The History: This is my story and I’m sticking to it… for now.
While doing the Dreamers series of paintings, I started to work on how to make bands or groups appear on the page together. I was frustrated with my impatience for drawing figures one in front of the other. At this time in my life, the frustrations did two things, motivated me to stop what I was doing, or to try and find another way altogether. For these, I found another way. I decided to let go of realistic rendition and opt for fantasy expression. I decided that the confusion of mashed-up images was my ticket and it pushed me to find more and more creative possibilities with each new drawing and eventual painting.
The Technique: How I did this awesomeness!
Starting with the biggest figure, I drew the bold lines, then started to add smaller figures, and finally connected them together. The last step was to add strokes of texture and shading, where needed. Never a fan of cross-hatching, I chose to let the versatility of the brush-tip market give me differences in line and lend movement to the figures. A few years later, I used a blue pencil to colour in the faces and hands… I’m not sure I would do that again.
The Influence: Confessions of a Plagiarist, sort of…
The figures are similar to my Hollow Men series and most likely start there, but it is the blues music I was listening to that drove the imagery the most. Seeing Louis Armstrong and his seriously cool band in old films, old pictures of Robert Johnson and even more obscure musicians of that time… the timelessness of John Lennon’s round glasses work by hundreds of musicians before being popularized by him. For me these images are all about the rock n’ roll attitude or the mysterious personas of the Devil inspired Blues Man.
It Can Be About You When you buy The Artist’s Stuff: Prints, Mugs, T-Shirts, Pillow, Shower Curtains, and other awesome stuff.
What inspires an artist?
“All they see” is the first and most literal answer.
For me, that is literally hundreds of gallery & museum exhibits, thousands of books, and tens of thousands of images online.
When asked where to start a book collections, I almost always recommend these art bibles: Janson’s “History of Art” OR Phaidon’s “The Art Book” Both give a nice overview with good pictures. Once you’ve discovered what you are attracted to there most, you can then dig deeper into that area.
If I had to pick only a few of my major influences, which is a very difficult task, it would be Modigliani, Picasso, Van Gogh, & Andrew Wyeth. Here are a few of the best books I recommend from them.
If you have the time, you are free to visit my GoodReads library to see a fraction of the books I’ve read. The ones I remember, that is. Or you can visit the ever growing collection of images on my Pinterest account.
The Materials: Quick! Order this stuff right now, AND You too, can make masterpieces!
Pentel Arts Pocket Brush Pen: The Review: This has become my favourite drawing tool. Giving me the ability to practice techniques used in watercolour, calligraphy, ink brushing. I’m now able to make remarkably fine lines to very thick ones. It is also amazing for shading and texturing. I love these pens!
Moleskine Sketchbook: The Review: Some may ask if I’ve succumbed to the marketing of Moleskin and that is why I pay the higher price for these watercolour paper notebooks. Maybe, if you take into account that this tope of sketchbook has been used by such artists as Van Gogh, Picasso, & Hemingway, then I have been sold by that bunch of so and sos. I love the texture of the watercolour paper and find it the most enjoyable to draw on with pen, pencil, and ink. These books have solid covers, and always seam to inspire some new creativity, be it giving me the chance to draw on one side, and take notes on what I drew to figuring out how to incorporate the seam into the drawing. I love them. They come in a ton of different sizes, and I’ve used quite a few, but prefer the smaller ones for ease of carrying around. Check out their website for other options Or just type Moleskine on Amazon and have fun choosing one!
Photoshop for Mac: The Review: You could use the free “ MAC Photos” program or Picassa and possibly get the same results, but Photoshop offers you the flexibility of presenting yourself as a pro photographer, like no other program. There’s a reason it’s considered the best of the best, after all. So, this allows you the possibility of selling this service to others and funding more of your creativity
Apple MacBook Pro 15.4″ Laptop:The Review: You may choose to get an iMac for the bigger screen, and I couldn’t disagree with the beauty of working with the 24” screen. I picked the laptop, because of the need to be mobile and the flexibility of multi-purposing it to use for client demos. As an alternative to the weight of this model, I would suggest the MacBook Air 13”. Most of us have become accustomed to mobile device size screens and it is much easier to carry around.
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR: The Review: My first DSLR camera was the EOS Rebel T3. This one is vastly superior to the old model. Canon has a well deserved reputation of having top rated cameras. It requires a little play time to master it, and that time will be lessened by defining a clear idea of what you want to do with it, then jumping on YouTube for the multitude of How To videos. If you want a smaller camera to carry around, try Canon EOS M10 Mirrorless Digital Camera OR go small & powerful with the Canon PowerShot Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD & built in wifi.
Canon PIXMA MX492 Inkjet Printer:The Review: For me this has been the easiest to us for cleaning and cartridge replacement. It works reasonably well with recycled inks and the wireless is easy to set-up. The Canon has worked best for me on ink usage. When purchasing printers, always consider the cost of ink replacement… for the most part, this is the big difference right now in printers. For big reproduction lines it is better to outsource. For scanning, they are as good as the camera in them… this is one reason I’m a fan of Canon products. It does do a nice job on printing photos on good photo paper, and the black print is crisp and clean, provided you do regular cleanings and keep it dust free.