Monday, May 9, 2016

OIL PAINT AND KIDS DON'T MIX!


As a public service announcement I would like to Impart some wisdom and advice to parents who’s kids want to do a painting/art project.

Last week I was in the art supply store getting some brushes.  The next isle behind me I hear a young daughter telling her mother, “I need to use oil paint for my painting because they are the best!”  The mom seemed to be deferring to the girl since she didn’t seem to know about paints or art supplies.   An alarm went off in my head; NOOOOOOO!  I was just about to run to the other isle flash my professional artist badge and tell everyone to freeze!  When I heard a sales person intervene.

This Mom was one of the lucky ones.

If your child wants to try painting do not start with oil paints!
Here is the horrifying truth about oil paint:  

1 They take forever to dry, “forever” being relative to your kids point of view, when I say forever I mean days.  Some colors take longer then others.

2 Tubes of Oil Paint are expensive relative to other types of art paint.

3 Cleaning up.  We know how much kids like to clean up, oil paint is cleaned up with Turpentine, mineral spirits, and other smelly toxic chemicals.  Personally I love the smell of turpentine but I would not like it for the general aroma for my home.  One session of this kind of clean up they will be done with paining forever.

Here is another scenario that will occur with oil paint;   You will notice a smear of blue paint on your dinning room chair, “Oh crap where did that come from?”  then you will notice a smear on the wall, and like a character in a Hitchcock movie coming to the realization there has been a murder, you will then see the paint splotches everywhere.  And the murderer is in your house!
Someone sat in a blob of oil paint and since it won’t dry for a week is unknowingly transferring it everywhere.

Now, I don’t want to discourage anyones artist endeavors, and if you are an adult or teen who wants to try oils, they are versatile great for blending an excellent medium, and there are so many resources for instruction on oil paining you will probably have a great time. There are other paints that are much more suited for the first timer.

Acrylic paint is so much better for the first time painter, Tempera is also good it just doesn’t have the permanence unless you add egg whites to it then it “Egg Tempera” is very durable, and has a place in art history just like oil paint.  Water color paint is also good.


Acrylic is cleaned up with water and soap, thinned with water, and drys very quickly instant gratification.  It will be much easier clean up for the parent.

Monday, May 2, 2016

BUT HOW DO I HANG THE ART?!

Most of the time I share many techniques for creating art, but how about hanging the art on the wall?


My wife and I love art and have a nice collection, so where to place new art is important, and hanging it so it won't crash to the ground is also important.  At my house I am the picture hanger and this one of those areas that can be intimidating even to the experienced crafty handy person who is capable of home repairs and making stuff.  Here are a few tips to make this go smoothly.



Have a nice Level, this one is about 9 inches and I think I had it for about 12years very simple.  Generally I use various nails to hang pictures depending on the weight.   Even if your walls are sheetrock you can still hang an 8X10 or 11X17 frame with a couple of nails placed at an angle.  For pieces that are bigger heavier I love this company: Ook Picture Hangers all sorts of hardware for hanging.  Most hardware stores cary the Ook variety picture hanging kit.



Choose the spot to hang the picture, just eyeball where it should be placed.  Then behind the frame I will put painters tape on the wall one horizontal piece with the vertical coming down from the approximate center.   Take a pencil and draw on line right along the top of the frame,  then I'll make a little cross at the center will be.   I've been doing this for a long time so I can usually get the center with out measuring, depending on how confident you feel you can measure to find the center.


Now on the back of the picture use a tape measure hook it on to the wire, or the bracket find the distance from the wire under hanging tension to the top edge of the frame.   This was about 2 1/4"



Back to the tape find where that 2 1/4" mark will be.  Make a hash mark with the pencil.


Now use the level to create a nice level line about 2 inches for each of the two nails.


At each end of the line take you nail and just tap it to create a small pilot hole as a marker, I have a tap hammer for most of my picture hanging, it's a lighter touch and easier to control with tiny nails.


Remove the tape and hammer the nails in at about a 45 degree angle.  The tape keeps it all clean so if you remove the picture you only have the little holes to patch up without a bunch of pencil marks.


Finally done!  Now I can get on with my Saturday.  Use the level to check the if the picture is straight, this one is not perfectly level but I matched it to the other frames.  My rule of thumb:
"If you have to stare at it for more then 30 seconds to tell if it's hanging crooked, it's fine." And as it is with everything the more you do it you will become an expert. Then unfortunately everyone will start enlisting you to hang their pictures.

Friday, April 15, 2016

NEW PAINTINGS FOR HIGH ALTITUDE ROBOTS!


Preparing some new large paintings for High Altitude Robots showing in Telluride this August.
Getting the under paint down for some extra texture as I build up the layers.   More picks as I move forward with the work.

