Text - Dom Read Imagery - Zoe Hong Youtube Channel
If you have ever been interested in getting into fashion or if you are already in it and you are looking to brush up your skills then Zoe Hong is the woman for you. Her playful youtube videos are absolutely jam packed full of all kinds of tips and tricks on how to further your practice as an illustrator, a designer and an all round fashionista.
Her videos exciting and joyful and Zoe's energy is infectious. I highly recommend giving them a watch if you are interested in learning more about the fashion industry! I know I have found her videos very useful!
Check her out on Youtube @zoehong
Text and Imagery - Dom Read
As with everything there are many different routes to success. In this article I am going to outline 3 potential methods to begin drawing. If you have followed a different routes or want to start differently, do not worry these are just some suggestions to get people drawing!!!
Set A Goal or Goals...
Before you begin on this journey it is good to have a destination in mind. The path may vary and you may end up somewhere completely different to where you first imagined and that is perfectly fine. But in order to help you take the first step it is helpful to outline a goal or a couple goals and some sort of deadline to achieve this goal within.
Don't beat yourself up if you fall short or if you don't meet the deadline this is simply something to work towards and give you some meaning to fight for.
Some examples of goals could be:
The simple act of outlining a goal and committing to work towards it helps define your practice. Simply saying I want to learn to draw is too broad and overwhelming. By focussing in on a specific goal you are able to direct you efforts at this one problem to which you can then analyse you progress before moving onto your next goal.
Seeing progress in your practice is a great way to motivate yourself to keep going, keep practicing and keep learning.
Draw From Life...
Pick up your pen or your pencil and grab your sketchbook and start to draw. Look up and look around you, where ever you are whether you are inside or outside look around pick something and draw it.
I know this sounds like oversimplifying the problem, but a huge part of learning to draw and make art, is learning to look. You have to examine your subject matter, focus in on the shape and the proportion of the object. What texture is it? Is it smooth or rough? What are the values of light and shade hitting it. Is it moving or is it still? Try your best to think about these things as you capture it in your sketchbook.
Repeating this again and again will train your eye to quickly pick up on small details that you didn't at first notice. You will learn to record all of the details that you see more and more accurately the more you practice. Take your time and enjoy the process.
A good technique, is to time yourself as you draw. As you get used to how long it takes to create a sketch, start to challenge yourself. Set varying time limits for different objects as you draw them. Always make a note next to your drawing when you play this game as this will be beneficial to know when you look back and analyse your work.
,Find an Master Artist or Illustrator to Copy...
I know what you are thinking here, I wanna learn to draw Dom not draw like somebody else!! And I agree, I thought exactly the same when I was starting out. That said copying the work of a master, someone who has completed or is at least much further in their journey is a great way to learn. And don't you worry, this technique is simply a starting point to begin with before beginning to try and create work of your own in this style.
As you analyse their work and try to decode the techniques and methods that they implemented, you are literally in conversation with that artist and their work. As you try an emulate their work you will learn a huge variety of drawing techniques. You will also have to focus on the same things that you would have to focus on if you were drawing from your own subject matter - form, proportion, texture, light values and movement as well implementing the artists techniques for shading or colouring the drawing.
I hope that these techniques are helpful to you and will get you drawing. It is a long and scary road before you begin, so the easiest thing is just to start. Pick up your pencil and pick up your pad and start practicing. Progress comes with dedicated, focussed practice!
You can do it!
As always get in touch and if you have any questions we would love to help. If there is anything you would like a tutorial about, again let us know and we will put one together.
Thanks for reading!!
Believe in the process!!!!
All the best!!!!
Text - Dom Read Imagery - Proko Youtube Channel
So we all need a little bit of help and support sometimes! Well I know I do!! Anyway, aren't we all looking for new and exciting things to listen to and enjoy while we are working on our artistic practice. How about something that gives you advice, tips and tricks and all number of things to research and famous artists both historical and present, to learn from!
The draughtsmen podcast is a playful and fun exploration by two incredible art teachers Stan Prokopenko and Marshall Vandruff. They discuss a huge variety of troubles to overcome and techniques to practice for artists young and old!
