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Stout Bazaar is Back

I’ve got my William Stout Bazaar temporarily functional. You should be able to buy stuff from it now.

Today we’re filling the orders that came in during the last week.

It looks like soon we’ll be moving this site to another server (which shouldn’t affect you, dear readers, one way or the other).

Thanks for hangin’ in there!

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Website Sales Department Down

It’s always something. PHP (Personal Home Page) just upgraded their system in a way that made my online shop, the William Stout Bazaar, non-functional. You can’t see anything, you can’t buy anything (thanks, guys, for not making it retro-compatible).

Although there is never a great time for losing one’s website shop, this happened just as I had announced three new books (see previous post). A few orders got through, and I am filling them.

For those of you who haven’t ordered but were going to, you can always snail mail me a check at:
William Stout, Inc.
1468 Loma Vista Street
Pasadena, CA 91104-4709

The books are $15 each. Please add $6.00 shipping per order (that’s per order — not per book. In other words, if you order all three new books, the shipping will be just six bucks.).

Or, you can order my books on the net through my pals Bud Plant or Stuart Ng. They both are carrying the new volumes (plus a lot of my previous volumes). The front covers won’t be signed, though (although the inside front cover of every book is signed and numbered).

I’ll let you know when it’s all up and running again. My two genius sons tell me that it appears I’ll have to rebuild my entire website from scratch.

Aaaaaargh! as we say in the comics.

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Three New Stout/Terra Nova Sketchbooks!

I prepared and published three brand new Terra Nova Press books in time for Comic-Con International. The first is William Stout – 50 Convention Sketches – Volume 18. There are actually more than fifty drawings in this book and is perhaps my most diverse sketchbook collection so far. It includes lots of new or rare monster drawings, movie poster studies, concept art, T-shirt designs and dinosaurs (of course!). There are even two drawings I did when I was just sixteen: a pen drawing illustrating a scene from Robert E. Howard’s “Red Nails” and a pen illustration for an Edgar Rice Burroughs story. Feel free to laugh!

Next up is Real Women Volume 3, my third figure drawing collection from my Sunday figure drawing workshop (also known as “Bill’s Church” by some participants or by my own term for the sessions: “Worshiping at the Temple of the Holy Female Form”). Over 75 drawings featuring a diverse range of beautiful women! I love every one of them — I hope it shows!

Last but by no means least is Zdenek Burian 2 – Prehistoric Man (sorry about the cover glare; it’s not actually seen on any of the books). This second volume by the Czech master illustrator collects over 120 black and white drawings (mostly pen, but also some scratchboard and charcoal drawings) of prehistoric man and his ancestors, never before seen in the United States.

This book is produced solely to expose more of Burian’s great pictures to art fans and collectors in the USA. Terra Nova Press lost money on the first book (Zdenek Burian 1 – Prehistoric Life) and it’s expected this book will lose even more (dinosaurs are so much more popular than cavemen). That’s OK by me — people need to see this great work!

This book includes a reminiscence on my 1980 attempt to meet Mr. Burian in his home city of Prague at the height of the Cold War. Was I successful? Was I arrested by the Secret Police? Read my essay and find out!

All three books are signed, numbered and limited and sell for the low price of just fifteen dollars each. They are available in the William Stout Bazaar section of this website.

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Happy 4th!

Happy 4th of July, everyone! It’s my oldest son’s birthday and my oldest grandchild’s birthday today!

And isn’t it a bit strange how many American Presidents were born on the 4th of July?

I am spending most of today putting together three new sketchbooks to debut at Comic-Con International next week, as well as continuing the major reorganization and cleaning of my studio (it’s looking great, thanks to my friend Kris).

I hope to see a whole lot of you real soon!

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A More Perfect Union Needs Your Help!

Jim Earp is a dear friend of mine. We recently collaborated on a project that is near and dear to my heart. A More Perfect Union will be a public access website that will clearly explain (in completely non-partisan fashion) the United States Constitution. Jim is on the last leg of his Kickstarter program, attempting to raise the necessary funds to make this happen. I hope that you can contribute.

