Saturday, December 31, 2011

Studies and Revisions

One of the best ways to learn is to study the masters - artists so good, even other good artists look up to them.

I based this study off a painting by the incomparable Alberto Mielgo.

The next best way to learn, to get better, is to go back and fix your mistakes.

I fixed this old painting up some using Photoshop.

By fixing it, I make it better, which makes me better.

See you January 7th!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays!

No class tomorrow or next week, the 31st. I'll see you January 7th!

Monday, December 19, 2011


I usually stick to posting my own work here, but I had to share the wonder that is Orientalism painting.

A few leading artists from that era when Europeans were colonizing the world:

Jean-Léon Gérôme

David Roberts

John Frederick Lewis

Fernand Cormon

Georges-Antoine Rochegrosse

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Compare and Contrast

Sometimes I use Photoshop to alter my final artwork so I can see different possible versions of the same image.

By seeing different outcomes, I am able to learn more about what makes a pleasing final image to me and incorporate those lessons into the next image I create.

My original:

A super-high-contrasty version:

A darker version with slightly more contrast:

While I feel I learned what I needed to learn about creating volumes and space using simple gradients, it is only after playing with the image in Photoshop that I feel I know what it takes to create a more pleasing composition. Here's a look at the final Photoshop Enhanced Image:

Saturday, November 26, 2011

1st Painterly Painting

I'm finally feel a lot closer to doing with oil paint what I can do with Photoshop - loose "painterly" paintings that preserve the brushstrokes and emphasize the planes of lights and darks rather than just blindly copying my reference photo.

The first of many more.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Day of Affirmation

Some men see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say why not? - Robert F. Kennedy

Original 12" X 12" sketch can be purchased here for $100USD.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tip # 12,450: Silhouettes

I did these concept sketches for a client so his designer had something to work from. They didn't need to be detailed, just give an idea of where everything lies.

It's the first time I've ever been scared to draw something because complicated city scenes aren't my specialty. But there is no trial like trial by fire and getting paid to learn is my favorite way to learn.

After struggling with delicately crafted buildings and shapes that looked like something kids do* when drawing cityscapes, I decided it was time to be bold and started working in Photoshop with a thick brush.

I focused on creating appealing silhouettes while still being mindful of perspective. I lowered the horizon to give the impression of being on the ground and looking up and then let my imagination go wild in creating the various signs and buildings because the focus wasn't any one particular building or sign but the idea of a city of signs. I thought in appealing divisions of black and white space as opposed to trying to conceive of individual buildings.

I no longer fear drawing cityscapes.

*I actually like that drawing, but it's an example of what wouldn't work for this assignment.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011



A few weeks ago, I was asked to do some illustrations for a new tie company. The client loved what I did, I got to have a lot of fun with these, the customer got awesome ties, and the company also donated a uniform to school children for every tie bought, so everyone ended up winning. Except for Eeyore. Eeyore never wins.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

On Likeness

I've been having trouble capturing likenesses lately, and the best tip I've heard so far is that likeness doesn't exist in the lines or shapes, but in the planes. That is, to capture a person's likeness, it's imperative to understand what they look like from all angles and then emphasize those 3-dimensional features that are unique to that person.

Original 8.5" X 11" sketch can be purchased here for $100USD.