Author Archive

Math is your friend. Really.


Great Photoshop Painting Video



This time lapse tutorial is a nifty overview of digital painting such as using Photoshop or a similar program. It is both relaxing and hypnotic. Enjoy!


Revisiting the Painted Wax Paper Technique

April 7, 2016 2 comments



I previously wrote instructions on how to paint on wax paper which is a sort of like faking reverse glass painting. I repeated the prior project on wood scraps (above) and the results were much better because I put in a detailed background and used a new media. The outlines in the original version  were Sharpie marker, which I now avoid because the ink is unstable. A fine black Molotow acrylic paint pen was used in the new art above, and it worked very well!

I compared the Molotow acrylic paint pen to the Liquitex brand. The flow of the paint was better and the nib more precise on the Molotow brand. If any lines were too thin or not solid enough, I let the paint dry and redrew the section of line that I needed to repair. Wax paper gets soft when wet and can wrinkle then tear if it gets too wet, so it helps to work with very dry paint. This time I also skipped the step of crumpling the wax paper for a more aged look. Wrinkles occur naturally but I did not add to them and make the art look more distressed in either piece shown here.

The artwork below I placed the wax paper painting over a collage for added depth. A process I have yet to try would be to do multiple layers of painted wax paper, maybe even with collage elements between the layers in addition to the paint. The trapeze artist mixed media art started as a collage on particle board (recycled food packaging box like, a cereal box). I did have to press the dry artwork for a few days to flatten it nicely. Since Modge Podge or  other decoupage glue is very wet, the substrate you work one has to be very solid and not warp if it gets wet.



Century Old Die Cut Card

April 1, 2016 2 comments

doves litho


This century old die cut card is also an embossed stone lithograph print. I bet it cost a few pennies extra when it was sold! Notice how the artist managed to curve the text to follow the shape of the note card in the design of the greeting card. Here is a 300 dpi high resolution scan JPG for you to print for collage or use in a digital design.


Recycled Art: Basket Bird House

March 31, 2016 1 comment



Spring is coming, more or less, to Chicago. As the days warm up, our feathered friends are going to be looking for their own cool condo. You can help them out by recycling baskets into a bird house!


Read more…

Categories: Recycled, Uncategorized

Art students more like athletes than not.


Extreme Boredom: Classroom Edition



I love learning but I have learned to not love the classroom. Whoever invented putting people in a classroom for over three hours and expecting them to be still and passively absorb tons of complex information must have been insane. I now completely understand why hardcore jocks hate school; the lecture hall system takes kinesthetic learners and traps them in a desk for long periods of time which is the exact opposite of how they operate. If the boredom of the situation makes it hard for a much more sedentary art slug like myself to cope with concentrating, more physical people have to be climbing the walls from the inactivity and I sympathize.

This is why TED lectures are perfect: someone introduces their subject material with clarity and precision  to you in under twenty minutes.

Unfortunately, I don’t see the college or university system of education ever innovating anything more dynamic. Professors do not want to put the extra effort into helping visual learners or hands-on learners have a better classroom experience when mass dumping verbal information is easier. Packing people into classrooms and lecture halls (and now online videos) is just too profitable to abandon for a better system.

And this is where sporty people and those who go to art school are actually a lot more alike than different. In art school, you are expected to make stuff. Very few of your classes are total passive learning situations and studio classes are often completely hands-on in continual active creation. The real opposite of being active like athletes or art students would be the students who truly thrive on sitting around a lecture hall like potted houseplants.

Categories: Rant, Uncategorized

Recent Artist Trading Cards



Here is a round up of some recent ATCs. It’s especially fun to paint water using watercolor. Some of these are already traded through which is a really good site. I have been splitting my time between pen and ink and some painted pen and ink drawings. I love getting a trade in the mail!


Read more…


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 65 other followers