Thursday, January 26, 2012

Robh Ruppel Workshop Review

Robh Ruppel study. Done in Gouache. 
Last December I took a Robh Ruppel 1-day workshop at CDA. I'm a huge fan of his work. Here is an interview (Link). The workshop was more like a life coach session than a class on digital painting. Obviously it was a good workshop - otherwise I wouldn't have written about it. 

From the get go, he instilled in us...
1) "Get rid of the notion that you need to learn more and more. The learning is in the doing. 
Your results equal the effort you put into it. 
Do not THINK you don't know enough. Don't wait. Drawing is an act. "

I'm definitely guilty of thinking that I need to learn more and more. I'm always trying to take classes at the newest art school. I make excuses for not making great work by saying... oh I just need to take a class on how to do that.  That's all crap - practice is the best instructor. 

2) No speed painting. More important to do things correctly. 

Basically Robh was saying how retarded speed painting was. It doesn't look good and won't lead to much improvement. It's better to do things slowly and correctly. I had another teacher - Eric Gist - tell me "Don't get good at being fast, get fast at being good. The speed will naturally come."

3) If you don't clearly see something to do. Stop. Don't flounder.

So Robh works very slowly and methodically when painting. The idea is if you are not doing something that makes the painting better - leave it out. If it's not clearly improving it and you are just noodling.. you are probably making it worse.

4) Patience and Positivity 

A lot of art students think that they suck. Robh advocates a mentality that's... "Yeah I wish I were better. but I'm working on it."  It's a confident yet humble attitude.

Robh encourages students to "take the time to work through it and be okay with it." 

5) Distractions and Focus
There's a lot of distractions out there. How does Robh manage to work 12-14 hours a day?
No radio. No TV. He just draws, makes food, exercises twice a day and sleeps. 

Personally... I couldn't live that way. But now you know what it takes to make it in this industry. 

6) Books Recommended by Robh

Robh Ruppel and me at Comic-Con. *blink!*


  1. this is such a good advice. i really appreciate your thoughts on this too. though i'm not into paintings, but i can relate in so many levels.

  2. Thanks for posting this, Chris. Very insightful - it sounds like it was a great talk. Hope you're doing well, man.