I’m on Rarible now :D

What the hell is Rarible?

Rarible is a marketplace for digital collectibles.  That means you can buy digital art there, but you are not just buying copy of the image.  You are buying a certified version, that is the “original” (…or limited edition)

Wait? What? How do you do that with digital images? …Enter NFTs

NFT (Non Fungible Tokens)

They sound like some sort of medication for curing toe fungus.  But, no, are not that.  Rather, they are akin to crypto currency.  You’ve probably heard of Bitcoin, the most famous of these.  There’s another kind called Etherium.  Etherium however is more than just currency, it’s also a record keeping system.  In the case of NFTs, the Etherium network keeps track of who owns an NFT.

So, in effect, and NFT is a virtual Certificate of Authenticity (and ownership).  So if you buy the NFT, then you own the digital image that is attached to it.   It’s much like owning the original of a real world painting.  You own it (but you don’t necessarily own the copyright).

Buying and NFT

To buy an NFT on Rarible is not quite as straight forward as providing your credit card number.  You have to use Etherium to make a purchase.  That requires installing a digital wallet like Metamask, and then funding that wallet using an exchange like Coinbase.

It’s analagous to exchanging U.S. dollers for Euros, then having a special purse you use when traveling in Europe to hold those Euros.

Anyway, it’s new and interesting.  Right now, I only have one work there: Sorceress and Dragon.  As it cost about $45 to list a work at the moment, I’m not going to be putting much there.  You can find my profile on Rarible here: https://rarible.com/danieleskridge

Topaz Impression

Topaz Labs produces some pretty cool products.  I’ve talked about Topaz Glow which you can use to giver your images a neon glowing effect, but my all time favorite product from them is Topaz Impression.

Wolf - Topaz Impression
Wolf – One of my artworks made using Topaz Impression

With this tool  you can convert your images into Impressionist Style Artworks.  All you need to do is load up your image, then select one of the many presets, such as “Monet”, “Oil Painting”, “Cave Painting”.  You image will instantly (well…almost instantly, processing for large images may take a minute or two) be converted.

You’re not limited to the presets though.  Once you’ve kicked things off, there are sliders that let you control the brush type, width, the stroke length and direction, etc.  You can get very elaborate.

Impression used to be a stand alone product.  These days though, it is a plugin for Topaz Studio.  One of the big advantages with this is that you can layer effects with multiple Topaz products.  Topaz Studio is free, but the Impression plugin will set you back about a hundred dollars.  That may sound like a bit much, but I’ve sold several prints of artworks made with impression and have easily recouped my cost.  

One of the things I find really great about products like Impression and Glow is that they can give a photo a really standout style, and when your competing against thousands of photographers, it’s that kind of style that gives you an advantage over the others.

Get Topaz Impression

A while back, I made a video to go over some of the features of Impression.  This was before it was a Studio plugin, but the functionality is pretty much the same:

Regards,

Daniel

Hey Everybody!

Welcome to my website!

This being my first blog post.  I’m going to tell you a bit about who I am.

My name is Daniel Eskridge, and I’m an artist…at least I am some of the time.  I have a day job as a software engineer.  But in my spare time, I create art.

I grew up in north Georgia in the metro Atlanta area, and I live there now, north of the city a bit.  I’m in my mid-forties, married, and have three kids.

I’m a classically trained artist in such formats as drawing, painting, scupture and photography and have degrees in both art and computer science from the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!).

For many years, I primarily did oil and acrylic paintings.  However, being a software engineer by day,  I’ve always been around computers and have was experimenting with digital as far back as the mid 1980’s.  When my youngest son was born though, I decided to get the hazardous chemicals out of the house (which included all my oil paints), and I went all digital.

I first started to like art when I was a kid.  I read lots of science fiction and fantasy novels and was always fascinated by the cover illustrations.  I first learned to make art by copying such artists as Larry Elmore, Kieth Parkinson, Michael Whelan, Boris Vallejo and Frank Frazetta.

Naturally, my first genre of choice was fantasy, but over the years, I’ve branched into the paleoart, wildlife, and Western genres.  I’ve also produced several non-genre realist works.

I spend a great deal of time outdoors, so nature and organic forms play a large role in my art.  Particularly the place where I grew up (and still live), northern Georgia and the foothills of the southern Appalachians, inspires a lot of my work.

Sometime around 2010, I discovered something called print-on-demand websites.  These are websites that allow artists to sell their works directly to customers in the form of custom-specified, on-demand, ink jet prints.  I tried uploading a few of my works to various sites and found that they sold!

Not only did my art start to sell, but I also started getting illustration contracts and setting up licensing agreements.

Nowadays, I don’t have much time for contract work with a rather intense day job and a baby daughter in the house, but  I do take the occasional commission if it fits.  Plus, I still manage to create at least one new artwork per week — and if you want to hear about all of my latest works as well a see some of my favorites, subscribe to my email list.