Archive for the ‘Tutorials’ Category

Tutorial: Making A Starburst With Spray Paint

As you might have noticed, I’ve been exploring and experimenting with YouTube the past month. It’s been challenging because I’m not a fan of being in front of a camera and it feels really awkward for me to talk to a camera. You could say I am overcoming my fear and connecting with you in a new way. Also, if you’re not willing to embarrass yourself from time to time how can you ever grow as a person? At least that’s what I keep telling myself. Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed the videos so far. Like I said, I’m experimenting…trying out different ideas for videos and checking my statistics to find out what gets the best response. With that said, I recently made my first tutorial. The white background behind the character in this painting is called a starburst.

(This piece is available as a limited edition print.)

I’ve been using this effect since 2004 and it’s so cool and fun to do that I have to limit myself to how often I use it because I don’t want to overplay it like a new favorite song on repeat.

This video doubles as part tutorial and part “making a painting time lapse”. Enjoy!

If you like the video please give it a thumbs up or leave a comment. Making these videos take a long time for me and any interaction will give me a good idea of what types of videos I should focus on. If you have any ideas for future videos or questions you’d like to ask let me know. It just might be the inspiration for a new video.

Thanks for watching!
– Jeff

Drawing 101: Keep It Between The Lines

Of course, one of the things that I like about art is that there are no rules. Elliott, obviously, feels the same. I mean, look at that. Total disregard for anything.

Elliott is more like, “Draw between the lines, pfff! I will draw everywhere EXCEPT between the lines. Take that”

And, of course, I couldn’t be more proud.

Claassen Art Tour On Google Maps And How To Make Your Own Custom Map

I made a map on google where you can see all the locations of my artwork. There are a couple of galleries on there, some businesses and even a couple of public outdoor pieces.

View Claassen Art Tour in a larger map

As a bonus, I decided to write a brief tutorial on how to make your own. Although, before I get into that, you might be asking yourself, “Why do I need a custom map?” Well, here are a few ideas of things you might want a map of. Also, you can share your map, which can come in pretty handy.
Your personal favorite:
– restaurants, cafe’s, etc.
– art galleries
– clothing boutique’s
– bars/clubs
– public parks/pools
– atm’s
– book stores
– local landmarks
– public art
– transit stops
– tattoo shops
– skate spots
– and of course, your favorite brothel’s

As for business’s, say you own a clothing company. You could make a map of all the retail stores where your merchandise can be purchased. The possibilities are quite endless.

Google makes is so simple to make your own custom map that you will slap yourself with a wet noodle for not making one sooner. In fact, it is so simple I feel slightly stupid for taking the time to make these screen captures. Oh well!

1. make sure you are logged into Google.
2. Go to
3. Click the “My Places” link.
make a custom google map

4. Click “Create Map”.
make a custom google map

5. Make up a title for your map and write a description. I predict that my idea of mapping your favorite drunk spots will be all the rage in the near future.
make a custom google map 3

6. Now it’s time to actually map your locations. I should have labeled these A, B, and C, but I wasn’t thinking. So, part 1 of this step is to type in the address or business name in the search bar. 2 and 3 are pretty much the same thing. If you click that little drop down arrow on 2. some options show up and you want to choose “save to map”. Or do it the easy way and click “save to map” where 3 is.
make a custom google map 4

7. When you are done adding all the locations you want on you map click the “My Places” link and you will see your map listed, like so.
make a custom google map 5

8. When you click on that you will see your actual map in all of it’s drunken glory. You know, if your map is one to show all your favorite spots to get intoxicated. To share your map with friends, family, co-workers, and random people you’ve hooked up with at these designated locations, click the little chain icon and you will be given two options. You can copy the link and paste it wherever you’d like. For example, you can text the link to your homies, post in on your FB wall, tweet it, tumblr it, whatever. The second option is to copy the embed code, so you can post the actual map on your blog/website like I did above.
make a custom google map 6

9. Pat yourself on the back.

Check It Out, I Made A QR Code. Make One For Yourself On Google.

If you have an iPhone or an Android I suggest getting the Red Laser app. It’s awesome. You can use it to scan QR codes as well as bar codes. Scanning bar codes is fun because you can price check items and see what other stores in your area carry the same product and how much their selling it for.

QR Code examples

Those square black and white pixelated images you’ve been seeing popping up everywhere are called QR Codes. If you have a smart phone you should be able to scan the code and it will take you to a website. They’re pretty cool and you’re going to start them more and more. As an artist the first thing that came to my mind was getting a QR code for myself and printing some stickers made with a code on them with “FOLLOW ME” just below the code. When scanned the code would take you to my twitter page. I know, I know, it’s not that original of an idea, but usually the first idea that comes to mind never is. People are already doing similar things and printing QR codes as shirt graphics. I think it’s great though because scanning a random code is always a surprise.

Naturally, I wanted a more unique code, something custom, so I used this painting:

the undertaker

and came up with this code:

QR code

If you’re familiar with photoshop you should be able to figure out how to do this pretty easily. Unfortunately, this isn’t a tutorial on how to customize your QR code. It’s just a post to show you that it can be done and also to talk a little about QR codes.

