Friday, December 4, 2009

Halloween pictures arrived!

Well, today Taylor came home from school with our Halloween pictures that we had taken of us at his elementary carnival. Finally a recent picture of all of us. Taylor wanted to be Optimus Prime again, and Elizabeth wanted to be a princess. We decided to make Shannon a Lady Bug while Nadia and I chose pirate outfits. A happy moment during a difficult Fall and Winter. Shannon turned 1 since this photo.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Mr. Mom lately. Not completely, but feeling a little displaced though. Overwhelmed. Behind. Don't really want to say anything beyond that.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Rainbow socks anyone?

Another late assignment here. It was supposed to be a 6 hour painting, but at a 16x20 canvas and all the oils necessary....I couldn't live with a mediocre half baked painting. Not that my assignment asked for such, but with the size and restricted time frame...I didn't think I could do a painting that would do the canvas justice. The specifics of the assignment were to paint patterns, in this case stripes. I figure with all of the interruptions and days of came around to 25 hours roughly. I know, way too long for a 6 hour assignment. And totally non-conducive to catching up on late assignments. Anyway, I really like this painting. I used a one inch brush to get in on the background, and later switched to a half inch brush for everything else other than the hands and signature. For some reason....the hands were really hard. I wanted to make sure they were subordinate to the face and socks. They still look a little big or angular/masculine to a degree, but they're done! That is what I get for leaving them for last. 7 more late assignments to make up...whilst keeping up with current ones on hand....for only this class. Yup, I may be taking this semester over again...and we are still unpacking in the garage. Boy are we glad to have a garage!!! Now if we could just get the cars in the garage for winter. :) Happy painting everyone! Enjoy.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


My latest assignment finished is on hands. About 12x16, these are done with carbothello sanguine and white pencils. It's a progress...well except the white hand on the top in black and white...that was the reference I was to copy from. I had some proportional issues with the pointer finger and the area around the pinky where it goes down into the crease of the palm, but I felt pretty good about it. My biggest let took almost 9 hours. Which is ridiculous honestly. Oh well, it's done. Enjoy. :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Calamity. Yet may all things work out.

It is here appropriate that I explain the past month. I had most of my life in order, classes for school had begun and I was on top of the assignments. My wife was back in school as well, and our youngest daughter was old enough that we could juggle fairly easily. Our oldest boy had started Kindergarten and took the bus to school and came home on the bus. It had all fallen into place. I even have two paintings after the old man below finished. Then it hit...
Our second child , our daughter, began to relate instances with a neighbor, an older man who lived alone nearby. Our concerns were peaked, and we contacted the authorities...hoping against hope. Their report confirmed against our hopes, and life nearly came to a halt. Needless to say, our previous thoughts about moving (due to a house in poor condition) became an instant focus. Shocked as we were, we tried our best to stay with our schooling. Unfortunately I fell completely behind. Interviews were held with our daughter, son, and us. We searched for a new home. We wondered what had 'really' happened beyond the little bit our daughter told us...still in disbelief, and in a great deal of guilt. My stress deepened. My schooling was my livelihood for the time being...and I was falling fast behind. I had to pack, I had to find a new place, I had to... I had to...
We found a place in a nearby town. Actually just down the street from where I grew up, by my parents. I knew the neighborhood well, the neighbors, and my parents obviously. For me it was too perfect. We had received a call from a preschool before this accepting our daughter also. Meeting with the administrators, we explained the situation. We have been surrounded with help for our daughter. She loves preschool too. She goes to school just like her brother and momma and daddy.
There is no way to explain the exhaustion of my mind, nor the multiple directions I feel pulled in. This new home is so beautiful and bright, solid and clean...I have wanted to put all things in order, to invite the Lord's spirit in that it may abide with us and help us heal. And as I do this, I yet feel torn...anxious, burnt out, and completely overwhelmed. I want desperately to be a good father to my daughter...disciplined but kind, and to be a good husband to my wife as she needs my support a great deal as well.
With moving, getting kids to school, getting my wife to school (my school is all online), Selling things, buying things, organizing a mess, fretting over lost time for homework, getting kids from school, talking to family, meeting for counseling.....I am not sure what the Lord has in mind for me, but I have been able to abide the day. Just the last three days (nights actually) our youngest daughter was really sick and wouldn't sleep much at all at night, but cry, scream, and whimper...testing the last of my and my wife's emotional strength, and much of our physical strength too.
So much relies on my performance, on my attitude. I want so much to spend all my time playing with the kids, but also all with my wife to sort out all our struggles, still more to do all my homework without constant distraction...because it is my job and my livelihood. Without school I would have to take up two or more jobs...and lay down my brushes and pencils for a long, long time. Loans would come due with me out of school, payments would increase beyond any income I could find short of working so much I would never see my family. My wife would have to drop out of school or we would have to get child care for her to stay in...which would compromise my extra job to make ends meet.
I have often thought, my life is a delicate rumikub game (refer to someone who has played it) and if all the steps of my decisions don't meet in the end....I will have to retract far more than I can remember, far more than I am able. The result would be a catastrophe, only not with a board game, but with my home, my marriage, my kids, all our school.......
But who isn't struggling right now? Widespread financial strain, unemployment, and a plague of people too busy to sleep or help one another.
Well, I've said a lot. A great deal has happened of no small influence. As this is an art blog, it saddens me that today I was not able to post art, but I instead painted a very different picture. I seek the way to make all things work out. May it be so. May it be so...with time, patience, hope, and faith.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fall at Academy of Art has begun. Finances aren't strait yet, and the loans haven't arrived yet, but I am in school. Part of this is good and part is bad. We are very serious about moving from where we are living. Some big issues have arisen. One I will state is that the foundation on the front of the house we are renting is a dirt foundation...and the other day when we went down into the basement, we could see daylight streaming through in several places. Heating will go through the roof in the cold months.
Anyway, I have finished an assignment for this falls classes. Here is the assignment for the situation and environment class I have done. It is a limited pallet of of Ivory black, Titanimium white, Yellow Ochre, and Terra Rosa. It is amazing what I got out of those simple 4 colors. One of the photos is really dull and a bit blurry....while the other is better on color and clarity, but horribly shiny. SO, from these two images I have the best way to show what I have done.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Everybody take a look at my new devianART portfolio site at
Tied in with deviantART I hope to place my work out there with a bit more finesse. I also have a regular deviantART portfolio that can be found here:
Enjoy. Tell me what you think. :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Finishes of three assignments...finally

