Meltdown

January 22, 2005

exploding-house

I try to have a major computer meltdown every eighteen months or so… whether I need one or not…

I have not been a computer guy for all that long. Being the visionary that I am, I never really saw any need for one personally. This all changed a few years ago when my oldest son, Nick, headed cross country to college. Before leaving he fished an old computer out of the attic and connected me to the internet. Over the next few months I became familiar with a foreign new concept known as E-mail.

When Nick came home for Christmas break he decided to advance my computing skills by helping me build a web page. I went out and bought a cheap scanner and started loading pictures onto the new site. My old attic computer was an entry level special we had bought for the kids back in the early 90’s. It tried its best, but it was never made to do the things we were trying to do with it. The computer gasped one last time and then the hard drive crashed. I lost everything. Computer crash number one.

I looked in the paper, found a PC on sale cheap, and bought it. It was during this time period that I started using the computer more for work instead of simply a diversion. Photoshop was becoming an everyday tool for me, just like a pencil or a paint brush.

Everything worked great for a year or so and then I decided to upgrade to Windows XP. I’m still not sure what happened, but as I was installing it my monitor went black. I launched into full scale panic mode. My computer troubleshooting skills consist of pressing random keys and hoping something good happens. My wife finally had to come to my rescue. She sat on the phone with a tech guy deep into the night trying to fix whatever it was that had happened. The two of them got it running again… sort of. (I now had two XP operating systems to choose from at startup (?) and things were kinda glitchy, but hey, at least I was in business again). I lost a whole lot of stuff on that one. Computer meltdown number two.

I got a Mac G5 over the Christmas break… (the fabled Cheese Grater) To make a long story short, in the process of switching from a PC to a Mac I lost a bunch of stuff… again. Quasi computer meltdown number three.

The only real problem I have at this point is that my web site is floating out in space and I cant get to it. The old web building program I had used to build it wont work on a Mac so I am having to learn a new one. (I don’t want to say its complicated or anything, but you have to be a rocket scientist to understand the book). It’s going to be a long time before anything new happens over on DJ-ART.com.

The good news is, if things run true to form, I shoud be good for twelve to eighteen months of trouble free computing….

….before the next big computer meltdown hits.

The Comments

Keegan Jones

Yes! It’s nice that the whole Brother Jones clan is now using a Macintosh! This book may be of use to you: Switching to the Mac.

mike

good choice of computers! Ive been using a g4 since 3 years ago and i didn’t need to reboot due to some stupid crash ever!

luis villegas

like I would say in spanish “estan perrones”, meaning you guys are bad. thank you for inspiring us.

Norman Bates

when are you ever going to put up something new?!

Dennis Jones

alas and alack… this is the problem with Brother Dennis… never anything new… I haven’t changed my other web page in nearly three years now… I will try to do better with this BrotherJones site…

Doug Jones

say… isn’t Norman Bates the name of the guy in Psycho that ran the Bates Motel?

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Cutting Corners In Photoshop

February 16, 2006

EyeProtection

…stitching together a Photoshop time saver…

Five years ago I told my oldest son that I did not need a computer for any reason. I was a traditional painter… I slopped paint onto paper with a brush… what could I possibly need a computer for? Five years later and I cant finish a job without one.

Here is an example of what a timesaver Photoshop can be for me. My rough sketch (top left) shows my idea for this poster which is basically to repeat the same scene twice. In the old days I would have tediously painted the same picture two times making minor changes to the figure. But now using the computer I was able to paint separate parts of this picture and assemble them later in Photoshop to create two consistent images.

The Comments

Don Jones

It’s the miracle of teknowledgee. I need a set of these posters to post around. I did get a notice in the mail from the government that Brother Jones was supposed to have postings around warning against UNDER AGE employees and discrimination. What else are children good for but to labor? I love my little sweat shop.

Dennis Jones

…make sure Keegan works all day for us again this Saturday, Don… crack the whip…

Don Jones

As long as I keep him strung out on cashew chicken he’s good to go.

Doug Jones

cashew chicken and frappuccinos….what a winning combination… pass the cheetos, Keeg

Doug Jones

Hey… do those Olympic medals remind you of anything… like, say Krispy Kremes?

Dennis Jones

…are the Olympics on?

Don Jones

I’m too busy keepin’ up with American Idol. I like to watch ‘em cry after their dreams and aspirations are crushed.

Dennis Jones

…is American Idol on again, too?

Doug Jones

I only watch the weather… they are crying wolf here again…. Need more milk, chili and crackers… and a case of Yoohoo and strawberry poptarts

Don Jones

On our last pre-winter warning venture to the grocery store Family size tomato soup was the prize and we were too late! SOLD OUT! Bought the small cans and it costs us about 30 cents more… can you believe this Campbell Soup scammin’ taking place in America?

Dennis Jones

…is nothing sacred?

Don Jones

After reading the entire book of Malachi this morning, I would say tithing is still sacred. Don’t be bringin’ no lame, blind sheep to the LORD. This concludes our Brother Jones morning devotional. Amen.

Doug Jones

Them’s good rules if you is livin’ under the LAW… but we ain’t no more… The only thing sacred is Krispy Kremes Amen and amen

Don Jones

Looks like about 39 visits so far from the Designers Who Blog hook-up … and Doug, your Jonesapalooza link seems to be the exit door for Brother Jones. I love SHtats.

Dennis Jones

…where in the stats are you finding how many are coming from where, Don?… I cant seem to find that…

Doug Jones

You mean… I am GUARDING the back door to this place?! Great googly moogly

Don Jones

Top row Middle column – Referrers. Doug, it appears you are not guarding the back door too well. Are your sure you aren’t showing them the door?

Doug Jones

Reminds me of the old P T Barnum trick. He had signs posted that said “This way to the Egress” Of course folks followed the signs and found themselves out. Making more room for the next batch of folks….

Dennis Jones

…I think part of the charm of the Brother Jones Web Site is that while we all do our best to post little articles with pictures we rarely, if ever, talk about them in the comment section… I like that…

…and Doug, keep guarding that back door… do a good job with that and maybe we’ll move you on into the front room with Donnie and me…

Don Jones

I’m not sharing my seat with anybody. I’d like to go on record and apologize for today’s dysfunctional, fantasy football blog. It was a complete and total embarrassment and a downright travesty to our impeccable Brother Jones standards. Since we have a money-back guarantee for each and every dollar spent at Brother Jones, please take your punched Brother Jones vouchers to Doug who is patiently standing beside the Jonesapalooza exit door… and please come again.

Doug Jones

That IS kinda funny, Den. You put up some awesome artwork and write about it and we come on and talk about family size tomato soup. wanna go play kickball? Nobody here but us guys with SHORT attention spans!

Dennis Jones

…our comment sections are pretty much what our private emails to each other were before we had this blog… now we’ve pretty much tossed email out the window and just yap on and on to each other in front of the whole wide world… welcome to Brother Jones… a website about nothing… and proud of it…

Bucky Jones

I’m not doing anything. Can I play kickball?

Corrigan Clay

Hey, thanks so much for the wordless Bible, my 2 year old daughter Keziah requests a read from it every day! I am an artist as well, and I just looked you up online to find out if you were photoshop-ing your work (the repeated scenes just looked so exact). Also figured you used Photoshop to blur things like the waves coming down on those rascally egyptians creating a photo-focus effect… am I right? or are you airbrushing? VERY inspiring. My wife and I are trying to write and illustrate a Children’s book. The photoshop idea will make this much easier. any advice on finding a publisher?

Dennis Jones

…finding a publisher… yikes… about all I could tell you to do is research at the library or book store and see who is publishing the type of book you are creating… make some sort of promotional package (manuscript, art samples, a recommendation from Billy Graham… that sort of thing) and send them to every publisher you can… It’s a lot like fishing… you just keep tossing your line out in the water and hoping something will bite…

Dennis Jones

…the Wordless Bible had a pretty restrictive deadline attached to it… approximately 350 pages of art in 10 months… I was cutting every corner I could… I was working 16 hour days almost every day of the week… I got pretty fatigued before it was all over, lost my focus on the project and kinda overused a couple of Photoshop effects, (specifically the lens flare and blur), but hey, I made the deadline…

Don Jones

Photoshop filter overdose (PFO) no such thing. Some projects just require massive amounts of filter junk to make them appear worthwhile and substantial. Gotta give those clients their money’s worth I say. “Use three Photoshop filters in an illustration and get a fourth filter FREE!”

Doug Jones

Hey there, Bucky… why SURE you can play kickball with us… just meet us on the playground… and be sure you bring your lunch money. (Hey guys… we got another one… the usual three way split?)

Dennis Jones

…absolutely…

Bucky Jones

All right! I’ll be there….but…do I have to be on Doug’s team? He always pats me on the bottom after a good play. Makes me not want to play so good.—-See you guys at the playground!

Jeroen

Awesome portfolio you have. Great stuff! I’m green with envy…

Kermit

it’s not easy being green.

Bucky Jones

Okay, you Jones Brothers, what gives? I feel like Charlie Brown…I’ve been waiting here on the playground, to play kickball, for like three days and no one has shown up. I’m cold, tired and my underwear is giving me a rash. Are you guys gonna play or what?—- I’m keeping my lunch money….so there.

Dennis Jones

…oh man, we forgot about Bucky…

Bucky Jones

Oh, it’s okay, Dennis. I ate squirrels and drank my own….well, you know, to survive.—-Man, I need to brush my teeth.

A Little Demo

March 8, 2006

Timothy1

…rough …pencil …blocked in …hair

Timothy2

…shirt …face …detail …photoshop

I was finishing up a job yesterday and part of it called for a tiny spot illustration to be attached to the title. I scanned it along the way for this little demo.

I do a quick pencil rough and (if it has a good feel to it) that is what I use. Taping the rough to the back of a 140 lbs piece of Winsor-Newton hot press watercolor paper I redraw it to the papers surface using a light table. I then block in the color using Winsor-Newton gouache, define the different elements with paint, scan the finished art into photoshop, add whatever needs to be added there, burn the finished product onto a cd and ship the cd to my client. Done.

I am still pretty much all old school all the time… with a little high tech sprinkled in at the end.

The Comments

Don Jones

Dennis, this is one top-knotch Illustratin’ post. You are on a roll! But, make sure it’s not a CINNAMON roll.

Thomas M.

Thanks for the step, by step process … (now making it into a flip book … sweeeeeet)… So, from the way you described this, it sounds like it took you, what, 20 minutes – including writing up the blog entry? (sobbing) … Why do I punish myself coming here … (after a 20 minute recovery period) … Due to lack of room, I’ve had to go pretty much “new school” A pencil, sketchbook, scanner, and Painter/Photoshop … Oh, and a computer … I’m still trying to get a good feel to getting digital watercolor down, but you keep me wanting to improve my skills. (starts sobbing again)…

Don Jones

BrotherJones.com Punishment is Our Priority. Always.

Dennis Jones

…Tony Couch says painters can be divided into two groups… those who HAVE BEEN discouraged and those who WILL BE discouraged… nothing wrong with discouragement; that’s a part of the game… the crime lies in quitting because of it…

Paul Taylor

Great demo Dennis. Have you ever done the Beatles ala the “Flower Power Era”? Anxiously awaiting your next treat! Coo-coo-ka-chu, the Walrus

Dennis Jones

…well now I’m really confused… if you are the walrus, who is Paul?… I thought I had that thing all figured out but now I’m not sure what’s going on…

Bucky Jones

All right!!! Another great step by step! Much appreciated and admired, Dennis. Thanks.

Dennis Jones

…Buckey Jones… or is it really the EGGMEN… goo goo gjoob… ggoo goo gjoob

megan

Really nice, thanks for sharing. Go, Old School!

Doug Jones

so what happens when you get to the photoshop stage? do you put the image on top of the circle and erase what overlaps?

Jeff

Dennis, Great stuff! Old school still rocks! Quick sketch and a bill for high dollars is the best!

Don Jones

I like the way Jeff thinks.

Jeff

Dennis, What colors do you mix to get your flesh tones? Oh, and by the way how is the food scale working out?

Dennis Jones

…the food scale …hmm …well …I have learned potato chips are really, really light …a spiral cut 10 pound ham weighs about 10 pounds …and that if you put a 10 pound spiral cut ham onto the brand new food scale you are probably going to get yelled at…

Dennis Jones

…my flesh tones are pretty much just a mix of Naples Yellow and Burnt Sienna…

grant brown

cool stuff. would love to see a series of how to by you.

Starting Next Monday!

March 10, 2006

JoyOfPainting

…I’m not sure yet what exactly is going to start next Monday… but I’m thinking surely something exciting will…

The Comments

Don Jones

Den, this is scarin’ me especially that fine detail text about your “Wet-on-Wet” technique.

Mrs. Jones

TODAY IS DENNIS’ 50TH BIRTHDAY!!!! Perhaps that is why Monday will bring such “newness.” Historically, the half century mark has been the initiator of great change to an era. {YOU MAY SEND YOUR BIRTHDAY GREETINGS AND GIFTS IN CARE OF HIS WIFE.}

Don Jones

I already detect great changes in Dennis’ hair stylings.

Doug Jones

That’s a funny pic! You made me laugh! … you sure can get some awesome detail with that BIG brush, Denny…

Keegan Jones

Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dan Lietha

Is that a double-goatee or does your neck have a hairball?

