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Typically I have a story I like to share about the artwork I create. This piece, however, has no story. I felt the creative itch once again after a long dry spell and this was one of the first ideas I had for a new painting. It took me roughly 4 hours to complete. Below you will find photos I took of the whole process. Please feel free to leave any creative feedback or suggestions for other works in the comments.

PART 1: The Sketch20181031_214443

PART 2: Line Work20181031_214503

PART 3: Line Work Cont.20181031_214518

PART 4: Shading 20181031_214535

PART 5: Green Watercolor20181031_214549

PART 6: Brown Watercolor20181031_214603

PART 7: Yellow Watercolor20181031_214618

Part 8: Finished 20181031_214348

Thanks for your time!

Master Chief-Watercolor & Marker

To be fair, I’m not sure if I can legally call this a watercolor painting. I’m no mathematician, but I’m guessing that at least 50% of this image is the Sharpie marker I used for the black vectoring. Regardless, I still like it. I actually liked it more without the color but what’s done is done now. This piece was sort of an experiment for me. You see, though I just posted lots of other artwork in the last few weeks, this piece predates all of my earlier post from this past week. This was my first official work on canvas in over 8 years. I have dabbled intermittently with different types of art in the last decade, but not very often. I knew I was ready to get back into creating new things, and I figured there was no better way to get my inspirational juices going than to sit down and work on my favorite character ever.

The Master Chief!

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I know a lot of people say they are fans of a character, but when I tell you I am a superfan… I mean it

 

 

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I might be posting more about my costume here in the future, stay tuned!

Thanks for your time.

Mario Bead Party

 

Have you ever been in a store and seen someone shopping in an aisle that just didn’t seem quite right? Like a kid in the medicine aisle, a teenage boy in the woman’s underwear aisle, or a grown man in the toy aisle? I witnessed one of these scenarios today, only because they had changing mirrors next to me in the women’s underwear department… I kid… or do I? Seriously now, I was the man in the third scenario today. In my defense, however, my inner child was probably on full display.

I was at my local Michaels arts and crafts store picking up new brushes, a simple enough task, except I always end up veering off into other isles because I have the attention span of a squirrel and there are a lot of shiny things in that store. Fast forward twenty minutes and I find myself in the children’s isle fawning over this packet of perler beads that promise me a picture of Mario if I place them in the correct order and hit ’em with some heat. I never heard of “perler” beads before, but a quick Google confirmation search proved that they work. (I did find them in the girls toy aisle… still not sure why that is a thing but whatever).

Anyway, 3+ hours and $8 later, I present you with the following.

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I had plenty of leftover beads so I made a mini BOO so Mario would have company.

Needless to say, this isn’t a sponsored post, I really just enjoy getting my supplies @ Michaels. If you are interested in doing this project yourself you can find the kit HERE.

Thanks for your time!

VIVI-FFIX-Watercolor

It was the summer of 2000 when a younger, thinner me walked into our local videogame store known as Microplay. I had spent the better part of the spring and my whole summer cutting grass with my stepfather for the amazing wage of $20 a day. That money was burning a hole in my pocket and I was itching to try out a new game. I spoke with the clerk briefly about what games I had been playing. I told him I was bored of those games and wanted to try something different. He smiled and told me to hold on. He ran to the shelf across the store, and came back with a brand new copy of Final Fantasy 9.

I had never played a FF game before and was unsure about it. I suppose he was a decent salesman… I spent the remainder of that year pouring over FF9. I beat the game, bought the guide, beat it again and unlocked just about every possible secret that I could find. I was hooked.

The preteen boy I once was remembers how special this game was at that moment in time. Vivi was especially relatable to a kid at that age, a character that seemed to always be out of place, trying to find purpose and meaning in life. Adult me misses those simpler times.

While working on this peice of art I experienced quite a few different emotions while reminiscing about my youth. Things I had long forgotten seemed to jump up out of the shadows of my mind…

Majora’s Mask-Watercolor

Majora’s Mask is one of the most iconic symbols in video game history. Everything about the mask from its color scheme to its multiple horns and oversized eyes leaves a haunting impression on the viewer that is impossible to forget. As an artist, one of my favorite things about drawing or painting Majora’s Mask, something I have done quite a few times, is that you can change a lot of the small details while retaining the fundamental shape of the mask and still end up with a highly recognizable piece of art.