Monday, April 11, 2016

NEW ARTWORK!!

The new artwork series I am working on "High Altitude Robots"  is a series of 9X12" graphite pieces Getting back into my favorite subjects, Robots, Flying and clouds.


I will be releasing a few of these for sale soon, the rest will be at my gallery show in Telluride Co. this August at Gallery 81435 The last time I was able to get into this subject matter was 2008 with my Imaginary Skies exhibition in Palm Springs.  I'll post more work in progress in the coming weeks.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

DRAWING THE LINE!

This year started with a big project.  I was hired to illustrate a kids picture book.  In my career I have always wanted to do this work but was never able to get hired until now, a scant 20 years later.   That said I love the work, and have been doing a combination of hand drawn and digital.


After reading the manuscript I create the rough thumbnail drawings in Photoshop on my Cintique
At this stage there are so many changes it's easier to go back and do them in Photoshop.


Once the thumbnails are approved I print them out full size 11X17 and bring them to the light table I use 11X17 Bristle Board for the pencil drawing.   The light table is a great tool, once I get the layout right I want to go directly to the finished board.  Why torture yourself redrawing a good layout from scratch?   Also I still like using pencils on paper at this stage, thew line has a nice energy to it and I have my arsenal of pencils all figured out for various jobs.


For this book I use Staedtler Mars Lumograph Pencils  HB and 3B.  HB for the lighter lines 3B for the dark lines.   If you can swing it once you find a pencil you like get a box I have an electric sharpener right on the desk I'll sharpen about 10 to start, I really hate stopping to look for the next sharp pencil.  Also it's good to have a little piece of sandpaper to get an extra sharp tip if you need it.


This is the work space, not very glamorous, but everything is in reach!  That Panasonic pencil sharpener has been working steadily for me since 1996 if you ever see one at a garage sale pick it up.



Here are a few techniques for pencil, if you have been drawing for a while there is probably nothing new here, but those of you craving some pointers, here we go....  Pull Curves  if you are drawing small curves you will have better control of your line if you pull the curve toward you in a counter clockwise manner.


For straight lines, Push them away from you.   Also turn your drawing paper to accommodate the direction you need to draw the line.


That said, I find that for bigger arcs our hands pivot from the wrist in a nice clockwise arc.  Try drawing a symetricle circle with  a clockwise arc of your hand and turning the paper.


Next thing, line weight.  Drawings are more dynamic if you vary the line weigh.  A basic principal is thinner lines on top, heavy lines at the bottom.  It will give weight to the drawing as well as break up the sameness of a uniform line through out the drawing.  Even with the mouth line on this drawing The line starts thinner and end flared.

Once I get the okay from the publisher I will talk more about the book, and show some of my basic coloring techniques.   After I finish the pencil drawings I scan them in and color in Photoshop.  Coloring in Photoshop is essential for the way I work, it allows notes and changes to be made to the color pieces quickly and efficiently.    More on that soon...








Saturday, January 23, 2016

WELCOME TO 2016!

We are now officially living in the future!   Except of all of the babies that were born this year and last year, we will all be firmly rooted tin their distant past.   Quite a few new things going on for this year I have to big gallery shows happening, August in Telluride Co and November in New Mexico.  New Mexico is going to be great I have never shown there before and am looking forward.


Starting off the new year in Telluride Co

Also for this year I am Illustrating a big book project, as it moves forward I will give more details, Even a little show and tell for the Illustration project.  With all the digital technology available I still like to do rough sketching on paper and digital, then ink the line, scan the art color in photoshop.

 The other big project is I have been offered a show at the Museum Of Art History in Lancaster CA for 2018.  This is very exciting!  Of course it will be about robots.  It's a couple years away but I will need all that time to put it together.  And if you want to come out to see the show you have a couple years to plan your trip!   This year I will have more "how to"  and I am developing some new animated TV projects that will hopefully be happening sometime this year.   More big things to come! 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

LAST LA SHOW OF THE YEAR!


Thanks all who came to see the Robot Carnival at Gallery 1988.  It was fantastic group of artists and so nice to meet everyone, so often I'm just trapped in my studio working alone that I forget what it's like to get out and meet art fans and artists for a nice hang out.  This is my last LA art show until next year.   In January I will have a new piece in the Conjoined show curated by the always fantastic Chet Zar.  I promise you this new piece is like nothing else I have ever done, say tuned.  

Two other shows I'm doing for 2016; Telluride Co in August, and New Mexico in Nov.   New Mexico will be a first for me I'm looking forward.   And Telluride was such an amazing success I'm coming back.   I believe we will be open for the art walk in Aug 2016 if I survive the ski season!  No worries I'm taking it easy on the slopes these days.  More details soon and some WIP pics of my new creation for Conjoined 2016.