Friday, December 28, 2012

Life Needs Art-Top 12 Instructional Posts

After over 430 posts and closing in on three years blogging, I figured it was time for a "best of" recap. Even though I hate most of those year end lists, I thought it might be helpful to new and long time followers alike to be able to revisit a few of my most popular posts. So, in no particular order are the posts that readers have found most helpful and/or have garnered the most hits.

1- Painting With Texture in Photoshop. This post explains how I create hand made textures, scan and then use them to paint digitally. This previous post also deals with the same topic.

2- Wyeth Shape Design Analysis. Here I break down what makes an N.C. Wyeth illustration from his Treasure Island series so successful.

3- 50 Thumbnails.  I explain the value, as Howard Pyle encouraged, of doing more (many more) exploratory thumbnail drawings than you think you might need.

4- Maintaining Tonal Zones. Here I describe how to keep the main masses of a painting distinct by isolating the values in their own zones.

5- Zorn Palette Exercise. Anders Zorn used a very limited palette to great effect. Here I describe how to try it yourself.

6- Master Illustrator Copy. I did a copy of a J.C. Leyendecker painting to explore what he did and why his work was so successful.

7- Eye Path Reverse Analysis.  I break down one of my own pieces based on Andrew Loomis' compositional tips as detailed in Creative Illustration.

8- Sticking to the Thumbnail Sketch. I outline why sticking to your thumbnail sketch is so important to the creation of a successful illustration.

9- George Bellows Limited Palette. I describe why George Bellows' simple color palette is so powerful.

10- Salvador Dali Portrait Demo. A simple portrait demo utilizing unusual color choices.

11- Inventing Color From Black And White Reference. In this demo, I take a black and white photo and paint it in four very different color palettes in a side by side comparison.

12- Using Gold (Metal) Leaf. This is a fun demonstration of how to use metal leaf for interesting decorative effect.

If you missed any of these posts or simply want to have another look, please enjoy!


Susan said...

Thanks so much for this post--I'm going to take my time and go through them all and try to absorb some knowledge this snowy, snowy weekend!

Unknown said...

Thanks Suzy- let me know if you have a favorite!