Quick Studies Year in Review

Wednesday, December 30, 2009
From Aaron Miller | Illustrator | Designer

Happy New Year Everyone!

Tuesday December 29

Sunday, December 27, 2009
I'll be canceling the drawing session for the night. See everyone in 2010!

Figure Study No. 126

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Figure Study No.126 by *aaronmiller on deviantART

Embedded DA images. Thumbs up or down?

Figure Study No. 125

Monday, December 21, 2009

Figure Study No.125 by *aaronmiller on deviantART

6x6. Oil on Panel. Semi limited palette.


Sunday, December 20, 2009
I'm considering this as an event for 2010. Basically an all day drawing session with multiple models rotating throughout the day. I'd like to hear some ideas and if you'd be interested in attending. Just putting it out there and keep your eyes peeled for it. I might want to do it in April around the excitement of C2E2, maybe after.

Figure Study No. 124

Figure Study No.124 by *aaronmiller on deviantART

Oil on panel. About 40 minutes. 12x9.

2 color palette of Burnt Umber and White.

one of our regulars put together this awesome promo video

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Flyers Among Us from Stanley Von Medvey on Vimeo.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Shelby by *aaronmiller on deviantART

while I'm not hosting the life drawing sessions i do as much work in the studio as i can (if I'm not there I'm working on the computer at home). and I've just finished up a commission portrait of a cat that I thought I would share.

Collection of images from one of our attendees.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanks Terrie!

Figure Study No. 122

Figure Study No.122 by *aaronmiller on deviantART

For some of the short poses I really like to break out the paints, I keep it to a limited palette so I can move quickly.

Important Reminder

Sunday, November 22, 2009
Thursday night figure drawing session are on hold until January 2010. Tuesday nights are still a go.

Keep drawing!

Figure Study No. 114

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Figure Study No.114 by *aaronmiller on deviantART

A quick 20 minute study in oils.

Up too late

Monday, November 9, 2009

Spear Maiden by *aaronmiller on deviantART

Figure Study No. 111

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Figure Study No.111 by *aaronmiller on deviantART

10 min is not enough time.

Illuxcon Prep In Full Swing

Saturday, November 7, 2009

In hi gear for Illuxcon. November 12-15.
I'll have a booth at the Saturday night collectors event at the Ramada. That's where everyone stays anyway. If you're into fantasy/sci-fi art this is the not-to-miss con. period.
Here's the rundown of the panels that I want to hit.
Round Table: The Art of Self-Promotion
Donato Giancola, Ruth Sanderson, Caniglia, Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell
(OMG! look at the rundown)

Collaborative Sculpting Demonstration
Jordu Schell (this guy just cracks me up!) & Tom Kuebler

Round Table: Working in the Video Game Industry
Robh Ruppel, Ben Thompson, Jeremy Cranford, Daren Bader (just got his book at SDCC!)

Painting the Portrait: An Oil Demonstration
Donato Giancola

Round Table: Art Director FAQ
Jon Schindehette, Robh Ruppel, Ben Thompson, Jeremy Cranford, Lou Anders

Inside the Skull
Brom (!!!!!)

Collaborative Oil Painting Demonstration
Don Maitz, Jeff Easley, Volkan Baga, Dan Dos Santos

I won't need any sugary drinks for a week!
I'm generating a bunch of 13 x 19 prints. If you want to order one for yourself let me know. I'm using this awesome MOAB Entrada paper.

N.A.I.L.S. Holiday art Show December 5-6.
Neighborhood Artists in Logan Square. Be there or be square. [ok! moving on]
I'll be there with a lot of original oils and prints. And informing everyone about my life drawing sessions.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ink Figure Study No. 002 by *aaronmiller on deviantART

i usually work in oils for the long pose. But i really want to break it up and work in ink. Its been great to shake things up a bit if you keep using the same materials all the time.

Figure Study No. 100

Monday, September 14, 2009

Figure Study No. 100 by *aaronmiller on deviantART

I'm sure I've really painted more, but this is the 100th I've documented.
Come on in a start creating your own collection.

Typical Study

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Figure Study No.98 by *aaronmiller on deviantART

I usually try and do a 9x12 study for our long pose during class. I should post more of them here. And I'd love to post more of the other artist work. Artists in our sessions are encouraged to send in their work to be submitted here. And give us a link to your website as well.

wedding ceremony - Nikki&Nick

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I was asked to paint a couple getting married on Saturday. I had about 15 minutes to paint them standing there with all the guests and wedding party, etc.. I stayed about 10 minutes longer to paint a little background in. All they asked for was 20 minutes. I had a great time. I wish Nick and Nikki all the best.

Figure Drawing 8/25

Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Here is my ink & brush on Bristol board piece from the long pose tonight!

Canceled for tonight 8/13

Thursday, August 13, 2009
Sorry folks our model canceled tonight. We are always at the mercy of the model's availability.

Karen Solem Gallery

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Aaron here, I will have 3 paintings hanging at this show that opens this Friday.
They are having a great wine tasting as well.

Aaron Miller in a recent magazine article for Imagine FX

Monday, July 27, 2009

This just hit the newsstands and I thought I would share this with you guys.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Paper supplies to bring to the session

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Figure Study #70, originally uploaded by Double A Design.

For the last few weeks I've been taking note on what people are bringing to the session to draw on. Everything from a sketchbook to a computer.

We've had a few situations where I've noticed that the artist just didn't know what to expect and didn't bring enough paper to work on.

I want to go over a typical session for someone who is working in a dry medium such as charcoal, pencil or pastel.

The first half of the session is quick studies and gestures. You'll be going through quite a bit of paper here. depending on how large you draw or the size of the paper you're working on you should go through anywhere from 8-12 pieces of paper, newsprint or what have you.

The long pose should be 1 pieces but you may want to start over or move around half way through.

So stock up on the paper you need. If you want to leave a large pad of newsprint feel free. If you give me enough time I could always pick up a pad for all of you bike riders who come. We'll keep them safe and put your name on it.

See you on Tuesday or Thursday nights.


Upcoming Show at National Pastime Theater

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Figure Study #67, originally uploaded by Double A Design.

20 of my pieces will grace the walls of the National Pastime Theater for the rest of the month of July. If you are going to a show there (http://www.npt2.com/) maybe you'll just have to pick one up!
The show is part of their Naked July festival. I'm glad to be a part of it.

– Aaron

TOJO Gallery in the news!

Monday, July 6, 2009

The recent show we had at TOJO featuring the studio artists was written up the in CAC News.
The image posted was the one printed along with the article.
Below is a transcript of the article:
"VOOM Exhibit,

TOJO Gallery,
1418 W Division St.,
June 5-30, 2009.

Furniture designer and sculptor Trevor 0'Neils "Bistro Chair," looks like something you'd find in a kitchen or outride ot the numerous fast food haunts in a city famous for them. It's like a picnic bench, but still designer enough to have in your home.

The VOOM exhibit at the TOJO Gallery (1418 W Division St.) features new work by local artists O'Neil, Mark Verwoerdt. Michael O'Briant and Aaron Miller. Their individual specialties range from furniture design to conventional painting.

This group exhibition explores the relationship between raw material, the elements, illustration, fantasy and design-forward green furniture. O'Neil's furniture piece was created using discarded materials. Constantly on die look-out for anything that can be used to mike functional furniture in a way that is environmentally responsible, O'Neil creates tables, dining collections, DJ turntables, wall sculptures and benches.

Illustrator Aaron Miller's pieces are the best of the exhibition. Miller's "Coming in Hot" is like a panel out of a post-apocalyptic graphic novel. The colorful piece features a woman firing a massive, futuristic weapon amid a backdrop of a red sky, smoke, explosions and massive tank-like vehicle. Miller's other pieces follow an almost medieval theme of winged warriors and deformed creatures existing in a time not of your own. On his website (www.aaronbmiller.com), he states that his interest in fantasy art began as a kid and he couldn't stop collecting and painting Dungeon and Dragon miniatures. Miller admits he "just loved the minis and the art from the books."

O'Briant's work shows that he is an artist who relies heavily on his memory and earlier observations. His pieces in this exhibition are images that attempt to create and capture emotions. O'Briant uses his own brand of painting methods, such as freezing and dry brushing, to achieve this.

Verwoerdt's "Bow" is an example of his focus on layering drawings and paintings with an emphasis on figurative work. Physicality, materiality and age are important components of his life-like images. Verwoerdt's work has been influenced by a deep study of classical Italian art and inspired by Robert Longo and Lucien Freud among others. Always expansive, Verwoerdt's work beckons appreciation for the physicality of his drawings. The time signatures and layers of mark-making are evident in his work.

—Anthony Hoffman"


Friday, July 3, 2009

_MG_8486, originally uploaded by Double A Design.

A quick sketch from Tuesday night. We had a great turnout as usual.

Sketched on newsprint with a china marker.

Friday Night 6/12/09 - VOOM!

Friday, June 12, 2009
We'll be around tonight from 4-10. Stop by, check out the art. There are also prints available for cheap.

Did you miss the big opening?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009
We'll be at the gallery this Friday as well from 4-10pm. If you want another look or couldn't make it the first time come on by. Our neighbors at the Verto Salon are having their Grand Opening as well.


