I worked at an art supply store when I was 18-19. I bought paints, including oils, watercolors, and acrylics, at this time in my life. I tried them out on my own. No success, except with oils. I painted a beach scene for my grandmother, which was the first and only painting I completed prior to BYU. I painted only one other canvas--a half-finished portrait of a young woman from India. This was all in winter of 2000-2001. I wanted to paint so much at this time in my life that my father helped me clear out the freezing garage and I painted there. (The cold was one of the reasons why I didn't paint much). The local studio wouldn't let me come to their life drawings sessions because they were nude and I was so young. I had contact with Debbie Kepes, an honorable mentioned painter in the Portrait Society of America, and I tried a lesson from her twice, but it never worked out. She wasn't a master painter and I knew it.
And I only wanted to learn from a master.
During that winter is when I finally settled my mind on a mission, and once that was settled, I set aside the art. I wouldn't touch painting again for almost five years.
My next painting endeavor was digital painting from a tutorial by Linda Bergkvist on her site, Furiae. I think my sister got me into digital painting. Not really sure. But she definitely introduced me to Linda's work, which blew me away. Here was my first digital painting, a blending practice in Photoshop:
This was in Fall/winter 2004, I think. Not really sure. I also painted these prior to coming to BYU on January 1, 2006:
My technique was pretty sloppy. I sampled colors from the photograph, and I used a scanned image of one of my drawings as a template for the color. My sizes were really large--at least 4000 x 6000 pixels. Way too big to be effecient or effective in the early block in stages of a painting.
These images lacked luster and I knew it but didn't know how to fix it. So I moved on to other things.
While at BYU I painted off and on during my weekends and summers. During 2006 I painted the following:
A role-playing character from my childhood named Vezuxi Peabottom. For those interested he is a halfling rogue/acrobat that my brother Aaron wanted to use in his campaign. I went home in August to visit and roleplayed D&D for the first time since high school. Vezuxi, although always a bit selfish, died a noble and heroic death fighting some kind of water troll berserker. It was a legendary battle, if I do say so myself.
You can see I'm beginning to learn how to blend effectively, but my edges are all fuzzy. This is due to an overusing of soft brushes.
I was actually wrong in the previous post. This was my first "completed" painting. But the truck was so bad and the composition so poor that I really don't consider this a "real" painting. Nevertheless, it was the best thing to date by far. I was actually able to get a little detail in the cop. This should match us up with the following post that begins with January 2007, when I exempted my 3D classes and took oil painting and digital painting classes instead.