Igniting sparks in my mind.


I just watched this lovely animated film that fits my artistic sensibilities.

By the Horns (from my Patreon page)


I have been focusing on the rider and bull mostly at this point because the background has really clicked into place.  Interesting story about this and my last two paintings.  As I mentioned before, I am a slow, methodical painter who does not plan out a lot of aspects to the finished image from the beginning.  Unfortunately, many times I run into roadblocks when trying to fit one part of a painting into another.  From my first post about this painting you can see that I had the bull started and not much else because I still had no idea what I wanted for a background.  It had to be hellish of course, but how do you do that and make it believable that someone is riding a bucking bull through it.

Well, you can see that I had made a start on the upper half then hit a wall.  I could not see how to bring the floor out from the great background I had created.  I could not see how the two areas fit together, so I stopped.  I literally closed the file and quit painting.  Of course, this was also the time I was dealing with a ridiculous amount of stress from work, which may have been affecting my efforts.   The more pertinent fact though was a lack of professional training.  I never learned how to discipline myself to work on images, usually waiting for inspiration to drive me into a frenzy of creativity.

Then I lost my job and my way for a bit.  I had all kinds of time on my hands but no idea what to do with it.  Because I don’t have an entertainment package, I watch a lot of YouTube videos.  Luckily, I watched a video on, I think, the difference between professional and amateur writers.  The big difference the video pointed out is that professionals don’t sit and wait for inspiration.  If they are stuck, they still make themselves work on something for the project and trust that the process will help them find the inspiration.  In other words, they keep moving.  At this point I had three projects that had frozen up on me because they had overwhelmed me, Rodeo, Linear Thinkers in a Non-Linear Universe, and Termanicz.  All partially finished but out of ideas.  I decided to try the YouTube method out.

You can see that I have found some success.  Both Termanicz and Linear Thinkers in a Non-Linear Universe are done and I have made great strides on Rodeo.  I hope to continue in this vein so I can produce more quality work per year than I have ever done before.  So far, Rodeo is turning out way better than I imagined it could.  If you have trouble completing projects, consider trying this method and letting the process of working free up the inspiration.

Update (from my Patreon page)

Sorry I have been a little quiet.  My copilot decided he needed to bring fleas into the house to liven the place up so I have been doing a lot of cleaning, including my copilot who was not very happy about that.  In addition, I have been working to get another job and on setting up a print project account on Patreon.  Any spare time has been spent working on the Termanicz project.  So, flea problem is getting better but not gone.  I have been offered a position and the print project is close to completion (have some issues to think about though); Termanicz is moving along.

I recently watched a behind the scenes video on Youtube for the original Star Wars trilogy that I had not seen before and I learned a trick to use on the Termanicz painting.  When they were trying to differentiate the larger from the smaller ships, one of the tricks they uses was to give the bigger ships more lights to look like windows.  The regular star destroyer models had around a hundred thousand fiber optic windows.  In Empire Strikes Back, to make Darth Vader’s star destroyer look bigger they made about a million lighted windows.  However, because a hundred thousand fiber optic windows pushed the limit of what they could get into a model, they had to come up with a different solution.  They decided to etch the openings for the lights and light them from a single source.  My plan is to do something similar to give the buildings in the background more mass and distance from the main character.  Watch for more updates.

Patreon Video Update (from my Patreon page)

Here is a preview of the video I am making.  No sound or narrative yet.  If anyone knows a way to improve the quality, I would be thankful.  I saved the file as an Mpeg because I did not know a better choice with this old program and what would work on Youtube.  As I said before, all new territory for me.

Teaching this Old Dog Some New Tricks (from my Patreon page)

Color pencil drawing was at one time a medium I had high hopes for adding color to my artwork.  Unfortunately, I had no prior training in their use and the results I got were not as good as I had hoped.  So I moved on.  As you know, I have worked in oil painting and more recently digital.  However, even with the increasingly better results I am achieving with digital painting, thanks to some handy Youtube videos, I still miss working with physical materials.

Well, given that there were videos on working with Gimp 2.8, I thought “hey, there might be some on color pencil techniques” and guess what, there are.  So I watched some the other night and I am going to give them a try.  I first have to buy some new tools that I was unaware of, then I will start practicing.  Maybe soon I will be able to share with you another form of artwork.  Moral:  In this day and age, don’t be afraid to learn something new.  There are resources out there that were not even thought of years ago.