Dennis Jones

…nope …just another one of my fine photoshop “thats good enough” jobs…

Dan Lietha

I’m glad you put your full effort into your illustrations, where it really counts!  Happy birthday!

Don Jones

Isn’t that majestic mountain scene up around Fort Wayne?

Jeff

Dennis, Love the fro! That really is old school. If you get enough dried gouache in that brush, you can use it as a pick! hehe Happy Birthday and look forward to Monday

Doug Jones

HA! see what you have started? Now we are actually EXPECTING to see something Monday. The pressure is on! Maybe we’ll get Monkey Mondays… eh?

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!

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

GoRiller

August 16, 2006

GoRillerSK

…pencil…

GoRiller

…color…

Ok… I think I squeezed every last possible comment I could ever hope to get out of that last picture I posted… so it’s time for a new one…

…and also time for my hard hitting expose on what’s REALLY happening BEHIND THE SCENES at BrotherJones.Com! The following is an ACTUAL email I ACTUALLY received LAST NIGHT!!
———————————————————————————
Hey dennis! Loud and clear here. Janson is now up and online with his own email address. I received an email this morning from him and all it said was “wet.” He had no explaination for that one.

Maybe we need to liven the site up… declare next week the Douglas Lee Jones Week or SOMEthing. I believe we are hitting the wall and real WORK might be pressing in on our sacred site maintenance and blogification. Don Loud
———————————————————————————
…uhm… did you notice how Don intentionally did not capitalize my name? What’s that all about? Brutal…

…looks like Don is gunning for big brother Doug now! I hope I never get on Dons bad side! Scary…

…the Janson email thing is funny, but was it said in good fun or was Don throwing his own child under the bus for a cheap laugh? I think the viciousness of the rest of this email might indicate the latter! Shocking…

I can only conclude that Don’s anti-social behavior stems from the adversarial relationship he had with his Grandma Jones. He called her “granny” (which she did not like) so she called him “tubby” (which he did not like). I fear a lifetime of strife and conflict has followed Don as a result of this early learned behavior.

I apologize if I have tarnished the pristine image you no doubt have of BrotherJones.Com, but as a serious journalist it is my sworn civic duty and responsibility to alert the public to what is really going on behind the scenes here. And if your path should ever cross with my little brother Don… WATCH OUT!!

…I am now waiting for my pulitzer prize to arrive in the mail for this award winning article…

The Comments

Doug Jones

wet

Don Jones

Fantastic bloggin’ here den. Except now Doug can hunker down and prepare himself for next week’s Douglas Lee’s Plein Aire and SocMo Fiesta. The above e-mail excerpt was prompted by Den’s cry for help from the wilds of northern Indiana…having a bit of email problems… you guys get this one? Help me. I have fallen and I can’t get up.

Tubby

I owe all my eating disorders to “Granny.”

Banshee

I am glad to see that Don has finally given up on fighting the powers that be, and accepting his real middle name: Loud. Interestingly enough, my wife and I were laughing about this same exact misnomer not even one hour ago-without having seen this post. It must be some sort of cosmic convergence. As an additional note [since this post hasn’t reached traditional Banshee specifications yet,] I was just wondering to myself if the brotherjones site was due for an update or tweaking. I did not come to a conclusion, but figured there must be someone around who knows how to do website graphics [ahem-Keegan-ahem].

FOWA: week of 10 APR 2005

Doug Jones

so is the pencil sketch one of the doodles you do in church of the pastor?

Dennis Jones

…hey, I felt some conviction about doodling in church so I don’t do pencil sketching any more during worship services… now I sit in the back row on Sunday mornings with my 12” G4 PowerBook and play with Photoshop…

…with headphones on…

…I am expecting to feel some conviction about this soon… probably around the time I receive one of those “special” weekday visits from the parson…

Doug Jones

I always listen to the latest BrotherJones podcast on my iPod shuffle during sermon time. They are SO inspirational! Can’t wait for a new one. I have listened to the last one 24 weeks in a row now.

Don Jones

I am sorry to report my beloved iPod mini has bit the hard drive dust. No more running to inspirational 70s music… no more podcasts to get the mind off the pain…

Doug Jones

pity… so when is the funeral?

Dennis Jones

uhm… Don… I’ll be blowing thru town on Saturday… wanna fire up the microphones and burn a few podcasts for Doug?

Don Jones

I was thinking the Weasel Bus might be coming through on the FALL TOUR. I will start now preparing material for this exclusive Duger podcast.

Dennis Jones

…WeaselPaLooZa hits the road this coming Saturday!

