Painting Responsibly at Tevakanui | ULOG #TWENTYFIVE

Last weekend I was asked to do a Painting event at Tevakanui Dance Studio. This is the first time I have ever tried doing something like this.  When I have taught in the past, the classes were pretty small.

The purpose of the event was to raise money for costumes for the upcoming Tahitian and Hula performances of the children.  My kids train here at this school.

I attended one of these things at Town Square so I could get an idea of how to do this. I'm the only artist/painter dad out of all the kids and I got volunteered to teach. It didn't seem so hard at Town Square. I figured I could manage.

This was surprisingly fun.  It's a big change of pace to teach people who are there to have fun.

Lots of people came out, many who I had never met.

It was cool, to teach to people who were there to paint and enjoy themselves, not stress out over their grades.

It made me happy to see so many smiling faces. It's been a while since I've seen that in person.  Since I've been teaching online these past few years, I never get to see how happy or how miserable I make my students in person.

There were also people who were concentrating deeply on their painting.

Even the kids had fun.

There was also a bunch of food for sale in the lobby.

I didn't get a chance to eat much because I was busy talking and painting.

Luckily my wife got me some Butter Mochi and Banana Bread to take home.

Lots of sweets, but I was hungry for kahlua pork. Maybe next time.

My son took all these pictures and video.  I'd show the video, but it's shaky as hell.

This was hard on my legs to stand for so long.  Next time I will run the event for a shorter period. I probably ought to do some sit-ups.

I brought my Dad and my wife and they really got into it.

No one was clowning around.  Everyone was super serious and had a good time.  It might have run a bit long for the kids. I will run the next event shorter for them.

My Dad's painting turned out pretty well.

I stuck the Iron Giant in my demo painting.

The easels were great. Easy to set up and break down.

That's my painting on the left, that Keahi is holding his painting on the right. Paintings seem to turn out better when you're enjoying yourself.

Great fun for all.  Looking forward to the next event which should be coming up soon!

Thanks Everybody,
@PixelColada

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P.S. I have to say, I am really enjoying using SteemPress.  It's so much easier to post with WordPress integration.  It make blogging more fun with less work.

 


Digital vs. Traditional: My Experience Part 2 | ULOG #TWENTYTHREE

This was my 'breakthrough' in digital painting.  It may not seem like much, but this 'clicked' something in my brain. This was the first painting I did where I was able to get over my fear of working completely digitally.  I painted this as one of my pages for that children's book job. About 15 years ago.

This was my next breakthrough.  That first one loosened me up.  I did the initial sketch in my little Moleskin as tiny drawing, about 3"x 5" inches.  I scanned it and started coloring it in ArtRage.  It went by super quickly for me.

ArtRage was the program that kind of started me thinking about changing up my process.

In fact, my life drawing in tradtional materials improved.  This was a quick demo for a student where I sat and drew for him as I explained while I was drawing.  This maybe took a minute.  It went quickly for me because the thought of making mistakes never entered my mind while I was showing someone something.

When you are trying to teach a child how to make a free throw in basketball, do you think about missing the shot yourself? No, you keep taking the shot until you miss less and less.  You can feel when you're going to miss when the ball leaves your hand.  When you draw, it's the same way. Don't think about missing. Think about making the shot.

This was the old way.  The ideas behind it still work but it can get tedious and time consuming and messy. However strong the foundation is, it became a drag and not fun.

I discovered that I was having more fun, playing in class doing demos for my students.

ArtRage really opened the conceptual door for me to start playing and having fun. It was like I had a huge mental breakthrough.

The software was so easy that I felt like the interface was not in my way.  It was like I didn't have to learn anything new.

This image below on the left was a quick scribble scribble to get students to understand how to think about gesture. I think I used the marker tool on a textured paper.

The image on the right was just me switching tools. Here I'm using the palette knife.

The drawing on the left took about 5 seconds to do.  The drawing on the left was like about 2 minutes.

I wanted my students to understand how fast and free you could be painting digitally. So many of them were uptight.  It didn't matter if they were working with charcoal on newsprint or on a Wacom Tablet. The point was was to just get over yourself and abandon your fear.

