Monday, July 27, 2015

Thursday, November 20, 2014

CTN Animation Expo 2014

Hi everybody, I'll be at CTN Animation Expo at Table T-10. Come by and say hi. I'll have new prints and my book Musings and Wanderings.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Art of Color and Light - Class Preview

Hey guys!

My new Color of Art and Light Class is opening soon! It’s packed with lots of goodies including demos, tips, and tricks for painting/designing. Here is a short preview of the first class and an overview of topics in the eight weeks we will be working together. If you are interested in Illustration, Games, Film or Animation, this class is designed to take your work to the next level. Class sign-ups can be found at

I look forward to working with you!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Sketchbook

Here's a poster I did for my friend Chris William's kickstarter, The Sketchbook. Check it out here:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Making A Successful Portfolio

Thanks for all the great questions about putting a portfolio together recently. I decided it would be a better use of my time to write it all out since so many artists have the same questions. 

These are the first five pages in a series of posts about how to layout a portfolio, including content, images, size, material and everything in between. Part 1 is for the artist still deciding what to do for a discipline. I've catered the last three pages to a visual development portfolio for animation but the principles can be applied to any artistic presentation (illustration, design, even interior design).
These are my opinions and I realize there are many ideas out there which are also fantastic. What I have written are simple truths and tips I've learned along the way. This doesn't represent a studio I work for or will work for. I hope it is helpful and can provide some perspective into a competitive portfolio and help you land your next job!   

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Upcoming stuff!

There's a lot of new things happening in the next few months. I'm humbled and excited to be helping Ryan Lang with his amazing CGMA class, "The Art of Color and Light. Ryan and I were roommates while interning at Disney in 2008. He is an incredible artist and great teacher. I'm looking forward to working with him again and hope I can pull my own weight! And...The super talented Tyson Murphy will be teaching too. Tyson and I went to BYU together!

I'll also be exhibiting at the Salt Lake Comic Con April 17-19, 2014 at Tables H7 & H6

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Peanuts Tease

Sooo excited to finally share the fun things we're working on here at Blue Sky. I can't say too much but you can see the extreme attention we are paying to the work of Schulz in order to stay true to his line. It is deceivingly tricky!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Crisium 2

Playing around with some new brushes. I feel like you can never go wrong experimenting with dinosaurs and space chicks. Happy Friday!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Art of Epic Post 1

I hope you are having a great new year! I am really looking forward to 2014 as a year for growth and new ideas. So many great things happened in 2013 and among them was the opportunity I had to work on Epic. I'm really proud to have been a part of this film.  

When I started at Blue Sky in 2011, I was wrapping up on Ice Age 4 when Mike Knapp (art director of Epic, IA: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, No Time For Nuts), brought me onto the Epic team (at the time it was called Leafman). I have to admit, I was intimidated to be working with such an incredible group consisting of, in my opinion, some of the best artists in the industry. Working with this team really pushed me to step up my game. When you are surrounded by inspiring ideas and an atmosphere of willingness, good things happen. Everyone freely shared their techniques and process which was kinda like a warm welcome for me. I learned so much from everyone. Mike especially had a vision for this film and guided us all to nail the look. It's no surprise he's been nominated for an Annie! I'm so grateful to have been a part of Epic and our great Blue Sky family. I hope you enjoyed it too!

To start 2014 off, here are some color keys from Epic. 

This set of keys was for Bomba's surveillance cameras throughout the forest.

These are two of my favorite sequence keys.

Stay tuned for more Epic artwork!

Friday, December 6, 2013

New Online Shop! + White Friday Sale

My new online shop is finally up and running!

To kick it off, I'm having a White Friday Sale! Valid today only, everything is 20% off including my new limited edition book, Musings and Wanderings, when you use the code: WHITEFRIDAY at checkout. The first 10 buyers (of any items in the store) will receive a signed, limited edition print, for FREE! The White Friday Sale will end at 11:59 PM tonight. Valid only for US and Canada.
Discount Code: WHITEFRIDAY

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sneak Peak: Musings and Wanderings

I just found out my book is going to be ready for CTN! I'll have about 100 limited edition copies of Musings and Wanderings  for sale. The entire book is split into either a Musing (a painting study from my head) or a Wandering (a painting study from observation).  It is packed full with work from Puerto Rico, California, New York, Connecticut, Costa Rica, Utah and has lots of dinosaurs (including JP references)! Stop by my table T-10 to pick one up!