Dont miss it!

Doug Jones

lotsa jokes and home made muzik… that’s my order… sermon length, of course…

Capn’ America

September 22, 2006

mech3CapAm

…digital painting…

Yes, it’s CAPTAIN AMERICA… fighting the dreaded… uhm… bubbles… yes, that’s what this is, Captain America fighting the dreaded bubble… machine… guys… bad guys… bad bubble machine bad guys…

…it’s a classic story, I’m sure you’ve read it…

The Comments

Don Jones

I must have missed that bubble debacle. Looks like you are coming along nicely painting with the mouse.

Dennis Jones

…I am on a one man crusade to save the mouse… will you join me in this effort?…

hennie

hahaha….love it. Don’t know how you manage with a mouse though… very cool. H

Doug Jones

… while relaxing in his luxurious bubble bath, Captain America suddenly realized that his rubber ducky was missing! Was there someone else in the tub with him??!! Stay tuned for Chapter 2… “Revenge of Mr Bubble”

Roballoo

nahhh… I just think he doesn’t know how to do laundry.

Dennis Jones

…the following is a paid political announcement

…MOUSES RULE, TABLETS DROOL!

Ad funded by the Save The Mouse Foundation …Dennis Jones, founder and CEO

Don Jones

I would like to up my WACOM tablet contribution from $5 to $5.37. Digital Drawing Best B Done with a Stick!

This political advertisement was funded entirely by the Liberation of Mouses for Illustration Society and Gouche Club.

Dennis Jones

…do I actually have to purchase a Wacom Tablet to be able to collect the $5.37 from you, ‘cause I could sure use that $5.37… we have a new Walmart Super Center in town now ya know…

Dennis Jones

…just got back from the new Walmart Super Center… spent $4.11 and had a free cup of coffee… on a scale from 1 to 10 I would rank this visit a 7.5… enjoyable, but not perfect…

Wolverine

September 25, 2006

mech4Wolverine2

…experimenting with tight and loose focus…

I have always liked comic book super heroes. I suppose it is because the whole “super hero” concept is just so outrageous…

…”I feel called to fight crime, but I’m not going to join the police department… I’m going to put on this brightly colored, skin tight, plastic underwear and wander the streets until I run into trouble.”

I like that…

The Comments

Don Jones

Den, looks like you are getting that PAINTER program cranked up in high gear. Fantastico! What are the dimensions of this? Do you work in RGB mode? Curious painter minds wanna know.

Dennis Jones

…well, actually… I haven’t got Painter figured out quite yet… but I do have Photoshop figured out and that’s what I’m using on these… since these are just for fun and for this web site they are RGB mode… this was a picture from my sketchbook which was about 4 inches square, and was scanned in at 150 dpi…

Mark Behm

Sweet. It really does look like you are hitting a comfort level with digital stuff. This looks great. There’s a wild place you can go to when you have that undo key that’s harder to hit with good old mud and sticks. Even if you just use it as an exercise to loosen up I think it’s worth it. Now buy that tablet before your wrist starts to bleed.

roballoo

That’s one mean lookin’ Wolverine! He can wear blue and yellow if he wants – I’M not going to argue with him! How about Adamantium wrists so you can keep using that ol’ mouse of yours.

Dennis Jones

…there was an interesting movie a few years back called “Mystery Men” that did a good job of lampooning the whole super hero thing… I think it flopped at the box office tho…

Don Jones

I still say “the TIC” is the ultimate in super heroes.

Dennis Jones

…yesterday at Wamart I saw season one of the Tic TV Show, grabbed it, held it in my hands for several minutes, then put it back on the shelf… sigh…

Don Jones

Obviously you’ve read some books on How to Handle Impulse Buying. If I knew where those books were located I’d go buy me a couple… right now.

Tom Bancroft

Hey Dennis, just found your blog thanks to Cedric H’s blog. Small cyber world, huh? I still charish the sketch you gave me of Capt. America when we met briefly in (where do you live again?) Indiana? This Wolverine is awesome too. I agree with everyone else, are you crazy? Buy a cheap Wacom tablet! You’ll love it! You’re making us all look bad creating this level of work with a mouse! Bah! Ha, by the way, I live by one of the other Jones, so I get to post here!

Dennis Jones

…Hi Tom, good to hear from you… a few weeks ago I got interested again in trying to figure the whole computer generated color thing out and I’ve been posting my efforts here every day or so… Mark has been giving me a little behind the scenes help along the way… if you have any insight for me don’t hesitate to share it… you working on anything interesting these days?