Monday, April 28, 2014

Wet Rat Speed Painting using Procreate App

I made this little drawing on my iPad air using Procreate app in just 2 hours. I don't normally take my sketches to finish on the iPad but Procreate has that nifty feature of being able to download every pencil and brush stroke and since I haven't done one in a while I thought I would upload one. What you won't see in the video is all of the zoom in and zoom out I'm doing to get my detail work.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Every week someone asks me what stylus I'm using for drawing on my iPad - so I made a video about it!

Friday, April 18, 2014

10 Things I learned at SLC Comic Con

Things I learned at the SLC Comic Con yesterday:

1. I was supposed to geek out on the famous firefly insect Adam Baldwin but I don't like insects much.

2. I take really good blurry pictures. Most people struggle with this technique - not I. Here is Corel Painter artist Don Seegmiller better known as Neil Young.

3. I enjoy meeting online friends in person like Mathew Armstrong and Jason Kim - Disney interactive artists.

4. Reconnecting with my blurry friends like Disney artist Ryan Wood.

5. ...and gopher turned Japanese poster artist Jed Henry (google Ukiyo-e Heroes)

6. That Ty Carter is trying to bulk up for his next career as an MMA fighter...

7. ...and Jake Parker is already an MMA don't disrespect.

8. Oh - and that Bjorn Thorkelson created the "Accurasee sketch caddie" the BEST product I saw at comic con! It's an art tools carrier that fits over the cover of your sketchbook. I was blown away by this nifty device. Many of you know that I mostly sketch on my iPad now but I had to have one of these for the times when I take my sketchbook out. I remember what a pain it was to try to carry everything I wanted - no longer! Check it out at his website.

9. That many of my students from UVU although blurry, have become amazing artists and will be forces to be reckoned with in animation, visual development, and illustration.

10. And finally that Jared Salmond has become completely invisible. People loved watching his pen sign all those posters. When I had him in class he was only "mostly" invisible but through hard work and determination he has finally arrived at his present form of, well, not being there....and for his next feat he will become mute.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Why Do Some ART Teachers Refuse To Teach ART?

It's been about a year since Jake Parker and I started our SVS online Live & Recorded illustration classes...WOW! We've had a lot fun and gotten to know so many of you who we've met on Facebook, Twitter, or on our blogs. I'm going to introduce our newest class at the bottom of this post but before I do I want to talk about the title question: Why Do Some Art Teachers Refuse To Teach Art?

I can't tell you how many artists have told me via facebook, twitter, youtube, this blog, email, skype, etc that they have learned more from our short SVS classes than they did in four years of Art School at 500 x the price! As much as I'd like to pat myself on the back I won't. I won't pretend that I'm doing more than any art teacher should be doing.

How can this be happening? My theory is that art was never treated as a serious subject in K-12 and as a result students enter college completely unaware of what they need to learn in a visual arts program. "But Will, I had a great teacher in H.S." It happens, but more often art teachers spend most of their time managing students that were dumped in their classrooms from the counseling dept. - I know - I taught H.S. art.  I believe that teachers that don't teach either never became accomplished in their own work and never learned the rules. Perhaps they've simply become lazy and willing to take advantage of the system -a system that pays them for being a great teacher or a lousy one. It could also be that they are afraid that they will create clones of themselves who will take away their work - pure nonsense.

Drama majors, English majors, Music majors, and Dance majors come to college with much more experience than illustration or art majors. They come with more experience because in Drama, English, Music, and Dance they are taught rules. You can't have a school play if the actors are taught to act their "feelings". Obviously you can't write a story without learning rules about plots, sub plots, climax, resolution, and of course grammar. You can't make music if everyone is doing their own "interpretation" of the song and you can't be an effective dancer without learning "moves" moves that were developed by other dancers.

"But Will, you're talking apples and oranges." Baloney (see what I did there?) In a play you have a climax - that's called a focal point in a painting. In writing you revisit the same theme throughout the story - that's called repetition in an illustration. In music you you have to have balance, unity, divisions, and emphasis and it's no different if you want to visually communicate in a picture.

Art teachers on the other hand have been getting away with murder. Not all of them - I know many many great art teachers at the college level and I have to put in a plug for UVU where I teach - a great illustration program with teachers who rock! I also know many who have perfected the art of NOT teaching. Their apathy towards their students is sickening. I hear reports that teachers tell students to "paint their feelings" to "experiment" to "explore" and just "figure it out". I had an illustration teacher tell me over and over: "If I tell you how to complete the assignment you won't learn anything". I'm not saying that telling a student to experiment is a bad thing - but if that's the only "teaching" a student gets - IT'S BAD!

My question is what's different about the visual arts? Why and how do these teachers get away with NOT teaching the Rules of art? Are there rules of art? If there are rules for actors, musicians, writers, and dancers why not for visual artists?...THERE ARE!

If you were never taught to keep your elbows off the table you could be offending people without knowing it. If nobody ever taught you to floss - your teeth might be falling out and if you were never taught to swim - you might be reading this from heaven. My point is that awareness comes from education and without it you might be walking around totally unaware that you are in desperate need of something.

One of our most important classes is coming this MAY and it's called Creative Composition. Many artists don't realize that there's a big difference between drawing and designing and that in order to create a GREAT image you need BOTH. We grew up like weeds. We were given pencils and paper and told to have fun. Having fun is good but without instruction it's just play time. Does your art look like play time? Our Elementary teachers had no clue how to teach art and most of our H.S. teachers never learned the rules of design either (and I'm talking about a lot more than rule of thirds).

I get about 50 to 100 emails /interactions on social media per day asking me about how to get better at art. Most aren't serious. Most don't have the kind of commitment needed to improve. Many want me to tell them how good their art is as if my blessing will help them convince themselves that it isn't that bad. It's bad. We all start out bad. I was horrible and I've blogged about that often. Horrible with a capital H - so don't think I'm rude when I tell you that if you never learned the rules your art is probably suffering. It's hard to give a good critique but honesty is the only thing that will help you get better. It's time to stop pretending to be an artist and start being one by taking control of your future.

If you're serious about getting better I promise you that this composition class won't be a waste of your time...and we won't tell you, "Just experiment."

Monday, April 7, 2014

Submitting & Sizing your art for Children's Publishing

I made this video for the many people who have asked me how to prepare artwork and how to get it in front of an editor at a publishing house. I also talk a lot about the SCBWI since I can't possibly include everything you need to know in one video. The SCBWI is a great resource for anyone interested in making a career out of writing, illustrating, or both.