Tony Snipes's Posts (8)

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Today's goal was to create an actual background for my "Soldier-Girl" character to live within. I'm using Photoshop CS3 as my medium.

As with much of my work, I take the traditional hand-drawn sketch and scan it into my computer.

I wanted two key elements in this work:

1. One was the inclusion of clouds, because I'm always fascinated with their beauty. If you ever are curious about the existanced of God, just look up at His clouds.

2. The second element that I wanted to include was something that would give the viewer a sense of mystery. Something common, but viewed in an uncommon way. That's why I added the floating windmills, something common and generally tame but presented here in a weird fashion.

I was very displeased with my first draft of the sky, mostly because the color was so dark.

On the flip side, however, I was satisfied with the introduction of the "floating windmills" to the scene. I felt that they were going to be a great asset in communicating the feeling of mystery as planned.

Tomorrow I'll show you the color direction we decided to go with.

Share your comments below:

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alfg workshop artI thought it would be cool to take you on a day-by-day journey of a piece that I recently created.

This workshop will document:

  • How to start a seemingly big project using common downtime.
  • The challenges I had transitioning from pencil sketch to color.
  • How to use constructive criticism from fellow artists to guide your progress.
  • How to use principles from the real world to create environments in the fantasy ream.
  • How Christian visual artists don’t have to only create religious themes.

This actually originated as a simple sketch while sitting on the couch during 'family time". This is an example of how you can use common, every day downtime to keep your skills sharp and create (see my brief video on that concept here).
The character is a composite of my 3 daughters. Moriah, my youngest, actually posed for it while her sisters Azsa and Anisa both inspired the hair, stature and facial expression.

1. I started with a basic thumbnail sketch to establish the character’s pose. This actually set the stage for ideas for the surrounding environment as well.

soldier girl thumb
"Soldier-Girl" Thumbnail Sketch

2. The thumbnail sketch leads the way for the full-sized, more detailed pencil drawing of the character. (By the way, you may recognize the pencil drawing from our upcoming book “The Artist and Designer’s Book of Tips”. Yes, it will be released this summer!)

"Soldier-Girl" Pencil Drawing

Part 2 tomorrow, with pictures of my color scheme choices and the challenges it took for me to get it right!

Here is a picture of all three of my inspirations in one shot:

tony snipes daughters

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To help you determine if my upcoming book, The Artists' & Designers' Tip Book, will be resource for you or not,

I'll read a good 7 minutes (and 11 seconds) of it to you so you can see for yourself.
The book will help you find time and take actual steps to fulfill your God-given purpose concerning your talent.

TO LISTEN NOW: Click the audio link below to hear:

  • 8 Ways to Get New Ideas
  • 5 Steps Toward Artists Knowing & Completing the Will of God

TO LISTEN ON THE GO: Download it and check it out in your car, while you excercise, etc:

Download the MP3 by clicking the link below with your right mouse button, then select "Save Target As":

Download the MP3

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Recently I came across Nicki Carleton, who is in fulltime ministry that designs and creates interactive worship experiences and 24-7 prayer rooms. These beautiful sacred spaces allow people to fall in love with Jesus, hear His voice and pray with power and passion.When I saw the work she's done with these rooms, I had to ask Nicki to share her story.Here’s her response which made for a great interview:NICKI: “Well thanks for asking!!!!! They really are a place where God dwells and feels welcome, where people can actually experience God and feel his love and the most important thing - hear his voice. There are a couple of scientific principles behind it too.1. Walking InFirst thing when you walk into the room it turns on the right brain so time slows down and you forget all the list of things you had to do and you suddenly feel relaxed and after an hour like you've had a sleep. It is very healing to stressed out people. You are also open to communicate with God on another level different from knowledge which is how we are mostly taught about God.2. Hands-On Prayer Experience The other principle is that I am a kinesthetic learner so I love creating these spaces where I love to learn and pray because I can get in there and do something to keep me praying for hours. 20% of people are auditory 40% visual and 40% tactile learners so I believe the church- which some are made up of 75% auditory learners and teachers are not catering to the 80% of people who are more artistic and creative. So I am doing my thing for the kids that are neglected including some of the adults... (laughs!)I think there is a big hole in churches so we need to bring in artistic beauty and teach people how to be creative and worship God in creative ways. That has been written about in many books.3. Discipleship The last thing I think is the room is about discipleship and teaching powerful profound deep things in a way that they are engaging in learning by listening to God and having a conversation with God.Our church teaches through community art. I always get profound teaching and revelation from doing art - it may very well be different to what the others around me receive. Since only 7% of spoken sermons are even remembered its a wonder why we put the sermon on such a pedestal. When using the 5 senses in teaching people learn and retain up to 90%.So the teaching through the prayer rooms is very effective. And it is just how Jesus taught - in a field, with corn, eating the fruit, with a fish, in a boat. He taught discipleship through the senses. Through life. This is how I love to teach.I feel like I am a matchmaker - setting up people on a date with Jesus. I help people make time to listen and time to just hang out in the presence of Jesus. They are healed, transformed changed, loved.... so many things... It is a really fun ministry to share with others.”Visit Nicki’s site here at: to get the latest post in your email? Subscribe to our blog.
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3 New Sketches To Keep My Skills Sharp