My involvement? Jim hired me to design the site’s cartoon characters and paint some of the site’s backdrops and backgrounds. If you’d just like to see more of my art, that should reason be enough to contribute (I hope). Here’s Jim’s posting on my Facebook page (I updated the deadline to keep this post current):

Jim Earp posted on your Wall
“A MESSAGE FROM WILLIAM JENNINGS BRUIN :

Well folks, we have just until midnight, tonight to raise a little less than $18,000.00 for “A More Perfect Union.” We’ve been honored with a bunch of generous, giant-hearted donors already, and to them especially, our deepest thanks. But if all my friends and all my friends’ friends (those who can afford it only and if you can’t, don’t even think of sweating it), would throw in one measly tax-deductible buck, we could make it. Look at it this way: We can civilly, honestly, accurately enlighten the average citizen this way, or go ahead and let them be indoctrinated the the Koch Brothers/Fox News way. I don’t see much middle ground. Wouldn’t it be worth a tax-deductible buck or five to make a decent effort to slow the rot? As the great Lewis Lapham has asked on more than one occasion, “What possible use could the current crop of elected leaders have for an informed electorate?” Let’s show ’em.”

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The San Diego Zoo Murals – Part Thirty: Conclusion

I’m beginning the end run here with the tree I painted behind the short-faced bear

…and some water plants, plus the foliage below the bobcat and tortoise….

…and some Pleistocene lily pad type plants…

…as well as some California natives behind the coyote and a California juniper below the coyote…

…plus some more water plants and some painterly deep foreground definition…

…followed by more loosely painted plants below the fox

…and the same amount of plant detail below the giant jaguar.

In the morning I sneaked in another animal: the Pleistocene long-horned bison (Bison latifrons)…

..and painted more native California trees, including this palmetto.

I added then refined the second ground squirrel and then detailed the mallows in front of the giant ground sloth a bit more, as well as the deep foreground plants…

…and the plants below the tapir.

My friend Samantha Holmes asked me why I had painted the teratorn with such light (almost white) feathers. My lame answer was, “That’s the same color I painted it for the one in the sloth mural at the San Diego Natural History Museum.” It was also the same color as the illustration of the teratorn in the book Rancho La Brea: Treasures of the Tar Pits.

I gave it some thought. I figured that since the teratorn was somewhat related to the condor that I would give it a slight overhaul with some darker feathers. I like the result.

At this point, the first quarter of the Pleistocene mural looked like this…

…and the second quarter like this…

…and the third quarter…

…followed by the 4th quarter. There’s still a little bit of work to be done, but here’s the full mural at this point:

The next day I added some dappling to the water:

And a bit more dappling to this part of the pond:

My wife didn’t find the water convincing enough as water; plus, she thought the water color was a little too intense and (to use a critical term I use a lot) “too candy”.

So, I worked on it some more, adding more dapples, darkening the the water between the lily pads and cutting the “candy” color with some grayer dapples and paint.

I did that here, too.

After seeing some great Howard Terpning paintings at a nearby exhibition at the Autry Museum on Father’s Day, I decided to lighten the distant mountains, using the same technique I used on the first mural (see past Journal entries).

I did the same for this section of mountains, plus I decided to lighten the far part of the condors wing even more to evoke its great size and distance.

I signed this baby and it was done — and off it went to the photographer (just barely fitting its eight feet length into my mini-van)!

It’s done, folks! Thanks for sticking with me through all of this! The next step is for the San Diego Zoo to transfer these to mural images to a gigantic 8 ft. x 8 ft. tile and then install them at the Zoo. I’ll let you know when they’re up. They should be in place on public view well before Comic-Con International.

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The San Diego Zoo Murals – Part Twenty Nine

I continued to work on the right hand third of the Pleistocene mural, mostly landscape and plant work.

I did add another animal, which helped to expand the American lion‘s (Panthera atrox) story. The new species added was the dwarf pronghorn (Capromeryx minor), which the lion has just killed. So, the lion’s story changes from a lion looking all noble, surveying its kingdom, to a lion guarding its freshly killed prey.

