80% More Pirates. Bryan | Sun Aug 3 22:03:45 | 
Greetings and salutations my friends. I am happy to announce that The Mask of the Zombie Lord has reached its exciting end and we get to move on to book 4, with 80% more pirates. Now before I send you on a Lost type quest to find out whom the pirates where in the previous books I’ll just let you know that I’m being jovial. The pirates character designs have been very fun to come up with and I have to say that color is starting to come to me more naturally. Be on the lookout for a lot of revelations in this book. Ill let you know that we will wrap up our first major story arch by book 6 and this book is the one that sets things off in a major way. Simon will find himself and other characters will have their inner being illuminated. Woot woot. Ian has been kind enough to clean out the forums so please sign up and post away.
Among other things, art is defined by Webster’s dictionary as a skill acquired by experience, study, or observation. As an art teacher for the past eight years, I have been given the opportunity to help guide young minds in experience, practice, study lectures, and observation by critiques. The first two years of my teaching, I truly felt I was surviving. My third year I started to realize that everything was going to be ok. Finishing up my eighth year I could probably walk my way through a year of teaching, but I still find myself wondering what can I still bring to the table. It would be easy to fall into a rut and loose my passion for teaching. God knows that I need the summers to recharge, but I am known for my positive attitude. I truly believe, that it’s because of all our world has to offer and the joy I find in not only reflecting it in my art, but also seeing my students interpretation. The most wondrous thing I see year to year is the way an artist’s mind works. I have dedicated my life to my craft and in all honesty there has been not a single year go by that a student hasn’t been able to top me in one art form or another. Raw ability or obsessed creators, the students always brings something new to the table. I pride myself on my skills as an illustrator, but know my limitations. Now being hard headed, knowing my limitations and accepting them are two very different things. My dark confession is that I am not a good painter. Now one might say that everyone has their gifts. This has always seemed like a cheep answer. So I have taken classes on painting and workshops, not to mention read tutorial after tutorial trying to overcome my weakness. So far I have meet with limited success but that by no means indicates the fight is over. I can now say that I have had my most substantial painting class ever and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Art has always been all consuming for me. I think about compositions as I lie in bed at night and work out ideas in my truck during the day. When I get free time I draw for fun and I push myself to get work as an artist. That being said when it comes to color I am somewhat reliant on the computer. This affects my work and my teaching. Fortunately I have studied color theory enough to be able to help my students at all levels of ability when it comes to color but there is nothing like being hands on. Now I can do demos in Photoshop that come out looking great, but I lose the tactile feel of the brush. When I render on the computer, it sets up a wall that depersonalizes the art. This has a tendency to alienate you slightly from your art and greatly to your class. With my greater understanding of creating forms and my major step in the right direction as far as process, I feel I will be a much more capable teacher this year when it comes to painting. Our exploration of gradiation color emphasis and texture have opened the proverbial flood gates. I find myself dreaming of thick layers upon layers of hue.
Going from traditional mediums during the day to digital during the night have shown more than anything the personal growth that painting has brought to me. I find myself more comfortable with complex light sources and backlight panels in my comic book art. When we talked about why this might be in class, I came to the conclusion that painting helps me to understand how our world works. What is art if not a reflection of how the artist experiences the world. The hours spent looking at shape and form as they relate to value and hue change carries over into my caricatures and I have no doubt, that my sculptures will have been made the better for my painting studies. The pallet knife was a very interesting experience. The hard edges and unforgiving stroke made me look at painting in a different light. I really enjoyed the tactile qualities of the knife and globed on paint but I feel that I favored the brush.
I feel that I have taken the first steps on the right track and have confidence that I will continue to improve my painting skills. This year I feel that I will be spending more time on my color theory in class and let my students spend some extra time on painting. From now on, I hope to set up a canvas to noodle at when I can sneak in a little time with the brush and maybe the pallet knives, when the composition calls for it. The painting class has rekindled my interest in the medium and I look forward to applying what I have learned in the upcoming school year.
Lets talk about DND insider. For $15 a month you can be a DND insider. That’s right ladies and gents sound familiar. Today’s entertainment is all about reoccurring fees. Why make a game that can be bought and played when you can rent and play. Now I know that you can buy the core rulebooks and leave it at that but what about extended content. Will the traditional players buy into this new feature which brings us among other things a virtual tabletop? Lets run threw the insider features.
Product Previews: We have product previews, Now this would be cool if you couldn’t already get updates all over the net for free.
