Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Todd McFarlane Interview


Over the last two decades, Todd McFarlane has made a name for himself as both an artist and a businessman, creating the comic character Spawn, the artist-controlled publisher Image, and a popular line of detailed action figures. In this interview he shares the keys to his success. (Link to YouTube)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

How to Make a YouTube End Screen Gizmo

In the last 20 seconds of a YouTube video, you can offer the viewer the chance to click on other videos, playlists, websites, or the Subscribe button, using their "end screen" options.



In this behind-the-scenes video I show how to make a reusable gizmo to make that end screen segment more interesting and to encourage viewers to click those links. (Link to video on YouTube).



The panels flip into position before being superimposed with the link options. The movement of the panels is powered by mousetrap springs. It's cheap and easy to build, and it's completely customizable to the style of your channel.

Materials:
Mousetraps,
1 " X 3 " Pine boards
screw eyes
Magic Sculpt epoxy clay
Gorilla glue

My next Gumroad tutorial, "Flower Painting in the Wild," comes out this Friday, August 18.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Brushes for water media

Betty-Jane Moss asks:
Would you advise using different brushes for the different kinds of water-based paints (casein, gouache and the transparent watercolor)?



Betty-Jane, the quick answer is yes: If you're painting in casein, use only synthetics; don't use natural hair brushes (bristles or sables) because the ammonia in the paint can be hard on the fibers. If you're using gouache or watercolor, you can use any kind of synthetic or natural brush.

I usually carry a mix of flat and round brushes, but the ones I use most are a 3/4" and 1/2" flat and a #10 synthetic watercolor round.

Synthetic options
A good bargain is to get a watercolor brush set with carrying pouch (regular length handles) or a short-handled water media brush set with carrying case. The folding case will fit over the left hand page of the open sketchbook.

There are a lot of other brands available, everything from very expensive Kolinsky brushes to cheap brush sets from big box craft stores.

I don't think you have to spend large amounts of money. I find a good brush, I buy a few extras to have on hand. I've found brushes of acceptable quality at the big box craft stores for very reasonable prices, but you have to check them out. What you want to look for are brushes that have good spring or snap, not floppy. The brush should come to a fine point — or edge in the case of a flat. That way you can use a fairly large brush to paint your picture.

Natural hair brushes
If you're using watercolor or gouache, you can use natural hair brushes. I like sable flat brushes, such as: 1/2-inch  and 3/4-Inch size, and I use them especially for laying down big washes. The sable flats hold more water usually don't hold as sharp an edge as the synthetics.

For laying bigger washes and wetting the paper, a Cat's Tongue Wash Brush is a good tool. It has a flattened ferrule similar to a filbert brush.

If you like watercolor techniques where you wet large areas, a squirrel mop brush

Round Kolinsky sables are wonderful, and will hold a point for a long time if you take good care of them.
Winsor and Newton Series 7 
Richeson Siberian Kolinsky brushes
Escoda Optimo Kolinsky
Da Vinci Maestro Series Kolinsky Red 

If you have a very compact kit and can't carry a box of brushes, you might want to use a Escoda Sable Round Travel Brush, which safely stows the brush tip inside the handle. The Rosemary brush company in England also makes a set of "reversible" "folding" "pocket" "travel" brushes.
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Previous posts on GurneyJourney:
Review: Richeson Travel Brush Set
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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Kramskoi's 'Christ in the Desert'

Ivan Kramskoi's Christ in the Desert (1872) is more than just an illustration from the Bible. It uses the story of Christ's sojourn in the wilderness to comment on personal and contemporary concerns.



Kramskoi (Russian, 1837-1887) wrote: "Influenced by a variety of things, I have come to a very distressing understanding of life, and I clearly see that there is a moment in every man's life...when he is in doubt: whether to go to the right or to the left This, then, is not Christ. Or rather, I don't know who it is. It is an expression of my own ideas...Christ is alone and tormented by doubts: should he go to the people, teach them, suffer and perish, or should he yield to temptation and give it all up."

The critics of the old guard did not receive the painting warmly, accusing the artist of distorting the scripture and expressing anti-religious feelings. But the younger artists embraced the vision. Tolstoy said, "This is the best Christ I know."
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From the book Fifty Russian Artists, published by Raduga Publishers, Moscow

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Castle Kidnapped

I painted this bizarre scene in 1989 for the cover of "Castle Kidnapped" by John DeChancie. My friend James Warhola posed for the guy with the fizzy wine glass, and I posed as the jester with the levitating marotte



I enjoyed the creature design on this one, especially figuring out the walk cycle of a 6-legged blue ankylo-tortoise. I hope that little orange eyeball frog hops away before he gets stepped on.

Get the original book on Amazon
Previously on GJ: Gradations

Friday, August 11, 2017

Flower Painting in the Wild Preview


Here's a preview of the next video tutorial, which releases on Friday, August 18—one week from now. (Link to video on YouTube)



It'll be an hour and 10 minutes long, packed full of practical and inspiring insights about painting flowers outdoors in the garden and in nature.

I'll be using gouache and casein, which are fast-drying, opaque, water-based media, ideal for floral studies. The painting insights are universal and will benefit oil and acrylic painters as well.

Michael Klein of East Oaks Studio says: "Whether you are just starting out or have mastered your own technique, to behold a fresh alla-prima painting in plein air is a treat for any artist.”