Categories
Ramblings

Hot bacon grease dressing

  • 4 ounces of bacon, diced
  • 1 small onion, minced (optional)
  • ½ cup mild vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of mustard

Dice the bacon, this will serve as bacon bits after it has been fried. Mince the onion. Fry bacon to a light brown; remove the bacon bits and into the hot grease add the minced onion; fry lightly. Add one-half cup mild vinegar. Finally add the salt, sugar, and mustard and stir well.

Pour dressing over the greens or your choice (dandelion greens are nice) and mix well. Garnish with bacon bits and hard-boiled eggs (sliced), and serve at once.

Categories
On Art

The Best Art Instruction Manuals: Painting

Over the past two years I’ve been working through a series of books on Art, from histories to theory to manuals. I’ve decided to share some of the best works that I’ve come across. I’ll be adding all of these, and future works, to my Very Artistic Library page. It will be an up-to-date list of recommendations for people who want to learn more about how to create art.

A Very Artistic Library

Art Manuals: Painting

Learning to paint — how to make a compostion, sketches, different painting techniques, tools, supports, etc. These four works give a comprehensive review of painting, from painting what you see, to painting what’s impossible to see, to explaining what it is that you actually see. These are the books that you should pour over, read repeatedly, and constantly review year after year.

Alla Prima II by Richard Schmid with Katie Swatland

Richard Schmid breaks down the components of the craft, techniques, and process of painting. It’s no longer in print, but if you can find it, it’s an excellent resource.

Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn’t Exist by James Gurney

Imaginative Realism isn’t about painting aliens and dinosaurs and dragons. OK, it isn’t just about painting aliens and spaceships and dragons. It’s also about painting real things that you’re unlikely to see: ancient civilizations, historical personages, and extinct animals. And to top it off James Gurney reviews what you’d need to consider in the process of getting work done — everything that I learned in Commercial Art — thumbnails, color studies, drawing from photographs, and more.

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Oil Painting Techniques by Patrick J. Jones

Patrick Jones gives us another comprehensive look that serves as a complement to Imaginative Realism. While James Gurney explored the traditional process, Patrick Jones gives more detail for working from photos and using digital painting.

Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter by James Gurney

Color and Light is well worth the price if all you take away from this book is the understanding of the following gem: “Under normal lighting conditions, the rods and cones cooperate to give you an interpretation of reality.” but the book contains so much more and many more gems just like it.

Categories
Ramblings

How am I going to pay for this?

My daughter is earning her college degree. Which is a peculiar phrase because really she’s paying for the degree. Which is another peculiar phrase because most young adults fresh out of high school don’t have $80,000 or more to pay for a four-year degree. So I guess the actual phrase is more like she’s promising to pay for the degree. In the meantime that leaves us with a question. I’ve started a journal in which I hope to answer this ultimate question: How am I going to pay for this?

Categories
On Art

The Best Art Instruction Manuals: Drawing

Over the past two years I’ve been working through a series of books on Art, from histories to theory to manuals. I’ve decided to share some of the best works that I’ve come across. I’ll be adding all of these, and future works, to my Very Artistic Library page. It will be an up-to-date list of recommendations for people who want to learn more about how to create art. I’m kicking off the series with Drawing.

Drawing is the first skill that you need to learn as an artist. Initial sketches are used in every other art: painting, stained-glass, jewelry, sculpture, and more. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: The Definitive, 4th Edition by Betty Edwards will teach you how to learn to draw what you see. If you can’t make art in simple black lines then it makes it so much harder when you try to add value, shape, and color. Drawing Atelier by Jon deMartin will teach you what you should’ve been taught in art school: the process that classical and master artists used to create their drawings and a good foundation for creating thumbnails and sketches that will eventually become other works of art. These two books together will help you create the drawing for your painting; what the Renaissance artists would have called the composition or cartoon.

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: The Definitive, 4th Edition by Betty Edwards

Drawing Atelier by Jon deMartin

Categories
On Art

Being Bad

I don’t think I’m getting my thoughts out properly. It feels like there’s a gap between what I want to say (portray, write, etc.) and what I actually say. I’m clumsily groping for the words to express what I’m trying to say. The solution: allow yourself to do things badly.

  • Make 1000 bad drawings
  • Paint 1000 bad paintings
  • Write 1000 bad blog posts
  • Play 1000 piano songs, badly

It’s not that I’m setting out to make anything that’s bad, but that I’m making things and allowing them to be bad. The only way to get better is to allow yourself the opportunity to do bad work.

I forgot that I was doing this (this blog; this artwork; etc.) for myself. Everything doesn’t have to be perfectly crafted for display to others. Sometimes it’s more important to get the ideas out as they happen. That’s the reason why I promised myself to do 50 posts in a year. Some of it will be rushed, premature, poorly thought out, but the main goal is to just get it out. This isn’t a place to withhold.

Doing something badly isn’t a waste of time. The biggest unknown challenge for an artist is to get good before they realize that they’re doing it badly. That’s why so many people give up art when they’re still children. They realize that they’re not very good. People who do art well into adulthood blissfully keep making art until they’re well past the point that they realize their childhood art wasn’t very good. They’ll look back at their early art and think to themselves, “I can’t believe I thought that was good.”

The hardest obstacle to get over is for an artist is to not be very good; to know they’re not very good; and yet still need to do art, to know that they need to do art to get better, and to know that they won’t get better without doing the art that they know will be bad.