Class Features: I have a feeling that this is why we see no Monk or Druid. Why include it in the books when you can charge for it later. Now this may bring people on board but the problem is that the info will be all over the net possibly before the info is even officially released, “Like the first three books where.”
Strategy and Tactics: I feel sure that a website will arise that surpasses any official effort.
Design and Development: This is the part that is killing Dragon Magazine. I personally like having something to hold in my hands as I read.
DND Humor: Now I do want to read and hear the Penny-Arcade stuff…… Lets see how long it takes to find it online without a subscription…….. Ah ok I am back after 1 Google search.
The final is DND Product Enhancement: This is the major hook. Everyone’s upgrading but you. Problem is that Gamers look out for each other and will work around this.
I know reading this it seems like I am against the idea of DND Insider. I understand wanting to make money off your toils and feel they have every right to do so. The problem lies in that it need to work large scale or it will just be dropped like a bad idea. I am interested in everyone’s opinions, please feel free to write in so I can post more peoples views on Insider.
Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition Bryan | Tue Jun 17 17:44:34 | 
It’s Blog time, In recent news I have been married a year and I am now 32. Woot! Life is busy as always, my painting class has been fun although the acrylic arts still elude me. Lat weekend saw a D&D 4th edition session that hooked me. They game play is similar to the Minis card game and moves at a very fast pace. I used to bring my art supplies to every session and get some work done while my party figured out battle stratagem. It isn’t as versatile as 3rd or 2nd but it just plane fun. With daily, encounter, and at will abilities you may feel you are playing an mmo but is that really a bad thing. there is a reason that World of Warcraft is so darn addictive. I had thought that the builds would be a no brainer but the more I read the more ideas I get. I’m really digging the way that they handle Multiclass now. You pick multi as a feat instead of splitting your character he cont. to level as whatever he started as and uses feats to gain multi abilities. Sounds crazy but it work out well and keeps confusion to a minimum.
In other new I have found a delightful radio broadcast website. The original War of the Worlds pulled me in but I figure I’ll listen to the other broadcast while I draw. It is easy to see why so many people freaked out during the original broadcast. The recording on this site shows how most people tuned into the broadcasting after their favorite show and missed the disclaimer that it was fictitious.
Finally I hope everyone is enjoying NENW drawn by the fabulous Shiezka. She has been offline but should return shortly so that you can rain down admiration and thanks on her.
This concludes or Bloging for this evening, good day and good night.
Major comic news. Bryan | Mon Jun 2 12:15:49 | 
Greetings and salutations my friends,
We have a very exciting announcement to make. We have just added the cover page for Neo Earth N.W. with artwork by Jessica Kramer. She is a crazy talented young lady that I had the pleasure to teach and now she is working with us to enrich your reading pleasures. N.E.N.W. has a much more light hearted and fun feeling than the slightly more serious Neo-Earth. I think that it will fit in great with our readerships taste. While you are at it head on over to Jessica’s Deviant Art site for a peak at her art style.
In other news Writers for Relief volume 2 has just become available on Amazon. It’s a Science Fiction anthology that benefit’s the Katrina survivors. Now I know when something is out of the news it is often out of mind but Katrina did a whammy on the gulf coast that is still kicking a lot of peoples @$$. I could tell you stories but it a very personal thing so ask me at a con or something and I’ll tell you my experience going threw the storm. My friend Davey has done a great thing bringing this book together so order your copy now.
Obi on was a blast. If you hit my Myspace account I think I put the pics up…. If not I will take care of that this afternoon. Hanging out with my old buddies was great and getting to watch Steven Butler drawing was a great pleasure. I also made a new friend in Mark Poole. Mark is not only an amassing artist but also one of the coolest guys around. I have to say its been a long time since I enjoyed doing a panel with someone so much. Go visit his website and drop him an e-mail telling him how great he is.
I have started my summer class at William Carey and I will say this. Mrs. Tracy is the best art teacher I have had in the last 20 years. She is funny, confident, and knows her stuff. I will steal a bit of her teaching methods for next school year. Mrs. Tracy even e-mailed me to find out if I was ok after I left her class sick on Thursday. How nice is that. I am still having problems with my painting skills. I stay up at night meditating on the correct path to artistic unique with acrylics…. Funny thing is that I am having a blast trying to work threw my painterly challenged mind.
Wow this is the longest blog I have ever posted. I thank you for indulging me,