Jerry's Artarama at the Emerald City Comicon in Seattle

Jerry's will be hosting classes and contests throughout the weekend


The Emerald City Comiccon is celebrating its 12th year in Seattle, Washington March 28-30th, 2014. This year Jerry's Artarama's Comic and Illustrative Division will be will be teaching classes, handing out prizes and  will even be hosting a Quick Draw Contest! 

Karalyn and Company will be back on the convention scene and are ready for all kinds of excitement. Karayln and others have been attending conventions all over the country this year empowering artists by offering classes, sponsoring art contests, and supporting charities. Karalyn C. Johnson, Jerry's Artarama's Director of Comic and Illustrative Division, has been hitting the convention scene for some time as a professional illustrator, sculptor, multimedia artist and technical expert and consultant. She will be out and working the floor with her team alongside Strathmore, Artograph and Prismacolor

During the Emerald City Comiccom, she'll be running several events from Jerry's in the "Jerry's Artarama Art Classroom" (WSCC Level 2, room 211) including:

  • Markers and More- taught by Karalyn Johnson. Demonstrating the endless possibilities for textural and atmospheric effects when using markers mixed with other media.
  • To Break Creative Block: Press Play- taught by Karalyn Johnson. This class uses an amalgam of media unfamiliar to the artist to challenge and enable them to learn in fun ways to break "creative block."With games, new mediums, and unfamiliar supplies, the artists will learn spark their imaginations and creativity in a new, fun and effective way.
  • Creature Creation- taught by Mark A. Nelson. Mark is the owner and artist of Grazing Dinosaur Press. He is well accomplished in the fantasy field with his artwork featured in Magic: the Gathering, Wizards of the Coast, Dungeons and Dragons and World of Warcraft. In Creature Creation, Mark will be teaching one 90 minute master class per day on creating your own creatures. 
  • Quick Draw Contest- Sponsored by Jerry's Artarama, Saturday March 29th with fun prizes offered.
  • ECCC Kid's Art Corner- including the Lil' Jerry Coloring contest featuring fun prizes for children. 
  • Jerry's will be supplying amazing art supplies and more for the classes and events


Jerry's will also be sponsoring a Live Art Event at Club Q. THe upscale Club Q is the site of the vent which will feature live models onstage for artists also stationed onstage at easels to paint the models in front of a roaring crowd. The event will also have music and dancing, and even an auction where the art created on stage will be auctioned off to guests. The proceeds from the auction at Club Q will be donated to the Seattle Children's Hospital. 

This year, the Emerald City Comicon in Seattle promises to be bigger and better than ever featuring artists, actors, voice talents and more special guests as well as tons of events and panels for guests. Jerry's Artarama is happy to sponsor such a great event. The event is already SOLD OUT so if you are going to attend, stop by the Jerry's Artarama Art Classroom at the Washington State Convention Center Level 2, room 211 and take a class with one of our fabulous teachers, enter a contest or even just say hi.

Big thanks to Michael Byers(Emerald City Comicon | Programming & Events Director) and Karlayn Johnson (Jerry's Convention Services )

We look forward to working with all the students, teachers and the fine staff at Emerald City Comicon.

We look forward to seeing you there!



Did you know-Michelangelo

Some little known facts about one of the greatest artists of all time


We all know who Michelangelo is, everyone has seen the statue of David and the Sistine Chapel, but what do we really know about him? Two weeks ago, we wished him a happy 539th birthday in the article Happy Birthday Michelangelo! and showed you some of his more famous pieces. Today, we thought we would present some little known, fun and interesting facts about his life and art:

