Monday, January 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Chicago Artist Forum

Chicago Artist Forum in action

A year ago, Denise Dorman put some ideas into the head of one, Kevin Sandstrom of Dick Blick Art Stores. Next thing you know, a place for artists to gather, show off portfolios, and generally talk shop and fun was born in Wheaton, Illinois. It has now grown to a nice little event that brought out about 30 artists in 0º Chicago weather this past Saturday.

The artists range in experience from 30+ year veterans to folks in their freshmen year in art school. But all of them love to draw and respect the craft, which makes for great discussions and plenty of learning and networking opportunities.

The CAF will have a website soon that will list the upcoming presentations and events. I just did a slideshow/talk on what I learned at the Revelations Symposium in Seattle and coming up are Ray Frenden demoing Manga Studio techniques, Joe Lester on sculpting monsters, and Dave Dorman on traditional painting. Plus, live models!

In the meantime, check out their CAF MySpace page.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Revelations - The Roundup

Dancing Tattoos in the Space Needle

I just spent four days in Seattle at Massive Black/'s Revelations Symposium. Steve Bialer and I were joined by Bruno Warneck of Midway Games as we wallowed in concept art, both digital and traditional. Hundreds of artists from around the world converged on the Northwest to learn and draw and network. For the opening night party the conference had the run of the Seattle Space Needle, complete with live models to sketch, booming DJ's, and dancing girls with many, many tattoos. The last time I was there I was eight. I think I would have remembered the dancing tattooed redheads.

DR1 - The Main Section of the Digital Room

A Few of the Instructors Surrounding the Digital Room

One of the Painting Areas of the Traditional Room Upstairs

Mike Hussar Working on a Three Day Pose with Model Trisha Lurie

The Symposium was split into two floors. The main hall had several areas dedicated to digital concept art and the main stage for large presentations. There were around 16 stations setup for large scale projection as the instructors took turns creating art live during the whole conference.

The second floor held the Traditional Room which also had multiple sections for painting, sketching, live models and sculpting. Up here artists like Shawn Barber, Mike Hussar, Carl Dobsky, Greg Manchess, Brom, Dan Dos Santos, and El Coro attacked the canvas.

Brom Giving an Overview of His Career and His Methods

The superstar of the symposium was clearly Brom, a very traditional painter. While digital rules in many areas of today's entertainment business, at this conference traditional methods were respected and taught. At one point, Jason Manley gave a packed house a three hour overview on Color and Light Theory using classic paintings as examples.

Brom Originals Up in the Traditional Room

Brom Onstage and a Sparth Demo

One of my greatest pleasures was having the good fortune to be at Sparth's table while he created and explained his work methods. In an hour and a half I found out more about Photoshop than I have in the rest of the millenium.

Dan Milligan Explains the Art of Storyboarding

Digital Meets Traditional - Andrew Jones in the Traditional Room


The last two hours of the symposium were dedicated to Thunderdome. It's a live illustration contest by the instructors and a couple of brave audience members based on a suggestion given to them at that moment. This year's the theme was "Dream Devourer." The conference attendees watched on large presentation screens as amazing images were created in a blink of an eye.

Jason Chan Creating His "Dream Devourer"

Jason's Almost Completed Thunderdome Winner

Goodbye Seattle

Hello to everyone I met and I look forward to seeing you and your art in the future.

Some Videos from Revelations

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