The Joy Of Painting Episode 1

March 13, 2006

JOP1

…with your new host, Dennis Jones…

JOP1pic

…my slightly different take on the job…

Welcome to The Joy Of Painting; Episode One …The Return Of The Sith. I am your host, Dennis Jones, and this week I will be walking you through one of my recent jobs from start to finish.

The telephone rings. I answer. It is a client asking if I have time to do a job for them. I say sure, what do you have. They proceed to give me a brief explanation of the assignment. The company has purchased an outer space photograph of the earth and want to turn it into a poster for upper elementary age kids. All they want me to do is put a simple border around the photograph so that it looks like the viewer is looking at the earth through a satellite window. I say “sounds good, send it on”, and hang up the phone.

I receive the job the following day via FedX. Among other things the envelope contains (1) a letter from the designer explaining exactly what they want (2) a color copy of the satellite photo (3) a CD with a digital file of the satellite photo to use when I get into Photoshop.

As I look through this information I start to think this poster would look much more exciting if there were at least a couple of kids looking out the window …maybe in space suits …and a monkey …a space monkey. This of course is not what the client has asked for. Before I spend too much time heading in this direction I decide it might be wise to run this by my client first. I attach a sketch (pictured above) to an email and send it to them asking if perhaps they might like to use my slightly different idea instead of their original one.

Will my client go for this different idea? Is this concept just a little too far removed from the original assignment? Do they have some sort of problem with space monkeys? Find out in tomorrows exciting second episode of …The Joy Of Painting!

The Comments

Doug Jones

Cool! First we had Dancing with the Stars, followed by Skating with the Stars… I think we are now ready for Painting with the Stars! I’m betting they go with the new improved idea… looking forward to next exciting episode… Woo!

Dennis Jones

…I am basing this feature on the hit TV show 24 …lots of fast paced action and a cliff hanger at the end…

Keegan Jones

Love it. The cliff hanger is making me wish it was already tomorrow. I’m hoping nobody dies is your series.

Dennis Jones

…I hate to let the cat out of the bag …but I am mortally wounded at the end of the next episode…

Doug Jones

Of course Jack was totally dead and then brought back to life to fight more bad guys… no recovery needed… amazing! Maybe you can survive a serious paper cut…

Thomas M.

I hope you’re planning on putting a “Don’t Push this Button” on the control panel. Every spaceship worth riding in has one. Oh, and don’t forget the integrated iPod holder in the dashboard either. What about cup holders? I don’t see any of those … can those be worked in somewhere too? It’s all about the options that are thrown in for free that truly make any ride a good deal. However, the monkey does add an option that even Honda would be jealous over.

Doug Jones

I like the way you’re thinking, Thomas…. let’s add a hula dancer on the dash too…

Thomas M.

Doh … how could i forget the hula dancer! Good call, Doug… And tinted windows… Does it have tinted windows? Those solar flares can really do a number on your eyes.

Dennis Jones

…quite honestly …if I had thought of any of the items listed in the comments above I would have thrown them into this illustration …this is a great example of how brainstorming with other creatives is always a good idea…

megan

To capture the TRUE Joy of Painting feeling: Can you call every item in your painting a “happy little (fill in the blank)”? Much thanks.

Advertisements

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…

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!

Space Monkey

June 2, 2008

SpaceMonkey2

On Saturday I grabbed a hand grinder that’s supposed to be used on car bodies and sharpened the three blades of my riding lawnmower. It’s not exactly the correct tool to use for this, but being an experienced professional, I made it work.

Unfortunately, my wife walked into the garage as I was arcing a river of sparks onto the hood of her car. She apparently had some sort of problem with this and also pointed out to me that the stream of flame I was creating was also arcing over our oily push mower, a couple of gas cans and the dried grass I had just cleaned off of the riding mower. Women! 😦

I finished sharpening the blades, but then I wasn’t sure if they were supposed to be aligned on the mower in some special way, so I found the operating manual, turned to the correct page and in big bold letters it said, WARNING, we recommend you DO NOT try to sharpen blades yourself. Apparently, some rocket scientist somewhere had decided blades must be perfectly balanced in order to cut grass. Rocket Scientists! 😦

Just to be on the safe side, I created a very sophisticated tool in order to balance my blades consisting of a pencil and a piece of rope I found on the floor of my garage. My blades were perfectly balanced according to this, so I put the mower back together and am happy to report that it is working just fine except for the violent shaking that occurs when the blades are engaged…

The Comments

Bernard

My goodness…I thought I had smelled too much terps in my life. This is funny stuff…as for the wife. God did say that it was not good for man to be alone, though I’m not sure that fire prevention was precisley what He meant when He said that. Scientists…they did prefer the Monkey over us originally. But the Monkey couldn’t raise the money. So, now you got a Mower that goes with your shaking bed…I’d consider moving out of that place If I were you. Funny Stuff, thanks, Bernard

Dennis Jones

…the good thing about a riding lawnmower that shakes violently is that you don’t really even notice the earthquakes that much…

Dennis Jones

…ps …sorry about those Penguins… I rooted for them until the beginning of the third period and then fell asleep and apparently without my staunch support behind them they lost game 4… don’t blame them… blame me…

Don Jones

I say, close your eyes when you’re mowing and you’ll think you’re flying a helicopter.

