Hi all, please take the time to check out the new Etsy Store:
I have been working to make more art work available for both originals and prints! I am also working on getting all my stuff on a print to order basis so I can provide more prints to you at a cheaper cost!
Prior to this, I only had available the prints I personally had in stock, but now I am able to provide all images on a print on demand basis! So if there's a print you want, and you don't want to pay the premium of an original, please let me know if you don't see it on the Etsy site yet, and I will make it available to you!
The latest time lapse video. This one is from start to finish (not including the initial drawing). I did make the mistake of shooting the video from the right, and I am right handed, so bare with me as I am fairly new to these sort of videos!
If you are enjoying these, please go to my Youtube channel and subscribe, as more subscribers will encourage me to do more, and possible talk/walk through videos.
Hope you enjoy!
The Last 30 minutes of a line and wash drawing compressed into 3 minutes using time lapse video.
I've made quite a few changes since the end of the year and my first artisan fair with Market Collective in December. One thing that I really wanted to address, is that I wanted to have a broader range of content for all animal lovers, not just birders! So I have been branching out to Canadian wildlife. I am not so rigid as to only reside on half a continent for my subject matter, but it just seemed like a natural starting point! Never fear bird lovers, this does not mean I will be abandoning our bird friends, more to come in the future.
Another change to my practice that some may have already noticed (hopefully some care), is that I am trying to develop my watercolour/gouache painting skills. This means that I am trying going to be trying to do less ink and wash images, and more pure painting (whatever that means). I am not abandoning my original love of the arts, drawing. I am just trying to hone my skills as I am a fledgling watercolourist. And besides, most good paintings start with a great drawing!
In fact, I have been trying to push my drawing skills with more sketchbooking and mammal studies. (Seen Below)
I'd also like to take this opportunity to look at one of the first watercolours I ever produced (early 2018), versus one I did just a couple weeks ago. (hopefully it is apparent which is which, otherwise I am on the wrong track!)
I'd like to continue to explore different watercolour techniques and focus a little more on building interesting compositions. I have recently completed my first "full scene" with a background landscape. While I love doing animal portraits and a more illustrative focus, I like the idea of playing with more complex relationships of foreground/background and subject.
I am also trying to give up a little control. One of the reasons I am drawn to watercolour is that it is very easy to give up control if you allow the medium to do what it does (it has a mind of its own unlike most mediums that tend to stop moving a fraction of a second after you release your hand, watercolour can keep going as long as there is water to move to.
That said, I am not looking to give up complete control. I tend to find myself in the middle between realism and painterly. I am, for now trying to avoid any nibs that allow me to fall into a level and control and trying to work exclusively with brushes, whether it's paint or ink at the end of my brush.
Hopefully this gives you a good idea of where I'm trying to go next, and even more hopefully, I can produce some excellent results (even while learning)!
Thanks for taking a look!
So I wanted to reflect on Market Collective, how it went, what I learned, would I do it again, so on and so forth. Some may or may not know why I started to draw again and what kicked off this one year venture back into the visual arts.
How this all started
At the end of 2018, my wife and I were frequenting the Millarville Christmas Market when we came across an artist's booth who was making very quaint little paintings of birds. She was also making a killing. I asked myself the question that many others constantly asking myself, why aren't you doing this?
Why aren't I doing this?
Well the easy answer is that it's hard to do this. And it is. But still...why am I not doing this?
I can't really answer the question. I can cop out and give excuses, but I can't answer it completely.
The fact is, I've always viewed art with a very "holier than thou" attitude. I've never allowed myself to make work for the masses such as wildlife art. In a sense, this has always given me an excuse I could tell myself if people reject the work, it's that they don't know any better. That's a really negative way to view high art. It's not meant to be held over others.
Also this leads me to the next question, is there anything wrong with Kitch or low art? The reality is that I paint and draw birds not because I think it's a great selling point, but because I love wildlife and nature, and I have had a passion for birds from a young age when I had a pet bird, or even further back, visiting owl sanctuaries in BC as an adolescent.
