New $3 Reward “Fast as a Cheetah with a Gimp Leg” (from my Patreon page)

Whooohoo, I finally finished the first tutorial that I uploaded to My Patreon Page .

The write-up:

“Here is the first tutorial I promised for the Cheetah painting I will be working on soon.  Whether I will continue with these depends on the response and my ability to improve the product I am giving you. One concern is that the quality of the images is not what I hoped for in the document.  I saved them as jpeg, which may have knocked the quality down so I will see if a tiff file will work better.  Another concern is that this is a cumbersome way of presenting the material.  Finally, as I delve deeper into the actual painting, the steps and results will be harder to document in this manner.

With that being said, I think this first tutorial is very good for anyone with a passing acquaintance of Gimp 2.8 that is thinking of playing around with it as a digital painting program.  I explain a lot about the use of layers (basically sheets of paper) and how they interact with each other.  I show how you can take the drawing you scan in and separate the pencil sketch from the white background, along with why you would want to.  I show in this tutorial all the steps I take in setting up everything I will use to make the final painting.  In addition, I give many of the reasons for my choices and some examples of what I did before learning to set up as I do now.”


Put Your Word Where Your Mouth is!

Here is a little over six month review of the changes made to this blog since I began reflecting content from my Patreon page here:

Blog Followers are up from 114 to 166, a 31% increase

Blog Views are up from 344 to 527, a 34.7% increase

Blog Visitors are up from 260 to 346, a 24.8% increase

Blog Likes are up from 149 to 277, a 46.2% increase

The take away is that the seven month numbers are substantially up against the entire year of 2016, which happened to be the best year ever for this blog.

Why do I bring this up?  Well, because I have to ask you a favor.  When I started changing this blog it was in support of the launch of my Patreon page that I hoped would become a vehicle for achieving a measure of artistic success and hopefully supplement the income from my day job.  As part of this attempt to have an artistic life, I gave myself a year from the beginning of 2017 to make it an  ongoing venture.  Over six months have gone by and while the blog is enjoying success, my Patreon site is not.  There are going to be some things I will look at shortly to make the page more attractive, maybe even switch to a per project model.  Your feedback would be most helpful; however, your support would be better.  If not financially, then by word of mouth, because the more people who visit this blog, the more chances I have of gaining patrons.

Please, if you like what I am doing, tell your friends who like science fiction/fantasy art and writing to visit this blog.  Send them a link.  I come from a long history of retail work and one thing I know is that out of the people who shop, only a small percentage actually buy, so the more you get to shop the better your chance of a sale.  With enough shoppers you can make a living.  I need to make a living.  Please help me get more shoppers.  Promote my site on your blog, tell your friends, become a patron,or even give me advice.

If the situation does not improve, I will have to switch gears and look for a second job to get my financial situation under control.  I will probably find little time to work on projects or post to the blog, which is something I enjoy.  So send me your starving science fiction fans.


I will leave you with a content breakdown so far from my Patreon page Robert Garbin’s Patreon page:

7 Short Stories

18 image files

Painting Projects Completed 2 with one nearing completion and another far along

Two Art Projects in Preparation

Poem in the works

Horror Story started


Brave New Worlds (from my Patreon page)

Mercury courtesy of NASA


Finished what I needed for the Cheetah drawing tonight so I went looking for images of Mercury for an eye.  One of the things I have truly enjoyed about creating this series is that it gives me a reason to poke around in NASA files of their exploration of the solar system.  I used to keep up on this stuff because I am technically a space nut.  Painting the planets has been a real treat for me, as well as, reading up on the missions and how long they take.  The Messenger mission that produced the images I will use for Mercury was launched in 2004, did not really start its mission until 2011, and ended the mission by crashing on Mercury on April 30, 2015.  Wow.

Faster than a Speeding Bullet (from my Patreon page)

I have decided that I am very much in the mood to work on another image in my “It’s all Connected” series so tonight I started drawing the cheetah for the image.  I know I had intended to jump into the Gus Grissom tribute but I just not ready for it yet.  The big sticking point for me is getting the image of the recovered Mercury capsule right and you know how I feel about mechanical drawing.  I may work on the drawings for that painting as I am working on the cheetah.  I need to keep moving instead of getting locked up by something that is not working yet.  I have always been like this.  I would not make a good graphic artist.  Anyway, here is the beginning of the image.  Also, you may see a new color pencil piece in here somewhere.  I had a dove all fluffed up from a rain shower sitting on my back porch.  I thought it would make a good subject to practice pencils on.

Blink of an Eye (from my Patreon page)

I spent some time this morning searching the internet for the next animal to paint for my “It’s all Connected” series and decided upon a Cheetah.  I was looking for endangered desert animals and was surprised to find out that the Sahara desert had cheetahs, which turned out to be more than perfect since the planets for this image will be Mercury and Venus.  I was looking at desert animals because I wanted to represent the heat of being so close to the sun but also got a bonus with the cheetah.  Mercury is also a messenger of the old Greek Gods who is fleet of foot, being depicted with winged shoes.  Well, the cheetah is living speed, perfect fit.

I already pulled down some reference pictures and very much look forward to working on this one because of the distinctive face markings.  I have to go back later today and look for some Mercury and Venus images for the eyes.