Monday, November 29, 2010

Just when I thought it couldn't get any better.......

    Hello my friends.  I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. We did, although we both worked. Of course for Madison and me, it really isn't work when you are creating, it is an act of love. The painting above is called "Heaven and Hell" and it features Horror Diva Dia Green. It will be shown on "Horrornet" to accompany a new interview with me, and a good one. I know I have done 13 interviews now in 14 months, so I do my best to make each one different and the readers can learn more about my dark past and future. I have the 14th interview coming up in January. The publicity I am receiving is just mind blowing.
     I just got a new scanner and have much better scans of the new oils I am doing. Here is the scan of "Hellcrow"
      as you can tell from the version a few post ago, this is a HUGE difference in quality.
     Outside of showing you what I am doing and tips here and there, I will not be able to continue the "lessons" until around the first of February, and those will be video's from now on. Right now I am swapped with things. As of later this week, I will be revamping the website, and most of the digital art will be gone forever, except for a few pieces we plan on marketing or we make good prints of. The lever of prints are going up. I just spent a small fortune on a new scanner and printer.  This printer will print up to 13 x 19, and this are the nicest prints I have ever seen that a artist can make at home.  Since now Tilly is going to get my work in galleries as well, we will be doing large, very high quality limited edition prints as well. They will sell for several hundred dollars a piece. All the things that will be happening in 2011 are just mind bogging and far exceed any dream I ever had for my art. I will tell you about them as they are happening.
     Here are more pictures of "Dragon Mystress" in progress. First we have the background finished and the background dragons done, and then a close up of the baby dragon with the soon to be painted Tilly.
     and here is a close up of the Dragon.....

    The next painting coming up is a private commission from one of my collectors and friend. It is my take on the Mythological creature "Cerberus"  At night after a 10 hour day of painting, I sketch while I sorta of watch a little TV. Here is the first study I am did trying to work out the bulk and proportion of a 3 headed dog to prepare for the painting. There will be plenty more sketches of it in the next blog, and the "Dragon Mystress" should be done as well. The Cerberus also be appearing in a book as well published by the client.

    On other news, my health improves every day, and I am more motivated and inspired than I have ever been. Madison and the kids are very proud of me. Our daughter is quite the artist herself at 11 years old. The other night, she pulled a chair behind me and watched me paint for 3 hours straight.  The kids and I have really bonded this last year as well, and I know they are not my children, but i fell like they are, and I love them like they are.
    It seems like I can't say enough about Tilly. I just found out from reading her blog that she is like a quarter away from getting her Law degree. That floored me. Not only will she be representing me, but she is also capable of taking care of the legal matters that may arise.  Her Agency will be one of the top ones in the world. I have no doubt and I am extremely honored that she wants to represent me.
     The truth is that if you have a good business mind, there is a fortune to be made if your work is popular.  The problem is that most artist don't have time to pursue the things that will make them the large amounts of money and paint too.  So now, I will have the best of both worlds.
     The art tip I want to share with you is a bit profound and I don't know if you will understand just yet. When Daniel told it to me, I didn't get it until 5 years later. One of the first things he said to me when I told him how grateful I was for what  he was teaching me, he told me "I'm not teaching you, I am simply unlocking the knowledge that you already have." I didn't have a clue at the time to what he meant, but with all the things I have been through since then, and now returning to my roots, my confidence in my abilities has gone off the charts, where as before, after the Dark Angel nightmare really made me doubt myself.  But with the support of Madison and allllllllllll the fans encouraging me, my confidence started to grow. (Not Ego) Now when I paint and draw I find that I am doing things that I was never taught, but for some reason, I just understand them and how to do them without even thinking about it. It is like I've always known how to do these things. Daniel's words now make perfect sense to me.  One day they will to you too if you believe in yourself.
    This is the first Christmas since 1998 that I am actually able to buy things for the people I love, including my friends and family. I am so thrilled about that, and I am very excited about the holiday.  We are putting up the tree tonight with the Kids. I can't believe how I went from being a hermit for 8 years and not wanting anyone in my life to having Madison and the kids and them being a huge part of my heart. I love them more than I ever thought I could love anyone. Finally after 52 years of living a nightmare, I have found happiness, love, and more success than I ever thought possible.
    Much Love my friends. "May the Darkness Comfort You"

