Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Plein Air Oil Painting - Tom Brown's Class

The following 3 paintings are master studies of Tom Brown. I'm taking his class in Irvine right now.

This is an original done on site at San Juaquin Wild Sanctuary. Great place.

Tony Stark Gouache Painting

New Avengers trailer is out (video link) I love it!
Tony Stark aka Genius Billionaire Play Philanthropist 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sleep deprived Model & Plein Air Painting

I think a lot of times when we are figure drawing - we take the model at face value and draw what we think and project our assumptions of who the model is. Last saturday at Courbet Art Circle, we had the honor of having the gorgeous Krystal Pistol model for us. At first glance, you see her bright red hair, her dayglow green tube top, and the blanket of tattoos that enveloped her body.  However, after talking to her - what you realize is that she is a hard working single mother of 3 kids who was up since 5am this morning. During the 5 hour figure drawing session, you could see that she was really tired, struggling just to stay awake.

For those of my friends who were at Northwood, Art Center, Carnegie Mellon - you know what it's like to be working with only a couple hours of sleep. Everything aches and everything hurts.  This was the feeling I was trying to express in this drawing.
I'm sure you can relate.
Full Figure 
Some plein air painting. I don't think it turned out that good - but the teacher seemed to think it was really great. That honestly really troubles me. I'll be doing a lot more of these guys and hope to see some improvement. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pochade Box

I made a Pochade Box based on Tom Brown's design
Instead of aluminum, I made mine with blue acrylic. It looks pretty sick. 
I almost don't want to go oil painting because I don't want to get the box dirty. lol

My workplace - table saw, drills, pliers...

Plein Air Painting, Environment Sketches, Figure sketching...

Painting of a friend - photo was taken couple months back when it was sunny. Now it's getting cold...
Series Painting - Noon
Night and cloudy morning
finished "busty anime girl." study of alien 1452

Drawings from Dr. Sketchy's (facebook photos)

Drawing at Disneyland

Saturday, October 8, 2011

RGB Color Wheel

I was at Irvine Sketch Jam yesterday, and I was talking to my friend Sherwin about using RGB sliders in Photoshop. He was teaching some things that really helped me understand how to properly use RGB. Thanks man.

1) First of all... primary RBG colors are Red, Green and Blue.
2) Complementary colors are different also! If you look across from the RBB color wheel, the opposite color of red is cyan, Green is Magenta, and Blue is Yellow. To get yellow, you need to have a complete absence of blue light. 
This color wheel above took me a lot of time to get right. I didn't eyeball the colors, I had the sliders mathematically correct on what each of the numbers should be. It was really tricky to shift the values of the colors while keeping the value exactly the same. I did some research on RGB color wheels, and I found this online ( . It's a great resource - even though you should do some preliminarily work before you can understand what it's saying.

Numbers for Colors
Red: 255, 0, 0
Green: 0, 255, 0
Blue: 0, 0, 255

Cyan: 0, 255, 255
Magenta: 255, 0, 255
Yellow: 255, 255, 0

Orange: 255, 128, 0
Yellow-Green: 128, 255, 0
Green-Cyan: 0, 255, 128
Blue- Cyan: 0, 128, 255
Blue-Magenta: 128, 0, 255
Red-Magenta: 255, 0, 128

Controlling Values
This is tricky. Changing values on primary/ secondary colors is slightly different from changing the value on a tertiary color. The max on a color channel is 255, and the minimum is 0. There is no negative.

For a primary and secondary colors, increase the slider by 50 points raise the value by around 10%. This is pretty exact. Red is 255, 0, 0. To make Red lighter, add 50 points (255, 50, 50). To make it darker, subtract 50 points  (205, 0, 0).

For tertiary colors, the principle applies, but the added lights need to be proportionate.
Orange is 255, 128, 0. To make it lighter, raise the Blue channel by 50 points, BUT raise the Green channel by ONLY 25 points.  This is different since the Green channel is around at 128, you need increase it by a smaller amount so the ratio of Red, Green and Blue light stays the same.

So I'm just figuring this RGB thing about.  If anything is incorrect, I apologize in advance - feel free to let me know about any inaccuracies. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ron Lemen Outdoor Figure Painting Class - Review

Recently I took a class with Ron Lemen at Studio 2nd Street ( I found out about this place by seeing their Booth at Comic-Con.  I had a pretty good experience there. I think it's a really underrated art school. I'm going to promote it and tell you why. 

1) Classes are $225 for an 8 - week course. This is a great deal. Classes of this caliber costs $400-$600 at places like CDA, 3Kicks, and LAAFA. 

