Posts Tagged ‘design’

I’ve been called upon to do a 6 foot by 8 foot live painting for a camp here in PA. This is a different situation for me in some ways, because usually when I do a live painting I am also the speaker, so I’m also there to talk the viewers through what I’m thinking. This time I’m only doing the painting. My first run at a sketch just didn’t work so for the next run, I went classic. Their theme is on finding fulfillment, so I just did a straight up Jesus, since He is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, He is the fulfillment of the OT law, of Scripture and, at least in my view, the ultimate source of fulfillment.

Why am I cross posting this one? Art is communication. If we want people to get our meaning, we need to make it speak clearly. My first run at this was misunderstood or maybe more correctly was just not understood and while, as I stated above, had I been the speaker, I would have been able to explain the piece to the audience and they would have gotten it. That’s all well and good if that audience is the only group to see the piece, but this piece will be kept and displayed probably for quite some time to be seen by people who were not in attendance when I made it. They need to get it too if I want the art to fulfill a greater purpose. Sometimes it’s best to keep a piece simple so it can be understood. An open armed Christ speaks volumes.

This is my latest painting for use in my paint parties. I love doing this stuff, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Is it the best I can do? Not really, but I’m not designing for me. I am designing something that people may not paint all the time. I need to come up with something that a novice painter can do in two hours, and this is the most important part, while having a great time. I really enjoy making art and the big thing is I want others to start enjoying making art.

When you do a design, no matter what you’re designing, it’s important to consider who you’re designing for. I always think back to my first year art directing musicals at a local high school. In the first year, I designed everything in such a way that the only one who could do most of the work was me. The stuff came out pretty nice but I was stressed and the kids didn’t have that much fun. The following year I designed with the kids in mind and we all had a great time and we came up with something that was at least as good.

Of course in our commercial projects, considering the client in our design is urgent. Regardless of what we create, considering the end user is huge. Let’s draw as many people into creating as we possibly can.

The other thing that is quite prevalent in the world of adult coloring are patterns called Mandalas. These are repeating designs in a circular or star shaped patterns. These are a little more complex than the repeating patterns we looked at yesterday, but they are still rather eat to generate using either image editing software, or copies of your original art. I will be talking about the digital side of assembling them in this tutorial.

To start off, you will need a template. This will help you to keep your edges straight and make sure your design elements work in a mandala. I recommend starting buy creating a circle the size you want your finished piece to be. I generated a circle 7.5 inches in diameter, like this.

A mandala could be described as a very symmetrical design pizza, so the next thing we will do is divide our circle into eight equal pieces, like this.

Lastly isolate one of the slices. This will become your template. (I enlarged mine to make it easier to draw my design.) You can click here to download the template. (remember I enlarged this. You will have to shrink your final drawing down on your copier.

Now it’s time draw. The key here is to design everything you do within the borders of your template. I placed my template under a page in my sketchbook so I could see my borders without drawing them on my paper. Any place you want the lines to connect across your mandala will be drawn right up to the line. DO NOT draw over your lines. Anything outside your “pizza slice” will throw the design off. Here’s my design.

Next we start putting the whole thing together. First I reduced my drawing down to fit into the size of the template and removed the white background on my scan.

Next I duplicated this layer, flipped the second one horizontally, sliding it into place on the format.

Then I merged those two layers, and duplicated the layer again,this time flipping it vertically and placing it point to point with the other layer as shown below.(as you can see I now also removed the format from the image.)

I then merged these two layers into one, duplicated the layer and rotated in 90 degrees clockwise, and the design was complete. (Click the image if you’d like to download the coloring sheet.)

I also did this one in color just for fun.
And speaking of fun, I hope you have some fun creating these really cool projects on your own. Happy designing and happy coloring.

I have been MGRLogoVintage_largelooking forward to sharing this and now, I can. Over this past Summer, I was looking for some work and I found a new T-shirt company looking for a designer. I made contact and was blessed to find out my work was a fit for what they’re doing. The company is called My God Reigns and the online store is now up and running. I love a couple things about this company. First of all owner Bill Phillips is determined to follow the leading of the Spirit with this company. Secondly a tithe of the proceeds from the sale of each shirt as well as other items, will go to one of several ministries.

Here’s what Bill has to say about his company from the website’s about page:
My GOD Reigns was part of a change of life process I recently went through. I was a very successful IT executive with 30 years’ experience when I believe God had other plans for me. I was at a crossroads career wise. The good old story, working for a management team that did not live the Christian lifestyle and deceit was a normal way of life for them. I prayed about it and God has put me in a place where I pray I can glorify Him. I started My God Reigns after waking from a dead sleep with my mind speeding along with ideas. I needed to get through to folks that don’t know the Lord, or at least not very well; those that are intimidated to walk into a church because of the structure. I felt that I needed to show Jesus in a more relaxed style. A Jesus that is approachable. If people where relaxed around him, they may let their guard down and let Him in a little. Make no mistake, the relaxed approach will still carry very powerful messages. Help someone you know get to know Him. Tell us how we can help. Oh yeah, the most important part….everything you buy, whether on sale or not, we will tithe to one of several missions that we are working with, at that time. You will tell us which one you want your money to go to. We want to make the world a better place. Ask us how you can help.