Premium Offset Printing, 110 pages, full color, limited edition

sneak preview

Monday, November 4, 2013

TCA Travel Prints

It is hard to believe November is here and moving sooo fast. I'm still trying to catch up to October! Thanks to all of your great comments on the CTN post below. Please feel free to keep putting your thoughts there. It is so great to see so many different questions. Thanks a ton for your help!

Well, I've got some great news that I'll be posting later this week. For now, here is brand-new series of prints I'll be selling at CTN.

Monday, October 28, 2013

I want your Questions! For CTNx 2013

Hey Guys! I need your help!

CTN is coming up quick and I've been preparing for my workshop on transitioning from school to studio , called "Become a Professional Student: Landing your dream job. In it, I'm going to be outlining tips, tricks, suggestions and habits for making the successful jump from your place of education to your dream job. I'll be talking internships, portfolio design, and lots of other key insights for getting into the door. There are so many awesome people who can shed light on this subject and I'm honored to share my humble perspective.
I want to get your feedback and questions so I can better cater it to you! Your thoughts are greatly appreciated and will be the basis of the workshop content. Even if you aren't attending, you can leave a comment below. I will be gathering feedback from here, tumblr, twitter, and facebook. You might see your name and question show up on workshop day! Thanks for your help and I can't wait to see you at CTN!

If you haven't signed up for the workshop, there are still a few spots left. Visit for more information. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

CTNX 2013

CTNx is almost here! It is definitely my favorite time of the year. I've been asked to do a a presentation and a couple workshops which you can sign up for at the CTNx website. If you are attending, definitely stop by my table T-10 and say hello. I'll be in the same spot as last year next to my buddy John Nevarez. I'll be selling new artwork and other goodies! I'll have more on that soon and some paintings from my trip to Italy.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Introducing Kevin Yang! A good example of how to land your dream job

I get asked one question a lot, "What advice do you have for getting into a feature animation studio?"

This is such a big and deep question. As an artist you really need solid perspective and direction to make sure all your work is not spent in vein. You need constant guidance as to what is good and what is bad. I feel like my perspective on this is constantly evolving, especially as I work on projects that really challenge me. You need to put in a TON of time. You need to make mistakes and (1) learn to get feedback. You need to (2) learn to use feedback constructively to grow. You need to figure out what makes you improve when nobody else is around. And among many things, you need to (3) learn to persevere optimistically until you land that dream job you've wanted since you watched Aladdin get his three wishes. Kevin Yang is a good example of how to get into a feature animation studio.

When I first met Kevin, he came to my table at CTNx 2012; He asked me to look through his portfolio. I don't know how many portfolios I looked at that year but there were many. A few things stood out to me right away with Kevin. 

He was extremely polite and considerate.  He recognized whilst we spoke that I was still selling my own work. I had a business to run. He respected my time and kept the visit short and sweet.  His portfolio looked professional. It was slick. It was filled with interesting images that made me think and my blood move quick. I could see lots of thought behind each page and its layout. He had done his homework to focus it in one direction. When I gave Kevin feedback, he already had a pencil and paper ready to write down notes. I could see that this guy (1) learned how to get feedback. After each critique, I could see him digest the information in his head and write a note to remember. Even things I'm sure he's heard before were still re-digested and written. He was thorough. When we finished, he shook my hand and bought a large print...not a bad idea to end on :) 

Kevin kept in touch with me. He often sent me updates with his artwork, commented on my social media, connected via professional platforms, and asked very direct, specific questions when he had them. Each time I saw an update on a painting or a revised sketch, there was a solid improvement. Principles we had discussed were being applied. Action was taken to create solutions. Kevin (2) learned how to use feedback constructively and grow.  He didn't just get feedback from me either; he gathered a well-rounded opinion from industry professionals to analyze where he was at. After all, many eyes are better than two.   

Soon thereafter, Kevin was graduating. He landed an interview with Blue Sky during a recruiting visit and it went great! Not only did he score brownie points with a rockstar portfolio, he showed credibility mentioning I'd been looking over his work giving feedback. From there Kevin didn't wait around for an answer, he started working on the Dam Keeper short film. Here is a perfect example of (3) persevering optimistically until you land that dream job. Soon after, Kevin got a call from Blue Sky offering him the summer internship. He came, kicked some butt and got offered a full-time position.  