These are the finishes of previous assignments. The torso and drawing from photograph and plaster cast head.
These are large scale, so they may not fit on your screen. Ctrl + or- will resize images in most browsers. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Chiaroscuro class assignments so far.

These are some of the charcoal renderings I have been doing for my Chiaroscuro class. We have been using mostly white objects so far like fabric and plaster casts. I haven't finished the female torso, head, or the old wrinkly man yet. Each one has at least 15 hours into it, and often closer to 25 hours. I usually use the blending stub to smooth out the charcoal texture and blend the values, but I didn't use this technique on the 5 object piece and the wrinkly man. This class is insanely fast....I'm having a hard time keeping up. I printed out the wrong calendar to start with, and lost a week...which turned out to be the equivalent of two weeks worth of work on a normal semester. I couldn't afford the plaster model kit till 3/4 of the term was over, and now that I have it, I may not need it. With Renaissance art history to go along with this class....Plato, Aristotle and the like...I have been hard pressed to do anything else. Sometimes I have to take a break and watch some Bleach (anime) in between. Anyway, these are essential skills to develop from chiaroscuro. I hope I can survive the last week and a half. I need to work to earn money too....somehow. Anybody want to buy a print? :) OH, and each drawing here is 18"x24"

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Candle or Explosive

Just something that expresses how I feel lately...with options.

Another Sketch

This is just another BIC pen sketch in my little sketchbook. Although I love doing these...when I finished with this one I didn't feel like I had accomplished much. Must be because I took a break to do some artwork other than schoolwork. My schoolwork owns me pretty much (like 4 times the amount of work of a bachelors degree during the summer), so until August 5th, I'm off the map.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A sketch of boredom

So, when I get bored...well, and frustrated, this is what can happen. So this is an angry alien face. Um, yeah. The bad guy alien I guess. Well, I used ballpoint pen initially, then copied that from my sketchbook and used dark brown prisma color colored pencil over that with some black prisma to define the darks I lost. It was fun. I watched some Feng Zhu tutorials while I did it. (Ok, it was in the back ground...I didn't watch the whole thing actually) Pretty fun and simple. This is just a little character concept. I don't know that I am interested in doing a design for the body, but this will be here to refer back to if I need a bad alien. :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Illustration Friday: unfold

I decided to do this weeks Illustration Friday entry on the word..."unfold". My initial thoughts were of something unfolding before my eyes...but that kind of ended up being reinterpreted as my actual eyes unfolding. Mostly it ends up looking like a lot of intricate detail. But there you have eyes unfolded...something. Enjoy. Photoshop CS4. 6-8 hours of nonsensical fun. :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A finished Landscape!

