Other Artists

Art by or information about artists other than Nathan Parkinson

Greg “Craola” Simkins’ Artistic Process

The quality of Greg Simkins’ work makes me want to be more diligent (i.e. get focused on making more art and not waste time looking at reference or doing lower-priority things).

“Innovation is saying ‘No’ to 1,000 things.” – Steve Jobs

I aspire to create as freely as Greg does; though, I don’t feel drawn to be so “Dalí” or cryptically symbolic. Watching him paint in video form is awe-inspiring. I found the following conversation on YouTube of him with a couple other artists; he goes into some exciting detail about his creative process; I’ll jump to that spot in the following link:

Shop Talk with Greg Simkins & Tony Curanaj – Moderator Natalia Fabia – Host Trekell Art Supplies

I especially enjoyed the second half of the first hour of this video.

I’d love to show some of his pieces here, but he asks people not to reproduce his work without permission; so while I wait to hear back from him, go check out his website and YouTube channel for more golden art and advice.

Edit: I got permission to feature some of Craola’s art! Thank you to Greg’s team.

Piper Pass by Greg Simkins

Greg “Craola” Simkins’ Artistic Process Read More »

Tim Mcburnie’s Strategy For Learning To Draw

Learning to draw is an endless journey. I’m always looking to improve my approach and mindset regarding how to learn and produce most efficiently. Tim Mcburnie’s advice on the subject resonated with me, and I love the quality of his art. Watch his video through the following link:

Best Strategy For Learning To Draw? Endless Studies Are Not The Answer… (YouTube)

What I took away

  • Your need for the art fundamentals depends on what art you want to make. Many current pros just drew a lot without focusing on fundamentals.
  • Follow an applied fundamentals approach: decide what art you want to make and spend most of your time making it while building your foundational knowledge and skills to support that.
  • Apply foundational concepts ASAP! Doing endless studies and exercises just helps you get good at exercises. What’s most important is to understand how to integrate/apply the knowledge gained from an exercise or study into your workflow, how you can actually use it to help make art.
  • Exercises are largely an academic approach; once you understand the techniques/ideas, you can skip doing exercises and apply them directly to your work.

Did I mention I love the quality of his art? 😉

Please do check out his website and YouTube channel.

Tim Mcburnie’s Strategy For Learning To Draw Read More »

Learning Composition

For an artist composition is debatably the most important skill to learn and employ in one’s craft. I have compiled a list of resources I’ve found helpful in learning this skill.

WARNING: there is a lot of contradicting information about composition available online. As Glenn Vilpuu says, Nathan Fowkes emphasizes, and the Draftsmen echo,

“There are no rules, just tools.” – Glenn Vilpuu

I’ve tried to list the sources in rough order of what made the biggest impact/impression on me. I’ve not watched every video here, but I am familiar with each artist enough to recommend them. Remember, too much head knowledge without application isn’t usually healthy (in any area of learning). Try to put what you learn into practice as soon as possible before taking in more information.

Free Internet Resources

Nathan Fowkes

Nathan Fowkes has some free content about composition on YouTube, but his most valuable offering is his paid course on Schoolism.

The Draftsmen Podcast

The Draftsmen podcast/channel on YouTube has at least one episode dedicated to composition; Marshall Vandruff is very knowledgeable about composition and often has great advice to contribute; Stan Prokopenko has good advice, but Marshall has more life experience; they have rather different backgrounds as artists and each offer a valuable perspective; they balance each other nicely.

Bill Perkins

Glenn Vilpuu (and Michael Spooner)

Glenn Vilpuu spews artistic wisdom constantly; he’s a great figure-drawing instructor; just be aware that as a classically trained artist, he works a lot from nude models.

James Gurney

Feng Zhu

Feng Zhu on composition (Feng has tons of free, valuable drawing instruction)

Trent Kaniuga

Alphonso Dunn

Kim Jung Gi

WARNING: Kim Jung Gi frequently draws extremely inappropriate content; so I don’t endorse all his stuff, but man is he ever good. He gives a bit of drawing advice and instruction, but one can learn much from watching him draw; I find his skill inspiring and something to aim for. The following content is safe.

Aaron Blaise

While I don’t find Aaron Blaise‘s composition advice to be very strong/helpful, he’s got a lot of other great art advice, especially when it comes to drawing animals; I will say though, that he composes very well intuitively through decades of creating on a highly professional level; I just don’t find that he communicates too strongly in the area of composition.

More Resources

Art Inspiration

Final Thoughts

A useful exercise is to try to break down other people’s compositions as studies; just do little 1×2 inch thumbnail copies (or go up to 3.5×5 inches); try to study how they structure the values (i.e. scale from light to dark) and the colours. What kinds of contrast do they use? How do they focus/move the viewer’s eye? etc.

A simple YouTube search for “art composition” by itself or with an artist’s name will yield many useful results. These are some of the most influential resources I could recall from several years of drawing. I know it’s a ton of information; please don’t go crazy and burn out; just pick one resource to start (whatever catches your eye) and spend some time on it; pace yourself. Don’t try to consume this waterfall as fast as possible, but do drink deeply to your satisfaction. I’d recommend visiting this list from time to time when you’re wanting to up your composition game. Composition obviously isn’t all there is to know about art, but it’s a really valuable skill, and as Nathan Fowkes’ says, possibly the most important skill an artist can possess.

Learning Composition Read More »

Drawabox’s 2022 Spring Promptathon

For a few months I’ve been working through the incredible (and somewhat monotonous) Drawabox course (I’m on Lesson 2 and really enjoying the challenging texture studies!). I’ve known about Drawabox for probably over a year, but I finally dove into it in January of this year to really nail down my drawing fundamentals. After many years of work, Irshad (Uncomfortable) — the founder and instructor of Drawabox — and his teaching assistants were feeling burnt out and announced Drawabox’s first quarterly drawing promptathon which ran from March 25-31. During the promptathon students drew from a new prompt each day instead of doing their usual homework and submitted their work for everyone’s enjoyment . . . and exclusive avatars, achievements, and bonus credits. The drawing for each prompt had to be completed within 24 hours of the prompt being revealed. It was a great community event which lasted 7 days and generated a ton of creativity.

Today I’ll just share what the prompts were, and then over the next 7 days I’ll share my artwork for each day of the event.

Drawing Prompts

Click on an image to read the full prompt description on the Drawabox website.

Day 1: Cosmic Confectionary

Day 2: Mushroom Manor

Day 3: Tea Time at World’s End

Day 4: Mascot High School

Day 5: Decanter of Drowning

Day 6: The Court of the Rat King

Day 7: Junkyard Symphony

Nathan’s Artwork

I look forward to sharing my art with you. I had great fun with the prompts, and I know the other participants did as well. I’d like to say a huge thanks to Irshad and his team for an incredibly inspiring week of drawing and fun, and I want to thank the Drawabox community for all the friendly interactions and support. The Drawabox promptathon was the final push I needed to get this blog up and running.

The following links will become active as each post is published over the next 7 days.

Drawabox’s 2022 Spring Promptathon Read More »