There is so much to learn from Kevin Yang. Among many things, here are three that I believe are key to landing your dream job:

#1 learn to get feedback
#2 learn to use feedback constructively to grow
#3 learn to persevere optimistically until you land that dream job...then keep growing:)

Make sure to check out Kevin's personal blog here:

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Some Graphic Design

Here's a stab at a little graphic design for a campout this week. I've got a lot to learn but enjoyed the challenge. I based the style on some vintage images I found in a google search. Thanks for the inspiration mystery emberstock artist .

Friday, April 5, 2013

MoCCAFest 2013!

Hey Guys!
If you are in the New York Area, come by the MoCCAFest tomorrow! I'll have all my prints for sale as well as some other surprises! I'll be at the table signing prints and looking at work, from 11AM -12 PM, 2-4 PM, 6-7 PM. My buddy Dan Seddon will be running the table while I'm away. Hope to see you at the Fest!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Design, Color and "Value" an Idea

Before going into this, I just wanted to say thanks again for your incredible support over the past few months. You guys rock! Ty Carter Art on Facebook is up to 1,200 fans! You guys have been so generous with my work and I can't tell you enough, thank you so much!

I've been asked this question a few times this past week: What is your process for doing these daily studies? I don't necessarily have a step by step process for each piece but there are things I'm thinking about. There is order and hierarchy to the painting. Everything is centered around an idea before I draw anything. This is why I say, "Value" an idea. You need to meditate on it and absorb yourself in it. You really can't go about making an effective image if you don't know what it's about.  It would be like having a Mormon make a cup of would take forever and nobody would want it. Why? Mormon's don't drink coffee! They make casseroles and jello! You can't create something you haven't experienced in some way. Choose ideas that you can relate to. Then use Design, Color and Value to get that feeling you want. Find that emotion you felt during your own life experiences and latch onto everything about it. If you can feel it, so will your audience. 

I tried my best to jot down what is going on in my head when I do a study (apart from my stomach telling me to go eat something). I didn't go into a lot of detail but you get the idea. Remember, this is just my thought process. I'm sure you could find many ways to approach it. Find what works best for you and then master that method. 

I hope this helps you on your own artistic journey. 


Do you have a question you think I might be able to help with? Leave me a comment! I create these tutorials based off of your feedback for the sole purpose of helping YOU. 

If this is helpful to you, share it with your friends online. Thanks for supporting Ty Carter Art!

"365 returned letters and still no word. She'd stand at the window for hours just imagining he returned."

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Memories of the West

Here are some quick studies I've been posting to my Facebook page each day. These paintings are anywhere between 30-80 minutes. A large part of my childhood was spent in New Mexico and Utah. They are two places I absolutely love. I wanted to catch some of those good old memories that sparked my imagination from the places my parents took my brother, sisters and I.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that these places and ideas are special to me. 

Red Labyrinth 

Padre Bay, Lake Powell

Red Rockin Cowboy

Riding Cowboy

La Entrada-The Entrance

Train Thief

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Some thoughts on Color Part II

Thank you for the feedback on my last post and your thoughts/comments on other platforms. It is great talking to you and I've based this post solely on comments I've received. As always, I hope this might be helpful as you solve your own artistic obstacles.

Question #1-How do you create a warm and cool for each color?

Creating a warm and a cool for each color first and foremost is directly affected by my painting's color scheme. Everything is relative to THIS particular piece I'm working on. The decisions I make here may or may not work for another. This emphasizes the importance of the block in even more.
This is the foundation for any good painting. It is literally the underpainting and much of it will still show through in the final product.
The block in from this lilly pad painting is labeled (3); it shows my local color. Local color can be described as the hue under neutral light. For the water, I had to choose a reflected color showing sky and the underside of a tree. I know water is clear but I'm just painting what I see not what I know. The lilly pads are a cooler green RELATIVE to the warmer blue and brown of the water. I keep this in mind moving forward.
From here, I can start dropping things into light and shadow, painting strokes right over my block in. (Remember, the block in will be your starting point for each color now. Anywhere you want to take the painting needs to start from your block in colors; it will likewise create cohesiveness in your piece)
To drop something into shadow I start with my local color. I lower the value and increase the saturation. To cool it down, I take my hue toward a cooler color slightly. This will give me a nice subtle shift. You can see this in action with the lower right lilly pads in shadow(3)-(4). When something needs to be hit with light, I simply raise the value (from my local color) but don't touch the saturation or hue. Then I lay down a stroke over my original block in. You can see this with the lilly pads in light (4). There is no universal rule to creating warm and cool but when you've done it, you'll feel the vibration in your eyes.

I've enlarged (4) so you can see the color bars on A, B, & C. These are local colors. D & E, show local color with color in light.

