Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Viva Los Angeles! Viva Nathan Fowkes! Viva Drawnight!

I flew to L.A. over an extended weekend for a much needed mini-vacation. Attending an art workshop taught by Nathan Fowkes (Blog 1, Blog 2) was the perfect excuse to get away. Many thanks to my buddy Philip Vose for being my gracious and generous host and thanks to Jason Boesch for hanging out. It was also really great to meet so many other awesome artists at Disney Feature as well as the workshop itself.


Anyhow, first up are the workshop paintings.

After the lecture and demonstration we started with quick abstract color studies using the color from the model in front of us; good lord it had been so long since I had painted traditionally. Took me awhile to get warmed up.

Then the idea was to take what we learned from the abstracts into a more representational color sketch, again the focus was on color and not drawing or detail.

With the remaining time we were given the choice of more studies or a more finished study, I opted for the latter. Still a color study but a little more emphasis on drawing and detail.

I couldn't recommend the workshop more. I was incredibily impressed with Mr. Fowke's knowledge and ease at which he conveyed it. He answered the hard questions and even the silly questions expertly. Needless to say, I've found my much needed inspiration and refreshment. :)


I had some time to kill at Los Angeles International before my flight home, been too long since I've drawn from life as well; need to fix that.


Lastly, some thumbnails from the past few drawnights. Still a focus on structures, in part to strengthen a weakness and in part because it's a good change from when I work with more organic and natural subjects all day at work.

Mirrored in Photoshop ;)


  1. Awesome work as always, Tom! How big are your pencil thumbnails usually??

  2. you get to do all the cool shiz!!! Awesome you got to go to Nathans workshop

    and you just kik too much ass for your own good. I need to come by and here this story you have

  3. Your amazing! Are you on the look out for a new best friend?

  4. Wow, nice airport studies! These are all beautiful pieces :) Man, I dream of taking one of Nathan's workshops one day, you're very fortunate!

  5. The sketch of the airplane is nice.

  6. I'm so jealous. I've been wanting to study under Nathan Fowkes for awhile...any other words of wisdom from his workshop? More color exercises, for example?

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  8. Whitney Misch: Thank ya! They are about 2.5" tall and 4" wide or so. Give or take.

    GhettoFab: Buwaaaaaaaaa! You could have come MEL!

    Ben Simonsen: Sorry, all positions are filled. But just in case please fill out this handy application. Cheers dude! Sucks we are in different buildings now.

    Kristen: Thanks kristen! You are so much closer to Van Nuys than I am! I flew out from Utah! You should go, I'm thinking of hitting up his upcoming composition workshop but I'm not sure if I can make it ... hmm.

    sam: Thank ya bro.

    Michael Mercer: Haha man I don't have words for it yet. Still figuring it out. You should hit up his workshops. Jump!

    C.B. Canga: Thanks dude!

    Josef Knoll: Graciassss!

  9. Cool blog. Nice color studies and exercises. Powerful.

  10. Hello Tom I was wondering if you know of any articles or places that describe the method of these abstract colour studies. I know it must sound stupid, as I guess at a glance the method is to just focus on getting correct colour and less on drawing or rendering, but I'm an amateur and self taught. sometimes i still like to read/ get advice on something like the work process despite the answer hovering right in front of my face.
    lately what I do is flick on a film and bomb through colour sequences, i.e. night scenes, sunset scenes pausing the film every few seconds between studies. but somehow rough detail always seem to find it's way into it