So after taking a hard look at myself and my nonexistent art practice, I decided that I am no longer "not doing this". I am going to try to do this, and I am going to be selling my art within a year.
What did I learn
So this is a lot harder than it looks. First of all, I am not really a salesman. I am an artist. I suppose I could use that as an excuse, but instead I choose to use this as a learning opportunity. I will go through all my learning points in a list:
How it went
It went well, but not amazingly well. I made money on the weekend, and even more so based on sales surrounding the market (before and after sales online). I handed out a lot of business cards. I was hoping to do better, but as one vendor pointed out to me, "everyone wishes they did better". Well yeah...also "everyone starts out small".
That's the real thing to keep in mind, you can't just start out making fists full of cash. You start small, you build a fan base and you exercise some patience. You take what you learned, and you apply it to the next time. I suppose by now it's obvious that I will try this again, in fact, I've already started applying for spring shows. I also want to try other markets aside from Market Collective (not that I have a problem with them, on the contrary, I think they put on a great event), I just want to see what other events look like as well.
2018 - 2019
2018 has come and gone, I set out and I achieved my goal from that morning standing in a cramped building in Millarville making a life decision to start making art again, building a body of work (27 finished works in total), and developing and honing a new skill (watercolour and gouache painting), to applying for 2 shows, getting accepted to one, and following through with the show. I've sold work online, to friends, and coworkers and complete strangers. None of this would have been possible without that fateful moment in the Christmas Market where I made that decision. It also helps to have a very understanding partner and wife who encourages me to pursue my passions and takes on the regular life duties on her own when I am sitting at the BMO center talking about birds and art.
What does 2019 hold for me in terms of art? I am going to continue drawing and painting birds. I have also made the decision to branch my subject matter out to Canadian wildlife, so if you like my work, but you don't want a bird hanging in your living room, stay tuned for wolves, and bears, and other great Canadian wildlife! I will continue to challenge myself and develop my practice and skills.
(some examples below of some new sketches that I worked on during Market Collective: DaVinci Travel Brushes round #6 and #12, and M. Graham watercolours set in a travel airtight Mijello palette on 9x12 hotpress Canson block and pen on paper)
If there is anything else you'd like to know about doing an Art Fair, or making art, feel free to email me through the site!
and have a happy 2019!
Season's greetings! I want to let everyone in on some of the deals I will have this weekend at Market Collective Holiday show.
4x6” $3 each or 2 for $5
Fine Art Prints
$20 unsigned 8x12” signed $30
$30 unsigned 11x14” signed $45
$40 unsigned 16x20” signed $75
Fine Art Originals
9x12” $175 10x14” $225
12x16” $275 16x20” pls enquire
DEALS! DEALS! DEALS!
Spend $20 or more, get a FREE postcard!
Buy any 2 signed prints and get 5% off!
Buy any 3 signed prints and get 10% off!
Purchase an original work at $350 or more, receive a FREE 8x12” signed print.
Purchase an original work at $450 or more, receive a FREE 11x14” signed print.
Purchase an original work at $650 or more, receive a FREE 16x20” signed print
Here is the image of the second postcard that should be arriving this Monday:
Can't wait to see you there!
Hi everyone! This is just an update to let you know, that if you would like to come and visit me, I will be hosting my own booth at the Market Collective winter fair! I will be showing from December 7-9!
Come on down and visit me!
Well I did my first ever Inktober challenge this year. I decided first and foremost to have fun. This was an opportunity for me to branch out a bit from my usual subject. I also wanted to improve some of my brush skills. I am what's referred to as a heavy handed artist. I'm the guy that snaps pencil leads constantly, or destroys technical pen nibs like they are made of paper. I press, and I press hard. So for almost all of Inktober I used a pocket pentel brush pen. I also got a couple of fountain pens as they give a nice free flowing line and are maybe a bit more durable and sketchy than technical pens which tend to make me very rigid when I am drawing. Brushes and fountain pens let me bust out of my shell a bit more.
