More quick studies, working on my eye for color. And more experimenting.



A lot of times I'm just brain-dead in the morning. I don't feel it, and I'll start looking at art to get inspired. It's pretty easy to find something that I really like and that gets me excited. Then sometimes I'll just jump into a remix like this, duplicating layers, overlaying, transforming, re-crop, until I come up with something bit different. It gets me thinking.

I don't expect to come up with anything ground breaking, and I wouldn't take credit for the new image. It's just enough to warm up, get excited, explore, and get the juices flowing.


compression er simplification

30min studies. working on my spot simplification with the question, what little does it take to make a shot recognizable as such? It's fun to break down the big shapes and the broadest color choices.


next gen

Took one of the blockpaints and tried remixing it with some photo bash


color blockscape studies

Same kind of approach as the B&W studies, but in color. Again 30-45min studies, mostly in eyeballing the palette and getting a decent squint test result from the swatch composition.


B&W blockscape studies

I've been doing a lot of this kind of thing lately as my morning warm-ups. Just 30-45min each, looking at a master work or photo ref and trying to pass a squint test just using blockbrushes. Hand-picking the values, no eye-dropper tool. As I've gone along I'm trying to push the suggestive language of the squares with some textured dual-brush settings. It's interesting to see what works and what doesn't. Especially in coordinating areas of simplicity and complexity.

They basically fall into 2 categories here, matching black&white, or mentally converting to black&white. 

I know they're not much to look at. But they've been a great study already. The biggest thing is that it's all about interpretation/compression, and trying to capture a certain essence in the abstraction beyond a literal recreation. More to come.


sketchbook vegetation

from a while ago, just walkabout downtown Salt Lake City spotting plants


blockpaint 05

more of this kind of thing.


ruined drawings 03

"Why do you call them 'ruined drawings'?"

A little bit of an explanation with these. I'm trying to work on my analog skills. One of the things I've always admired are classic gouache illustrations from the golden age of advertising. But I've never used them before, so I'm trying to learn now. I'm also throwing in colored pencil and water, to try to get the look I'm after.

Awhile back I got this notion that it takes 20 drawings of a type of thing to 'level up,' at least in a noticeable way. But to do that it needs to be an earnest study and a pushing to the breaking point of each one, not just cranking through quantity. This is probably most easily demonstrated during Inktober. So I've given myself the task of 20 of these samurai pieces to get through and learn some lessons. 

Not so much with digital, but with real art supplies, I'm always fighting the temptation to be precious. For example: if I like the drawing, I'm tempted to not take it further because I don't want to ruin that drawing. So somewhere along the way I want to go for broke, something that might completely ruin it, or push it over the top into something better.

I won't be posting all 20 of these. This actually isn't the 3rd one I've done. I've already really ruined some and expect to ruin more. But hopefully there will be a few more survivors, as the ones I've posted so far are. 


ruined drawings 02

a different approach than before


blockpaint 04

blockpaint study. pulling colors and impressions from some landscape photography