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International Holiday Market

The Cause

This Thursday the Spring Cafe is hosting it’s first annual International Holiday Market. The mission of the Spring Cafe is to support immigrants and train refugees to work among us. Many people come to this country and work in factories because of language barriers. They work among other individuals who also don’t speak English which makes it almost impossible to learn.

Spring Cafe recognizes this and employs refugees for six week training courses. They learn about customer service in the US, get to practice their English and learn other job skills that add to their resumes. Spring Cafe gets these folks out of the factories and into the American workforce.

How Afro Triangle fits in

Some of you may not know this about me, but I am actually an immigrant. I was born in Barbados and was naturalized as a citizen in 1999. I came over with my mom and we had the help of my grandmother and aunts as we got used to living in the US.  The folks at the Spring Cafe were kind enough to include me in their holiday market. I get to join the ranks of those whose journey to this country was far more difficult than my own.

In addition to the market, there will be a live auction, a silent auction, and food and drinks available by donation. The proceeds will go toward helping the Spring Cafe continue their mission. I will be donating one of my paintings to the cause.

Dicitonary.com’s word of the year is xenophobia, the fear of the foreigner. Don’t let that be this year’s legacy. Come, participate, donate. Show our new friends that this country was built on inclusion. Come and support them as they learn how to contribute to our country and our economy.

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I will be donating this piece to the auction at the Spring Cafe this Thursday. If you want it, come get it.

Boulder Creative Collective’s Holiday Jubilee

If you live in the Boulder area and you are looking for some unique gifts for your loved ones:

Come check out the BOULDER CREATIVE COLLECTIVE‘s Holiday Jubilee!  Experience some freakin’ rad local artists, apparel brands + more in their awesome warehouse space in East Boulder!  Coffee + cocktails will be available for purchase.

RSVP on FB

Afro Triangle will be selling original drawings and paintings, fine art prints, portrait commissions and more. I’ll see you on Saturday!

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Working with Clients – Portrait Commissions

I haven’t done a process post in a while, so here goes. This piece is for a client of mine who has commissioned a few paintings over the years. She always sends me high quality photos, which I appreciate. Blurry or low resolution photos always make my job more difficult.

tinas-grandkids-mock-upIn any case, I started with this photo here. I took it into Photoshop for a little pre-treatment. The first order of business was to crop the photo to the size of the final painting, making sure I was pleased with the placement of the boys within the frame. I then blurred out the background so that they really stood out.

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Once I completed this mock up and got approval from my client, I sketched in the figures. Next, I went to work on the background. In order to simulate the blur effect in Photoshop, I utilized the wet on wet technique. With a brush loaded with clean water, I soaked the whole background area. Then I got some pigment on the brush and started dropping in color. Because the paper was already wet, the colors began to run into one another, causing them to blend smoothly.

After I was satisfied with the background, I moved to the foreground. You may have noticed this ugly greenish-grey on the boys’ shirts and hat. That is masking fluid, used to preserve the white of the paper. It also allows me to freely paint large areas of color without having to paint around small details. I built up the folds of the shirts to my satisfaction before removing the fluid.

Although white, there are still some shadows in the numbers and logos on their shirts, so I added these with some bluish-grey. I have also done some significant work on the older boy’s face.

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When I got close to done, I sent a photo of the painting to my client. She felt that the legs in the background were distracting, so I got rid of them. I darkened the background while I was at it, using the darkness to cut out the younger boy’s hair. I sent a photo to the client again and she pointed out that I had aged the older boy too much with heavy shadowing on his nose and around his mouth.img_20161122_153522

Back in Photoshop, I applied a black and white filter to the original photo. This helped me to examine the shapes more closely and discover where I had gone awry. I changed the nose and adjusted the mouth while I was at it and sent it off to the client. This time she loved it.

This is how I work with all my clients. I take pains to make sure they end up with the painting they want. The process is fastest when the reference is clear. If you would like to commission a portrait for the holidays, place your order by December 13th. If you live outside of Denver, allow time for shipping. Click here to order.

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Holiday Gift Market

In the words of the folks at My Hair Trip Salon

Every year we create a marketplace at our shop that serves as a one stop shop for people who want to get unique, beautiful and thoughtful gifts for their friends and family for the holidays.
This year we will have food and drinks, live entertainment, and local vendors selling awesome gifts like clothing/apparel, artwork, jewelry, essential oils, salves, honeys, teas, health and wellness packages, wine, etc. and of course our boutique will be open with sales on all Colorado gear, hats, shirts, purses, totes, wine bottle bags, aprons, jewelry, gemstones, pins, and all natural health and beauty products!

So this year be a Holiday Hero and show your gift recipients how thoughtful you are, rather than buying generic gifts at the big stores or online, support local and have a good time doing it.

-Paul Zamora (My Hair Trip Salon)

This year, Afro Triangle will be joining them. I will be selling small drawings and paintings, original inks and stickers. It’s First Friday, so enjoy the Art Walk and stop on in.

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The Holidays Are Coming

Hey all! Many of you are receiving this message because you have been following my work for some time. First of all, I want to thank you for your support over the years, following my progress here and on social media, attending my shows, and occasionally purchasing my art.
With the holidays coming so soon would like to remind you that my drawings and paintings make great gifts. This past year, I have added art prints to my list of offerings, providing an affordable option for those who are hesitant to buy an original painting. Fine Art America, the printing company I use provides high quality reproductions which can be pre framed or pre mounted and delivered to right you or to your loved ones. In addition to wall art, FAA has phone covers, duvet covers throw pillows and greeting cards. They even have a 30 day, money back guarantee so that if for some reason there is a problem with your product, you are protected.
Click here to check out my web store and find yourself the perfect gift.