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roman riva art
roman riva art_edited
Roman Riva Art
Roman Riva art


The gray era paintings - there was a time when I was feeling nothing, just going thru the motions.  And in that time period, Roxy and Allie were the bright spots.


Their energy and cheerfulness, especially hinted in the Naiads of Old Venice painting, brought light to the shadow.

Naiads Of Old Venice
The Sunset Naiads


The sunset naiads - out of the gray period, I almost went overkill with color.  I’m still in this period to this day, adding all five models in different poses.  With or without ships. 


With silhouetted islands varying from fantasy to medieval to tropical.  And almost always with several flying birds.  Bonus points if you can find all the birds.


The Ancient Greek Goddess of the Moon, I actually don’t like the way the Greeks portrayed her.  They always painted (or made statues) of her with horns.  I prefer the Art Nouveau artistic interpretation, which was a beautiful, often nude, woman, sitting on the moon.  Selene had many lovers, but her favorite was the mortal Endymion (never shown).  I’ll always paint Selene because she’s one of my favorite subjects for aesthetic purposes

Anne Bonny and Mary Read


I love history.  A lot of folks love to water it down, but I don’t pull any punches.


Read up on Anne Bonny and Mary Read.  Most people only know them as “the female pirates.”  They were much more than that.  And exceedingly cruel, even by pirate standards.


It’s a shame they both put faith in that coward Calico Jack.


 Everyone thinks of Hans Christian Anderson when they think of mermaids, which is perfectly fine because the Little Mermaid is a wonderful tale.  But unlike the Disney version, which was also good btw, Anderson’s didn’t have a happy ending.


Let’s go back a few hundred years though.  Mermaids in legend were related to Sirens, and if you encounter either, your day will be ruined.


If a sailor says he spots a mermaid and he’s not three sheets to the wind, it will be in your best interest to turn back your ship.  Let’s put it this way - the Kraken, yes, that Kraken, is friends with them.

Friends of the Kranken


And sometimes, there’s no story. 

My models would look so gorgeous that I’d just paint them on a beach with a breaking wave or two.


 In Ancient Greek mythology, Dryads were the tree spirits specifically for oak trees.


Over the years, dryads got adopted into our culture from everything from books to manga to video games to Dungeons and Dragons and other RPGs.  And they no longer are only the spirits of oaks.  They’re the spirit of any tree in today’s updated legends, and when the tree dies, she dies with it.


Beware though! Dryads tend towards loneliness and have been known to lure a young, good-looking but naive man into her tree, never to be seen again by human eyes.

roman riva art


Do you know why Vince Lombardi was the greatest football coach of all time? Because nobody worked for his team harder on the basics than Lombardi did. 

Same thing with art.  You work fundamentals consistently.  First thing I do after getting out of bed and pouring myself some coffee - I’ll practice gesture drawings. 


As for these pencil portraits - they’re nothing but inexpensive #2 pencils you can buy at Target, an eraser, and my fingers for smearing. 


No fancy equipment.  Master the fundamentals and everything else becomes easy.

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