• Art Unboxed

    Art Unboxed Gearing Up For Inktober

    As I write this, I’m gearing up for one of my favorite art events of the year, Inktober. It’s the time when artists all across the world share a daily drawing. Some follow a specific prompt, others don’t. It’s extremely exciting, both to share your images, and to see what others are doing. It’s an activity that has greatly improved my own draftsmanship. It’s allowed me to experiment with new ways of using tools. This is true whether switching from a micron to a fountain pen, or trying a different style with a digital painting. Another technique I enjoy is painting the entire image in various shades of a particular…

  • Art Unboxed

    Art Unboxed Bulletproof To Water?

    In this Art Unboxed, I’d like to talk about something that is a combination of something I had, and something I added. For some time now, I’ve been enjoying drawing with a fountain pen. I enjoy the uniqueness of the lines, but also as a lefty, it’s nice to be able to draw with it. Left handed people generally avoid anything except a ballpoint because of smearing. Drawing is somewhat different. A couple of years ago my wife brought me a home a Windsor and Newton fountain pen kit from Ross. Eventually I upgraded to an Amazon Basics fountain pen, but I could not do line and wash with it.…

  • Art Unboxed

    Art Unboxed Edison’s Light Bulb

    “I have not failed 10,000 times—I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” – Thomas Edison The famous inventor said this in response to a question. It wasn’t only a good comeback, it was very true. The same is true of those paintings we discard, or hide. It’s true for those where we think, i”f it weren’t for that one stroke there, it would be good.” The reality is, every discarded painting, every drawing we would not show anyone else, helps us to improve. It’s because of all those images we throw away, that we have something wonderful to show. I was reminded of this recently, with a watercolor…

  • Art Unboxed

    Art Unboxed Digital Progress

    One technique, when you have a large project to complete, is to complete several small tasks in the beginning to gain momentum. The same is true in many art projects. Take for example, a city scene I recently completed, the same city scene is reflected in four stages. There were many more stages, but it all started out with one dark color blocking out the city. Then I added detail a little at a time. As a result, the city was finished much quicker, and it needed less detail than I would have thought. While I’m a fan of realism, and details in art, it’s also fun to see what…

  • Art Unboxed

    Art Unboxed What I’ve Learned

    I started drawing because I wanted to draw. I started painting, wanting to paint. Neither of these is profound, but what I’ve learned along the way has profoundly affected me. Because what started out for me as a hobby, has taught me so much. I don’t just mean some philosophical concept, it’s taught me dexterity. On the other side, it’s added to my knowledge, understanding, and appreciation. One way I’ve touched on before, was in appreciation of music. When you’re tone deaf, music is like a foreign language you can’t wrap your head around. You can appreciate the concepts of notes, but you can’t really grasp it. At least I…

  • Art Unboxed

    Art Unboxed Knife And Brush

    Recently, while trying out some heavy gel medium with my acrylic paints, I was able to revisit one of my favorite tools of painting, the palette knife. While I don’t paint in his style, years ago my wife bought me a Bob Ross palette knife, and it’s my favorite to this day. I’m a big fan of him, and watched him just this week, but separate, I just love that palette knife. Abstract art is far from my comfort zone, but I really enjoyed the process. Most of all, I liked using this very thick paint with my palette knife. I normally use the palette knife in tandem with the…

  • Art Unboxed

    Art Unboxed Learning Watercolor

    I titled this learning watercolor because I’m still learning, and I’ve been painting for about a decade. I’ve heard people who’ve painted for fifty years say they are still learning. It’s wonderful to be interested in something where you can still learn something new. Recently I painted a young horse in a different way. It was modeled on some old Greek horses I’ve seen. The same night I painted a more cartoony cow, which I also enjoyed painting. The fun thing about watercolor is not only learning the process, but also the way it lends itself to so many different styles. Because of world watercolor month, I’ve purposely got to…

  • Art Unboxed

    Art Unboxed Art Supplies

    The idea for Art Unboxed began as a different play on art unboxing. While I love getting new supplies, I wanted this to be less about that, and more about ‘unboxing’ or reexamining art techniques we already have. I believe your greatest art supplies are the experience you have when drawing or painting. Please note that I didn’t say skills or talent, those come in time, but the experience brings the enjoyment, increases the skills, and helps talent to grow I mentioned in the last post that my wife bought me a heat gun for my watercolors, and how it has added to my watercolor journey. Today I’d like to…

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    Art Unboxed Children’s Illustrations

    Last week we talked about Art Challenges, today I have one for you. Have you ever illustrated a Children’s book? I don’t mean that you have to professionally, but as an art challenge. You can either write your own story, or pick a favorite to create illustrations for. This isn’t about getting paid for it, but learning to visually convey a story. While a single painting does this, it’s a great way of learning to convey a story through ongoing illustrations. I bring this up partially because I’m currently illustrating a new children’s book about a brown bear and the thimbleberry plant. Previously I illustrated The Beaver Egg, The Christmas…

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    Art Unboxed Art Challenges

    This week I wanted to talk about Art Challenges. I’ve enjoyed and participated in Inktober for years now. Also for a couple of years I’ve wanted to get involved with World Watercolor Month, which began today. This morning I posted a watercolor of a waterfall from the Adirondacks. While Nicholas was a baby, painting a watercolor every day wasn’t always possible, now that he’s three it’s more feasible. Art Challenges are not only fun, they are a wonderful method of practicing your art. I find if there is a bigger purpose behind it, I make time for it more. With traditional watercolor I love the mixing of color, the way…