I used to be like you and paint myself entirely red every Saturday, but now I am grown up and I am just hoping to avoid death instead of careening mercilessly towards it.Read More
Lately my travels brought me to Quadra Island in Canada. For a long time I have dreamed of being in remote Canada.Read More
Museums hold a ton of cool ideas from the past.Read More
Lately I've been looking at a few big changes in life, mostly adjusting to life on the East Coast!
This weekend I worked on a couple small watercolor pencil drawings made on the paper from France (Paris art store blog here!) Although my trip to Paris was in November, it took me a while to think about what I wanted to put on these delicately handmade pieces of paper. Perhaps I shouldn't say 'delicately handmade' - they're really strong and sturdy pieces of paper, yet you can feel the care and time that went into creating them.
For these small watercolor pencil drawings I am still using the Caran d'Ache Supracolor pencils, wonderful pencils in every way. The variation of colors in the 80 pencil set prove to be a dynamic and sophisticated range.
I couldn't decide on many of these pieces to add water to them or not. The seemed to look fulfilled with no water added, so I let them be for the most part.
On the other side of the studio, I've been working through a list of Things I Want to Paint, a list of photos that I have assembled on Facebook of memories, things, and people that I want to paint.
I decided to keep a running list of Things I Want to Paint after one day where I was stuck in front of my easel without a thought in my head of what I wanted to do. There is little worse than scraping along and finally getting time to paint and then suddenly... not knowing what you want to paint!
"Things I want to Paint" is a public gallery on Facebook, so even if you are not my Facebook Friend, you can still hop over and take a look! (I am extremely friendly I just don't have time for Facebook too much anymore...)
Below are a couple results of "Things I Want to Paint"
A photo of my friend's vacation to Tahiti, including a shark swim, and the painting:
A photo of my mom relaxing with Geddy the Poodle, and the painting:
These paintings are fairly in keeping with my style and outlook, I like to paint with bright colors only, I usually stay away from using brown or gray.
This month has also been a good month for digital art. I am still loving every moment of Clip Studio Paint on the iPad Pro. I'm finished with the very generous free trial and am grateful for every feature, every penny is worth it. If I meet the developers of this app I will hug them.
One aspect of Clip Studio Paint on the iPad Pro that stands out and that probably doesn't get enough laudation is the basic pencil tool. The pens are great. The watercolor effects are bangin. But the regular old pencil tool really... just drives it home. It seems so simple, but it's so very powerful. Most importantly, it feels natural.
I made a couple drawings in Clip Studio Paint using a light lavender pencil on a black background. It's a lovely etching, scratch-paper like effect. Here is a portrait of my grandfather's cat, Flash, who has an interesting pattern on his back which resembles a broken heart:
I'm also working on this larger digital piece of two lovers surrounded by foliage - I was thinking about leaves from all of the places I have lived in the past 5 years, and incorporated leaves from Maryland, magnolia leaves from Houston, aspen leaves from Colorado, and forget-me-not shaped flowers from Leadville. I'll probably work on this one a bit more ....
I haven't made as many romantic paintings or drawings this year, not sure what it means, I both struggle and resist in putting words to most of my best art - this is probably why.
Lastly it's been a great couple weeks of Tilted Sun being released and out in the open. The comic launched on May 1 and releases a new page every Tuesday and Thursday. It's also featured on the top level navigation of this website. For some reason I always leave Tilted Sun for last, I'll have to not do that next time!
Tilted Sun is free to read online! Tether Orbs, cyber horses, electric guards, spy birds, and all kinds of cool things await you in the world of Tilted Sun!
Until next time ... excelsior!
It was a picture perfect day on March 31, 2018 in Washington D.C., perfect to grab some photos of the blossoming cherry trees!
After seeing these beautiful trees, the story of George Washington chopping down a cherry tree becomes even more poignant.
The Cherry Blossom Festival also includes an amazing kite festival, where kites of all kinds are flown along the National Mall. You can bring a kite or buy one on-site! It looked really fun.
There were several blooming trees to be seen near the White House:
Like any good festival, there were also many occasion-specific souvenirs available, featuring cherry blossoms on almost any kind of product you could imagine! I'm not always a sucker for souvenirs, but I was so in love with the cherry blossoms that I felt drawn in by these little items.
The National Mall itself looked stunning in the rare clear blue skies and the bright sun.
In the archives of Things I've Written On the Internet, this blog originally appeared on my Tumblr account in 2010.Read More
The ruby-throated hummingbird is one of my favorite birds.Read More
My process involves reaching deep and listening to my heart, and also lots of youtube videos from the 80s and 90sRead More
Undoubtedly, Paris figures as an amazing city to see artwork and learn about art history - but what about experiencing modern Paris as an artist? What does Paris have to offer its citizens and tourists as far as art materials?
Magasin Sennelier at 3 Quai Voltaire is the place to go for art supplies and for learning about what materials are available and loved by artists in Paris.
The store had a great selection of drawings tools, including pastels, chalks, and other mediums.
The paper curation was to die for. I've never seen a more diverse or unique collection of artist papers from all across the globe. Chinese papers, paper from Nepal, and handmade paper from France itself adorn the shelves of the second floor. The availability of oversized handmade paper added another point of uniqueness into the store - usually it is easy to find handmade paper in small sizes, but the glamorously large sheets of handmade paper had me swooning.
Even the testing grounds for pens and markers seemed more interesting in Paris, where a seriously good artist scribbled out a few studied faces. Usually in the States all that these say are "Kylie loves Jace" and so forth.
