Here's a quick lesson in using photo references, drawn on my Samsung Tab A with S Pen.
I'm using layers here, so the rough lines are drawn on one layer, then the clean 'ink' lines are drawn on another. I then use a separate layer under the ink lines to lay down the flat colours and so on. I'll make sure I produce a more in depth lesson in using layers some time soon!
Click on the individual images to see what's going on:
This week I met a beautiful family, who traveled all the way from Manchester to Leeds to buy a painting from me. For the past 4 years I've worked in the comfy confines of my little office studio in the box room of our house. My communications with customers has mostly been done by messenger and email and my work safely carried by Royal Mail.
The family in question had previously commissioned work from me, which conveniently fitted in the post. This time was different, as it was a bigger painting and a bigger investment for them.
I nervously waited for them to arrive and when they did, the nerves soon went away, because they couldn't have been nicer people!
It was a strange experience for me, seeing someone react to a painting I'd done. Watching them lean in to inspect the detail and be awed by the quality. Talking to them about technique and source material and how best to frame it. Actually, 'strange' isn't a good word to describe that particular half hour of my life. Profound, inspiring, humbling, all are much better words to describe the experience.
From that moment, I felt that I was finally an actual artist. Suddenly, the reality hits me: I have fans and followers, people who love my work and are interested in what I do. People who will find the money and take the time to travel across the country to own my work.
I guess that also means that I have a responsibility to those people, to all the people who show an interest in my work.
Meeting people, interacting with them face to face, inviting them into your home, is a lost art. I use Social Media to promote myself and to sell my work, but is it really 'social'? You're probably reading this on Social Media, and believe me I'm not slating it! What I am doing, I think, is coming to the conclusion that I need to get out there and meet people. I need to take up the invites to Comic-cons, or find a place to 'set up shop' and sell directly to the people.
This week had a tremendous effect on me and I'm forever grateful to the Paradny family for coming into my life, for being an amazing family and for opening my eyes.
Being an artist can mean spending a lot of time on your own, nothing but your work, maybe some music and the cat for company (if she feels like it). But it doesn't have to mean that! That's what I've learned this week.
Remember art school? Learning about composition, Rule of thumb and colour theory?
With my memory, I don't remember much myself, except the useful bits. Art should be fun and art school should be fun!
With that in mind I'd like to share some of my knowledge with everyone. Whether it fits any curriculum is very doubtful, but hopefully it will cover what you'd like to know. My plan is to use the medium of video and the internet and to cover the very basics of drawing, through to portraiture and cartoons.
Look at the image above and you'll see just four of the many stages involved in creating my entry into the 2000AD Art Stars competition. What is each stage? What medium did I use? How do I paint gold? (Secret: I didn't paint it, I used a coloured pencil tool!).
Find out this and much more, in the not too distant future...
I could use YOUR HELP though, what content would you like to see? What would you like to learn? Let me know in the comments and, hopefully, I'll tailor a lesson to answer your need!
Don't be shy, get in touch and I'll see what I can do.
Yes, it's hard to sell art these days, in the quick fire technological world we live in. So I've re-opened my Etsy shop after a short break and added some new items to spruce it up.
Click on the ETSY SHOP option above to check it out. Please.
Also, this labour of love (below) is finally complete and ready to be picked up by it's proud new owners this week. Started almost immediately after returning from a trip to see the Harry Potter Studio tour (highly recommended!) it took some patience, persistence and repainting to get it to a stage where I felt I nailed it. My first time working on MDF, as opposed to canvas and my first architectural piece too.