Original Art & Design Straight from the Noodle.

Salt Lake City based multimedia artist, pun enthusiast, nap connoisseur.

 
 

Technique, Experimentation

 

The technique behind Canis Dirus was the first time I tried outlining the negative space first then filling in the details. I figured it would be a fun way to also try something I had been playing with for a while in order to uncork the creative juices.

I've read in a few places that doing dominant-hand activities with the non-dominant hand is a good way to brainstorm. Using this technique for doodling is an exercise to challenge to brain to think in new ways. 

In Drawing with the Right Side of the Brain, Betty Edwards talks about "making a mental shift to ... perceptual R-mode" which has the tendency to create a mental block while drawing because the brain is trying to shift between literal and conceptual interpretation. This makes symmetry in drawing difficult and awkward for beginners. She uses the symmetrical vase exercise to illustrate this point as a way to activate the brain's "language mode."

Drawing with Both Sides of the Brain

I practice drawing every day, even if I can't get the best drawing out of it, just the daily act is a goal of mine to keep the skill in tact. However, symmetry is still something I struggle with, but non-dominant doodling has been a fun and interesting fix to this problem. 

When I experience creative blocks I end up settling for what I call Noodle Doodles, which are doodles of an ambidextrous nature. I secure the page to a solid surface and, armed with a pencil or pen in each hand, just go for it. I use my right hand as a guide and let my left follow suit. This allows mirror imagery and is good practice, since I can just shut off my brain and let the tools flow.

Seeing the Whole Picture

This is a great way to open up a little and see the picture as a whole and provide a challenge to try new things. After a few symmetrical experiments I figured why not try a couple of sketches? It turned out to be a little easier than I originally thought. In fact, it helped me connect with the 3-dimensional aspect of the perspective involved and let me see the picture more thoroughly.

  "Is that John Hammond over there? Think I could get his autograph?"

"Is that John Hammond over there? Think I could get his autograph?"

This first experiment was fun, so I decided to try it with a couple more. For Canis Dirus I just did the outline with two hands, then finished the piece one-handed. For Diabloceratops Eatoni and Museum Field Trip: Hands I did the outline, then individual features ambidextrously, then finished the details and shading one-handed.

A Handy Technique

This technique is definitely one of my favorites, even if it is a little involved. I have to make sure the media is secured enough to keep from sliding around, but once I get over that particular obstacle and the piece is under way, I'm able to connect and let the drawing itself emerge. I highly recommend giving it a try!

 

Photography

I had a lot of fun learning photography, both digital and traditional. It's a fun way to practice framing, composition, color, contrast, mood, and of course a great excuse to go play outside.

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Summer Path

From a photography field day among the Wasatch Mountains.

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Skybird

Taken from the chair lift during a photography field day.

 

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Chairway to Heaven

Playing outside is important, especially when you have a camera in hand.

About the Noodle

 Combating cold and dark.

I was born in a small northern Utah town called Brigham City. It's located about 20 miles northeastish of the famous Golden Spike site, and is also home to the Bear River Bird Refuge. Aside from living there, I've lived in various spots around Utah County and Heber area, and now reside in Salt Lake City after attending the University of Utah to learn how to do animations and stuff.

Being raised agnostic in a predominantly Mormon town led me to have a childhood that required some manner of creative outlet. I'm self taught in drawing and painting and got ideas and inspiration for techniques by studying artists from the Renaissance and Art Nouveau movements. Since I also grew up watching a lot of movies I learned about conceptual design from films like Labyrinth and the Dark Crystal. Illustrated books and fantasy were among my obsessions as well. To this day Brian Froud and Alan Lee remain two of my favorite illustrators. Lately my inspirational sphere has widened to include Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dahli, and Sturtevant.

All through life, my favorite activity has been drawing. I began in preschool just by scribbling during art class, immediately feeling a connection to the authenticity it provided, and even though my teachers reprimanded me for it (why is still a mystery) I used it as a means to express my inner thoughts.