Question #2-What is your workflow like in one of these studies?

There are so many great artists out there and different approaches to accomplishing the same thing. Personally, I pull up a new canvas and select US Paper. I choose 8 x 10 in. (300 dpi/CMYK in case I ever want to print) and change the canvas color to a neutral grey. Depending on my subject, I crop the canvas to support my composition.
With a bristle brush at full opacity and pen pressure enabled (default PS4 12 pixel brush), I lay in some quick lines and loosely layout the design for my composition. Because these are color studies, I spend very little time worrying about a perfect design. I work on one layer to keep things moving along and encourage my confidence.
Initially, I'm looking to get some big, medium, and small shapes incorporated into the composition. My co-worker Jason Sadler has created some nice thoughts on this here. Sometimes, if my subject is simple enough, I will immediately block in color without any line work. Once again, the purpose of the study is color and not so much design so I'll proportion most of my time for the painting.
The block in is a crucial part of the painting. If I don't see an immediate read, I've got to modify colors or value until it works; it's usually value. Like I mentioned earlier, if it's not working here then it won't work bigger. It only gets more complicated and frustrating if I enlarge to begin detailing. I could paint it till an asteroid hits my mailbox (which surprisingly may be soon) and I'd still be working things out. Once the block in excites me, I begin working out light design. I ask myself where the light is coming from. I ask what temperature the light is. I think about properties of light on the surfaces within my canvas. I lay in bold strokes to experiment. At this stage I usually see some happy accidents but there are lots of sad ones too. The canvas is still thumbnail size.
The painting is now at a place where it needs to be enlarged. Depending on its purpose, I expand it and work on rendering my shapes. I'm thinking about surfaces again. I'm looking to keep it simple. I wait till the end to add highlights and my darkest darks.
When I think its done, I walk away from my computer/tablet/easel and get something to eat. I don't want to be hungry while I paint and the food is stimulating for the mind. When I come back and see it anew, I find it really easy to spot problems. I take a couple minutes and fix them or pat myself on the back. There is nothing more gratifying than nailing my block in and later the detailing.
These studies I've been posting usually last between 30-50 min. depending on my snack break. Peanut butter and jelly is highly recommended (crunchy...not smooth)!

Question #3-Can you expand on “color relationships” and “designing light”?

All that a color relationship means is that one of your colors is cooler than the other. So, it also means one color is warmer. My painting will feel flat and washed out if I can't get my relationships working. When I started designing light in this painting (4), I started with the center of attention, the flower. I chose the local color to be a warm white. When I “designed” or chose the color next to it, I made it cooler. My lilly pads and the water (two colors touching the flower) are RELATIVELY cooler than the white. And the pattern continues. As I work my way out to the rest of the subject matter, I look for a way to put a cool and a warm side by side. I am designing the color relationships to work against one another in light. I am designing the color relationships to work with each other in the shadows.
JoaquĆ­n Sorolla is a master of designing color relationships. Often, I've pulled up his paintings to analyze how he treated shadows and lights. This has been to my utmost benefit and inspired me to try new things.

I hope you find this helpful. I learned a lot writing my thoughts down as I tried to explain what I'm thinking. Also, thank you so much for sharing these things virally with your friends. I've met so many great new artists since the last post!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Some thoughts on Color

As I've been posting color studies on my FB page I've heard some re-occurring questions/comments regarding painting. I want to take a second and expand on those topics. I'm not a master painter but hopefully this can be as helpful to you as it has been to me. 

Question #1-How do you keep the colors harmonized when you use so many? 

I think one of the best books I've ever read is, Alla Prima by Richard Schmid. One particular section talked about placing colors side by side as you work, rather than blocking in all around the image and laying in randomly. Schmid highly recommends laying each stroke next to another stroke on the canvas so you can easily see color relationships. As you know, colors affect how we interpret those colors around them. You could have a completely desaturated grey and lay it down with a warm cadmium red and that grey will appear as cool as a spring cyan sky. Moving in a flow with your paint will save you time and increase accuracy. It's hard enough to paint a good image. Make it easy on yourself and lay colors side by side until you've blocked in the entire piece. There are so many benefits to doing this.  One of them is seeing the big picture in terms of color harmony. If you can see the big picture, it's easy to solve the problem. If you can't see the big picture, then you're only seeing part of it, therefore, you can only solve part of the problem, if that. If you've blocked in correctly, you will immediately see where you lie. If it doesn't excite you, start over. 