Give them a listen and let me know what you think!!
All the best!
Text and Imagery - Dom Read
What a wild couple of weeks!! Due to a series of unfortunate circumstances, the team at Freshly Greated ended up in the situation where they had 10 model making workshops planned in Great Yarmouth but no artist to run them!! They got in touch and asked whether I would be able to help them out!! I said of course and quickly ordered a lump of air dry clay and got practicing how to make these cute little models. I then began planning out the workshops!!
The clay snails were part of a bigger artistic venture lead by Freshly Greated in which they positioned human sized model snails around Great Yarmouth. These larger than life snails were based on the rollercoaster ride carriages from the local amusements park on the beach called Joyland. The Freshly Greated, Joyland snails were all painted as exciting different characters designed by the local community in artist lead workshops. They were then painted by another local artist.
Our Snail workshops were held in Market Gates a shopping centre in the middle Great Yarmouth. The workshops took place in Primeyarc which is an Art Gallery and Studio space in an old Debenham's department store. It is a monumental space and it was incredible to get so many people from the local community actually inside the gallery enjoying and appreciating the joy and pleasure that comes from making art.
I made some colourful numbered cardboard signs for each of the different snail stations and we had a welcome table on which we pinned all of the snail illustrations created by artists young and old. It was an absolute delight to see so many different people come and get involved! We had young ones so young they just enjoyed mashing up the clay, we had children create masterpieces and we had reluctant parents reconnect with their inner child as they got more hooked on the activity than their kids. It was a joy to see so many smiling faces on such a varied audience.
The workshop was a 3 part job! The first part consisted of encouraging our guests to design their snail. They created an illustration of the snail they were going to make or they drew their favourite snail memory, whether that was with a garden snail or the snail ride in Joyland. Then it was onto the clay, we got out a wooden board and some air dry clay for each artist and they then shaped and moulded their own snail sculpture. The clay took 24 hours to dry so they then had to leave their model or take it home and wait until the clay dried before painting them.
Once dried it was then on to the really fun part!! The artists got to pick their colours and paint their slithery creatures bringing their characters to life!! It was such a joy seeing how many different ways you can make a snail. There were a huge number of different colour combinations chosen and some wonderfully sparkly, glitter bombed snails!! They were all so beautiful and so radiant!! Once they had finished painting it was then time to coat the snails in clear nail varnish to seal the models!
This was great! Many a snail was made, many a laugh was shared and many a smile was created! So lovely to be involved and a part of such an exciting event!
Thanks to Sam and Rebecca from Freshly Greated for inviting me along.
And spacial thanks to Jason Lovett for being the best team mate a man could dream of! Couldn't have done it without you!
If you would like to do a workshop like this near you get in touch and lets make this happen!!
All the best!!
Text - Dom Read Photos - Gemma Rogers
What a whirlwind the past four weeks have been!!! It doesn't quite feel real how fast the time has gone. I can remember each workshop so clearly, like they were yesterday. At the same time the initial nerves prior to the first event feel like lifetime ago! I have learnt, grown and laughed throughout the whole process and I know I am not the only one!
So Four weeks ago began the first of the "Art at the Skatepark" workshop series. The was the culmination of many months of planning with me and the guys at Freshly Greated an Arts project based in Great Yarmouth.
Now as all great plans go, day one had not even begun and the skies were grey and the forecast said wind, rain and lightening. Our initial plan to paint out at at the skatepark was scuppered before we had even begun!!
This was no problem though! We adjusted the plan and moved into Cobholm Community Centre. We set up the gazebos outside for STANE'S spray painting workshop and we got some tables and chairs set up for the skateboard painting workshop. Then we waited for the arrival of people....
To our pleasant surprise we were flooded with excited children and parents alike! My nightmare had been that we would be sat there with no one to work with but we were overwhelmed by the turn out! It was fantastic to see so many people so excited and happy to come and get creative!!
