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The Evolution of an Animal Portrait by Scott Deardorff

July 2010

Summer Rocks

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Digital Paint Magazine - July 2010

July is going to be an AWESOME month. Family, fruit and frolicking. I love summer and the ability to be on the water skiing, tubing, knee boarding or whatever. Sometimes just hangin’ on a floaty or reading a book on the dock or hammock is a great afternoon. Right. I need to take more time to do that. “The confessions of a workaholic” is a book, blog or video I have wanted to produce for awhile. Most of us are busy, many are busy by choice. A fortunate few are blessed to be able to work where their passion lies. I am one of those few. Sometimes cash flow even takes a back seat to passion and the business-geek side of my brain has to reconcile with the art-geek side. One thing I have found that benefits me greatly as an artist and as a business owner is down time. A really good formulaic approach to this is to work your tail off for 6 weeks then take an extended weekend somewhere, 3-4 days. NO WORK. Almost impossible I grant you. I usually find myself having severe withdrawal symptoms after the first 12 hours. I have yet to find that perfect balance and I am sure Allison would tell you I need to work less. But having that down time really does refresh the mind and body. Some of my most creative work comes right after a short hiatus from the dailies. So the point here is to have a chill time. The contributors at Digital Paint Magazine graciously give us their time in creating the articles, paintings and tutorials. I encourage you to allow us to be a part of your relaxation time, we would be honored. Then after you create new pieces or learn new things, let us know. Send us some images that we can profile on the blog and in the readers gallery. Notice that this month the readers gallery is empty. Please share your work with us. Send three images to ‘til next time. Live-Love-Laugh


In This Issue: The Evolution of an Animal Portrait by Scott Deardorff

With Brush & Pen by Barb Hartsook

Right Click by Skip Allen

Pet Portraits by Diana Dillon

Establishing the Focal Point by Karen Bonaker

Cartoons by Victor Lunn-Rockliffe


Bonobo Chimpanzee By Scott Deardorff

Digital Paint Magazine - July 2010

Marketing Buzz: Target Market Involves Perception by Tim O’Neill

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The Evolution of an Animal Portrait Adobe Photoshop provides lots of creative tools for the digital painter. In the latest version, CS5, we’ve been given some new toys to play with and experiment with – and I hope to be able to share some of my own experiments with you in due course. For now, my favorite Photoshop painting method continues to be – the smudge technique. And the evolution of this wonderful image of a bonobo chimpanzee from photograph to painting was accomplished in this way. Primates are among my favorite subjects to paint – they’re sort of

Digital Paint Magazine - July 2010

half-animal, half-human. In fact, painting a portrait of an ape is a lot like doing a character study of an old man. I chose to paint this image – photographed by Derrick Neill – for the beautiful, cool light it captures, the mood it conveys, and most importantly the magnificence of its subject. The goal in painting this image was to preserve and enhance these features while transforming the photographic information into painted brushstrokes. The photo seems to have been taken at a zoo, but with the out-of-focus blue-green background, it’s easy to

imagine the rainforest that might have been its home in other circumstances. With some subtle changes to the colors and luminosities, and the addition of some foliage, the background transformation was fairly simple, as you’ll see. So let me take you through the basic steps I took in creating this painting. There were a few things I wanted to address before I started in with the smudge tool. Although I like all the green of the grass on the left side of the image, I felt a tighter crop would work better. With that accomplished, adding to the top of the image using the clone stamp was a quick and easy task. I then made a few adjustments inside the selective-color dialog box to reduce the strong cyan cast on the subject. I like the blue look of the image, so I didn’t want to eliminate that entirely, just reduce it somewhat on the subject. In selective-color I targeted cyan, reduced the cyan (-25) and increased the yellow (+10), then applied that transformation only to the subject using the history brush (by making this last step the history brush source and backing up to the previous step in my history panel). Following that adjustment, I over-

sharpened the image – as I always do before I start painting – using unsharp-mask settings of 300/1/0.

