The Joy Of Painting Episode 2

March 14, 2006

JOP2

…with your happy little host, Dennis Jones…

JOP2pic

…and his happy little pencil sketch…

To recap yesterdays exciting episode; …my client has sent me a very simple art request to execute. Instead of just following the directions I have changed the concept (just a little) and am now waiting to see if they will approve my idea or reject it.

The fax machine fires up in my studio. I’m getting something from my client. What will be their response? The fax says the editors loved the new direction, proceed with these three revisions…

(1) No white space suits or space helmets. Put the kids in black jump suits, something similar to Mission Impossible black ops gear. This will not be a problem.

(2) Insert some ethnic diversity into the poster. I am only using two characters here, so I will make one of them with light skin tone and the other with a darker skin tone. This will not be a problem.

(3) No space monkeys. This will be a huge problem …because I really wanted to do a space monkey …I am now depressed …but they say I can do a robot instead …so I am now happy again.

I work up the finished pencil drawing (pictured above) and indicate on it in writing that the two characters are different colors, make sure the kids are in black jump suits, and add a robot in the corner where my beloved space monkey once dwelled. I attach this sketch to an email and send it back to my client for approval, which they give.

It is now time to start painting, but what pitfalls await me there? Will the color work go smoothly, or will I accidentally shoot myself in the foot by trying to do something exotic? Tune in tomorrow for the next exciting episode of …The Joy Of Painting!

The Comments

Thomas M.

Please say this sketch took you the better part of a week to complete … No, better yet, two… And, in the upper right side (just above the robot, does my eye spy the amazing ‘39 green plaskon Pacific model 30? Of course the dial and knobs are on the wrong side, but very, very, similar.

Doug Jones

I sure hope the ship has good seals on it… otherwise the nerve gas could seep in, and they will all be sleeping with Edgar.

Dennis Jones

…actually Doug, I was in my air tight bathroom when the nerve gas was released, so I held my breath and ran out to my computer, typed this page up and ran back into my air tight bathroom before the nerve gas (which had a corrosive agent in it that breaks down rubber seals but did not hurt my exposed skin) could get me…

Dennis Jones

…and Thomas, this is the newer ‘39 Green Plaskon Pacific Model 3.1 with the chromed air breather on the hood… so the knobs ARE in the right place… I can see how you might mistake it for the older model in this rough sketch, though…

Dan Lietha

Usually, the behind the scenes art stuff from Dennis is very inspiring and takes my own creativity to new levels. However, with the intense cliff hangers at the end of each installment, I’m a nervous wreck! I can’t sleep. I can’t focus. I’m jumpy and irritable. I try to draw, but I keep wondering if Dennis will survive to complete the job! HELP!

Dennis Jones

…Dan, people out there just don’t realize what a dangerous job being a professional artist really is… I hate to have to be the one to expose the seamy underbelly of the art world to the masses, but I feel someone must…

Don Jones

Speaking of seamy underbellies, I stepped out for one stinkin’ day to get a non-functioning gall bladder removed and I’m already WAY behind in Dennis’ Joy ‘O Paintin’ Series. Hope this comes out on DVD.

Doug Jones

Isn’t is a good thing we have 24 to watch so we know how to survive out in the world? Today I will have the rubber seals replaced in my bathroom. DON… I was expectin’ a LIVE podcast from the O.R. when will it be ready?

Dennis Jones

…Doug, do NOT do what I did the first time I installed air tight seals in my bathroom and go to the zoo to pick them up…

Jeff

Cool stuff! Too bad they did not go with the space monkey. I guess the little robot dude will have to do. How long did it take to go from initial sketch to this one? You are going to have to give up all of your secrets with this series! hehe

Dennis Jones

…heres a little secret …24 is not real …it’s just a TV show …really…

Doug Jones

are you sure? wait till I tell the guys down at CTU… Cartoon Terror Unit…

Jeff

All my dreams are dashed….

Allan White

Yes, pity about the Space Monkey. I mean, how can one be a space explorer without a sidekick? Esp. if you’re elementary-aged? I see the glow from the earth (earthshine?) filling the scene, lighting their faces and interior a bit.Such a pity about Samwise dying from the gas last night…

Dennis Jones

…well now wait a minute… if you are talking about the Cartoon Terrorism Unit… that is real…

Doug Jones

Whew… you had me goin’ there for a minute. I think the Danish cartoonists are in charge of CTU now….

Dennis Jones

…and, yes Allan, it is indeed sad when we lose a hobbit to terrorism…

Doug Jones

it wouldn’t surprise me any to find that Gollum is the brains behind the stolen nerve gas… my precioussssss…..

Don Jones

I think I see Jack peeking out of one those vents in the drawing.

Dennis Jones

…Samwise was one tough little hobbit… but whatever made him think he could run CTU is beyond me…

Doug Jones

Dennis… your page has been a source of many chuckles for me today as I sit here and scan an endless number of line art spots. Got more to scan tomorrow… so let’s keep this up… eh? Shifting gears… got any favorites on the Amazing Race? I am liking that geek couple…

Dennis Jones

…the geek couple are so fortunate to be on the Amazing Race and not on 24 ‘cause they are killing off the lovable geeks on that show…

Don Jones

Where’d the Cafe Press Stores go? I was wanting to do some shopping this afternoon while I was on some R

Dennis Jones

…you mean the ones that used to be here on my page? I moved them into our Brother Jones Shop… REMEMBER?… we were ALL going to move our stores into one central location …THE SHOP ON BROTHER JONES… and I am the only one that did it… am I the only responsible brother here?… that is pretty sad if that is the case…

Don Jones

I forgot to tell you guys… I got a deal on the combo gall bladder and lobotomy surgery special.

megan

Dennis, do you find that your clients understand that you are painting your finished pieces and so give you deadlines that acknowledge that fact? Or do you get the wicked-fast-turnaround thing too?

Dennis Jones

Megan I have relatives from the Massachusetts area and I always get a kick out of how they toss the “wicked” into their sentences… (being from a small town in rural Missouri I just never heard that expression)… so, yes I do get wicked-fast deadlines… fortunately for me, I am wicked-fast…

megan

I guess the “wicked” wore off on me when I moved here, heh heh…

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The Joy Of Painting Episode 3

March 15, 2006

JOP3

…with Bob Ross lookalike, Dennis Jones…

JOP3pic1

…this seemed like such a good idea before I did it…

JOP3pic2

…painting myself out of trouble…

To recap yesterdays exciting episode; …my client has given me the go ahead on my pencil sketch, so I am now ready to paint the illustration.

Using a light table I re-pencil the sketch onto a piece of watercolor paper. I get out my palette of gouache, some fresh water and try to determine what the best approach will be to get color onto this picture. I decide to lay down a wash of cool colors over the entire page first, and then come back and “paint up” the detail. That will be my game plan on this one.

It is fun throwing caution to the wind and slopping paint all over the paper (first picture) but as I try to “paint up” the detail I begin to struggle. This is a little different than my normal approach and I begin to wonder if I have made a big mistake doing it this way. I also begin to sweat bullets. This must be the same feeling a cowboy has when trying to break a bucking bronco. At first he probably wonders why he ever climbed onto its back, but after the horse calms down he must feel a great sense of accomplishment. After about thirty minutes of riding this illustration I find a painting groove, fall into it and get the job painted out. (second picture)

I now need to scan the artwork into my computer to finish the poster. I have a large format scanner, but the illustration is larger than my scanner bed, so I take two scans of the picture (the top and the bottom) and then piece them together in Photoshop.

There were some really tense moments during the painting process, but nothing to compare with the anxiety that was waiting for me as I started working in Photoshop. Tune in tomorrow for the next exciting episode of The Joy Of Painting!

The Comments

Thomas M.

Whew! … It’s like watching your team down by 6 with 5 seconds to go and the ball is on the 40 yard line. The “Hail Mary” is called. Then the play begins to develop … The quarterback, looking very similar to Brett Favre, has good protection, but the pocket is quickly collapsing. He heaves the ball down the field, towards the end zone… Right now the ball is in the air and descending towards the huddled receivers and cornerbacks, both of whom are sweating bullets. Will it end with triumph or disappointment for our team?!?

Dennis Jones

…well, just so you know, my teams are the Colts and the Chiefs… and they never win the big game…

Don Jones

Thomas, You hit that metaphor right on the head. After reading Dennis’ first paragraph and his quick summary of a “BIG MISTAKE” I thought to myself “just trash it and start another one ” But this is the difference between professional illustrators and kindergarten sketchin’ hacks. Hacks call a time-out… the pros throw “the bomb.”

Thomas M.

Yes, I’ve got this visual in my head…

8Brett

…that just fits with the story line… I too have been burnt by the Chiefs (Lived in KC from 79-01) and keep pulling for Manning and the Colts since moving to SW Michigan … So, I knew I couldn’t use either Green or Manning as visuals – just wouldn’t work 😉

Thomas M.

Don, thanks! (rummaging through the trash for yesterday’s sketch) … It just hit me … No Real (drat, gum’s on the paper) big deal. Heh … Yeah (hmm, I think I can (rip) … drat)…. So, anyway … GO TEAM!! (note to self … don’t write anymore good, positive, metaphors after giving up on something).

Doug Jones

This reminds me of the old PBS Julia Child trick, Dennis. First you show all the ingredients thrown into a pan… place the pan in the oven… and pull out a DONE cake! (or whatever) Presto! Note to Nick Jones Everybody… I think there is a market here for a DVD…

Dennis Jones

…NickJonesEverybody is vacationing… I mean… working… in Mexico this week…

Chris Norman

I haven’t had this much fun reading a blog in a while. I look forward to returning to the website the next day to see the next adventure in the joy of painting. But, I have a question: What color do you use to outline your drawings or do you use a dark pen to give it definition after painting? Thank you so much, I look forward to tomorrows blog.

megan

I love what that cool wash has done for the feeling of your illustration

Doug Jones

Dennis loves the feeling of a cool wash too…

Bucky Jones

Dennis, totally cool. Love seeing and reading your process…and literally seeing the sweat beads on your forehead. I had the same question as Chris about how you color the outline of your drawing/painting? I hesitate to ask how long the process took you from transferring the pencil sketch to the completed painting. Amazing.

Dennis Jones

…ok Chris and Bucky… 99.5% of the line work in one of my pictures is just painted line done with a brush in the process of painting the picture… I try to completely “paint” a picture to the finish… but at the end I always darken up some of the lines with various things… a fine tip pen, a brush marker, whatever is laying around that will do the job… but my favorite thing to add those final touches with is just a plain old colored pencil…

Bucky Jones

Thanks, Dennis. It’s always curious and interesting to learn how other illustrators work. Thanks again for sharing. Oh, and keep these Step-By-Steps coming!—- Okay, I’m heading back to the playground for some kickball. Maybe this time you guys will ACTUALLY show up….pleasssssse.

Travis Jackson

Greetings from NWArkansas….Great work Dennis…I’m enjoying the transformation of this little work of art….fun stuff…keep it up…you and your brothers are an encouragement. (ah shucks…tear drop).

Travis Jackson

One other note…I love the little details throughout…fun to look at and feel the textures….for example the chairs…just the little touches of highlights and shape of cushion makes me feel like I have sat in a chair like that before. Great stuff…

The Joy Of Painting Episode 4

March 16, 2006

JOP4

…with your very worried host, Dennis Jones…

JOP4pic1

…picture one… …picture two…

JOP4pic2

…picture three… …picture four…

To recap yesterdays exciting episode; …after a brief struggle in the painting process I finish the artwork and scan it into my computer.

Inside Photoshop I clean out the “window” area, open up the digital file of the photograph and insert it. The photograph is smaller than my window (picture 1) but this should not be a problem. I have used the color copy the client sent of the photograph and built the artwork directly on top of it, so I know proportionally everything is going to line up. All I have to do is enlarge the photograph.

I enlarge the photograph (picture 2) but things do not fall into place. I sit and look at the computer screen with my mouth open. This is not a good thing. What is going on here? I try stretching the picture down (picture 3) but this hides key elements of the photograph and the white icecaps at the bottom of the photograph do not work at all with the artwork. I try a total distortion in a last ditch effort to force things to work (picture 4) but this makes Europe huge, North America narrow, and Australia disappears. I dont think my client will go for that.

Something has gone terribly wrong. I grab the color copy of the photograph, put it under my artwork, throw it on the light table and look at it again. Everything lines up and is in perfect place. So how come it doesnt work in… oh… I know now… the color copy they sent is not the same size as the digital file they sent me to work with. Copy machines are notorious for either stretching or condensing an image as they print, and that is what has happened here. My artwork is in the wrong place because the color copy was not accurate. I have diagnosed the problem, but not a solution.

Will I be able to pull a rabbit out of my hat on this one or will it be back to the drawing board for a second try on this? Tune in tomorrow for the next exciting episode of The Joy Of Painting!

The Comments

Dan Lietha

and after the robot was chosen OVER the space monkey, it’s a machine that betrays you. You should’ve went with the space monkey after all!
Evil machines … Speaking of machines, what specific scanner do you use? I’m surprized nobody has asked that question yet … but it was coming!

Bucky Jones

Dennis, maybe you covered this already, but what is the final size of your painting, and is there a typical scale you work regarding proportions of actual to printed piece?

Dennis Jones

Dan… I agree with you… this could probably all have been avoided if we had just stuck with the space monkeys… I use the cheapest large format scanner on the market… the Mustek A3 USB…

Dennis Jones

Bucky… this poster was 17 by 22 and I usually work projects to size…

Thomas M.

From these images, it looks as though our fearless space travelers are approaching the earth too fast – almost warp speed!! Sweet Man ‘O La Mancha!!  However, they do keep a smile on their face, knowing full well that Dennis, their mission commander, will come through with the right instructions. Softly, the others in the Space Center Control Room begin their chant…DJ! DJ! DJ! DJ! DJ!

Don Jones

This Paintin’ Series has more twist and turns than an episode of LOST! For some reason I read your scanner to be a Musket A3… now that’s old. The Paul Revere patriot model no doubt. My solution to the proportion situation would be to COMMAND-T that bugger and morph it into submission.

janson

wow dennis

megan

Can you scan in the color copy and use that? Or isn’t the color copy very good?

Dennis Jones

…well, when they pay $800.00 for a photograph, I’m pretty sure they want to use the photograph and not a color copy…

…what I really like about your comment, Megan, is that it makes it sound like I am working on this project right now in real time… just like on 24…

Doug Jones

quick… back to your sealed bathroom, Dennis!

Dennis Jones

…yaAAaa …tripped over Edgar…

Doug Jones

Hey… tomorrow I think you should let everyone know how long the painting and adding photo actually took in real time. They will probably be amazed!

The Joy Of Painting Episode 5

March 17, 2006

JOP5a

…with your anxious host, Dennis Jones…

JOP5pic1

…the photograph… the manipulated photograph…

JOP5pic2

…the finished poster…

To recap yesterdays exciting episode; …I have built a piece of artwork that is to be used as a frame for a photograph of the earth and it doesnt fit.

I am feeling really bad about this entire situation. All my client asked me to do was create a simple border to go around their $800.00 photograph. I convinced them that I could insert characters into the ocean areas and make it a much better poster. Now I am sitting in the middle of a disaster.

I decide my only hope is to manipulate the photograph (top left). Without getting too technical, I scale the image to a size that will show all the continents, erase the white icecaps at the top and the bottom, add a blue background and clone stamp transitional areas to create a workable image (top right). I place this into the window of my illustration and then darken my artwork by 10% so that it will not fight with the photograph for dominance.

I package everything up with a brief note of explanation, put it in the mail, and hold my breath. Will my client go for my solution to this problem? They may have some real issues with the way I manipulated their photograph. I could very easily be working on this project again… from scratch.

Two days later I get an email from the client… Dennis, we received your package… loved it… do you have time to do three more posters for us?

…whew!

The Comments

Bucky Jones

Dennis, you lucky dog! Way to go! And congrats on getting three more posters to do!!!

Dan Lietha

… and LUCKY US! Three more posters, THREE MORE thrilling series of Joy of Painting with Dennis Jones! YES! YES! YES! …or maybe I’m assuming a little too much at this point?

Don Jones

I’m just relieved this came to a close on Friday and I don’t have to be on pins and needles all weekend waiting for the outcome. This post brings more relief than having a gall bladder removed! Good one Den.

Thomas M.

I would have commented earlier, but I’ve just now awoken from the fainting spell that occurred shortly after finishing the story. Excellent job … Although, my squatty, but elegant looking, brothers in arms in Antarctica will not be pleased that they got the boot. Good thing they have the oscar win to soften the blow.

Roballoo

Nice to have a happily ever after to the story. I enjoyed the presentation. it was nice to see an example of your working process.

gary locke

WHO IS THE CLIENT? WHEN CAN I BUY IT? HOW CAN I BE GOOD LIKE YOU? DO I NEED TO TURN 50? THAT COULD HURT.

Spring House Cleaning

March 30, 2006

Ape

…a brand spankin’ new monkey to look at…

For the last year I have thrown things randomly into my Brother Jones Portfolio Section. I had color art in one place and sketches to that same art somewhere else. Last night while I was waiting for Lost to come on TV I went in and consolidated a lot of this mess. You might just find a couple of new things in there if you look hard enough.

The Comments

Don Jones

Good looking minkey I take it you are beyond a seeing eye dog and white cane…

Dennis Jones

…since my Lasik eye surgery I can’t see well enough to do my tight little cartoon drawings… this is all I can do now…

Don Jones

Well known artists always go through certain “periods” during their career: (i.e. blue period) Den, you have entered your Lasik period… characterized by everything being really big, splattered, loose…

angeline

digitally painted?

Roballoo

Your lasik adventure reminds me of Monet…I went to an exhbit of his water lilie paintings a few years back and found out that as he got older his paintings lost more of their detail and became looser, more abstract. One day he had surgery on his eyes and lo and behold the detail in his art came back. Nice painting of the simian. I liked the splotches on the right side. a nice little touch.

Don Jones

Dennis where R u? This monkey is getting older by the monet.

Doug Jones

Denny is doing his famous “post and run” thing

Don Jones

Better than him doing his “postal” thing. Does he own any firearms?

Dennis Jones

…yes Doug, I am like the traveling evangelist that has three fiery sermons and a fast car… speaking of which, I hafta run again now, but I will come back and play tomorrow… probably…

Doug Jones

don’t forget to collect that big LOVE offering before you skip town, Rev…

~

~  BROTHERJONES BONUS COVERAGE ~

Below are the pictures that were in my PORTFOLIO SECTION that I mentioned in my post above.

~

2006_03_29_1a%20EarGirl2006_03_29_1b%20Cigar 2006_03_29_3b%20RainDance2006_03_29_1c%20CaptainAmerica2006_03_29_3c%20Footprints2006_03_29_3a%20Bombers2006_03_29_2c%20Faramir2006_03_29_2a%20Modano2006_03_29_2b%20Alternative

USA Today

April 7, 2006

Cower

…from the newspaper, to my watercolor sketchbook…

Some people enjoy going outside into nature to become inspired to create art. My experience with that has been that nature is full of biting bugs and is frequently very hot. I have found it much more enjoyable to be inspired from inside the comfort of my own house, in a climate controlled environment, sipping a favorite beverage, and looking at my USA Today.

The Comments

Don Jones

I too was reading the old USA Today… today and realized that the NFL has an interchangeable game deal going in the latter part of the 2006 season. Apparently NBC can pick and choose a few of the games they broadcast on Sunday evening. I was disappointed to see that the NFL channel is getting into game broadcasts. In fact, the Chiefs play on Thanksgiving night ON CABLE. Dennis… reserve my seat now in your living room. Karen… weigh up some snacks for the game. Thanks.

Doug Jones

needs more scowl… This guy has the best scowl in the NFL

Don Jones

I would have to DISAGREE there with you Douger… I believe Jon Gruden has the ultimate scowl goin’ on. Coach Cowher has the best JAWLINE in the NFL. I would like some additional comments from others on this heated little debate.

Dennis Jones

…when Marty Schottenheimer coached the Browns he had to decide whether to keep Bill Cowher as a linebacker or Sam Mills… he kept Cowher… Mills went on to become a pro-bowler for New Orleans… Cowher went on to coach with Marty… Schottenheimer said he traded the best player, but kept the best coach…

Don Jones

That’s good info there Den. But where exactly does Marty fit into the picture? Seems Lamar gave him the boot from the Chiefs… and he couldn’t quite cut it with the Redskins. He may be the best TRAVELED coach in the league.

Jeff

It’s still Hockey season ‘aint” it? Try Ty Domi he has an all star mug..

Dennis Jones

…Hey… I think you’re right… since the NHL moved from ESPN to OLN I never see it anymore… I kinda forgot they were even still playing… it’s probably almost time for the playoffs, isn’t it?…

Jeff

Not for the STARS….ha!

Dennis Jones

…are you still a Rangers fan? …they are having a surprisingly good season this year…

Jeff

I am on a self imposed black out.. N.H.L. players had no problem leaving the fans hanging for a season so I am leaving them for a season. I am sure they will survive the financial blow I have dealt them..But the sting from my action will last at least a day or two.. “evil laugh”

Dennis Jones

…I’m with you, Jeff… now that there are two of us on self-imposed NHL blackouts, I doubt whether the NHL will be able to recover as quickly from the crushing financial blow we have dealt them together… SOLIDARITY…

Jeff

I tried the hate mail thing but when you start with “you guys stink” they usually don’t respond..

bernardfromtheyard

Dennis & Jeff, Make that 2.5 of us on the NHL blackout list. I say .5 because with Sid the Kid in pittsburgh I’m entitled to at least his games. Besides my son would kill me if I didn’t follow his new favorite player. As for Cower, sorry Don, but it’s a triple threat…Jawline, Spitter and Scowl.

You Can’t Teach An Old Dog…

April 19, 2006

HappyDog

…sit, boy, sit… good dog…

I wrote a song once and the only lyric in it was… “gonna throw this computer… out the window… if it ever does this again…” That pretty much sums up my working relationship with a computer. I have noticed, however, that several artists are now “painting” their artwork via the computer. It looks so very “painterly” when they are done, just like it had been executed with traditional media. I decided to make friends with my computer and teach myself how to do this, too.

My little computer project has, (of course), turned into a constant source of pain and frustration for me over the past month or so. I suppose if I had some sort of Wacom Tablet dealie to work with instead of a stupid mouse it might be easier, but one way or another, I just cant seem to get the hang of it.

Recently, (after yet another disastrous attempt at computer painting), I shut down my computer, picked up my paint, brush and water, and painted this dog. I actually had fun doing it. I enjoy the organic nature of painting. Very tactile, therapeutic in its own way, and then it hit me… I was trying to reproduce with the computer what I do right now with the brush, paint and water. What was I trying to do that for?

What advantage would there be if I were able to accomplish this great feat of computing? I have less control on the computer than I do with a brush in my hand, have no original piece of artwork when I am done, and it takes me twice as long since my cantankerous computer is fighting me every step of the way.

They say you cant teach an old dog new tricks, and I’m beginning to believe that just may be the case for me.

The Comments

Jeff

I feel the same way Dennis…Why hang a poster on someones fence when i am used to a spray can.. Love the dog by the way… He looks like mine when I have the shock collar remote..

Doug Jones

A computer is good when you want to scribble something out and then slap some color on it real quick without dragging out the water, brushes, and paints, and cleaning everything up afterwords… like that BAD golfer on my page right now… it’s really good for us lazy people. I’d say stick to painting… trying to paint with digits ain’t worth the aggravation, and leaves your sketchbook empty

Thomas M.

What program are you “attempting” the artwork with? Just curious … Since I have no space for the traditional medium, all I have is the computer with Painter, Photoshop, and Illustrator. All three of which I’m still trying to become more comfortable with.

Don Jones

I suspect this little doggie found the Expresso Roast coffee grinds. You don’t need no stinkin’ computer Denny Dawg. It would be like a car mechanic with clean hands.

Jeff

Dennis, I feel the same way. I have a Wacom tablet, and I still do not get the same results. I have all the software also, Photoshop, Painter ya da ya da.. They are all merely tools. Some work better than others. For most of my “paying work” I still will pull out the trusty pencil, create a sketch, scan it in, ad some quick color variations and presto. I guess it is all in how you use the tools. I am still amazed at how guys like Ryan Church (Star Wars Concept Artist) can create his art with such mood and feeling, just using the computer and a tablet. I do know that he is classically trained, but found a medium that he can use to create and make money at. Some of us still need to rely on the old tools that feel comfortable. Nothing wrong with that! I would much rather see your work with the good Ol’ manual brush. It is hard to create the spontaneous backgrounds like you do any other way. Put the mouse down and grab the brush!!! Throw the computer out of the window! No wait, then you could not post to your site…strike that!

McNair Wilson

(To be said in thick Mexican accent) “Step away from the computer, Dennis.” If you spent a few hours everyday trying to learn and get better at computer art you might, in a few YEARS, attain solid mediocrity. And think of all the drawings, paintings and great sketches you will never have created whilst trying to learn a new trick. But it’s only a trick if you can do it. Your art is NOT A TRICK! Paint on, my friend.

Dennis Jones

…hey, does anybody out there know how many posts are in my front porch railing? …you dont?… well, I’ll tell you… 98… how do I know?… I’ve been painting them for two days now… they are square… which means each post has four sides that each have to be dealt with… 98 times four is… well… half a brazilian different surfaces to deal with if my math is correct… and this is not counting the 5 columns and assorted other goodies that go along with the front porch… not good… not good at all…

Dennis Jones

Thomas… I am using Photoshop…

Dennis Jones

…one of my buddies took pity on me and brought over a Wacom tablet for me to play with for a week or two… it makes a huge difference… but I still end up wishing I had spent my time painting… I will post some of these computer failures if anyone is interested in seeing them…

Doug Jones

McNair… “solid mediocrity” is what I strive for! :o) Dennis… If you used the computer, you could just click on each rail with the paint bucket and it would be done!

Don Jones

It must be the Spring Clean mandate from Brother Jones Corporate that’s is taking place. Den, you’re paintin’ posts and I’m etching concrete. Doug, let’s get busy on the 2006 Great Outdoors Brother Jones Plen-aire Spruce-up.

Dennis Jones

…Don …a good idea springs from Doug and McNair’s comments…

…why dont you make a flash banner that reads, “Brother Jones… striving for solid mediocrity”…

Doug Jones

amen

Don Jones

I’m all over it!!

Dennis Jones

…or CONTINUALLY striving for solid mediocrity…

Dennis Jones

…that makes us sound much more diligent…

Don Jones

I’ve got it loaded up… nothing great… just mediocre. Perfect.

Roballoo

The trick is to NOT reproduce your analog art style when going digital as you noted. Just as you work differently if you were working in pastels vs. oils, the same applies to digital. I think the more successful artists who have gone digital have used the medium to express themselves differently, in a way their analog art didn’t allow them to. I look at it as another tool to express my creativity To do it right you do need a Wacom tablet. Painter – the program is a nice tool to have too. But you have painter – the skills that is, which is the best tool to have. I would encourage you not to give up. Just keep practicing and don’t force it. Try and make the learning experience as fun as possible and see what develops.

