Illustration Demo for BYU Art Students

Art Demonstration for an illustration Class at BYU

 I may offend them with a BYU alumni overweight, and smoking!

I was asked by Greg Newbold to do a demo in his illustration classes… so I racked my brain to come up with something that would be FUN but non-offensive to the students. Well not TOO offensive.

Behold! the sketch I came up with. Fun? Offensive? Art?

I really like this sketch and I’m going to paint it but I’m concerned that the student’s might not like that I’ve decided to portray a BYU alumni overweight. And as many of you know, they don’t smoke, so I am taking a little risk here. Not to worry, they may be Mormons but they aren’t that uptight.  :)

Finished, Acrylic paint over Photoshop printed background.

Six hours to paint it

BYU alumnusThis is the finish art demo: It was a lot of fun working on it and talking to students. I was happy that they thought it was funny… or at least, didn’t beat me up for poking fun. I worked on it in class for about 4 hours and spent an additional 2 at home with a few finishing touches.


Digital Stage, no lighter than 50% value.

This is the beginnings of my digital stage where I Scan in my sketch, take that into Photoshop and airbrush some smooth, basic colors and keep them kind of dark. My main concern is getting everything no lighter than about 50% value.

Using Photoshop I spent about 20 minutes laying in shadows and basic foundation colors. Then I printed it on watercolor paper. The next step in this method was to stipple a layer of acrylic gel medium over the print. I use a kind of short hair paint brush and a little Gel Medium at a time and stipple it onto the paper, giving it millions of little tiny peaks. Aka tooth. The gel drys clear so you can paint with acrylics right over it. Building up the lighter areas. And of course saving the highlights for last.


Professional Illustrator & Fine Artist, Greg Newbold

We’re proud to introduce Professional Illustrator, Fine Artist, Greg Newbold to Folio Academy.

Greg began his career as an illustrator back in 1992. His developed his style using mostly acrylics and in that time has worked for some really impressive clients: Simon & Schuster, Random House, Heinz Foods, Harper Collins, Smuckers, Pilgrim’s Pride, Kleenex, Boy’s Life Magazine and Sony Pictures. He has also illustrated several children’s books, including The Barnyard Night Before Christmas (Random House 2007), The Touch of the Master’s Hand (Stellar Books 2007) and companion books Winter Lullaby and Spring Song (Gulliver Books/Harcourt 1998; 2001).

Greg has received many illustration honors from The Society of Illustrators (NY), Communication Arts, The American Institute of Graphic Arts, Graphis, The Los Angeles Society of Illustrators, Spectrum and others. In addition Greg also works on commission with his gallery work which is found in many private collections.

Greg lives with his family in Salt Lake City Utah and enjoys gardening, camping, and fishing in Utah’s back country.

In Greg’s Video series, Conquer Your Acrylic Demons, he shows many of his secrets in acrylic painting and shows you why you shouldn’t hate acrylics “the demons”. Many artists dislike acrylics because they behave so differently from oils. Through a step by step process Greg demonstrates the unique qualities that acrylics offer.

To watch a sample video of Greg’s course click here.

Folio Academy is finally here!!!

I’m so proud and excited to announce our new creation – Folio Academy – online art lessons for everyone. You can check it out here.

Back in October I was driving home from a long day teaching at UVU here in Utah and I heard a woman being interviewed by Dave Ramsey on the radio. I can’t tell you her name or the name of her book because I was talking back skeptically and sarcastically. The woman was saying that EVERYONE has something they do in their spare time or professional life that they could use to earn extra income. I was thinking, “I’m an illustrator and a teacher…what else could I possibly have time for??!!!” It bugged me for about a week when a thought popped into my head – I teach…why not teach to the video camera and then sell the videos on my website???…I love teaching and video editing has been a little hobbie – so I did.

And then I heard the voices – “this is a waste of time”…”who do you think you are anyway?”…”you could be watching Flintstones re-runs.” But I silenced the voices and forged ahead. In between a book project and some text book covers I grabbed 10 days where I basically didn’t sleep. At the end of that torture session I emerged gleaming with my finished product: “How To Illustrate Children’s Books“. I was so proud. It was a labor of love indeed. I should probably back up a bit – I was lucky in that I have a programmer living with me – my brother in law – and he assured me that he was up to the task of programming my website so that we could sell streaming videos. He would take care of the tech end and I would take care of making the videos.

Because I had to jump right back into illustrator mode I was only able to spend one day marketing my little video series. I contacted a few illustration bloggers like Angela Matteson – Angelato and children’s book blogs like Mark Mitchell’s How To Be A Children’s Book Illustrator and invited them to do a blog post and give-a-way of my video series. They accepted as did about 4 other bloggers and from there I started selling my videos. Every now and then someone who purchased my videos liked them enough to do a blog post on them like Paula Pertile who used the photoshop concepts I put in my videos to achieve an unbelievable digital version of her colored pencil drawings. I know I’m leaving a lot of wonderful people out but there are too many to mention…but Sue from Moab has been a great supporter!

Fast forward through a few more video series and I started getting asked by fellow artists about how my videos were selling and if I thought it was worth doing. Of course I told them I did but the problem most artists have is the programming side of selling videos from their own site. I put my head together with a few artist friends and together we decided to make a site available to artists of every kind. One of my illustrator friends said, “Can you imagine what it would have been like to have a resource like this when we were going to school?”

Artist Greg Newbold setting up for his video shoot

So our goal is to find the best artists from around the world and see what they have to teach. We’ve partnered with several local video studios like Amber Media Pro and Provo Creative and are inviting artists to come into the studio for a day and do their thang in front of the cameras. Of course not every artist can get to us so we’ll also offer their videos if they can produce them themselves. We’re of course small now but we plan to release one new video series per week. Over time there’s no telling where this will go.

So, woman on the radio talking about monetizing your hobbie whoever you are – thank you! – and my apologies for doubting you.