Monday, August 30, 2010

I'm home and doing well.

      Hello my friends.  I got home from the hospital a few days ago. They mostly keep me in for observation and to flush my system out. I am behind on where I wanted to be with the blog right now, but I'll wing it today until I have time to go through some disk and find pictures, training exercises.  I promise, unless I go downhill again, that next week I will have all that back on my computer so I can share with you. Today we are going to talk about drawing people.  I want to give you some things to think about that if you take to heart, it will speed your skills along and teach you to draw the human figure even better, or animals, or aliens for that matter.
      Daniel told me that my goal as an artist is give my work life, and give it a life of it's own. For a couple of years I thought about that and to be honest, I was  not being sure exactly what he meant.  Then I would study his work, the way he painted the figure or portrait and compared it  to the way I had painted mine. I think it was the first time that I realized just how much better I had gotten since he started training me, but my work was no where near his level. I'm getting there, but honestly, it will still be several years before I reach his level of excellence.
     I'm going to give you a BIG tip right now before we talk about the drawing the figure. Your no where as good as you think you are, period.  Your ego will ruin you if you let it. If you put being a known artist over being the best artist you can be, you never will be anything but a want-a-be. If you are truly an artist, then you will always seek knowledge and skill over fame.  The fame comes in time, you just can't claim it. It takes hard work. In my case, I have been there and let myself get sidetracked by greedy talentless people, but now I am in training mode again, and this time I am not going to leave it.  I find it much more rewarding to see improvement in each piece of work over a few people telling me how great I am.  When you all are bragging on me, I am very flattered, but in a way I feel like I have let you down, because I know deep down,  I could have done better.
     So if you believe yourself to be an artist, ask yourself why do you really want to paint or draw? Search your heart, this is important. You and if you have a family need to know that this is your calling, and you will work your arshe off to be the best you can.  If you are doing it because you want fame, then threat it as a hobby only. You can get published in small press, but you will have to work a regular job to support yourself and your family.  I do not ever want to crush any ones dream, but at a show, and almost everyone, a young artist will come up to me with some of their work and ask me do I think they have what it takes.  An a lot of times their is a spouse with them holding a baby.  In some of these artist works I see talent, but I also know it will be years before they develop that talent enough to make a living at it. So I am honest with them. I tell them that I do see potential, but it will take years of training for them to be what they want.  As much as I want to see this artist succeed, I also see that there is a family to take care of, and you have to always put your family first.  So I know if this person truly has the gift, no matter what, they will pursue it. I did.
     Other than that, please don't put your family through hell and make them go without so many things that they truly need.  If your lucky, you will find a spouse that loves you enough to help you with your dream. They will carry the burden of the bills so that you may work, and work hard you must. You don't want your loved one to have to bare the burden no longer than necessary, and hopefully one day you can make enough to let them pursue their dream.
     Now lets talk about figure drawing.  First off, remember and save this link. It will take you to where you will have access several books by Master Illustrator Andrew Loomis. Study these books almost daily. Practice what you see, draw the figures over and over again. Anatomy is the hardest thing that most artist have a hard time grasping, and it takes years to master it. I study it constantly, and you should as well.  As an artist you must take your craft seriously  and learn everything everyday. 
     When most artist are learning anatomy they tend to draw the figure stiff. It looks posed. The trick is to learn to draw it, and make it not look stiff, even if your model or reference picture is.  The ability to do this comes from practice, practice and more practice. Get a medical book on anatomy, learn to draw the human body without skin. Understand the muscles and how they react to movement. Learn to draw them when they are relaxed as well. This is what makes them look real with the skin. A lot of times when I shoot a model, they are sometimes uptight and try to pose instead of acting natural.  These days it doesn't matter, because I know how to draw them with their muscles relaxed if even  in the picture they are stiff. I learned to do this by understanding how muscles work. 
      In anatomy classes, they don't teach you that. They just put a naked person in front of you and tell you that you have a hour to draw the figure. Now there is a lot to be said for speed drawing, but when you are trying to learn anatomy, take your time. Draw it over and over until it starts looking natural. Life drawing is great, but you need to study the anatomy of the muscles just as much if you want to be the best you can be.  Please take this to heart, and spend at least one hour a day doing anatomy sketches. More if you can. In a years time, you will start to have a good grasp of anatomy.  Now, unless your ambition is to be a comic book artist, stay away from that type of anatomy drawing and stick with the real thing. 
    I used to watch football every Sunday, but I would feel guilty for allowing myself to just veg out. So I would get a newsprint pad, and practice speed drawing while watching a game. Most sketches where just lines, but they where lines of movement, and this really help me understand how the body reacts when in movement. I started doing the same thing watching wrestling. You want to learn some powerful anatomy, wrestlers have it, and it's real, not unbelievable  like in a comic book. Thinking about that, it wouldn't hurt to get back to doing that again, and I believe I will.
    Okay on the next blog, I should have the things back on the computer I need to help you understand some of the things I talk to you about. I am wanting to buy a video camera so i can start filming while I work and show you on the blog how I do things while I explain them.  So please invest in a few of my prints so we can get that started. Please go to here to help me help you. Also remember that for every print sold, 1 dollar of the 10 dollars goes to the Shriner Burn hospital for Children.
    I almost forgot that I am the featured artist again in Horrorbound magazine this month. That's twice in one year!  Go here to check it out.  I want to thank Maria for promoting my work so much. She even bought a print!
     Till next week my friends. Much Love and "May the Darkness Comfort you"

