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Brian William Hastings

Artist's Profile

My name is Brian Hastings and I was once told that you are not completely human until you have made something with your own hands. I am just now realizing what Chief Winterhawk by those words.

I have always been a lover of art in almost all itís forms, yet when I was younger I had a choice as to whether I should pursue prose or drawing, painting, etc. I tried my hand at advanced classes for both. It finally came down to a question of skill. To be totally honest, I will admit to missing the entire point of art in that respect. I was too caught up in the technical aspects of artwork to ever just enjoy releasing your own self into it. What I saw in my mind and what wound up on paper were two completely different things and I got discouraged at an early age. On the other hand I was a natural writer and picked up the skills of prose extremely easy.

Now, It seems something has changed all that. Even though I cannot explain it very well there is this feeling of a ďswitchĒ that somehow somewhere got turned on inside of me. Its as if someone else is guiding my hand because Iím showing skill and talent I never knew I was capable of. Throwing my obsession of realism to the wind Iím now creating pictures that I am not only proud of but Iím also having fun doing it.

My favorite tools are the black marker and the black ink pen. Sharpies are a godsend and if it was not for Pilotís invention of the Precise V5 extra fine pen I would not be pleased with anything I am doing. A regular ball point just does not work for me. For the sketches I use a regular mechanical pencil and a kneaded eraser.

Bristol Smooth is my paper of choice. It soaks up ink well without hardly any bleed. It is also one of the few smooth surfaces I donít have to worry about ripping when I get into a crosshatch frenzy. Itís more than just the appeal of something that I donít have to worry about tearing by accident after I put a whole lot of effort into it.

What I like best about my artwork is how therapeutic it is when Iím working on it. I become so relaxed in my concentration that I tend to almost fall into a trance. This is especially true when Iím working the shading. Nothing else has ever calmed down my anxiety as efficiently as this does. Then there is the finished product which is always a pleasant shock because I never knew I had it in me beforehand. The knowledge of knowing that it was all my doing is the best reward.

My shading is always done left to right as if there is a light source in the same exact spot for every occasion. This is just a quirk I developed to pay homage to the fact that I am also a writer. Even my sketches develop like a storyÖ; window, man with shotgun looking seriously at it, and then finally alien like shadows looking in the window. Everything added after that is atmosphere and detail.

The thing I do differently than the accepted choice of art teachers everywhere is that I shade every part of every object separately. I mostly do this because I love the illusion of detail, it makes the picture darker, and I just plain love the style.

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