The Onion King

This was just one of those random things that came up in conversation. And then it just screamed out to be drawn.


My Next Painting (in progress)

Got a Red Riding Hood theme going on here, but I'm enjoying it.

Just like the last painting, this one will be in full color. But to start, I wanted to unify it by painting in all the shadow color as an underpainting. And I liked it so much, I decided to take a picture of it.

If I hadn't done the first one in full color I'd have been tempted to just leave this as is. So glad it wasn't the first one!


My First Painting of This Year

Not too long ago I finally got to see the movie Frida. Aside from being a really good movie, it also reminded me that I actually like to paint. Digital's fun and all, but it's nice to get all up in there with actual paint. I liked painting in the sketchbook too - I'll move to canvas sooner or later, but it was good to just paint something for the fun of it. The paper even held up well too, surprisingly.


My Last Drawing of Last Year

For the last class before Christmas break, I decided to teach cartooning, with action and expression. And what better way to start kids on it than gingerbread men - they have emoji-like faces, they have stick-figure like bodies to help learn motion, and, best of all, they're edible. Not the drawing kind - the ones that my wife made to give to the class after they finished drawing. So the first half of the class was pen-and-ink, the second half was cookies-and-icing.

They asked if every class could end that way.


Art Class - Thanksgiving Still Life

I decided to do a Thanksgiving still-life - in sepia, if they were up for it. So I had to go out and buy a bunch of vegetables that I don't normally eat (translate: know how to cook). Thankfully my wife could make something out of it all after the class - the big vegetable on the bottom left ended up in turkey soup.

Oddly enough, the younger class had better luck with this than the older class. They just took what they saw and ran with it. The older class was trying to draw it as accurately as possible, so very few of them finished the drawing. I don't really fault them for that - it's not like they didn't finish because they weren't trying, it's more that that were trying too hard - but I do want to see if they can loosen up in future classes.

From the younger class:

I actually liked that this was off center. There's a nice compositional balance to it all compacted in the bottom corner.

And this one I loved. She just took the basic idea of what was there and ran with it. The basket handle is huge, and it works really well. And why not add a rainbow, I ask you. It's practically a Thanksgiving wonderland she's drawn here. Great way to pump up a still life!


Art Class - Color Mixing

It looks like this should be called "Art Class - Leaves," but the leaves were just the excuse to follow up on my color mixing class. I limited the colors they could use to yellow, magenta, cyan, and white. They did really well on it - in fact, I taught this before the pumpkin painting class, which is probably how they were able to get a whole painting done in an hour! This class took two sessions to complete (these posts are slightly out of order, but I wanted to put up my Jack O'Lantern pic before it got too far from Hallowe'en).

Since it was color theory, I had initially planned to have them paint the same leaf in complementary colors, like I did as well. But after two classes on just one leaf, they were ready to move on, and the pumpkin paintings were a lot more fun. But I like my purple leaf for it's own sake, so I'm glad I painted it as well.


Art Class - Halloween

The kids in the class wanted to do something for Halloween, and they wanted something substantial for a decoration. So I thought, why not paint on tiles? They're considerably substantial, as I remember from carrying boxes of them around when we were working on the kitchen floor. But the class is only an hour, so I figured I had to be able to paint one in that time if I was going to ask them to do so. So this is my one-hour painting of a Jack O'Lantern.

You'll notice that the pumpkin in the photo actually isn't carved. I did that on purpose - the kids are really in to being creative, so I wanted a blank pumpkin (as it were) so they could make their own face on their painting. Some did it in reverse - made the background lit in orange, with a black pumpkin in shadow with glowing features, and one just painted the pumpkin as itself, which came out really nice.

And on a related note - I found an explanation of why Halloween pumpkins are called Jack O'Lanterns. It comes from the story of Stingy Jack, told here on the History Channel web site!


Art Class - Prepping and Teaching

Some pics from preparing for art class, and the art class itself!

Halloween banner for the younger class: The object of the class is not to have them copy everything I do - I try to give examples so they can be inspired to do it themselves. On the board you can see how I'm giving them examples of other expressions they could give their figures. Kind of an emoji class for the younger group!

Here's the older class:

Color theory: I wanted them to learn that red, yellow, and blue aren't primary colors, at least not in painting. Rather, yellow, cyan, and magenta are (my time spent in print was not wasted! Translates well to the canvas). Above were my examples - below are the kids finding it out for themselves.

They got into it! Especially if they knew the color wheel before, it was interesting to see how it actually worked with real paint, instead of a theoretical color wheel.


Art Class - Emojis

In the art class I'm teaching, I wanted to teach them how to draw expression. And it seemed like a relateable way to teach it by having them do emojis. So I did an example to show what I had in mind:

They totally got into it, especially after seeing it rendered digitally (I showed it to them on my phone). So they made several of their own. I told them to pick the one they liked best, and I would render it for them. Here are the ones they created:

And here's how I rendered them:

We have class again tomorrow - I'll show them these then. I love the work they came up with, especially the guru and the really hungry guy!



I based this drawing on a sketch I did while camping (same camping trip that I came up with the Hobbit Day idea. Did a lot of sketching that weekend!).

One evening we went down to the lake to go fishing, me with sketchbook in tow as well as tackle. At first, my daughter tried fishing. Then, she tried skipping rocks. THEN, she decided it was more fun to just take big rocks and hurl them into the water.

Surprisingly, we caught no fish that night.