Giving assemblies on reading and illustrating for picture books

Here is the skinny from Yuba City CA – giving assemblies on reading and illustrating for picture books. This was me barely making it over Donnor Summit before it got really bad.

I gave about 4-5 assemblies each day for 4 days – it was really fun watching kids get excited over my work. It’s hard for me to get a reaction from my own kids – they’ve seen behind the curtain. I love to do school visits.
At the end of each assembly I painted one of my characters in Photoshop on the screen – kids got really quiet watching a drawing come to life.
For some of the older classes I gave some drawing lessons.
We took some goofy pictures…
This is Craig and Leslie Reading – Leslie set up all the schools and made all the arrangements – She did so much to facilitate these presentations – I can’t thank her enough!I also got to visit my sister Beth and her husband Michael. Beth is a famous blogger in the Bay area – her blog: fakeplasticfish talks about living life while using a lot less plastic.

Drawing Inspiration: Will Terry in Yuba

I even made the local paper!

Donner Summit was kind to me on the way back.  😎

Are We Creating Too Many Artists? Teaching ART

By Teaching Others, Are WE Creating TOO MANY Artists?

I AM often asked these questions:

1) Are you worried that you are helping too many artists – that will one day take away your business?

2) Why would you help other people learn and succeed with their art when they will ultimately compete with you and yours in the market place?

3) Aren’t you worried that you will have a bunch of artists copying your style?

Abundance versus Scarcity, A Way of Thinking

I Copied This for School

I Copied This for School

I was happy to finally be able to make this video to explain my position on the abundance mentality vs the scarcity mentality. I would love to know how you feel?


Won’t your students take away YOUR business?

Will the copy cats out there, copy YOUR style and steel all your would be work? Absolutely not, your style is like a fingerprint. Only you can produce it. And I can’t think of anyone who has really gotten anywhere just by completely copying someone else’s style. Many have found their niche or their style by copying that of another or a lot of others. I say that is a good thing.

I will also say that if you have a unique style, like Will’s unique acrylic painting style, and as a lot of leaders and great artists do, and as a lot of unknowns also have, people will copy, and why shouldn’t they? Suppose it is such a cool style, You have mastered, that others start to mimic it or copy it. Good for you, that means something. And what about the market place. As that style becomes popular, there will be more demand for YOUR style of work. And the market is so big that it won’t hurt at all to have others doing similar work.
We talked to a young artist who has a neat and unique style of painting. We invited her to teach an online art course for Folio Academy. She wouldn’t do it because she was afraid that all of you would hurry up and copy her “style” and put her out of business. I believe that IF hundreds of artists, in fact thousands, learned her style and copied her and promoted their work, she would only do better. First of all few if any would nail “her style” and as more and more artists painted like her, that “style” if it is SO good, would become popular and more clients would want it. Creating a much bigger market then she alone could ever fill.

Art Schools MAKE their students “COPY” others.

copy of the Death Dealer

copy of the Death Dealer

Most art schools will have a few assignments where you are to do just that. Copy a masters art work, or that of someone you idolize. I copied a piece by Franz Halls and a piece by my favorite fantasy fiction artist, Frank Frazetta. I learned a lot from it. If you know your history you’ll know that Franz Halls was already dead and I didn’t put Frank Frazetta out of business at all. I probably didn’t promote him much either with my insignificant attempt to mimic his “style”.

Author’s note. I was so proud of how I took the word Forgery, and made it look like Frazetta’s own signature. 

I have seen people sitting in front of great paintings like the Mona Lisa, right there in the Louvre, copying the daylights out of these paintings. I haven’t seen any one mistaken for Leonardo Da Vinci lately. Copy away. Okay, enough of the soap box. Wait, one more thing, Bob Ross was never replaced and all he did was teach “His Style and Techniques”. I’m just sayin.


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Painting & Illustrating; Making the Switch to Digital Art & Loving it

What do you think of my digital art?

Went digi just four years ago and loving it 

early digi Illustration

Up until about January 2010, I only fooled around with painting in Photoshop. I started out by painting backgrounds for my paintings in Photoshop due to the advice of Jim Madsen  but never really tried to fully render a sketch or an Illustration. I remember the day after Christmas that year was a day for putting together toys, searching for more batteries, playing Acquire, watching Avatar, and squeezing in a little time to experiment with Photoshop. This is what I came up with.

I made this sketch for a book that got canceled (bummer) but since I liked it I decided it would be the guinea pig.
So, I’m looking for you to exercise your critiquing abilities – what do you guys think I could have done to make this a better piece? Not the following, but the boy, or is that a girl? by the tree.
A few day later, more digital artwork

A Love affair is born

Here is an excerpt from my journal shortly after my first date with Photoshop:
“I have a new secret love affair and I’m pretty sure my wife will be down with it… until I spend too much time with her. Her name is Photoshop and she’s so cute! The way she responds to gentle clicking – her color – and those deep dark shadows! Her pixels drive me wild!” ~Will Terry

in the end I’m so happy with the process
Mexican Dinner
I wish I could take the credit but I must send a shout out to Jed Henry who wet nursed me through the process. Oh there were a few choice words at first – a tear here and there but in the end I’m so happy with the process he helped me with. Thanks Jed!
This was an old sketch I dug out to fool around with – he was originally sketched for a Rosa’s restaurant painting I did 6 or 7 years ago. El Senior Monteban – quite dapper and oozing with confidence.

