Author Archives: leocharre

Pope Francis

Today I saw in the news that Pope Francis has brought to attention the Armenian Genocide.

I keep getting surprised by this guy. A while back he made some comments on not judging gay people.

So I thought it was time to go ahead and do a portrait of this guy. He’s something else- very different from the regular clergy. It’s good to see an old establishment showing little signs of moving forward.

Portrait of Pope Francis

The work has been posted on ebay. It may be available as of this reading.

Drew Struzan

I wanted to take a minute to talk about an interesting artist. This guy is Drew Struzan. He did the posters for E.T., Indiana Jones, Star Wars. And many many others. His work is pretty fabulous, from a technical standpoint.

He works in an odd way. His technique is closer to comic artists than traditional painters. As we all know, you work dark to light. And he does do so- but the variety of media he uses in one piece is astounding.

Stuzan does a sketch, a layout, than uses acrylic paints both with brushes and an air gun. As his last steps, he uses what I think are pastel pencils- to finish off details and highlights. A very odd combination. It’s amazing how well his works hold together with such an array of media.

I am going to examine some of his work for you- from my technical standpoint- to highlight some of the things I see.

Blade Runner Poster

This is the poster in all its glory. Drew likes to work on a one to one scale. That means this poster is not printed shrunken down to give a false illusion of detail.

bladerunner-detail1In this first detail, we see Sean Young’s face close up. I want to point out the lips. It’s very alike John Singer Sargent. There is not a lot of work here- just very perfectly placed shapes and lines. And notice the lips have very few strokes. It’s the strong white highlight that gives this life. What’s masterful about this, is that if you look at it close up, lips alone- it looks done clumsily and brute. But the effect is classy and the viewer’s brain puts it all together so well.

bladerunner-detail3This next detail, shows a close up of Rutger Hauer’s face. Look at this, and imagine all the white is not present. Then you see simply blocks of colors that normally would not go together- ochres, purples, blues. Very harsh stuff by itself. But the the crosshatching- with white pastels and or pencil, give the shapes life. You have to look at this detail shot and imagine all those small white pencil lines gone.

Powerlines Feb 1 2015

I’ve been finishing up some oil pieces and I think this one came our particularly well.


Often I’m frustrated with the presentation of art. There are some fabulous paintings out there- which simply cannot be presented as a simple image on a screen of piece of paper. A good painterly oil piece is part image part sculpture- that you touch with your sight. Just as you would run the soft tips of your fingers over your lover’s lips, or the needles of a cactus.

One of the most poignant examples that is always in the back of my head is Hans Hofmann’s “Into Outer Space”. This painting resides at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk. This is an ugly painting on the screen, no, hideous. But to see it up close, inspires awe.

So I want to show people a little bit of what an artist sees when they look at a painting. What I often tell my friends is, I go into a museum or gallery, and I don’t look at the art- I step right up to it, my nose inches away. And if I like what I see- I step back and take in the wholet thing. Otherwise it’s a waste of my time.

So here are some detail shots.. of what we’re looking at when we paint, or when we are taking in a piece that may suggest we should step back..

IMG_6303 IMG_6304 IMG_6305 IMG_6306 IMG_6307 IMG_6308 IMG_6309 IMG_6310 IMG_6311

using tar creating archive recursively

I wanted to quickly make a tar file of a set of directories and copy them to another box.

tar cvf – $(find . ) > out.tar

Now, if you have lsutils

tar cvf – `find `lsd“ > out.tar

the to expand
tar xvf out.tar

Manually installing fonts
On ubuntu-
after putting the new fonts somewhere in /usr/share/fonts/
run this command:
fc-cache -v -f

Best Charcoal Pencil

I’ve made a transition in my art fom graphite to charcoal.
I have learned a few things that make the difference (at least for me) between being comfortable with charcoal and simply suffering from it.
My specialty is line work. Not all charcoal pencils are the same.

Wood: Ever sharpened a pencil and found the wood splinter- be too soft or too hard to sharpen properly?
In my breakdown, wood means that. That you can easily sharpen the pencil- you won’t waste too much of it.
Material quality: What you have after you put down the line. What you have on the surface- how easy it is to move around, how well it stays on the surface, quality of pigment, etc.
Quality: overall desireability of product.