At this point I began using the smudge tool to paint the subject, starting with the face (except for the eyes), then moving on to paint the rest of the body. For this process I used just one brush, the texture1 brush, which is a favorite of mine. The goal in this step was to brush over the entire subject (excluding eyes), replacing the photographic detail of the image with painted brushstrokes. Note: Anyone who wishes to download and use the brushes I discuss in this tutorial can go to: viewtopic.php?p=46443#46443. What I call the texture1 brush can be found in SarsaHairBrushes.abr (it’s the one that opens at 15 pixels), and


the smoothing brush I use can be found in LindaBrushes.abr (it’s the one that opens at 65 pixels). For the head area I worked mostly with a brush size of 15 pixels and a strength setting of 65%. For the body I increased the brush size to 20-25 pixels. As I painted, I stroked in the direction of the lines of the image in order to preserve the forms and features of the subject. One of the downsides of using the smudge tool in this way is that both highlights and shadows are compromised, but as you’ll see, this is something that’s addressed in a later step.

To complete the basic work to the subject I worked the eyes with the same texture1 brush – this time sized down to between 5-10 pixels and used at strength settings of 8085%. I first worked the brush over the eyes to simplify the photographic detail. I then created some painted detail by adding colors in the fingerpainting mode – brown and black Digital Paint Magazine - July 2010

for the eye color, white and blue for the reflections. The eyes are one of the most important parts of any portrait – animal or human – so my recommendation is that you take whatever time is needed to get them right.

With the foundational painting to the subject complete, it was now time to begin the process of adding some painted detail to the face and fur. By using the texture1 brush in fingerpainting mode (at various sizes and strengths based on the width and length of the desired brushstrokes), I applied bright and dark colors to bring back the highlights and shadows that were reduced during the first smudging step. I added white and black, blues and browns to enhance the forms of the subject and give the portrait a more “painted” look.

Next I made a series of adjustments to the colors and luminosities of the subject. When I work on a painting, evaluating and adjusting these elements is always an ongoing process. As much as possible, it’s good to get the colors and tones right from the start, but you’ll always need to carefully examine your painting, and then make the necessary tweaks as you go. I started with a curves adjustment to increase the contrast of the subject. I raised the highlight end of the curve to produce an input value of 246, and then lowered the shadow end to produce an input value of 15. Then I went back into selective-color and made a few changes. To give some strength to my highlight brushstrokes, I targeted white and moved the black slider to -25. Then to reduce the cyan level on the subject, I targeted cyan and moved the cyan slider to -20. I applied both of these adjustments only to the subject using the history brush (except for the eyes, where I didn’t like the effect).

The next task was to begin work on the background. I liked the colors present in the original image, but I really wanted them to be darker – to make the subject stand out a bit more and to create a feeling of early morning. To accomplish this I made a general levels adjustment, moving the white output slider on the bottom to 145. I followed this up with a 100% levels luminosity-fade (Edit>Fade Levels) to bring back the colors of the background. Then I went back to my history brush and applied the pre-levels step to the subject and (at 50% opacity) to some areas of the background, so the darkening effect was only present in the background (and a bit around the subject edges).


At this point I began to add some colors and vegetation to the background – to give the feel of a natural rainforest habitat. First, I went over the background with my smoothing brush to smooth out the effects of the over-sharpening I did at the beginning of the process. I then used my brush tool in color mode here-and-there to add some cyans, blues and greens. For the grasses, I used the same brush, the texture1 brush, sometimes in finger-painting mode, sometimes not. I used the brush at different sizes and strengths to simulate differentsized blades of grass. All in all, a tenminute painted background – easy, but still effective, I think.

