All three aero-mods with reinforcing weld along the bend lines. The raised tabs (left & right top) are fortified with triangular wedges, and I extended the mid-plate with tabs (bottom of image) to grab the factory original holes on the bumper.
To bend the metal I cut a groove along the bend-line, then used boards and clamps to apply even force (so much force that I snapped off the edge of my workbench table top). Once bent these lines become brittle, and the vibration and wind-force could cause them to shear- the little bead welds rejoin both sides of the line without blowing out the thinner metal of the cut-line.
Burly male model. At L are 1 & 2 minute gestures in sienna, then run once more for brown, black, and white. 5 min at R.
10 min. x 2 The whole session seemed just on the verge of collapse, and I felt I barely made it out alive. The struggle is in not copying, but in responding to the form. This means seeing the architecture of the body within the multitudes of specific confusions, and modulating response of eye to hand with a subtle constant corrective. Sometimes this is a fun flow, and others it is a mental gymnastic that seems just behind physical coordination- while also being the inverse, a physical infirmity that lags just behind a vast intellectual problem.

A quicker set today, doing only two rounds instead of three- with brown for the first round, then black, and white for the second.
Our windstorm blew itself out and the day was nice enough to install/fit the passenger side aeromod. A bolt sheared off and needed drilling out and retapping- all because the hole in the plate was just out of alignment. All fixed.
Tomorrow’s job is welding on a few small reinforcing triangles. Along the lower drop line is a tab bent up to connect to the flange of truck undercarriage. The weld will ensure it doesn’t shear at the bend line. This is the third point of contact (held with a stainless steel bolt, not in place here, but you can see the hole), and although minimal, offers a huge amount of stability.
What is that stuff clipped to the underside of the truck’s big Shrockworks bumper?
Looks like Danger is making an aerodynamic upgrade to the yawing wheel wells of the big bumper.
It sweeps back at the rake of the under angle of the bumper.
The fitted cardboard blank.
Drawn to precise measure on butcher paper.
Cut from 16-gauge steel.
Levels of planning.
Bent to match the bumper’s angles.
Quite a few opposing bends.
The 24×24 steel plate is cut to fit as well, and installed for a first rough fit.
The Driver’s side portion is clamped in place, and the bend angles are further refined.
It must be working out, cuz Danger is drilling holes though his big bumper.
Then tapping the holes for 1/4-20 stainless steel bolts.
Everything fits together. Danger is as surprised as you are.
A bit of a change from the open wheel well on the L to the closed well on the R.
Exposed wheel / front end.
Closed wheel housing / front end. I hope the other side goes as smoothly when we have another nice day.

Putting lots of gestures on one bigger page, as I have a few old mostly used up drawing pads around. I like seeing the sketches all in relationship with each other. The gestures are 5 x 1 minute, 5 x 2 minutes, and 2 x five minutes; and then I break from the reality of life-model drawing and run the set twice more, so 5x3min, 5x6min, 2x15min. I do the initial set in a light h (hard) led pencil, the second set is an hb pulling out form, and the last set in b(soft) looking for weighted line and values.

I did the two longer drawings from this set in pen and ink, not picutred (and one from the set below)
I do like working one image per page, as the smaller size is constraining.
Big swooping gesture is particular to bigger drawing.
When a bigger individual piece is working, I may give it another five minutes- as in this 20min session.
A funny part of stopping when you stop, and not fiddling with it: the “sword wound” to his ribcage is a shadow from the original sienna sketch-up.
I removed R her arm as it hung straight down, blocked out her entire side, and deadened the composition. She moved just enough to catch the contour of her ribcage. 5 min
Here again her arm was blocking out the curve of the back and thrust of the ribs. 5 min.
30 min. Turned wooden with over-fidgeting after the session. My instructor note to myself: work on shape definitions internal to the figure via direct marking of contoured shadow as an essential expression of form.

The conte / color drawings are done on an easel out in the sunroom looking at my laptop, and the pencil drawings are done in the basement cast to the TV- I draw them on a little clipboard held on my lap which means lots of looking down and up with my whole noggin vs looking in one field with eye movement only. Artists use easels for exactly this reason; zillions of quick side eye movements that instantly transfer to hand vs cumbersome head movement with up/down eye movement causing reorientation with every move. Flow gets stuttered and drawings lose vitality. I’ll have to crowd the basement den with my old drafting table, in from the too-cold studio.

Afternoon doodles with Glen Vilppu’s draw-along-with-Glen; draw from the same pose and he discusses what he is seeing/doing- which helps me drop out information and focus on the core forms.

I stopped by the great little neighborhood art store this morning and picked up some toned butcher paper, conte pencils in sepia, brown, black, and white; two filbert style long bristle brushes (I’ve been using some ancient nubby cheapo’s from Michaels); canvas “paper” for more Zorn Palette studies; and Naples yellow light oil paint to add a bit more complexity. I tried out some conte pencil on the toned paper for an afternoon set.

5-minute gesture from my apres-Java early morning wake-up set.
2 hour Zorn Palette, expanded with blue and deep crimson.