It is one of my favorite projects to experiment with. For semi-beginning artists, I like to suggest they draw Majoras Mask due to its ability to hide errors in your line work. As you will see below, that is exactly what I had to do with this piece. Regardless of my alterations, it is easy to see just from the first lines of the sketch what is being created.

Rough Sketch
Rough Sketch- Working Out Symmetry
Line Work. You can see here where I already messed up the symmetry.
Line Work- First Details
Line Work- You can really see the symmetry issues here.
Now I am adding thick lines to hide my mistake. Still looks like the mask we all know.
Red Watercolor
Yellow Watercolor
Purple and Blue Watercolors
Watercolor Details – I personally feel I rushed some of the details, but still happy overall with the results.
I allowed the watercolor to run off the canvas naturally to give the horns their final look.

Veterans Day 2018

[Just a bit of a preamble here. I typically do a post like this every Veterans Day on my Facebook page. Though we are both Army Veterans (where we met), I always try to highlight her status as a Veteran above my own. I do this because society tends not to see her, or any female Veterans for what they truly are. I’ve witnessed it firsthand, people assuming my service to be more important than her service. This is obviously not the case. She is amazing and I mean every word you are about to read.]

I saw her for the first time in the winter of 2010. I didn’t know anything about her, but my instinct told me that she was special. I wasn’t wrong. That was nearly nine years ago to the day. In the time since that day I first laid my eyes on her, she has done more with her life than most people do in a whole lifetime.

She agreed to step into my life, adopting my daughter Laila as her own child. She became a biological mother not long after to our daughter Sophia, a child born with autism that was about to challenge us both in ways we never imagined possible.

Despite her need to be at home with her newborn, duty insisted she do her job and on her daughters first birthday, Ashley boarded a plane headed for Afghanistan. Nerves of steel. This was the longest year of our life, but we planned our moves carefully.

Before her return to the States, she had a job as a Correctional Officer and was ready for her exit from the military. She drove two hours to work and two hours home every day for a year until a better opportunity presented itself. That opportunity saw her become a Sheriff. Always on the hunt for the next goal, she would eventually find herself working as a Police Officer.

She chose this line of work not because it is easy, but because it is hard. She wants to be the standard bearer in life, someone that her own children, as well as other little girls, can look up to. She does all of this and she makes it look easy. She is a Veteran and so much more, and this is why each Veterans day I choose to highlight Ashley Armstead.

Hope everyone has a Great Veterans Day.

(This was something I originally posted elsewhere on Veterans day but felt it deserved a spot here on the blog

Art & Woodworking

20181103_152350As you can tell from the above image, I have acquired quite a bit of art supplies over the course of my life. Recently I decided that a new way of storing my supplies was in order, so I drew up an idea in my mind for a storage box. My criteria for the box were simple, it needed to be functional, simple, not an eyesore, and made from recycled wood and parts.

To begin, I went into my wood storage and quickly found exactly what I was looking for… Not long after I purchased my home, I removed the fireplace mantle and installed a custom built television mount (A whole separate project). I kept the wood from the mantle and decided it would work great for this project. You can see pictures from the television mount project below.

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Front view of the original mantel
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Side view of the original mantel
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The custom built mount I created
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My finished den

The wood from the mantle, as you can see, was solid oak with a wood stain. I had planned to take photos of the art box project as it went along. Unfortunately, I simply forgot and completed the whole thing in a rush due to time constraints. Below is the completed project. 20181113_15210920181113_15212020181113_15213620181113_15391120181113_15391920181113_15395020181113_15392920181113_154012

As you can see from the last photo I am still quite short on space. I am using my computer desk as my art area which is another problem I intend to fix with my next project. I intend to build my own drafting table, possibly incorporating my art box into the design. Regardless, I will document the whole process with photos. I may even record the process, though I am a bit camera shy so that is still up in the air.

Thank you for your time.