Repeating One Song for Hours

It’s the end of the year and Spotify graciously created a playlist of my top 100 most played songs for 2017, conveniently called “top songs for 2017.” It’s my second such playlist (2016 was jammed full of good music, some new and plenty not so new) and let me tell you, this playlist is full of songs I remember putting on repeat and just letting them play endlessly.

Sometimes a song is so freaking good, so well made, speaks so clearly to my inner being that I simply have to listen to it… over and over and over. Constantly, without stop.

Here’s a couple:

  • “Let Go – Sir Sly Remix” by RAC, Kele, MNDR
  • “Warrior” by Steve James, Lights
  • “Strong – RAC Remix” by London Grammar, RAC
  • Stranger than Earth” by Purity Ring

In other news, I painted a picture of Dianne. 🙂
Journey before Destination


“Why fit in when you were born to stand out” – Dr. Seuess

Veronica the Vicious

Feels good to have another character from the story fleshed out and rendered.  Veronica is one of Red’s old teammates and a main antagonist in the story.
She stands at the forefront of most of the opposition Red experiences at the academy and the two loathe each other deeply.

It’s nice to have a face to the description of the character and it’s already starting to pull ideas out of my head story wise.
Might have to continue moving forward with some of the other characters and see what happens.

– Jesse

“To create one’s own world takes courage.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

A Place to Call Home

Life surely is some sort of journey.
Many steps taken in one or different directions – over a lifetime – will take you somewhere. But is it the place you want to be?

I’ve found myself deliberately (and accidentally) in places, doing things that if I’d asked my younger self, I would have surely laughed at the question.

Regardless, here I am.
Luckily I’m still me, haven’t lost myself or my love of art.


“Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost.”
– Erol Ozan

Great Way to Start Your Day


One hour speed paint

Been awhile since I did any art, just to be doing art.  Everything has been for school or some commission.  It felt good just do do something I wanted to do, even if I didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time on it.

I’m glad I did, because I see I’ve gotten rusty and I miss drawing everyday when I wake up.
It’s a great way to start your day.


“Tis’ better to live your own life imperfectly than to imitate someone else’s perfectly.”  -Elizabeth Gilbert

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Older, yes. Wiser, maybe?


Self-Portrait Assignment
Work in Progress

I took some time to really think about what I wanted to do with my self portrait.  I immediately crossed off the usual themes I normally use in my work (sci-fi, high-tech, space, and contrasting themes) and started thinking about myself, how I view myself, who I am and all that jazz.

I’m not sure when the idea of doing an older version of myself emerged out of all that (perhaps somewhere between all the seriousness and philosophical/introspective brainstorming), but it did and I started running with it.

My first couple of minutes after I found an image was spent arranging the image, fixing the canvas size, adding guidelines, etc.  But when I was ready to start laying out the foundation, I ended up with only a couple minutes before I had to go do something.  But this ended up to my advantage because I maximized those few minutes grabbing the most important lines, shapes, forms of my face.

I used the mouse and just clicked on a spot and then holding shift clicked on another location to connect the two points by a straight line.  I could’ve used the Line Tool, but this kept everything simple and allowed me to just click away.

When I came back to work on it a couple hours later I used the mouse a little bit longer, but then picked up my stylus and went to work.  The Canvas size is like 4500×2000 and I’m working at around 12.5% zoom, really focusing on form and shapes.

While working that small I started loosing details so I added a quick under painting on a new layer I placed underneath the sketch layers.

Establishing my value range.

I also duplicated my line work layer and placed the duplicate to multiply.

Also, started getting a weird Count Doku vibe.  🙁

That pea soup green was getting on my nerves, so I brushed in some color into the background and added some color to my clothes, not sure whether or not I want to keep the hoodie or go for another look.  :/

Filling in the colors a bit more, still not sure what I’m doing with the clothing yet, just going with the flow.

I also started working at 25% zoom now.

Where I stopped this morning.

I really don’t want to recreate the foliage in my backyard, but I’m not sure what to do with this background.  Between that and the clothing I need to come up with something.  Most of those pink and purple colors will probably be pushed back once I start getting working in the details and probably at 50% zoom as I’ll be closer to putting in the textures.  But I want a better idea of what I’m going to do with the clothes and background before I start doing details.


It is better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not.”  -André Gide

Speed Painting



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It’s always nice to stretch your artistic muscles with a quick speed painting or two.


“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”  -Andy Warhol

One Year Later


Haven’t posted anything on here in ages, but I randomly clicked on my blog in my bookmarks and seen today was my One Year Anniversary on WordPress.  Life is so random.

“Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.”  -Dalai Lama

[i]Her[/i] Left


I was able to get more out of my two hours this time around than what I felt was usual.  I’m sure working in grey-scale helped, but I was happy with the results of sticking to the process I’ve seen a couple artists that inspire me use.  Things I see them consistently do were, paying attention to form first and working small (as long as possible)


First thing I did because this image wasn’t a black and white picture initially, was add a Hue and Saturation layer (dropping the saturation all the way down), then added a Levels layer and played with the settings until I felt happy with them.

I did the majority of my initial linework without any guides, just using the negative space between the edge of the image and the subject as my rule.  Very basic, very rough.


*I use Photoshop on a 21″ WACOM Cintiq monitor/tablet and this is how small the canvas is in comparison to the rest of the screen.  I worked like this as long as possible, making sure I was paying attention to form first.


You can see me resisting the urge to start drawing individual hairs here, instead capturing the general light and dark values and flow of the hair.

For her face I knew I wanted to get to the point where I was painting over the line work, so I was loose with it, and made sure to make note of the curves and structures.  Again annotating the same high and low value areas like I did with the hair.


Laying down block values (100% Opacity, hard brush)


I put the line work layer on multiply and lowered the layers opacity.

Started blending  a little, mostly working from the darkest values up and into the lighter ones.


Wash, rinse, repeat…


This was were I stopped, about two hours of work.  This image is saved at 25% and I was working at 50% when I was putting details on the eye.  You can tell I wasn’t zooming back out and checking my work, because of how skewed her let eye is.

Still I’m happy for two hours.  🙂


“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.”  –Albert Schweitzer

Between Study and Complete


Moving forward with one of my portrait studies, pushing it from sketch to finished work, still got a ways to go though.


“If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.”  -Frank A. Clark

One Student, Only Time


Portrait Study.


“A man’s greatest glory doesn’t consist in never falling, but in rising every time he falls.”  –Unknown

A Portrait In Blue.


Two hour portrait study.


“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”  -Benjamin Tucker

Study, Study, Study, Study…


Gave myself some remedial face studies to help with my struggles with Red’s face. It’s helped.

I’ve been binging on a great deal of Netflix recently and I find myself either looking at the production, camera angles/transitions, and lighting or the contours of the actors faces more than the show itself.  I’ve obviously spent way too much time in school or I just enjoy it entirely too much.

Anyway, I <3 The Blacklist.


“There’s no shortcut to a place worth going.”  –Beverly Sills