Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tin Man

I wanted months ago to do the Wizard of Oz as an Avalanche topic, but everyone was busy, so I tried it out on my class instead. I had a suspicion that I was overtaxing my class, work-hour-wise, so I decided to do the assignment to test how much time it would take. I limited myself to one hour per week of time they were working on it, to compensate for differences in speed and experience. So here's how it progressed, hour-by-hour.
Hour 1:

Hour 2:

Hour 3:

Hour 4:

Hour 5:

Last Hour:

At this point, I'd used up the allocated amount. Since that Time I've spent a little more time on it. This represents about 2 hours of work:

I have one more version I'm still improving on---I'll post it when I find time to put those last finishing touches on it.


  1. That's really neat, I really enjoy your work and seeing the progression of this painting is very inspiring.

    I see you started with a very rough sketch, do you clean that up at all or do you just paint over it?


  2. Excellent work, great to see the progression. Inspirational stuff!

  3. Justin: I usually have something more well-defined, but for the sake of time I just started painting. Sometimes I do that, but I usually wish later on that I'd spent more time on the drawing.

  4. Anonymous3:03 PM

    This gets me excited about doing more drawing and painting thanks!

  5. The birds in the tin man are a fantastic touch:)

  6. This is really great. I am amazed at your character designs here, especially for the tin man.

  7. I've noticed you comment about your class.. .do you teach digital painting? if so.. how do I join?!

  8. this a very interesting post. This is the best kind of inspiration that (in my opinion) blogs can give. Not going too much to the details of the process, just seeing it and knowing the time spent. Thanks!

  9. amazing!
    I would like to see more than similar examples. It is very interesting.

  10. Very interesting, I really like the visual progression. I also noticed the little white and black dots in the middle of the picture in hour 4. What is the purpose of these?

  11. Awesome! Love seeing the progression pictures! I love the scarecrows face

  12. awesome stuff as usual Sam! Where do you teach?

  13. Your students are so lucky! I wish I could get a few classes with you on color and lighting. But I'm really far away =) Awesome work as always.

  14. I was saying the other night that it's amazing how little it changes from draft to draft in the final versions, but really what is amazing is how MUCH it changes due to those small changes, if that makes sense. You wouldn't think such little details would even be noticeable, but they are. I guess that's what you have to get your students to realize: it really will be worth it to put in that extra time for the finishing touches.

  15. Amera: If you are enrolled at BYU you can just sign up for it or show up on the first day and I'll add you. Next time I'm teaching is in the fall, I think in the evenings from 4-6pm.

    joonasjoonas: Yeah, the time spent turned out more interesting than I expected. And like Marilyn said, less seems to happen in the hours later in the process, and yet those are the parts that seem to make the image most interesting to look at.

    Pibby: I was checking my value range. This was a tip I got from Dave McClellan (see link in my sidebar), the dots help you assess whether you've used your full range of values. This helps me because I tend to paint in a very narrow range and have to adjust the brightness and contrast later.

    Bobby Chiu: I teach at BYU in Provo, Utah. I ought to take your digital painting courses sometime. I'll probably get all sorts of ideas on how to improve my teaching.

    Marilyn: I really think looking at this is going to change the way I approach assignments in the future. I've been focusing mainly on the basics, but usually what's missing in students' final pieces is the finesse and attention to detail that really makes a piece interesting.

  16. WOW WOW!!
    Just found your blog and i now just feel so totally inspired!! What a treat. Thank you!!
    I love the concept of taking your kids drawings and painting them up. Nothing beats the uncorrupted imagination of a child!! I love it!!
    Your paintings are awesome!!!
    I'm going to link you to my blog of inspiring talents!!
    All the best!.x

  17. Funny, the yellow brick road looks like corn :)

  18. Sam, my name is Nick, I was signed in as Amera and asked about your painting class. I'm currently at Stevens Henager but wanting to eventually transfer to BYU for the Illustration program, I want to work up at Avalanche but must still grow in my portfolio. Maybe one day i'll be taking your class. I would greatly love it! anyway, take it easy and thatnks!

  19. Absolutely beautiful Sam . . . !

  20. I love you man. I do.
    there`s so much one can learn just from browsing aimlessly through your blog.
    I`m a BIG fan of your work, mate.

    thanks for the inspiration.


  21. This is absolutely wonderful, Sam -everything about it. I don't know what you still intend to do to it, but it's already perfect as far as I can tell. Everything you do is the new "coolest thing I've ever seen." Great stuff, as always, man.


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