General’s Charcoal
Wood: good
Material quality: poor
Quality: poor

PRIMO (General Pencil Company)
Wood: good
Material quality: good
Quality: best
The PRIMO line of charcoal pencils is amazing. You must have the whites as well, they are perfectly opaque. These are the best pencils to sharpen. I suggest you use mainly the HB- the B pencils are very soft- and you will find yourself sharpening endlessly. Found this out the hard way. You can actually use a good pencil sharpener to keep a decent tip, other charcoal pencils would crumble.
When you look for these you will also find the PRIMO Elite Grande 5000, be aware that this pencil is broader than the regular pencils, and you will need a larger pencil sharpener for it, which are available. This larger charcoal pencil is nice but more expensive, stick to the regular size.

Gioconda (Koh I Noor)
Wood: poor
Material quality: good
Quality: good
Sharpening with a standard pencil sharpener works half the time. You need a razor blade to keep a fine tip on these. This brand also carries a Sepia Dark 8804 and Sepia Light 8803 that I recomend as compliments to your regular charcoal work. I can tell using this line of charcoal pencils that the pigment/material quality is very high, but the wood used is not very good.

Other materials you will be using:

Kneaded eraser.
Standard rubber eraser.
Small eraser.
Toned paper.

Painting Clouds

So, I’ve got this crazy idea- these pictures I took years ago of lamp posts, I’m going to turn them into a small series of paintings.
But I realize I am going to have to learn to paint clouds.
But, Leo! You already know how to paint!
Now, now.. Let’s not forget the buddhist mind- to have beginner’s mind. So- I must learn.

I’ve been looking up some tutorials online on how to do this. And I want to share some of what I’ve found to be useful.

  • Tim Gagnon has a good tutorial. What I like about this video is that it’s slow. So he gives you a good idea of process. His material here is acrylic. Pay attention to his start off with a white underpainting to spread the coming layers- very interesting.
  • Wilson Bickford‘s demo is with oil paint. I don’t find his cloud demo to end up terribly interesting. But what I find precious are some of his pointers. For example, the physics of clouds and the sky, and how this changes from horizon towards the top of the sky.


and coerced into forming the greatest boy band of the century
valentino sandalsTen Reason To Get The Google Nexus One

Liste to da radio


Radio is a pretty mysterious and wonderful thing.

I”ve heard some beautiful things on the radio- I”ve been introduced to
beautiful things- such as the Magnetic Fields, the Wrens..

There are these .. Indie stations.. That is.. college music radio.

There are two kinds of radio stations that I personally find precious.
Indie music, and npr.


Npr”s sort of a network of stations all accross the country- funded by
listeners like you and me. No advertisements.
You can hear David Sedaris reading his latest work of “fiction”, the lastest
world news- etc. Incredible stuff. Cooking shows.. Why people are happy or
sad. Yup- that ecclectic.


I can think of a couple close to my heart.. Emmerson in Boston, and Princeton.
These stations have shows that are run by the latest most cutting edge
musicians in the world.
We all know how music becomes a revolution- at first some people get together
and play in your mom”s basement. Then they play at a friend”s house- then the
“band” gets a few members and moves to London or NY. Before David Jones was
David Bowie- wouldn”t it be cool to know such good stuff before it became
Now now.. I”ve heard a lot of bullshit about this.
I saw this site where people had posted complaints about the fact that
“Modest Mouse” was now commonplace. They were complaining that cheerleaders
and “jocks” were listening to that music- that it sucks.

What the fuck.
How fucking dare you? Really?
That”s like … Complaining that many people like choccolate and are able to
get a hold of it.
What a fucking jackass lowlife.

Get some balls- because this has got to be a case of intellectual insecurity.
Really? You need to be one of the few people who know and enjoy this piece
of culture?
That”s about the most selfish and disgusting things I”ve had the pleasure
and certainty to judge.

Why do you need to have things that are your own?
Why do you need to separate people?
Oh, I fucking get it. I do.
But it”s teenage shit- get over it.

Yes, this kinda shit is deep and intricate, and “they” don”t get it- The
Smiths, My Bloody Valentine, Joy Division, the Velvet Underground- yes.
So what”s the fucking problem?

playing streaming mp3 stream

WPRB 103.3FM
princeton nj
princeton radio
indie music mp3 stream real player
# windows media playlist

boston ma
emerson radio
indie music windows media mp3 shoutcast

WAMU 88.5FM / has npr
american university radio

does not work:
does not work: