'Pyjama Cardinal fish' by Benjamin Mitchley

'Pyjama Cardinal fish' by Benjamin Mitchley
Oil on canvas, 1440mm x 580mm

Friday, 18 November 2016

Progress Painting 'Queen'

Progress Painting 



Oil on Canvas

26cm x 36cm x 4cm

Created from a photograph Benjamin Mitchley took while visiting in the Western Cape, South Africa.

To see more work by Benjamin Mitchley

follow the links below


Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Progress Painting 'Sunset Girl'

Progress Painting 


'Sunset Girl'

Oil on Canvas
31cm x 15cm x 4cm

Created from a photograph Benjamin Mitchley took while visiting Melkbosstrand in the Western Cape, South Africa.

To see more work by Benjamin Mitchley

follow the links below


Progress Painting 'Red Tape'

Progress Painting 


'Red Tape'

Oil on Canvas
23cm X 31cm X 4cm

Created from a photograph Benjamin Mitchley took while visiting Simon's Town in the Western Cape, South Africa.

To see more work by Benjamin Mitchley
follow the links below


Progress Painting 'Sunblock & Photography'

Progress Painting 


'Sunblock & Photography'

Oil on Canvas
23cm X 31cm X 4cm

Created from a photograph Benjamin Mitchley took while visiting Melkbosstrand in the Western Cape, South Africa.

To see more work by Benjamin Mitchley
follow the links below

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Learning Anime Studio by Chad Troftgruben.

Learning Anime Studio by Chad Troftgruben. 
PACKT Publishing

Learning Anime Studio is an easy to follow book on how to use the features of Anime Studio for creating an animation cartoon from start to finish.

Chad Troftgruben achieves this well by his ability to simply explain how to achieve a finished animated cartoon. As in his clearly explained video tutorials on Incredible Tutorials YouTube channel, which is of the best I have come across, this book is a good addition to his work.

His helpful tips on how to begin and what you can use as additional assets for the creation of your story to the final product, make the process less daunting for animation newcomers who have a passion to make their creations come to life and create their own animated cartoons.

Although the book is for animation newcomers and hobbyists, I found that, as an animation hobbyist, a more in-depth look into the advanced futures of Anime Studio would be beneficial. I did however find that, as a user of Anime Studio Pro 10, I learnt a few tricks from this book.

I do recommend Learning Anime Studio as a good handbook to use with the software. I found that it helps one grasp the features and use of the software more easily when compared to the help menu and tutorials that accompany the software.

Review by Benjamin Mitchley
Freelance Fine artist and animation hobbyist

Follow the links below to buy a copy of Learning Anime Studio by Chad Troftgruben.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Artpromotivate: How to Overcome Artist Creative Block and Get Insp...

Artpromotivate: How to Overcome Artist Creative Block and Get Insp...:


creative artists blockWhat do artist’s do when they are feeling uninspired? I believe that nearly all artists experience creative drought periods, whether they want to admit it or not.
There are even phrases for this condition – creative block and artists block. This phrase is obviously borrowed from what some authors experience: writer’s block.   

As artists, we all feel uninspired at times. For myself, this has occurred after my father passed away a few years ago. I painted very little during the few weeks after (because of mourning and depression), but managed to express myself through my sketchbooks. I also know what it feels like to come home after a long day of work, and feel too physically or emotionally exhausted to even think about creating.
All artists have dry periods.  This doesn’t really mean we are uninspired at all, but outside experiences may be interfering with our creativity. Sometimes, we have to take a step back, and analyze the reasons we are feeling uncreative. It is only then that we can come up with a solution, one that will drive us back to doing the thing we love most – making art
So, how do we deal with artist’s block? Well, the best thing you can do is not to panic! Ask yourself why you are feeling uninspired. Maybe it is quite obvious, as in my personal situation already mentioned. If you cannot figure out a solution for yourself, please read on for some ideas on how to get you back to creating again.

Inspiration Ideas on how to Overcome Creative Block

  1. Take a look at your culture
    The culture here in Newfoundland is a very unique one. The main industry here has traditionally been the fishery (but that is changing). Newfoundland artists are known for paintings and drawings of fishing boats, icebergs, whales, fish, puffins, seagulls, moose, and stages. Our art is full of this kind of imagery, so much that the public has come to expect this from Newfoundland artists.

    Instead of creating art about things I cannot relate to (which is what I think many new Newfoundland artists are doing), I try to put a unique spin on these themes. Just because the imagery is common and overused doesn’t mean new inspiring art cannot be made based on it.  With so many artists today it may seem difficult to come up with ideas that are unique. I believe that the only way for artists to be truly original is to create from their own unique perspective.
  2. depession sketchCreate from Childhood Experiences

    Everyone has experiences from childhood that stand out in their memory. Think about the place you lived, the schools you went to, and your childhood friends. These all hold significance to you, and could be the basis for some incredible artworks.

    Personally, my upbringing has had a direct affect on my art, and is actually one of the reasons that compelled me to create. I have completed several paintings and drawings that were directly inspired by abusive childhood experiences. Some of these are so personal to me that I would never show them in public, but the themes have been reflected in a few other artworks.

  3. Artist Sketchbooks

    Look back over past sketchbooks to see what you can come up with. In my personal sketchbooks, I often find ideas that I have long forgotten. If they are still relevant, sometimes I am inspired to translate the sketch into a full scale artwork.

    If you are not regularly sketching, I sincerely recommend you start now. Even if you do not know how to draw, sketching can have lasting benefits for your art. 

