LiveStream Analysis – May 30th, 2017

Like night, I made this live stream:
I consider it a failure   But, like all failures, we have an opportunity to learn something.  When something doesn’t work out, it’s always best to take a step back and reason out its shortcomings.  Otherwise, you’re doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
So, let’s commence the flagellation!
  • Composition was not solved.
    • Very early on in this painting, I arrived at a composition that I liked, but I settled too quickly.  The buildings on the hill were not solved early on, the sense of scale could be pushed further.
  • No Reference.
    • Civilization does not start abruptly.  A town does not just begin all of a sudden, there’s a progression of buildings on the outskirts of any town, which lead into a denser packed city.  If I used reference, I would have figured this out sooner.
  • No Reference!
    • The desert sort of looks like a desert, the town sort of looks like a town.  The lighting kind of looks correct.  Not good enough.
  • Did not solve color or light.
    • Before I jumped into painting finer details, lighting and color were not solved.  I fought with it in the beginning, but never quite figured it out before I moved into painting if further.  This led to a backwards approach, where I’m trying to fix my mistakes as I move forward   This is a bad workflow, because it does not allow for what Bob Ross calls “Happy Accidents.”
I could go on, but this is a sufficient scolding of my efforts.  Looking at the painting now, I should have stopped 20 minutes in; that at least could have served as a decent sketch.
It’s the Backwards Approach that always gets me, and we all encounter it in our work.  We push too far ahead and leave a mess in our wake, only to have to back track and clean up after ourselves.  I’m quickly considering this to be the death knell of a painting in progress.  If you’re detailing a painting but it feels more like a punishment that meditative pleasure, maybe you should set it aside and work on something else.

Tuesday Afternoon Live Stream

I present the aftermath of yesterday’s 2 hour event – A Giant Leaping Through the Clouds.


Always reflect on what you’ve done, and try to look at it with a fresh pair of eyes.  Sometimes that means coming back to it in a day, or looking it at backwards, upside-down, etc.  If you don’t like what you’ve done, don’t beat yourself up about it.  Whenever we draw, we’re improving.  If you want to improve, then draw.



Livestream – Feb 28th, 2016

I’ll be painting in Photoshop, live, starting at 12 PM EST.  I live in Spain, so that explains the time.

I’ve been inspired by the mountains and wide open landscapes of Spain.  I have an idea of a giant leaping through the mountains, which I’ll try to execute this afternoon.  I’ll post a link when the time comes.

Show up if you can, and tell your friends!



A Common Theme in Creativity

I’m beginning the study of writing as a practice, mostly that of the fiction variety – how does one go about creating a story out of thin air?  After consuming and digesting several books and lectures until my eyes bled, the same principle of creativity has been presented yet again:  You are not the creative thinker, you are only the vessel.  Your best ideas are not your own ideas, they all come from somewhere else entirely.  Ideas that you have are just a starting point, but the finished product created itself.  You are just the gardener pruning the hedges, guiding the story along a path – otherwise it’d grow into a chaotic mess – and it’s your job to walk away from it ( call it finished ).

Take comfort in this when you begin your next project – just start from a seed of an idea and let the story present itself.  Let the little creative thinkers in the deep recesses of your subconscious do all of the creative thinking for you.  All you have to do is to put down what they tell you.




Remain Inspired (Motivated)

     Motivation is like building a sand castle on the beach only to see it dissolved by the ocean.  Section by section the sand castle falls apart.  Its base weakens, a tower or two collapses, eventually the whole thing comes crashing down.  Motivation seeps out of your system like sand, and this is inherent within everyone.  We humans forget easily and move on without effort.

     Consider the New Years resolution, and how it has become somewhat of a joke to make one at all.  People know that they’ll resort back to their old ways, they know that this new feeling of personal power is transient and will quickly evaporate.  If one does not renew the metaphorical Sandcastle of Motivation every day, there will be nothing left by the end of the week.

     I believe this is why people, like myself, move from one thing to the next without finishing a damn thing.  We know how to act off of motivation, we know what it’s like to be inspired and to have the need to create.  But our interests fade quickly, and if we do not remain aware of this we’re doomed to an existence of starting and stopping, a trail of half finished projects in our wake.

::A potential Remedy::

     Long term goals are good, but we must understood that a long term goal is not a matter of destination but of accumulation.    When we sally forth to make a new painting, the accumulation of effort will magically result into something that appears finished.  It’s then up to us to hang up the smock and walk away from it.  Accumulation is key.  As we are beings who live alongside Time, we can piggyback on Time’s passing and connect our small day to day accomplishments into one – a finished product.
     Consider what made you motivated in the first place, and revisit it often.  Revisit it monthly, weekly and daily.  Surround yourself with things that have meaning to the subject at hand.  If you want to write a sci-fi novel, throw Battlestar Galactica onto your desktop background, watch sci-fi movies, and read about the future ( while you write of course ).  Always try to stay one step ahead of that mighty ocean that promises to take your motivations and turn them back into sand.