Monday, February 21, 2011

Suggestion Box

By John Jude Palencar

Over the past few months the members of Muddy Colors have posted a variety of topics and subjects.

Dan Dos Santos has instituted an online critique. I'd like to take additional suggestions to further creative dialogue and knowledge building for Muddy Colors. Perhaps there is a subject, question or topic that we have not covered. Something that you would like to see or something we have not touched upon ... a subject that could be explored more thoroughly etc...

As the Amish say "Hands to work, hearts to God".
Let's use our happy hands for some great suggestions.
We will try our best to address any suggestions that we feel are applicable.


  1. I really liked Trick of the Trade post. Perhaps you could do a whole series on this topic.

  2. I find I most appreciate posts on either technique or business and marketing advice. But I also welcome posts spotlighting amazing artists, either living or 'old masters'.

  3. The posts about process and tricks always grab me. I'm really curious to see the critique post when it goes up. Maybe it's something you've already addressed, but what led you (collectively) to fantasy illustration? What were some of the big moments in your training/education that pushed your art to another level?

  4. When reading in the last post that Manchess would do a painting demo in the Boston area, i tought to myself how cool would it be if the demo was posted here, since i´m in another hemisphere, so far away from Boston...

    So this is my suggestion. Videos! Hehehe... But if there is no videos, that´s ok. I love this blog anyway...

  5. I'd love to get some posts about your favorite reference books... for business. I've got a lot of legal and business books that are good for writers, but none so far that are good for artists. :)

  6. The recent post about hiring models made me think that a feature on setting up, lighting, shooting and using photos would be a good one.

  7. It's always great to see how other artist work so I would say video.

  8. I second the video suggestion but I do understand that those take a good amount of work to get done.

    I'm definitely interested in process posts and discussing business aspects of what we do. So far I think you guys have done an awesome job! Always looking forward for new posts.


  9. I find comparisons between old work and new work fun. It's interesting to take a moment to see how far an artist has come.

  10. id say, as long as you just go on doing what you did, its one of the greatest blogs on the web.

    we dont have a shortage of instructionals in the web. what we do have a shortage of, is quality instructionals.
    and you do deliver heavily on that front.
    everyone and their cat either screengrabs, or puts a camera on a tripod, filming themselves when they do a painting. all the commentary is what you see anyway: "so right now i am painting the dude in the foreground... here you see me painting the foliage..."
    what is almost never done, is actually conveying something you can look at, and immediately put to use for yourself. this can be stuff like brush tricks (like jespers trick of the trade post), meaningful(!) insight into process (like WHY did i choose this thumbnail over the other ones - WHY did i introduce these elements, etcetera... more WHY than HOW) and stuff like that.
    if you want to make videos, id suggest the same thing: make small nuggets of knowledge, and most importantly: only make videos where videos are appropriate. how to do a certain handling thing with a brush is something where a video is useful. showing a gallery of thumbs and noting which one is successful and which ones arent so much, is not.

    long story short: do what you did, keep the mix of topics healthy, and dont tie yourselves down too much on a blog concept. this is a group of amazing art people being able to post stuff they think is important. nothing bad can come from that.

  11. First of all I really enjoy this blog. I think everyone is posting helpful and interesting information. Here are some topics I wonder about...

    The past influencing your work. This could be anything from "the old masters" to anything of the more recent past.

    The present influencing your work: other artists, technology, changes in business, film, animation, comics...

    Artist health and safety.

    Self promotion or other business advice.

    Favorite books: artists, art history, how to, anatomy.

    Tips for figure drawing from a model or from your head.

    Tips for photographing reference shots or where you look when you need to know what something actually looks like.

    Freelance vs. work for hire. What is that anyway?

    Pitfalls to avoid when dealing with a contract.

  12. Hi Folks - Thanks for your thoughtful suggestions. In the coming weeks we may be able to address some of these topics and evolve current tried and true posts Stay tuned...


  13. John, some of us have not been so fortunate as to have the support of family to pursue the arts as to them it is not a "viable" career option. And unfortunately, the influence of family can be a dead weight on the growth of an artist such as myself. I'd like to here what you, or some others, did to overcome such obstacles if you came across them.

  14. I think it would be great if there were a space for art challenges for those of us going for a more subtle/urban fantasy approach. Even with the incredibly expanding array of resources available to today's aspiring illustrators and concept artists, I still have not been able to find a niche. There are wonderful communities like, deviantart, and that offer weekly challenges for artists, and they are wonderful places for inspiration and learning. However, I find that more often than not, these challenges revolve around superhero and epic fantasy themes. While I certainly take inspiration from and love these themes of sff art, I am more interested in creating scenes that involve paranormal occurrences rather than monsters, muscle bounded brutes, swords and battle axes, for example. There remains an open spot for a more "subtle approach" to the sff art challenge.
    I suspect that there are many other aspiring artists out there with a similar interest in this matter and I think that offering a space for such challenges would be highly beneficial to the growth of this site. I do realize that taking on such an endeavor such as maintaining a challenge space would require a lot of administrative duties and therefor might be a bit far-fetched, but hey, just thought I'd mention it :)....


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