Introducing MAS Artwork videos and YouTube channel

Today, we’ve got something new for you. As you may or may not know, I’ve started to record myself when I work on my stipple portraits. I started doing that when I was working on my portrait of Alan Tudyk (Wash from the Sci-fi hit “Firefly”, and his ongoing web series “Con Man“.)

Well, my wife has taken all the raw footage that I shot and created an amazing video that showcases what I do, and you can see me doing it. This video will be the first video on our new YouTube channel.

That’s right! Announcing, our new M•A•S Artwork YouTube channel

Video screenshot from Alan Tudyk stippling video

Video screenshot from Alan Tudyk stippling video

I have been recording the other portraits I’ve been doing this year (Audrey Hepburn, Carrie Fisher, and Cary Grant), and they will be put on on the YouTube channel when their videos are created too.
Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel to be alerted and see those videos as soon as they are released.

In each video, I talk a bit about what I do and how I do it. But if you have any specific questions, please comment below or on our channel and I’ll answer them. I may put them in an upcoming video as well. Because if you have a question about something, you’re probably not the only one.

Thanks, I hope you enjoy it.

Craig P. Smith

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Three New Images including a Gas Pump!

First Up, the Alameda Ballena Isle Marina Gas Pump

The aforementioned Gas Pump, is not your typical gas pump. I created this image during the Alameda On Camera annual event and gallery. I was assigned a section of the island of Alameda where I live, and had 48 hours to take pictures within that area. In my area is a lovely marina. I was extremely fortunate on my first morning that there was a fog that rolled in which made for some lovely photos. This particular image is of a gasoline pump that is on the docks in that marina where the boats fuel up. It made a very rustic old-world look to the pump which I think is practically an antique. Here is the stipple image I did from the photo I took.

Alameda Ballena Isle Marina Gas Pump

Alameda Ballena Isle Marina Gas Pump

The other two: Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk

You may recognize these two. I recently posted a blog announcing when I had finished these (You can see that blog here). Well, now I’d like to announce that they have finally been added to my website. Click either of the images below to be taken to my website, straight to those pages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for checking out these images and my website. I have recently updated all the pages in my stipple gallery to include the purchasing buttons. Some of you may have noticed that some of the buttons were in the “Coming Soon” stage. Well, They’re here!

That’s it for now. Thank you all for your continued attention. More art soon.

Craig P. Smith

 

 

Star Wars, Series 2: Princess Leia

February Portrait completed: Princess Leia

Month two in my year-long challenge of doing a portrait a month. Instead of doing one series of 12, I decided to do two 6 portrait series(es?). And instead of doing one series first, then another, I thought it would keep things interesting and alternate between the two. So, to see the first of the Silver Screen Icons series, check out my previous blog here.

This is the first entry into my next series “Star Wars: Series 2”. Here is Princess Leia. She is also known as Leia Organa, Leia Organa-Solo, and General Organa. But since this image is from The Empire Strikes Back, she was only going by Princess Leia at that time. This image is available for prints or you can purchase the original. They are available right now at MAS Artwork, and are a limited edition of 250.
(Click the image to enlarge)

SWs2-Princess_Leia_750max

I also did Princess Leia in my first Star Wars series. Here’s a sneak peek at that image.

SWs1_PrincessLeia_300max

So, next month it’ll be back to the Silver Screen Icons series. And if I didn’t mention it before, it’s going to be boy-girl-boy-girl. So, expect a iconic gentleman of the era.

Remember you can go to my website and purchase prints right now! Don’t forget to like, share and all that other social media sharing.

Craig P. Smith

Something NEW from me (Craig)… Color Stipples!

I have two new images to share with you today. You’ve seen them before, but not like this, in COLOR!

I have started to enhance select stipple images, which I normally do in black and white, and give them a subtle color wash. The coloring I do on the computer in Photoshop. I think it gives the images a little extra something, don’t you?

The first image available is the Stairs in the Japanese Gardens at Powerscourt, Ireland. Here is the black and white version, and the new colored version side by side. I think the added color really defines the moss and foliage. Let me know if you agree. If you like them, please share them in all your social media outlets.

The other image is The Palace of Fine Arts. Everyone knows this iconic structure, and I think the color really harkens back to its beginnings, almost looking like an old-fashioned tin-type or postcard. Here are the two versions side-by-side.

We don’t sell the color prints at our Art Fairs, so the website is the only place these prints are available. Get yours today. Get one as a gift for the art lover on your list.

Thanks as always for checking out our blog,

Craig.

New Artwork!

Hello, faithful readers. It’s time for one of those Blogs you all wait for… NEW IMAGES!

Golden Retriever Mutt - Original Photo

Golden Retriever Mutt – Original Photo

In today’s offering, we have new portrait artwork. Actually, TWO new images. These are samples of commission pieces for pet portraits. The last time I was wandering around Alameda for the annual “Alameda on Camera” event, I came across a couple people walking their dog. I asked to take a couple pictures of him since I had my camera handy. One of the pictures came out great for portraits. Since it wasn’t a commission that anyone was paying me to do, I decided to take that image and use it as samples for my website of the various styles in which you can commission artwork. So, I’m taking the same image, and doing three portraits in different medium, so you can have a great comparison of style. These are the first two. One, a black and white graphite pencil drawing, and the second one, a pen & ink stipple.

