Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The World has Lost a great Artist, but I have lost a good friend!

Last night I received the worst news, that my dear friend of 9 years, Ismael Roldan passed away at the young age of 45. This is very difficult for me to accept, I'll try to keep this brief, but I just want to share a little bit about Ismael and what he meant to me.

Years ago, when I was first getting started as a professional artist, I was really struggling to figure out how to get work, how to develop my art professionally in a way that would grab the attention of art directors. I wasn't getting the kind of work that I wanted and I was getting tired of seeing the same artists being published over and over again and not understanding how they got where they were? I had a handful of artists at that time that were my inspiration. I would collect they're work out of magazines and hang them on the wall in my studio. I thought that if I surrounded myself with excellence, I would eventually pick up some of this excellence.

One of my most favorite artists at the time was Ismael Roldan. His work was inspiring to look at. Great exaggeration and likeness, great structure, humor, draftsmanship, perspective, you name it, he was what I wanted to be like.

So one day I gathered up the courage to write him an email, I basically told him that I was a big fan of his work and that I would love to work for publications as well, I thanked him for the inspiration and I attached a piece I had just finished that I was really proud of (to show him what I could do).

Well, I wasn't sure if he would ever write back, but to my astonishment, he wrote back that very same day. I remember being so excited and nervous to read the email. The email was straight up IN YOUR FACE truth about how horrible my work was! A very harsh and blunt critique. He told me my hands sucked, that I lacked knowledge in structure and form, and he actually went on and on. Even though the critique was harsh, he was able to somehow be very kind, he said one good thing, he said I could render like non other, but that won't help any if I can't fix the rest of my problems.

I was crushed, but at the same time, I was motivated to prove myself to Ismael. I didn't want this artist that I looked up to so much to think I was horrible. So I began to work on the things that he pointed out flawed in my work. I drew hand after hand after hand. I worked on skulls, and bone structure, I studied cross hatching and form. I sent him email after email, everything I did, I would send to him. And every time, he'd slam me harder than the time before.

I kept coming back for more, time and time again. Eventually, we became close friends, and slowly, we also became "peers" and we began to exchange work with each other seeking perspective and ideas from one another. I still remember the first time he sent me one of his paintings and wanted me to be honest and tell him what I thought about it. As time went on, we began more and more to talk about our kids and how important they were and how blessed we felt to have kids. Occasionally we'd talk about art, but mostly about life and what we were up to that week.

This is me with Ismael last year at the ISCA's 17Th Annual caricature convention where I won the Gold Nosey as well as many other awards, including a Guest of Honor Awarded by Ismael. That award meant more to me than any of them, and receiving that award from Ismael felt like coming full circle as an artist. I remember seeing him in the crowd as I received my awards, he looked like a proud older brother. Ismael told me that the first email he sent to me was so harsh, because he wanted me to know the truth so I would improve, but mostly he didn't think I'd ever bother him again. It was to his astonishment that I wrote back again and again. He tried to get rid of me, but instead fused a friendship that I hold very dear.

I will never forget the kindness and time Ismael shared with me. He took me under his wing and I wouldn't be where I am today as an artist if it wasn't for his talent and kindness. I feel as if I have lost a friend, a mentor, an inspiration, but mostly, a brother.

Throughout the years, Ismael and I exchanged caricatures of each other. This is the most recent one that he did of me, and the most recent one that I did of him. We also exchanged originals, I own several originals of his. He also sent me books throughout the years of artists that he thought would inspire me. The man was generous.

Ismael, you will truly be missed!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I've seen better days . . .

This is a piece I started about a year ago . . . I decided to take it to the next level and beyond . . . I'm in the middle of about 10 paintings right now, so there will be plenty to share here soon. I'm going to keep this painterly, get tight where it needs it, but to my eye and taste, I like things to be a bit brushy . . .

Update on Prints for Sale!
It was brought to my attention that I forgot to mention that the prints I have for sale on Etsy are Limited Edition of 200 Prints. Each print will be signed and numbered, once sold out, that's it!

Friday, August 7, 2009

I'm at Wizard World Comic Convention for the rest of the weekend!

Here's a pic of me and Imaginism Studio's Peter Chan at our booth at Wizard World Chicago. Today I'll be busting out some acrylics and painting a little, so if your there or in the area, stop by booth 3504 and say hi. I'll of course be selling my books and DVD as well as some new Giclee prints.

I'll post some newish art tomorrow!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Pencil Sketch of Larry King for Sale!

From time to time I'll be selling original drawings, sketches and paintings on Etsy. I just finished this Larry King drawing, click here to buy and see what else is currently for sale.

Prints will be available soon as well. If interested in prints, any work of mine is available as a giclee print.

SOLD - Acrylic wash of Darwin, painted for my newest book.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Painting People with Jason Seiler!

