P&M 002: The Awesome Thing In Your Head

June 29, 2013 in Procrastination and Motivation

You can call and leave a message at +1 (858) 859-3256, email us with a voice clip or text at, or leave a comment on this post!
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode (anything you’d like to add!) and we’re still looking for input about depression and long term chronic illness, as they relate to motivation and the tendency to procrastinate.

Melanie Herring’s Color Tutorial.

Lulie Tanett’s Secret to Composition (includes a lot of other useful links, PERUSE THEM!)

How to Draw Clothes by Lora Innes

Figure and Gesture Drawing: Tools for Self-Educating Artists

Sketchup, and the 3d Warehouse

I forgot to mention this IN the podcast but I’ve heard more than a few times of people having some luck modeling in MInecraft and using that as a starting point.

Here is my original sketch for my larger Elemental Mix-Up picture.

Found some models in the Warehouse that approximated what I was going for, arranged them accordingly and put the camera where I wanted it.

Still not perfect, but a LOT better. I go a little more in-depth over at my blog, so if you’re interested in the WHOLE process, please click on through!


ABE #11: Animal Mechanicalism

June 26, 2013 in Art Block Execution

Art Block Execution #11: Animal Mechanicalism

Apophenia: the experience of seeing meaningful patterns or connections in random or meaningless data.

It’s human nature to find connections in things where there is no logic to be found- there are lots of examples. Today we’re working specifically with Pareidolia, which causes us, most commonly, to see faces or animals (and sometimes Jesus) in our Cardboard Boxes, Clouds, and Toast.

Us, we look at cars and we see animals. Sometimes. This is entirely normal, and it happens when the design is being put together- it’s on a subconscious level, though. We as humans tend toward familiar shapes when we create, and car designers are no exception.

SO! take a look at a car- maybe the car you have, maybe one you want, doesn’t matter what.

Does it remind you of an animal? A real one, or something that doesn’t quite exist?

Only thing? Try to avoid just drawing the animal if the car shares a name with an animal. Some Jaguars DO kinda look like big cats, but Mustangs don’t remind darn near ANYBODY of horses- don’t cheat, this is about grabbing your brain by the horns and making it form something concrete out of a vague notion.

Difficulty: 4/5 This can get pretty hard. A lot of times the vehicle will give you an idea for just the head of a creature, and leave you hanging on the body.

How Does This Kill Art Block: Mostly it’s a distraction, but learning to reinterpret design is an excellent skill to have.

Bonus Points: Draw the car, too!

We love to see your completed ABEs! If you have a tumblr, you can post your ABE there (or Submit it to our blog!) and be sure to use our tags, #ABE, #TixNRoo, and #ArtBlockExecution. If you don’t have a tumblr, you can email them to us at, or post a reply to this topic!


ABE #10: Movie Madness

June 12, 2013 in Art Block Execution

Art Block Execution #10: Movie Madness

And you WILL go mad, especially if you don’t have very many potential canvasses, or if you tend to be OCD about finishing movies.

This is a learning tool more than an Art-Block-Killer per-se, BUT it’ll give you tools to help you work through your future art block, and it’s an ABE that we can legitimately suggest you do more than once.

Watch a movie- any movie- and when a scene comes up that is really, very visually striking or powerful . . . pause the movie. Paint that scene. We suggest you do this traditionally, if possible, and small, because that keeps you from noodling in the details- you want to be looking at overall composition. You can do this more than once during a movie, and if you’ve got some other local artist friends (or long-distance ones you can watch movies with) we suggest you make it a group thing!

For Non-Visual Artists: Musicians, do the same as the above- but locate a particularly striking part of the score and recreate its basic melody. the goal is the same- broad strokes. What’s the bare minimum it would take to get the point across? Writers are much the same, but focus more on moving moments in the story.

Difficulty: 3/5 Trying to pick and pause the movie can be difficult, and this ABE can be sort of time-intensive and easy to get distracted during.

How Does This Kill Art Block? Well, movies can be a treasure trove of creative inspiration (why else would there be so many super-excitable fandoms?) but also (and most especially) because it can be really useful to see how things are done in other media. Basic compositional rules are in effect in all media, and stuff that made it all the way to the big screen tends to be pretty well composed, whether you personally enjoy it or not. (and often times even if it didn’t go that far you might still like it.) A big part of getting past art block is simply having the tools to compose even when you’re not feeling it- so study what somebody else did right!

Bonus Points: Write an essay (a little one, mostly for yourself) about why the shot you chose worked and how you might work that into your art.

We love to see your completed ABEs! If you have a tumblr, you can post your ABE there (or Submit it to our blog!) and be sure to use our tags, #ABE, #TixNRoo, and #ArtBlockExecution. If you don’t have a tumblr, you can email them to us at, or post a reply to this topic!

(And, for the curious, Roo painted two scenes from The Prestige, in actylic on 3×3 and 2.5×3.5 canvas.)


ABE #9: Single Sentence Selfie

June 6, 2013 in Art Block Execution

Art Block Execution #9 : Simple Sentence Selfie

Continuing with our celebration of Selfies this week, we ask you to think of a sentence, phrase, lyric, quote.. anything, that somehow embodies you. A phrase you say, a particular part of a song that always hits you right in the gut, anything that SUMS YOU UP, and draw a picture of yourself, based on or inspired by that line.

It can be anything- really! And we know that sometimes this phrase will change based on how you’re feeling. Sometimes stuff resonates with us more than at other times, and as a result, we have a Bonus challenge this week: If the sentence that really hits home changes, especially as a result of an overall mood change, positively or negatively, do this ABE again!

Difficulty: 3/5 . Probably the hardest part will be picking a single phrase, but you probably already have one in mind, and the rest of it is all up to your technical skill.

How does this kill art block?: Let’s face it, we love to talk about ourselves! We’re giving you permission to do that, and as always, our goal is just to get you moving, no matter how! As an added bonus(?) this ABE should also give you some insight into yourself- who you wan to be, who you are, or how you’re feeling, which can be a huge help in de-blocking yourself.

We love to see your completed ABEs! If you have a tumblr, you can post your ABE there (or Submit it to our blog!) and be sure to use our tags, #ABE, #TixNRoo, and #ArtBlockExecution. If you don’t have a tumblr, you can email them to us at, or post a reply to this topic!