My buddy, STENZSKULL, put my design to shame with his custom QR.


So, where to get your own QR code? That’s easy. You can get a QR for any URL using the google URL shortener, screenshot

After messing around with the google URL shortener I learned that the Red Laser app can generate QR codes too and it’s super simple. I’ll make a tutorial on how to do that in a future post. Anyway…

The thing with using is that the code it generates will always be for that one particular URL. This is ok for the “FOLLOW ME” sticker idea, but for other applications you might want to change the URL the code takes somebody too. It would be pretty boring to have a QR code as a shirt graphic that only takes people to the site of the shirt company. It would be much more fun if the URL was changed from time to time so that people scanning it would be taken to different places every time they decide to scan it. For this you need a QR Code that allows you to redirect your URL. That way you can use the same code and switch up the URL destination from time to time.

To do this check out I haven’t looked too into the site myself and at the moment I don’t feel like googling any more today, so you can research it on your own by googling “redirect QR code URL“.

You can also get creative with what to do with the code. One thing I came across that I thought was brilliant was in the flower section at Home Depot. I noticed QR codes on the labels for plants and flowers. Being an iPhone nerd I figured I better scan it. The code took me to a page about that particular plant, gave me the scientific name for it and instructions on how to care for it, what to plant near it and all kinds of stuff. It was extremely informative.

Nerd out!

Tutorial: Add Photos To Your Facebook Business Page Using The FB App

The Facebook app is pretty easy to navigate for personal use. For those of us that created a Facebook Page for our business you might have had trouble with a few things. If you’re like me there’s a good chance you asked yourself, “How can I add a photo to my Facebook Page?” It seemed like the only thing possible was to add a photo to your personal page and hope that members of your business page also followed your personal page. Ahh, but what then would be the point of having a business page. One loophole I found was that you could upload a photo to Flickr using the Flickr app and then post a link to it on the wall of your business page. The problem there is that it doesn’t show up in any of your Facebook photo albums and the picture will get buried with each new wall post.

Well, I finally clicked around enough to find out how to add photos to my business page. It’s pretty easy and I’m surprised it took me this long to figure it out.

First, open the Facebook app.
facebook app 1

Tap in the “search” bar and click on the “pages” tab.
facebook app 2

Type the name of your page. In my case it’s “The Claassen Gallery“. Choose your page when you see it show up in the drop down menu.
facebook app 3

Now you should be on your business page. Tap the “Share Photo” option on the left side. This is the part I can’t believe I missed before.
facebook app 4

Pick your option. I went with “Choose From Library” because I tend to take photos of stuff before I open the app.
facebook app 5

Choose your album.
facebook app 6

Choose the photo you’d like on your Facebook Page.
facebook app 7

Tap the “write a caption” option.
facebook app 8

I highly suggest leaving a caption for all photos you put online.
facebook app 9

Now check the spelling on your caption and tap that fancy “upload” button.
facebook app 10

And there you go! The photo will post on the wall of your business/fan page and will also be added to the “Wall Photos” album of your page.
facebook app 11

When you’re back on a your regular computer or on the desktop version of Facebook you can edit your photo album and move your recent “wall photo” to a more appropriate album. In my case, when I get a chance I’ll have to move this photo over to the “Art Supplies” album, but for now at least it’s on my page.

Hope this helps!

Fat Tag, Adobe Ideas and Sketchbook Pro

I’ll be honest, the Ipad is a fun toy. I find myself killing a lot of time with that thing in my hands. When I get frustrated with my inability to get three stars in every level of Angry Birds that exists I try to make some of my Ipad time productive. Lucky for me, making art is my job, so I can call doodle time “working”. There are a lot of drawing apps available in the Apple App Store. I’ve tried out a bunch of them and have whittled down the list to comprise only my favorites.

For this doodle session I used the following apps, in this order:
Fat Tag
Adobe Ideas
Sketchbook Pro

By no means is this post intended to be a tutorial, so I won’t be getting in depth on any of the steps. I just love “behind the scenes” stuff and assume everybody else does too. Don’t lie. You know you do.

Quick doodle using Fat Tag

I took a screenshot of my Fat Tag doodle and opened the image in Adobe Ideas to trace over the pixelated sketchy lines. Adobe Ideas is awesome because it automatically turns every line you draw into a vector image. Yeah, it’s totally sweet. Oh yeah, to take a screenshot on your Ipad just hold down the power button then hit the home button. The screen will do a little blink like it’s taking a photo and your screenshot will be saved in your photo app.

It certainly helps to zoom in a lot when you’re tracing over a sketchy line. Just look at those yummy vectors in comparison.

And the tracing is done.

Here you can see the drawing layer and the photo layer.

I might have done more work than I had to here, but I was just winging it so this is the best I could come up with. I opened Sketchbook Pro and put my traced version of the doodle on one layer and the screenshot on another layer. I could have added the drips anywhere I wanted, but at the time I thought it would be best to keep the drips similar to the original doodle.

I tossed some yellow in there and…