  • Michelangelo was the first western artist to have a biography written about him while he was still living.
  • Michelangelo was raised and went to art school in the Republic of Florence, present day Tuscany, Italy, and when he died in Rome, he had his remains secretly sent back to Florence where his body was laid to rest at the Basilica of Santa Croce.
  • He was not only a better artist than most of us, but apparently a better writer than most of us. He was a poet and around 300 of his poems and are still around. He was also famous for having written countless letters throughout his life. About 490 of his letters have survived and actually contain his original signature!
  • Michelangelo's full name is Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni and his first name is pronounced Mic-elangelo not pronounced Mike-elangelo like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
  • He had sculpted the statue of David, the Pieta, painted the frescos on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and designed a dome St. Peter's Basilica-all before he turned 30 years old.
  • Michelangelo wasn't in fact, always an artist. When he was fifty-two, he took two years off to join the army and defend the Republic of Florence as an engineer. He was in charge of creating fortifications to defend the city during battle. 
  • Michelangelo broke his nose as a teenager. He suffered a hard punch to the face from Pietro Torrigiano, another student at an art academy in Florence. The punch left Michelangelo with a permanently crooked nose for the rest of his life. 
  • Many have speculated that Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel's ceiling by laying down on the scaffolding. Actually, he would stand up and paint above him the entire time, standing on very high scaffolding. Anyone who has ever painted their ceiling in their apartment or house knows the pains of trying to paint upward-Michelangelo was truly a master of his craft.
  • Michelangelo was a bit of a hermit-despite being quite rich, he lived as a poor man and didn't like to be around others unless it was art involved.
  • He was always a bit ashamed of how hard he worked to create the wonderful pieces of art he finished. He would often rip up old sketches because he didn't want people to see how hard he worked. He was often very critical of his own work and had a volatile temperament. He once said of himself "If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all"
  • His nickname was Il Divino (the divine one) and he was well known for the awe-inspiring grandeur included in his work. 

Michelangelo was an interesting character through and through. And with his works, he may have well been one of the most interesting men in the world!




Making Your Values Really Stand Out

Why Shading is Important in your Sketches

Many people like sketching because of the realism that can be depicted from their drawings. However, when drawing on a two dimensional surface like paper, depicting that realism can be difficult. The solution to this problem is to create shadows and shade while you sketch. Light and shadows are the factors that add dimensions to your drawing. They define the objects visually giving the object  a sense of value and depth and a three dimensional appearance. By shading a drawn object a certain way, the viewer can see how something sticks out. These are the sketches that capture the imagination and bring life to their art.

When we look at everyday objects, a without touching them, we can visually see the objects as 3D because of the way light reflects off of them and shadows are created behind them. When we look at objects in this light, we are seeing them through the eyes of the artist. We give the objects value based on how light or dark certain areas appear. Look at where the light reflects on an item. Determine where that light is coming from, the placement of the light will affect how real your shadows appear-if a shadow is not where it should be, it will distort your drawing. 

We all see the circle on the left as a flat object while the object on the right looks very three dimesnional

How to think about Shadows

Adding casted shadows is a great way to make your sketch appear three dimensional. A cast shadow is the dark area cast on an adjacent surface by a solid object. Think about the figure shown above to see what I mean. The things to look for when looking for shadows is to find where the light areas are, these are called light values, these will be the brightest areas of your drawing and probably wont require any shading. Then find the dark values, where on the object you're sketching are the shadows. Finally find the cast shadows because these will be the darkest in your sketch. 

When you shade and add shadows to your drawings, you create a contrast between light and dark and you can accentuate the differences between objects. This will make your sketch much more realistic and give it a more interesting look.

Creating Value and Shadows

To create shadows, you can hatch or cross hatch with your pencil on the area you want shaded. Hatching, or making slanted lines to shade in the darker areas are great for objects that lack a lot of texture or hair on a person that all flows in one direction. Cross hatching is like hatching but instead of a bunch of slanted lines parallel to each other (///////), you cross them like Xs (XXXXXXXX). This can shade in a darker area very quickly or add more texture to a drawn object. 

Notice in the image above that single hatches are used for the flatter and lighter areas of the dog's face. Single hatches also are good for showing depth. Look at the dog's eyes for a clue on that. Cross hatches are used closer to the more textured and darker, more defined areas of the dog's face like the ridges of the ears and on the dog's nose.

The Perfect Pencil for Sketching and Shading 

The right tools can definitely influence the way you shade something in. We at Jerry's recommend the Jerry's Jumbo Jet Black Pencil. It's perfect for quickly covering large areas while giving you the precision to make strong defined lines. Charcoal pencils are great for shading and adding dimension to your sketches and this one is no exception. Charcoal will glide right off from the pencil to paper and is sensitive enough to shade both lighter and darker areas. The right kind of pencil or pen can be important to give your work the right amount of definition it will need and this pencil excels at it!



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