check for $75 this week, and they have another for $140 in another couple of weeks.  I'm going to do another four paintings at least, probably have enough materials for 10.  I'm going to do some "gif sets" where I screen print the words underneath the paintings.

 

These are what I'm working on now:

 

 

 

I broke up the stencils for Omar in Photoshop and I feel like I'm getting faster.  This took three, maybe four hours:

 

post #50 of 53

So, are things like Patreon and the like workable for you? I follow a few artists who've gone down that route as one of a number of avenues they run in parallel with other things they're doing.

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