Friday, June 5, 2009
TONIGHT 6/5 VOOM group art exhibition at tojo gallery. new work by verwoerdt, o’neil, o’briant and aaron miller. 6:00p -10:00p 1418 west division st. (between cleaver & noble) chicago. complimentary food & bar. sound art by dj lomax, dj artaru & dj l-des. tojogallery.com.

Pre-Opening "construction"

Wednesday, June 3, 2009
We have to postpone our Thursday class until next week. We need the day and night to prepare the space for the show opening Friday.

VOOM opens at 6 on Friday night. Hope you all can stop by.


Thursday - 5/28 figure drawing session canceled

Thursday, May 28, 2009
Our model had to cancel and none of the contacts we use currently were available under such short notice. I will be at the studio though. Artists are welcome to come by and draw. We usually do head studies on days like this.

I will always try and post at least 2 hours prior to a class if it needs to be canceled for any reason.



Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Jessica was able to model for us tonight.

We had a few new people show up.
Seems they are just beginning to draw just by showing up are already on the right track.

our group show is coming up quickly. We hope to see some of you guys there.

Work from a Thursday Session

Friday, May 15, 2009
On Thursdays we host figure drawing at TOJO Gallery. What makes the Thursday sessions different from the Tuesday sessions is that we have the same model for 3 consecutive weeks and try to get the same pose for the last half of each session.

The first week I just worked on a drawing so the painting here is only a 2 hour painting. And I've also posted a 20 minute drawing.

I've noticed a lot of our artist have been using #2 pencils and small sized paper.
I would love to see them bring a variety of mediums to experiment with and paper as well. Pencils are a bit difficult to capture quick gestures unless they are very small to work with the sharp point. Try a china marker (wax pencil) or a bit of conté if charcoal is just to messy for you. They sell pads of news print is much smaller sizes if the larger pads are too cumbersome to carry with you.
We have enough space that you can leave a large pad behind. Just mark it with your name.

And if you can't make it to one of our Tuesday or Thursday sessions try the Drawing Workshop on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Keep drawing.


Recent Illustration Portfolio Piece

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I created this piece for a contest (Agents of Avarice fan art presented by Wizards of the Coast) and for my portfolio as well.
The image is a mixture of oil on panel and photoshop. I needed to make extensive compositional changes so the final piece exists as a digital image.

I learned a lot about anatomy perspective and ellipses. And I had a ton of fun and sleepless nights to make the deadline.

hope you like it.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Here are a few quick portraits from figure drawing. I keep trying to do these within a 10-15 minute range.

The idea is not for likeness more than just getting down the basic information and form.

VOOM in June

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Group Exhibition
Opening Night Reception
TOJO Gallery
Friday, June 5, 2009
6:00 – 10:00 PM
1418 West Division Street
Exhibition June 5 - June 30

New Work by:
Architect Mark Verwoerdt
Furniture Designer and Sculptor Trevor O'Neil
Painter Michael O'Briant
Illustrator / Designer Aaron Miller

Kimberly Soenen
* * *

Tuesday nights info

Thursday, April 9, 2009
New session end time


we'll get an extra 15 min and that last pose will finally be an hour long.

Ink work-- intro piece

Here is a shot of my favorite ink piece from March! I typically work with a brush and ink in class. More can be seen in my Flickr gallery.

Joan V

For the Beginner

Saturday, March 21, 2009

We had a great question posted on our Facebook page, I thought I would post the answer here as well.

Michael asked: What materials would be suggested to bring for a first timer?

Great question Michael, I would suggest getting a large newsprint pad for the quick sketches. You can either use vine charcoal or a china marker (wax pencil) for the first hour of the session.

For the long pose you can choose to use a new medium but if you want to stick with some of the more traditional methods for beginners I would get some nicer charcoal paper sheets and continue to draw in charcoal.

You will also need a sandpaper pad, a kneaded eraser, and a chamois cloth. Most art store will have a "beginner set" of equipment that will probably have all the items you need except the charcoal. For the charcoal, you would want a few sticks of the hard, medium and soft. Don't for get a little box to keep everything in. All of this should be about $20 or less.

First Night of the series

Thursday, March 19, 2009
Tonight at TOJO we will begin the first of our three week Thursday long pose. We're looking forward to the new session and challenges it will provide. We hope to see some regular faces as well as some new ones.

I plan on painting in oils on panel or canvas.

What do you plan to use?

New drawing pastel

Friday, March 13, 2009

New drawing

last nite

last nights figure drawing went really well. Hopefully we'll get more folks showing up on thursday. I truly believe the opportunity to work for 3 consecutive weeks,regularly, is an awesome thing! Over the next few months you will really start to see progress and learn patience.
See you all next week when we'll begin the first 3 week drawing/painting.