Doug Jones

I feel the FORCE is strong in this Roballoo padawan…

Dennis Jones

YOUNG DEN SKYWALKER; All right, I’ll give it a try.

JEDI MASTER YODA-BALLOO; No! Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.

Hennie

Hi Dennis, I’m a HUGE fan! I do digital illustration using a wacom tablet and mostly painter. It just takes some time getting used to, but once you’re up and running you won’t look back! It’s so much faster than the traditional way, especially if you’re on a few tight deadlines! And….there’s an UNDO button… 🙂 Love your work!

bernardfromtheyard

Dennis, I think I can come here for my therapy because it’s nice to know that not all of the pro’s are on the computer yet. I’m on it but it has cost me my hand painting details…now I’m working my way back uphill with the world’s tiniest wacom and a lot of frustration. I’ll feel better once I can turn out something satisfactory. GB

My New Watercolor Sketchbook

April 26, 2006

DenBook1

…the cold press book …the hot press book…

DenBook2

…building the perfect beast…

DenBook3

…a vellum cover sheet for the first page…

Almost all the pictures I have loaded on Brother Jones come from my watercolor sketchbooks. I love to work in them because when I finish one up, it’s like having a mini portfolio of original artwork.

The first one I got had cold press paper in it. I dont really like painting on cold press because of the rough surface, but it forced me to work thru the texture and I came out with several nice pieces in that book.

The second one I got had hot press paper in it which I liked much better. It wasnt the same watercolor paper I actually worked on, but at least it had a smooth surface to it. I just finished the last page of that book, and called the art supply store to get another. They said they were out of stock and were not expecting to be receiving any more for at least three weeks.

Wait a month for another watercolor sketchbook? I dont think so.

Last week I spoke at an elementary school that was in the middle of one of those “write your story, illustrate your story” type projects, and they were going to make their books themselves. I decided if a bunch of third graders can make a book, surely I can, too.

I took three large sheets of my favorite hot press watercolor paper and cut them into eighteen pages. I ripped the back off an old pad of sketch paper, cut out a cover and a back and spray painted them. I then took the whole thing to Staples where they punched holes in it and put on the spiral binder.

The watercolor sketchbook I was trying to buy from the art supply store sells for about twenty-five dollars. My watercolor sketchbook…

…three sheets of paper… $9.00…

…the hole punching and wire binder… $1.78…

…having your favorite paper in a new watercolor sketchbook…

…priceless.

The Comments

Don Jones

This is downright inspirational. It motivates me to look around and rig-up something for myself. I bet this will be your favorite sketchbook of all time…

Doug Jones

Ah-ha! You built the Mole-den-skine sketchbook! Way to go! I bet this was a way more fun than painting railing, eh? So… now you need to post that first painting that’s peeking out…

Doug Jones

Ah-ha! You built the Mole-den-skine sketchbook! Way to go! I bet this was a way more fun than painting railing, eh? So… now you need to post that first painting that’s peeking out…

Doug Jones

I seemed to have double clicked there… double your pleasure… double post! I guess I should go back to third grade and pick up some art tips for myself…

Don Jones

You put anything under vellum and it becomes upscale and cool.

Roballoo

It would be a lot of fun for the fans to see an entire watercolor sketchbook here on Brother Jones. Of course that’s easier said than done. But think of the adulation of the fans! The roar of applause!

Bucky Jones

I second that motion!

Dennis Jones

yeeEeEEE-ipes… that sounds like a lot of scanning and photoshopping… not totally out of the question, but would require some work…

Jeff

And the front porch project takes another deadline hit…Mom ain’t gonna like it…

Roballoo

Just send it to me and I’ll scan it for you…I promise to send it back, honest! 🙂

Grant Brown

Wow looks great.would love to see the toon you have on the page.looks great

Roballoo

I’d only keep 1 or 2 pages tops as a fee for my scanning services (OK 4 or 5 – but that would be it!). And I would return it right away – only 2 years to allow me to savor every sketch 🙂

Mokuu

Impressive, those some awesome customization abilities!

It’s All Over… For Now…

May 5, 2006

Wacom1

The bluntness of garish and unsubtle color…

Wacom2

…with the excruciating inability to execute fine detail.

Yes, my mini excursion into the world of computer generated artwork has now officially come to an end. I took the borrowed Wacom Tablet back to my friends house this week. These four images are pretty much the only things I have to show for my little venture into the unknown.

For me, painting on the computer with the Wacom felt a lot like painting on a piece of glass with a blunt stick… not very subtle. I dont know how people do fine detail this way. The whole experience really just made me appreciate the qualities of traditional painting that much more…

…so it’s back to paint in little metal tubes, squirrel hair tied to the end of a stick, and water for me… for now.