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

To the hospital

       Hello my friends. For those of you stopping by to pick up the art tip, I am very sorry, but I have been sick and I am going to the hospital as soon as I write this. I don't know what is wrong with me, but the doctors are saying I have an infection inside of my body, and they have yet to figure out what it is. They put me on several meds the other day, and they haven't helped. It takes all I can do to just stay awake.
       The good news is, that while I am in the hospital, I will be working on my "Book of Rose" Ideal. This is well worth the wait and the work I am putting into it. As it gets closer to completion, the tag line "You will believe" will start becoming clearer to you all. One thing you all should remember out there, that in this business there are a lot of thieves.  They can't come up with anything original at all, so they take your idea's instead. I call them bottom feeders, and "The Book Of Rose" is way to close to my chest to allow anyone to steal the concept. We have big plans for it, including a RPG.
       So my friends, hopefully this trip in, we'll find out what is going on inside of me. I believe in the VA with all my being. They have been darn good to me, and went way over the normal to Help me in any way they can. Cheryl and I believe this to be something caused by the COPD, but hopefully they will be able to pinpoint it this time around.
       The painting I showed you in the last blog is moving along slowly, mostly because I have just felt so bad.  But when I get home from the VA, I should be able to start laying down the oils. I did manage to get the underpainting finished. I have come to realize this last several weeks, that I really enjoy sharing and teaching those that ask for it. I feel that it is a very positive thing to be able to share with your brothers and sisters.  The internet with all it's faults has made this possible for all of us.
       I can promise you that I will be back to continue in my works, I still have a long way to go until I am ready to lay down for the final time. It's just going to be a rough road for me, because I was so stupid when I was younger, and really had no desire to live. But all of that has changed and I wake up everyday with a huge smile on my face, and a Twinkle in my eye.
      Another really good thing that happened this week is that I got to talk with my Younger sister, Diane. It had been about a year since we last talked, but we promised each other that we would call each other once a week. I haven't seen her in almost 30 years, and I promised her that this coming year I would come to Missouri to visit her and all the Nephew's, Nieces, Grand Nieces, and Grand Nephews I have never meet.  Starting in Jan, I am hitting the convention circuit for the first time in 4 years, and the conventions are welcoming me with open arms. I will be announcing them around November, in case it is close to you, and you can come out to meet me in person.  If you can, and you tell me you read my blog, I will give you a free print of your choice!
      Another big piece of news is that a Mainstream magazine out of Canada (by Mainstream I mean that it is for sell at newsstands)   will be doing a interview with me very soon. I am guessing for their Halloween Issue (The're not a horror magazine, more of a everyday magazine along the lines of a literary Magazine) and to me this is awesome, because I will be reaching a market that Normally isn't a market for me. So, I am very excited about this and I will tell you more once I know more.
    I am hoping I am out of the hospital by the end of the week, but the VA will keep you in for as long as it takes to find out the problem. A normal hospital wants a quick turnover, and IMHO, send you home sometimes before you are ready.
    Well, I am all packed and ready to hit the road.  Like I said, Madison will be posting updates, and if your a personal friend, she will give you the phone number to my room if you want to call and shoot the breeze.  Much Love to everyone, and  "May the Darkness Comfort You"

