B.E.A.R. Episode no. 13

Getting a little ahead of myself, but I've been sitting on Episode 12 for several days now due to problems with uploading... Anyway, no. 13 is out "sequence" but here you go! Just a little drawing challenge where you can turn absolute and totally random watercolor splotches into something almost recognizable :) Give it try, and as I heard on the radio yesterday in a quote by the woman who invented the N95 mask, "If you don't stretch you can't find the edges." 
Push those creative boundaries! 



Harts Pass no. 485

One of those silent strips where I hopefully got the expressions and gestures telling most of the story :) Spring rain is good in the arid west. It seems even a little better this year with the relative suspended animation that is "shelter in place" pandemic-required relative isolation and persistent sameness. Worms in the grass now too for added company!


B.E.A.R Episode no. 11

In this video I demonstrate an observational drawing challenge using sad faces. Sometimes in class we would draw quickly, switch poses, draw again, switch again etc.. The pose or the amount of time given, could get gradually longer, but fundamentally, this is meant to capture MAJOR ideas and then maybe start building on form or shape with a little more time. Dramatic gestures, lines of action, general shapes and relative shapes (the size and scale of how things fit together in a subject) -- these are the building blocks that can help you with almost any kind of drawing :) Follow the two links below and give it a try after watching my slightly time-lapsed demonstration. Enjoy! 

19 MIN OF SPRING: https://tinyurl.com/yc9cmb5p


Harts Pass no. 484

In 1972 my little western town of Winthrop, WA decided to re-brand as a wooden boardwalk, "western" in the old fashioned send of the word, kinda tourist hub. It's generally worked and has been good for business. Like any place with a "code" there are certainly ups and downs - not to mention the fact that "western" expansion into once remote territories had many problems of its own. Putting aside all of that and in favor of a positive spin that might help squelch the politicization of mask wearing, when local business DO get the chance to open up a little more and get back to "norm" we have a ready-made opportunity to have a "costume" (bandana mask) that fits the town sensibility AND keeps the workers and the tourists necessary for livelihood safe and sound. Be smart people. Wear a mask!


Polar Bear Post Card Redux no. 4

The final polar bear post card painting from my B.E.A.R chat video late last week. If you want to see this painting in action take a scroll down the page and play away!

Harts Pass no. 483

Birthday week for Thor! And Kit too, for that matter, one day after dad :) That's a LOT o' miles riding the good 'ole planet earth around the sun. Take care out there. GRRR!!!

Harts Pass no. 482

An Earth Day comic from the slopes of Harts Pass! The four steps listed here are the same used by my wife's Methow Conservancy "School Yard Science" program when they engage with local elementary school students (or did anyway.) School in session or not, you can still engage in similar ways. Have a good week!


B.E.A.R. Episode no. 10

A little watercolor demo and the progress painting of a polar bear postcard :) Trying to establish an “art exchange” with other regional schools where my Drawing & Painting class can hopefully make a few smallish “postcard” paintings of their own, mail them off to some other students in similarly isolated “art class” situations, and hopefully then receive some surprise student artwork of their own. We’ll see if we can make it happen!

Weekend Polar Bear Paintings

This past weekend I painted polar bear. It made me happy. Enough said. Enjoy!


B.E.A.R. Episode no. 9

In this video: A DRAWING CHALLENGE! Watch something. Study it. Spend 10-20 minutes just observing. Afterwards, go back to your paper or sketchbook and draw or paint as much as you can remember. Look for shapes. Look for colors. Look for feelings or personality or character. Spend some time on this end as well - 10-20 minutes or more - and see what you can do :) 

Perfection not expected. Practice seeing. Share your results! 


Harts Pass no. 481

Lucky for us we have a new puppy and a nearly seventeen year old who have lots of positive "keep busy" energy and occasionally slow down enough for an excellent snuggle. Take care out there!

Harts Pass no. 480

It's totally true, logging is like social distancing :) And in this case for a similar purpose. The distance between tree makes it harder for a catastrophic wildfire to totally destroy the forest. True enough! Now if only we could rake the ground in between people who are properly socially distanced... THEN we would really kick this Covid-19 thing in the pants!


