Glenn Arthur

Glenn Arthur

Monday, November 7, 2011

Creating A Wallpaper Pattern


I know it’s been a while since my last post, and I apologize for being absent, but I have been in an all-consuming whirlwind of art projects and paintings lately that has been as exciting and fun as it has been exhausting! Yet somehow, in the midst of the madness, I’ve managed to start on some new stuff that I’m extremely excited about! I’ve been experimenting with going back to a more illustrative style, much like the ink and colored pencil style I worked in before I started painting, only this time I will be using paint!

For this new series of work I wanted to go back to the damask type background patterns that I used to use in my earlier work. Usually I would create a new pattern for each piece but I’ve decided that I want to have a more uniform feel to this series so each piece will adorn the same pattern just in different colors. People often ask me how I create my backgrounds so I snapped a couple pics during the process to show you.

First I start by creating a basic design. I wanted a laceier look for this pattern with something personal to my work so I decided on roses and hummingbirds.

Next I repeat the pattern by staggering the design using graph paper. I make sure to mark off points where the patterns need to line up so it will repeat properly.

After I get the pattern set and inked I trace it onto tracing paper. When that is done I flip the tracing paper (graphite side down) and rub the design onto the wood around the sketch. I like to use a softer lead when tracing because the graphite transfers easier. (I wanted this pattern to have a more stitched feel to it so I inked it with small lines before I started painting.)

Once the pattern is inked on the wood panel I start painting. With my backgrounds I always paint in light washes of color which helps to bring out the wood grain and also allows the inked design to show through.

And then of course I finish the rest. This piece is titled “Patched Hearts Never Heal” and is 8”x10” acrylic on wood 2011.

I hope you enjoyed my post. Thanks for stopping by! Until next time...

-Glenn Arthur

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Ever Changing Idea...

Hey guys!

So I just completed a painting titled "SheTakes Flight On A Loveless Zephyr" which I am extremely relieved to be done with. I'm absolutely thrilled with the way that it turned out, but this piece really tested my patience and challenged my creativity during the process.

She Takes Flight On A Loveless Zephyr - 20x20 acrylic on wood 2011

More often than not I plan out my paintings down to the last detail in sketch form before I even draw it on a wood panel. This helps me cut down on changes made and keeps the drawing nice and clean so it's ready for color. I started this piece the exact same way, however she had different plans in mind on how she would eventually end up.

Once I got her drawn out on the wood panel I felt like there was something missing. I wanted her to have more elements of flight and surrealism so I added the wings to her hair and gave the hummingbird a little military type jacket.

As I work on a drawing for a painting I usually have a color scheme in mind so that it takes out a lot of the guess work once I finally begin to paint. I originally had cooler tones in mind for this piece but once again she had different plans in mind as warmer tones took over.

I started having difficulty with the wings behind her neck. I wanted them to have a mechanical feel to them but also wanted them to be uniform with the colors of the wings in her hair. There was a dynamic that was not happening with this idea so I decided to make them black for a nice contrast.

I really liked this idea as I had originally planned the background on this piece to be solid white. Yet again, she had different plans for this too. The white just wasn't doing it for me, so I decided to go for the opposite effect and black it out. Of course this meant the wings would get lost in the background so I painted them gold and finally called the piece finished!

At the end of it all I'm in love with this piece. The struggles and changes only make me appreciate it that much more. It's all part of the learning and growing process. She really helped me to not be so rigid and to give in to the creative process a bit more. Sometimes an idea can be perfect from the start and other times in has to be given time to evolve. And with this lesson learned it's time to move on to the next painting!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Let Me Show You My Secrets

Hello out there in art land!

I just finished my latest painting for my next show. I'm really loving the solid black backgrounds on these with the bits of gold trim. This piece is titled "Let Me Show You My Secrets" and is 18x24inches acrylic on wood 2011.

I love to see how other artists work so I posted a couple of close up detail shots and progress pics in case you do too. Enjoy!

"Let Me Show You My Secrets"

Details of her face and makeup...

Details of her lace edge, flowers and "G" key...

Progress pic of the first couple layers...

My new skeleton Domo with some more progress behind him...

And a little more progress before I finished her up...

Well that about wraps it up for this painting. On to the next. Thanks for the love a support guys. Making art would mean nothing without you! 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Her Fatal Fascination

Well hello there!

I just finished my latest painting for my next solo show (info coming soon). The painting is titled “Her Fatal Fascination” and it is 16"x20" acrylic paint on a birch wood panel.

I’m really excited about this piece as I feel like it was sort of a breakthrough painting in a new direction that I’m taking my work in. Here is the full piece and some up close detail images. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

“Her Fatal Fascination” 16x20 acrylic on wood 2011

Detail of the skull in her hair and her hummingbird in steampunk goggles

Detail of her heart patch and “G” skeleton key

Detail of her face and makeup

Well now that she is done it’s time to get started on the next painting. Many more to come soon!  Thanks for all the love and support! You guys rock!


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

J3 Concepts (Bringing artists together)

My good friend, Jared Nickerson, recently invited me to be a part of an awesome project with his studio, Jthree Concepts. He created a character called “The Last Vampire Astronaut” and compiled a group of artists to recreate her in their own style. I was honored to be considered a part of this phenomenal group!

I have to say, working with Jared is a dream come true! Not only is he endlessly talented, but totally encouraging and completely supportive of the artists he works with!

This is Jared’s original character that we had to go by. His attention to detail is insanely inspiring!

