Monday, August 29, 2016

Barron Storey

This artist, illustrator, and instructor has left a huge impact in the world of Commercial Art. His contribution not only extends to memorable work, but how he completed his work. 

Baron uses his sketchbooks like a mad scientist would use a laboratory. He is constantly creating visual experiments that push his artistic boundaries and enhance his professional work.

He has worked for National Geographic documenting cultures, landscapes, and wildlife from around the world. His work from Africa is considered quite significant. 

Impressed with Storey's work with National Geographic, Popular Science, and Popular Mechanics magazines, NASA would hire Storey to assist with the development of the space shuttle. This is the image that Storey created that is currently hanging at the National Air & Space Museum in the nation's capital. It's considered the first image of space shuttle assembled together. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Line and Movement: Ride the Lightning

Real lightning almost looks like a tree upside down. Yet, the symbol of lightning looks like an impossible staircase. 

What does electricity feel like? Please do not get struck by lightning! If have ever experienced an electrical shock, it can feel "sharp" which explains the symbol's edges. 

Lightning is comprised of diagonal lines that feel energetic. If you were driving down a road shaped the same as a real bolt of lightning it would be an incredibly bumpy ride. 

Look at the similarities of the angles between the lightning and the sports poster. There is an energy to the sports poster. Even the name of the athlete is in a diagonal similiar to the lightning bolt.

Diagonal lines create visual interest. 

Notice how the lines in the photo bring out the focus, which is the person holding the umbrella. The lines energetically lead the viewer to where the photographer wants you to see. 

Different line types...

Ralph Steadman is an excellent artist. Though some of his line is very energetic and crazy. This is how the term "Gonzo" art was coined. Gonzo art is a highly energetic, over-the-top expression to communicate visually.

At this point in art class, it is not how you draw. Drawing is a skill that will develop over time. It is how you think that is critical. When speaking over the phone, do you care how well someone can dial your number, or is it more important to care about what someone is trying to say?

Steadman's self portrait isn't a demonstration of skill as much as it is a testament to effectiveness. His drawing is an incredible representation to what Gonzo art is. Steadman can draw beautifully, but beautiful isn't always appropriate or necessary. Think, when a building fire is on fire do you want that information sang to you like an opera or do you want it yelled? Which would be more effective?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Power of Line!

Class work:

Line is voice, and art is communication. So in order to be a better artist we need to make sure that we understand the lines we draw is how we speak. Clear lines are important just as flawless voice.

Al Hirschfeld is an illustrator whose line work is almost flawless. He was a master of the single line drawing technique. This meant when Hirschfeld started a line he would not remove his pencil from the page.

Hirschfeld began his career imitating the most popular artist of his day, Charles Dana Gibson. Gibson was the creator of the Gibson Girl. The Gibson girl is important because she became a symbol of female empowerment and style for American women for over 30 years.

Gibson recognized that women were being ignored when it came to marketing. So he targeted his work towards them which caused Gibson to soar in popularity. His drawings of confident women inspired hairstyles and clothing for many American women. 

Hirschfeld grew up on the beaches of Hawaii. He would start his beachside drawings squinting his eyes, shielding brilliant sun. His squinted eye drawings became a game of drawing a single line. This early game in his childhood would propel him into fame in his career. 

You knew were famous if Hirschfeld drew you. 

Hirschfeld would honor his daughter by hiding her name in his illustrations after she was born. Sometimes he would place a number by his signature that revealed how many times he hid her name in the drawing.

 Impressed with his ability to hide the names, the Army Air Corps felt if you could find the "Nina" name in Hirschfeld's illustrations, one could find where to drop bombs from a bomber plane. So young recruits were tested to be bombardiers by finding Nina's name.

Don't forget your skull drawings!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Shape vs. Form

We are studying Shape vs. Form. You may recall that we have been discussing in class that everything is made up of different shapes. The artist looks at the world and figures what shapes match best with what they are attempting to draw. If you combine shapes you can create complex forms. 

Shapes are what something looks like. Form is what something is. 

Garfield is supposed to be a cat. Most veterinarians would be freaked out if a cat actually looked like Garfield, but Garfield has enough features of a cat form that we can assume he's indeed a cat. The important features about Garfield's personality is that he's fat and lazy. Fat is a round shape. So to emphasize the idea he's really fat the artist used lots of round shapes. So round is Garfield's shape, but Garfield is a cat so cat is his form.

What connects shapes to create forms is called the contour. Contour is the outline of a form. So we build with shapes to create forms. This image is a representation of the form of an elephant. The elephant in this image is made up of many shapes. It is the outline, or the contour line that helps the viewer to understand that this is an elephant. The lines that defines what these shapes added together is the contour line. Contour = Outline.

There are two different types of shapes we need to aware of when creating our forms. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

The World is Legos!

The secret sauce to understanding what ingredients make a great artist begins with understanding how artists see the world. When you ask an artist can you draw ______? Before you finish your question the artist should be thinking,"Yes, I can."

The reason being is that the artist understands we live a world full of shapes. We are surrounded by rectangles, squares, and circles. Your table is a rectangle, as is the flag we pledge to, and the white board we look to for notes. The ceiling tiles are squares, and the water bottle top is two circles forming a cylinder. The point is artists see the shapes in everything. Artists understand that it is these shapes coming together that allow us to see. 

You understand that too. Through the toys or video games that you played with growing up, you experienced building a world of your imagination. 

It is important that we try to train our eyes to see the shapes that make up our world, so that understand we can use those shapes to build what we need.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Welcome students to Braden River Art's Blog!

In this blog you will be able to link to class assignments, find explanations of projects, gain access to reference materials, and advanced classes will be able to post assignments. I'm hoping this will further reflect the professional world and make your learning environment even better. 

Make sure you download and print a syllabus from…

Also, please check out our gallery site at