Life has been wonderful, but busy. I spent a month this summer living in New York, studying at the Grand Central Academy. It was an excellent experience. I studied with Scott Waddell, Will St. John and Colleen Barry. All wonderful artists. I also spent a week at the beginning of the summer in Amherst, Mass. at the Illustration Master Class and made many new friends and learned more than I can say.
If I were to sum up my experiences this year, between the Grand Central Academy and the Illustration Master Class, I could in one word: process. I believe more than ever that it is important to establish a process and then stick to it until you feel it isn't doing anything for you anymore. Thumbnails, color study, reference, models costumes, full sized cartoon, study of hands, faces, feet, final painting. Each one of those elements is critical in developing a great painting. It worked for Bouguereau, Leighton, Rockwell, Leyendecker... so many wonderful artists. The preparation is what makes the final happen. That is a lot of work and time invested, but it is how many of the masters achieved what they did.
It has been a great year, I feel that I have learned more in the last year than any other. Part of that growth came from James Gurney's book, Imaginative Realism. It is a must have for any illustrator or fine artist. Many thanks to the kind and generous Mr. Gurney for sharing his experience. Go buy the book at Amazon, it is a bargain.
Now, I will get back to publishing more art on this blog.