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

     Happy Thanksgiving my friends. I hope that each and everyone of you have had a wonderful day filled with good food, much love, family and friends. Please  do not forget to click on the ad under the visitor map on the right. Every time you do, a penny goes to help the Shriner's Children Hospital. It will only take a few seconds, and if you do it every visit here, it will mount up to a lot of money. I think we have over 1200 readers now?
    Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful, and I know they where plenty of years that I didn't feel like I had much going for me.  My real family is spread all over the country, and with the exception of my younger sister and her offspring, I don't hear from the rest of them. But this year has been a miracle, a real miracle for me. Those of you that read regularly know of all the wonderful events that have happened, and the things that are coming are even more exciting and wonderful. I now have a agent, and she is in my opinion the best I could ever hope for. She is a wonderful woman with a strong business sense and most important, we trust her. So doing business with me has changed forever, now I will be sending folks to my agent to discuss commissions and whatever else I can do for them. She is a celebrity in her own right, a top selling writer, a ex model, a photographer and publisher, Tilly Rivers.
     She understands what it is I want to do and what I hope for the future, and I know she can make it happen. I believe in this lady 100% and will stand behind any decision she makes.  So I am very thankful for this. Now I know that have a home to call our own, and that we will be able to send the kids to college.  
    It wont be much longer that I will  not need disability, and will be able to give back to the state that helped me through a very difficult time. This year has been a fantastic year and I/we are very grateful to all involved. Enjoy your turkey everyone. Much love always. "May the Darkness Comfort You"

Monday, November 22, 2010

I am so wired.

      Hello my friends, until after Christmas I am not going to be detailed lessons, but once I have the video camera I will be much easier for me to do them and I believe you will be able to understand what I am trying to teach you better as well.  So until then, I will just keep you up to date on things and show you step by step of the paintings I am doing.  I have decided to start showing you my sketchbook work that I do that precedes a painting.
Next is drawing out the whole ideal and mounting it to Masonite....
and then the start of the underpainting. I am doing something different in this one, I am underpainting it in oils.
      This painting is called "Dragon Mystress" and it features one of the most famous models in the world, Tilly Rivers.  Tilly and I will be doing a lot of work together.  She has also agreed to be my agent, which we are very excited about on so many levels.  Unless you know who Tilly is, you don't have a clue to how major this is going to be.
     I also bought a huge printer to make prints at home. It prints up to 13 x 19 which is a huge improvement over the 11 x 14 ones I have made in the past.  We are so working on having much larger artistic prints made of the new oil paintings as well.
    My scanner bite the dust, and I have a newer and much better one on the way, so you will be able to see much better versions of the work I am doing now.  One of the things I am very excited about is that all the work I did during my training days is now owned by private collectors, including sketches. An I am being commissioned to do new pieces for them. At this rate, I will not have to be on disability much longer.
    I've got to run for now, but I will see you next week with the progressing of the painting in progress.  Much Love everyone.  "May the Darkness Comfort You"

Monday, November 15, 2010

Saving Money part one.


 Hello my friends.  I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was great and I got a lot of work done, as you can see.  I did this painting in a total of 10 working days which I am very happy about, and I didn't sacrifice the quality in any way. Now on to a quick pencil of Horror Hostess Roxy Tyler, then on to my next painting "Dragon Mystress" Another thing is that I have really been studying the work of Catherine Jones, one of the most amazing artist I have yet to see. I am starting to do some things I have picked up from her, like doodle sketches (and I will be posting some of those soon) with a pen in my sketchbook, just concentrating on the dynamics of a figure. It also helps to understand contrast in your work better and I cannot express just how important that is to any piece of illustration.  It is far more important than how you use color.  If you are not familiar with Catherine's work, look for her on Facebook and friend her. You will be glad you did.
    Here is the scan of the painting I did for Halloween, it is an oil and it is called "Hellcrow" I was finally able to scan it.