I also “cleaned up” the water, smoothing over all the rough patches and doing a bit of blend work, as well as cleaning up the capybara reflections.

Here’s how that turned out:

I figure that, hopefully, today should be it. As soon as its finished (either today or tomorrow morning), it will go right off to my photographer, Blue Trimarchi at ArtWorks, to be professionally shot for the San Diego Zoo.

One more series of small steps and touch-ups to go!

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The San Diego Zoo Murals – Part Twenty Eight

Here’s a close-up of the tarantula (Aphonopelma).

I also completed the painting of the western black vulture (Coragyps occidentalis). I grayed it down considerably from the rest of the birds of prey in flight to place it more in the distance. I made a series of controlled scratches with the back end of my brush to evoke the flight feather quills of the bird.

The value of the American cheetah (Miracinonyx inexpectatus) was equal to the values ov the foreground animals, so I knew I had to change it to convey the illusion of distance I desired. I took some of the sky color and used it on top of the cheetah so that it looks like the cheetah’s coat is reflecting the sky. This also lightened the animal in relation to the other creatures, my main goal in this touch-up.

I worked some more on the reflections as well as the mud surrounding the pond. I also did substantial work on the middle third’s landscape. I glazed a pale wash of ultramarine blue over the bobcat (Lynx rufus) so that it would feel more like a part of the deep foreground mass. Except for the dark areas at the bottom of the canvas, the left and middle thirds are pretty much finished. Above is the middle third as it looked when I knocked off last night.

I don’t know if I can make this goal, but my current objective is to finish the right third today (and all of the bottom dark areas) and spend tomorrow just doing about a hundred little retouches before taking it to my photographer to be professionally shot (all the shots posted on this site were just quick snaps taken with my little digital camera).

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The San Diego Murals – Part Twenty Seven

After doing some quick research, I felt that the Zoo might be right in considering the straight bill on the flamingo (Phoenicopterus minutus) to be older than the Pleistocene. I changed it, but didn’t give it quite a modern flamingo bill; I gave it the slightly different curve of another flamingo from that time.

Not painting the American coots (Fulica americana) would have left a big hole, not only in the pond but in the storytelling (they’re swimming away from that saber-tooth).

After painting out the other nine birds in the sky (to help me meet my deadline) I had intended to paint, for similar reasons I decided I had to at least include the western black vulture (Coragyps occidentalis). It will only take a few minutes today to finish it.

I smoothed out the painting of a lot of the water and started to clean up the tapir‘s (Tapirus) reflection.

After paying more attention to the distant hills and mountains (I propped up both paintings on their side, side-by-side, so that I could match the geological contours of the modern mural), I also began to fill in the plants.

Here’s how the middle third looks at this point (click on this or any of the other images to make them larger):

Oh — I also painted in that tarantula (Aphonopelma) to the left of the fox. I painted some on the right hand third (mostly matching the two landscapes) as well. I hope to finish this second third today.

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The San Diego Zoo Murals – Part Twenty Six

As you can see, I made enormous progress over the weekend.

It’s all about botany and landscapes now. I need to carefully choose the plant species from the Pleistocene and place them in their appropriate habitats. I also need to evoke the Pleistocene landscape of San Diego, when it was much wetter and cooler.

There’s a lot of detail that’s been added, so I’ve made this image a little larger than my usual postings (click on the image to make it bigger).

This left third of the mural is nearly finished. I need to delineate what’s going on in the bottom dark area. My best painting teacher, Hal Kramer, had a mantra that went “Draw, paint; draw, paint.” There’s plenty of painting in the jaguar’s little hill and the plant clump next to it; now I’ve got to go back in and draw…then paint a little more and this section of the mural will be finished.

Anything that bothers you, dear viewers, please let me know now, as I will soon be reaching the Point of No Return — that is, once I deem this baby finished, it goes to the photographer. No more changes!

Full speed ahead!