Fear, as much as if not more than anything else, will stop you from becoming better. When you can relax enough to play, that is when you start to grow.

All of this, is just me purging my old stuff. I feel like I have to get all of it out there, out of my system before I can proceed with new stuff.

Thanks Everybody,
@PixelColada

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Digital vs. Traditional: My Experience Part 1 | ULOG #TWENTY

Back again with more art.  Sorry I've been away, but I've been busy.

This painting above was a school piece.  It helped me to get my foot in the door with some local ad agencies here in Vegas

This is basically the last of my traditional work before I started going digital.

These medieval paintings were for the Excalibur Casino.  They ended up being comps and the finishes were done by a more famous artist who used mine as the basis of starting his.

I wasn't good at backgrounds and I wanted the freedom to move my image around.  I wasn't very good with Photoshop at this time, but I was able to isolate objects and move them around. They were painted traditionally with physical paint, but I separated them onto layers so that I could move things around.  That's why they feel so "cut out." I comped these in Xara.

The would have hired him to do this preliminary work but he was unavailable. That was why I got the job. I liked being able to create shadows and straight lines in the computer.  

This stuff was still so new to me.  It was hard to transition from painting traditionally into digital painting.

I used filters and effects to help cover up the parts of the painting I didn't finish on time.

This was one I wished that I knew how to paint in Photoshop with layers.  I was learning as I went along.  

I hate painting text because the client always wants to change the words.  It's often better that text is digital when the words aren't yours.

This painting seems awkward until you realize that all the blank white space is for the words.

I realized that I could just paint the parts I wanted to traditionally then cut and paste them digitally into my assignments.  I could just photocopy my approved sketch onto colored paper and start painting on it directly.

I started doing this all the time with my jobs. Doing this became fun for me.

I'm kind of posting this for my students so that they don't get so hung up on their Wacom tablets.  I want them to realize there are a million ways to get things done. The most important one is the one that works reliably.

I also posting this so that my students can see how I slowly transitioned from traditional painting into digital painting.

My next post will be about my "breakthrough" paintings that got me into the mindset of thinking digitally.

Feel free to sign up on Steemit and follow me.  It's free, and upvotes are digital currency.  The most important thing is:

DON'T LOSE YOUR PASSWORD.

The second most important thing is:

DON'T LOSE YOUR PASSWORD.

Thanks Everybody,
@PixelColada

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Missing The Boat | ULOG #NINETEEN

I graduated from art school right when Photoshop started rising in popularity.  Designers at all the ad agencies started using it along with PhotoCD's which grew popular before that got taken over by digital cameras. At the time, I had no idea what a dinosaur I already was, skillwise, without even knowing it before landing my first in-house job.

When I was in school, I wanted to be a movie poster artist like Drew Struzan. What I didn't realize was that traditional movie poster art was on its way out.  Even Drew Struzan couldn't be Drew Struzan anymore.

Movie directors still celebrate Struzan's work. But there are only a few directors these days like Guillermo del Toro and Frank Darabont who are actually willing to fight movie studio ad agencies to try to do apply traditional art to their movie poster advertising.

I think the issue is that in the case of an illustrator, he holds more power over the image than the ad agency. Illustrators would make $800 a day. Photographers might make $24,000 a day(in 1997) Without the illustrator, the ad agency couldn't produce a poster. With the advent of Photoshop, that meant that any ad agency could produce a poster and they didn't need illustrators anymore.  At most they might need sketch guys to compose images which in-house graphic designers would attempt to emulate/reproduce.

At this point, it's not about making great art. It's about getting the job done fast. I didn't draw the things I liked; I drew what I thought agencies might need.

Things like:

The Anti-Hero

The Pretty Girl

Group Shots

Funny Fat Guy Type

Invented Scenes with no reference other than a headshot.

I also learned how to airbrush.

But what I discovered was I really didn't like doing this kind of work.  I felt really fake.  All of these images were just samples, not real art.

Sure, I got a few nice paychecks, but the stress and the quick turnaround pressure wasn't any fun. Also, no one would ever see this work. It would always end up being a Photoshop big head poster in the end. I would get hired to do sketches, but better and more famous illustrators would be brought in. The stuff I would get to do was grunt stuff that name guys didn't want to do.