Our current charities are:

1. Penn State Thon-fights cancer in kids

2. World Hunger-feed the hungry

3. Smile-clef palate surgery

4. Salvation Army-whatever is needed

I love this company and I am looking forward to a long relationship with them. It always does my heart good to do good work that does some good. You can see more about My God Reigns by clicking this link.

mural1Years ago, Hillary Clinton wrote a book called It Takes a Village. I wasn’t necessarily in agreement with her and the phrase has sort of irked me ever since. A few days ago a friend of mine, Kent Rice, asked me to design a mural for his latest project, East Petersburg Area Civic Center. I was excited to do this project. I sent the sketches through and he asked me to make one addition.

A banner that says, “It Takes a Village…”

mural2Are you sure??? I said it might be seen as political, he reminded me if comes from an African proverb, long before it became the time of Mrs. Clinton’s book. I added it.

Today as we began the painting, it was amazing. I had so many people volunteer to help. People who see themselves as artistic, people who really don’t, but just wanted to help, even young children. It was amazing, kind of like a village. Someone made the comment that they were surprised that I, as an artist, would allow others to work my design with me. I actually love to collaborate, Beyond that, the only way it was going to get done was massive quantities of help. At least ten people helped over the course of the day. It went from blank wall to finished piece in one day and a whole lot of people can look at that piece and say I helped with that.

mural3This civic center project is all about community and so is the mural. Maybe it really did take a village.

I stand corrected.

1511141_10152437276997190_1144053722466608095_nAs pastor of creative arts at my church, I get asked to help design creative things for the church. For last year’s advent series, I did three large paintings down in my studio by myself. They came out great and it was fun, but something was missing. This year I designed the work and handed it off to the creative arts team. My pastor’s wife took them from there she converted them into three dimensional pieces. Then the team painted them and I came in and helped to do some detail. I love to create but it is so much more fun to create in community. What we created will be used to enhance the messages, beautify the church, etc. What a great experience.

This is one of the pieces. There’s a different one for each message. These pieces are part of how we will express the story of Jesus. What is your church doing for advent? How can you and/or your church use your creative gifts to bring forth the meaning of this most joyous time of year?

Share your ideas in the comments below.

I have a piece I’m working on for an upcoming presentation (more on this on Monday). Below is a sketch for it. It’s not really coming together for me. Oh the image is fine, I even kind of like it, but when you’re working live, sometimes there is more to consider than just what the final piece will look like. Even though the final piece has to be done in only a few minutes, people are watching me create it, so the process also matters.


You see I don’t just paint with my messages because it’s my gift and it’s not just about the art. Art is a tool I use to engage the congregation or the audience. To me an important element is keeping them guessing. There has to be some surprise, some misdirection, something that makes people say, “What is he doing?” That way they’re hanging on my every word, not because I’m that important but because I am trusting God to bring a message that someone or maybe everyone needs to hear. For me, the art is always subservient to the message. The art is important to me and I want to do my best, but the art is temporary. If the message hits home and is used to change a life, then the message is eternal.

There are a lot of considerations in designing to do live art. When it comes to art in ministry, many of them have nothing to do with the art.

What are your considerations for the work you do when you’re “letting your light shine before men?”

One of the things I really want to do this year is create some more products for my Zazzle store. Mainly it’s just for fun, but of course the sales from these things help me to keep running A.M.O.K. This one is pretty much just for fun.

Sometimes we creatives get a little too caught up in thinking our ideas have to be huge and radical. This video shows creativity doesn’t have to be complex to be really important.

It’s a simple idea. Not earthshaking and yet it could save a lot of trees, and it’s downright functional. When you watch the demonstration, you can’t help but wonder, “Why didn’t I come up with that?” What an inventive way to solve a problem. It’s really just rethinking something that is so common and yet this minor, but very creative idea could have a very real impact on our world.

At times the church and the environmental movement seem to clash and at times those clashes can be legitimate. But just because there are times when the environmental movement crosses lines doesn’t mean we in the church are excused from the one of the first mandates God gave humanity, to care for His creation. If someone handed you a Rembrandt would you throw your trash on it? No! You’d care for it because it’s immensely valuable. Well our Creator has entrusted us with His masterpiece. That masterpiece is not just a thing of beauty and immensely valuable, it sustains our earthly life. To not care for it is madness.