Friday, May 31, 2013

Sale for Father's Day

Are you wondering what to get for your father, grandfather or (ladies) the husband for Father's Day? The website is going to be running a great sale with a lot of variety, the week prior to Father's Day, June 1-9, 2013, to ensure delivery before Sunday, June 16th. Maybe the person your buying for is a history buff? art collector or just enjoys Andy Thomas artwork? or maybe you want to spoil yourself?

For all the men that enjoy a little history, particularly the Civil War Era, will have Shelby and his men at Westport (Battle of Westport), The Charge of Shelby's Iron Brigade (The Battle of Marshall) and The Guns of Vicksburg available at 20% off. I won't bore any of you non-history fans of the details of the paintings, but they are loaded with action! Stories of each of the paintings are available under their product description.

That's not all that will be on sale! The website will also have Andy Thomas' books available at 20% off also; The Artful Journey and the newest book The West in Action. This is a wonderful opportunity to get the deluxe box set of The West in Action for only $120.00 or the standard copy for $40. The deluxe box set and the standard copy are the same book, the only difference is the deluxe version comes with a nice box for safe keeping. I think the books would make a lovely gift for any art collector or fan of Thomas, since it is filled with many colorful pages of artwork. The Artful Journey contains many of Thomas' older pieces, while The West in Action has the newest pieces.You could always pair the two and grab a copy of both books.

I did say this sale had variety -- the website will also have on sale Grand Ol' Gang t-shirts and the western print Bad Whiskey at 20% off. Grand Ol' Gang T-Shirts will make a great gift. What's better than being able to carry a great piece of art with you where ever you go, while showing your love for the Republican Party?

Bad Whiskey is a great print for the man cave or if your favorite guy loves a good western. Cowboys riding off on their horses from a saloon, while exchanging gun fire . Can you imagine what kind of mischief they got into that night? Maybe your dad has a fun bar story...? Bad Whiskey will make a great conversation piece among other men.

This is the biggest sale the website has had -- all in honor of those wonderful fathers. Visit's 'Sale' category, June 1st - 9th, for a great deal. If interested in any of the above products, you can click on the links below the images. Discounts will automatically be applied at checkout. The products will not show the 20% off price until it is added in the cart.

Have a wonderful Father's Day!!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Art Lesson with Andy Thomas

About two months ago, my five year old daughter asked me to draw a picture of Mom, Dad and her. Instead of drawing easy traditional stick figures I decided to challenge myself. I grabbed one of our family photos off the wall and got to drawing, trying to mimic what I saw in the picture. I like to occasionally "attempt" to draw, although I'm not very good at it. When Andy and Dina came to Connecticut to visit a few weeks later, they noticed my drawings hanging on the refrigerator. Andy decided to offer up some pointers to me.

My drawings consisted of hard lines, no shading or shadowing, and just what I thought my eye was seeing. Andy told me the first thing to do when making a portrait was to place the eyes about half way down, since many people mistakenly place the eyes too far up. In the sketch below, the top, left-hand face is setup correctly; whereas, the one next to it, on the right, is not. My question was how do you make the eyes symmetrical? I always end up with lopsided eyes with one either too big or too small, as you can see in the above photo. Andy's response was to create lines and use them as a ruler. Don't forget about the ears, the tops should be lined up with the center of the eyes.

On the second set of facial sketches above, we went over shading and shadowing. Andy told me rather than making the nose a shape with lines to shade around the area to build a nose. You can see in the bottom left-hand corner how Andy used shading to create a nose. Instead of shading in my portraits I made lines for under eye circles, laugh lines and the nose. Then we have shadows, when the sun reflects down on us it makes shadows on one side of our face. If you look at yourself in the mirror, your face isn't made of lines and I couldn't figure out how to create features without using lines. Andy said if I were to take a picture in a somewhat shaded area, where the sun in still reflecting through, that I would be able to see the shadows I needed to create.

After breaking down my drawings and how to draw faces we had a quick drawing lesson. We sat down at the kitchen table and Andy attempted to teach me how to draw a dinosaur figurine my daughter had on the table, but I wasn't comfortable enough since it was a 3-D object. I decided I wanted to first learn with flat objects assuming it would be easier. 

I grabbed a horse magnet off my refrigerator and gave it a go, while Andy drew horse sketches along side me. I focused more on coloring, for instance where the spots were and didn't do any shading, blending or shadowing. What's worse is that the horse magnet had shadowing, but my eyes were focused on color and I disregarded the shadows. Andy told me when he's drawing, color means nothing to him. Look at my horse compared to Andy's below. He said many people have a difficult time drawing horse legs and often times they appear to look broken. Andy's horse legs are made of fine lines and definition, while mine are rounded and more like squiggly lines. He gave me a great tip for make the horses body though -- create three circles then follow through making lines. The picture below came from a great book if you're interested in learning to draw or paint horses called, Horses - Learn to paint step by step, by Cindy Larimore. (Published by Walter Foster)

Horse Magnet

My Sketch

Andy's Sketch

I'll continue to use Andy's tips when drawing and hopefully get more acquainted with the techniques. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to get another one-on-one with him to learn some more. I did joke with Andy that the next time he comes to Connecticut I'll be a pro like him! Practice makes perfect especially when you have some great tips.

