Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bob Ross 2.0

You may prefer the less challenging English translation over the original text, but one writer in Greece has compared my show... well maybe just me... to Bob Ross.

Bob Ross [Wikipedia], the afro-adorned, soft-spoken wizard of 26-minute oil paintings got famous on PBS and left a void for art education when he passed away on July 4th, 1995.

He was famous for "happy trees" and "happy accidents" and those phrases live on in my show as viewers rattle them off in the chatroom.

I have absolutely no criticism of Bob Ross's work. He filled a void, brought a lot of people happiness and joy by helping them accomplish complete paintings. But perhaps the author sums it up best:
[Dave] sure is not Bob Ross but is a very good effort.


The author of the article just mailed me an accurate translation:
Many of you have seen Bob Ross, the guy with the strange hair at ET3 (a greek tv channel) that paints in a couple of minutes things that most of us adore (although many "artists" think that they are just "knock offs"). Maybe you are one of those who tried to make their first steps in painting, because of the easiness that Bob Ross presents us. The shows we are watching are already counting 15 years and Bob Ross is not alive.

If you are wondering how a similar artist would be in the WEB 2.0 era, I think that David Darrow is an answer. Daily lessons and live streaming, twitter updates and of course blog, website etc, the Painting Guy does a very nice opening of the art to the public. Maybe he is not Bob Ross but this is a very good work.

If he is streaming right now you can watch him below either way visit his ustream channel.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Blind Merchant - Color Sketch

The Blind Merchant - Color Sketch by David R. Darrow
8" x 10-1/2" (20.3cm x 26.7cm)
Oil on Panel

About This Painting

Last evening on my internet video broadcast Dave The Painting Guy I did a preparatory painting, known in painting circles as a color sketch.

This is part of a process of a larger work in which I can test at a small size how I might approach the color and some of the brushwork on a larger work.

In the case of The Blind Merchant, a commission from a San Diego collector of my work, I painted this on top of a mounted print of the pencil layout I have already done on the final, 18" x 24" canvas.

The painting is ready to go, and I will begin it in a 2 - 3 hour broadcast beginning Wednesday at 5pm, Pacific time.

To go directly to the broadcast, where you can view my show if it is live, or view video clips of past broadcasts, click here.  ◙

Limited Edition (25 total) Giclée

I am making available an Edition of 25 limited Edition, signed and numbered, 8" x 10" Fine Art Giclées of
The Blind Merchant
color sketch I did Monday, September 22, 2008. They are signed and numbered in the order payments are received.
As of now, there are 13 left in this edition.

Click here to order now:

Optional matting upgrade

Total: $25 including Priority Mail shipping. This edition will not be repeated, and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.
(Matted and Mounted upgrade available)

These Giclées are printed with lightfast, archival inks on archival, acid-free Fine Art paper and will not fade or yellow for over 100 years.

To subscribe to my free "Art In Your InBox" Newsletter, just click here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Samuel Gompers

Samuel Gompers by David R. Darrow
8" x 10" (20.3cm x 25.4cm)
Oil on Canvas Panel
This painting is not framed
Click here to see it bigger

About This Painting

Next Dave The Painting Guy show:
Today, Wednesday, 5pm Pacific Time (GMT -8)

This past Monday, I relaunched my Dave the Painting Guy streaming internet show (website link) after over a month off the air, a month off from any painting (other than walls), and a month of packing and relocating to a large enough home to comfortably accommodate my wife and I, our individual home businesses, my art studio, and occasional guests and family-member sleep overs.

Somehow Labor Day seemed like an appropriate day top get back to work. So I announced my intentions to go on the air again to subscribers to my notification list... and then set about trying to figure out what I would paint fro the show.

As always, careful planning and meticulous forethought are not my strongest gifts.

So it seemed Labor Day might have some interesting faces associated with its history, and sure enough, this interesting man, whom I painted as a demo on the show.

Samuel Gompers, according to Wikipedia "...helped found the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions in 1881 as a coalition of like-minded unions. In 1886 it was reorganized into the American Federation of Labor, with Gompers as its president. He would remain president of the organization until his death (with the exception of one year, 1895)."

And he had a pretty nice face for a painting demo.

(You can see the recorded clips on my ustream channel).

I'm going to offer it to the AFL for, I dunno, $300 or 400, but if anyone on my mailing list wants it, let me know in the next couple of days, and it's yours for $150. Or best offer.   ◙

To subscribe to my free "Art In Your InBox" Newsletter, just click here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Shadow Shapes Make for Recognition

One of those 'pass around the internet' pictures came to my mailbox recently, and I think it is one of the best examples supporting my constant assertion that it is the otherwise abstract shapes of the shadows and shapes of the lights that make for recognition in portraiture.

So many of my students and viewers of Dave the Painting Guy get immediately caught up in details, forgetting that an accurate "bigger picture" is, often, what really tells the story, making the face recognizable.

In this manipulated image, above, the details tell you you're looking at Albert Einstein, but if you get up out of your seat, walk back away from your computer about 15 feet and turn around, the shadow shapes connect to images stored in your brain and you recognize, instead, a different celebrity.

The lesson: Sharp details do not contribute to recognition nearly as much as many artists think.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Signed, Framed, Delivered: It’s Yours!

David and Mariam, the portrait's subjectMy wife and I delivered my commissioned portrait of Mariam directly to her place of work yesterday. Rather than having me bring the painting to her office, which she felt would certainly lead to unwanted ribbing from her already tease-prone coworkers, she met us in the lobby, complimented the portrait, asked for a little stack of my business cards and walked directly out to the parking garage to sequester the painting from prying eyes.

She later wrote that she took a few trusted friends to the garage gallery and showed them, which garnered the art work still more compliments.