This leads into the next topic.

Question #2-How are you doing these studies so quickly? How long do you spend on them? Do you use a tablet, computer or traditional medium?

When I do a study, I'm either outside on location or inside looking at a photo. I use a tablet with a painting app, a laptop with photoshop 4, or oil paints (Windsor & Newton, Lefranc, Rembrandt). When I am outside it's usually during my lunch break. I know I've got 45 minutes to knock something out so I work quickly to block in the values and make the temperatures work. In 5-10 minutes, I know if the painting is working. If its not working, I recheck my values. If the values are working, I recheck my color relationships. If color relationships are working, I ask a co-worker nearby what they think. If I'm alone, well, I might go climb a tree or something. Usually, I can solve the issue in one of those first two questions (assuming I laid down a strong design; I never start painting unless my design is solid). 

When I'm working inside from a photo, I apply the exact same principles. I find a reference that inspires me. I bring it up on the monitor to the side of my canvas. From there, I shrink both images down and lay in colors quickly. The advantage to working on a computer is being able to shrink the image down small. I can go twice as fast because my strokes cover more. There are disadvantages or temptations to a computer. Color dropping is like a dangerous drug; it gives you a temporary boost but when it's all over you're left lower than you started (you're probably wondering what a Mormon boy knows about drugs...not a whole lot. This analogy is over) I committed myself during college to never color drop. This was the best decision I made because I was forced to make decisions. As I've began to understand color more, I've seen opportunities to exaggerate and manipulate it. This is the funnest part of painting!

Question #3-What is the most important thing in painting color?

In my opinion, the most important things in painting color are VALUE, LOCAL COLOR, and RELATIONSHIPS. 

VALUE-This is the grayscale version of your painting. If your value is off, everything is off. When I paint, I spend the most time perfecting the value in the thumbnail. Once thats good, it's quite enjoyable. You can see the end from the beginning and experiment with colors. 

LOCAL COLOR-This is the color of your subject with no light affecting it. Once you lock this down, it's fairly simple rendering out the rest. If you dont understand the local color, the result will muddy your image and weaken the overall punch.

COLOR RELATIONSHIPS-This is how a color looks next to another color. It is either warmer or cooler. A painting is all about laying warms and cools next to one another. There is no universal rule to what is warm and cool. One thing that helped me a great deal was learning how to make a warm and cool for each color.

I hope this is useful in some way. Thanks for visiting my blog and supporting my work. I can't tell you how much I appreciate the encouragement and friendships from this small world we work in.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ty Carter Art Holiday 2012 Giveaway!

Over 21 PRIZES will be awarded from December 1st-15th!  Enter today!

(1)  Half AnimSchool Tuition for the Course of your Choice* ($900 value)
(1)  My original "Gunshot" cowboy sketch
(5)  Limited Edition Signed 11x17 Print 
(10)  Limited Edition Signed 8x10 Print
(5)  Limited Edition Holiday Cards (pack of 10, includes envelopes)

How To Enter and Win
1. Mention, Sign Up and/or follow- There are FIVE ways to enter. Each counts as ONE entry (maximum of FIVE entries per person)
A. If you have a blog, mention this contest with a link to this post. Counts for ONE entry.
B. If you have twitter, follow @TyCarterArt and mention/retweet this contest.  Counts for ONE entry.
C. If you have Facebook, become a fan of TyCarterArt's Page and mention this contest with a link on your own wall. Counts for ONE entry.
D. Share a TyCarterArt Viral Video via Facebook, Twitter, or a blog. Videos are found below on this post.  Counts for ONE entry.
E. Leave a comment on this post. State your discipline/occupation and favorite color! Counts for ONE entry.

2. Email- Once you've finished A, B, C, D and/or E, send an email to  In your email, include your name and proof of completing A, B, C, D, and/or E. (links, screengrabs, etc)

3. Check TyCarterART's Facebook Page- Each morning from December 1st-15th, will be updated with the new winners. Winners will also be contacted via email.

*AnimSchool course offered is one 11-week term to be redeemed during any of the next four academic terms. Giveaway winner/applicant must qualify for their chosen course by showing requisite ability. Otherwise, applicant will be recommended an alternative AnimSchool course. Qualification is at the sole discretion of AnimSchool.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

EPIC now on Apple Trailers!

EPIC, the film I've been working on since I began at Blue Sky Studios, has just been released on Apple Trailers. There is so much passion and love that went into this film.  I'm very excited to share it with you here.  Check it out!