The first week was the main spray paint workshop in which people could get involved in painting a mural for the project under the guidance and support of STANE. After that we mixed things up each week. We brought in extra activities like illustrating your own zine, painting an MDF board for Out There Festival or spraying your own Deck. STANE taught the kids how to create a colour gradient with the spray paint and the outcomes were truly incredible!!
It has been brilliant to see the variety of different people who have come through the workshops. I have worked with people generally aged 18-25 through my job working as a Technician at Norwich University of the Arts. I have never experienced working with people as young as 4 upwards to full grown adults. It was a definite learning experience, finding out how to communicate with different ages and abilities all at the same time, working on the same project. It worked well though and everyone seemed to have a great time! Young children came in shy and nervous, unsure of where to start and they left with the biggest smiles on their faces proud of what they had created!
Thank you to everyone who came along and got involved you guys made this the event that it was and I hope that you had a great time!! Many thanks to the guys at Cobholm Community Centre for allowing us to use their space! Thank you to STANE, Gemma and Sam and the rest of the Freshly Greated Team you guys smashed it!!!
Text and Images - Dom Read
So I've teamed up with illustrator and printmaker Julia Triay for an exhibition/pop up shop later this month. It is super exciting to be making new work with someone I have never worked with before in this way. It is also very refreshing to have the goal to show our work in public and to work towards after so long toiling away in isolation.
It has been great fun to bounce ideas off one another and to experiment with combining our different styles of work to create a cohesive collection of prints and textiles.
I have also thoroughly enjoyed woking with someone who specialises in lino printing again. It is great to see how a professional does it, compared to my slap dash, ink it and hope for the best approach. Julia's methodical process and slower pace has taught me to be more patient and precise in order to achieve the perfect outcome.
What can I say though, I just get excited to see what the print looks like!!
We had been talking about our collaboration for quite some time but we didn't start making moves until we booked the venue for the exhibition. It was too easy to let ideas remain simply as ideas. We booked the venue with a very short deadline in order to ensure that there was no time for hesitation!!
Sometimes you just have to dive in and hope for the best!!!
Hope to see you there! If you can't make it though have no fear! There will be plenty of photos and films to be shown and stories to be told.
Text and Images - Dom Read
So this is just a little update on where things are at!
- The art club is still on it's way.
- We trial ran it at the end of last summer and it was a great success.
- I decided to try and raise the quality of the videos and then had a load of extra work come up and the art club got pushed to the bottom of the pile!!!
- It will be back and it will be better than ever.
It is amazing how time flies, I fully planned out the art club to launch in January, even commissioned its own soundtrack but as the work piled up the months rolled on by. Don't count the days, make the days count!! Cliche as it is, it really is true. Though over the moon, with the tailoring work and external commissions, that I have been preoccupied with of late. I have been failing to divide up the days and maintain a solid art practice of my own work. Life gets like that sometimes and you ebb and flow with your creative output. My issue has been I have repeatedly said I will do the art club stuff when I complete this task and then this task and it just keeps getting pushed further and further back.
Don't be like me, make time to make work!!!
Keep Painting xx
Text, Photography and Imagery - Dom Read
Hello my dears, welcome, welcome!!!
This is long overdue and something we have been thinking about for a long time. With all of the self isolation and social distancing we realise that many people will be looking for new hobbies and interests to help them pass the time! So what better time to share some of our knowledge of all things creative!!
Here at Dread Decks we love all things arty and we know that you lovely people do to!! So over the following weeks and months we will be releasing all manner of tutorials and art classes for you to follow along at home and get involved in! There will be both blog posts and videos for your viewing pleasure.
We are always open to answer any questions you have and if there is anything you would like us to go over then please don't hesitate to get in touch. We are always keen to see what you come up with so please send us any drawings you do in response to our tutorials or just in general!!
Remember getting creative is all about having fun. There is no pressure, no right answer and no art piece is better than another, the beauty is in the process and the eye of the beholder. All the best art comes for looking and observing and enjoying.
Be patient, have fun and be calm. Practice truly does make perfect.
Keep Swimming, keep smiling and keep sketching!!