Last night I was able to attend a lecture at the Bridge Academy to hear Walter Rane speak. He's been an illustrator for 22 years before becoming one of the most recognized Christian artists today. He lives in Oregon, is a former So. California native and graduated from the Art Center of Design.
A couple of things from his lecture:
1. No matter what your current job/commissions are, continue to work on your personal projects.
2. Don't be afraid of failure. Often those piece become the spring board for your most successful ones.
3. Concentrate more on the gesture or pose to express your feelings and try to make that gesture "non-cliche".
4. Don't hesitate to allow your favorite artist influences to trigger ideas.
5. If you use photo references, watch that they don't suck the life out of your portraits. Watch for the contours, perspective, and foreshortening since the camera records these differently than if you were painting from life.
6. He obscures the face since the human face tends to stop the viewer. Walter likes to emphasize the hands.
7. He loves to paint over other paintings that didn't work. He loves what the colors underneath do to the new painting.
8. Don't worry about doing a subject that has been done before. Do it and say it differently.
Walter is such a soft-spoken, gentle man. And humble. He seemed almost embarrassed to receive his fans' praises. I also had a chance to visit with Justin Taylor and was able to look at some of his wonderful work. Good night.