Friday, June 21, 2013

Figure Drawing Post. Learning how to draw the figure better.

I have, thanks to a good friend, discovered an online school that will help students and professionals dramatically increase their drawing and design skills.  Here is their link. Check these course choices out and see what you think.  Could be awesome for any artist that wants to improve their skills....

Monday, June 10, 2013



Over the years of attending various comic/sci-fi fantasy conventions, I've had the priveledge of getting to know Tom Fleming.   Tom is one of my favorite Fantasy and Fine Art painters.  His figures and knowledge of human anatomy is apparent through his beautifully stunning works.  His figure paintings and sketches of women of comics has captured the attention of the international world of Fantasy Art and he is considered one of the greatest modern fantasy artists alive today.  His inspiration ranges from Frank Frazetta to Gustov Klimt and he somehow manages to marry the inspirations in his paintings with an almost genius method of color, tones and value ranges with stunning anatomical accuracy that in the end simply creates a beautiful painting.  His work has been featured on the cover of Heavy Metal magazine as well as dozens of various publications. Tom has painted covers & trading cards for almost every major publisher in the comic book industry and has illustrated for some of the most popular gaming companies in the world such as: World of Warcraft, Magic the Gathering, and White-Wolf Publishing. He has won numerous awards in the Fantasy genre including FOUR nominations for the prestigious Chelsey Award!
In 2000 Tom landed a job as the official illustrator for the Jody Foster movie “The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys” with animation by Todd McFarlane. Since then, Tom has worked on movies & TV shows such as; “Stateside”, “Stay Alive”, “Surface”, “Major Movie Star”, "Super", "A Cinderella Story 3", "Smile as Big as the Moon"and the hit TV show “One Tree Hill”.  My personal favorites of his works are his elongated paintings of various "romantic styled" fine art paintings of women and men in various states of enlightenment and ecstasy. Check out some of his examples here....

Sunday, June 9, 2013

From a post I put on facebook
Flipping through the channels, stopped at Pawn Stars because this guy was selling his life's collection of Star Trek (Signed) un-opened boxes of collectibles. All the pawn "stars" did was belittle him, call him a nerd 8 times (I counted), said he had to "grow up" several times and then totally underbid everything of what it's worth after insulting him and his Prius as if they are so "cool" with their tats and bikes and extreme obesity. They are such assholes I couldn't watch any more. They basically pressured the guy into selling the collection for a lot less than what it was worth which they always do apparently. I really don't like "Hateful" reality shows. I like shows like Oddities, face-off, DDD, etc because the people are nice and polite on the show. Whatever happened to treating people with respect?