The easel section surprised me with a showcase of the very same easel model that I have back home in the States - it was wild to see a new and unpainted version of the easel I have trusted for more than ten years. Julian easels have my recommendation as I have had no problems with mine so far. As a revolving door of computers, sketchpads, and canvasses turn through my life, I can always count on my trusty easel.
Knowing how difficult it might be to fly back home with paints or chemicals, I ended up purchasing watercolor pencils and a few books of paper.
I ended up using the paper above to make this fish:
I am not sure what I will make on the rest of the paper! It has the quality of being "Too good to use" but I am sure I'll come up with something good.
Visit Magasin Sennelier's website here!
Other Paris art adventure writings and photos:
This month I began working in a new format - miniature paintings!
These mini paintings take about as much concentration or more as a larger painting, say an 8 x 10. Decisions just have to be better and more precise.
I'm still working through painting my memories, many of which involve video games from the 1990s - up next is a painting of an Arcology from Sim City 2000. Here is the underpainting and the original Arcology:
On the other side of the studio I have been finally working on something that has been in my to-do pile for months - lettering my comic, Tilted Sun.
I'm accomplishing the lettering project in Clip Studio Paint (Formerly known as Manga Studio). Although learning Clip Studio Paint took a few painful failures for me and several Googlings of how to get text to work the way I wanted, it's been worth it. (I might try illustrator for this too, soon?)
All in all lettering has made the comic more real. I've set up about 60 pages of the comic so far without any words, just scribbles of notes of the words that I wanted to use. Ironically this has worked to make the images more expressive - the images were working almost like a silent film until now.
The first part of the comic also took different turns than I expected - I had most of it written out but then decided to discard a lot of the first, second, x drafts, in favor of what felt better, or indulging "what the comic really wanted to say".
It continues to take me a long time to work on this comic because writing and doing art for and lettering a full color comic takes many hours of thought at different levels. Oil painting feels like a break compared to it. It works for me to spend time on both, especially since paintings emerge into the world as physical objects, and the comic just lives in screens (for now). So, painting is the day-by-day mini reward that helps me keep going through the comic.
All in all October was a solid month and November is off to a great start! Thanks for stopping by on the blog, and catch you soon!
I never thought I would like an MMORPG.
Growing up, I watched friends play Everquest, World of Warcraft, and even Second Life with only a minor interest. Sim City, The Incredible Machine, and Myst were more up my alley as far as computer gaming. When I went to college, a laptop was my key study tool, ironically (Facebook arrived in 2004, the year I started school, and thank God, at that point Facebook was still incredibly boring and Wikipedia was not yet to be trusted). Games were on consoles, and computers were for writing papers. I didn't get the whole computer gaming thing as a whole until Elder Scrolls Online.
At first, when I saw Marc playing Elder Scrolls Online, I watched his steel-plated avatar hustle across the landscape and thought: "This sorta looks fun, but it is not for me." Suddenly, a player rode by on a giant tiger with a pet dragon following close behind. "Actually this IS for me," I said "I, too, want to ride a giant tiger and have a cool dragon!" We signed me up for an account and the rest is history. I've been playing Elder Scrolls with Marc for about a year now, It's been a fun way for us to play games together, but not necessarily fight against each other.
As much as I like Elder Scrolls Online, fortunately I don't think I am at the point where I am needing MMORPG detox - I still get outside a bunch, and like with all games I struggle to find time to play ESO. When I do find time, it is a fun escape.
What is cool about Elder Scrolls Online is you can use it for character art resourcing. Yes... that is right ... I found a way to take a game and use it for artistic purposes!
Sometimes when I need to draw a comicbook character at a tough angle, I start up Elder Scrolls Online and position the camera above one of my avatars.
As strange as this sounds, it is far easier than searching on Google for the perfect reference photo and finding piles of weird and depressing stock art.
I've also learned a bit about landscape artistry from Elder Scrolls. Since I am an artist who is much better at illustrating people, things, and animals than landscapes, it takes tons of extra work for me to make landscapes be interesting.
While traipsing through Morrowind and Rivenspire, I thought about how hard it would be to be an Elder Scrolls Online landscape artist, and how you would have to make the landscape interesting and believable from all angles.
Heck - this goes for any game. Painters are lucky because they just have to make one angle of their media look good (usually). Not every landscape screencapture in ESO is a winner, but, there are interesting ideas afoot with grass, rock forms, tree variation, and clouds.
This video game is lifelike in that if you slow down and take time to smell the roses, you start to see some really interesting things.
As much as I've drawn land animals like cats, elephants, and birds in ink, you'd think by now I would have had the thought already to draw a water-based animal with water. Well, finally :)Read More
Right now I am alternating between simple forms ink ink and difficult forms in ink. It's good to warm up or start with a simple piece (like cat silhouettes!), and then flex into a more challenging shape (like Adam touching the hand of God!)Read More
This weekend I finished up work on a piece I'd been wanting to do for a long time, an image from Persona 5 of Ann Takamaki hugging the cat character, Morgana.Read More
Lately I have been working with colorful inks, which has been fun and relaxing!Read More
During Hurricane Harvey I couldn't really make art. The only piece I made during the entire 7+ days of rain and wind was the piece above, where I drew a series of houses flooded by black water.Read More
How Instacart helped me save time and create more art.Read More
What do you learn when you study art? What exactly is taught in art school?
From simple techniques to high level thoughts, here is the best advice I’ve ever received from art teachers.
Last weekend I had an easy flight from Houston Hobby to Saint Louis and back, for a total of four hours in the air and about four at the airport. All of these drawings came to life while I was waiting at gates, terminals, or airport restaurants.Read More
Poppies are fun to paint because of their edges and the depth of the flower. They’re a bit like Irises, many layers and stages.Read More