Category Archives: Art education

Drink and draw with art city eugene

I made drawings today at art city Eugene! The event was held at Sam Bonds Brewing hosted by Barbara for art city Eugene!

Follow her at.
I did stand up comedy and drew some of the artists as well as the model.



Music was provided by this cool electronic artist, impercept.

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Human ottoman rotoscope project.

I’m working on animation for a music video for Human Ottoman. I am attempting a style known as “rotoscoping.” This was used by Disney artists, in the Beatles film,  “Yellow Submarine” and Ralph Bashki in his film “American Pop.”

Click here to see it in action?

and Here! 

Here are some pictures   

Basicallly, I put a projector on a keyboard stand pointing down onto my desk.

 From there, I bring up the movie I am tracing and go frame by frame. Then I will edit the drawings in Photoshop. The layers tool allows me to stack them by assigning different layers more transparency. Then I think I will use Apple iMovie to put them together and “print” as a moving image.

I can do wild weird effects to the drawings, color them, or cut them up and move them around stop motion stlyle. I will post more here when I finish.

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Ocean and aquarium paintings

I teach art at Mecca some Saturdays. Here are some photos of my lesson’s results. 
This is a nudibranch I guided an 8 year old boy to draw. I broke it down to basic shapes and encouraged him as he went.

This young girl is drawing a whale. 

This child appeared to put on too much water. Cool skull though.

A sunken ship! I didn’t prompt them to draw that. Notice the crystalline trees to the right. Or are they houses?

You can see the bright oil pastels show through the blue water based paint. Sometimes the students use colored pencil or crayons. 

Coral and layered paint.


This was an example I made to show them how.

After drawing fish, eels, sea anemones, sea turtles, jellys, coral and sea weed, the children paint blue over with sponges.

Some students abandon their drawings, so I recycle their pages to guide other students. I like to not finish my projects so that students don’t imitate me fully. I like this lesson because it doesn’t have to be changed for older kids, just expect more detail out of them. In most projects, for some reason, I get push back from kids when I ask them to put in more when I think they aren’t done. This project usually has less of that, perhaps because there is always more to put in the ocean. I’m going to mail these to my niece in Amsterdam to put up on the wall around her cradle. I hope they aren’t nightmare inducing.

I even got my mom to try this lesson.

Didn’t she make a nice scene with layers of paint? Her fish have some personality. You can try it at home or share with children.


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Eucon 2015, Terryl Whitlash and Kelly McMorris

I made it to Eugene’s second con this fall, Eucon! And I saw many amazing artists. By coincidence the author of this book was there.

I picked it up a few months ago from a Portland Art store and I’ve been sharing it with my students to many “oohs” and”aaahs.”
She was charming and answered questions and talked about her career. She told us the secret to making believable animals in fantasy worlds and films is to base them on the structures of real living animals. She shared with us how she would go about designing a “jabberwocky.” (she would combine a pteranodon, a rahmphorincus, with an Ethiopian  wolf, a long neck and a rabbit head)  I asked her what does the jabberwocky eat with those rabbit teeth? She said, “little girls!”

She said she wanted to illustrate biology but got into film almost by accident when Lucasfilm’s art director saw her work in her school’s gallery. Here is a long video about her career.

My favorite part of the video is where she says, “keep yourself teachable.”  
She is behind a massive free online course for designing fantasy animals, Creatures of Amalthea.

( maybe it’s an ad campaign for copic markers, but it’s pretty cool!)

Thank you Terryl, you are an inspiration.

I also met this fantastic Portland artist Kelly McMorris who illustrates for Disney, Scholastic and cricket magazine. Check her work out here. She has a blog where she talks about art technique! Wow, I could learn a lot from her.

Here are some of the coolest cosplayers I saw.

 What time is is? ADVENTURE TIME!

What kind of crazy fan fiction would have Marty Mcfly meet Ant Man?


 That adorable pink storm trooper outfit is made out of yoga mats! 

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Utushi-e Puppets.

At Mecca here in Eugene, we have kid’s art workshop on Saturdays. Today we made these puppets. The trick to them is to have a character on two distinct poses. The puppets are double sided. Traditionally, the performers dress in black and have black gloves covering their skin. The character can flip and change its pose. This is the simplest form of animation: two frames! Dynamic!

The dowel or Popsicle stick is painted black and glued between two pieces of black matte board. 

This young artist made a pumpkin character with glasses.  

This young man made a colorful bird with teeth!  

Here I am with a little troll and a skeleton.
It’s Jacqueline Black the witch! (She’s friends with Janice the Jester and Nate the Knight) 


I eecially like the gag of a cute ghost who becomes fat by eating too much candy and the pop tart who is concerned that he is missing his corner.


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Lesson plans based on Freehand by Helen Birch.

I picked up this book at an Oregon art store and immediately began copying drawings from it. Nearly every page could be a “daily art challenge” or inspire a lesson plan.


Here is my drawing inspired by page 19 Maria Molares.

I think anyone could follow the basic rules of these patterns and make their own. Like it is meditative to color, it is also to draw the same image again and again. Once an artist figures out the rules of a pattern, or makes up their own, they can be followed continuously until the page is full. It’s quite satisfying, and the brain can stay occupied you might find the solutions to puzzles that have perplexed you when you were stamped.

Some people say they do their best thinking in the shower or while driving, by sketching, one could imitate the draining showering phenomenon while sitting at a desk. Lynda Barry suggests drawing spirals.

Or writing the alphabet. If you have the “tip of the tongue phenomenon” you might stumble across the answer if you just stop focusing on it. Imagine a scenario where you can’t come up with the Latin word for werewolf. Try writing out the alphabet… A, b, c, d,

After all, your brain is a collection of connected neurons, and considering we make sense of our world through language, the neuron cluster that make up our letters we make our language out if must have millions of connections!

Eventually you’ll think of something that will remind you of the answer. “L makes me think of Lyme, which makes me think of… Oh I just started craving a lime Rickey… Hmmm, m n o p… I remember now, it’s lycanthrope!” ( results may vary)

Here is my drawing inspired by page 21 by Julia Pott. 

  It features made up animals. Intentional distortions. I also included words that have nothing to do with the composition, forcing the viewers mind to make a connection that doesn’t seem to be there. By having one animal resting on the back of the other, I think it makes the animals that clearly don’t really exist, look a little more real, forcing the viewer to imagine perhaps the artist had a model he was looking at while drawing. It reminded me that as a child I would draw my own animals and dinosaurs, combining traits of many real animals into my own biologically feasible creations.

Here is my drawing inspired by page 31 by Stephanie kubo and  page 39 by Kristen Donegan.


It utilizes patterns like a Zentangle, some elements of collage, some random chance (I threw a cup down on the page to trace and there was charcoal in the cup that marked the page.) I have been researching about Dadaism lately… This peice also uses the technique of blending/ drawing with an eraser. I used color sparingly. One ” rule ” of composition, is if you have a color appear somewhere on a piece, have the same color appear somewhere else. I intentionally broke that rule.

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Monotype Collage

Today I subbed for collagraph class at Network Charter School. I had students cut out images from magazines, glue them to a surface, then make a monotype print based on their collage.

 Applying gum Arabic to the plexiglass surfac

 Here is my collage. I found an article on orchids. There are humans in the photo, but I don’t want them in my image.

 Halfway through, painting on the transparent surface with watercolor and washable markers.

 This is what the plate looks like before I run it through the press. Seems a little dull, eh?

 Then, wow, the colors really pop! The wiggle effect of the water reflection is partially successful. The purple orchid looks too messy,  lacks the simplicity of the others.