John Williams: The Music of My Youth

John Williams Painting Featured 3

Growing up in the 1980s was just too much fun. Yes, we had the Rubik’s Cubes and the parachute pants, but we also had the real beginnings of the summer blockbuster. It seemed like every year there was a new, *original* movie to enjoy, with great characters and a great story. And many of those movies were scored by the legendary composer John Williams.

I remember getting a Star Wars soundtrack on vinyl back in the day (which I’m still looking for in all of my boxes in the attic). It was my first introduction to film music, and to John Williams in particular. Since then, I’ve amassed a healthy collection of film scores from all sorts of composers, and it makes up the bulk of my music library.

I decided to create a painting honoring Johnny and all of the magical contributions he’s made to film over the last 60 years!

John Williams Painting Detail 1

John Williams Painting Detail 2

John Williams Painting Detail 3

 

When I start a new painting I go through a lot of sketches, trying different combinations to see what I like. Here’s a short video of that process for this painting:

And here’s a video where I’m working on some of the orchestra players below, deciding how I want to place them:

He has tons of musical projects to choose from, so I had to narrow it down to the ones that had the most influence on me growing up. Can you name them all? Here’s a short video showing the final piece:

His music was definitely the music of my youth, and continues to be a big part of my adulthood as well. Prints and canvases for the painting are available here.

All set for the Junior League Christmas Show!

art show image 2

I’m super-excited to announce that I’ve been selected again for the Junior League “A Christmas Affair” show here in Austin! It’s the biggest holiday show around, and the Junior League’s biggest fundraising event (raising $750,000 last year!). I’m looking forward to showing my personalized family pieces, as well as my fine art paintings and Christmas card photography.

Last year, I won the ‘most creative booth’ award out of several hundred merchants! I’m sure the competition will be fierce this year, but I’m going to do my best to bring home the award again 🙂

The show runs 11/15 – 11/19, and you can learn more about it here.

art show image 1

 

My Peloton Obsession

peloton-cycle-painting

It can be fair to say that I have a slight obsession with our Peloton cycle. We picked one up after spring break, and within a few rides I was already planning my fitness strategy. This was a bit weird for me, as I’ve never been much of a cycle guy (apologies to my friend Dave who has repeatedly over the years tried to get me to go riding with him).

This machine just fascinates me. Within seconds I can browse through the hundreds of pre-recorded classes and find something I like. Bon Jovi vs. Van Halen 45 minute ride? Check. Ray Charles’ “I’ve got a Woman” 30 minute ride? Check. 80s ride? Check and check (in fact, there are over 120 80s rides alone according to PelotonGuide.com).

If I want, I can always jump in a live class, where I have a chance of getting a shout-out by the instructor (I’ve had one, at ride #50 with Jennifer Jacobs).

Wait – ride 50 you say? Oh yes. In fact, within about 2 weeks of getting the bike, I had a plan to complete my 100th ride during a live class at the Peloton studio in NYC. It was a tad ambitious (I needed to complete something like 84 rides in 96 days). But I did it. Some days were great, some not so much. And by next Monday, I’ll have 99 rides and will be ready for 100.

And not just me. My wife also rides for her cardio, and my oldest son Brandon rides too. In fact, he and I are riding together in NYC – it will be his 50th! Trevor even did a ride at the Austin studio to support a local animal shelter.

This has all been quite motivating for me, so I decided to create a painting to celebrate all of the good that the Peloton cycle has done for our family. I created this 30”x40” acrylic painting on canvas, showing all sorts of different people enjoying their bike! If you look closely, you might be able to make out some of the profiles 🙂

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We are super-excited to be in NYC for ride #100 and #50! After that, I’ll set a new goal (probably 200 rides, but at a bit slower pace). In the meantime, you can find me on the bike at E_Dog_Photog.

If you like my work, be sure to follow my new instagram account just for fine art work at www.instagram.com/fineartbyeric . Thanks!

Episode 6: 100 Subscribers! :) And a Gift For You

Ep6 - 100 Youtube subscribers

Woot! Just found out in the last few days that I passed 100 subscribers on YouTube! 🙂 Ok ok I know that’s not very much. Especially when there are plenty of people there with thousands or even hundreds-of-thousands of subscribers! But’s a big deal for me. Since starting the channel back in 2010, I’ve lingered around 70 subscribers (obviously because I wasn’t posting any content).

