I finally got around to finishing the painting that I’ve been working on recently. I decided to name it “teardrops” since the original sketch I had for it was teardrop-shaped. I posted about it a few weeks ago, but I’ve added a bunch of final touches.

Since the last post, I cleaned up a bunch of the linework, fixed several mistakes, and added a bunch of shadows for depth.

Once I was done with the actual painting, I sealed it with 3 coats of Golden Satin Polymer Varnish with UVLS. This varnish is actually pretty cool. It adds a nice matte finish which makes the painting look more “finished”. It also protects the colors from UV light, which over time can cause the color in the painting to fade.

In my last post, I shared my first painting, which I finished back in November. Since then I’ve been struggling to find time for painting, but I’ve been chipping away at a similar piece that I think is a lot better. This past Saturday I allocated the entire day to painting, and made a bunch of progress.

I forgot to take photos in the very early stages of this painting, but I have a handful of WIP shots from Saturday. The painting is made with golden fluid acrylic paint on an 11×14″ wood panel that I gessoed and prepared myself.

I feel like it’s better than my first painting. Better in terms of composition, color strategy, cleanliness, and just overall technique.

This new piece isn’t quite finished, but I figure it’s done enough to post about. Next, I’m planning to work on improving the shadow effect to give the pattern some depth.

A few months I signed up for @tenhundred’s course on learnmonthly.com. In the 1-month course, he walks you through his approach to making art.

I had just started getting into painting, so it seemed like a perfect opportunity to learn how to think about things, and dive in deeper. I also love the idea of Monthly, because their strategy for creating courses is to find influential/great YouTubers and give them a platform to teach their craft. They also structure everything to occur over the course of a month — which gives you a structured environment to participate in the course with your coursemates and learn together as a community.

Learning new skills from passionate people with practical experience has always been a great experience for me whether it’s in-person or online in a recorded video. It’s how I started programming — I learned the basics from Jesse, and then I spent like 10x my time with him watching RailsCasts and PeepCode videos in an attempt to internalize the knowledge. Learning from people with real experience (vs. reference material/documentation) puts me into a different sort of “beginners mind” mode — where I’m more comfortable diving in and making mistakes. This helps me learn deeper and faster via experimenting instead of trying to memorize rules or concepts and apply them sometime later.

I was super excited to sign up! The idea of learning how to paint from scratch from my favorite artist was too much to pass up. Unfortunately, right as the course got released I got tied up with a super busy work schedule which sapped all of my free/learning time during the month of the course.

I ended up getting super busy during the actual month the course was running, so I didn’t get an opportunity to participate much with my Monthly cohort group at all, but I watched all of the course content and got sucked in during the end of November during the Thanksgiving long weekend. It was great! It really taught me how to think about approaching the creation of a painting. It can be pretty daunting without someone showing you the ropes. I learned everything from brainstorming a concept, prepping a wood panel, transferring sketches to the panel, spatial characteristics of a canvas (back to front is way easier), mixing colors, making use of a mixing medium, and all of the final details that go into prepping a final product that looks professional.

I didn’t really follow the course’s focus on character/story-driven art, but instead, I applied the tenhun process to a simple doodle/color texture/pattern study. It turned out kind of weird, but I’m pretty proud of finishing my first acrylic painting on an 11×14″ wood panel (that I gesso’d and sanded myself)! Below are some of the photos I took from start to finish.

This evening I painted a concrete coaster. It turned outer super weird, but I was mostly exploring colors, and playing around with the tenhun style.

It could be the beginning of a see no evil, speak no evil, see no evil coaster set. But probably not, because it was kind of hard to paint on such a small surface.

I think I either need to start painting on larger surfaces, or get a really tiny brush that allows me to work on small lines. I had a bunch of trouble with the small details and lines on the face.

Today Jessica, Queso, and I moved into our new office, inside the new Boulder wework!

We’ve both been remote employees, or work-from-home freelancers for the last 4 years, so we’re both very excited about the change in pace.

Queso even put up a sign to score some pets!

The other night I was watching some Rocket League on twitch. I noticed that the guy had some cool camera settings that were allowing him to hit crazy shots.

I decided to test out his settings, and they made a huge difference! I’m able to take good aerial shots, and have much better control of the ball. I’m kind of surprised these settings aren’t default, because the game is much more enjoyable with them.

Below are the settings, because I will undoubtedly need them again at some point:

    * Controller Deadzone:    0.05
    * Dodge Deadzone          0.35
    * Steering Sensitivity:   1.30
    * Aerial Sensitivity:     1.20
    * Field of view:          108º
    Distance:                 270.00
    Height:                   100.00
    Angle:                   -5.00
    Stiffness:                0.35
    Swivel Speed:             5.00
    Transition Speed:         1.20

Back to Blogging

Hi Friends!

I spent my last few evenings learning about http://indieweb.org, https://micro.blog/, and trying to revive my personal blog. Things are still a little rough around the edges, so bear with me as I slowly customize the theme, and make things nicer.

I’ll write some thoughts in another post about why I’m getting back into blogging. But for now I wanted to say thanks to Danny and Colin who both inspired me to take the leap and to start hitting publish.

On the technical side

This time ’round I decided to roll with WordPress for my blog. I haven’t used WordPress for several years, but after doing a bunch of statically generated sites, and using Ghost pretty extensively; WordPress seems to still be the best option for straight-up blogging.

Another benefit of WordPress is the huge plugin ecosystem. For example, I was able to install a Indieweb plugin, get a brief overview of all of the related indieweb plugins, and install the ones I cared about. I’m excited about things like webmentions, and cross-posting via micro.blog.

For deployment, I’m using Trellis, and Bedrock by Roots. There was definitely a learning curve on these tools; but seeing as I’m entirely unfamiliar with the current WordPress ecosystem, I was pretty stoked to figure things out and get things deployed. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how much these tools improved the deployment/management experience of WordPress. Especially using composer for dependency management and installing things in a sane/versioned way.

When I was choosing a theme to start from, I wanted to make sure everything plays nicely with microformats and all the fancy indieweb stuff. So I’m using “Indieweb Publisher” which you can learn more about on the wiki.