This was my concept sketch of the character…

Here she is all cleaned up and inked…

And finally brought to life with colored pencil, watercolor and ink…

Huge thanks to Jared for including me on this project! I’m totally looking forward to the next one!

Check out the other artists and their versions here: The Last Vampire Astronaut


Friday, April 15, 2011

Sketch Theatre

I was recently invited to join Sketch Theatre which was such a huge honor for me. In case you’re not familiar with them I implore you to check out their website. It’s full of incredibly inspiring time lapsed videos of some of the most amazing artists sketching, drawing, painting and just doing their thing!

I must admit I was a bit nervous about doing this. I tend to be my own worst critic, as I’m sure most of us are, but I couldn’t pass up this kind of opportunity! When I arrived at the studio I was greeted by the executive producer of Sketch Theatre, Lily, (who is as sweet and kind as she is gorgeous!) and she really made me feel welcome! I sat at a large desk with a huge camera hanging just overhead and a monitor to my right. I threw on my iPod and went to work.

I sketched from start to finish for one hour which was a little strange for me as I tend to work on multiple projects at the same time switching back and forth. But once I got in the zone it was easier than I had originally thought. Watching myself draw in the monitor was kind of fun but after a while I completely forgot it was there.

When the video was finished it was even cooler than I thought it would be. Lily set the video to an awesome track by the Crocodiles which went so well with my drawing and she had such wonderful things to say about my work! I can’t express enough gratitude to Lily and everyone at Sketch Theatre for including me in this amazing art experience and I can’t wait to do it again!

I hope you guys enjoy my sketch! Watch the video here: Glenn Arthur 01

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Synergism (Collaborating Minds)

I recently embarked on an artistic adventure by collaborating my visions and styles with another artist’s work and I must say that it was one of the most engaging experiences I’ve had as an artist. It really forces you to step outside of your comfort zone and place complete trust in another individual that they will not only handle your work with love and care but add their own special brand of talent to help improve and expand the piece as a whole and vice versa.

My great friend, Roberto Morales, is a master of graphite and ink work in a beautifully twisted style that is all his own. His artwork is jam packed full of imagery that is not only macabre and bizarre but intricately detailed to perfection which is why I was so excited to combine our two artistic worlds! We agreed on an idea and set to work…

The piece is titled “Peeling Back The Nightmares” which I started with acrylic paint on a 12x16 wood panel.

I handed off the piece to Roberto and he took over by adding his amazing work with graphite and ink.

The piece then found its way back into my hands as I finished off the rest with more paint and viola… a piece of art was born!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Professional Procrastinator or Procrastinating Professional?

Ever hear that timeless saying, “Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?” or even go so far as to say it out loud to yourself? Yeah, me too.

And thus opens the door to the dangerous world of procrastination!

Upon starting a career as a visual artist I would draw and paint at the speed of light meeting deadlines long before they were due only because I wasn’t sure just how long each project would take to finish. My drive was extremely strong, and still is, however I’ve now become more comfortable in my craft and understand my limits and capabilities within certain time restraints. I also find myself taking on a much heavier work load as I realize how much work I can complete faster than before. I’m a bit of a workaholic so multitasking projects is how I thrive. The only problem is the more skilled I become in a certain area the more I tend to procrastinate.

Now I can tell you from experience that procrastination is the type of practice that gives with one hand and takes away with the other. You get the instant gratification of relaxing, hanging out with friends, or watching just one more episode of your favorite show yet you have to deal with the consequences of stressing out, sacrificing sleep and rushing to complete a project on time.

But this brings up the question, “Is procrastination really a bad thing if I’m still able to meet my deadlines?”

The answer is YES! It’s a known fact that stress is the cause of many physical and mental ailments and sleep deprivation, well we all know how messed up that can make you! Not to mention the fact that finishing projects at the last minute leaves no room for errors or revisions which can make or break you as a professional.

So how does one keep from procrastinating?

As for me the answer lies in keeping myself constantly challenged. The more I try my hand at new techniques or using new products I’m unfamiliar with the more I retain that original drive to get things done right away. If I’m not sure how long a project will take to finish I will generally get it done sooner than later in case I might hit an obstacle along the way. So if you’re having a problem with procrastinating then I challenge you to challenge yourself. Wade into uncharted territory and attack it at full force. You might be surprised at how ahead of the game you can get and you’ll be able to carve another notch in the old skill belt!

(This piece posed a few new challenges for me, but now that it's complete I can take what I've learned and move onto the next!)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The American Dream.

As a child growing up in America we're generally given this preconceived notion of "The American Dream" and that living it is the ultimate goal that you could ever achieve. As we grow older we come to realize that this idealistic dream is not quite as easy to live as once thought. But that begs the question, "What exactly is this American dream?" According to James Truslow Adams in 1931, the American dream meant that "life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement"

That's all great and good but today there are so many standards that our society has set that are either completely outdated or near impossible to reach. We've put this "American Dream" on such a high pedestal that it's like scaling Mount Everest to get to it. Everything we do we have to justify in a way that it becomes one more stepping stone toward reaching this practically unattainable goal. But why are we in such a hurry to live a dream that others have created for us? And will it really bring happiness to achieve it?

Well I propose a new dream to live. Your own dream! Break the mold of these old fashioned ideals. Design your own standards of living regardless of society's ridiculous norms. Create goals that are unique to yourself and set out to achieve them in only a way that you can. Don't let yourself be discouraged by obstacles that you may have to overcome along the way and always make sure you learn from any mistakes made. Be completely true to yourself and when someone asks you how you're doing today, you can look at them and say, "I'm living the dream! My dream!"

(Painting is MY dream, and I'm living it!)