It is already the last week of October! I'm not sure if I'll have time to post an article again until next month!

 So now I am sharing my random sketches that are usually less than an inch tall or start up as srcibbles but you can already see a lot of the form and expression. I hope to encourage.

Next month I'm really busy as well. Moving to a bigger place. I just word my move in date was closer than expected so I might be sparse or laying posts thin until....wait for it next month.

Also another thought I'll won't have a body of new work realistically not January of next year but February. I've killed off my website again. And I'm not really active online on social media. One of these days I'll resurface. Still miss CgHub that was the bomb.

Hope everyone is well and fine.
 Keep doing what you do!

I watch a couple of daily speed paint groups they have a lot of great daily ideas. 
It is overwhelming at times to see the level of work 
people do in the time limit of 30 to 60 minutes. 

Everyone has some bizarre story about being economical in college.

One of my mild stories is Painter's rags.
You use rags or paper towels to clean up your brushes while in between when you are painting and are about to mix another color or to clean up your palette.

With oil paints I prefer rags because you can use them longer than with paper towels I go through them too quickly, Since I'm mixing oil and paper, the material is thin and it just bleeds through and I make more of a mess than I already do.

Now it is let's be economical time.
Why spend more when you can have the same thing without creating a gigantic hole in your wallet?
Everyone likes discounts.
And the few people who I have met that don't are weird.

 On a side note: One does not clean up their palette with their brushes or don't make a pass with wiping the palette with a rag until the paint is scrapped off with a palette knife or else it smears and you still have to use a palette knife to cleanly remove just a thin layer of paint that is still on your palette unless it is a disposable one. I prefer to use wooden palette it takes work to prepare one but I like the feel of them better than glass, plastic or disposable palettes.

When I got old enough to buy my own stuff with money I earned. I went to the local hardware store. Honestly I almost get as much hyped to go there as much as the art store.

Anyway I was at the hardware store and I was going to buy some painter rags. I looked at this tiny bag like the size of a quarter of a pillow that had cut up jeans and undershirts. For $6.99 I could have something I can find in my closet the only difference is that it was pre-cut for me.

I didn't buy the bag but instead went home and at that time I used to have this large tote of cloth scraps when I was heavy into being a seamstress. I went through the box throwing away things I have never used and had for years. There were random things in that box like a curtain that I had when I was 8 and cloth scraps I used to get at the tailor section in retail stores that I could use as painter's rags.

Here's the fun part.
Now when I run low on painter's rags I either use old bed sheets, curtains or undershirts. Usually when I do that I take my seamstress shears and watch a movie or two until I've cut up everything into reasonable half a paper towel size.

Cool Palette Knife Alternatives

This one lady named Ej at the drawing group. I'm always somehow competitive with her we have a comradery rivalry in a way. I've learned some things after examining her business model and truly hope and will surpass her one day. A couple years back she was scraping paint off her glass palette and she had this cool looking knife. I asked where she got it from and she said contractors use this kind of knife to scrap paint off walls and stuff and you can find this style knife at the hardware store. I was delighted. It gave me an excuse to go to the hardware store.

 These are the ones E had.
 All my palette knives
Compare the wider scrapers to the thinner palettes.
Imagine cleaning your palette with just the thin ones. 

Pile of paint that needs to be stored.

Just wiping smears the Yellow Ochre

Cleared paint from the palette knife 
compared to the rest of the pile.

Once you graze the paint you can 
move it to someplace else.

 So I had a pass with the palette knife
 it is almost as clean as it is gonna get.
The other initial mess I was able to clean the palette with my oil mediums
I'll talk about the mediums I use sometime. Seems like I never do things consecutively anyway.

I went to the Portrait Drawing Group and we painted Gramps today. I got so distracted by the funny stories he was telling that I thought I did progress shots but I completely forgot to do so.  I really have to make sure not to mess it up as I continue painting!