Schoolism Online Classes:
The Art of Caricature with Jason Seiler - starts July 24, 2009
By the end of this course, master caricaturist, Jason Seiler, will have you looking at people in a whole new way! For illustrators seeking to add high-end caricaturing to their repertoire, this course is a must!

Jason is a personal friend of mine and an incredible artist. I always say the best thing I could teach my students is how to learn not just my way to do things but as many different people as possible. Different ways to draw, paint and think.

9 lesson workshop with personal video feedback from Seiler on your paintings.


Here's a quote from an amazing artist and former student of Jason's: Patrick LaMontagne.
Having drawn caricatures for editorial cartoons for a few years, I was
pleased with the progress I was making, but was looking for some
instruction to bring my work to the next level. Having long been a fan
of Jason's work, I was hoping that taking some training from him could
help me breathe more life into my caricatures, give me more of a dynamic
style and more confidence in my abilities. I wasn't disappointed.

This course requires a solid commitment, and if cost seems high,
consider get what you pay for, and for the amount of
knowledge and skills I gained, plus the individual instruction and
attention, it was a bargain.

Jason's teaching style makes him a pleasure to learn from. He speaks in
a casual, easygoing manner with a great sense of humor, while still
being organized and professional. The lessons are well thought out and
proceed at a manageable pace, each lesson building very well upon the
one before. I never felt as if I hadn't been prepared for what was
required of me in the assignments, and his 'one on one' critiques were
very valuable to help me figure out where I went right and what I could
improve on. Jason was also generous with his time by answering email
questions and regularly offering suggestions and advice. What I was
most impressed with is his positive attitude and optimism.. He has a
passion for his work and obviously wants to foster that in his students.

This course was the best part of my work week from start to finish, and
I was disappointed to see it end. In what seems like a very short time,
my work changed dramatically and I got more out of this course than I
could have hoped for. If Jason ever teaches an advanced course on
caricature or any other course for that matter, I'll be in the first class.

If you're serious about becoming a better caricature artist, do yourself
a favor and take this class. You won't regret it.

Patrick LaMontagne
Canmore, Alberta, Canada


Friday, June 26, 2009

What is Schoolism?

Imagine if you had a professional to help you and look over your work! Schoolism classes not only teach you the secrets from known professionals, but you will see them draw over the top of your drawings and hear them talk about how to take your art to a whole another level! Online Art Classes open for registration:

The Art of Caricature with Jason Seiler - starts July 24, 2009
By the end of this course, master caricaturist, Jason Seiler, will have you looking at people in a whole new way! For illustrators seeking to add high-end caricaturing to their repertoire, this course is a must!

Building a Powerful Comic Book Portfolio with Alvin Lee - starts July 31, 2009
Go through an intensive workshop with professional comic book artist Alvin Lee to create a powerful comic book portfolio. Watch and listen as Alvin draws on top of your work, explaining to you the 'DOs' and 'DON'Ts' of what makes a great comic book portfolio!

Character Design by Silver - starts September 7, 2009
Over nine lessons, Stephen will introduce you to the art of drawing, character design and the business of art. Your role will be to create major and incidental characters for animated T.V., feature films, or video game concepts!

Portfolio workshop with Cheeks - starts November 15, 2009
Sean Galloway aka Cheeks will be taking you through 9 lessons of intensive workshop to teach you the do's and dont's of what makes a great design portfolio for film, television, animation, or illustration.

Digital Painting Techniques with Bobby Chiu - starts November 1, 2009
Learn Bobby's personal techniques of how to digital paint. Watch the lessons, do the assignments and see Bobby paint on top of your paintings showing you how to improve your art!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Schoolism Classes Open for Registration

Powerful Comic Book Portfolio with Alvin Lee - July 31, 2009

The Art of Caricature with Jason Seiler - July 24, 2009

Digital Painting Techniques with Bobby Chiu - November 1, 2009

Character Design by Silver - September 7, 2009

Storyboarding with Kris Pearn - Self Study courses open anytime


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Classes open for registration



DIGITAL PAINTING with Bobby Chiu - BEGINS JUNE 22, 2009


Monday, April 20, 2009

Blago Sketch!

Thought it would be fun to see how I started this sketch . . . 1st, really quick and simple lines and shape, and then a little refining here and there and then I finish the sketch by blocking in color. Almost like sculpting, pulling the image out of the red background.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sample Critique from Jason Seiler's Class

Here's a sample of one of Jason's critiques on

Jason's next Caricature class at starts on April 10th!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Online art classes open for registration. Register at

Character Design by Silver - starts March 23, 2009

The Art of Caricature with Jason Seiler - starts April 10, 2009

Building a Powerful Comic Book Portfolio with Alvin Lee - starts April 24, 2009

Digital Painting Techniques with Bobby Chiu - starts May 15, 2009