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Making a Statement

     Below is the pencil work for a oil painting I will be starting on this week, and I am thinking about using a camera to show you the various stages of the paintings with notes about what I am doing.  I'll see how things go.  Some times things are just crazy and I don't think about things like that, but I am going to get a camera/video camera for the studio so it will make it easier.
     This has been a wonderful week for me. I am having issues with my blood sugar, but I am seeing the Doc on Wednesday, and it's probably time for a new pill for me, plus, I am tightening up my diet even more. I have felt good thought and my passion and love for art is coming back with me going back to my roots, drawing and painting. I realize it has been almost 2 years since I have picked up a brush, but like with the pencils, I don't think that will be a big issue.  It might take a little work to get back to the level I was on, but I think not.  We'll see.
     I am going to be getting a video camera soon, and I am going to start making video's on how I do a lot of things, as taught to me by Master Horne. Hopefully these will help everyone even more. The tip today is a "Common Sense" art tips, but unless some one has told you this, you might not have thought about it.  When drawing a man, it is what you show in the drawing that makes him interesting, such as wrinkles, scar's, and so on.  When drawing or painting a woman, it's what you don't show that counts. A good example of this is when I was younger, my grandmother wanted me to do a portrait of her. I worked very hard and very long on it. I made sure I got every feature down pat, including all the wrinkles on her face.  When I presented her with it, she was really mad at me, and had nothing nice to say.  Lesson learned. When drawing a woman, think glamour and youth. Women are very touchy about these things, as well as the viewers.  So unless you are trying to paint an elderly woman in an illustration, the best thing to do is not draw any wrinkles or baggy eyes that you may see in your model, especially if it is a portrait.
     The next tip is this. When drawing, think real life. For instance, let's say Conan was a real person. Now if your painting him, you must remember that he is a warrior, and very likely got to town very little, or even took a lot of baths.  So when you draw or paint him, his sword might have a little rust on it, bloodstains, or even little kinks in the blade.  His face is probably going to be smudge with dirt or blood. His clothes will be torn, dirty, and have blood stains.  His horse is not going to be beautiful,  Conan would not have time to brush him or her, nor the desire too. His shield is going to be filled with dents, dirt and blood.  Are you starting to get the picture now?  This would apply to any character you would be painting or drawing. You have to think about their circumstances and so on. There is nothing glamorous about killing a living being, so learn to use emotions in there faces, like anger, hurt, regret and even smiles.  Each little thing, no matter how suttle it is, makes a big difference and matters.
     Thank you for stopping by. It is always a pleasure to share with you. See you soon, "Peace and Blessings" and "May the Darkness Comfort You."

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Back to Basic's

        Hello my friends,  as always it is a pleasure to talk with you.  If you noticed the title, it is called "Back To Basics" and this is what some of you have been waiting for. For the last 2 years I have spent most of my art time learning to work digitally, but now, I am returning to my roots and I am going to be sharing a lot of tips to other artist out there.  No matter what you do, there is always going to be bad people out there, and I know some of them are reading my blog.  But because of them, I am not change what I set out to do originally with this blog, which was to share my journey and teachings I have learned from the greatest artist in the world.
      I will still be doing some digital work here and there , but I am going to refocus back on pencil and oil works once again, the real reason I love being an artist and now that I have made certain choices which will allow me to be more of an artist and less a Illustrator.  So I will be taking you step by step, and giving you lots of little tidbits of info to help you grow, such as  if you want to make your painting believable in color, for either oils or acrylics,  add just a touch of Orange to the paint you are using. Not enough to change colors, but just enough to take the "Shine" off of it.  This is how the Masters made their colors so real.  The things I am sharing with you originated with DaVinci, and was pass down through his students until it was learned by Howard Pyle, and has been past down to his students, all the way to Daniel Horne, and now being taught to me. These days it is called "The Riley Method" and you can't find any books about it anymore, unless you pay a fortune for it, and I haven't seen it one the Internet anywhere.  Some of it I will share with you all, the rest will be put on my website and you will have access for a reasonable fee.
     If your a digital artist, learn to mix real paints this way, and then scan them into your computer to use with your program. I already have made such a pallet and will be offering it on my website in the near future, but it will not be for free, but this info is. The Digital Pallet I created, covers a few flesh mixtures as well as dead flesh. I also includes a palette for colors to use in painting plants, metals, blood, and much more.
    In my next blog, I will be showing you the pencil work for a oil painting. This is going to be a Fantasy/Horror painting that features Super model Suzi Lorainne.  If you follow my work, you know that I have done several paintings featuring her. Now Wicked Kitty Studio's will be doing limited edition prints Featuring Suzi. I am thinking 4 to 6  prints a year and in 2012, Wicked Kitty publishing will be releasing a calender feature some of these, and new ones as well.  This partnership with Suzi is going to be a mainstay for us.
    Something I think is funny,  since Madison and I have been a couple she has only seen me work digitally.  The other day she came down to the dungeon and saw the pencil work I am doing for this painting and said "Wow, you really can draw"  and I was stunned.  I thought to myself, who does she think did the oil paintings I have?  I guess until you see it being done, you just don't know. lol  I love her so much, and as of the 18th she will be quitting the nursing home job and taking on a full time job working at the Hospital.  She has been working there part time these last couple of months, and it has really been hard on her, but now it has paid off and the hospital offered her a full time job, which means she only works 3  12 hour days a week, and that leaves plenty of time for her to work on her projects like her writing.  
   I don't know you all, but Sunday is a work day for me.  I only get to work a half a day on Fridays, and very little on Saturdays. Today I get to talk to a old friend I haven't talked to in about 4 years, I am really looking forward to that, and tonight I have a business call with Suzi, and the rest of the day I will be drawing, doing laundry, and being a "House Dad".  Madison is sleeping, she worked a 12 hour shift yesterday, and again tonight.  Then she has a lot of this coming week off.   Since she is leaving the nursing home, she gave away most of days to work there away to part timers, so she will be able to start getting use to her new schedule.  

