Starting February 2014 this blog will be out of action.

But DO NOT DESPAIR. We've just moved, and you can still find the same riveting and informative posts that you have come to expect on our new blog:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

TLC Workshop: Materials List

For those of you who have signed up for the Seattle TLC Workshop on March 30 - April 1st, here is a preview of what we will be up to.
If you haven't signed up and would still like to, the sign-ups are still open and there are still a few spots available. Visit the TLCworkshop site for more info!

The Project: 
For the course, choose a character from either Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island or Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
We are going to be designing and illustrating a character from one of these stories. 
We are going to be re-envisioning our character as an animal. 

Before You Arrive: 

READ: You must read the book.
Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson. If you cannot or refuse to read, you can either listen to the audiobook or watch the 1990 Treasure Island which had the absolutely OUTSTANDING cast of Charlton Heston, Christian Bale, Oliver Reed, Christopher Lee, Julian Glover and Pete Postlewaite. If you watch any other version you will almost certainly fail the course. Also, Muppet Treasure Island is wonderful. But it doesn't count.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Again, if you cannot, or simply refuse to read, you can either listen to the audiobook or watch one of the films on it.

As you read, choose a character that interests you and that you think you would like to focus on for this project.

IMAGINE: Spend time thinking about the character before you draw anything. If they were an animal, (or combination of animals) what would they be?

DRAW: Put together some rough thumbnails of your ideas. They can be stick figure or Da Vinci portraits, it doesn't matter. But spend a few minutes after you have read and imagined, and put your ideas down in rough thumbnails. Bring these, and all your notes and ideas with you to the class. After You Arrive: We will be going over our ideas, looking at our reference and then we will be spending the rest of the time working to take those ideas to the most successful designs they can be.

We will be focusing heavily on drawing and character design in this course. We will not be painting in this course, but if you are more comfortable drawing or designing in paint feel free to bring that or any other extra materials to suit your needs.

For the following list, all of the materials can be found at dickblick.com if you need to order any.
Please bring the following materials or something similar to each:

Prismacolor Pencils:
Black, White

General's Kimblerly Drawing Pencils:
2H, HB, 2B, Layout,
General's Charcoal White

1 Soft Pastel Stick (any dark color will work)
Kneaded eraser
Small hand-held pencil sharpener

1 pad of tracing paper
Strathmore Tracing (which is a very light, cheap paper)
Canson Vidalon Vellum (which is a heavier paper)

At least 3 sheets of neutral mid-toned paper at least 12 x 16 in size.
Canson Mi-Teintes is an excellent choice. Flannel Grey and Pearl are excellent tones in this line.  Anything that is neutral and lighter toned in nature will work.
Heavyweight Vellum Bristol (or any heavy, smooth, white paper) (at least 11x14 in size)

Basic drawing paper for rough sketching. (Good printer copy paper will work fine.)

Reference: Bring as much reference as you can of the animal that you choose, and of outfits that fit the period and motif. Find good, high-resolution images of the animal(s), both in repose and in action and from a variety of angles.

 If you are bringing a laptop, you can have your reference on there. If you are not, you will need to print them all out. Even if you do have a laptop, you might consider printing out some of your more vital reference shots. We may not have printers available, so make sure to print them out before you come.

Recommended Reading: 
These are not required, but you will benefit more from the course if you have had a chance to go through them:
Classical Drawing Atelier by Juliette Aristides
Lessons in Classical Drawing by Juliette Aristides
Drawing Course by Charles Bargue (hard to find, may be easier to read through at a local library) Bridgeman's Life Drawing by George Bridgeman
Drawing Animals by Victor Ambrus

Visit the TLCWorkshop site for more information.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

A Rather Sinister Individual

I am currently in the middle of a brawl with a troop of apes disguised as TSA agents at the airport. They are after my beard.
So today's post is going to be a quickie...

The above is a tiny 4"x4"oil painting on linen I finished recently WHICH DIDN'T KILL ME.  
This is exciting because many of my previous adventures in oil have ended badly. I would paint, my body would have some terrible reaction to the materials, I would grow fangs, claws and unsightly hair, and then try to eat my neighbors.  

After the restraining order I did a lot of research into studio safety. From this I found a number of solutions THAT ACTUALLY WORKED and allowed me to finish a painting in oil without any of the usual side effects. So next week, after I have escaped the clutches of these baboons with all their wands and plastic gloves, I plan to share this with everyone.