I set up an artin’ station out in the sunroom, and have been trying out some of the 2-D sections from the online art school New Master’s Academy (I’ve been through most of their 3-D already). I’ve been working from the painting section with Joseph Todorovitch using the “Zorn Pallette”, which is limited to Black, White, Yellow Ochre, and Cadmium Red; this pushes color mixing while also simplifying for tonal cohesion. There is an instructor view of his painting, his palette, and the model (pretty small view)- but it is a great way to teach by example.

Working portraits got me to draw from life again; this is a nice medical-grade skull I picked up years ago.

Friday mornings are live-model draw-alongs with the elderly Glenn Vilppu- a great classical figure instructor. A life-model is in a studio at the college HQ, and he draws in his home studio on his computer with a view of his screen while dialoguing his process as he draws. I have him on my tablet, and the live model on the computer. A great way to amp up the drawing process.
Another two hour painting with the Zorn Palette.
There are timed life-drawing sessions as well, that I can cast to the big TV. Like any good life drawing session: many 1-minute gestures, then a slew of 2-minute gestures, a few 5-minute poses, 10-minute poses, and maybe a half-hour pose. This was a 10 minute.
Five minute.
I found a decent portrait in Wired magazine, and Zorn-painted on my own.
More skull doodles. E and I watched Ink Masters on Netflix, as it has a focus on creativity adjacent to fine arts. Lots of terrible skull tattoos out there, but some great ones as well. Watching ham-fisted permanent work being done on live human “canvasses” is a fun motivator.

If only our human invisible frontiers of immunity could be upgraded.

Summer remnant Quail eggs under the Iris out front.

Last fall the truck gained Michelin All Terrain tires. They are great off-road monsters, incredibly sticky in snow and mud, and on dirt roads throw stones against the truck like spinning sandblasters. After 3 months at the ranch with these tires (since our spring earthquake & coviding), the truck needed some preventative intervention. I ordered $25 bucks worth of 3M Scotchgard 8mil clear-shield and a felted squeegee kit to try out; it is the same polymer sheeting as “clear-bra” put on the noses of cars to protect the paint from highway dings, but in bigger sizes and longer runs. It went on easily enough and stayed on through the season’s first super-slush snow-driving, so I ordered enough to run around the truck’s ding-zone and waited for nice weather to return. 60-70 degree temps for the past two days saw it all go in place.

From a distance, the clear-coat is invisible.
The rear driver’s side- starts behind the wheel fender with the top-line aligning with the brake light and wraps just around the curve. I used 12″ here to capture the entire zone.
It is a subtle line running the entire length; 6″ height from the bottom of the door up, and a narrower strip coming from under the truck to the line of the door.
It wraps just around the edges between the cab and the bed.
4″nearly captures all the body as it wraps under. The blackened frame is a project from 2018, I just touched it up a few weekends ago.
Passenger rear panel: Montana pebble sandblast should be mostly solved as the 12″ clear-shield lifts to the bottom of the brake light. The black bumper was a project from 2018, and I touched it up when doing the undercarriage as it had rock dings as well.
The clear-coat tucks behind the rear wheel fender and ends just in front of the rear bumper.
6″ tall from door bottom up, passenger side.
I started the whole process with the passenger side, and cut the door piece too short which is why it only partially matches the front edge of the door. Oh well.
From a step away it disappears, and is guarded by the front tire fender.
Driver’s side again, the final panel; for seeing the learning curve, because you can’t see it.

The annual migration of the plants from the deck to the sunroom was just a few days ago, and closing down the filtration for the pond and adding in the direct bypass line to keep the waterfall flowing all winter for the goldfish and backyard wildlife.
This lovely lady Mantis came in with the greenery. She is as big as my hand.
She was on the right tree at the right time.
It has been snowing and sub-zero at the ranch off and on for weeks putting out a mountain wildfire 10 miles away, and winter snow is finally blanketing the massive & explosive Colorado wildfires.
The yard bunny’s name is Andy Goldsworthy. (Art joke…)
Three bachelors.
Stopping at the fence-line to check our position.
Leaping the fence-line.
We came up to walk through the Aspen.
This stand is at the top of a valley, diving down into a deep forest.
We scare up a coyote, who bounds away in great kangaroo leaps- then turns to look.
In a moment he spins to the L and bicycles over the edge of the hill into the next steep of forest.
The alpine grassland on this high hillside runs to a long line of Aspen, forming a narrow forest of gold insulating against the pine forest that drops down into the gorge.
Across the grassland and down a coulee and up onto a summit there is our small hayfield (looks like a golf course).
The ladies take a moment to listen to the breeze in the quaking Aspen.
Heading down the 1970’s logging road.
Down in the tulgey wood.
We break out of the forest to more bordering Aspen.
On the far hillside another big hayfield makes a buff passage. The bluebird houses we checked yesterday are all at the top of the shadow above the hayfield. We were just over there replacing a birdhouse we found damaged yesterday, with one from near the house that the Wren fills with twigs.
No one wants to leave the ranch, and we’ve already stayed nearly another week. So this is our last evening. It was a good one.