    Well my friends, it is time for me to get busy. I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend, and I will see you soon. Blessings  "May the Darkness comfort You."

Monday, August 2, 2010

Wicked Kitty Publishing is Born!

     Hello my friends, it is good to talk to you as always.  I love hearing from you and the feedback and advice you give me is so appreciated. Above is the finished piece I did for the upcoming issue of Horrorbound online magazine. It will be released  on August the 15th, and the really exciting news is that there is going to be a writing contest based on the painting. The Details will be on the site on the 15th. Go Here.  Really cool stuff. I hope they let me read the entries.
    Next up is an oil painting of Supermodel and Movie Star, Miss Suzi Lorraine. This will make the beginning of a business deal she has Wicked Kitty Studio's and our new Publishing company.  Some of you may have heard that Madison is now the owner of Wicked Kitty Studio and  the Publishing company.  All of that is true.  We're also forming the company into a LLC, thanks to the advice of a couple of very good friends.
   What this means for me is, I don't have to worry about the business end anymore, I just do what I do best which is create.  Madison will handle everything else. I love this because now I have all of the very best of everything to work with. I still own the rights to my works, but when I die, the company is going to Madison and the Kids, and part of it will go to my niece Christina.
    So now my goals are simple. They are to keep healthy, which I am doing a wonderful job of.  Second is to get all my projects going that we have talked about, including instructional DVD's, A series of books called "The books of Rose" , my oil painting series of Suzi, and of course my horror work. They are more things in the works, but I will tell you about those when the time gets closer. Honestly I am a little Paranoid about putting my idea's out in public, but I have one artist for sure that keeps trying to steal my ideals, and there may be more, I don't know. But these are MY idea's and they are very original.  I am going to bring new things to you and the horror industry, but I am getting everything so that it is protected first and solely owned by Wicked Kitty before I tell everyone to much.  You know, I know that 99% of you are cool and wouldn't do things like that, but they're are some people who call themselves artist, but can not come up with anything original and just steal imagines, and then don't even give credit to the copyright owners.
      Recently I was accused of doing something like that.  A while back I drew a werewolf based on one from the movie "Van Helsing" I did this because I was looking for new ways to draw Werewolf's to be honest. I love them, but they are not my strong point. The piece was meant to be a training piece. I drew the outline of it, just like I would of a model for a painting. Nothing wrong with that, it's not illegal or immoral.  As Daniel Horne, the Master that Trained me said, I am just painting my interpretation of the creature, and I gave credit where credit is due.  Recently I know you all remember the piece I did called "Sammy Unmasked" based on the movie "Trick r' Treat" Now this was a finished piece, where the werewolf piece wasn't, so it was never put on my website or Face book, just my blog as a WIP .  The "Sammy Unmasked" is a finished piece and it is on Face book and my website, with a note under it in both places that it is a piece based on the movie, all though I recreated Sammy. I have made no money off of it, nor do I intend to. I did this for my personal satisfaction, just like in the near future I am going to do a painting of "The Joker" to take to shows and hang on my walls because I really love the character. It to will have the proper trademarks and Kudos's to the character's owners.  I talked with Todd Lockwood and Master Horne about this all, and basically One of them said that this "artist" should worry about his own work, instead of mine.
     But good things came out of that, for one, I become much more knowledgeable of copyright laws.  We went to see a lawyer, and we have her on retainer now. That wasn't as expenses as I thought actually, and she is handling the LLC and taking care of other legal matters for us. So things are doing quite well, and I am not going to have to deal with scum anymore.

   My original works are the only thing I can not give deals on, simply because of the amount of time they take and the name that goes with them.  Well my friends, I will be releasing new prints starting tomorrow, so I hope you will stop by and see what we have, and if you don't see the one you want yet, just send me a note, and I'll get it done for you.
    Peace and Blessings my friends.  Much Love.  "May the Darkness Comfort you"