Tag Archives: art life

Burn Baby, Burn

Hey guys! Sorry about last week, but as some of you know I work in the wonderful wacky land of Washington DC. So…last week was hectic and interesting. ’nuff said.

THIS week has been a bit challenging to me. I’ve started the banking process to having a new home! Because hearing my neighbors constantly during a quarantine is a terrible fate for me.

I know that some of you miss the different steps being shown; I want to include those too, but that would entail me scripting my workflow and honestly?…

I don’t know if I can.

Once I’m going and into the flow, I kind of forget that there’s a world outside of my focus. That’s why the videos have been easier; no need to remind myself to take a snapshot.

Still… I managed to make a collage for an event for this year. Will it happen? So far it’s hard to say. But at least you can see what I look like 🤣

Anyway, it’s nice to work from home again. I definitely don’t miss my 1.5 hour commute!

Here’s a timelapse of my latest portrait. I always feel weird about showing my initial sketch. I’ll probably start omitting that and leaving in the linework. We’ll see.

Have a great week 😊

ALL the Stars

It’s been… interesting watching the responses to Chadwick Boseman’s passing. He was important to some people and overrated to others. But to me, he reinforced the idea that I can leave on my own terms.

It has a certain appeal.

In the last few years, I’ve had a classmate and a friend in the cosplay community die unexpectedly. By unexpectedly, I mean one I hoped would be okay, but knew she was battling illness; the other I had NO clue.

It sounds weird, but having a terminal diagnosis, at least to me, allows you to grieve you. You get to determine what your loved ones deal with, get yourself in order. It gives your remaining time clarity.

So yeah; I can see him not wanting the pity awards. Ledger did an awesome job as the Joker, but you always have to wonder how much of that was a lifetime achievement award. We were applauding a young talent, not knowing how briefly he would hear the praise and appreciation. He was our first REAL leading man superhero, who’s origins weren’t a gang or a ghetto. He’ll always be that for me.

Sorry no beginning. My capture software crashed! Not bad from memory, though…

Type

It’s a good thing that I have a high stress tolerance! I’m working on a podcast right now (not my own) and there were a lot of mistakes made. I’ll fix them after I post this 😉

I love doing these preview shots. When I first started, they were a pain to remember. Now it’s almost second nature.

I got my start as a kid doing comic style art. I still defer to it sometimes. Like here, to keep separation between the character and the background. But it’s hard to fight the urge to do realism.

Honestly, I’m getting better at working around my job as a videographer. I was so used to doing images in one sitting, so learning to pace myself has been very helpful.

As for digital…here I turned off the color for most of the background. I’m not happy with it and need to make changes to create depth. Working slower helps me avoid some of the mistakes that tend to sleep into a speed painting.

So next week, you’ll see a finished project and a video as well! In the meantime, enjoy your week.

Put It on the Fridge

Happy Mother’s Day! I got to talk with my mom bright and early yesterday. She’s in her 70’s but still has all of her brothers and sister and her mom. Clearly longevity is a family trait.

We were talking and she revealed that she keeps up with my art and loves seeing the stuff that I create. I was surprised by this, but in hindsight I should not have been.

She was my first fan.

When I was a toddler, she gave me my first paints. When I was in kindergarten, she used to put my pictures on the fridge. And when my teachers would complain about me drawing on homework, she bought me typing paper, which was a big deal for me. I had paper just to draw!

So yeah…my mom was always encouraging me. She was stern sometimes, keeping me on the right path, lol. But I never felt that my mom didn’t love me. And I had no idea that she follows ANY of this.

So thank you for allowing me to be me and teaching me the value in believing in yourself. I’ll never forget and always love you ❤️.

Woof

I had a dream about my Siberian Husky, Blizzard. We were going for a walk, except it started with driving with him in the passenger seat of my Amigo, top down as a puppy.

We ended up walking around my hometown. He was a full grown dog at that point in my dream. We were looking for my son. I woke up before we made it to my moms house.

When you have dreams like that, they carry a sense of dread. My Blizzard is gone; but I still feel him and that memory always comes with a slight sliver of pain and sadness. I miss him a lot.