I unfortunately had to leave early, had to be somewhere. After struggling with portraits for about 2 years I'm getting quicker with the process.

One thing Gramps says about bad paintings is the root of the problem is there is a fundamentally bad drawing underneath. Work on your drawing first before adding paints into the mix.

One useful tactic to check if your drawing is proportionate and an overall solid drawing is to mirror your image. Flip and rotate your canvas or see it backwards or upside down to see if there are any distortions in your artwork. If there are any fix them and learn from your mistakes or miscalculations. Or just leave it be if you want.

Traditional and Digital artists alike use this technique to determine is something truly off in their drawing.

In Photoshop and Photoshop I have the keyboard shortcut set to

Ctrl-Shift -H for Horizontal
Ctrl-shift- V for vertical.
It is set on my both my wacom tablet keys.
Use whatever combination works for you.

I drew a character with almost the same silouette before but the character, personality and persona is different. Nobody will know until its done 

Started painting but no finish yet.

Flipped version I still need to fix. Notice how
the cheek on the left doesn't seem proportionate.
A few weeks ago this lady although she was over 80 she sat there quietly and practically smiled the entire time. Which is rare and difficult to do whether it is a fake or natural smile. When I modeled people were like smile dangit!  She had such a calm powerful aura of a woman who lived her live with no regrets and anger and painted whenever she could. It was a struggle at one time but she made it through. I felt honored to be in her presence and learn about this delightful stranger in a single 3 hour session.

So with this other drawing the backwards woman I remembered I painted her before with greens and reds because she had a reddish tone to her skin and I wanted to play with interesting colors. In a way she was tough and had an edgy intensity as well as being a female firefighter that was on call to travel anywhere for months except the winter.

I did this portrait drawing the other day. I thought it was a pretty decent drawing but something was off and bothered me and I could not pin point it. My mentor Gramps said it was a fine drawing. Normally he doesn't sugar coat my critiques and is brutally honest and saying something is nice means a lot. At a quick glance he didn't see anything.

I didn't think much of anything and kept wondering about it until when I was carrying the canvas outside to leave, I realized when the sun shone through the other side of the canvas the drawing looked distorted. This time during the drawing session I was so focused and in the zone I forgot to flip the image around and the mirrored version of the drawing and realized what I was lacking. After seeing the reverse I can pinpoint issues I had on the non-mirrored version.

One time I was speaking to Sherrie McGraw and she noted one of her favorite models Jf was although he had a huge pot belly, thin muscular legs and he had big bold strong arms because he is a rancher.

No. 16 by Mark Rothko

To be honest I do get upset, cranky and highly emotional maybe too seriously when I don't want to go as far as to say fake artists or shall I say posers? Whom just throw paint around with no emotion or intention to their artwork. Like for example Mark Rothko he was one of the spear heads of the 1950's abstract expressionist movement. Rothko did paint colors but as he painted his huge wall sized canvas was to make one feel the color and be overwhelmed by the scale and size of his ginormous pieces and break the predictability of adding another complimentary or another random color to make people think of why he placed that stroke at where he placed it. There are so many rip off of Rothko its ridiculous and others do not even know who they are copying from. Respect your art history.

For me I paint because it is a way to express myself. It was a sublimation technique for my rocky childhood years and when I was young that I didn't speak much and didn't express myself and kept everything bottled up internally. I feel my paintings can speak louder than what I can ever can say in words or in volume level. I paint my life story and what I see everyday that I find fascinating and what I need to show others. That is my mission statement.

Just because I'm proud of this and haven't received a critique yet.
Last weekend I was working on how to UV map a 3d box. Used photoshop to put the textures together and had to import and wrap it back to Maya. At first people describe it as a mundane task but after the learning curve it wasn't bad. I wanted to make a wet box look. I don't know how to manipulate shapes to well in Maya yet. I kept on thinking about Metal Gear Solid and the game's use of boxes.