The origins of my 20-year art career were not that different from many other artists, learning the craft by seeking out inspirational artworks, and it is something I continue to do. Since I also enjoy writing, I took the advice from a friend that I should combine my writing skills with my desire to learn about art, and I began blogging about artistic masterpieces in the early 2000s. One of those blogs was about the famous painting, “The Icebergs” by Frederic Edwin Church. I learned a lot from the tiny image of the painting I found online, but I realized only later that seeing the original in a museum would be a far superior experience.… Read the rest
Earlier this week, author Ray Garton (who’s awesome, and you should read all his stories) asked on one of the social networks (the blue one) about sleep paralysis.
For those who aren’t familiar with the phenomenon, sleep paralysis, also known as night terrors, is perhaps the scariest thing you could ever imagine. You wake up in the middle of the night, completely locked into place. You can’t move anything, you can’t be heard by anyone else if you decide to scream, and all you can move is your eyes.
Also, as a bonus feature, you have an overriding fear of someone or something just barely outside of your sight.… Read the rest
Some of my favorite art pieces are those that show emotion, that have an energy to them. True, most beloved pieces have an energy all their own, even if it’s subtle. But there are some pieces where that energy is something more evocative.
I’ve seen many of Giovanni Boldini’s paintings over the years, often of the women that he painted. He seemed to work in portraiture quite often, and I came across a painting of his that seemed different than his others.
Here’s Boldini’s Newspaperman in Paris (a.k.a., The Newspaper; 1878, oil on panel, 18.5 in.… Read the rest
When I post my “This week’s art” articles, I like to have as much information about a piece as I can get. Sometimes, like yesterday’s article, the piece is quite popular, and there’s lots of information about it. Other times, it seems like only one site has the beautiful art, but won’t put any information with it.
Today’s piece was like that, hardly any information. But it’s a gorgeous piece that I first saw on James Gurney’s blog (which you REALLY should be following), and I wanted to feature it here.… Read the rest
I’ve been a published artist for 15 years this week, for both cover art and interior art. I don’t say that to brag, I just want to set the stage for a discussion about the rights that go along with using my artwork.
Now, to get the obvious out of the way, I own the full copyrights to every piece of art I’ve ever created. Copyright law will give you a serious migraine if you attempt to study it fully, but it is clear in the statement that a work is immediately copyrighted by the creator on its creation.… Read the rest
It is a good idea, after an interview or portfolio review, to leave behind some manner of promotional material for yourself. That could be as simple as a business card, or as complex as a brochure. The idea is that the person doing the review will have something to refer to later, hopefully to get back in touch with you for work or a project.
Each of these materials should follow some obvious guidelines, though the design and size of them might dictate how much information you should (or shouldn’t) have on there.… Read the rest
Last fall, while we were in Florida for a rocket launch, we decided to check out the many nature reserves along the way. We came across one that had a nice walkway through the swampland, and I thought it would be a great chance to try the Canon T3i dSLR that we had just purchased.
I tend to take pictures of just about anything, but wildlife photos can be a lot of fun. The photos from yesterday’s blog about the elk is a great example of how I like to take photos of large animals.… Read the rest
On my travels as an amateur photographer, my plan is to write about my experiences in learning about the craft. Living in Colorado affords me a lot of chances to take many different kinds of photos, and my photography articles are here to help me remember the good parts of what I do. I have a relatively new Canon T3i, which for me does a nice job.
One important note before I start talking about my afternoon trip to Estes Park. Our entire area (quite literally) was hit with massive flooding last September.… Read the rest
I’ve been at the artist thing since 1999, and it’s been great. Sure, it has ups and downs, like any other profession, but I still like creating.
But I want to back up just a bit, and look at that word, “profession”.
Merriam-Webster’s defines the word as, “a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation” and ” a principal calling, vocation, or employment”. At least, in regard to what we’re talking about here, since I’m not professing any sins at the moment (wait until later tonight).
Art, and in many ways anything that is creative including writing, design, and animation, is often seen as something you’re doing as a hobby.… Read the rest
I had a great chance to take the new Canon T3i outside this weekend, as it was a pretty nice day out. My daughter and I stopped at a local area that’s known for having lots of wildlife, and it didn’t disappoint.
Now, don’t forget, this is a brand new camera, and I’m no expert. I’m sure many of the things I do are from the amateur side, but they are still fun. I’m sure there are others out there in the same situation, learning their way.
I had a number of other types of shots that I took while we were out.… Read the rest
Now, there are roughly a billion ways to do any one thing in Photoshop. When it comes to color correction, there may even be two billion. But today I just want to look at one particular method, using the Curves adjustment layer to correct color.
A couple of caveats: I haven’t installed CS6 yet, despite it sitting here on my desk. This tutorial uses CS3, but any version from CS2 on will work just fine. The buttons might be in slightly different places, but they are there. Secondly, though you could do this destructively, I prefer to use Photoshop’s non-destructive Adjustment Layers.… Read the rest
Over the weekend, we picked up a brand new dSLR camera, a Canon T3i. Our Canon point and shoot is about five years old right now, and we thought it would be a good time to pick up a newer camera. Especially with the upcoming trip to the Kennedy Space Center, it was time.
Now, before we go any further, I am, at best, an amateur photographer. Sure, I used to own a 35mm Minolta back when the years started with “19”. But I don’t remember that much, so keep that in mind when you’re bashing me for not knowing pro stuff.… Read the rest
Last year, I created a cover for author Vincenzo Bilof’s Necropolis Now: Zombie Ascension. So, as is sometimes the case and something I look forward to, he asked if I could create the art for the book’s sequel, the now-released Queen of the Dead: Zombie Ascension II (go get it here).
Most of my year has been taken up by my art hiatus, from doing nearly any kind of art at all. I’ve done a handful of art pieces, as you can see on my site. But being away from it has had two interesting effects: my daily art skills have suffered, but my imagination has become sharper and sharper.… Read the rest
Just the other day, Thunderstorm Books posted their newest book, Bryan Smith‘s Grimm Awakening. I was lucky enough to do the cover art for it, which was a great thing for me because I also did the cover for the original version way back in 2004.
It’s not often that an artist gets a second shot at the same work, and coming eight years apart was fascinating. It’s a great story, and Bryan’s writing with the character of Jack Grimm has been some of my favorite writing of any story.… Read the rest
I was in a pretty good habit, a couple of years back, of posting the sketches that I do all the time. Posting them is good for me, because I can go back and review the things I’ve done. Posting is good for others, so I’m told by other artists, in that they can get a sense of how another artist approaches sketching.
I’d like to get back to posting about my sketches. Hopefully, each month I can show the latest items in my sketchbook (and Moleskine), and you can tell me what you think.… Read the rest