     This year as you all know, I have been rebuilding my studio basically from scratch. Most of it I had to leave in NC when I moved to Michigan and the rest was stolen from me. That is one of the main reasons I did digital art for 2 years, simply because I had to replace all my traditional art supplies and equipment.  We all know that artist are not rich people and buying a new tube of oil paint is a big deal for us. lol  So this blog and a few more are going to be about how to save money on the things you need.
    The first and easiest thing to get is plastic milk crates. (see the pictures below)  You can make tables out of them, desk, storage bends and so on. I got these from Wal-mart for a dollar each and I know they will last forever. If you have a friend that works at a food store, they probably can get you some of these as well.
     The table pictured above is made out of 12 crates and is very sturdy. I just covered it with a cheap black cloth and it fits right it to the studio. I have 4 more similar type of tables built of these crates as well.
    Since Madison has to sleep during the day, and i at night because of her job, I keep my everyday clothes in the studio. I used 9 crates to serve as a dresser.
    On these next pictures, please remember I am not a carpenter, lol  I built these shelves for storage of paper, artwork, masonite that I use for painting, and tools. I spent around 50 bucks on all the wood to make them with, and that includes liquid nails and screws. I haven't painted them but probably will when we move into our own home in the future. These also save a great deal of space and allows you art to lay flat.

    I did buy one of my chairs brand new, but if you go to a used furniture outlet, you can buy them pretty cheap. I still need to buy one more for the drawing area. Right now I just switch chairs around as I need them.
      I thought while I was taking pictures I would take one of my published work.  The top 3 shelves are publications my work is in or I did the cover's for. An during the move, one large box of my published work got missing, so actually it would fill the whole shelf if I had that one.  No use crying over spilled milk.  If I knew that I had to go through all that i did to be where I am right now, I would choose to take this path again. Even the bad I would embrace knowing how it would all turn out.  I have become a working madman, lol. I haven't been on Facebook or any of those kind of places lately.  I have to much work to do, and honestly that is all I want to do. 
    I hope to see you next week and I will have plenty of new work for you to see. Much love my friends, and "May the darkness comfort you."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Push the button please

   Folks, please don't forget to click on the little ad under the visitor map on the left hand side. Every time you do a penny goes to the Shriners Children's Hospital at the end of each cycle.  Thank you.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Much Love to you all.

     Hello my friends. This will not be my normal blog, but a short one. I had trouble last week passing a kidney stone and it threw a monkey wrench in the works. But I did manage to work through most of it. This is a painting I call "Heaven and Hell"  I have done versions through the years of it, but never got it right. I think when I post the finished picture of it, I will post as many of the past versions of it that I can find. The Model for this version is none other that Horror Diva Dai Green. I am hoping to work with her  more in the future for she is a wonderful model. I feel like my skills are finally to a point to where I can do some of the old idea's I have had but just lacked the skill to do them properly.  Here are some of the in progress photo's of it.

