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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2 Minute Quick Sketches - Feel More Think Less | ULOG #SIXTEEN

This was one of the first drawings where I felt I was starting to get the hang of this quicksketch technique. I still haven't mastered it, but I think I can get close.

The good thing about this is that when you feel like you are getting the hang of drawing you can 'feel' more and 'think' less. 'Feeling' more is how I like to work nowadays.  If I 'think' too much I mess myself up.

Robert was a great model.  He retired a while back.

He always struck poses that echoed some kind of story.

These ladies were a nice respite.  Drawing males all the time, especially when the school hires the same male model over and over again can get old real fast.  It kills the energy.  No disrespect to the model, but, artists need some variety. I love drawing women. I need more women.  I'm thinking I'm going to hire some women to just come over to the studio and pose.  I feel like I'm getting rusty and need to paint more.

I think this testing of these cross-posts is beneficial.

Thanks again for all your support,
@PixelColada

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Past Comic Con Memories | ULOG #FIFTEEN

This gal was modeling at a small Comic Convention a few years back.  She was much prettier than I drew her. My teacher at the time organized a space on the convention floor where we could all draw the models.  It was an effort to get some students into the school.  I don't know if anyone joined, but I suspect that most who wandered by didn't know what they were looking at or missing.

The drawing was done as a 20 minute pose after warm-ups.  It's a little weird to draw with that many people looking over your shoulder and shuffling past.

I teach drawing and painting now myself, but from the comfort of my own home.  Technology has made it possible that you can learn(and teach) at your convenience.  I record videos of critiques and demos then upload them to the school server.

However, this places more responsibility on students. The onus is on them to practice and get better.  Actually that has always been the way, the good ones know it.

Currently, I wish I had more students. That's been the big drawback to the teaching, the numbers. Also, I'm not a 'name' artist. So students who end up in my class likely wound up there by luck rather than seeking me out.

Here's my material list:

Ritmo Charcoal(which you can no longer buy on Amazon) on Smooth Newsprint.  I need to change up some of my materials.

Since the image map got rejected, I'm going to try with this nested table of social media icons. Let's see if this works.

I wonder if I need to upload from the Elegance.blue website for this to work.  I may do that for the one. But the convenience of uploading from my own server is unbeatable.

Thanks
@PixelColada

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Wine and Paint | ULOG #THIRTEEN

My wife Alison, is better at following directions. Her painting turned out just like the instructor's. I did this X-Wing fighter by following a tutorial by James Gurney on YouTube.

Acrylic on Canvas. 2 Hours. She had 4 mimosas and I almost finished off a diet Coke. Two hours. Brushes in bad condition(loose ferrules) and a six-color limited palette of cheap paint, kind of like Dick Blick pump acrylics.

This was date night and it was kind of fun.  I thought I'd be annoyed at a business model that takes my profession that I worked hard to become good at and applied alcohol and hip-hop music to it.  But on the whole, it's designed to enable people to go through step-by-step easy to follow instructions and wind up with a consistent quality piece.  This sort of event is for people who don't think they can paint. But they can drink and loosen up and get over their fear. That's the important goal, that feeling of success. What they don't realize is that the steps they are taking are designed for them not to fail.  Why would you go pay money to fail at something that's not your profession? There wasn't any real risk and most of the important decisions have been taken out of your hands.

You get to go home and feel good. That's a really smart business model. The place was packed on a Friday night.

Alison is a very creative person, but she has limited experience in painting. Last night was refreshing and stress free.

I'll have her post some of her own work soon.

Thanks,
@PixelColada

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Test Post Please Ignore | ULOG #TWELVE

This is a quick test post.  I recently got this green screen and I love it.  It's the same one @exyle purchased. I got mine from Amazon.

It's the Elgato Collapsible Green Screen.  It works fantastically. I'll post a video about it shortly. I got it mainly to use with OBS. I don't game, but I do record videos for my students.  This is intended to help with that.  Maybe I will start gaming.

I'm using it with a Logitech c922 Pro 1080P Webcam which came with a small tripod and ChromaKey software.

Logitech 1080p Pro Stream Webcam for HD Video Streaming and Recording
Logitech 1080p Pro Stream Webcam for HD Video Streaming and Recording

That camera really works well.  I was thinking of getting the Razer Kiyo because it has a ring light, but I'm getting enough light on my face from the windows.

Razer Kiyo - Full HD 1080P Streaming Camera - Pro Webcam Optimized for Youtube/Twitch - Worlds First In-Built Ring Light
Razer Kiyo - Full HD 1080P Streaming Camera - Pro Webcam Optimized for Youtube/Twitch - Worlds First In-Built Ring Light

But first, I wanted to make a quick post that tested Steempress with custom tags. I want to see if this post will work.

Thanks,
@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:


Dance as a Means of Escape

I’m grateful for bad experiences. Those bad times can force you to create better times. Better times lead to good times.

One of my first jobs out of school, I had a manager who had no experience as an art director. Being micromanaged by someone who didn’t know what they wanted was an uncomfortable situation and super frustrating. There was a helplessness in that I didn’t know how to fix the situation and no one I could go to for help. The sensation felt like wanting to escape, but something holding me back. That doesn’t quite encapsulate how I felt, but I tried to do my best work. It was extremely rare when I felt like I had achieved it. The designs and ideas didn't feel like they were mine. At all. In school, this was referred to as “being a wrist.” But if I am being truly honest with myself, I was enduring the misery in the hopes I could power through it. It never occurred to me that I could just go find better job. Back then, in my mind, quitting or getting fired was tantamount to failure. I was young then, and didn't know how to resolve interpersonal conflicts.