And I eventually grew to hate it. High pressure and no fun. Obsolete to the max. No one needed it or wanted it anymore. Missing that boat was a blessing.

I ended up moving away from California. I had some specific skills for a business sector that was rapidly fading away.  I needed to figure out what to do with myself.  I needed to rethink, regroup, reset and plan a new strategy.

Thanks again for all your support,
@PixelColada

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Rock & Roll Hall of Fame | ULOG #EIGHTEEN

These were a bunch of drawings I did for a client. Mostly 9 x 12 on Vellum. I think it was for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but it was so long ago, I can't remember for sure.

The client wanted a bunch of drawing of music celebrities. This was back in the days before the internet.  You couldn't just do a search on Google. You had to go down the Fan Photo stores on Melrose, where they would sell 8 x 10 headshots of famous people. You'd go through them like you were shopping for 12" inch record albums on display.  You also had to pay for each photo individually.

I don't know if there's much need for this type of work any more now that kids can just comp up something from an image search.

My hope was that the client would want to pay for illustrations. But that never happened.  A lot of these jobs never got beyond the sketch stage. Sometimes they would hire a better or more famous artist to do the finishes.

These were fun to do and if I am remembering correctly, they paid me well. I'm getting into the mindset that if I want to do a project like this again, I'm going to have to generate one for myself.

Thank you for your support,
@PixelColada

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Hard to Sleep

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fear of Drowning. Graphite on Board.

Sleep doesn't come easy to me. I'm restless and troubled. Sometimes I can't breath.

Many times, I don't understand my dreams.

Today's Haiku:


Abstract Vs. Realism


Abstract vs Realism, 2011 Acrylic on Canvas 24 x 48 in.

As an artist and a responsible parent, I set out to test whether or not age old and time proven practice of realism could triumph emotionally, over the youthful vigor of abstraction.

Both of my children were given Soft Body Liquitex Acrylics

to work with on a pre-gessoed canvas)

stretched over 24 x 48 inches. The intent was to elevate our children’s artwork by simply increasing the size and scale of the medium. Our stainless steel refrigerator did not have magnetic capabilities, so the bare walls of our house became our gallery space.

Here is the finished piece:

To this day, my son prefers to work abstractly and my daughter still leans representational. Whenever he and I are waiting somewhere, he will ask to paint on my Samsung Note Phone and produce a monochromatic color field. I suspect this compulsion will accompany him into adulthood.

Thanks,
@PixelColada


Mashups

I made these paintings back when these two guys were still alive.  I always thought Worf's hair resembled that of James Brown.

I also thought Ray Charles would look better in Geordi's glasses than Stevie Wonder.

For a while, I had these for sale as T-Shirts, but before my shirts ever took off they got taken down by a copyright even though they're parody.

In any case, this was an experiment using acrylics and colored pencils.  In addition, I also used Tombo Markers.

I'm planning to do more of these mashups.


Weigh In

This was a piece I did while I was freelancing for a company doing graphics for the UFC.  This was before they had their own in-house crew.

At the time, I didn't quite know what I was doing and didn't have a pitch prepared for the company.  Dana White seemed to like it. I was in his office to show it to him, but at the time, I didn't know who he was in the organization. In any case, it was a missed opportunity.

I got busy with other clients and I didn't do more of these, though I have some somewhere that are still in the drawing stage. But those fighters are long gone.  This was from the weigh-in before Randy Couture fought Josh Barnett.

This is probably my favorite painting technique. I really need to do more of these.

If I was asked, I'd do more of these as a commission. I love doing portraits.


Sheff_HotSauce

This is an old piece I did in an Advertising Class in school.  The assignment was to come up with an advertisement for a product.  I chose hot sauce.  Oils and acrylics. I was still trying to get comfortable with my painting process.

There's something about painting with traditional materials that brings risk to the table and makes the project a little more exciting.  Working digitally, is fairly safe and convenient. Painting with actual pigments and brushes is more satisfying, but lacks an UNDO button.  If you make a mistake, you have to paint it out or fix it.

I feel myself being drawn to working traditionally again.