Editorial Illustration: Time

So I Illustrated the word: Time

I’m pulling this from the dark corners of my archive

Back when I did a lot of editorial work I created this. It reared its acrylic head again a few years back when I pulled it out of the flat file and entered it in an Illustration Friday deal for the word time. And now it shows up one more TIME.

Just wanted to post something a little different. It’s about time, don’t ya think?  : )

Is Folio Academy’s Art Lesson Video Site “DANGEROUS”? No, It’s Webroot

Is Folio Academy’s Art Site DANGEROUS, or is Webroot Incompetent?

Webroot is an Incompetent Security Software

danger sign







We hope try to be open and honest as we know with our peeps, as we know that word of mouth and a good reputation is key in maintaining good business. So when we heard that someone was recommended NOT to visit our page by their security software, we quickly contacted our web guy to get to the bottom of it. We recomend that everyone visit our site.

One of our friends informed us that Webroot was… Well, here’s what she said.

Hi FolioAcademy- (she actually wrote Hi Will, but since I’m writing this and don’t to give him all the glory, I acted like she said Hi FolioAcademy)

Are you aware that your site is one that my (and perhaps other) web security software (I am using Webroot) does NOT recommend you visit? Many folks might be hesitant to continue to your website until this issue is addressed…..

~Ellen Fountain; Watercolor instructor for FolioAcademy & Fountain Studio.

Thank you Ellen and thank you everyone for helping us maintain a safe and secure site. We appreciate ALL of you, our peeps.

Our web guy, Tom Gilson, already knew that Webroot wasn’t that great, but he further checked into it of course. We certainly don’t want to have any danger associated with our site.

Here is some of what Tom found…

From Wikipedia:

Webroot had the worst results out of 20 products tested by AV-Comparatives in the September 2012 File Detection Test of Malicious Software, both in terms of malware detection rates and false alarms.[25] Webroot detected less than 80 percent of viral samples, much worse than the 94.4 percent rate of the second lowest detecting product. Among clean files, Webroot inappropriately flagged 210 of them, raising as many false-positives as the other 19 products tested combined. According to AV-comparatives, the “results and misses have been confirmed with several tests and also by the vendor”.[25]


Thank you Tom, for keeping our site safe, up and running and safe for our friends.

Comments Welcome

I don’t believe visiting our site or watching our art lessons has ever harmed any ones PC in any way whatsoever, and we welcome comments, good and bad. Well the bad ones aren’t as welcome of course but we are artists and we know that constructive criticism is necessary for improvement.

“Art is dangerous. It is one of the attractions: when it ceases to be dangerous you don’t want it.” ~Duke Ellington

And here is a nice, Dangerous Illustration by Jim Madsen, for you to enjoy.

Two monsters holding, and looking hungrily at a man

Art by Jim Madsen

BE WARE! DANGER! Thar be artists about. They might OPEN your mind.

I Used to Struggle as an Illustrator & I Still STRUGGLE with My Art

If You only knew How Much I Used To Struggle!

 In fact, I still STRUGGLE with my art.

Fish King

To this day I still have a problem drawing in front of people. I have no problem painting in front of a group but I’m so unsure about my drawings I get really self conscious.
This fish for instance goes through a really rough loose stage that changes form many times before I start to see things I like. Often I don’t like where it’s going and have to start over from scratch – that would make a really fun demo wouldn’t it? (sarcasm intended)… and the fear of that happening is paralyzing – so I don’t often draw in front of my classes.
A lot of our artist friends that are realy good at what they do, don’t want to do a course for folioacademy because they are afraid of the camera, they don’t want the world to see them struggle.

Developing Your Art Skill Takes Time

I know I’ve talked about this before but I really want you to know two things:

1. This art thing that you want to get good at takes a long time – a lifetime really.

2. It’s really fun when you start to put all the pieces together and start creating images that gather an audience!

Assignment: Create a “Fish King Character”

King Fish line artI gave an assignment to create a “Fish King” character in my Imagination and Visual Literacy class at UVU and invited my students to send me images to post – some of them took me up on this invitation. I hope they realize that they draw better than I did when I was going to college. In fact, I was put on “probation” as a provisional student for being such a horrible artist. I was one of the few that didn’t get a studio space my junior year and I was on probation, I had to improve or I wouldn’t be in “the Program” my senior year. So I spent my Junior year being a lesser student. Yes that was stressful and depressing. And scary, to spend three years in University just to be told that “I can’t be an artist”.

Here are some preliminary sketches.

Oh yeah – it was my son Aaron’s idea to put fish hooks in his lips – credit where credit’s due!