     Right now, the background is almost done and I hope to finish that today, and all I will have left to paint in Dai. I hope to get back to the lessons in the  week afters blog, and please write to me if there is something specific you want to see or for me to talk about. I am getting a video camera for Christmas and that will really help me show you things in much more detail than I could ever explain.
    My time is going to be tight the next 2 weeks. One reason I want to finish this painting and get to the next, but I am also doing the biggest interview to date, and I am really spending a lot of time on it. It will be reaching a 6 figure readership, so like all the interviews before, will bring us new friends and much more business.  I am very blessed that I can pick and choose what work I want to do these days. Money isn't even an issue anymore so I am allowed to be a"Artist" now over being and Illustrator, although I will still be doing Illustration. I have one coming up soon that I am very excited about. It is a painting of "Cerberus"  and the publisher is given me the freedom to do it anyway I want. Painting the 3-headed dog guardian of Hades should be a blast! Plus outside of it being in the book, it will also be offered as limited edition prints  as well from the Publisher. This hook up is one of the best so far. He pays well, and is a collector of my work on top of that.  It is exciting to have people who collect my work.
    For my friends that have known me for a few years know that I am not bragging by any means, but I am just a big kid that gets excited about all these things, and now to have all these really wonderful things going on, it is just wonderful. I am truly living my dream. I wish you all could, I really truly do.  There is even so old friends that hate me now that I truly wish all these wonderful things would happen for them, I really do.  Perhaps then their hatred would fade into passion for their art.
     I have a couple of quick tips before I get back to painting, one I've told you before, and really listen because it can save you a lot of money. Don't buy all those fancy high dollar cleaners from the art store, just buy a orange cleaner. It comes in a spray bottle like windex, and only cost a couple of bucks at the family dollars. After you clean your brushes in turpentine, swish it around in a container of the orange cleaner. It keeps your brushes really nice, and if you have a brush that has dried paint in it, let it set in the orange cleaner overnight, and the old paint will come right out.  Another tip is if you work in pencil much you probably buy a fixative to spray on the  finished work so the pencils wont smear. From the art store, the fixative is expensive. Use a aerosol hairspray form the dollar store. It is the same thing.
     Okay my friends, I have to get back to work. Much love to you all and "May the Darkness Comfort You"

Monday, November 1, 2010

I'm Back.