The Comments

Bucky Jones

Good for you, Dennis! More power to you!

Hennie

Well…hope you’ll give it a try in the near future. It takes some time getting used to 🙂 But you don’t really need to go that route. You’re a master at what you do and if it aint broke, don’t fix it. Love those digital paintings by the way. Cheers H

bernardfromtheyard

Dennis, I guess misery loves company because I’m nearly in the same exact place as you with the computer. Only difference is I gave up on all the detail a few years back and settled for changing my art to match my software, ram and computer knowledge. Now, as I’m trying to go back to the heavy detail I once did by hand I’m still wackin’ it out with a wacom but don’t know if I want to stick it out or do what you just did…it’s a cross between the old dog and the old tricks. enjoy your sharing this with us though!

Don Jones

I think your customer friendly relationship and purchasing program with Cheap Joe’s would suffer if you continued on in the Wacom direction.

Doug Jones

yeah… Cheap Joe has probably dispatched a couple of guys to Huntington to have a “friendly little talk” with you, Den… beware of concrete shoes

Don Jones

Watch those knee caps too. Better yet, just leave town for a few days. Get on that mower and scram!

Dennis Jones

…if I’m going to make it down to the big Keeg-o-rama Shin-Dig next weekend I better get the riding lawn mower tuned up and be hitting the road on Monday…

Don Jones

Don’t forget to check the SLICK 50 level and over pressure the tires for the ultimate in gas mileage acquisition.

Doug Jones

These actually look pretty good. I’m impressed. I think the key to detail may be in resolution. If you have a very high res file you can zoom in and work pixel by pixel if you want.

Don Jones

The key to detail is LASIK.

Dennis Jones

…one thing I am really curious about in this whole computer vs. traditional painting deal is… supposedly, the big plus for computer generated artwork is that it is SO fast… what exactly is SO fast? (this is a serious question, by the way)… what kind of time does it take for someone to generate a piece of “arty” looking artwork on a computer?

bernardfromtheyard

Dennis, I would say that IT ( most artwork ) is done much faster on the computer than by hand ( for 97.5% ) of the professional artists out there. The problem lies with that 2.5% of the artists whose work is way up there at your level…and with the detail your generating. I think the mouse swings back in your favor ( time wise ) to do it by hand when the detail that you throw down comes into play.

bernardfromtheyard

Part 2: I’ve been kicking myself for years for not drawing/painting my work on a Mac (practically hiding from all the MacAddicts out there) and trying harder to get the same detail as my paintings. But after spending a little time at your site I’m actually feeling better about both mediums and last night (for the first time in years) I actually walked into a art store and started looking into buying paint supplies again and considering a dual existence between the two. Sorry, Doug & Don I know this is a funny blog and you all are a riot but sometimes we need a good cry in our brush cleaner.  😦   Sike! 🙂

Dennis Jones

…well, I don’t have an axe to grind here one way or the other… I am just real curious as to how people do the detailed “arty” stuff with a computer… a typical job for me is to illustrate a portion of a story or article… last week I did one that had a U-Haul truck, 4 other cars, people showing in all the cars and a guy on a bike… I have no idea how I would have even attempted something like that on a computer… or how long it would have taken if I did… I just don’t see how I could ever use a computer on an actual job to do illustration…

Plane Air Paint Team

June 22, 2006

PlaneAirPaintTeam

…Brother Doug’s team, ready for action…

Brother Doug has finally pulled together his extreme plane air paint squad to compete in this seasons extreme plane air painting league. It is a very competitive team and Doug hopes to bring the championship trophy back home to Nashville this year.

The Comments

Doug Jones

I hope we can beat our rivals this year… the Cabool Plain Cow painters. Last year, you remember, they beat us with a hat trick. They stole our hats… we sunburned our noggins and had to quit

Dennis Jones

…yeh …I wish you would quit bringing that up in your pre-game pep talks…

Don Jones

From the looks of this promotional poster, I have the Ozark’s Jethro Bodene fashion flair goin’ on.

Dennis Jones

…the nice thing about this league is that you can wear basically anything you want… as long as there is a team logo on your chest…

Doug Jones

of course it really doesn’t matter what you wear… a few minutes after the opening kickoff, you are covered with paint…

Dennis Jones

…I can hardly wait to use the official Brother Jones top secret weapon this season… paint ball guns! …the competition will never know what hit ‘em…

Doug Jones

are you shootin’ Alizarin this year or Ultramarine blue?

Dennis Jones

…sardine green…

Don Jones

I’m gonna be packing about a gallon of Holbein Gouache Pearl Gold for the festivities.

Doug Jones

wow… gouache…. that’s playin’ DIRTY! …I love it!