Harts Pass no. 479

Kit Courageous, defender of childhood and bravest wolverine around! Kit last made an appearance in these pages during the Carlton Complex wildfire in 2014. She is back again to help us through. Wash your hands. Stay in your den. Flatten the curve! Take care out there. GRRR!


Harts Pass no. 478

OK, sometimes a hug is all it takes. I mean, a socially distanced hug if necessary at this point -- but a REAL hug if you can get it!

B.E.A.R. Episode no. 8

A quick intro from Mr. Brooks plus two different DAILY DRAWINGS from the ART IS... prompts #10 "terrified" and #11 "united". In these two drawings, markers, colored pencils, pen, and crayon are used to create some layers of detail. This is "live" hand on paper. Nothing digital about it. Enjoy!

B.E.A.R. Episode no. 7

Following up on our value scale with pencil (Episode 6) this video demonstrates creating a range of light-to-dark with a single color. I chose a yellow ocher to start, but you could do similar things with any color you choose. This demo directly references a recent exercise from my high school drawing & painting class. Students used acrylic paint, but you could simulate this with anything from pastel to colored pencil to opaque watercolors depending on what you have available. My digital version was painted on the iPad Pro with the Procreate App. 

The demo is SUPER quick, so feel free to pause or rewind - go back-and-fourth in certain areas to see the values slowly blend together and build up into the final image. Keep making art!

B.E.A.R. Episode no. 6

In this episode I do a quick demo of ART IS... prompt no. 4: VALUE STUDIES. This is some very basic practice for shading light to dark. For my students, think of it as review :) Sometimes its also just nice to watch something like this and then to try it again your self with fresh thoughts in mind. And for a BONUS EXTRA!!! Check out the slo-mo dragon voice at the end. NICE. Take care out there!


B.E.A.R. Episode no. 5

A narrated "live drawing" demo of the first two "Daily Drawing" prompts from ART IS... This one is a little longer, but 'hey', that give us more time to talk about art. The drawing prompts for this episode were "home" and "rocket man". I can't wait to see what you post for these as well. Enjoy!

B.E.A.R. Episode no. 4

In this edition Mr. Brooks shares a few of his first drawings from the ART IS... enrichment packet. He also takes the chance to recreate his Pencil Portrait (prompt no. 2) in digital form. Watch for a few tips on shading and an approach to starting a simple pencil drawing. You can draw along or take a look and then try yours later. The description in BEAR no. 3 has a link to the ART IS... packet for anyone interested. The Liberty Bell HS/JRH Instagram page is @lbhs_art. Add the #artislbhs hashtag to posts of your own they will all collect in a "gallery" feed for us to enjoy. Keep making art!


B.E.A.R. Episode no. 3

A quick 5 minute chat about the paper arts packet that was sent out today, and some encouragement to play along! I will hope record my own first foray into these daily drawing prompts later today. It will (in all honesty) probably get posted tomorrow, because...

... we recently adopted a puppy! Expect to see LOTS of Quince drawings in the weeks ahead :)

Back in the EXCELLENT Art Room: Episode no. 2

In the episode I talk a little bit again about the value of making art, music as an inspiration, the fact that we ALL need to be patient with both ourselves and with others, and I draw some jazzy polar bears! Thanks for taking a look :)

Back in the Art Room: Episode no. 1

As some of you know, last year I started teaching art at my local HS/JRH. In just my second year I am still trying to strike that balance between my own creative work and teaching... but I DO whenever possible try to bring some of those freelancer ideas to my classroom. It's all kind of a scramble!

Given the recent suspension of school for six weeks staring last Tuesday, March 17th, we are entering brand new territory into the land of "arts enrichment" or some sort of extended alternative learning situation.

I've been working on an arts packet, ART IS... that I will share with my students starting Monday 3/23, and I am plan to post a few different videos each week (2-3 ideally) that will provide a supplement to the packet and  let me potentially continue the tenor of creative conversation that I am hopefully starting to have with these kids.

It's pretty much all an experiment, and to some degree not unlike the myriad Inktober, Illustration Friday and other creative online outlets that have existed for quite some time. That being said, I do hope that my students will give it all a try. 10 minutes a day.

Let's keep making art!

PS If you'd like a copy of the ART IS... packet yourself, feel free to download one here.

PPS GRRR! (as per usual)