Jazz hands and PAYNE

To be completely honest I have no idea where I am on the scale of “am I a full fledged artist now?”. What I do know is that I still love painting/drawing/studying and learning new things about art everyday! So I’m just gonna go with that and not dwell on that initial question too much!
Just a little look at my more recent works; I think I’ve grown a lot more already in just a last few months.

I think this sudden surge in growth came a long with a lot of using my own reference photos. Taking pictures of my hands etc.

I did a lesson plan on my patreon for hands the other month and it got me rereading Andrew Loomis’s Figure Drawing for All it’s worth again and there’s this little note saying ‘draw a hand everyday!’ or something like that and I was like ‘you know what! Imma do that’ and now I’m addicted to drawing hands.

Here’s some of the outcomes! jazzhands.jpg

With this new found habit of mine (still in development) I realized that one of my old one was back. I DRAW TOO FAST! I’m not saying I am drawing quickly with good outcomes, what I mean is I’m drawing too fast hoping for a great outcome. I don’t put markers (where the fingers go, little notes/etches to indicate for my future self to say ‘hey this is where ___ goes!’ to make my life easier later) instead my old habit of ‘I’ll get the feel of it after I draw the giant envelope thing for the form!
Which you can probably already tell…was a bad idea. Not only did I lose track of where components were suppose to attach to (fingers, joints, etc)

Hands page 6
representation of enveloping and not actually caring to put markers for important things

Finding out my weakness was my first step to knowing I’m actually getting better at what I’m doing.

My eyes are leveling up! My Intelligence is going up! (hopefully) and with it, my hope!
Right now I’m tackling some big goals for myself for the next few months but if it all goes well..maybe I’ll reach a life time goal for myself..Or I can hope!

So now that I have this key item in my inventory showing exactly what I’m doing wrong I took steps to correct it, I became more patient with myself without beating myself up (pretty sure I said this before…ugh) relearning this time and time again has taught me that it’s a good thing to take breathers, not everything has to be done in one go, especially with what kind of pieces I want to finish and show the world. Some of these things I learned from seeing master painters and other artists that must’ve had their own battles they had to overcome, which made me encouraged and super happy about! IT’S SO EXCITING to read/see other artists and how the tackled problems, it’s like seeing a shortcut or almost having a conversation with them without talking, it’s one of the best feelings that is super hard to put into words.

Instead of putting into words I’d like to show you some inspiring artist again!
This time it’s some american landscape masters!

Let’s talk color!

Edgar Payne, wow where to start on this guy! His paintings all have this ‘life’ to them which is popped from his color choices and the almost exaggerated push on the saturation of color. I say exaggerated..but that’s just because I think I got used to seeing these grey/desaturated ‘color corrected’ photographs…but in reality color is so RICH in real life, some of the most realistic paintings have the level of darkest darks and lightest lights pushed so hard and the saturation hella popped! I think with this I learned that pushing color and FORMING the color was the best solution before mudding up everything. What I mean by that is first take the image’s form and then bring in the midtones, not the midtones first then the darks and lights. If I were to explain this from a greyscale perspective it’s like using the black and the whites first before I go into the in between colors, or else I won’t have the form correct, as people see shapes first color second.

Even though he as atmospheric  perspective (method of creating the illusion of depth, or recession, in a painting or drawing by modulating color to simulate changes effected by the atmosphere on the colors of things seen at a distance.)  he doesn’t let that break his form or his edges on his mountains/canyons EVEN THE OCEAN. (I would’ve just been like eh they mesh together cause it’s so far away now lol, which is definitely a method you can do)

Even though Edgar Payne was mostly self taught, he didn’t like the structured lesson plans of school, he taught us how to distinguish between foreground, middle ground, and background with value (the brightness/darkness). Also on the second image with the waves crashing on the rocks you can see his amazing half shadows (an easy way to create an interesting image by lighting the top half and leaving the rest in shadow, in this image the rocks are in half shadows, and even the ocean itself!) the canyon (far left) has reflected light creating saturation where otherwise you’d think would be in shadow and gradiation is added to transition into the shadow and BAM edge light from the light  source, not only that but in this image alone it contains contre-jour lighting, where a subject blocks the light source (the foreground cliff).

As you can see I learned A LOT just from some paintings done by him, if you’re interested in other amazing landscape artist I suggest people like Albert Bierstadt and James Reynolds, to name a couple.

So all in all I think it’s really important to learn these amazing tips and tricks whether it be from how to control reflected light to how to frame a landscape to how to control values, there’s so much I can take from this just to even apply on character design/paintings/practices..literally anything and everything connected to art.



so much to learn

Hi everyone, long time no post!

So I’ve been working a lot on commissions and patreon rewards and etc. I post a lot mostly on twitter and instagram lately but thought I’d do some update posts on my recent works I’m pretty happy about, I hope you like them too!
One is a showcase of how easy and fun it was to color, another to show some more value grasping and another study piece.

My methods are getting a lot easier on the proportions lately which I’m super happy about, but next is making sure my characters are anatomically correct and believable, but still grasping the composition of things.

If I don’t constantly review these ideas I’ll forget what I’ve learned and will go back to bad habits, poor design, and worst of all less than acceptable skill level.

So in order to avoid the decline of skill and ability (which I so desperately need to keep it up as it is) I want to talk about some artists/masters on a more regular basis to understand their methods and what I can take from them!

Howard Pyle.