For my first go, I decided not to follow any of the prompts, I just wanted to draw for the sake of drawing. I really liked this at first, but nearing the end, I kind of felt left out a bit of the overall idea of Inktober which is to also get you thinking about ideas and being creative. But hey, there is always next year. I will definitely join in again, and I will follow the prompts as well.
If you aren't sure of what Inktober is, it is a drawing challenge created by illustrator Jake Parker, who also shares an excellent podcast called 3 Point Perspective with fellow professional illustrators Lee White and Will Terry. As an amateur illustrator trying to venture to being a professional, I have been listening in quite a bit.
check out the podcast here:
check out the Inktober website here:
check out my Inktober Gallery here posted on my instagram:
Alright we are now time lapsing!! Time lapsing seems to be a really big thing on the internet...kind of doing for visual art what videos did for music in the 80s! I'd like to say I don't get it, but the fact of the matter is, I have found myself lost in the rabbit hole of following link after link of time lapsed speed drawings and paintings on the internet. It is a great way to connect with your audience and share your process, allowing with a further level of understanding with what goes into an individual piece of work.
What tools did I use?
My first time lapse was more of an experiment. I used a Panasonic Lumix FZ80/82 to create the time lapsed footage. I set my increments at one shot every two seconds. I started using an mode that favours aperture over shutter speed to start, and later went full manual. The biggest problem I encountered was white balance, or auto white balance (AWB). I didn't turn it off on the camera and this resulted in major flickering. Once I did turn it off I resolved the issue of flickering but created a new problem of very dark whites. After the process, I read online some tutorials about adjusting the white balance manually, and I will do this if I return to the camera for a future time lapse, but I will be trying the program "Lapse It" on my Android for the next one.
I also used a pretty standard tripod lent to me by my father in law, and two cheap LED lights that I purchased from Walmart for about $9 bucks each. Because I was working on a vertical composition, I knew that sitting at a flat desk with a tripod overhead would not work for my reach, so I chose to work lying down on our home office floor. I used a watercolour board I had a co-worker make for me and I taped off any contact points of the drawing and tripod on the floor and board in case something moved. Incidentally, my daughter turned 1 last week and we needed the tripod for family photos and the board to prevent sparklers on the birthday cupcakes from burning our dining room table!
For the next time lapse, I will be using a small tripod attachment I purchased from Amazon for around $20 bucks that will clamp my phone in place at the top of the tripod.
What did I learn?
1. I learned that proper lighting and the correct settings are key to making the process as smooth as possible. Some of the "effects" I achieved from not having my AWB turned off on the camera really frustrated me. When I finally did turn it off, it really frustrated me that I didn't have the white balance set properly.
2. I learned that 2 seconds is too short of an interval for a 14 hour drawing! I kept filling up my memory card and having to transfer to my PC and build videos after the fact! If I am going to time lapse a big drawing using the Lumix again, I am probably going to set my intervals to as much as shot per 10-20 seconds! 1 shot every 2 seconds @ 30 frames/second of video = 1 hour of drawing over 1 minute of video. Instagram doesn't even let me post a video longer than a minute, and I must admit, I lose my interest in most time lapses after the 2-3 minute mark. So a 14 minute time lapse drawing seems a bit gratuitous to me! Let's keep it real!
3. I learned that maybe it's better to time lapse smaller projects to start, until I can get more time to invest all at once. A two hour drawing will be way more doable and way easier to shoot than a big 14 hour drawing. It also means I'll be able to work at my desk and control my surroundings a little better than on the floor.
Thanks for reading guys! Stay tuned for more, and if you have any questions feel free to post them in the comments!
For the past couple months, I have been branching out with new types of media! As a classically trained artist who majored in Drawing (with a personal focus in illustration), this means leaving the comfort of what I am very good at to enter a realm where I am sometimes fumbling around in a dark room. At times, I am tearing up paper, and at other times I am proudly showing the work off to friends and family. The cliche or art is of course to always be challenging, experimenting, expanding, growing, etc. Of course, it's always nice to stick around a bit in that comfort zone once all the experimenting starts to pay off and you actually develop skills with a medium. It is also fortunate that starting a new medium isn't from scratch. There are obviously going to be transferable skills. So I've branched out into 3 different ways of working: Ink and wash, watercolour (also acrylic inks), and gouache. I'd also like to try out acryla gouache, but that's another set of paints, that I'll just as soon wait to buy.