Tips for drawing faces:
  1. Place eyes about half way down
  2. Use lines as a guide for facial features
  3. Line ears up with eyes
  4. Use shading to build nose
  5. Place shadows accordingly
  6. Take a picture if needed to properly place shadows
Tips for drawing horses:
  1. Start with three circles for the body
  2. Connect circles with lines
  3. Rear end, underbelly and neck shadowing along with shadows behind legs
  4. Legs may be difficult -- Don't give up!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Triple Creek Ranch Workshop

'Ambush on the Bandit Trail'
Andy Thomas

October 24-27, 2013, you can join Andy Thomas along with Greg Kelsey, sculptor and Kathy Sigle,  watercolor artist for a wonderful opportunity. Book an action packed three night weekend in a deluxe cabin located at Triple Creek Ranch (mention Andy Thomas for a discount) and you can choose which artist you would like to take an unforgettable workshop with. Would you like to do your own oil with Andy? Sculpture with Greg or watercolor with Kathy? What can be better than relaxing in the mountains, enjoying great food and watching and learning from great artists? Or maybe you want to take a trail ride, try fly fishing or just play tennis. It's all there waiting for you to choose.

'Don't Buck with Me'
A piece by Greg Kelsey

'As Good as Gold'
Kathy Sigle

Once your weekend is booked at Triple Creek Ranch the only thing you have to worry about is enjoying yourself, which will easily be done. A guided tour of the ranch owner's vast collection of western art will be available upon arrival. Thomas, Kelsey and Sigle will be demonstrating all weekend long with their original art available for sale too. They will guide you along to create a spectacular piece of your own that you will want to boast about! Triple Creek Ranch will even provide you with art supplies, a blank canvas and frame for your finished artwork. Workshop classes will be limited to eight students to ensure you have the best learning experience with the artist. You will be able to dine everyday with the artists and get to know them, as well as meet new people with the same interests as you. Meals will be included with your stay as well as most on-ranch activities.

The ranch has it all from romance to nature to adventure. Located in the mountains in Montana, Triple Creek has a quiet and peaceful atmosphere surrounded by wilderness. Enjoy a relaxing evening in the hot tub or in your cabin next to the wood-burning fireplace with your darling. Life can be hectic, escape on one of the many trails and breathe in the fresh air, while enjoying the beauty of nature surrounding you. Horse back riding, nature drives, rafting, skiing and fishing are just a few of the things to occupy your time. It'll be a weekend to remember. You won't want to miss out on the memories to be made on this trip.

This all inclusive stay will run $950 per couple, per night, but if you mention Andy's name you'll receive a discount on workshop weekend lodging. You can call the ranch for more details and booking at 800-654-2943. It's going to be an enjoyable weekend and we hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Large Format Canvas Giclees

If you look in the art news section of, you will see ‘large format canvas giclees.’ Many people get confused as to what this actually is. A large format canvas giclee is an image blown up larger than the options available on the website. Some of the images can be produced up to 50” high and still maintain quality.

Large format canvas giclees is a service offers, for those of you that have large wall spaces or a favorite image you’d like to have larger than what's offered. The process is simple--you pick your image, send us an email and someone will get back to you with the sizes available for that image as well as a quote. If you have a specific size in mind, send us a email and we’ll see how close we can get to that size.

Sometimes you can’t always find an image to put on your wall that will fit the space correctly. If that’s the case, a large format will handle the issue of filling the space available. It’s a nice option for above a fireplace or maybe to sit behind your office desk.  Filling your corporate walls with small pieces of history is also a wonderful benefit for your employees and customers. The possibilities are endless!

Some of the popular images people choose are: Grand Ol’ Gang, Callin’ the Red, Callin’ the Blue, True Blues, Charlie Russell & his Characters and Bad Whiskey. If you decide you want a large format canvas giclee, you can choose any image available on the site and the best part about is--it’s one of a kind!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The West in Action

The West in Action

'The West in Action' Deluxe Boxed Set

'The West in Action' is a great book for any collector that has appreciation for history or the many western paintings Andy Thomas has created. For those of you familiar with Thomas' work will know that he is a great storyteller of art. His paintings can tell many stories, but this 128 page book will give you the history behind many of his pieces.

Just to name a few some of the historical pieces included in this book are: 'Reno's Men at Little Big Horn', 'Battle of the Rosebud' and 'The Battle of Ingalls.' Western images you will find are: 'American Storytellers', 'Stampede, Stampede' and 'Draw Poker.' The book even includes many sketches that Thomas used to perfect his paintings; on page 40 you will find the steps Thomas used to create 'The Fate of the Rustlers.' One thing's for sure, you will not be disappointed as you scroll through the pages of this book.
'The Fate of the Rustlers'

'The West in Action' is filled with colorful pages that will allow you to own many of Thomas' spectacular pieces. If you don't have room on your walls to fit all of your favorite pieces, then owning 'The West in Action' is the next best thing! It also makes a great gift that any collector would be sure to enjoy. You can purchase it as a hard copy or a deluxe boxed set.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Russell Paints a Masterpiece

Andy Thomas' piece 'Russell Paints a Masterpiece' was brilliant, it captured Charlie Russell in his atmosphere doing what he did best. Thomas brought to life a letter written by Russell's friend Joe DeYong, whom is also in the painting; the letter dated back to November 10, 1914. It was written to a friend Paul Eldridge, describing Russell's traits while in his studio, as well as some of the paintings he was working on at the time. Follow the link to read the letter from Joe DeYong that Andy used as reference for 'Russell Paints a Masterpiece.'

Thomas managed to depict nine of Russell's works into his own painting through the eyes of DeYong. Some may call that risky to attempt to replicate paintings by someone as famous as Russell, but Thomas tackled it with no problem, while creating what may be referred to as a Thomas masterpiece years ahead in history. At first glance you may think it was an actual picture rather than a painting. I can say, it's one of my all time favorite pieces by Thomas because of the realism.

Andy Thomas always finds a way to surprise the art world, I wonder what surprise his canvas will have for us next. What do you think it will be? I guess we'll have to wait and see, since Thomas is so versatile.