So I decided to draw to help me grieve a little. It’s weird to me because I’ve seen the equivalent of a small village dead at once. I’ve seen severe human suffering.

But it’s always the small, personal wounds to my payche that stay. I feel like I should forget at some point.

But I probably won’t.

I hope I don’t.

Vistas

I suppose I could just occupy myself with work and get through this the old way. Honestly I don’t feel like drawing right now, but I also can’t stop, lol.

Figured a landscape would make me feel less cooped up, but the only thing I could think of was the ride to work. Scenic train ride is definitely missed.

I have a few parts of my day that are fun though. So this particular view is one that I have every morning; the station at New Carrollton,MD. I’m pretty good at this one because I’m always staring at the side facing the morning sun.

Now this parking garage I almost left as a silhouette. But I knew that wouldn’t work…

Although once I finished it I regretted it. It’s so hard for me to stay interested, but I need to get better at it!

So I cleaned up the image and darkened the building so that it wouldn’t stand out so much.

Now I feel better about being stuck at home.

Safety over Freedom

It reads like a rant, right? It’s not. I’ll always pick freedom. But I also know better than to think things go away because I wish it.

Anyway…

I rarely draw kids. It’s not that I don’t like them; it’s that I don’t want to be trapped in the business of kids and pets. I have no interest in them.

But I do get it. My son was a little cutie, like this one. Curly hair and all. It took a long time to perfect those ringlets.

Drawing loved ones isn’t the same. It’s an interesting challenge, because you don’t really see the person only. You see them through the lens of your affection for them.

That makes it difficult to accurately judge what you are seeing. Even the most ordinary act can seem to be wonderful in such light, to say nothing of the person. To me my mom looks young and has a special glow.

You aren’t able to see that for the loved ones of others. Sometimes your interpretation of a person or pet can actually upset a customer.

People often don’t understand that an artist has developed a style that they may not appreciate. We’re not Xerox copiers and I’ve had a few experiences where expectations didn’t sync up with the reality.

That’s why it’s important to communicate with your client; if they are interested in a commission of any type, find out WHY they think that you’d make a great choice. Are they fans of your work? Did they pick you out of a hat? What are the expectations of the final work? How do they feel about the subject? Can they tell you a story about them?

Emotional stuff is NEVER irrelevant.

Fudge It

My son is back in Afghanistan. He took leave and we took a pretty fun roadtrip. I miss him already.

Anyway…

Things have been… interesting. My art life has been somewhat quiet. I have a few projects lined up, but without a deposit, I don’t start, so that’s a non issue.

Plus I found out that Staedtler discontinued the pencil I use to sketch out my art! I suppose I could just buy an 8H pencil, but I tend to lose the color with my vision issues. Oh well, something will come up.

In the meantime, I’ve resorted to colored pencils. They tend to shade really heavy and it requires me to use a more delicate touch. NOT my forte, lol.

Also… I’ve had a few people complain that I don’t draw many PoC (People of colour). The reason is…

…they don’t ask. Or I don’t post.

My paying customers often ask for a still life from a photo and the biggest hesitation comes from the concern that I’ll post the image. Of course I don’t. I have more than enough who don’t care, lol. And some are made up.

For some reason, most of the ones who say hell no are black.

Now one lady gave me an ENTIRE FOLDER of nudes to use! She only asked that I make a poster for her. Deal.

Cloudy

Last post before the new year! I’d love to lie about being ready. I really would….

As you can see, I’m back to doing digital painting. Believe it or not, this one was fairly easy for me.

Everyone thinks that I have my own special, custom brushes for doing this kind of thing. Nope. I’m doing it the hard way. Opacity on 10%, so most of the brush strokes you see are built up. It’s how I get that feathered look.

As for the details… I’ve gotten a lot better at crossing the finish line nowadays. Those little things are the difference when it comes to your art.

To be honest, I never trusted myself with being able to bring them out.

Anyway, I’m not sure if I’m happy with it. I gave the old background more pop and a 3D feel, but…

…. we’ll see.