Hello my friends. I am glad to be with you again. The reason I say that is that with all the things that have happened this last year, I count each day as a blessing. So just being able to come here each week and share knowledge with you all is real blessing to me. Surprisingly it has become something that I really enjoy and I am working harder and harder on the lessons I share with you. Today's lesson is about simple exercise you should do that will help speed along your skills and knowledge, and we will get to that shortly.
I must have made up for all the bad and stupid things I did as a young man, because Karma is really being good to me this last year. Even things that seemed like they where bad things turned into awesome things. I honestly don't know of anything in my life I would change. I am improving my health and don't expect miracles there. I have been getting some really wonderful kick butt commissions here of late, so I am very happy with that, but I am seriously wishing I had more time in the day and had the endurance to work much longer days. I am hoping that the exercise will help with that.
I am starting to gear up for conventions starting in January. By then, I hope to have plenty of prints made, greeting cards, T-shirts, postcards and I am thinking about doing some collector cards. A good friend of mine, JP, just had some made, and the price to get them done is very reasonable. My questions to you are would you be interested in buying something like that, and is there something you would like to see me sell besides the things I have mentioned? Your input on this is very important to me, so please take a minute to leave me a comment on your thoughts please.
I also have to start designing a booth set-up for the cons. In most cases I will be renting a booth over being in the art show, but that also depends on the con and how large it is. But I do want to dress up my booth somehow, and make it easy and fast to set up and take down. Any artist out there that does this, I would really appreciate any input you could give me. It might be a work in progress and take a while for me to come up with what I want folks to see when they come by to see me, but I want it to be special and something unique.
I hope that you all had time to check out the book Creative illustration by Andrew Loomis . Down the road, I want to really talk about the knowledge learned in that book, and hear your opinions on it.
As artist you all know that as you go, your “eye” develops. For instance, you can look at something you did 2 years ago, and now see all the flaws in it. This is because you have learned and you can see things now that you couldn’t then. This is very true in drawing anatomy. I can look back at things I drew several years ago, (and at the time, I thought I had done well) and see how bad my anatomy was off.
That is the main reason that if you want to be a Professional Artist you will need to use models. Not only do you have to understand the human body to perfection, you also need to learn how to exaggerate and change features to make them have the appearance you want. You will also need to learn how to use a model's photo and be able to change the shadows and the value tones, or move the arms or hands in different positions than the photos you have to work from. You use the model as a base only, your imagination and skills will provide the rest.
I want to teach you 2 simple things today that will develop your "Artist Eye" much quicker, and they both are simple. You need to get in the habit of doing this all the time. The first one is to study nature, not just photo's of it. Go outside and start REALLY looking at things. Like the grass for instance. See how many colors you see in a blade of grass? Do you see white in it? Do you see white in anything in nature? Even if it looks white, what color is it really.? Then look at all the grass in front of you as a whole, what do you see? What colors now?, do I see just grass? What color are those shadows really? Are they really black?
Do this with everything every time you go outside. Study man made things, and always observe the colors, the textures, and the values in things. If you do not understand what I am saying here, please ask, the only dumb question is the one you didn’t ask.
The second exercise is in perspective. Lets say you are uptown. Face a building on the street your standing on and keep your shoulders square to it. Look at the building in front of you, and then slowly start turning your head to the left keeping your eyes on the buildings. Pay attention to how, things start getting smaller as your head turns. Once you have turned your head as far as you can,, you will see the horizon point. This is the point in distance, where all vanishes. The horizon point is very important in all that you draw or paint. Always know where it is in everything you do, because it determines the perspective in what your doing. If it is off, you whole picture will look out of wack.
Then repeat the exercise again, this time to your right. Do this will everything, everywhere. Look at how it works with trees, clouds, highways, ect. After a while, perspective will come natural to you, and the questions you have right now, you will be able to answer on your own.
One of the things Lockwood had me do during my training was to take a sketch book and sit downtown drawing buildings. I did this twice a week for a whole summer and it really helped. Perspective is one of the things that comes hard to me, so i work on it here and there. I am hoping to do a painting in the near future that is about perspective, as well as a cool picture.
Next week we are going to cover mixing flesh tones and the colors and amounts to use in both oils and acrylics. This is where I will show you how to use the value scale on your pallet. I worked in acrylics for almost 25 years, so I have a lot of tips to share with you about them as well.
I have to get busy now. Much love to you and "May the Darkness Comfort You"