Revered as the father of American illustration Howard Pyle was famous for teaching many of the great American illustrators during the American golden 1880~1920’s ; including N. C. Wyeth. (Which, if I’m not mistaken has an entire line of artist on his own, like Andrew Wyeth, that’s for another time) (also probably influenced a lot of John Watkiss’s murals)
His works speak for themselves but he was mostly considered on studying and realism, as he was in the golden age of american illustration his works were always sought after.

He made colored illustrations for books he wrote as well as was commissioned to illustrate.



Side note just realized how much Howard Pyle’s TheSalem Wolf instantly reminded me of Jean-Leon Gerome’s The Duel After the Masquerade,  which is probably due to the fact they both seem to use the steelyard composition.

I made this little diagram to show the steelyard compostion on each of these works, so the bigger the subject is the farther away from the edge of the entire composition, and the smaller the closer it is to the edge. They both successfully also use the empty space to showcase the tight grouping of details on each piece, SO COOL!!!

What to take from his works:

  • study study study: constantly study for form/compositions/materials and how to show it, even study old masters as they created shortcuts for us to take it from! USE IT!
  • colors: Just because something is in the shadow doesn’t mean make it black, add temperature (red/orange/blue/green/etc)
  • empty space: composition wise even empty space and lead the eyes to where you want the viewer to see, much like Frank Frazetta’s works, making most of the composition a background Howard successfully guides the viewers eyes to the details since they are usually bunch together in away the eyes can flow through as Andrew Loomis goes deeper into this idea in his books.

This concludes basically my ramble and thoughts on studying these amazing masters but I hope it helped you some way too!


So as I’m updating my resume and making a portfolio site and such!
(cause you know, people think you’re more serious if you have a paid url name)

I’ve decided to share my last month’s patreon reward piece along with a little reflection time on how far I got.
Previously, even just a year ago, doing a piece like this would’ve been WAY out of my reach, but I kept pushing each month, and even though the progress is hard to measure…when I look back on things I did even a year ago I am SO happy to say that “hey I’m getting better!” that’s one of the best feelings ever.

A little peek into my daily five minute journal you can tell the ups and downs I went through each day… and unsurprisingly I went really low often, as most of us do that decide to take artistic skill as their means to put food on their tables.

Enough reflection time and time to show what I did about a year ago that’s a ‘similar’ feel and what I was able to do now! YAAAY

Hopefully you can see the improvement! Gotta keep at it! *mental flex*

More thoughts

I’ve been doing a lot of work lately with commissions. haven’t posted much of my pieces, but wanted to share that I have been drawing almost everyday since at least last year…kind of amazing..I’m pretty happy that I have that conviction to do so.
here are just some of the stuff I’ve done/been doing.

Motivational quotes

Soooo no, not really, I don’t have any motivational quotes! TRAP! Just kidding.

I haven’t posted but I have been making a lot of progress in terms of practice. I did however injure my back and couldn’t sit at a computer for a couple of days but I made up for that with more studies as well! It’s not the count but the quality, I know. So let’s hope that I did improve from the last time I posted! Here are a bunch of sketches, doodles, and studies!

The downward slope

So again (I know it’s getting annoying) I’m in a downward spiral of negative thinking and “hating” my hands/art/my skills etc. But as we know, no one likes to really read whiners and whining and etc.

As we all know “Resistance”♥ loves the fact that I don’t do my studies everyday, or keep telling myself that “I’m (insert negative comment here)”. But, yes there’s an uplifting moment coming, if not for anyone mostly for myself to REITERATE into my brain; I’m none of those and they are just excuses I’m allowing myself to believe so I don’t have to work for anything.

Yea it’s easy giving up, you don’t have to do anything. No I’m not talking about the decision of giving up but the action to give up is easier than doing my work. Which is to hone my skill/ level up my ability to draw and paint, making illustrations and the like.

I look at old masters and the books I bought to help myself. Flipping through them and researching old masters, what I realized was that somewhere deep inside me I thought myself better than them, in a matter of speaking. Not that my ability was better but that my “sense of art” was better. Reading Steve Huston’s amazing new book “Figure Drawing for Artists” he uses so many references and images to show me how old masters did gesture, structure, etc and it was by painters and artists that I took for granted. These painters and artists like Raphael Sanzio, Francis Boucher, and many others had their foundation and skills down, because that was their way of living. This is what counted for them to keep eating everyday and they were consumed day and night to be better than the other artists in their time.

No I’m not better than the masters, I have a lot to learn still. I have a long way to go to even reach the stars of where Jean Leon Gerome went, or even the sensibility of style that Leyendecker created, or the details that Adolf Hiremy Hirschl shows along with Sargent’s works. But I want to thrive to be better, to dare to say “I want to be called a master”.

I’m sure they all wen through doubts and self-pity and etc, maybe they didn’t but that’s not what matters. What matters is to keep doing, to keep working, to keep dreaming, and reaching out.

I guess it’s some what of a declaration within myself that I’ll keep studying old artist instead of feeling sorry for myself when I feel down from now on. To keep moving my hands even if I feel like nothing I do is better than before. Even if the doubt creeps into my head and tell me “you’re useless” “your skills are ugly” I gotta keep at it, accept that part as a friend that is trying to help me not get hurt too much by raising my own glass too high. I just have to show it other wise of what I’m capable of.

♥= in reference to the book The War of Art



Sorry for the long post/update on my brain thoughts. Here are some studies and such I’ve done since my last post.