Evolution of a Fish King.

King Fish line art c







Here’s What My Students are Drawing

King Fish line art d

I love the diversity you can see in their work. By nature artists want to be different. Artists want to show the world something they’ve never seen. Check out Dallin Orr’s and Todd wilson’s work.

I don’t mind admitting it, some of my students are a lot better artists than I was at their stage in the game.

 Here are a few warm up sketches I did.

King Fish line art b

SKETCH of a Sketch Book

“The best sketch book is the one you have with you” ~Wayne Andreason

My friend, Wayne always says that the best sketch book is the one you have with you. I always say, “Don’t leave home without it!” ~Karl Malden
If you know me, you know, I don’t like to read but…
Because of my involvement with the California Teachers Association and the many school visits i do, my mind is often on reading and it’s importance in the development of the lives of children. And even though I don’t love to read, I don know that it is important. In fact, I might even say that reading is fundamental. RIF 
“Give a hoot, read a book.” ~Herschel Krustofski
At foliio academy we concentrate on art and illustration. We believe that many a child begins to enjoy reading because of the illustrations that come with the books. So the irony is, we artists who hated reading, grew up to help children learn to love reading.
This above picture is a little doodle I did while my wife was at the doctor’s office.
“You have a sketch book, don’t leave home without it!”
(but please, sketch responsibly.)

How to Break Out of a the “ARTIST’S BLOCK” Slump

Artist’s Block, Break Out of that Horrible Slump

What do you do to break out of a slump? Artists block…or whatever you want to call it……it’s got you, what do you do?

A Can’t Think of Anything to Draw!

We all get it and rather than just tell what I do, I am going to list a bunch of ideas and comments from other artists. So lets hear what they suggest and then you can decide what’s best for you.

I just rant and rave. And RAGE!









 Keith Kern • Get out and do something you love doing. Have an adventure, watch a cool movie or whatever it is you like to do.


JB [Jack] Hertz • Kind of depends on what the situation is. It is different if it is for a deadline. Nothing can kill creativity better than pressure to perform. Getting away and doing diversionary things doesn’t work as well for me as I find I tend to obsess on the fact that I can’t come up with anything. And there I am sitting in a movie thinking about not being able to come up with some idea rather than enjoying the movie!!

If I just feel like I have had the last idea i’ll ever have, I will just scribble on a piece of paper. Big swirls, and little tight ones. Then I stare at it for a while. It is amazing what you can see in that sort of thing. It can really get the juices flowing. Another technique I use is to just draw. Free your mind. draw eyes, or other body parts..or faces then I imagine what the faces are saying or doing. Also I try not to throw much of what I have done away whether it is good or not as I can look through this “morgue” and get stimulated as well.


Chuck P• That is very good advice Jack, doing simple little scribbles and doodles would at least get me doing something on paper. It might inspire something… never know. I obsess on my block also and that is probably why it is stumping me. I should also work on some faces and hands as well as those are the things I am not happy with in my own critique. I might just have to start a :sketch graveyard” as well…lol…maybe I can pull a doodle back from the dead into something significant!


JB [Jack] Hertz • Glad you found something useful. I am always happy to help. This is a tad off target, but I find ideas don’t always come at the moment you are trying to conjure them up. Some of my best have come just as I am waking up. I guess that’s when my mind is the least cluttered. They may come, however, any time and anywhere. At any rate, I always

try to have a note pad and pencil close by so I can write down any pearls I surely will forget ten minutes later. [ (Shhh it’s a secret). That’s really why there are napkins on tables in restaurants and bars] ©¿©


Our brains are really funny machines. It is impossible to understand why there are somethings we cannot get out of them, while others are gone in a least that is what happens between my ears.

Keith Kern • “Great ideas Jack”

Wayne Andreason • (that’s me) I say, work on something easy. It seams like you don’t want to draw or paint when you fear that it won’t turn out. A lot of accomplished artists have the same problem. They too fear that it won’t work. They will work on an easy area on something that is easy, not a face. Then as their Left Brain shuts off and the Right Brain engages, they get back into their groove.



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New Photoshop Tool Makes Painting TOO Easy to Believe

Christmas Card

I know we don’t usually post on a Tuesday but this is a special occasion that can’t wait. This new plugin is SO usefool, You would have to be a fool not to look at this new Photoshop tool. Some wonder if computers are going to make it too easy. We will have to compete with every fool out there that can afford a PC and Photoshop.

Watch this short Demo video while Mr. Folio Academy, Will Terry shows you how easily he just painted this beautiful digital creation of Santa Claus on a snow board.



You probably want to know where you can get this cool plug in and how much it’s going to cost. They say that the right tools don’t make you an artist but I am starting to think that this is all I need. I am so greatfool for this new plug in. The cool thing is, the company that created this affordable plug in is working on another one that is equally helpfool. It does most of the drawing for you. It will be released 04/01/2015 a year from today. Happy april fool’s day.

Comments welcome.