Ink & Wash
Ink and wash has kind of been the transition into something new. It's baby steps. I can work in watercolor and any lack of skills or understanding of the medium, I can make up for with line work. It's a nice way to work for me as it bridges both worlds and creates a nice juxtaposition between organized and neat line work with loose watercolour strokes. The 2 pieces I used this technique for are the Osprey Nest and the very regal looking Great Horned owl.
Watercolour on the go!
I am really starting to love this medium. I am slowly but surely getting better and better at it, and the more I learn, the more I want to try new techniques. I have been searching out the watercolour masters and drawing inspiration from their work. This is an opportunity for me to relinquish some control over my medium, and allow it to act the way it is intended. Watercolour has a mind of its own, and as a right brain technician, this is a great way to challenge my own way of working, forcing me to let go a little bit. As I've said in previous posts, I am a fairly recent father, this means that I work wherever and whenever I get a chance. This also means that I need to be mobile. One of the things that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE(!!!) about watercolour is that there is a whole artist-level tier of the medium devoted to working while you travel! Plein Air painting is a huge deal in watercolour (this means working on location for those unfamiliar with the term). Now while I am not exactly a Plein Air painter (though I do intend to try it as I love to sketch on location), the practice and tools dedicated to supporting the Plein Air painter fit my work style of painting on the go so perfectly!
I have invested in a nice artist grade pan set of 24 colours. Being patient, I was able to find a really good Rembrandt set for $75 CAD on Ebay. These typically retail at around $200+, so a great deal. The set even comes with a fairly good quality red sable #6 round brush.
Now, from everything I've read in my research, this is more than I will ever need! This is true, but as I am new to this, I thought I would get the 24, see what I'm using, and purchase the tubes later down the line so that I can make my own pans using a palette that suits my needs. Now I will say this, having 24 colours means not a lot of colour mixing, which is great as I have limited space on my mixing palette and I don't want to have to carry an additional mixing palette in my bag. If you're anything like me, and you don't just work in a studio, and you like to work at the kitchen table, or on the go, or wherever you are, I really recommend pans. I have a good set of tubes as well, and they have advantages such as creating larger washes, easier to mix colours, etc, but ultimately, the pans are how I love to work. I've also asked my wife for a few travel Da Vinci cosmo-top sythetic brushes for my birthday, I'll maybe blog about them once I have them. I'm also getting myself a little Timbuk2 Classic messenger bag from MEC (Medium size) that will fit my Arches 12 x 16 watercolour block, and all my supplies. This will make it easier to cycle with all my gear. Last week I had a bit of a scare where I was commuting back home with my painting in my Deuter 20L pack with no waterproofing and the sky opened up on me! All I could imagine was my work running down the page!
Anyways, aside from watercolour tools fitting my life style, ultimately I love the end results of it, otherwise I obviously wouldn't bother. I have been immersing myself in as many youtube tutorials as I possibly can, narrowing down to my favourite online watercolour bloggers, and learning as much as I possibly can from them. As I get a little better, I hope to create some of my own time lapse videos. The latest images I've made (below) can also be found in the main gallery and will be for sale via print and the originals are still available as well.
Last but not least I have dabbled a little bit in gouache. I really like this medium as well. It has a lot of the similar attributes of watercolour mixed with traits of acrylic and oil paint. I think the biggest mistake I made was that I went too thick to fast with the paint. Like acrylic paint, the medium is opaque, but like watercolour you can 'lift' or rewet and muddy your colours below. If your base layers are too thick, the blending happens very easily. Next time, I will build my layers up a bit slower. Another thing I really enjoy about the medium is that it has very convenient setup, and you as it's a water soluble medium, clean up is relatively easy. When I have more time in the studio, I will sit down and work more in gouache, but for now, I will be focusing on watercolour! Below is the Magpie I created using gouache.
That's it for now! see you soon!