    For some personal ideas on how to use a sketchbook, please visit:
    Artist Sketchbook Drawing – Ideas and Tips
  4. Have more than one artwork project on the go at the same time
    Touch People with your Art - Click Here!How can this help to overcome artistic block? Let me tell you about my experience.

    I like to create a few paintings at the same time. When I am tired of working on one, I put it back and work on another. Of course, I also do this when I have to wait for the paint to dry, in order to rework the painting.

    Doing this always keeps my art fresh and new. Often, when I return to a painting, I see things in the composition that I need to be added or taken away.

  5. inspiration creativityLook at other artist’s work and get inspired 

    Visit an art gallery or museum. Study the paintings, sculptures, drawings, collages, etc. you see there. The internet is also filled with very talented artists who have art displayed on online galleries and artist websites.

    I am always inspired when I look at the amazing talent some people have. It amazes me how different people approach the same subject matter in completely original ways, depending on their medium, style, and experience. 

  6. Experiment with a different style or medium
    I have often experimented with different mediums and styles in the past. Some of the mediums I have used (besides oil, acrylic, and graphite, which I primarily use now) are clay, watercolor, charcoal, conte crayon, pastels, etc.  You should not feel  confined to the way you create. Be brave, and branch out! Who knows, the results may bring you in new and interesting directions you never thought possible!
Most artists experience creativity block at one time or another. My advice for overcoming it is to be honest with yourself. Create what you are most passionate about. The main thing is to keep going, and not give up creating!
These are actions I have personally performed to spark creativity. By using these ideas, I am rarely uninspired anymore.

Artpromotivate: How Artists can Avoid or Overcome Creative Burnout...

Artpromotivate: How Artists can Avoid or Overcome Creative Burnout...
creative burnout Creative burnouts often occur when we work too hard and can happen to the best of us. We often want to be recognized so much that we spend all our free time creating art and promoting it - without leaving any time for ourselves. Have you experienced creative burnout in the past? How have you dealt with it?
I have to admit - I have experienced burnout a couple times in the past year - when writing for Artpromotivate. Balancing family life, a blog (and now a second blog!), an art career and several other things is very difficult, and I often push myself beyond my limits.

But, sometimes I have had to just get away from it all. Returning, I’ve felt rejuvenated and re-energized. I’ve also learned some preventative measures to avoid burnout in the first place. With how hard I push myself, I realize that burnouts will still happen occasionally. There are certain things I do to make sure they do not last long though.

  1. Find the cause of creative burnout and deal with it

    Burn out can be caused by a number of things. Figure out the root cause of it, so you can deal with it head on. Are you over-worked? Do you push yourself too hard? Step back, and take some time to access your situation. Below are some other causes and ways of dealing with creative burnout.

  2. Take some time off

    Sometimes all we need for rejuvenation is a little time away. If you are working too hard, creating and promoting art becomes more of a chore, when it should be enjoyable. Take a day to visit a museum… or even consider doing something completely unrelated to art to clear your mind.

    Here are a few ideas: Take a road trip, go camping, take a hike, watch a movie, go to a concert, have a night out, etc.

  3. Get advice from other artists

    Other artists (especially those who have went through a creative burnout) will understand your problem more than anyone else. Confide in artist friends you can trust, to give encouragement and advice. Don’t be ashamed to admit your problem. Artists by their nature tend to push themselves too hard, and periods of artist block and creative burnout are very common among artists.

  4. Keep your focus on creating art and not making money

    art and money Saying this, I do not mean to forget about making money. We all need money to survive and support our families. But if all we think about when we create art is whether it will sell, this will certainly put us under too much pressure – and the art will become stale and commercialized.

    Creating art just for money often leads to disappointment in ourselves. The creative flame eventually burns out, replaced with dollar signs.

    Consider creating art and making money from art as two entirely separate entities.

  5. Avoid stagnation in your art

    Always be open to trying new things, experimenting with new mediums and using different techniques. If we produce the same art day after day, without expanding our creativity, our creativity eventually stagnates.

    Take a look at this post: 20 Creative Ideas for Art Inspiration

  6. Too much structure for managing time or not enough

    Some artists work much better with structure for managing time. They like to plan out their days in increments, with amounts of time allotted for specific tasks. Then, there are others who work much better with less structure. Most of the time, this disposition is a part of our nature. Working against it to become more structured, when this only causes stress, can lead to creative burnout.

    Find some strategies for managing time in this post: Time Management Tips for Artists

  7. Staying Healthy

    Keeping a healthy body and mind will go a long way in preventing and dealing with creative burnout if it arises. Exercise regularly, eat healthy and get plenty of sleep. Take care of yourself first, and keep art as secondary. Also get out and socialize occasionally. Take care of your body and mind so that those creative juices will begin flowing again.

  8. Stop being too self-critical

    When we hit a creative roadblock, we often become very hard on ourselves. We are not living up to our own expectations, and self-disappointment may set in. Realize that burnout is a natural reaction when we are working too hard or not having balance in our lives. Everyone has limitations. Instead of being self-critical, learn from the experience and work on ways of preventing and dealing with creative burnout.

  9. Think back to your first year as an artist

    creative flameThese probably were exciting times. I remember my first year of painting. After drawing for years, I finally had the confidence to learn painting. Actually, with my first canvas painting, everything just came naturally. From the outset, I really enjoyed mixing colors and creating depth and movement on a canvas. Making money from my art did not enter my mind back then. I like to think back to those days, and recapture some of that spark.

  10. Persevere

    There is light at the end of the tunnel. Creative burnouts often last anywhere from a day to weeks depending on how hard you have pushed yourself.

    Always have the thought in the back of your mind that you will get through this – because you will!