Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Friday, March 13, 2015

There Be Dragons 2!

So I took a little more time and started working on some color and texture tests. I've decided to stay away from oils, at least for now and go with either watercolors or acrylics. I'm extremely comfortable with watercolors, but I'm not sure I can get the end result I'm looking to get with them. Acrylics will give me the results, but I'm not as comfortable with them as I am with watercolors.

In the image below I took a pad of 140 lb Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper to do some further thumbnail tests but this time with color. I quickly re-sketched the 2 original thumbnails I preferred, this time with a black colored pencil. With watercolor paint I did simple washes over the sketches to see a simplified version of what I'm looking for color wise. Along with the color tests I decided to break out some acrylics and see how they did doing some scale texture tests. I wasn't happy with the initial tries (the ones in the middle) but did like how vibrant the colors were. I decided to give it another try (lower right) and found that this was more, texture wise, of what I'm aiming for.

The green "palette" in the photo is my first time using a Wet Palette. This is a homemade one and I was very happy on how it worked with the acrylic paint. I will defiantly be making a larger one now that I know it's something that works for my style of painting. I went cheap, only spending $3.00 on the materials to make them. I was able to make 3 small wet palettes from the materials I purchased. I'll be posting a full tutorial and a possible video on how to make one and what materials are needed.

Till next time!


Thursday, March 12, 2015

There Be Dragons!

I just finished up a fairly large sketch card set this week and still have a few commissions to finish up, but needed a day to relax and put some ideas I've had down on paper. I'm starting to venture into other mediums in painting. I've oil painted years ago and I'm contemplating on trying them again. I've been dabbling in acrylics but they lack that smooth flow I'm used to with watercolors and seem to dry compared to what I remember about oils. My hesitation towards oils is all the chemicals needed to paint with them.

Well to get back to my idea sketching. I've gone out with my wife to a few thrift shops looking for frames. Frames can be a huge expense for artists and can dig into your selling price for finished pieces. So with that I figured why not try a cheaper alternative. We found a few decent ones over the past few days. Some in great shape too with a couple that might need a little TLC but nothing major. One of the frames is an odd, long shape that is just perfect for one of the painting I want to do. The thumbnails below are the starting point I'm going with. I'm sure there will be further changes and adjustments, but I have a good idea where this one will be going. My next step will most likely be going onto watercolor paper and doing some color comps to see a rough layout, still with the thumbnail feel and limited to no detail. Just enough to see if what i have is the direction I want to go. I'm still not sure what the final painting will be done with though. Decisions, decisions.... I'll be posting more on this over the next week so keep checking back!


Monday, March 9, 2015

Mystic Art Center

Spent some time at the Mystic Art Center this weekend for their Young At Art show. There are hundreds of amazing pieces there from many talented kids from Elementary school to High School. here's a few photos from the show. I wish I had time to take photos of everything there but there was so much to see that if you are in the area it's better to go and see for yourself. You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March Madness Store Sale!

Sale time in my ETSY store! Use the Coupon code MARCHMADNESS2015 and save 30% on anything and everything in the store from now till March 31st!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I'm Back!

I've decided to reopen my old blog. I felt I needed the space to actually write some posts in full as most social media sites require short, brief messages. A lot has changed in my art career over the past year and I figured it was time to start showing what I've been doing, learned and what I am still learning now. I've found an incredible love for watercolor painting and just painting in general. I've pretty much put away the Copic markers and have been strictly painting everything from small 3.5x2.5 inch trading cards for companies and commissions to large 11x17 sized pieces. I've also been setting up at conventions here in the New England area which has been a great experience and will be looking forward to doing more in 2015.

There's been 4 major influential artists that have, through following them on their channels on YouTube, websites or meeting them in person, taught and inspired me to no end over this past year. I thought it was only right to give them the credit they deserve.

Jeff  Miracola - Jeff is a Fantasy Artist and Illustrator whose work can bee seen in licensed works such as Magic the Gathering and Mars Attacks. I found Jeff via YouTube and have enjoyed his videos to no end. Jeff works mainly in acrylics and oil paints, which is something I'm slowly working into, and his sense of humor seems to mirror my own which makes him very easy to relate to and follow. All of his videos are worth watching as you will learn something different from each and everyone of them and make sure to watch them to the end as some of them contain his "blooper reels" which will leave you on the floor in laughter. You can find out more about Jeff Miracola at http://www.jeffmiracola.com/ and at https://www.youtube.com/user/jeffmiracola

James Gurney -  James Gurneys is a multi-talented painter whose work has been seen in the pages of Scientific America, National Geographic,United States Postal Service and his own series of well known books Dinotopia to name a few. James Gurney by far one of the most diverse painters I've seen. From watercolor, to gouache, to acrylics, and oils, and everything in between. His YouTube channel shows his diversity in painting mediums in many different situations from his in studio work to plein air painting across America and overseas. His blog is just a wealth of art knowledge with hours of great reading, photos and inspiration. You can find out more about James Gurney at http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/ and at https://www.youtube.com/user/gurneyjourney

Steve Mitchell - Steve Mitchell is an amazing watercolor painter and an asset to anyone interested in the medium. His approach to what he calls "The Mind of Watercolor" is not only unique but extremely informative. From paper, brushes, watercolor pencils and paints, his series of ongoing videos cover nearly every possible technique or question a watercolor artist might have. He doesn't follow the stiff cookie cutter approach to art instruction and keeps each video very entertaining and informative. If you are into watercolor painting or looking to learn this is a DO NOT MISS channel! You can find out more about Steve Mitchell at https://www.youtube.com/user/mindofwatercolor/videos and at https://www.facebook.com/smitchelldesign

Bud Cook - Bud Cook is a painter and illustrator whose work has been seen in Magic The Gathering, Dark Horse Comics and Image Comics. I met Bud Cook last year at Free Comic Book day in our home state of Connecticut. Buds approach to painting is very unique with his use of color and shapes and it just amazes me with the level of realism and detail he accomplishes in every painting. A technique that not many artists can pull off successfully I might add. Bud also posts on his Tumblr page with a morning coffee sketch of people and celebrities with spot on accuracy to their likenesses. I'm always looking forward to seeing what celebrity he does next!  You can find out more about Bud Cook at http://www.budcookstudio.com and at http://budcook.tumblr.com/

I must add that these small write-ups on each of these very talented artists do not give the the full credit they deserve. Please take some time and visit their sites and see for yourself! You won't be disappointed!