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Steeler Digest

Karchner Artwork makes the Steeler Digest

Denny's artwork and painting of former Pittsburgh Steeler, Andy Russell's new book makes the latest issue of the Steeler Digest. In the article, Andy discusses his newest book titled "Beyond The Goalpost," a tribute to his history-making relationship with the Steelers and their fans throughout his career. What an honor to share his legacy through his art! Visit the Steeler Digest website.

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Ernie Stautner Hall Of Fame

Work In Progress – Ernie Stautner – Hall of Fame

This is Hall of Famer, Ernie Stauter. He played for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1950 to 1963. After retiring as a player, Stautner joined the Dallas Cowboys as an Assistant Coach. He helped coach the team to two Super Bowl titles in 1971 and 1977. Stautner is credited with developing some of the greatest defensive lineman in Cowboy's history, including Randy White and Ed "Too Tall" Jones. Stautner also served as an Assistant with the Steelers, Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos. This is a photograph of Ernie and Pittsburgh Steeler Owner, Dan Rooney the day his #70 jersey was retired. He is the only Steeler to have that honor. Here is day one. This is an 11" x 14" portrait done in pencil. Here is the piece as it laid on my drawing desk. This shows my heavy-weight illustration board taped off. You can see the reference photo that I worked from along with my German Faber-Castell 4B, 6B and 8B drawing pencils, kneaded eraser and blending stick. Here is a close-up of the first day's work. This is day two. Day three. Day four. Day five. Here I am removing the drafting tape from the final. This gives the…

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Steeler Great, Donnie Shell

Work In Progress – Steeler Great, Donnie Shell

This is my latest painting. It is Pittsburgh Steeler, Donnie Shell. He was part of the four Super Bowl teams from the 1970's. He was also one of the original Steel Curtain members. This is a commission piece that I am doing for Art Rooney, Jr., owner of the Steelers. The painting will be made into a collector card which will be a limited edition of 1000. The painting is traditional oils on Museum-grade Masonite. The overall size is 16" x 20". Here is day two of my painting of Steeler, Donnie Shell. I finished detailing his face and started laying down the base coat for his jersey. The front of the jersey, #31 and arm stripes coming next. Here is day three of my painting of Steeler, Donnie Shell. I reworked his face slightly and started to detail his jersey. Getting close now. Still a lot of detailing on the arms and the pants. Here is the fifth version. I spent several hours detailing his left arm and hand. I added more detail to his pants and jersey. One other thing that I did, which is hard to see here, I painted in all the stitches around the #31.…

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“Beyond The Goalpost” By Former Pittsburgh Steeler, Andy Russell

“Beyond the Goalpost” by former Pittsburgh Steeler, Andy Russell

In October 2009, Denny had the privilege of creating all the cover graphics for former Pittsburgh Steeler, Andy Russell's new book titled Beyond The Goalpost. Denny's oil painting of Andy was featured along with a photograph of Three Rivers Stadium taken by photographer, David B. King from Washington D.C. The foreword was written by the famous Hall of Fame member, running back and former Pittsburgh Steeler, Franco Harris.The back cover features this famous photograph of Former Steeler Linebackers, Jack Ham, Jack Lambert and Andy Russell. This photograph was taken to showcase what is still an NFL Record. These three linebackers went to 24 Pro Bowls! This is Andy's third book. The inside front cover flap reads in his own words: Andy has always been attracted to athletic challenge, adventure and possibly even danger. In this book Andy tries to understand what it was that drove him as a young child, and to recall who were his mentors and especially ask himself why he was so driven to pursue what many would consider dangerous sporting activities - for example: professional football, mountain climbing, wilderness canoeing, cave exploring, and scuba diving. In some ways this book could be considered a biography as…

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Art Institute of Pittsburgh Alumni Show 2009

Denny has been invited to show two of his pieces of artwork for the 2009 Annual Alumni Show at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Denny's two pieces of art are the original oil painting of former Pittsburgh Steeler, Andy Russell and a pencil study of Hall of Famer and former Pittsburgh Steeler, "Bullet" Bill Dudley. Both pieces are on loan by Art Rooney, Jr., owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The dates of the show will be from October 5th through November 27th, 2009 and the reception will be held on Friday, November 20th in the evening.

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Troy Polamalu Strong Safety Painting

Work In Progress – Troy Polamalu – Strong Safety Painting

This is version one of my "work-in-progress" of Troy's oil painting. This piece is being done on a specially prepared 1/8" Masonite board. It is called "Claybord" manufactured by the Ampersand company. The board has a base layer of white clay, over-layed with a coating of Gesso. The surface is rather smooth. It has just enough tooth to help pull the paint from the brush. It is considerably more of a smoother surface than most canvas surfaces. The two biggest advantages are that the Masonite is a lot more stable and durable than a canvas and the smooth surface lets me get a more desirable "realistic" finished piece. The oil painting is quite a bit bigger than the pencil study. Troy's image is just shy of being life-size. The Claybord is 18" x 24" overall and I paint edge-to-edge. After drawing all my lines on the board, I started painting Troy's helmet and face. As you can see, having the face guard over his face gives an added challenge to make sure all the spaces between the bars look like they all look like they go with his face. It sounds simple but you are dealing with many different colors…

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Troy Polamalu – Strong Safety Pencil

Work In Progress – Troy Polamalu – Strong Safety Pencil

This is the first installment of the "work-in-progress" for Troy Polamalu's pencil study. This will aid in the process of working into the oil painting that is coming next. The pencil study helps to work out any hard to see details and techniques to get the right textures, shading, shadows and so on. The overall image size is 10" x 16" where as the oil will be 18" x 24" overall. I started by hand-rubbing in the cloudy background. It is achieved by applying powdered charcoal using a Kleenex tissue on my index finger. You can see the charcoal I am using on the piece of paper in the photograph below. Most of the actual drawing is done with German-made "Faber-Castell" drawing pencils. I use a very soft lead. The pencils are 6B and 8B grade. A normal "school pencil" is usually a 2B. This is how I am able to achieve the darkest of darks. It is very hard to keep a good point on the pencils and they do require frequent sharpening. Thank God for electric sharpeners! The first "work-in-progress" picture of Troy was done in 5-6 hours. In the second picture, I am 9-10 hours into the…

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