Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Resolutions for Artists.

It is the time of year that everyone starts coming up with their New Year's resolutions. Typically these are far fetched goals that are forgotten by valentines day, if not sooner. Goals like loose weight, stop smoking, start exercising, etc... are great buy why not broaden your thinking to include more creative goals?

General Tips for Resolutions:

A couple of key things here. One: Make your goals specific and attainable. For example don't say "I'm going to get my work out there," instead make a specific goal: "I'm going to get into a gallery this year." or "I am going to create a professional web page" You can even make this easier on yourself by coming up with a plan. "I will use January to research other artist websites I like for inspiration, I will photograph my work for my web page by February, etc..."

Two: WRITE IT DOWN, and put it somewhere you will see it everyday. Putting your resolution in writing makes it more concrete, and posting it so you see it everyday serves as a constant reminder.

Three: If you fall off, get back on the horse. If you have a slip on your goal or take time away from it, it's OK - as long as you dust yourself off and get back on track. Don't make excuses you're only lying to yourself, instead of justifying things to your self like "I didn't do this because..." just get back into the swing.

Resolutions for Artists:

1. Try a new medium.
- Maybe you have never used watercolors, maybe you would like to learn how to screen print. Keep your options open, in 2008 I entered a sidewalk chalk contest without having any real experience with chalk or pastels. I have probably received more publicity and recognition locally from trying this new medium than any other single thing I did that year. You just never know.

2. Get better acquainted with the Business of Art.
- Read a book on the business of art, attend a seminar, learn from other artists. A successful artist needs to learn to divide their time between business and art. You can't focus solely on art and expect that the business will fall into place vice versa, you can't have a business with out good at to support it.

3. Keep a sketch book/diary.
- even if you can't dedicate as much time as you'd like to art make sure to at least do a little something daily. Just keep your talents fresh, creativity is like a muscle, to keep it strong you have to work it out.

4. I will help other artists.
- one word: KARMA. Help other artists by teaching a technique you have mastered, or sharing a business tip that has worked for you. This can be done as simple as post something that you have learned and can pass along on your website or blog, or can be a more hands on approach.

5. I will be "An Artist"
- This sounds simple, but typically if you meet someone and they ask what you do, what is your answer. Do you say, "I work at so-and-so," or do you tell them (proudly) that you are an artist. Have business cards ready to back your clam. You don't have to start off with the fanciest of cards. I started out with cards make on Microsoft word that were printed on business card stock from the local office supply store. Just make sure they look professional. Include your contact info, website or blog (even if its just a Myspace account with examples of your art on it) and an example of your work.

Whatever your resolutions are, don't be afraid to try new thinks and push your own boundaries. remember "Armatures built the Ark, professionals built the Titanic."

Happy New Year!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Repainting the Beach Cruiser. Part III - The Final Touches

Origonally I had the idea to put a flaming pheonix down the side of the bike, but after finishing the chain cover I decided to go with a more aquatic theme. I kept the idea of the flames, but decided to weave a fish sekleton in and out of the flames instead.
I started out with the flames working from dark blue to light blue to white with a little green added in.

Next I roughed out the skeleton, blending yellow and white to make a creamy color.

Once the color was done I did the outline work with a bold black paint pen.

Then I went back in with fine and extra fine black paint pens to create variations inline depth and add detail.

For the finishing touch I went in with a xtra fine white paint pen to add the highlights. With the painting complete, I strung the bike back up in the shed. I made sure to wipe everything down with a lint free rag to remove the dust. Then I sprayed the bike with a clear coat. I used Rustolium Glossy clear coat. * Be sure to test your clear coat* This was my firs time using the Rustolium Clear coat and it made a weird crackeling effect on the paint pens. It actually looks really cool, but it wasn't expected and could have been worse. After using multiple coats of clear coat and letting it dry I lightly wet sanded it all with a 600 grit sandpaper to make sure it was nice and smooth. Then I removed all the tape and rea assembled everything, using the photos I took during the disassembly as refrence.

Here's the finished bike:

Hope this was helpful for any aspiring bike painters and fun for all interested in the process.

Keep on keeping on,

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Repainting the Beach Cruiser. Part II - The Chain Cover

Now that the primer coat and basic paint job were done it was time for the fun stuff. I started with the chain cover since it was removable, fairly flat and the easiest part to work with.

