Teacher Hack: Easiest Method on How To Learn and Teach Animation

August 19, 2015 Leave a comment


This is the fastest, best way to learn animation and teach it to any age student. File this under Hack to School: I adapted a 3D stop motion animation app to make 2D hand-drawn cartoons using a tablet computer. A smartphone can also be used, but the smaller screen size will make the process more difficult. This method is easy, gets quick results and is fun. This is a great way to combine hand-made art for painting and drawing with digital skills. I found that kids came up with ideas and completed their drawings on a varying timeline so a whole classroom of students were able to share a single tablet and everyone made a cartoon. Enthusiastic go-getters made more than one cartoon.


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Categories: Digital Design, Video

Meet the Student Loan Debt Stegosaurus

August 13, 2015 2 comments

Debt Dinosaur

It’s not for an art degree, I promise. Time to learn some programming and interface stuff. You know, skills I can get paid for some say.

Categories: Cartoons & Comics

Free Back to School Tool

August 12, 2015 2 comments

Eel Kiss

Back to school season is upon us again, you can tell by the merchandise displays in the big box stores. Use this free poster for your upcoming art class, especially if it is a college studio class. Hang one in your locker or student lounge as needed. Pass them out to classmates and see if anyone actually picks the first choice. No one had for my survey attempts: sea eels FTW big time.

Originally blogged 9-11-2010

Categories: Fun Stuff, Rant

How to Brush Paint Bamboo with Ink

July 31, 2015 2 comments
I made a batch of paper that came out thick, with a rough surface but soft and fibrous. It just loves to soak up ink like a paper towel.

I made a batch of paper that came out thick, with a rough surface but soft and fibrous. It just loves to soak up ink like a paper towel.

Painting bamboo with ink in the Chinese brush painting / Japanese sumi-e style is really relaxing. Trying to create my own bamboo art gave me an even bigger appreciation for the masterful works of Asian artists. I have some oddball hand-made paper that I created that needs to be used up. What I made is too soft for drawing and not strong enough for many paper crafts; so the brush paintings will be sent out as mail art. The bare minimum you need to get started is paper, a brush and ink. I like grinding an ink stick on the stone because it is also relaxing. If you feel bored or stressed out, give this a try. I have collected two videos and some scans from Japanese Ink-Painting:Lessons in Suiboku Technique by Ryukyu Saito [Charles E. Tuttle Co., 1959] so you can get started right away.

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Categories: Fun Stuff, Mail Art, Painting

NBC Blind Spot: A show built on the foundation of a victimized woman


Thanks NBC, for kind of revolutionizing misogyny by building a whole show around the victimization of the female main character. I like action and thrillers, give me a kung fu film over a chick flick every single day of the week, but I can’t stomach this show’s premise. I have been watching the trailers and commercials with interest and the basis of the plot is deplorable.

The whole foundation of the show is that the Jane Doe main character has been abducted, brainwashed, whole body tattooed, stuffed naked into a duffle bag and left to be found by the authorities in Times Square. She’s a highly intelligent, highly skilled special agent type of character whose origin is unknown. She can shoot and fight hand-to-hand like a total badass, she’s athletic and beautiful, but ultimately she is a victim beneath all of her assets and abilities.

The production values and casting look really enticing to fans of spy, action and thriller storylines. The foundation of the show is rape-y. Really, really rape-y. I wish the show had flipped the roles, had a man get stuffed in a sack and stumble forth naked and clueless with a female agent’s name branded across his back. Ice hockey goalie bags are really big, even male actors can be smaller, and I’m sure someone would fit.

Categories: Visual Culture

How to Use Landscape Composition Formulas

July 30, 2015 1 comment

The Artist’s Magazine January/February issue 2015 had an article on landscape composition, but it was these thumbnail sketches that illustrate the concepts which I found to be the most helpful. Reading through a lot of descriptive language is a lot slower for me to do than just seeing an illustration of the concepts. Landscape painting is not really my thing but I have attempted a few canvases. I learned from the article that landscapes can be composites made of elements pulled together rather than a recording of what one may see if they were standing at a particular place in person.

The 14th sketch is really just a viewfinder made of four strings attached to the opening of a mat. It is more of a composition tool than than a composition formula. Maybe there was an editorial push by the magazine for the author of the article to come up with an even number of formulas.

Landscape comps 01

Landscape comps 02

Categories: Artist Tips, Painting

12 Favorite Artworks from SOFA Chicago 2003

July 29, 2015 1 comment

Not one but two Little Free Libraries have cropped up this year less than a block from where I live, and I took an old SOFA catalog from one. SOFA, the show for Sculpture, Objects & Functional Art, puts out a massive catalog of the gallerists’ wares. Here are my twelve favorite items to inspire you.

SOFA 2003 01

This would be great to hold all my arts and crafts supplies. I love the descending sizes of drawers. I would have flipped the hinges on the right cabinet door 180 degrees to be on the outside though. Maybe some day I will be able to build one!

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Categories: Art History, Chicago, Sculpture

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