Thursday Nights!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009
From Figure Drawing at ToJo Gallery

We are excited to announce we will be adding an additional day to the week for figure drawing. Beginning Thursday, March 12 we will have a session start from 6:30-8:45.

We will start the first hour the same as Tuesday nights but the last hour will be a pose we will try to have for 3 consecutive weeks with the same model. This will give you the opportunity to spend a little more time on your drawing or painting. we will make every effort to ensure the same set up every week. we will also offer the option of storing your wet painting.

Email us if you have any questions.

Limited Palette

Monday, March 2, 2009
From Figure Drawing at ToJo Gallery

From Figure Drawing at ToJo Gallery

I like working with a limited palette during our sessions. It cuts down on decision making for colors during the brief time I have to get the pose onto the panel. I avoid using black and have been mixing a dark from red oxide and viridian green. I'll allow myself to use some white, a buff color, some kind of yellow and a cool such as ultramarine blue.

When you don't have a lot of time you don't want to waste even a second if you don't have to. And having every color at your disposal can slow down the whole painting and you won't get as far as you'd like to have.

Once you are limited you find its fairly easy to find something just as close with what you have. Maybe you just limit yourself to black and white and you will concentrate more on overall values.

What happens when the model doesn't show?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009
From Figure Drawing at ToJo Gallery

From Figure Drawing at ToJo Gallery

It doesn't happen that often, but it happens. The only thing worse is the host not showing. Well, last night our model did not show up. When this happens the artist has a few options. You can just pack up and leave or stay and draw.

If you choose to stay and draw, which everyone actually did, you draw what is on hand and that was each other. We took turns doing facial expressions for awhile and let that turn into longer and longer poses. Of course about the only thing we take off is our glasses.

I must also mention that specific to our sessions held at TOJO, we do not change the $10 fee to stay and draw if the model does not show up.

I took a couple of pics from my phone of the 10 minute portraits I did.

Some recent works from previous sessions

Tuesday, February 17, 2009
From Figure Drawing at ToJo Gallery

From Figure Drawing at ToJo Gallery

From Figure Drawing at ToJo Gallery

I was able to take some better photos of some recent work. If you would like to share your work here just email it to me or sign up and you can post it yourself.

Gesture Drawing

Sunday, February 15, 2009
From Figure Drawing at ToJo Gallery

Gesture drawing is a great way to loosen up and it really helps get better at drawing overall.

We start all of our session with the gesture. Gestures can be as fast as 30 seconds to 10 minutes. The whole idea is to draw fast.
This will help you focus and capture those fleeting moments while sketching from life.

Here are a few thing to consider while drawing your gestures.

• Flow; find the flow of the model, this will also help find the center of gravity. The spine is one of the best sources for this.

• Light touch; if you keep your touch light you can also move around the paper faster and smoother.

• Overlap; let your shapes overlap. This will also help see connections and flow in the contour.

• Speed; you really want to try capture the whole model in the given amount of time.

• Move; keep your drawing utensil moving all the time. Time is precious here, keep moving.

• Eraser; put it away, you don't need it here.

• Relax; you really can't do anything wrong here, though you'll improve over time.

• Size, consider the amount of time you have for the size of the figure you're capturing. If you only have 30 seconds you won't be able to fill the entire page. Consider quartering the page or even drawing over the previous drawing in a new color.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Last night was great. We had three newcomers find us and everyone had a good time.

Main website updated

Tuesday, January 27, 2009
We've updated the main website for TOJOgallery.com, have a look.

Drawing in Progress

Sunday, January 25, 2009
I attend the Drawing Workshop on the weekends to really try and sharpen my skills. Here's a piece I've been working on for awhile. Its a few weeks from completion and coming along nicely. i'm working with charcoal on charcoal paper, its got a lot of tooth to it.

From in progress

From in progress

From in progress

From in progress

From in progress

From in progress

From in progress

and finally the final!

Amelia 1/13/09

Saturday, January 24, 2009
Amelia 1/13/09- using borrowed conte, my kid's watercolor set and some graphite. Trying to break into some new medium, slowly...

Tuesday for week 3 of January

Wednesday, January 21, 2009
From Figure Drawing at ToJo Gallery

Last night went well. Four local artist joined me for a great night of life drawing. We had a great new model, Stephanie.

Welcome and let me get this started

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

We at TOJO Gallery; Aaron, Trevor, and Michael, wanted to make it a little easier to post and share information about the drawing sessions held weekly at the gallery space. I'll be able to make a post letting everyone know the status of the session, especially if the weather is bad or the model has to cancel and we cannot get a replacement.

We also wanted to make it a little easier for us to get YOUR artwork up here as well. 

We look forward to drawing with you!