missing picture

Here is the missing picture, with Mr. Ed.

Studio Denizens

I was asked to take a couple photos of some of the items that I keep in my studio that make me happy as I work.  Some I've collected over the years, others have been given to my by friends and family.  Since I love all things equine, and could wax poetic about that subject for the next hundred years, I naturally have many horse related items.  Here is a small sample--a dear acquaintance of mine has labeled this one 'The Shrine'.  Yes, that is an authentic Mr. Ed hand puppet from the 1960's.

Here are some other items on a bulletin board -- I have a definite penchant for the color blue... and some other items atop a file cabinet, some from nature, some just playful, including a plastic jackalope amidst the anatomy models, beetle, griffin, and alligator skull.

It would be neat to see what sort of stuff other folk keep around!

I thought we would share this video that Terryl Whitlatch found recently on her trip to Texas. It has been around for a while and is produced by the wonderful people at BBC narrated by one of my heroes Sir David Attenborough. We find it quite inspirational and beautiful. This is what motivates us at Art Explorers.  We hope it does the same for you too, whether to brighten your day or to create something ... Enjoy
Click on the Picture above or HERE

Team AE 


I usually carry a sketchbook with me all the time. If it's not on me it's in my truck. Nowadays smartphones are phenomenal to gather reference and snap pictures one can use for later reference. But to me, sketching on the spot ,whether a particular tree in the Grand Canyon or an elephant in a zoo, there is a huge difference. Sketching trains your eye to observe the important things in a subject. The gestures and shapes that you , as an artist on the spot, will pick out as important "landmarks". Rather than seeing how many whiskers are on a cat or how many buttons are on that jacket we are focusing on an overall feeling. Shapes, silhouette and landmarks that make lines important. Yes details are important but without a strong foundation, they are all useless and irrelevant.
We are going to cover some things that work for us in approaching a sketch. What do we look for? Where do we start? What is my goal? 

 Q - What do you look for?

Manu - in approaching a subject I will look for its general shape. Back to basic cubes, cylinders, spheres etc. nothing new there, "When you feel you are in trouble, go back to your basicsRickson Gracie.
That statement is meant for martial arts, but it applies art perfectly. In drawing animals at zoos or parks, I break the animal in three parts. Forequarters, belly and hindquarters. I look for angles and landmarks in the silhouettes. My sketching approaches can vary from using lots of gesture lines to what I call noodling. I remember once hearing animator Glen Keane talk about this type of sketching. Your pencil make lots and lots of lines trying to find that perfect one that will do the job. One important rule is to stay loose. Do not focus on hair, eyelids or minor detail. Learn to observe. This is what sketching is.

David - My view on sketching is based on surfaces. I enjoy working with masses and contrasts. The line to me is a way to organize my thoughts, design and composition on the page, where I come to life is during the contrast part of sketching. Of course, the line will always be the foundation, but strong contrasts allow me to quickly validate or cancel volumes and shapes. As one of my friend, Joe Watmough mentioned before, it is as if you were an alien who just landed on earth, and you are seeing light and shapes for the first time. By detaching yourself from the subject you observe, you can attain a truer view of it.

Team AE

Terryl Whitlatch joins Art Explorers

It is with great honor and admiration that we proudly announce our newest Art Explorers team member, the incredibly talented Terryl Whitlatch. From drawing mustangs to endless conversations of winged raptors, Terryl was too much of a great fit not to have her with us. Terryl and I can spend endless hours discussing the flights of merlins down to the ways pangolins walk. Her love for drawing and all things wild have led to us being great friends.
Terryl has worked on many projects from Disney's Brother Bear to Star Wars. Her amazing knowledge of animals and creature designs are a well known. She is a scientific and academically trained creature designer and concept artist. Combining in-depth knowledge of zoology and animal anatomy with her incredible illustration skills.
Terryl has illustrated several books including the amazing "Animals Real and Imagined" available at Design Studio Press. I am excited to have her on board to share her knowledge, skills and adventures. We are very honored to have you on board Terryl! Welcome!
Thank you all for the kind messages on the blog , we promise more posts, David, Thierry and myself have been swamped and Kristy is doing her best to round us up. We have some great announcements soon and hope to bring you all more. Including guest interviews and upcoming events.
From all of us at Art Explorers thanks!
Enjoy some Terryl Whitlatch art...