From the "Practice What You Preach" file. Many of you have heard may talk about doing something creative everyday to keep your skills sharp.Here is an example of how that practice helps me as well.Recently, I noticed one of my daughters in a relaxed stance while watching TV. The profile caught my artistic eye. After shouting "Don't move!" I hurried to grab my sketch pad and casually went to work. Here's what I came up with. I plan to eventually convert this into a completed digital painting, but even if not, it was great exercise:"Soldier Girl" Thumbnail Sketch
I then began another sketch based on that pose that fleshed out more detail and began to give the character more personality even with subtle facial expressions:
Soldier Girl detail
This final sketch is an example of how I love sketching robots mostly because their gangling form resembles the artist's mannequin many of us have so often used:
Robot sketch

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After nearly 10 months in production, the “Angels Among Us” online art show, resource and book are complete. The project is actually a relaunch of the version we first kicked off back in 2003.This year I wanted to go bigger and better: What's on the webite:1. The Q & A website: The main site displays 9 key questions about the history, purpose and/r reality of angels, all with biblical references to2. The Interactive Gallery displays the art of 13 visual artists (including myself). These artists were challenged to create their rendition of angelic beings. The goal of the gallery being online only is our attempt to bring the art to the people where they are rather than hoping that they walk into a brick-and-mortar gallery, which most of the general public never do.3. The companion book: A 36-page published book (available on Amazon) that not only contains the questions asked about angels from the website, but it also contains the “behind the scenes” sketches, doodles and commentary from angel art that I have created over the years.Who is involved? We are thankful to the following artists that took part, some making an encore appearance from the original 2003 version of the project and some joining us for the first time:angelsiteGALLERY_17
  • Glen McCall
  • Eric Merced
  • Hu-Ann Mulia (encore)
  • Aldo Muzzarelli
  • Martin Oakley
  • Michael Perng
  • Amado Rodriguez, Jr. (encore)
  • Bud Rogers (encore)
  • Devin Smith
  • Steven K. Smith
  • Tony Snipes
  • Joe Spicer (encore)
  • Dave Weiss
What took it so long to finally launch?angelsiteGALLERY_14Although completion of the project was expected nearly 10 months ago, I still think it finished “on time” in order for it to fulfill the vision that was in mind.The delays reminded me of what you hear when a movie production schedule gets pushed back further and further. Staffing issues, changes in production resources, changes in “casting” and rounding up the talent on deadline, coordinating marketing timeline…you name it, we had it! But I do feel that it was worth the wait.So go in and take a look! Check out the Q & A. Play the promo video. View the coolest versions of angels that you’ve ever seen, then post a comment and let us know what you thought!
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3 Ways Artists & Designers Hear from God

How do you hear from God concerning your creative talent?

The key principle that I believe is that God speaks to us all the time, we just need to:

* Be in the place where God is speaking in order to hear Him.
* Get rid of the “noise” that tries to drown out the sound of His voice.
* Refrain from silencing the voice of God when it conflicts with our own “voice”.
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