Return of the Rascal

Very late last night I heard some commotion just outside my window, someone climbing through the tree and there’s me thinking ‘this is it, you’re being burgled’ – not that there’d be anything worth nicking, really. Anyways, I’m getting the torch but he must have been away over the roof of the neighbour’s shed. and then I see the amply filled pair of grey bloomers and black and white tail swinging, happily scampering away across the fence. Stopping here and there, sniffing…! I had been wondering who had done some flower arranging in the garden and repeatedly tilting a certain garden ornament at an odd angle. All in a night’s work for los funny bandidos!


gsous_rascal-racoon (550x800)

The return of the rascal: this one says “I’m afraid your vegtables shrunk in the wash (buurrrps!)”

There is, indeed, more wildlife to be found in the city than in some rural areas! My tiny wee(d) garden is brimming with living proof!


art demo Thomas Fluharty

The following is just one example of what I mean by the blessings of the internet for the art student: A tutorial clip with Thomas Fluharty by Schoolism, tons more stuff to explore on their site:

Using charcoal: not the most forgiving of media, especially if you have to grown used to command-z/apple-z.

A few times during the duration (???clumsily phrased) of this video tutorial I thought ‘aach, noo?!! He’s ruined it now, should’ve left it as it was’ and then he pulls it off like that…

That’s the point, however, to have the courage to push what you’re doing further but stop before you overwork it.

And as for needing to know traditional media before embarking on the digital? It is certainly useful,but why would it be a one-way-system? If you have started out digitally it can help you once you start taking a stab at using actual materials, and that may improve your digital work in return. In an anti-vicious circle. Why not?

I have heard that you cannot sculpt what you cannot draw – and I would beg to differ here, too.

Sometimes it is useful to build a 3D model or look at one, to be able to draw the physical appearance of something from certain angles. There is no hard and fast rule and barrier, it is like a positive cross-pollination of different styles and disciplines and perspectives.

Maybe leading to new and as of yet unknown fruits of happy labour.

Now go and find out for yourselves!



Blessings of the internet & art

The sheer volume of information accessible to the art student today is absolutely mind-boggling. Compare this to prehistoric times when dinosaurs used the internet purely to send emails, a time when you would ask Photoshop politely to execute a filter function on a 72 dpi image, leave for your lunch break and return to see the trusty old hourglass still rotating on the Mac/PC-Hybrid that was the fastest machine in the computerlab.

Not only are you being provided help with all sorts of software issues via websites and youtube clips today, but also with demonstrations of all conceivable traditional media – something sorely missed out on by  the generations of art-students that were at art college at the dawn of computerlabs at the simultaneous expense of traditional artclasses.Books and self-instruction will get most people only so far.

I remember an Illustrator being brought in as one rare event to present our class with some demo of real life projects she had done, and to provide us with feedback on our work. “The problem”, she snapped, after having looked at our sketches, “the problem of you ALL is:… (dramatic pause) You CAN’T draw!” Made you wonder how she had been treated by her tutors to feel the need to retaliate in such a way. On one hand, how inspired will you be after such an address? After that none of us felt really compelled to follow in her footsteps and create packaging for tea bags. But we were polite if somewhat indifferent and yes, probably ignorant, too.

In the end, a tutor can only be held responsible to a certain extent for the motivation, or lack thereof, of students. If there is no driving force within you that makes you want to draw, paint, write, get better and put the hours in, probably noone will.

Still, I think that tutoring and the way it is done – the art of being a tutor, if you will – is important. Even if you disagree with your tutors. Most of the time it is not just engaging with your subject but with the people around you that informs your art and informs others about your art and your self. And the art of constructive criticism, conference and cooperation vs. conflict, commitment and some sprinkles of old-fashioned courtesy.

Even if you do not copy a tutor’s style of drawing, painting, sculpting down to the tee – and you would not want to – you learn from the general approach and from your fellow students in a studio atmosphere. You can get some of that atmosphere back in a computerlab, but it is different and I know I missed something vital during my time at Uni as people tended to work from home a lot.

This lack of synergy can be partly made up for by social media, chats, numerous platforms to flaunt and flog your art, but only partly.

Still, mustn’t grumble, if you want to take a snoop into just about any medium at all, you can. And most of the stuff is at your disposal for free, or you get free snippets and can access paid prime content. Which is only fair. Patreon is a good crowdfunding scheme to make content available to online students.  The fairy tale that any online content should be absolutely and unreservedly free to download, use and redistribute can only come from people that have a wishing-table at home and I do not recall those being on offer at IKEA’s. (would be worth an illustration, though!)




