Showing posts from May, 2018

Digital Portrait Video Tutorial Coming Soon

I have just put together a video where I demonstrate the process I use to paint a digital portrait. The subject of the portrait is myself as an old pirate.

In the video I explain how I use reference and also the tools that I use ( brushes, layer editor ). I will show you how to set up the file before you begin painting and take you through the steps from the initial drawing, value painting, color sketch and the finished painting.

The painting was done in Autodesk Sketchbook which can be downloaded from their website for free. However, the method I use in the video can be applied to most digital painting programs.

The video bundle will be available on Gumroad  June 2, 2018. The cost for the videos (There are several videos included in the package) will be $10. for the set, however if you are a Patron on my Patreon site you will be able to view them on any tier level from $1. to $6.

Autodesk Sketchbook

How I Get Past Feeling Frustrated About My Work

I did the painting at left just for fun. I've been working on several things at once and felt like I needed to do something that would just be fun and not frustrating.

It's easy to get discouraged when I'm working and nothing seems to be coming out right and I'm more aware of my shortcomings. Doing something like this, which only took about 45 minutes allows me to back away without stepping entirely away. Allowing me to recall that I actually love to paint and it's fun. Then I can get right back into the struggle of trying to get better at what I do.

Friday Sketch Dump

Switched mediums this week. I used Generals Wash Pencils and Niji Waterbrush.

 These are similar to watercolor pencils except that they are graphite. These pencils allow me to work quickly covering shadow area's with a wet brush applied over the penciled drawing.

Below is an old video demonstrating a quick sketch using these materials.

Generals Wash Pencil
Niji Waterbrush

Looking At Failure Positively

'Don’t settle for yourself at your mediocre level'.
Irwin Greenberg

Last week was a long one for me. I didn't get to post my usual Friday sketch dump. It wasn't for lack of trying. I have had a difficult time doing anything that I thought was satisfying. No matter how hard I tried the work looked terrible to me.

Trying to figure out why this was so I quickly discarded the whoa is me first thought of, " I just suck at this and I should give it up." Whether or not I truly suck at this is irrelevant. I'm determined to get better because I love to paint and draw.

The other options are that maybe I need to slow down and be more deliberate and thoughtful at what I am trying to do. It also could be that I'm seeing my drawing a little better and  I should use this new sight to help me to improve and not settle for mediocrity.  Even now as I look at these things I'm posting today I can see where I should have done things better.

So I'm moving forward h…

Art Instruction And Being Influenced By Other Artists

I honestly don't know if anyone can guess who my influences are when they look at my paintings.There are a lot of them but all I can see are the mistakes I make. I wonder if people see those too.

From the time I was in high school I bought art books like I had a habit. I went to museums a lot too. Books were great but nothing beats seeing the actual painting.

For a time, when I was in college I had to deal with instructors who were not interested in the direction a student would choose. I never had anyone of them ask me what I like or if I had an idea of the way I wanted to develop. Instead I remember one time looking through a book on the painter John Singer Sargent as the model was taking a break. The instructor asked me if I liked Sargent's work and I said yes then she just nodded her head and turned away. The next time I came to class she had a handful of xeroxed articles on Sargent. All negative. There were also glowing articles about another painter. One that she liked.…

Friday Sketch Dump May 11, 2018

This weeks collection of sketches done on my lunch hour at work.

I no longer try to finish these later. These drawings are just what I can get done in that one hour at work. Sometimes I am able to make more than one drawing, other times the drawing winds up being crumbled up and thrown in the trash out of frustration.

My Patreon Page

I decided to start a Patreon page. For those that are not familiar with Patreon it is simply a way of putting a tip jar to help support creatives and receive some rewards from the artist as a thank you for the tip. I get to share videos of works in progress allowing you to look over my shoulder as I paint. Similar to what I do on YouTube only here I get to add the rewards as well as build a more personal community of people who are interested in what I do. There are three tiers of donations ranging from $1. to $6. a month and with that the more you give the bigger the rewards monthly. Please give it a look at
This grisaille painting is the first project I am posting on Patreon. It is a portrait of my self as an old pirate

I forgot How To Paint

A couple of weeks ago I was trying to beat a deadline on an illustration assignment. After that was done I can go back into my personal work and get back into building up my YouTube channel. But what happened instead was that I crashed in to a wall. It seemed as though I forgot how to paint. Everything that I tried to do I struggled with and could not finish or I finished something and then trashed it because it didn't look right to me.

Don't know how or why I hit this block but I felt like I couldn't get anything done. I posted the video below talking about getting through this but on reflection there is one thing I would add to what I said in the video. That would be that I need to get out and paint outdoors, paint from life and not just photos or my imagination. Coming face to face with the subject that I am painting or drawing always seems to help. Even if I am not successful at it I know that I am heading in the right direction as far as building up my skills in obse…

Friday Sketch Dump

I hadn't realized that I did not post at all this week. It's been a busy one because of an illustration assignment that I feel behind on and got very little sleep because of it. Also as a result I got less personal stuff done and whatever was done showed signs of struggle. Not a good week altogether but at least its over. Here are my small batch of sketches for this less than stellar week.