Friday, November 11, 2011

Beach Bum, Starring Alan Ilagan

You never know what might slip into view on a Provincetown beach! In my new Cheesecake Boy painting Beach Bum, Starring Alan Ilagan, the hunky subject bares more than he intended when his skimpy speedo gets yanked down, much to the delight of fellow beachgoers. With the sun's rays now shining upon his white rump, Alan strikes a pose reminiscent of another tan-line exposing icon from years past.

The original painting and medium-sized prints are available through the Lyman-Eyer Gallery here. If you'd like a small print, visit my online store here.

To see some process pics, including Alan's cheeky reference photo for the painting, check out these previous blog posts:

Friday, September 2, 2011

Cover Boy

I just reached a fun milestone -- completing my 100th novel cover illustration.

Inspired by classic pulp covers, my approach to creating artwork for the world of gay fiction involves dreaming up delightfully dramatic scenarios to help bring the characters of each story to life -- and if they happen to lose their pants in the process, all the better!

I've enjoyed working on every single illustration, and am incredibly grateful to Dreamspinner Press for the opportunity to work with so many fabulous authors. I look forward to creating many more covers in the years ahead.

Here are a few of my favorites:

And here's a slideshow of the whole kit and kaboodle. Enjoy!

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Beach Bum

Here's a sneak-peek at the entire Coppertone-inspired sketch for my new Cheesecake Boy painting, Beach Bum, Starring Alan Ilagan.

eBay Rip-Off Artist

Technorati recently ran an article about the exciting conclusion of my battle with Cai Jiang Xun, the Chinese artist selling knock-offs of my work on eBay. Check it out here.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Lyman-Eyer Gallery Group Exhibition

(l to r) Taking Inventory by Thomas Acevedo, Sanctuary by Paul Richmond, Resistance is Futile! by Robert Sherer
I will be part of an upcoming group exhibition at the Lyman-Eyer Gallery in Provincetown, their Labor Day Open House which runs from Friday, September 2 through Wednesday, September 14. The show will feature my newest work along with that of other gallery artists including Thomas Acevedo and Robert Sherer. Opening Reception is Friday September 2 at 7 pm. Visit the gallery's website for more details.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Alan Ilagan Cheesecake Boy in Progress, Part 2

My new painting, Beach Bum, Starring Alan Ilagan, is progressing swimmingly, and I wanted to take a short break to share a little more of the concept. Previously, I posted a cropped version of the sketch focusing on the all-important "Pin-Up Face." Today's post is all about "The Situation." No, I don't mean the guy from Jersey Shore. I'm referring to the circumstances leading to our pin-up boy's wardrobe malfunction.

A glance through the archives of classic pin-up art shows us just how difficult it was for women to keep their clothes on. The streets are littered with obstacles when you're a Cheesecake model. Everything from stray nails... mischievous darts... curious crustaceans could result in a hapless flash of one's unmentionables.

And let's not forget gravity!

The inspiration for the scenario in my new painting, however, comes from an even more unlikely (but every bit as legendary) source -- the Coppertone Girl:

Tally Embry Advertising was certainly ahead of their time when they introduced this rambunctious pup and his pigtailed companion all the way back in 1953. And they have since become cultural icons! My interpretation isn't the first time this concept has been re-imagined as a pin-up opportunity. Both Carmen Electra and Marky Mark have been caught flashing their drafty derrieres with a canine prankster in tow.

So when I approached Alan Ilagan (writer, photographer, cultivator of exquisite tan lines) about casting him as a Cheesecake Boy using this concept as inspiration, I knew we had to come up with a unique twist. And thus I present another portion of the sketch, cropped to today's specific area of interest:

I thought that cute little cocker spaniel would be even cuter if he was replaced by a second speedo-clad hunk! Plus, I'm sure this feisty fellow is much more motivated.

Without a secondary model to execute the pose, Alan devised a brilliant way of achieving the same effect for the photo reference:

By the way, this photo was taken before "tan line season" set in, but one need only peruse the photo galleries on his website for a plethora of stellar examples. 

I love the effort he put into making sure the tugging of the speedo was just right! Meanwhile, that hook contraption might come in handy down the road:

I'm going to get back to work now! I hope you've enjoyed Round 2 of our little Peek-a-Boo game! There's much more to come...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Alan Ilagan Cheesecake Boy in Progress, Part 1

As the intense heatwave continues outside, I am working diligently in my air-conditioned studio on a seasonally-appropriate new Cheesecake Boy painting -- Beach Bum, Starring Alan Ilagan.