  • James Champion I agree with you that they do belittle a lot of people that they show them dealing with. But you have to think from their side also they they are a business and need to make a profit also. I try mostly to pass on the show.
  • James Christopher Hill Of course they need to make a profit, at least a 30-50% markup which would be fair, but it's the way they talk to people and try to underbid them knowing it's worth a lot more. In Oddities, they usually know the value, tell the person the fair price a...See More
  • Sharen Mitchell I have to agree with you James. I watch both shows and Ame. Pickers also. After reading this I'm not watching Pawn anymore. I absolutely love Oddities for the very reasons you explained. They knew cuss well that they hit the jackpot with the Star Trek memorabilia, especially with the cons that run through the southwest. If anything they should've put him on speed dial and treated him like a VIP to get his friend's business. I think you just inspired me to search that episode and write a letter! There's a reason Marvel stock has skyrocketed in the last 5yrs, hipsters buy "nerd" glasses, the gaming & comic industry has seen a growth in interest from 20-40yr olds in the past 6yrs (this years PAX convention 3day passes sold out in 1wk) and sci-fi movies have been the hot button ticket for the past 4. Yea, they knew what they had and belittled that customer to steal it from him.
  • Janet Millwater Iannantuono Actually I disagree. It is the way the pawn business works. If you want to get what your collection is worth, you don't go to a pawn shop. You sell it yourself on Ebay or get a booth at a Con. There is allot of risk in the Pawn business and that is the way they make their money. Pawn shops are just one step above the title loan companies. People who go there are usually desperate for money and that is where they get you. They are pretty upfront about it on not only this show, but on Hardcore Pawn and some of the other similar shows. The moral to the story is that the seller should do their research before putting their stuff up for sale. Hopefully in that respect the shows serve a purpose--If you want top dollar for your collection, don't go to a pawn shop or sell to a picker!
  • Christopher Laserbeam LeBeau I have seen the show a bunch of times where the customer was asking for peanuts and they knew the item was worth a mint and paid a lot more. So it goes both ways. Now wether or not they did it just to save face on TV is questionable. I will say however, that the show is fake, and the actual pawn shop is nothing more than a reality show gift shop, feeding off the popularity of the show. Inside the actual shop on any given day, it is mostly cheap merchandise like Chumlee teeshirts and other assorted garbage. They sell most of the stuff they buy online.
  • Lorna Anne Whetsell Oddities = A+ . . . I don't care for Shows that profit off of others misery. That is precisely what pawn shops do. People go there desperate, or they would never consider selling their prized possessions. (Been there, done that.) It is sad, really. And then, knowing they are desperate . . . the pawn shops take even more advantage of them. SICKENING!
  • Janet Millwater Iannantuono Well, nobody twists anyone's arm to go into them or to sell their stuff. And is they insult your or degrade you , then you simply collect your stuff and walk out. We don't have a constitutional right not to be offended, we simply have the right to choose who we do business with.
  • Tomas Tillotson I met the crew from Oddities. Nice folks!
  • Christopher Laserbeam LeBeau Pawn shops were the original banks, and probably a lot more honest and fair to this day than most
  • Janet Millwater Iannantuono As a buyer you can get good deals from them!
  • Christopher Laserbeam LeBeau That's true, and I have sold them a few things and gotten more than I thought they were worth. You just gotta use your own discretion, if you feel like you can get more, then walk away, no harm done. Don't even go in if you don't want to haggle, because that's the name of the
  • James Christopher Hill I love when I start conversations and controversial discussions, but this one is simple, I really wasn't bashing Pawn shops, some are descent, some do take advantage of desperate people and the point I was trying to make and some of you got it was that I don't like watching people being degraded for what makes them happy or put down or humiliated for the sake of "ratings" or just the sake of "fun" on the part of the person doing the insulting. It's not fun, it's not courteous, it's not right, it may be "legal" or "fair"; but in the end, I believe in the golden rule which funny thing, I don't hear too much any more......Do Unto Others as You Would Want Others to Do Unto You! Yes, the person pawing the Star Trek collection sealed his own "fate" by going to a pawn shop, but they could have simply treated him kinder. That's all I was really saying. Like Lorna said, profiting off of others' misery is not the way to live a life on this Earth and that is what most Reality shows promote even if it is "scripted" or "acted" it still promotes that kind of attitude toward your fellow person. This is a planet that is 7,926 miles in Diameter and it's getting smaller every day with more than 7 Billion people on the planet. We need to reignite the Golden Rule across the Globe and we can start with how we simply talk to people even if they do make not be the best choices. We can be helpful to desperate people. They didn't have to resort to insulting him or "belittling Star Trek fans" by calling him a nerd and telling him to "Grow up". The man obviously was being a real man and "Grown up" because he was selling his life's love of Star Trek so he could pay for his wedding for the woman he loved. He told them that, and they could have offered him more money is all I'm saying. They knew he was in a tough spot and they took advantage of that situation during these times of Star Trek mania and they knew that. Whether or not it was "real" - "scripted", whatever reality shows do; it still showed people being mean to someone that was being nice. There is a story I love to tell people about being fair and honest to the point of being "too" honest but the rewards can be STUNNING! ..... The story goes something like this, probably based on some Urban Legend, but I like to tell it..... An old woman was selling everything she could part with to try in desperation to keep her losing her house due to back taxes. One Saturday morning yard sale (she had a sale every week); a man noticed just a couple of "rusting" metal cookie tins with Japanese writing on them and art, etc. He noticed the price on them was $.50 cents each. He quickly bought both and went to pay her. He gave her the money, she smiled at him and he smiled back and told her "Good Luck with the yard sale". Something stopped him when he reached his car; maybe his conscience, God, whatever... He went back to the old woman and confessed to her saying "Ma'am, I can't give you $1.00 for these tins, in all honesty I believe they are worth over $5,000 each! He explained he was an international art dealer and knew antiquities and he believed these tins to be from the 1930's pre-war Japan by a famous artist. "Really?!?!" She said, "I can't believe that!!?! That's really funny, I have an attic FULL of those silly things. My Husband collected them when he lived there before the war ever started and went back after the war and bought more. He was obsessed with them for some reason." The expert made a deal with her on the spot, he would take 25% commission if he could take them to NY to sell at the major art auction houses. They agreed, she made over $1.5 million and saved her house. He made a lot too. All because he was honest. If he had taken advantage of her lack of knowledge or desperation, he would never have been privy to her entire collection and made both her and himself a fortune! A book called the Millionaire Mind (great book) has a philosophy about how to become rich if you are a broker or sales rep. If you strive to make someone else and not yourself rich, you, in turn will make yourself rich as well. Or more simply put, "The more money I make you, the more I make for myself" The story showed desperation turned into kindness, honesty, and wealth of unimagined good fortune. Oddities is a show where they seem to be having fun helping others get weird things and just like the Millionaire Mind shows, you build not only a business but a family with your customers and they have that with repeat business from some of the same people always coming back. I also loved Hollywood Treasures because it seemed Joe Montana had the same philosophy about helping people make money. It was also a nice reality show and fun to watch. BTW, AMAZING what some things are worth nowadays. But nothing is worth more than a kind word or a smile to a stranger.