       Hello my friends and I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween. I've got a lot to show you in this blog, including step by step on how I go about a painting up to the underpainting part. On the next painting, we will cover the painting part. First up is the finished scan of the painting I did of Suzi Lorainne, and I can't tell you about the endless letters from friends and fans telling me to keep painting in oils, and I had already made my mind up to do that when I was working on this one.  So here it is.
  Up next is the Halloween painting I just finished in progress step by step.  But first I want to talk about something.  I told all my Facebook friends that I was also going to do a digitally parody and I was really excited about doing it, and then Madison and I had a talk about it. The piece is wonderful and funny, but the subject of the painting is a copyrighted character known the world over. One of my pet peeves is artist taking characters like Godzilla, Elvis, and so on, and do a painting of them, calling it parody and not giving credit to the copyright owners or paying for the licencing rights.  They claim the law protects them from prosecution from the owners because it is either Satire or Parody.  An if you sell prints of them, that don't fall under fan art either. In two cases I did fan art (I painted characters from movies and gave full credit to the movies they appeared in and did not and will not sell prints of them.)
     The whole thing is a ethical issue and it is up to each artist to decide their feelings about it. Mine are this. Just because there is a law that says you can doesn't make it morally right, in my eyes, your still a thief. But that is for each artist to decide, and I have decided not to do work like that, unless I have purchased the rights to do so.  How would you feel to see something you created stole by another artist  and changed it just enough to where they can get away with it and make a ton of money off of your idea? I am in no way or no means picking on anyone here, I am simply making a point from my point of view, and I feel like I owe the 1000's of fans a explanation to why I didn't do the piece I told them I was going to. 
     Madison also pointed out to me that a lot of folks out there look up to me, and I don't want to set a bad example. I'm not saying I will always do the right things, but at least I am trying. I had to start a second FB account last week, because I was having to turn away to many folks from my original one, and it one week, it is close to having 1000 friends already. I am guessing that a NickroseThree and Four are in the near future at this rate.  Something HUGE is going down in December, and at that point I don't know what where going to do to keep up with all the friends we are gaining.
      Now back to art. I am going to show you in step by step photo's how I start a painting all the way to the oil glaze before I paint. So here we go.
Day one:  
   I had Madison take a series of photos of me from different angels and poses to find the one that best suited what I was seeing in my mind. This is the pic I choose.  From there I started sketching.
 First I did the one on the left using my picture, but starting to exaggerate the body pose.  Then from there I started the one on the right. One thing I have found out from experience is that you have to learn to see your idea with the eye of an movie director. You do a sketch, then ask  "How can I improve this"   This is something I have just started doing, but was taught to me by Daniel several years ago. It does make for a much more dynamic picture, and drama is one of the key things you are after.
Day 2:
  So the next morning, after thinking about how I wanted the image to appear, I started over as in the top drawing, and in the second drawing i started adding the details. You can see that the paper is starting to "bubble" on me, but I pressed on so I can get to the 3rd drawing which is where I actually mounted the paper onto  a piece of prepared Masonite using Elmer's glue.  Then let that dry, it took about 2 hours, and applied 2 layers of Matte Medium and let it dry overnight. In the near future I am going to show you how to mount the paper to the Masonite but I am going to have to use a video camera, and I am getting one of those for Christmas.
    Daniel told me how to do it on the phone, and I figured I knew how to do it until I did it.  It was a nightmare, so that is why I want to show you with a video camera so there will be no confusion, or bubbles caught in the paper, and the other problems that can happen until you get the hang of it.
     Also a quick tip for you, if you shop at places like Hobby Lobby  and buy your prepared Masonite from them, you know that a 16" x 20" sheet cost about 7 dollars. You can go to Lowe's and buy a full 4' x 8' sheet of the prepared Masonite with the gesso side for 11.97 and they will cut it to any size you want. I had them cut one for me today into 10 18 x22 pieces and they don't charge to cut it and will do it while you wait. It takes about 5 minutes. If I had bought the panels from the art store it would have cost about 70 bucks plus tax, and they don't even have the size I like to work.  You save 58 bucks and get exactly what you want. You can also buy Orange cleaner there as well. It is the best and cheapest thing out there to keep your brushes nice and soft after putting them in Turpentine all day. You can also find it at Big Lots.
Day 3; the under painting.
To me, The under painting is a way to do a value study.  It is not the way I was taught to do it, but I do what works for me. Catherine Jones told me the other day that she didn't under paint or do a value study. She just puts down a few lines and starts painting. If you have ever seen her work you know it is amazing. Another living Master. I have a few canvases laying around, and I think just for fun one day, I am going to try it her way and see what happens. 
    All of you should remember that art is an adventure, and for each artist it is different. Take the path that works for you. Just because I say to do something a certain way doesn't mean you have to do it like I do, or how another artist does it. As Daniel told me,  "Take what you want and leave the rest." Do what feels right and works for you. You are an individual and what you do is unique just like your art.
  And now I add a glaze of Liquin and Magenta.  I added about a tablespoon of Liquin in a plastic cup and about a quarter inch of paint from the tube and mixed them well to they looked like this
and put one coat over the whole painting. By using the Liquin I know that it will be dry enough for me to get going in the morning.  As I have said, I prefer Linseed oil as my medium and only use Liquin for things like this.  It is also good for putting a layer over the dried painting to make the whole thing shine instead of just parts.  Another note is that on this painting I did the under painting in Acrylics, but you could do it with oils if you wanted. But Acrylics are more particle for the task since they dry so fast.
    Here is a photo of the finished painting. Hopefully by next week I will be able to scan it for you and have the pencil work of the painting I am doing of Dai Green.
 I hope you enjoy this, it will look much better when I am able to scan it, and please remember this, what I say on this blog is in no way intended to insult or point fingers at anyone. That is why I never mention names, but as with todays blog I simply wanted everyone to understand why I didn't do the piece a lot of folks where expecting to see. I have to learn to practice what I preach, and I by no means expect folks to always agree with me. I am very old school and I know the younger folks see life different than the way I do, and that is fine in my book. 
    I hope your week is filled with love, magic and creativity. "May the Darkness Comfort you"