However, in the last few weeks since I started this video series, I’ve gained over 30 new subscribers! That’s pretty cool to me. So, a little thank you is in order, which I do in the video below. As an additional thank-you, I’m sharing my “Art Wall” templates that I created a few years ago. These are Photoshop files that will help you show your artwork at specific sizes. For example, you can use these on your product pages to give your clients an idea of what your art would look like at a specific size on their wall. I have a couple of preset sizes for each wall image, and I also show in the video below how to create your own specific sizes.

All free! There’s no “sign up for my email list to gain access” thing (although if you want to sign up, I certainly won’t stop you). Here’s a link to a zip file on my dropbox with the images:

http://edog.link/2lJ0Sgb

I would love to know what you think of these! If you have a specific question, leave it here or on the YouTube video page and I’ll answer it. Here’s the video describing how to use them:

 

Subscribe Today!!

 

 

I created these art walls on my Wacom 27QHD, which is great for work like this:
http://amzn.to/2mwThOK

If you like this video, I’d really appreciate a ‘thumbs-up’ over on the YouTube channel, and consider subscribing as well!

Episode 5: Wacom MobileStudio Pro Part 2

Wacom Mobilestudio Pro 16 Review Image 1

A few weeks ago, I published a review of the new Wacom MobileStudio Pro 16 (you can watch that episode here). That review has been watched a few thousand times (which is a big deal for me – thank you!) I really tried to touch on all the pros and cons in that initial video.

It’s been almost two months now since I picked up the MobileStudio Pro, so I thought I would do a follow up review, because a couple of things have changed! Mainly, a new driver update from Wacom (which has addressed some lingering palm rejection issues I’ve had).

Overall, I still really like it! Yes it’s big, and heavier than an iPad, and not as powerful as a desktop (or even some laptops out there). I will be the first to admit that it’s not for everybody. But it’s great for me. It let’s me take all of my apps and a drawing tablet with me on the go! Since the full version of Windows is installed, I also get a filesystem that I can easily access too (really Apple – it’s about time on that one!)

In this episode, I talk about what’s changed with the new driver release, plus a little bit about stands for the MobileStudio Pro, along with why I switched bluetooth keyboards (if you are coming to the Wacom MobileStudio Pro from a Mac background, you’ll appreciate why I switched 🙂 ).

Take a look at it, and let me know your thoughts/comments below. If you have a specific question, leave it here or on the YouTube video page and I’ll answer it. Speaking of videos, here you go:

 

Subscribe Today!!

Wacom MobileStudio Pro:
http://amzn.to/2kcquR2

Here’s the new bluetooth keyboard I mentioned that I really like:
http://amzn.to/2m6SpjR

And here’s the Artisul stand that I picked up:
http://amzn.to/2kCKWLo

If you like this video, I’d really appreciate a ‘thumbs-up’ over on the YouTube channel, and consider subscribing as well!

Episode 4: Painting A Darth Maul Face in Photoshop

Paint a Darth Maul Face in Photoshop image 1

For my son’s birthday invitation a few years back, I wanted to turn him into Darth Maul from Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace (you remember – that movie with Jar Jar. The horrible writing. The corny jokes. But mostly, Jar Jar). Despite all of its shortcomings, it did have a great bad guy in the form of Darth Maul. That character has such a unique look, and the face painting work was amazing!

I was determined to bring that look to my son’s invite. He was going to have the coolest invitation in the neighborhood ever. But, I had to remember that I was dealing with a 6 year old. Patience for face painting was going to be hard to come by. So, I decided to create the effect using just lighting and Photoshop! I photographed him in the garage in about 2 minutes (on average, that’s the longest continual attention span I could get before a break).  It was a ton of fun to create the image, and it went over really well! I thought I would share how I created it, so that’s the topic for this video.

At the beginning of the video I talk about the lighting. For a character like this, it’s all about the drama, and you can get so much drama with just your lighting technique! Try to get this part of the image nailed down before you even get into Photoshop.

After that, I talk about how to use channels to get the skin texture to show up over your paint layers. Finally, I discuss some noise/color techniques to bring it all together at the very end.

Subscribe Today!!

I did the retouching on a Wacom 27QHD, which is great for this type of work:
http://amzn.to/2mwThOK

If you like this video, I’d really appreciate a ‘thumbs-up’ over on the YouTube channel, and consider subscribing as well!