Well, today was a good day for painting! Each Wednesday me and my friend Mark paint together to break away from our lagging artistic enthusiasm. Here we see the painting we did, or the one that I did. I started around 1 pm, and finished around 6...with several interruptions of course. Anyway, its a 9"x12" canvas painted with a 1/2 inch flat brush. I had fun. The second one is from a previous week and I didn't get it finished...although I tried to give it a sense of finish. Its a 11x14" canvas. Not quite what I wanted, but its ok. Now if I could just earn money with this kind of stuff! :) Enjoy.

Monday, May 18, 2009

THIS IS COOL! enable your browser. Its simple.

Another step in technology connections

Connecting the world…well, the world of blogs, emails, and social interaction sites! :) Now I can edit through my windows live programs....which makes life feel kinda like option overkill, you know, like how many ways you can adjust the volume on a song you are listening to on the computer? I have external speakers, which I then hook up to my nice stereo, so they have their own control. Then the computer operating system has a volume control, and then the program you play music in has one too. Its pretty nuts how there are like 10 ways to do something. I hope options don't kill our society. :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

School finals

My semester at the Academy of Art University is over now. I was up till 6:20 doing my final for one of the classes, but yeah, its done. I am pretty happy about my drawing from imagination class even though, I still have finishing touches to do on my final for that class. I am kinda worried about the figure drawing class I struggled on that one. I did get the final done in that one though. I'm gonna post the finals for those classes as they are. Now it is down to job searching in this struggling economy. Whether I do art, Melaleuca, or find a job digging ditches, I hope I make some money soon. Good luck everyone. Enjoy summer!

Monday, May 11, 2009


All thumbnails are now "clickable" to open in their own window. This is again, a modification for touch devices where rollovers do not bring up the image. I have added a row on the bottom of the Sketchbook page as well as one more oil painted piece on the Traditional page. Done. Finally. Enjoy :)

Brushdragon site update

Finally I updated my site. The contact page is now current, as well as some new options to see the thumbnails on thier own page if you click on them. Previously the pages were only rollovers. With the advent of the Ipod touch, there is a need for the thumbnails to be clickable. I have an Ipod Touch, and it is nice now to be able to see the images from my own site. It is slow going converting all of the thumbnails. Some work, some don't. BFA page is where I have started, so go there to enjoy the upgrade. Its a small change with a big impact on portable devices!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Its a mad mad mad world

This was an assignment for my masters degree class. We were to make a combat scene with two combatants. I didn't have much enthusiasm until one day browsing images of cool fantasy and scifi concepts I ran across Alice in Wonderland images. Suddenly I thought " Why don't I have The Mad Hatter attacking Alice in a swordfight?" Ok, it sounds crazy (and I threw in the March Hare too), but I have seen way too much Anime and several Jet Li movies like HERO. With that in mind, I came up with this peice. I am fairly happy with it although it is more of a peice to go to paint being that it is so detailed. Were I to keep it in drawing form I would have focused more on dominant and subordinant line quality. I did the whole thing from start to finish in Photoshop too, so I would have done a traditional pencil render of the line to make it a full finished peice in line form. Its pretty high res, so I could still do that, but I'de rather spend the time painting it some day if I get the chance! :) Everything had research reference, but it is all out of my head. I mean come on, where would I get models for this pose?

P.S. I imagine you noticed that color is a really quick throw in, but it does unite the peice a little more. I didn't handle the value separations well either, but I had to see some color. Notice also that the swords are specific to each character...A porcelain teacup sword for the Hatter, rabbit ear shaped short swords for the Hare, and Alice couldn't do without a sword which is actually the Cheshire cat in awesome sword form! :)

P.S.S The instructor mentioned the busy nature of the table as well as the direction of the sheath of the Cheshire sword and Alice's leg. I have a different position in the drawing versus the color. See if you notice where the difference is?

