Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Draw Like a Boss

The Draw Like a Boss Kickstarter is really well done:

Just keep asking yourself, "What is the simplest way to approach this?"

Before I learned of this step by step methodology, I was pretty much going round in circles, honing a style but not improving my drawing.

...I wanted to make a tutorial that was more approachable, open and fun. Above all, I wanted to make it accessible for someone like myself: a visual learner who is a little dyslexic.
Trying to figure this stuff out sure helps with a map--which they literally provide.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Go after something that speaks to you.

This is the basic of art education: to go after something that speaks to you, to push hard to achieve it. In that process lies the discovery of your own unique approach. That's when the learning blossoms.

Greg Manchess

One of my favorites is Greg Manchess.  I love the buttery, loose application of paint he uses.   In this Muddy Colors post he credits Frank Duveneck as the reason why he paints the way he does.   I found the above quote in the comments of the post.

Monday, January 21, 2013


So, an update.  I haven't produced much lately.

I thought doing a "make a drawing every day" challenge might help things along.  It would at least get me to put pencil to paper every day.  I "successfully" completed 42 consecutive days of drawing before getting burnt out.  I put the word successfully in quotes because I am not happy with most of the results.   I think the drawings are unsuccessful because the only requirement I had was to make one every day:  most were done hastily just to meet the deadline.  In the end, I found the challenge a burden, saw little growth and it shows in the work.  I think it was a bad idea, but at least I learned a couple of things.

Lately I've been experiencing a medium paralysis.  I'll find a piece of stunning art that inspires me.  Wanting to create something similar, the first question I have is "what's the medium?"  The next thing I know I'm cheating on my currently-chosen tools and spending time with Google looking up artists that use the new medium, books that teach it, blogs that write about it, video demos on Youtube, etc.  This post on an article about Gary Kelley by Chris Oatley led me on a quest that had me wondering if pastels were what I should focus on.  I've had many of these diversions because I'm fascinated and interested in many types of art.  How can you pick one tool or style when they can all produce amazing results?

My latest thoughts have been with watercolors.  I have limited time to study/make art.  Dragging out the acrylics or oils, setting up a working area in the kitchen (I don't have a dedicated space),  making a palette and premixing colors takes time and a lot of space.  The portability of watercolors should help these problems, but maybe I'm just fooling myself.  I got a beginner's watercolor book from the library that has a lot of exercises.  I'm going to try and work through it.  The last few times I've done this I wasn't able to finish.

This blog has become a record of several false starts, but I think that's expected.  I've heard advice like "only show your best work on your site" or "be positive on your blog", but the point of this blog it to figure out what it takes to find "a way".  I'm not trying to be a professional--I'm just trying to learn how to paint.  It's going to take trying different things until I find something that makes sense.  The goal I stated in my first post still remains:  To make others feel the way I do when I look at paintings that move me.  It's taking a while, but I'm not giving up.

I realize I've been making more of these meta posts than actual work.  I plan to change that.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


The dawning of a truth comes with its actual application, not the day it is heard. And it enlarges in meaning with self-discovery of its merits in its application. 
- Andrew Loomis, Creative Illustration 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I found this flower picture on morgueFile and thought it'd be easy enough to paint.  Golden OPEN and Heavy Body acrylics on acrylic paper.  I love the colors Heavy Body can make, but really dislike the drying time.  The only reason I used it was because I ran out of OPEN Titanium White.    


Friday, November 16, 2012


So here I am on day 2 focusing on drawing.   I make a drawing I'm unhappy with, and have the itch to paint it.  What do you know--the painting turns out okay.   I don't know why, but I used Gouache and loved it.  The edges are rough in spots, the tones aren't the best and I struggled with the consistency, but this is the first painting I've made in awhile that made me smile.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Drawing a day

A few weeks ago, Armand Cabrera wrote a post on his Art and Influence blog that punched me right in the brain:
Students spend their time seeking the magical pencil or brush that their favorite artist uses. They are looking for that one brand of paint or canvas to solve their problem. They believe that with the right materials they will be freed from the drudgery of miles of repetitive work needed to succeed.
Man, does that hit home.

I haven't been doing enough.  It's hard to find time for this dream stuff when I have a day job and a family, but I want it badly enough that I should be doing more.  With my new focus on drawing, I'm going to commit to making at least one drawing a day, no matter how simple or complex. Every day I'll draw something, then post it to my Drawing a day Flickr set.  No more throwing stuff away--I'll post one drawing a day no matter how I feel about the results, starting today.

Today's inspiration:

This incredible 9+ year thread on by Jonathan Hardesty documenting his progress of learning to draw and paint.