First I traced the shape onto tracing paper so I could play with a few different designs.

Once a sketch was decided on I busted out the paint pens. First I transferred the design onto the actual piece making adjustments as I went. Once the sketch was on the chain cover I filled in all of the large areas of color working from dark to light.

Then I added in the eyes and the sea foam, again blending colors from dark to light.
Once I was happy with the colors I laid in the basic outline with a bold black paint pen.
Then came the part that makes it all come together: the details. Working with fine and extra fine black paint pens I laid in the detail work. One of the keys here is to have lots of variation in the thickness of the outlines.
I also added in highlights with an extra fine white paint pen to really make it pop! Once I put the chain cover back on I decided to add a few extra water splashes to tie the chain cover to the bike.
Next up... flaming fish skeletons!?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Repainting the Beach Cruiser. Part I

So inspiration wriggles its way into my head at all sorts of crazy times. The other day I was out in the shed and I happened to look over at my beach cruiser bicycle and think... that would look really sweet with a new paint job... The wheels in my head started turning and my hands got to work. It was very much a learning process and I thought I'd share the experience for any one else who gets this sort of wild inspiration for such a unique canvas.
The Original Bike

The first task was to remove all of the stickers using a razor blade and some sort of sticker remover chemical to get all the glue off. I also cleaned the entire bike using some soap and water.

remove all stickers and clean it up

From there the fun really begins, I took the bike apart as much as possible removing everything that I could. A couple of key tips here:

- Take pictures as you disassemble so that you can reference them when you put it back together.

- Keep parts separated in Ziploc bags or some other sort of containers, it may also be helpful to label these parts bags (eg: shift assembly), and put them somewhere you'll remember later.

Take lots of pictures when you disassemble the bike.

Materials I used included 400/ 600 grit sand paper, water, soap, paper towels, rags, Acetone, blue painters tape, razor blades, primer, paint, clear coat, and any tools you need to dissemble the bike.

After I disassembled everything I used blue painters tape on anything still attached that I didn't want to paint. Then, I sanded everything with a 400 grain wet sand to remove the glossy clear coat.

After I taped it off and sanded it down, I had to improvise a way to hang the bike so that all paintable surfaces were exposed. With a little creativity I figured out a way to suspend the bike from the ceiling beams of my shed. Since I didn't have a tool to disassemble the chain I taped it off real good and had to figure out a way to suspend it without it touching the frame. Pure trial and error.

Find a good area to paint and string it up, remember to think about over spray.

Next I used acetone to clean the entire surface of the bike, wear gloves for this, and be sure not to touch the bike after you've cleaned it.

I love the smell of Acetone in the morning

Finally I was ready to spray!

Rock N Roll!

Since the bike was 2 toned I decided to go ahead and do a white primer coat to add durability and to make sure the final coat came out nice and even. I used Rustolium primer.

Multiple light coats of primer work best

primed up and ready for paint

After the primer dried off, I used a Rustiolum metallic black paint to coat the entire bike, again using multiple light coats.back in black

After the paint dried off I spot checked the bike for any runs or missed areas. I did find a couple, so I sanded them down and did a little touch up. Then I waited for it to dry one more time, wiped it down with a clean rag, and got read to do the custom painting.

Now I ready to get crazy with the paint job!

Daily Doodlez #30

Well, I finally did it, 30 days of doodles. A small snapshot of the odds and ends that make their way from my brain to whatever is handy on a daily basis. It took longer than I intended to complete this exercise, but I hope you've enjoyed it. Go back through the archives and you can browse the entire 30 days worth of sketches, and feel free to drop me a line with any questions, comments or remarks. Enjoy!
Skull Collage

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Daily Doodlez #22

OK so the idea of posting a sketch each day for 30 days has gone out the window in the last couple of weeks, but fear not true believer. I will still post at least 30 sketches, the time frame will just ba expanded a little.
The King

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Daily Doodlez #18 - #20

Wow, what a week! I have been super-busy with contest deadlines, commissions, and new inspirations; not to mention the ever-dreaded "Real Job!" So, I'm a little behind on the Daily Doodlez. Here are 3 that I did amidst the insanity last week. Now, hopefully, I can get back to the daily routine! ENJOY!
Jolly Rabbit

Simply Skull
Heart and Sword