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Had to pull out the oils. I haven't painted in nearly a year with my oils. I had to scrape the oils off the pallet because they were dried up. :( This is the work of about 6 or so hours. That includes finding the image, tweaking the colors and values in Photoshop, and then putting it to canvas. It's about 10"x10" roughly. I was thinking of portraits, but ended up doing this Tiger. Go figure. Well, enjoy!

Where have I been?

It has been a bleak year for this blog...and mostly I mean about the "art" portion of artbyshaunwilliams. :) Really I have been doing a lot of sketches and things worthy of posting, I just didn't make the time. Some of the task is still in scanning images from my sketchbook, and the other is merely uploading them. With school two weeks from completion for this first semester, work being a little bleak, and wondering where I am going with my life....its been fun. All the kids are growing up fast. Take a look at the blog link on the right of my blog to williamszooof5. This is my wife's blog for family updates...where I should have posted all of my other crazy posts. I'm keeping this solely for the art from now on. Sorry for the soapboxes and whining in previous posts. I'm sure you would rather see my art. Thanks all and will post soon. ( I hope)

Saturday, March 21, 2009


So, every week, an email comes in from Illustration Friday. Bringing illustrators together to show our work and skills, the email is based on a word or phrase. This time it was Subtract. Immediately I thought of a cliff side with a building on top that had been eaten away by the tide. The precarious effect seemed fun, so I did it. It is fairly simple in execution. Lately, I have wanted to have more color and a brighter influence to my work. I still have a lot to learn, but this was fun, and has a look unlike what I have done before...except maybe my Wizard of OZ piece. Anyway, enjoy. I haven't posted any art for while, so this should set me back on track...I hope. And otherwise, visit Illustration Friday to see this as soon as I get it posted. Thanks

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Onward and Upward

A new year offered unexpected opportunities and challenges. When talking to a friend from school who just graduated, he explained that he was going to attend the Academy of Art in San Fransisco and achieve his Master's Degree there with their online program. I had thought seriously about the same thing a year earlier and opted not to do attend due to questions of affording it. From several ponderings, prayers and talks with individuals I decided to go the doctors route, and live on loans until my degree was finished. The Academy has an impressive placement program, and I otherwise could teach on the university level with a Masters. I am impressed more with what a Masters is economically nowadays as well, since a Bachelor's isn't what it used to be. I had several points of unfinished ability in my artistic learning I wanted to formally achieve as well. The business of art is difficult to apply onesself to also. Art is simple enough for me, but the business side of things is a migrain headache for me. My wife is currently enrolled in the school I finished at, BYU-I, and has 4 semesters to go. I do not want her to wait to finish either. We are not getting younger, and by the time our kids are old enough for us to go back (pending on the number of kids we have too) we will have lost so much time, energy, and application of the education. It means that life is complicated and tough, but we are people of faith, and we work with the goals we have to better ourselves. Whatever else falls out of the picture we strive primarily to stick together as a family, have a home, transportation, and education through the work that we do. We will hav a more competent internet connection this Thursday installed to handle the school loads, and we will be purchasing a computer for me so that my wife can have her computer to do school work on. With the obviousness of Loans we have opted to handle some also obvious outstanding financial needs during the demands of schooling. The kids are still adjusting to the move and the stresses of life. Everything has happened. From Taylor cutting Elizabeth's hair, Taylor getting really sick, and car wrecks ( nobody was hurt) that cost 3200...thank goodnes for insurance and a 250 deductible! Also my car is dead, or more appropriately, my fuel pump most likely. The only way to fix that, is to wait for the summer when it is warmer though. The house is in better shape, but still needs a lot of work. We found out the electric bill was about 70, but that the gas bill was 270!!! Needless to say, we were a bit shocked. a 650 or 700 3 bed rental apartment utilitis paid doesn't sound too bad anymore. Remember, this is Rexburg too, very few people make more than 9 or 10 an hour, and most make minumum wage at best. Well, the excitement of school has only just begun, and I will see if the Loans can cover us with the help of some freelance jobs, or if I will need to continue on with part time Walmart. I would really rather not work at Walmart, but all advice from others says to keep jobs, because they are so hard to get into to begin with...and Walmart is a good company apparently in this economy. Best of Luck to everyone, and keep your spirits up. Help someone in need, take a walk and think, sharpen your blade before you try to cut down the forest, and say your prayers. Later.