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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Frazetta Dark Kingdom | 8:57 Time Lapse Painting | Re-Upload

I'm reuploading this to dLive for my students. I'm testing to see if I can embed dLive videos on my blog. Apparently it works.

I found a painting by Frazetta that I liked and I did a copy of it. I painted it in openCanvas so that I could play back a recording of the painting and speed it up in Premiere.

I'm using a few different tablets for this.

Cheap - Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch(new version)
It's small and good for travel.

Cheap and good - Huion Inspiroy G10T Gen 2
This one is really great and wireless. Also small and good for travel.

Good but pricey - Wacom Intuos Large(old version)
This one works with the Wacom Art Pen which I love to use. When my Cintiq broke, I didn't want to buy another one
because they're so expensive. So I went back to using a tablet.

Razer Tartarus for Quick Keys - Razer Tartarus Chroma V2

Thanks for your support,
@PixelColada


Paintings my Teachers Hated

My teachers hated a lot of the paintings I did in class. These were all models in-class. The women did 20 minute poses and these were fast ass oil paintings. The men were done as 2-h0ur poses.

The reason I was able to these was because I spent the whole day painting these women.  What you're not seeing are the 5 hours of crap paintings that led to these 20 minute lucky paintings.

This one my teacher didn't think I was taking enough risks.

This one was another one where my teacher thought I was playing it safe.

I knew I was playing it safe.  You feel really fake when you do stuff where you know it will probably turn out good. There's no struggle and other people who paint professionally can tell that.

I am going to take a bit of a break from digital and paint more.  I feel the need to bust out some more traditional work. And I think I need to risk the possibility of creating some crappy paintings.

Thanks,
@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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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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Testing Elegance | ULOG #FOURTEEN

I just saw that there's a new art platform on Steem called Elegance. I think it might be nice place to put my figure drawing stuff there.   The way I understand it, Elegance wants to be like Instagram but for artists. (not photographers) There is already Steepshot for that.  I think I will reserve using Steepshot  for my photography and try using Elegance for just art.

The drawing above is a quicksketch done in 2 minutes during warm-ups.  Ritmo Charcoal(which you can no longer buy on Amazon) on Smooth Newsprint. Associates in Art, with Mark Westermoe. Burbank, California.

I'm also curious to know how my carousel/stack/isotope theme gallery image display works. I'll try that out in my next post.

There's all kinds of things I'm curious about.  For example, I wonder if I can create an image map.  I'm going to test that and see how it goes.

Thanks,
@PixelColada


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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