Close to the finish line now, I wanted to apply a few more adjustments before moving on to the final stage. First, I used the dodge tool to build up some of the shadow areas – on the side of the face. Next, I wanted Digital Paint Magazine - July 2010

to adjust the color of the subject one last time by adding a little green – to give a sense of light reflected from the surrounding foliage. To do this, I went back into selective-color, targeted cyan, and moved the yellow slider to +20. I then applied this adjustment

only to the subject, again by using the history brush. With the painting looking essentially as I wanted it to, it was time to move into the final stage of the process. This involved adding the sharpening and texture that would give this digital painting the look of a traditional oil-on-canvas painting. The first step in that direction was to apply some sharpening to the painting, and I used unsharp mask once again, this time with settings of 100/.7/0. Next, I applied a canvas texture filter, not the one that comes with Photoshop (I never use this texture), but one I created. A similar texture that can be used is available from

Scott Deardorff A husband and proud father of two young boys, Scott Deardorff is a portrait artist who takes a modern approach to creating paintings of people and animals. His medium of choice is digital paint applied to a digital canvas. His tools of choice are his Macintosh computer, Wacom tablet and stylus, along with Adobe Photoshop. Scott’s background is in Photography. When he graduated from Cal State Fullerton’s School of Communications, he was honored as the outstanding photo-communications student in his graduating class. He has worked with both digital and traditional photographic media in every format from SLR to mediumformat to 4x5, both in-studio and outdoors. Most of his work in photography has been in the wedding and portrait field. This background, along with his great appreciation for the work of the traditional portrait masters, has guided the development of his digital-art technique, portraiture skills, and unique painting style. In recent years, as Scott has worked to master the art of digital portrait painting, he has worked to fully understand and utilize the creative potential of Photoshop – and to share with others what he has learned. To find out more about Scott, his art and his educational projects, please visit:


Stephen LeQuier’s (Trimoon’s) website: http:// My texturizer settings were 110/2. I followed that up with another sharpening step using the same usm settings (the texturizer step tends to soften the painting a bit). As a final step I used my smoothing smudge brush – first at a low strength setting (13) to reduce areas of over-sharpness, then at a higher setting (50) to

smooth out some of the brush strokes and reduce the texture in other areas. What I’ve found is that by smoothing the texture in places, it can create the look of layered paint. Where you see lots of texture, there’s the indication of a single, thin layer of paint, where you see less texture or no texture it looks like either thicker paint or more layers of paint. So we can create an illusion of depth in this way.

So there it is – the evolution of this portrait from photograph to painting. If you’re interested in learning more about the process of painting animals in Photoshop, I’d welcome you to check out my new DVD, “Lesson One, Creative Animal Painting Techniques for Photoshop.” This first installment in my “Mastering the Digital Canvas” training series will be available at the end of July, and includes over six hours of video instruction in QuickTime format. In

this lesson we start with a basic introduction to smudge technique. You’re then guided through the process of painting an animal portrait from beginning to end. All the brushes, image files – everything you need to follow along and learn – are included on the disk. To find out more, please visit my website, www., also available at the end of July, 2010 Digital Paint Magazine - July 2010


Painting Our Pets

s How are they set into the sockets? (Deep, or do they protrude somewhat?) s What is the structure of the socket? s Do the eyelids cover part of the eye? s Are the lids thick, causing shadows on the eyeball? s What is the size and shape of the pupil

For so many of us, our pets are family. Our best little buddies, with their own personalities, sometimes quirky little habits that make them unique and endear them to us. So when we paint them, we want to show all of that.

Let’s Start With the Eyes I believe you can capture the essence of your pet if you study the eyes. They differ from cats to dogs to horses to birds to the furry little critters that pop out of the woods.

What to Look For s Look at the shape of the eyeballs – are they round or elliptical? s Are they the same size? Exactly the same shape? Digital Paint Magazine - July 2010


within the eyeball? s Where are the highlights, dancing or dark, on the eyeball itself? s Are there reflections bouncing back from the eye? s Look at a profile view. Is there space between the lens and the iris/pupil? (This helps determine how much light passes through.)

s Cats see better at night. In bright light their pupils close to vertical slits. As the amount of light diminishes, their pupils round out and increase in size. s Cats’ eye colors can range from blue, to pale yellow or tan, to deep orange or brown, to copper, to green. And any combination of these.