Coffee Table Comic Caricature

It was Jason Brubaker’s helpful tutorials on youtube that pointed me towards Kyle’s Photoshop brushes (see previous post). So I tought I’d do him a doodle. Will have to ink it and try and send it, see what the reaction will be :}

Jason’s venture is the label Coffee Table Comics and he has published stunning artwork with the aid of kickstarter. Apart from drawing tips he does interviews with other artists and offers advice and his personal experiences on the marketing side of creating your own comics. Thus, if you are that way inclined, it may be worth your while looking himup.

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Any similarity with persons living or dead is – at this stage – probably purely accidental. You be the judge. and can give me feedback if you wish. Just abstain from throwing stones, got a sensitive skin, me.

Love his logo, by the way!

drawing your attention to: Photoshop pencil brushes

Looking for photoshop brushes for an older version – working from my spare machine – I came across these: they are what the dogend is to the cigarette but without any nasty side effects


Stumpy has the brushes and eraser set  up as tool preset and gives a description of how to install them, in case you are stumped as to how to do this by yourself. Stumpy’s brushes are free, but he (or she? didn’t stop to find out) would like samples of your work sent to the mailadress mentioned on the blog.

Another great source is Kyle T Webster

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Kyle suggests you send 1-2 $ for this pencil and there’s loads more effects brushes to choose from at varying prices and containing numerous brushes. The sets do not ‘overlap’ but have unique brush sets and some come with the option of naming your own price. An installation guide is also provided within the sets. Happy draw lucky!

4 sable

…second off-topic topic today. Visited a flea market the other day and got to photograph this beauty:

Buick Riviera – wow

Looks quite capable of causing another oil crisis all by itself, don’t you think?

Buick Riviera

It’s got 2 wheels to many to appeal to Sable, but you could saw it in half and it still look amazing!

vein of gold in the stone

What good is a post started with “I”? So much seems to be mememe these days. But let’s start with “I” and end up with “you”. I spend most of my time listening to the spoken word on radio. Strangely, this seems to distract me less than music, as music – to me – is more evocative of emotion. It captivates you without holding you hostage. It tends to fill and lift you and spirit you away on a flight of imagination. That tends to clash with any attempt of working in a focussed manner, chained to your hardware. Saying that, there are soundtracks and albums, some even for special situations like finishing a piece of work or aministrative task, that have accompanied me and helped me along, some for decades now. Mostly those that have come to play as a film in my mind, with nearly fixed imagery and mood. Classical music is special, as it can be uplifting and soothing at the same time.

So, amidst being maybe a little oversatuarated with drama, comedy and other audio offers, music can have quite some effect – a bit like taking a drink of water and only then realizing just how thirsty you really were. Making you giddy at the same time.

The current episode of Inheritance Tracks featuring Mary Portas. which should be available for the next 7 days on BBC radio, reminded me of Van Morrison’s Into the Mystic, which I had not heard in a while. But it always leaves me with a good feeling, if acquired nostalgia, as I do not remember it from back when it was released, but neither was that the case with, say, Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major.

The broadcast also alerted me Gavin Clark and Sunhouse’s Crazy On the Weekend

…and I am quite gobsmacked. What a lovely, lovely voice.

If this is to your taste, too, you may also like Clayhill  Raise a Vein and Painted Glass

and Never Seen the Sea, or When We had Faces…. Well, you good people are quite capable of googling yourself, I am well aware.

Still, I also wholeheartedly – in retrospect – maybe brokenheartedly, recommend the entire album


If you are easily effected by lyrics in combination with music, you may be best advised not to listen too closely, or consult your doctor or pharmacist. Or all of the above.

“…there’s a gem in the rock that’s been thrown, there’s a vein of pure gold in the stone…”

rather than paying tribute to you, we’d sing along with you now.

— to all who feel cracked by having been thrown, don’t take your gold away with you, for it is being treasured —

you are, to be precise

happiness in the little…

this is only about 3 x 4

aaaaaand I could not find my sharpener. and I only had a photograph and a few minutes to spare. that’s as far as my excuses go.


a cheeky wee grin you recognize?

the likeness is not great, but it is the happiest first happy little thing I have drawn in a while

the unreservedness of the little ones’ emotions makes them so great to observe – if it’s happy feelings at least. For the other end of the spectrum I’d recommend ear defenders. Babys’ cries match the sound level of pneumatic drills, or so I’ve heard. WHAA?

Interesting thing about proportions and small changes having quite some effect in a drawing:  a small child’s facial features are more ‘concentrated’, if you will, in the lower third of the head. You can roughly guess the child’s age in the picture above. See what happens if – thanks to digital playthings we move the eyes up a little:


Still cute, or so I hope, but she immediately looks a few years old. Sorry for the rapid ageing process. But we are too obsessed with poking sticks in the spokes of the wheels of time anyhows. Futile attempts, needless to say. So you may as well keep smiling and be as happy as you can as you are while you are!

Wishing everyone a very happy day!

Cheeky grins

PS: Thanks to anyone visiting, liking and commenting – warm fuzzy feelings!