Dennis Jones

…I usually do that when I’m driving the car…

Doug Jones

So… you can cut your grass and have a relaxing massage at the same time… cool!

Bernard

Ha…this is funnier than laugh-in! Doug, Don: a graphic mind is a funny thing to have…can’t stop laughin’ here on your comments. Since it’s obvious Dennis is the fall guy, are you two the straight men in this act? Dennis, can you try some radical coffee bean concoction tonight in order to stay awake seeing as it could be the last game for the birds?

Jason Bourne

Kool. This is one of the best… Never send a man to an apes job.

brett

cool space monkey looks like the one in your drawing book.And the one in the new movie space chimps.(: lol!

Dennis Jones

…it IS the one in my drawing book! …good memory, Brett!

Bernard

What drawing book? Checked Amazon…nada. Seriously, have you ever considered having the art from your sketchbooks printed and sold as sketchbooks? Like the artists over at: brandstudiopress.com I don’t know what their costs or quantity mins. are but I can vouch for their quality. Bought a couple of them and the printing/paper/covers are first class. It seems to be all the rage these days with artists. Finished sketches or not. I bet your stuff would sell off the shelf! Of course I would want an autographed one of yours. —BM

Roballoo!

Blurb let’s you self publish yer own books. Can’t vouch for them myself – but at least from the web site – but appears to be a quality product.

Dennis Jones

…Brett is my nephew and a few weeks ago he was looking thru the sketchbook I was carrying and remembered this page, apparently…

…I have bought a couple of those Brand Studio books myself and they are done really well…

…I actually have a Blurb book put together but I just haven’t pulled the trigger on it yet…

Bernard

Dennis, Thanks for staying up so late last night to keep the Pens in it for another game!

Dan Lietha

PULL THE TRIGGER on the book! 🙂

Dennis Jones

…Bernard, when the Redwings pulled even in the third and then peppered in like 600 shots on net for the rest of the period and got the lead I kinda figured it was all over for the Penguins but the crying… then the Pens dramatically tied the game seconds before the game was to be over… high drama! …to me this is starting to feel a lot like the invincible Patriots facing the underdog Giants in the last Superbowl… good series!

Jason Bourne

I’m in anticipation indeed!

Dennis Jones

…Dan, right now I have a book full of pictures and absolutely no words in it, which is probably a good thing, I don’t know… anyway, maybe I’ll polish it up and publish it later on this summer… call it “Mime” or “Mums The Word” or something…

Doug Jones

call it… “I’m Speechless”…

Roballoo!

Oooh – looking forward to the book. Will it have before and after pictures or is it all finished art at this point?

Dennis Jones

…at this point it is all just sitting on my computer and can still be anything I want it to be… what types of things do you think would be good to put in it?

Dan Lietha

I think it’d be great to see development sketches to final product. Even sketches that didn’t work and reasons why. Collections of finished pieces are nice, but I like to see the behind the scenes stuff. My 2 cents … but willing to pay much more for the book!

Bernard

Wow, this is an interesting question because…before this past year your transitional or “how It’s done” section would have kicked into a Gouache primer and the steps that process entails. Now, seeing as you have undoubtedly growned some new digital Wacom/Cintiq/Photoshop legs…do you go there instead or in addition too? I agree with Dan L. and all but don’t let the “how-To” be the biggie. Your finished pieces are still what rocks the world! “We Wanna A Book”,”We Wanna A Book”,”We Wanna A Book”!

Jason Bourne

If you have any dinosaurs, you could do a big one page image of a T-rex’s mouth wide open showing all the teeth…

Dan Lietha

If it turned out to be all finished art, I’d pay up just as fast to buy it. Dinosaurs have my vote too. 🙂

Don Jones

I’d like to see some early grade school work included… and a few church bulletin covers.

Dennis Jones

…ok, lets see now… this book needs to be an omnibus album which starts with my grade school art, then the gouache middle ages, and ends in the digital world, but also includes pencil sketches, tutorials, step by step seminars, church bulletins and one dinosaur with a lot of teeth… a piece of cake!

Doug Jones

and a special monkey section

Jason Bourne

Alright, sounds fantastic to me!

Bernard

I think you got it! except: NO SOCKS or GOURDS!

Dennis Jones

HEY!

gary Locke

doooood! i thought weasel boy was some one over at focus on the family! doood!!! you are getting good! do you work on a cintiq yet?

Dennis Jones

…hey Gary …I was beginning to wonder if you were ever going to figure out who weaselboy was… I’ve been enjoying your blog… I got a Cintiq a few months back and it is quite the fancy work tool…