Where are the Whites? I have a saying at my house that I won’t put on the coffee until I see the whites of their eyes – my best coffeedrinking friends, that is. But we don’t say that about our pets. Animals don’t have white showing. Their irises and pupils fill the eye opening.

Some Facts May Help Your Choices If you do even the smallest amount of Internet searching, you can learn the how and why of your pet’s eyeconstruction. I like having this knowledge because it helps me see better, and ultimately paint better. Some of what I learned about cat’s eyes, for instance, that will help determine my painting choices: s Pupils vary in shape as well as size, depending on the amount of ambient light. Digital Paint Magazine - July 2010

Resources, Online and Otherwise

s Take a look online at Cat Eyes – Up Close, for gorgeous photos of cats’ eyes. Notice the images reflecting off them. Pay attention to the side view (third one down) to understand how their eyes become such

beautiful mirrors reflecting back their surroundings. s Search on Google – or any search engine -for ‘cats eyes images.’ s A really good visual resource is Claudia Nice’s book, Painting Your Favorite Animals -not just for eyes, but for how to draw the direction of animal hair on various places of their bodies. She covers cats and dogs, horses, farm and field animals, birds, and small furry creatures. s Melvyn Petterson’s pocket drawing series book, Cats – How to Draw Them, is also excellent. Get to know the pet you’re painting. Even breeds of the same animal differ – not just in looks and hair length and structure, but also in temperament. Like people, each pet has a story for you to tell with your brushes. Happy painting…

P.S. Later in the month I will post a full tutorial for painting the cat pictured above at www.withbrushandpen. com. Until then, my previous column tutorials, plus a couple others, are here. Feel free to download the PDF files. Reach Barb in the Painter Talk Forum, www., or on her blog, www. You can see her paintings in galleries at (Just click on a thumbnail image to get to each gallery.) 9

Right Click Skip Allen

Frequently, a series of events happen in my life that seem unrelated at the time but actually coalesce into a push that deposits me on a certain path. Almost always, the journey is filled with learning experiences, sometimes life experiences, sometimes art experiences (if there is a difference), or I guess one might say, my muse was at work. Preparing for this article was an example of a journey. The magazine theme this month is Pet Portraits. I have done one Pet Portrait in my life, which I did in Diana Dillon’s wonderful Pet Portrait class at Digital Art Academy. I’m hardly in a position to give a tutorial about pet portraits; I didn’t have a clue how I was going to write the article. I did know I wanted to paint one of my golden retrievers. I got my first golden in 1974 and since then have had a bunch, usually 3 to 6 at a time. At one point in that journey, I went to a dog show and fell in love with confirmation goldens. They are so beautiful and regal. I had to have one; I bought a show quality, female puppy. It took about a year, but she did gain her championship. The sale contract required me to breed her twice to certain lines, which I did. I didn’t want to be a breeder or continue with shows, so after my obligations, I just enjoyed the three pups I kept from the two Digital Paint Magazine - July 2010

The Journey breedings. From time to time, I would add a rescue golden to the pack. April of this year I lost my last golden, Corey, to old age, he was a week shy of fourteen; it was a very emotional event for me and the first that placed me on this journey. I knew I wanted to paint a portrait of Corey, but since I have been working almost exclusively in watercolors, I knew many of the techniques I had learned from Diana would not work. I made a few futile attempts. I begin trying to think of alternative articles for the magazine, and in the meantime event number two happened when I was visiting Borders Books. I had been using the internet, You Tube mainly, to study traditional watercolor and had few books on the subject. I meandered to the watercolor section and notice a book called Painting Vibrant Watercolors, discover the magic of light, color and contrast by Soon Y. Warren. Thumbing through the book I stopped on a tutorial about painting a yellow dog, which looked surprisingly like a golden. I bought the book and gave the tutorial a try, but it wasn’t really what I needed. She did talk a great deal about value and that was very helpful. A few days later, Tim hosted the Marco Bucci

