July 30th, 2017

Chalkfest 2017 – Eau Claire, WI

First, I haven’t posted anything for a while, but I am still creating! It’s harder and harder to find time to sit down at the computer and type anything up. Smartphones are too convenient. If anyone is looking for more current content, I’ve been posting semi-regularly on my Instagram @arclarkart.

Second, I am thankful that Volume One & UW-Eau Claire continue to put together an amazing event for local artists and community to join together and create and view sidewalk art for the day!

Let me tell you a little about our time at Chalkfest.
Saturday, July 29, 2017. In the beginning, there are composition sketches.
It’s easiest to work through sketches in the same room as your partner, but Kim and I had to send concepts and sketches through the ol’ text-machine since we are no longer in the same city. As an adult, it becomes a logistical nightmare to get two people in the same room at the same time and digital communication was our friend. End result of combined sketches, brainstorming and Photoshop Magic below:

The munchkins, posing in front of their Minecraft square, are the same talented models that helped us with reference material:

Mid-Process #1 with myself; smudging some shadows on to the “pages”:

Mid-Process #2 with Kim; time to let everyone know what number we are:

Dirty chalkwater and paintbrushes. I love using water to start blocking out and painting in big blocks of color. Less of the sidewalk shows through if you can saturate the area with chalk+water (Kim is more of a blend-until-your-skin-is-in-the-cement.) Both methods produce similar results, but I think the brush is quicker.

Mid-Process #3 with some eyes still missing. Shadows and highlights are still a work-in-progress at this point. We worked very quickly in the morning as the threat of sun started to get more and more real. Due to the fast pace, there wasn’t time for much process documentation.

Finished square! Kids, Yog-Sothoth and Nyarlathotep.

Audience Choice Award!!! <3<3<3 Thank you from #113!

February 3rd, 2014

::Tutorial:: Display Wall

Tools Materials Tutorial
Tools & Materials Needed:
::6:: 1″x2″ 6′ Boards/Planks (~$17)
::12:: 1″x2″ x 1.5′ Boards/Planks (I got 6 3′ boards and just cut them in half so I had an excuse to use the jigsaw) (~$10)
::60:: 1-1/2″ Wood Screws (I would get shorter ones for the hinges so they don’t poke through for next time) (~$8)
::4:: Hinges (~$7)
::1:: 9’x12′ Drop Cloth (some kind of heavier material) (~$18)
Screwdriver/Power Drill, Pliers, Measuring Tape, Hammer, Stapler, Scissors (Level & T-bar were not used but would have been useful)
Drapery Hooks for securing art to the finshed panel (with binder clips or paper clips)(~$3)
I didn’t have to purchase any of the tools as they were already in my possession. The boards, screws, hinges, drop cloth and hooks ended up totaling about $60 – a fraction of the cost of ordering art display walls/panels.

Crossbars Planks
::6:: 3′ planks cut into ::12:: 1-1/2′ planks with brute force.

::3:: 6’x1-1/2′ frames created from the planks.  The 2 shorter bars going across in the middle just help make the frame more stable. The big push toward making my own panels versus buying them pre-made was expense and customization. Doing it myself was cheap and I could figure out what size best fit my needs.

Dropcloth Scissors
Drop cloth is cut to the size of the frames, plus an inch or two on all sides? With the amount I had, I was able to double the material over for each panel. I eyeballed the overhang based on what would wrap around to the back of the frame comfortably. Enough material to grab on to with the pliers but not enough to have to trim again.

Pliers Stretching Canvas

I basically borrowed from canvas wrapping. There are many ways to wrap, the method I used was starting to staple from the middle and just rotating around until I get dizzy and the drop cloth is tight (numbers on the left image denote a makeshift stapling pattern.). The pliers were a good lever for gripping the material enough to pull it tight against the frame for stapling. As for folding the corners, I am not descriptive enough. A simple search for “How to fold canvas corners” should lead you in the right direction. I just use trial an error until the fabric is neat against the edge. Almost like wrapping presents.

Hinges added. One toward the top, one toward the bottom to connect the 3 panels in an accordion fashion.

Oop Screws
Yikes. Good thing no one is looking at it from the back. Don’t forget to pick the right size screw for the job.

Makeshift Propanels
Ermergerd, they stand up on their own! Victorious!

Drape Hook
Say what? Hang some art from it now? K!

March 1st, 2013

Regal Legal Beagles

These are some beagles on a milk can, step by step. In my last tweaks I will have to scale back the vibrancy of the color just a touch and work the feet and faces, but this is where the internet gets to see it.
Photo Reference: http://blog.timesunion.com/bark/files/2009/04/two-beagles1.jpg

January 27th, 2013

Puppy Post

Puppy Milk Can
Some significant progress today on one of the milk cans I received during a time when the weather was warm and the bugs were thick. The process starts with some lines, chunks of color, and details keep piling on and on. Probably a few more tweaks to go – some highlights, shadows and what have you – but it’s postable!

