Scale model cockpit FPV

cool scale cockpit video

Funny Zoo Snap

man enjoys elephant My wife noticed this in the family archives.

RC Nitro motorcycle racing

rc motorcycle Motorcycle racing in Lilliput.

Manned RC Multicopter

manned multicopter
Here’s an RC multicopter big enough to ride on!

Make: Talk 004

make: Talk 004
I had a fun time talking to Mark Frauenfelder in episode 4 of his new podcast, Make: Talk!

One Man Basement Band

one man band
I feel like I could be getting more mileage out of my right foot.


liberty vintage motorcycles An Etsy portrait. Thanks, Danny.

Tequila Sleeve

tequila the champs
Champs sleeve

Wolf-Stelzer Book Lamp

Book Lamp
My friend Tess just made the cover of ReadyMade with her cool lamp design.

Tree Stump Bug

Can this be for real? The design is so awesomely Thunderbirds. Via

The Nothing Box

nothing box


Thunderbirds are go
Are Go!

Command Center

command center
Sweet assemblage spaceship’s bridge.

Four Drano’s

Watch the sink slowly, all but disappear from the design .

Toothpaste Aerosol

toothpaste aerosol
Aerosol toothpaste

Make an Oil Painting

oil painting from photo

I was so impressed that Linda had agreed to let me buy a 55 inch taxidermed yellowfin tuna to hang above the fireplace in our living room, that I changed my mind about it and decided on something that I knew she would really like. A portrait of the two loves of her life.

I have really been getting into contemporary/pop surrealist painters lately, and I have some ideas of my own that I would like to pursue, so doing this fairly straight portrait from one of our favorite photos will be a good chance for me to hone my technique before I bust out on some of my own themes.

Painting with Crutches

Talented artists might just squint their eyes, and start blocking out the basic forms, but I am a hack, and need to employ a few tricks to help me get going. To make it interesting, and easier on myself, I decided to do the painting in a monochrome blue rather than “living color”. I am also using a little Photoshop manipulation, and a grid to help me block out the basic foundation.

oil painting from photo

Photoshop Cutout Filter

After I changed the color to a blue monochrome, I ran the cutout filter on the image.

Filter » artistic » cutout, with the following values:

No. of Levels: 8
Edge Simplicity: 4
Edge Fidelity: 2

oil painting from photo

The result is an 8 color image with distinctly delineated shading.

Grid it

Getting off the grid of all good and well if you’re talking about becoming energy self-sufficient, but if you aren’t the worlds greatest sketch artist, and you want to do a well-proportioned portrait, you might want go stick with the grid (or better yet, an opaque projector). I printed out my filtered image, drew a grid onto it and indexed both axes with numbers and letters.

oil painting from photo

Then I drew a similar grid onto my art board to use as a guide while roughing in the image. After getting the basic face outline and feature position, I drew in the “cutout” lines that the photoshop filter produced.

The idea is that I will just fill in the basic shading as if I were doing a Paint By Numbers kit. I will then put on a few more layers of shading, making it progressively smoother, with subtler gradients each time, before adding the final detail and line work. Wish me luck.

oil painting from photo

Next up: Putting on some paint.

5 Responses to “Make an Oil Painting”

  1. jacob Says:

    This looks like a cool project, I’ll be looking forward to your progress.

  2. Amy Crehore Says:

    I am impressed so far.

    I think the monochromatic approach is a good one. It will go faster than a full color painting and it’s a nice blue tone.

    Also, I am impressed about the fact that you decided to paint a painting of your kids instead of buying and hanging a large tuna.


  3. Steve Says:

    Thanks Amy!

    That’s really nice coming from You.


  4. Will Says:

    Wow. Just saw the photo of it hanging in the living room. Looks very cool. I’d love to see a full frame photo of it.

  5. Dan Edmondson Says:

    This is interesting! By the way, the children look great!…Daniel