webinar here at Digital Paint Magazine. I was blown away. Marco didn’t talk a bunch about software, he spoke mainly about painting. And he sculpted with light, at least that is the way it looked to me. I was totally inspired and did several paintings trying to work with light. I almost forgot about the article, but not quite. While at Borders, I notice several other books that I wanted, but didn’t buy. I checked Amazon and found they were much cheaper there, and of course, while searching Amazon I found a number of other watercolor books. I love books, but I had not been buying many lately, but this day I made up for lost time. The first book I bought was called The Tao of Watercolor, A Revolutionary Approach to the Practice of Painting by Jeanne Carbonetti. It is an amazing book and I fell in love with her style. It is sumi-e like, yet not exactly. It is very loose and free and not very detailed. The moment I opened the book I was mesmerized by “Autumn Trees.” The descriptive text indicated that the painting had been done with splatter washes. I couldn’t help myself; before I had read any of the book, I started making a new set of watercolor variants based on the splashes, drips, and washes of this book. I used these brushes to make the portrait of Corey; yes, I will get to that in a minute or two. 10

Example of a spatter dab wash using my custom variants from Tao of Watercolor category:

Also, I bought Charles Reid’s Watercolor Solutions and Color Harmonies, Paint watercolor filled with light, by Rose Edin and Dee Jepsen. Both books are excellent and I would highly recommend them. Both are filled with tips on how to use traditional watercolors, but more importantly, they talk about how to paint with light. The importance of value was stressed and demonstrated. In traditional watercolors adding more water to your brush lightens the value. Digital Paint Magazine - July 2010

I can’t add water to a brush in Painter, at least not like traditional watercolor, but I wanted a brush that would allow me to paint with values in a somewhat traditional manner. Marco mentioned in his webinar that he kept his Photoshop brushes at 100% opacity and changed opacity by reducing stroke pressure on the tablet. Normally, I use watercolor variants at very low opacities to keep the transparent look of watercolor. I wondered if I could make a watercolor variant at 100% opacity that would allow me to paint value with pressure. It wasn’t easy, but I did accomplish my goal. Creating the brush is only half the battle; this type of brush requires lots of practice. Both Reid and Edin suggested practice exercises with value. Below is an example of practice with the value brush. I kept the opacity at 100% and changed the value by changing pressure on the tablet.

I continued making new watercolor variants and basically putting off writing the article. At this point, I knew I wanted to create a

watercolor painting of Corey using my new variants and introducing light as a primary ingredient of the painting. But was I up to the task; I didn’t think so. Self-doubt was blocking me. The final event happened during the Chitty webinar also hosted by Digital Paint Magazine. In the beginning of the webinar, Mr. Chitty played a video of paintings, which were wonderful, but the captions in the video caught my eye. I can’t quote verbatim, but I was encouraged to paint, to find my muse, to become, to practice. With that push, I began my painting of Corey and this article. Was the painting a snap to do? Heck no! Remember, this was my second attempt at a pet portrait and my first with watercolor. My emotions added to the mix. I was still grieving over Corey’s death. I painted and cried. I painted a lot, and I started over a lot. In the end, I don’t have a good likeness of Corey, but what I did achieve was a certain expression in his face that I will always remember. As I walked around a room, he would raise his head and get this intense look. It was as if he was waiting and watching to see what I, which to him was what we were going to do. I miss him terribly. Maybe someday I will be able to describe the process of making this watercolor pet portrait. Hopefully, by then I will have improved. But right now, all I can give you are the events that led up to this painting of my faithful friend. 11