The frustration of having someone indecisive sit behind me whispering in my ear how she wanted me to move the mouse, “click on this,” or “change the size of that,” slowly drove me insane. The heat from her face on the back of my neck. This being one of my first in-house jobs, I had no idea it wasn’t supposed to be like this. There weren’t any computers in the art department of my college at the time. My teachers taught traditional drawing and painting, with pencil and paper, markers, oil paint and acrylics. Early Photoshop couldn't even do layers back then and was crazy expensive. My school was rigorous and competitive, with no room for whining. I had no idea that in the real world, your boss wasn’t supposed to ride you like Zorro. I thought this was normal and every job was like this and I just needed to suck it up and deal.

On a lark, my neighbor invited me to go to a local Ballroom Dance studio to get me out of my funk and my house. It was fun and I signed up for lessons. As I learned to dance, I realized that I was making own decisions. I was reacting to the music, putting together steps and creating my own moves. There was no longer an indecisive "team lead" whispering in my ear exactly what I should do (and then say no, I don't like that, put it back the way it was), the music went in my ear, to my brain, and out my feet. The ladies I was dancing with followed my lead, without question. It was so liberating.

It got to the point where I was dancing for three or four hours a night, for over a year. Going for breakfast after midnight and eating a full meal. I could feel the calories evaporating off my skin along with my sweat. Waking up at 6 o’clock to get ready for work and then doing it all over again. I was so healthy back then.

Dancing was fun. I was a fiend for finding new places with live bands. I regret stopping. I even did a couple of professional gigs as a dancer. I miss those days. I wonder if I can ever get back to them.

Checking to see if my dance shoes still fit.

Thanks for reading,
@PixelColada

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Master Copy | Frazetta – Dark Kingdom

Become a better artist by copying better artists.

Mastercopy | Frazetta – Dark Kingdom

Huion Inspiroy G10T | Razer Tartarus Chroma | openCanvas 7 

Years ago, I attended a Concept Art event where one of the presenters who I considered an accomplished professional revealed that he still did master copies. For him doing master copies was a method to remain sharp, learn new techniques or learn new software (or hardware).

My personal 10-year-old Cintiq broke recently and while I wanted to buy a new one, the new Cintiq Pros are due out in May. In the meantime, I needed to buy something as a replacement, but I didn’t want to pay Wacom prices for what would soon be obsolete hardware. By “obsolete” I mean “We no longer support your device(cable) you need to buy a whole new one.

I also didn’t want to buy another temporary Wacom device if I needed to buy another one to replace it shortly thereafter.

So I decided to try out the Huion Inspiroy G10T. This master copy of Frazetta’s Dark Kingdom was completed with the Huion Inspiroy G10T.

I like the Huion because it has a smooth texture, smoother than my old Intuos at my old job. It was also half the price. I can draw faster on a smooth surface with less texture to drag on my nib.

I had initially wanted my students to try doing this as an extra credit assignment, but I think it may be out of their comfort zone. Doing studies like this is akin to fan art. You’re only going to improve if you can begin to approach the level of your heroes. You will never surpass them because you will never become them. That should not be your goal. Don’t be disappointed if your work isn’t as good.

I intend to do a few more of these, to really get comfortable with my new setup. I’m still learning how to make videos, so bear with me as I Forrest Gump my way through this and working with Steem.  I'm hoping to earn enough to buy a new Cintiq Pro when they come out.

There are things that you can learn by copying the work of better painters and draughtsman, things that a teacher cannot tell you. You’re far better off trying to figure out how to do something on your own by running into problems yourself that you need to solve without help. This is better than being spoon-fed a solution by a teacher before you even run into the problem. The more you can learn to do this, the faster you will learn.

In school, I had a rendering teacher who would give us an assignment and not tell us how to do it. Only after everyone brought in their work, would he show us all the techniques and shortcuts. Learning the quick and simple to produce quality and reduce time was mind-blowing. Having had the experience of doing something the hard way and taking a long time to do it, we had a greater appreciation for time-saving techniques.

While in an ideal situation, you would want to use the same medium as the artist, in the fast-paced world of technology, it’s acceptable to try to mimic work in a digital medium. It’s cheaper to buy a tablet and download an open source or cheap painting program that it is to buy oil paints, an easel, a palette, canvasses, mediums, brushes, etc. Parents of high-school aged kids who are interested in art can spend less than a hundred dollars for a tablet(non-Wacom) and download a free painting program like Krita. The problem is that most parents of budding artists know nothing about art. They don’t know the wealth of free resources on the net and on YouTube.

It doesn’t matter whether you copy drawings or paintings. Spending the time to analyze the work of another, better, artist means that for a short time you’re walking a mile in their brain. It’s like putting on Jordans and figuring out how to dunk. The Jordans themselves won’t make you dunk, but they will help you practice. You won’t ever be Michael Jordan.

You can admire others, but don’t become a second-rate version of them. Become a first-rate version of you.

This requires practice.

The more master copies that you do, the faster and better you will become. When you do this repetitively, you can start applying techniques that you’ve learned to your own personal and professional work.

Malkovich yourself into your favorite artist(s) and absorb those lessons.

Thanks,

Sheff | PixelColada

Huion on Amazon. http://amzn.to/2CCruqK

Razer on Amazon. http://amzn.to/2yoxoKq

openCanvas 7  on Steam. http://store.steampowered.com/app/398810/openCanvas_7/