Friday, May 14, 2010

David Deen - Everybody should have one

This image was created by an incredible artist by the name of David Deen.  I have the true honor of calling him my friend.  He created this image as a book cover for War of the Outcast written by another good friend: Michales Warwick Joy.

I met David at the first Science Fiction Fantasy convention that I ever attended.  His work was absolutely stunning and I made it a goal to get to know him that weekend.  I am so happy that I did.  Like any other aspiring artist, I was full of questions about techniques and how to possibly make a living with art.  When I asked him how he makes his colored pencil work so realistic, he gave me four bits of advice.
  • Don't be afraid to use dark colors
  • Use a lot of pigment
  • Use good quality pencils
  • Focus on one inch of your work at a time
I took his advice and immediately following the convention I purchased a good set of PrismaColor pencils and created Monarch; the first of my butterfly series.

In the years since, David has gone on to be one of the most popular artists in the midwest convention circuit, he has created many book covers and most recently worked on a popular young adult series called Groovy Tubes.  Be sure to check out Groovy Tubes: Mythical Beasts at Amazon.  

David has been a true inspiration to me and is the primary reason why I became an artist instead of just using art as a hobby.  When I met him, my work was amateur at best, but he saw potential and treated me as an equal artist.  Each of us needs a David in our lives.  Someone that encourages us and believes in our dreams. Someone that not only sees us for who we are but sees us for who we will be.

I encourage you to seek out local artists, go to art shows and talk to them, comment on their blogs and get to know them.  What you will learn from them can be amazing and take your life in wonderful directions.

I owe a debt of gratitude to David and I highly recommend you check out his web site -  If you are interested in learning his artistic techniques, check out his newsletter Imprint.  He has two series on his site, one detailing an incredible work of art using colored pencil and the other using acrylics. 

If you have your own version of David Deen, your own artistic inspiration, please let us know in the comments.  We love to promote other artists and to hear their success stories.

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