Corey, 1996 - 2010 Digital Paint Magazine - July 2010


Pet Portraits By Diana Dillion I was recently asked to write an article on pet paintings. I jumped at the opportunity! Pet painting is near and dear to my heart! It was the first class that I wrote for the Digital Art Academy. The class was the easiest for me to write as I LOVE animals! And I especially love to create portraits of them using Corel Painter! As a child I can remember buying the Walter Foster drawing books. Anyone else remember those?? I especially loved the drawing exercises on dogs and cats. The inspiration for my teaching style is from those old art books. I like to keep things simple, and above all, I like to keep things fun! If I had to pick a favorite subject it would be hard to choose between horses and dogs. My mother was a western artist so I have great memories of her painting cowboys, Indians, and horses! Lots and lots of horses! J One time I had a customer commission a portrait of her two horses. It’s a little difficult getting two horses to pose for the camera, so I had to opt for taking their pictures separately and then combine them together for the finished painting. I enjoyed painting the horses. Sometimes short-haired animals can be tricky to paint, because it’s so easy to completely blend out the definition in the fur. The trick is to use a brush, such as the Den’s Oil Brush Luscious (one of my favorites). This brush lets you paint hairs without blending them Digital Paint Magazine - July 2010


together. With the right settings it keeps the definition of the strands. And then there’s the wonderful world of DOGS!! I just get happy when I work on paintings of dogs! How can you not be when you see their happy faces with those tongues sticking out?? I always have to laugh when I’m teaching my pet paintings class, and we get to the week where they read that they’re going to learn how to paint tongues! Only in the animal world! When I work on dog paintings I always like to add lots of color to the fur. My favorite brush for painting dogs with long hair is the Captured Bristle brush. I like to completely take out the bleed and jitter to make the bristles on the brush paint with lots of definition. I want to see those brush

Digital Paint Magazine - July 2010

strokes! I have two favorite dog paintings that I’ve painted. One is of my dog, Dolly, and the other is of my mother-in-law’s dog, Nicky. I like them for the reason I just mentioned… the look on those dogs’ faces just brightens my day. Most of us all have portraits of our kids and family hanging on the wall, while most of our pictures of our furry friends are kept away in photo albums or on the computer. Why not create a painting of your pet and hang it on the wall, too? You’ll get a lot of smiles from it, and it’ll brighten everyone’s day! I hope that I’ve inspired some of you to want to try your hand at painting a pet portrait!


Establishing the Focal Point By Karen Bonaker

If you love to take photos like I do, you may find that sometimes there is work to be done before you can begin your paintings. Our photos are not always positioned correctly and this is where we can utilize Painter and the Layout Grid to help us with our composition.

Digital Paint Magazine - July 2010

The Layout Grid creates a visual reference and a way to divide your canvas so that you can plan your composition. Traditionally the canvas is divided into thirds vertically and horizontally. From the Layout Grid palette, you can access grid settings, such as the number of divisions, size, angle, color, and opacity of the grid.


How Do I Know Where to Place my Focal Point?

1. Adjustments to these settings can be saved and used for future paintings or drawings. 2. You can move the grid lines to new positions as well as rotate the grid. 3. The Display indicator colors can be changed. They are the vertical and horizontal lines which make up the grid. You can adjust the Opacity of the lines by adjusting the Opacity slider on the Layout Grid palette. Digital Paint Magazine - July 2010

The Rule of Thirds is probably the easiest way to determine where your focal point should be. The canvas is divided into thirds both horizontally and vertically. The Rule of Thirds is anywhere these lines intersect and is a good place to position your focal point. Avoid placing your subject in the center square, and you will achieve the Rule of Thirds.

You can email karen at Or link to Painter Talk Forum at


Adjusting Your Image

To adjust your image and use the Rule of Thirds, use the command “Float” which will lift the image so it is directly above the Canvas layer and now occupies its own layer. To apply the Float command choose Select > All then Select > Float. Digital Paint Magazine - July 2010

Apply the Rule of Thirds Grid

From the Window Menu choose Window > Layout Grid. On the Layout Grid palette enable the grid by checking “Enable Layout Grid”. Next from the Type selection open the drop down and choose “Rule of Thirds”. To turn off the Grid, deselect the Enable Layout Grid.