September 9th, 2012

Can Sanding Essentials

I grabbed a few different sanding attachments to chip away at these relatively good condition milk cans. The sander attached to the drill was the most flexible, but didn’t have much bite. It was better for smoothing the rough painted areas and getting into the curved sections than for taking off the layers. The black chunky one below the drill had some nice sanding power. The wire brush took off the paint quickly but didn’t cover quite enough area for my liking. I also grabbed a buffer pad and some paper towels to wipe away the build up of powdered rust.

The best bet is to sand down to the metal, trying to remove all traces of rust, probably while wearing a face mask in case there are lead based paints present. After a good long while there is noticeable progress. Then it is time to brush away the rust and throw down some sort of rust-stopper paint. So far I have stuck with Rust-oleum spray paint for all my metal projects but there are alternative products and a variety of colors if you’d like a base color other than black. After all the priming then it’s time for the oils or acrylics and then the real fun begins.

*Follow up* – Shortly after finishing this process I realized it’s also an option to make an inquiry to a car garage to see if they would sandblast it for you or find a way to acquire a sandblaster for yourself through borrowing, renting or buying.  I am going to try this option for the next saw blade I paint. It sounds faster and less dusty.

August 4th, 2012

Chalkfest Eau Claire

The local Eau Claire magazine, Volume One, sponsors a sweet time called Chalkfest. This is the story of a couple participants. Behold!

squirrel thumbs
Thumbnail, pre-plan time.

A few phases of the decided-upon game plan.

the squirrel
A tale of The Squirrel, riddles-in-the-dark style.

July 12th, 2012

Setting the Stage.

Just a little peek into the beginning phase of a digital painting. So far I am just laying in what I think will be an interesting background and setting a light source. Not many layers at this point.  Used a textured brush to get a “wash” down and then worked in a few little details with a smaller, round, pressure sensitive brush.

water panther progress
Progress. The creature is on a separate layer until I am confident about it. This makes the erasure of an entire limb that just took place far simpler than if the layers had been merged. I have been predominately using the brush tool, eyedropper and navigator. This is the basic pattern of things once I get into a good rhythm, along with Ctrl+[ or ] to decrease or increase my brush size, respectively.

Annnnddd then I completely switched over to Illustrator:

June 28th, 2012

Tools for Murals

mural tools
All the painting tools required for a professional job:

1. Ladder – Especially when you are 5’1″ a ladder comes in handy.

2. Carrying Device – Anything portable works, but I have found these little crates let me see what I am digging for. I just have to remember to throw an old rag in the bottom of it so paint dribbles don’t have the chance to escape.

3. Water – I use water soluble paints so this is a must-have for mixing and cleaning. The big jug (previously iced tea) is good for cleaning and the water bottle is better for mixing small amounts of aqua into the paint.

4. Drop Cloth – Don’t pretend like you aren’t messy.

5. Brushes – Depends on the size of the mural, but I have 4″ – 1″ brushes and a grab-bag of smaller sizes for details.

6. Mixing Bowls – The several-dollar, partitioned serving tray turned out to be an ideal mixing surface. I put water in the middle and cooler, darker colors on one side and warmer, brighter colors on the other. Otherwise plastic bowls or used food containers work for larger quantities. It’s ok to be cheap here.

7. Paint. – These are household interior acrylic latex paints. Semi-gloss. It seems to be able to stand up to a little wear and tear. Gloss seems a little too shiny for me, and matte is too dull. I get 5 or 6 basic colors usually. Last time I got purple, green, red, yellow, white, blue and brown. They were just picked from the paint chips at the store. It is also important to prime first and seal as a last step if necessary.

Other extras include painters tape for taping off edges. Music is something to consider bringing. Also useful is an extension cord and fan.

May 28th, 2012

A Step by Step Mural

mountain wall
Photos courtesy of LexiXD Photography.

House Wall
Photos courtesy of LexiXD Photography.

The goal of this project was to create a soothing environment for the clients at Northwest Journey Counseling and Treatment Clinic. One of the therapeutic tools set into motion in the mural is the bridge. The planks contain words like hate, anger, denial, help, forgiveness. Clients can reflect on which of these words best describes what they are feeling and from there, they can try to develop a way to progress to the most positive state. Some other calming elements include looking for hidden animals and investigating the natural surroundings.

Below is a step by step progression:

final wall

This mural was a collaboration with Dan Nesseth. More photos also available at ARClark Art Facebook Page

June 29th, 2010

2010 Hodag

SketchPreliminary sketch of “Pioneering Hodag Frontier.”

Start to FinishHe wears a brave face from start to finish. 5′ tall by 7′ long, coated mostly in outdoor acrylic house paint with a hint of a clear sealant on top.

Hodag 10 HoursAfter 10 hours, most of the body is painted and images are blocked in. The spikes are done after the darkest green color on the body is on and dry. The 3 and 2 inch brush start to fade away in favor for something smaller.

Hodag 15 HoursMore detail work, the figures become more confidently shaped in. Hopefully everything is where it is supposed to be at this point. The bridge is redone for the second time. Many guesstimating angle checks are performed.

Hodag Final - 20 HoursWork continues more on the city side. The horses are redone a few times. Involved detail on the downtown main street area progresses. Highlights and dark areas are intensified. Also, a color wash over the 4 main scenes intensifies the grays. Ideally, another 10 hours would have been nice but there’s nothing that says I can’t vandalize my own artwork, right?

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