If you’re a fan of good old-fashioned seaside debauchery, you should enjoy this one! Aside from all the exposed flesh coming your way, one important element in a pin-up painting that never gets its due is the facial expression of the model. Granted, this might not always be what the viewer notices first. However, the “oopsie” face -- a titillating combination of surprise and embarrassment with just enough of an arched eyebrow to make you wonder how accidental the wardrobe malfunction really is — was a crucial part of the cheesecake aesthetic honed by painters like Gil Elvgren and Art Frahm. Here are some gloriously cheesy examples:

When I started the Cheesecake Boy series, I wanted to capture that same “OH-NO-my-undies-are-showing!” expression in male form. Thus, I spent many hours in front of a mirror practicing my pin-up face until I had it just right. All you need is a mirror and a little determination! I recommend everyone hone their own pin-up facial expressions. You never know when you might find yourself in an accidental moment of over-exposure.

Thankfully, the subject of my next Cheesecake Boy painting, Alan Ilagan, is no stranger to disrobing on cue. In addition to the delightful musings on gay life I enjoy reading on his website, visitors are also treated to numerous photo galleries in which he takes his personal revelations a step further. It’s really a beautiful collection and I encourage everyone to check out his work.

I knew he would be the perfect subject for a summertime pin-up scenario, and when I contacted him to propose the idea, he was happy to drop trou for the sake of art. It’s not the first time he’s been an artistic muse either. Just yesterday I learned that Michael Breyette has also done a portrait of him -- a gorgeous, speedo-lover’s delight called Alan in Blue.

There’s a speedo involved in my scenario as well, although let's just say it doesn't do its job quite as well. More on that another time. Today it’s all about the pin-up face!

After sharing my concept with Alan and sending him some examples of what I was looking for, I was thrilled to receive a number of fantastic photo references from him. The brilliance with which he staged the wardrobe malfunction will be shared in a future post. Today, I present a cropped version of one of those pics focusing on his hilarious pin-up boy expression. I think it's a perfect male interpretation of the classics!

And here’s how that part of the composition looks in my sketch:

Of course I’m anxious to show you more, but we’re going to do a slow reveal on this one. Suffice it to say, I’m having a blast working on this and enjoying the opportunity to paint something completely different from my previous piece, Sanctuary. I love being able to switch back and forth between  serious work like that one and something more playful. And Alan is a great collaborator. I’m thrilled to have him be a part of my new painting.

Check back soon to see more of the work in progress. In honor of National Take Your Pants for a Walk Day tomorrow (yes, a real “holiday”), I will begin preparing a post that offers up all the details about Mr. Ilagan’s pants-dropping pin-up scenario. Until then, I’m going to cover my own ass by closing this post before I’m tempted to give away any more details...

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Sanctuary, oil on panel by Paul Richmond
My new painting, Sanctuary, evolved over the past several months during which we launched the You Will Rise Project, a website that features artwork, stories, poems, videos and other creative expressions by victims of bullying. Consequently, I began reflecting on my own experience of being bullied and used it as the inspiration for this piece.

I was constantly made fun of as a child for being effeminate, quiet, tall, and uncoordinated. My coping mechanism was to disappear into my imagination. There, I could explore fantastical worlds where bullying, self-doubt, and fear were never welcome. A gangly, awkward boy from the Midwest could become a fairy tale princess or a glamorous movie star. And when the white walls of home felt too confining, more enchanted surroundings were just around the corner. Art gave me a means of capturing my daydreams, making them real, and seeing the work of other artists meant being invited into their secret worlds too.

I’ve been deeply saddened to hear about the increasing number of young people who have chosen to end their own lives. I could never presume to know the extent of their suffering or understand all of the factors that led to their decision. It’s heartbreaking and tragic. My hope for everyone is that they can discover their own sanctuary — a place to restore, nurture, and protect themselves — even if it exists only in their imagination.

The original Sanctuary painting and limited-edition prints are available through the Lyman-Eyer Gallery here.

Sanctuary, (detail) oil on panel by Paul Richmond
Sanctuary, (detail) oil on panel by Paul Richmond
Sanctuary, (detail) oil on panel by Paul Richmond
Sanctuary, (detail) oil on panel by Paul Richmond

Friday, June 24, 2011


I recently created this short video for the Courage Campaign’s Testimony ProjectTestimony seeks to create a map of stories from LGBT Americans and allies across the country.  In collaboration with partner organizations, and using the stories of the American public, Testimony seeks to show the shift in public acceptance of gays and lesbians as many equality cases make their way to the Supreme Court.

The artwork I’ve created throughout my life is an important part of my story, so I gathered a sampling from the archives (a.k.a. my parents’ basement) to include in the video. It was fun to look back on all of the older paintings I did as a child with the guidance of my mentor, Linda Regula. She taught me how to tell a story through visual art, and I've been doing that ever since.