Adjusting your image

Crop Your Image

You may need to adjust your image on the layer by either cropping it or by using the Layer Adjuster tool to reposition the image. Experiment by flipping or rotating the image as well, you may find that it reads better. The original image of horse and rider was flipped horizontally to create a more pleasing focal point. In this example the rider’s hands and thigh becomes the point of focus or center of interest. The theory is that if you place points of interest at or near the intersections or along the lines that your photo becomes more balanced and will enable a viewer of the image to interact with it more naturally. Studies have shown that when viewing images, people’s eyes usually go to one of the intersection points naturally rather than the center of the shot – using the rule of thirds works with this natural way of viewing an image rather than working against it.

In learning how to use the rule of thirds the most important questions to be asking of yourself are: * What are the points of interest in this shot? * Where am I intentionally placing them? The concept will take practice, but with patience you will find that breaking the rules from time to time will result in those happy accidents we as artist love. Lastly – keep the rule of thirds in mind as you edit your final painting later on. Experiment with some of your old shots to see what impact it might have on your photos.

Digital Paint Magazine - July 2010


Quick Tip

s Are the other elements within the image leading your eye to the focal point? s How is the contrast? Is there sufficient amount of darks to pop the lights? s Are the vertical and horizontal elements and placements used effectively?

A good technique for landscape shots is to position horizons along one of the horizontal lines as I’ve done with the following example. In shot shot to the right, the subject is placed along a whole line which means she is considerably off center and therefore creating an additional point of interest. Placing her right in the center of the frame could have resulted in an ‘awkward’ shot.

Before You Begin to Paint When you have finished your adjustments to the photo, its time to think about painting, but before you start ask yourself these questions: s If the main focal point or area of interest located in the right position? s How about contrast? Is there enough to draw the viewer’s eye into the interest area?

Digital Paint Magazine - July 2010

The same questions can be asked when you have finished the painting. They are just as important in the resource image you choose to use, as they are in the finished painting. In the next issue you will complete a painting based on the skills we have covered today. Have fun, experiment and paint happy!


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Victor Lunn-Rockliffe 24

Marketing Buzz By Tim O’Neill

Target Market Involves Perception My new friend and artist Bruce Burkholder sent this article and information to me via email last year. I put this post up on my Art Marketing Buzz blog. I have since retired that blog and combined that audience with information posted at the Digital Paint Magazine Blog. Oddly it seems that there are very few artists that are really interested in learning marketing. Weird. Well anyway, I tried to track down the source of this and it looks like it comes from the Washington Post. It is a perfect example though of perception, which also leads then to target market. Great lesson. Check it out. PERCEPTION . . .Something To Think About. . The setting is Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approximately two thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. Digital Paint Magazine - July 2010

After 3 minutes after beginning to play a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule. 4 minutes later: The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk. 6 minutes: A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again. 10 minutes: A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

45 minutes: The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32. 1 hour: He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No

one applauded, nor was there any recognition. No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell had sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100. 25

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities. The questions raised: s In a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? s Do we stop to appreciate it? s Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context? One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made, how many other things are we

missing? If over 2,000 people went by Joshua Bell and only a few people took the time to look, listen, comment or drop some coin, how then can someone actually “makeit” with less talent than one of the most gifted musicians ever? The answer; Marketing to the proper audience. Guaranteed that if the 2,000 people that went by him were the same that purchased tickets to his sold out concert…this outcome would have been different. You may not be familiar with Joshua Bell, if not check out his homepage or the Joshua Bell Tour page. If you are not into concerts or Rabid Rabbit, Slasher etc. are a better fit for your musical pallet; I would still encourage you to at least purchase a download. It is a proven fact that listening to Baroque music will stimulate creativity.

Official press photos from the Joshua Bell website Joshua Bell in the subway. Washington Post file photo Digital Paint Magazine - July 2010


Digital Paint Magazine - July 2010


July 2010 Issue of Digital Painting Magazine  

by Scott Deardorff July 2010 Digital Paint Magazine - July 2010 This magazine is free to distribute by any medium. You can print it, e-mail...