Golden Retriever Mutt - Graphite

Golden Retriever Mutt – Graphite

Golden Retriever Mutt - Stipple

Golden Retriever Mutt – Stipple

 

In a couple days, I’ll have them on my website in the galleries, but you get to see them now. If you have a dog that looks like this or if you are a big fan of the breed, I have the originals, as well as prints available.

If you’d like to order a portrait of your pet, or even a human, click here and you’ll be taken to my website where you can see the guidelines, and order a commission. Don’t forget… portraits make great Christmas presents that are sure to be unique, remembered, and treasured. Get your order in NOW, before I book up for the season.

Also, updated pricing! Check the commissions page for details.

Thanks,

Craig P. Smith.

Announcing: We’ll be at 2 Art Fairs this year! (at least)

Alyx and Craig in Booth-small

M•A•S Artwork proudly announces that Alyx and I have just been accepted to two art fairs this year.

Our first fair in 2016 will be:
Downtown Alameda Spring Festival
Mother’s Day Weekend – May 7th – 8th, 2016.
Located on Park Street in downtown Alameda (literally, ON the street. They’ll have traffic blocked off so the whole street is one long pedestrian-friendly outdoor festival).
Here is the link to find more information: Downtown Alameda Spring Festival

Our second fair will be the same one that started our fair career last year:
Park Street Art & Wine Faire
July 30 & 31, 2016
Here is the link to find more information: Park Street Art & Wine Faire

Click here to read our blog about our experience at last year’s show.

We are also planning on entering one other show this year, but we don’t have details yet. It’ll still be in the Bay Area, but will probably not be on Alameda, so it may be nice for a people in a different region to come meet us.

Craig Working on Stipple-small

Don’t forget put these dates in your calendar early and with a reminder so you don’t forget. We’d love to see you at the show and talk with you all personally, and get a chance to know you. For those of you who stopped by our booth last year, we’ll have some new images and maybe a few surprises, so come on by again.

If you plan to come to one of the shows, let us know in the comments below and we’ll be on the lookout for you.

See you there!

Craig & Alyx

Slave to Creativity

Fair Warning: I won’t be the best at what I do!

wolverine_im-the-best

For decades now, the business and industrial worlds have been busy telling us that you must be working full bore all the time for as much time as you can manage… and then some. The key to promotions and bonuses, they say, is to work overtime, nights and weekends, researching and learning on your own time without pay to get ahead. Just doing your job well enough and gaining experience isn’t enough to better your position, only to stay where you are, and in a lot of cases even lose ground.

As we journey into the age of enlightenment, this situation is getting exposed as asinine and damaging to the psyche, physical well being, and is actually counterproductive. Even though the business world is still espousing this belief as a virtue. There’s a war on.

I just read an article that triggered something in me, and ticked me right off. It’s an article on creativity, and creative personalities and how saying ‘no’ is an important tool to help the creative person succeed. Here is the article if you’d like to read it.

Even though I agree with the article about saying ‘No’ and the ramifications of that, what upset me about this article is that it is using the same kind of language to inadvertently shame and control creatives. And they are portraying it as a virtue. The article says things like “Creating consumes. It is all day, every day. It knows neither weekends nor vacations.” and “No matter what you read, no matter what they claim, nearly all creators spend nearly all their time on the work of creation”.

I saw a meme on Facebook that said something to the effect of “I’ve never met a ‘Great Person’ who has not had a troubled or challenging past”. What a backhanded way of saying “If you haven’t had a challenging or troubled past, you’ll never be ‘great’. To that I say ‘that’s absolutely NOT true’.

Regardless of what all these ‘helpful’, ‘inspirational’ sayings advocate, there is now pressure on creative people to work full time, all the time on their creative processes and projects, and damn the consequences. Well, having gone back to school for animation as an adult, I was ‘competing’ with post-high-school-aged kids. Most of whom still lived at home, and had no other real responsibilities and were free to work on their stuff day, night, and weekend. I, on the other hand, I had rent to make, as well as all the other bills, and I had a young daughter. Because of a divorce, I only got to see her every other weekend, and I’ll be damned if I was going to spend any less time with her and neglect her because I was trying to be the absolute best animator in the world and work for Disney. That sentiment is no less strong now, after leaving school.

Over the years, I have also found and married the love of my life, and we have built a wonderful magical world together. Should I shove that aside to spend all my waking hours at the drawing board? If I want to be “Great”, I’m told that I should (or automatically would).

busy-at-drawingboard

If that is what it takes to be great, then forget it! I’m not buying in. I love spending time with my family. I love my wife and daughter and won’t give them an ounce less love and attention and TIME than they deserve and that feeds all our souls. I want weekends and vacations. I want to be healthy and unstressed. I want to travel and see the world. And I want to ENJOY all that!

I refuse to accept that stress they are trying to make me feel with that unattainable carrot of being the “Best at what I do”. Therefore, I’m giving up the idea of being great. I will still draw and create. I will still strive toward goals I would like to obtain. But I will only be as good as that will make me. And If I never get into Pixar because I don’t have willingness to abandon my life to make the time to get as good as they want me to be. Tough. Their loss. I’ll be happy traveling to Australia, the British Isles, and Africa with my family and living a wondrous life.

I hope you all enjoy my ‘only so good’ work.

Craig Smith.

www.masartwork.com/art