Note: This painting was painted in its entirety live on the Dave the Painting Guy Show.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

On Acrylics, Lips and Mistakes

To be honest, I am always nervous about drawing in front of people, and having done so in classes and workshops I have taught and, now, online has really "kept me on my game." I suppose it's a bit like stage-fright. I don't think anyone is really afraid of speaking in front of people: they are deathly afraid of looking stupid in front of people by saying something wrong.

But even that comes in degrees. Even the most stage-frightened individual could give a 5-minute oratory in the 'baby hold' of a neonatal ward. At the other end of the spectrum, speaking before a crowd of dignitaries who know everything (or worse, think they know everything) about a subject you know very little about.

So when I teach, I have to remind myself that these people are here because they believe I have something to give them; something they do not yet have. That, metaphorically, puts the situation closer to the neonatal ward. I think, I can handle this.

It's a little different, though, doing a 'show' which largely attracts artists, including professionals. It rattles me to draw in front of people anyway, to be honest, and more so other artists. But I hate what fear does to me.

Fear is an energy. It makes me feel unpleasant. I am not talking about the healthy fear that makes you feel creepy about trying to jump from one building to another when they are 30 fett apart. That kind of fear saves lives. I am talking about the kind of fear that keep me from growing; the kind that screams in my mind's ear "Don't do it! They will find out you're a fraud!"

"But I'm not!" I argue back, in a questioning tone.

Oh, really? Then why not invite artists you look up to to watch the show?

While I would rather paint in the neonatal ward, the little dark shoulder-angel (or is this really the light one?) has a point... so without [much] hesitation, I invite Morgan Weistling, Chris Hopkins, Mick McGinty and others to view my show early on. [Norman Rockwell has still not signed in...] And in the spirit of William Hung, I just do my best.

Knowing I am far from the neonatal unit of the David R. Darrow School of Art and Halftime Extravaganza forces me to really think about my process, my measurements, my mixtures -- no easy task with the hounds of ADD nipping at my off-camera hind end the whole time.

On the John Wayne Painting

Starting so loose with acrylics was truly an experiment... the slick board made it flow easier than the canvas painting of Natalie I had just finished minutes before. Again, I was uncertain of the outcome, but envisioned a sloppy mess slowly turning into a decent painting.

My approach was to get my values and dark shapes in as a 'drawing and washes'... glazing until it "started to look like him" -- I felt it was WAY off until I got past the first eye. I found that mixing the acrylics was a challenge because of the difference in the way pigments work together in oils vs acrylics... but, just as oils were hard at first, I figured there was a way to 'compensate' and just concentrated on that: fixing what was wrong. (Probably the greatest "ah-ha!" for me as an artist was grasping that my method is '90% correcting mistakes' -- and so I am no longer nervous making mistakes -- it's my process.)

Partway (before the lip debacle -- watch one of the later video clips) I almost "canned it," thinking I could not recover sufficiently to make it salable... but I think I caught it good enough, when all was repaired and done.


Natalie in acrylic was another experiment. When I started, I did not actually believe I could do it. But, now that I have struggled through it, I am very pleased with it. I had no vision of what it should look like. I often do, when staring an oil -- and that lack of vision was an obstacle. That vision often changes, but I can generally "see" certain parts finished before I even begin them. As I started to get the hang of the "retarder gel," I saw hope and kept going, making the face pleasing to view, and that inspired the will to finish.

Yes, I did think of tossing it, early on. I often do -- but, honestly, never do. I have a flaw, some might say, of not knowing when to give up and move on. Maybe it's an asset in a product-sense, but not financially. I don't 'cut my losses' well.

It is gratifying to know there are folks out there who just like to hang out at my easel, and for the most part, allow me to make mistakes in front of them.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Submit Your Viewer Picture

Would you like to be added to the gallery of Dave The Painting Guy viewers?

Follow these steps:
  1. Get Dave the Painting Guy (live show, recorded video clip or website) displaying on your computer monitor.
  2. Get a picture of you and your monitor (with Dave the Painting Guy showing) together in the same shot. (be creative, or just snap a shot)
  3. Send the largest version of your favorite shot to Dave [drdarrow@gmail.com], or click here to open your e-mail application, auto addressed to Dave The Painting Guy. (Dave's "gallery-making application" automatically sizes the pictures to a preset maximum, so the larger the better for clarity.)
  4. Include your name, uStream username, city, state/province, country -- as well as your art-blog and website. (if you wish to have your name omitted, say so by your name — only your username will be shown).

Updates to Your Mobile Phone

It's all free, and if you'll take a moment or two to sign up for a Twitter.com account, you can be updated on your mobile phone via text message whenever Dave is planning to go online to paint.

Here's how:

Go to Twitter.com/thepaintingguy and create a free account.

Next, search for and "follow 'thepaintingguy'." (Twitter does not allow enough characters for the username 'davethepaintingguy.')

Next, go to Settings > Devices and add your country code (+1 for USA) and mobile phone area code and phone number and authorize Twitter to send you text messages. You may have to verify your phone through a little process they show you.

That's it. Now when Dave posts a twitter message, it will be sent to every registered user that is following "Dave The Painting Guy."

Note: You may be charged by your mobile service provider on a per-text-message basis, if you do not have a monthly plan for unlimited incoming text messages.

Friday, May 9, 2008

New Internet LIVE Show

Introducing a new LIVE Internet show about oil painting, hosted and taught by well-known portrait painter, David R. Darrow.

The best way to view this is to come over to uStream.tv and sign up. (There's a Log In/Sign Up link in the upper right.

Also, check out www.DaveThePaintingGuy.com for show schedule updates.