2) Low student to teacher ratio.  There were only about 7 people enrolled in the class I was taking. An average of 4-5 students show up to class. One week there was only 2 students. I got lots of great feedback, personalized lessons, lots of questions answered...

3) Ron is a great teacher. In class, we painted a model outdoors. The picture below sums it up. He is really analytical and technical. He gives really full explanations to things. He knew that I invested a lot of time and money to drive down to take his class, and he would explain things to me like there was no tomorrow. 

Ron Demoing in my sketchbook
Notes and Diagrams that he used to explain his concepts.

Ron's color theory is really really good.  I thought I already knew a lot about color, but after this class - I realize I know nothing. 

Did you know the order you mix your color matter? There is an order of operations for mixing color... just like math. 
In addition, Ron's knowledge extended to the chemicals and minerals used in the paints and how they interacted with each other. 
Ron's Gouache Demo. I feel like Ron really wants you to learn. The class was primarily taught in oil. However, I would show Ron gouache paintings that I do on my own time for feedback.  Ron decided he wanted to teach me a lesson about using that medium, and told me he would do a gouache demo for me the following week. And, he did. 

Photo of the model.

4) Last but not least, Studio 2nd Street holds a monthly sketch jam. There is music, pizza, wine, and lots of people drawing. And.. it's free. Check it out!

Nathan Fowkes Head Drawing Workshop Review and Notes

This blog post is way overdue, but it's never too late to make a post about one of my favorite artists.  I've had the fortunate opportunity to attend two Nathan Fowkes Head drawing demos. One at Comic-Con, another LAAFA. Instead of going over his technique - I'm going to talk his philosophy and artistic mindset. He already has many tutorials in his blog (, so I won't bother with that.

Nathan Fowkes demo at the LAAFA Booth at Comic Con

These are notes that I took during his LAAFA demo. When he was drawing, he constantly emphasized getting the "biggest simple shape."  Even in the drawing process, he would really simplify things, using a circle for the eye socket.  He used the Riley method during his lay in - which is a method that unifies a lot of features of the face.  

 Any activity and detail should work with the simple shape instead of against it. When drawing any detail on the head, he made sure that it accentuated the statement that the head is a sphere. 
For example, the hair of the model had a lot of detail and strands. In the drawing, he simplified the highlights and the strands. There are many things he left out. Now, take a look at the red cloth the model was wearing. It looks different in the drawing. Nathan purposely simplified the folds and changed them so it would read better in the drawing. If the detail does not emphasize the simple statement of the drawing, you should either leave it out or change it. 
Notes for Head Drawing workshop at LAAFA
Nathan wouldn't be afraid to leave things out or sacrifice detail for the greater effect of the drawing.   See the turquoise bun that the model has under his head in the photograph? It was completely left out of the drawing.  He studied the model and explained that if he were to draw that in, it wouldn't really read. In the short time that he had, he decided it wouldn't be effective to try to draw that.


I think it is not only a good drawing philosophy, but also a really good life philosophy. In today's hyper-speed society, there are so many things to do, see, hear etc... Young people these days need to balance school, work, friends, jobs, parties, sleep, health, relationships etc...  You can't have it all. BUT, you can make a conscious decision to sacrificing unimportant things for the important ones.

Digital Sketching 2

So this stuff is pretty bad... but just getting some practice in.

Doing some photo overlays...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Digital Sketching

Right now - my goal is to work on some digital sketching and really figure out Photoshop. 
Here I'm figuring out Luminosity, Brightness, Saturation,   A & B Sliders. I'm working in a very slow and methodical way. I'm trying to figure out the relationships of different colors. I had a lot of fun doing this and I definitely learned a lot.

I wanted to do an exercise to practice my digital painting. It's crap.   I realize that I can't really control my lines and create the shapes I wanted to.

This is another portrait exercise to practice my digital sketching fluency.  It's a little bit better, but still pretty bad. 

I wanted an exercise to just practice my ability to accurately make lines and shapes. I decided to draw the alphabet in 3D. I made this typeface up in my head so it's pretty crummy.  Regardless, I think it's a pretty good exercise. I felt like this was my first successful digital sketch. Before, I used to always sketch on paper and scan it in. But I want to have the choice to sketch digitally if I want to.

This typeface is Helvetica Bold. I did the same thing except I had the letters all facing the opposite direction. As you can see, it's much better than my first try. It's a lot of controlled and a lot cleaner. I'll try another digital still life tomorrow and see if it's any better.