Let me share a few here:

Snow White, age 4
I loved the Snow White story when I was a kid, and often imagined that I was the famed fairy tale princess. My rendition of “Someday my Prince Will Come” wasn’t a crowd pleaser though.
The Wicked Queen, age 4
As much as I loved Snow White, my favorite character from the story was actually the wicked queen. She was a true diva! 
Medusa, age 7
I became really interested in Greek Mythology around this time, and I was especially fascinated with Medusa because of the movie Clash of the Titans. Maybe it had something to do with Harry Hamlin in that short tunic. 
The Wizard of Oz, age 7
This was one of my favorite movies, and of course I give extra emphasis to the Witch.
Snowman, age 8
One of few forays into landscape painting, with some woodland friends to liven things up. 
Superman, age 8
Gotta’ love a man in tights, though when my dad shared the Superman movies with me in an effort to introduce more strong male role models, I’m sure he was disappointed by my proclamation, “Lois Lane is soooo cool! I want to be just like her!”
The Little Mermaid, age 10
I loved this movie and had a huge crush on Prince Eric. I wanted to wash up on some distant shore and have him rescue me. Thus, I related to Ariel’s sense of longing for the impossible.

Portrait of My Sister, Laura, age 13
My sister Laura is four years younger than me and even though we’ve always been complete opposites, we had a great relationship growing up. Maybe it was because she could give me all of her “girl” toys like Barbies in exchange for pick-up trucks and G.I. Joes. This is a painting of her after she had received her black belt in Karate. My only black belts come from department stores when I need something to pair with black shoes.

The Passage, age 15
I was starting to worry about what path my grown-up life would take, and I had this misconception that turning 18 was like going through a wall and emerging into a scary, grown-up world. 
The Weight of Decisions, age 16
This painting deals with the choice between being true to myself and changing/hiding aspects of who I was in order to fit in.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Earlier this year, I switched to a new local print studio for my limited-edition prints and I have been thrilled with the quality of their work. Here's an example of one of the prints (Rainbow Pride Cheesecake) next to the original painting.

I've recently made some updates to the way I handle prints as well. In an effort to give you more size options and to standardize the process, I am now offering three sizes (small, medium, and large) for all of my prints. The only exceptions are when the original piece is smaller than the large size, because I wouldn't want to enlarge an image for the sake of a reproduction and compromise the print quality. In those cases, there will just be small and medium sizes offered.

The sizes are standardized:

Small - 11" x 13"
Medium - 16" x 20"
Large - 20" x 26"

Limited-edition prints of my work are available in my online store, and select prints are also available through the Lyman-Eyer Gallery.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sanctuary: Work in Progress

I'm just about to finish blocking in the color on my new painting, Sanctuary, and thought it would be a good time to share a sneak peek. This is a small portion of the painting, but one that is consuming quite a bit of time thanks to the striped pattern on the sheet. I like the stripes though because they help define the contours of the figure's legs beneath the fabric.

The piece shows a figure in his sanctuary, blocking out the world by surrounding himself with meaningful objects; escaping into his imagination. Some of my own meaningful objects include a Marilyn Monroe cookie jar, Snow White figurine, and a purple teddy bear -- so they worked themselves in somehow. :)

Once I have all of the color laid in, I'm excited to start using my tiny brushes and working on the detail. Most of the paint you see in this photo won't be visible when I'm finished because it will be covered over by several more layers, so this is truly a work in progress. I'll share more as I go along.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Agora 8 Recap

I had a great time last weekend participating in the Agora 8 exhibit at Junctionview Studios here in Columbus. Junctionview is a big, glorious maze of art studios that houses some of our city's finest artists. Occasionally, they open up their space to other artists from the area to display our work alongside theirs, and the result is a fabulous community event.

This year I displayed three paintings, I Won't Tell if You Won't, Size Matters Starring Jack Mackenroth, and In Hot Pursuit Starring Jesse Archer. It's always fun to let the gayest of the gay paintings from my collection loose on the city and see how they are received.

While I wasn't able to make it to the main event on Saturday, my friend Maria Fanning and I attended the preview party on Friday night and I was tickled to overhear a very young girl explaining the cause of Jesse Archer's wardrobe malfunction to her mother. "Look, he's trying to get away from that monster and the tree's tearing his clothes off!" Then she started pointing and giggling uncontrollably. I hope she grows up to be an art critic! Maria told me that my work is also a big hit with her son Sam, who thinks it is hysterical that the guys in my paintings keep losing their pants. He calls me "Paulypants" and sees my work as being of the same genre as his other favorite art series -- Captain Underpants!

Maria and I had a wonderful time checking out the exhibit, which was so diverse and truly amazing; something Columbus should take great pride in! Especially this gigantic cupcake piece (I wish I knew the artist's name so I could give proper credit. It was gorgeous!).

We also enjoyed visiting with the Jeni's ice cream man and climbing what looked like giant spools of thread behind the building. All in all, a fantastic night on the town!

And the frosting on the cupcake was that my painting I Won't Tell if You Won't was chosen to receive a Best of Show Award by the artists who organized the event. I was so honored -- especially when I saw what the Best of Show Award looks like.

If you live near Columbus, please support the wonderful work of Junctionview Studios. Can't wait for Agora 9!