Friday, December 2, 2016

Natural history illustration exhibit opens in Jamestown

An exhibition of natural history illustration called Focus on Nature will open tomorrow at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History in Jamestown, NY. 

"Since its inception in 1990, the New York State Museum’s Focus on Nature exhibit series has reflected the standards, materials, and skills of contemporary natural history illustrators. It promotes awareness of a genre of art that requires scientifically accurate illustrations such as those used in textbooks, research journals and publications, interpretive nature centers, and nature guide books. Focus on Nature XIV will feature over 60 works in a variety of mediums representing artists from a diverse geographic range. These works represent a marriage of pleasure and practicality – wherein the artist’s keen observations and sensory interpretations of their subjects are exquisitely rendered."
Two paintings of my paintings will be in the show, the images of tyrannosaurs that I did for Scientific American. There will be an opening reception on December 9, but I won't be able to attend. The show will be on view through April 9, 2017.

Charley Parker on Casein

Charley Parker of the blog "Lines and Colors" has written a well-illustrated and comprehensive post on painting in casein, as well as a review of my recent video "Casein Painting in the Wild."
"Casein is one of the least familiar of the water based painting mediums available to contemporary painters, even though it’s one of the oldest painting mediums known. Casein’s use can be reliably traced back over 9,000 years, with evidence of the formulation in cave paintings, and examples have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs from several thousand years ago....Personally, I find casein to be a genuine pleasure to work with. I like the way it flows and handles, the textural possibilities and the appealing color and matte surface in finished paintings."
Painting with Casein Paint
Review of "Casein Painting in the Wild" on Lines and Colors 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wow, I Went Viral!

Yesterday, quite unexpectedly, a little video I put on Facebook went viral, with 2.5 million views. Here's a link to the video on Facebook, and here is the longer version on YouTube that shows more of the making.

The video was a new 1-minute edit of the making of my handmade animated logo "Gurney Studio." The concept was simple: to alternate the motion graphics shots with behind-the-scenes clips. 

I made the video for Instagram, where it got a respectable 10K views. I thought just for fun I'd put it on my public Facebook too. It has been shared especially strongly in the Spanish-speaking world and across Southeast Asia.

Facebook gives you some stats. The majority of watchers were men, age 25-34, and 82% of the audience watched it with the sound off.

Here are some preliminary guesses to why it went so big:
1. Simple intro line: "A different way to do logo animation." 
2. No need to speak English to understand the video.
3. Simple, tight editing: Flurry of 1/2 sec. clips at the beginning, followed by A,B,A,B,A,B.
4. No links out, which probably boosted it in FB's algorithm.
5. "Share-ability" which is an elusive thing. People want to share something that makes them look good.
6. Bottom line is THANK YOU! for watching and sharing. That's what makes it happen.

The comments ranged from people who thought it was a funny stunt to: 
"What if Cinema 4D was done practically?" 
"Let's try this on our project" 
"Bro, this is your kind of stuff," 
"Pretty good, Grandpa!" 
"Hey, let's dump our computers; we can get the same results working in the garden."

A lot of shares were among people who work in the graphics trade. One multimedia company said "Reality, first and foremost."

Perhaps we have arrived at the intersection of two vectors: one being what is possible with cutting-edge digital tools and the other being what can be created by hand and shot in-camera. The former requires expensive software and expertise on how to use it, and the latter takes some workshop skills and some level of commitment.

As an artist, I am mesmerized by watching examples of the latest software and how it can capture complex interactions of particle effects and fluid dynamics. But I know that with my learning curve and my budget, the best I could ever accomplish with those tools is a very second rate effort. For me the fun of the practical build is that all those effects are "for free."

Once you make the device, you can place it into new visual environments and situations. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Painting a Creek in Wyoming

Here's a new casein mini-video. If you're getting this post by email, you may need to follow this link to YouTube.

I choose a view facing toward the sun, which makes sparkling spots of bright light. Note the vertically stretched reflections in the still water near the far shore.

The appearance of the water surface is very sensitive to changes in the wind.

Invest in your art education
Get the full tutorial on Gumroad (Digital download HD 1080p 3.1G MP4).
Buy Now on Gumroad
The digital download is also available on Sellfy for Paypal customers. Digital download (HD 720p 1.5G).

The DVD version is available at Kunaki (ships worldwide) or at Amazon.

You can get the paint in sets. The Casein Explorers Pack is a good introductory palette that gives you a pretty wide gamut.
The Casein 6 Pack (The colors I used for this painting. On its own, it's a rather muted palette. It can be used on its own and it also makes a good supplement to the 12 pack.)
Casein 6-pack with travel brush set (Same set as above with the short-handled brushes).

Monday, November 28, 2016

A guy comes up to me while I'm painting....

One of the things I love about painting outdoors is meeting the locals. While painting in Salida, Colorado, I chatted a bit with artist Ronald E. Paine.

The painting is in casein and gouache. The full account of the technique of the painting is on my new video Casein in the Wild. If you're getting this post by email, you may need to follow this link to watch the video.

Take your paints to the streets
Gumroad (Credit cards)Digital download (HD 1080p 3.1G MP4)

Find out more about Casein
Sellfy (Paypal) Digital download (HD 720p 1.5G)
DVD at Kunaki (ships worldwide) or Amazon
Casein Explorers Pack (12) (A good introductory palette that gives you a pretty wide gamut.)
Casein 6 Pack (The colors I used for this painting. On its own, it's a rather muted palette. It can be used on its own and it also makes a good supplement to the 12 pack.)
Casein 6-pack with travel brush set (Same set as above with the short-handled brushes).