Illustration help?



So my friend Tanya and I are putting together a cool little project at the moment and we need YOUR help!

What we are looking for is for you to offer to do one or two small, quick illustrations for a little project that we have planned. It’s nothing major and not a huge time commitment, but could be really helpful, and hopefully fun!

So if you have a spare couple of mins to give to the AFC community, please get in touch.

May the Lord bless you,

– James

Primary Colors: RGB vs CMYK

Primary Colors: RGB vs CMYK

Red, Green, and Blue are the Primary Colors. They are the “irredicible components” of white light. All other colors are simply combinations of Red, Green and Blue.

Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow are “Complements” to Red, Green, and Blue. You’ll note that they lie opposite the Primary Colors on our Color Wheel:

Color WheelThe reasons for this are remarkably simple and easy to comprehend!

Red, Green, and Blue, being parts of White Light, are “additive.” This means that as you add brightness to them, they approach White.

Red Green Blue

In the above graphic, Red, Green, and Blue are added to each other (using the Linear Dodge Blending Mode, just in case you’re in to that sort of thing). You can see that where they all intersect our result is White. Where only two of the Primary Colors intersect is their Complement: Red and Blue produce Magenta, Red and Green produce Yellow, and Green and Blue produce Cyan.

The Complementary Colors, Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow, are “subtractive.” As you add them to each other, you approach Black (the absence of Light, therefore, the absence of Color).

Cyan Magenta Yellow

This is most useful in the printing disciplines. We use inks to absorb light (subtracting it), and the residual reflected light is what you see as the print! The science beneath the matter far exceeds an introductory tutorial, but it is important to understand that C, M and Y are subtractive and are not Primary Colors.

Note: In this case, I used the Linear Burn Blending Mode to demonstrate the subtractive effect.

You may be wondering why the “K” (for Black) in CMY if they add up to Black in the first place? The reason is that inks-both the dyes or pigments used for color and the solutions used to suspend the dyes or inks (the “vehicles”) are imperfect. If you just add amounts of C, M and Y ink together in the real world you won’t end up with black, you’ll end up with a very runny dark brown mess. It’s also very inefficient to use large amounts of ink on print media.

Black ink solves a number of problems associated with producing dark tones with subtractive color.
On your own study:

Subtractive Color

Undercolor Addition

Black Point Compensation

– Leo

Hope in the message…or the medium?

Stage Lights

It’s a very simple question yet deserves a thoughtful answer: where is your hope? In the message? Or the medium?

We live in an age where there can be a lot of pressure upon churches to have the very latest technology, to do away with the hymn books and have projected words displayed on an animated graphic or to have some well-produced video montage instead of a sermon.

None of this in and of itself is wrong but sometimes I find myself wondering whether we have misplaced our hope and are building upon sand. I’m reminded of the words written by Paul,

‘You’ll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God’s master stroke, I didn’t try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did-Jesus crucified.’ – 1 Corinthians 2:1-2 (MSG)

Wow! Read that again. Now I hope I can draw out some parallels for us as Christians and artists in particular. I’ve been a youth worker (unofficially) for a few years now and have noticed something striking. Many of the youth conferences that I have been to have had incredibly loud music, a polished band with up to three drum kits (!) and impressive lighting and visual effects and video clips – pretty much everything you could want if you had a huge budget at your disposal! The last thing I want to do is pour cold water upon all the hard work that so many passionate Christians have done for Jesus, but I still feel uneasy. It seems to me that it is incredibly easy to get so caught up in all the hype and gadgets and loseWeight Exercise sight of Jesus in the midst of it. Let us be blunt. Why is it that someone comes to follow Christ? Is it not because the person of Jesus and his love in dying on the cross becomes irresistible and we desire to follow a God who became man and is with us in all our suffering and despair and offers hope for a messed up world?

I think sometimes we put way too much confidence in the method with which we communicate. Obviously, if we have a really ‘cool’ youth pastor and a smoke machine at our youth services, will not the young people come to church and love Jesus? But what happens when the world offers them better entertainment or simply the church can’t afford to have youth services that smack of relevancy?

I don’t want to sound cynical or dismissive, that is not my heart. But this is a plea to the church to get back down on our knees and cry out to Jesus. Put your faith in the message of Jesus and not the medium.

So what does this mean for us as artists? It means that we should continue to create the very best art we can that will declare to the world how much we cherish and value our Saviour! It means that we should strive to offer Him all of our talents and follow Him wherever He may lead. But it also means that the art should not become more important than the message we are trying to convey. It means that we should draw attention to the message and not allow our art to detract attention away from the message. It means than in the end we realise that our art will not save people – the gospel will! And perhaps most important of all we should realise that if we truly desire to communicate the message of Christ through our art then people will walk away and criticise it…

‘For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;

the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.’ – 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

Love in Him,

– Joe

Presenting testimonies to this generation

Vintage Mic

“I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.” – Psalm 77:11

Testimonies are powerful things. Check out the outcome of Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4: her testimony is part of a great move of God in a Samaritan village. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you all this. Other than the Bible, the books that have most transformed my Christian view and walk have been the stories of God working in people’s lives. These have included gangsters becoming evangelists (“Run Baby Run” – Nicky Cruz), the beginning of modern missions to inland China (Hudson Taylor – “A man in Christ”) and stories of what God is doing in modern day China (Brother Yun – “The Heavenly Man”). Not only these famous ones, but also testimonies from friends of things big and small. Stories catch people off-guard who are otherwise closed to talking about God. It is easy to argue with a theology. It is a lot harder to argue with that theology when it comes through in someone’s story.

I am aware that many people do find reading difficult, or are just too busy to sit down and read an entire book of someone’s testimony.  This is particularly true for non-Christians who are interested in exploring the Christian faith. Also, just the nature of distributing books means that people are unlikely to come into copies of testimonies unless someone gives one to them directly (side note: give out testimonies! It can be a powerful ministry in itself!). Finally, many encouraging testimonies of our friends may never be written up and published.

So how can we address these difficulties of presenting one of our most powerful tools? This might be where you come in. An encouraging trend recently has been the production of testimonies in non-book forms. The story of Nate Saint, Jim Elliot and the other men martyred in Ecuador during the 1950’s was recently made into a film. Brother Yun’s testimony has been produced as a manga comic. David Wilkerson’s “The Cross and the Switchblade” was even made into a theatrical play. I see openings for more innovative presentations like this.

Consider over the coming weeks translating your own story, that of a friend or of a Christian who has greatly inspired you into whatever you do best. If you’re a painter, paint a testimony. If a musician, sing or rap it. If you’re into poetry, video making, drawing, sculpture or whatever else, there is so much room to tell of the “deeds of the Lord”. Like the Samaritan woman or the many others who had their lives changed through meeting Jesus, we don’t have to say anything too complex. We have tasted and seen that the Lord is good – let us share our discoveries with those around us!


Friday’s FYI – David Wierzbicki

David is one of my friends on Twitter, and a fantastically talented artist. I personally really love his style and want to own all of the artwork that I have seen of his!

David Wierzbicki

Age? 30

Where do you live? Brantford, Ontario. Small-ish city southwest of Toronto.

What is your favorite colour? I’ve never been able to answer this question. When I was in grade school I always thought there was something wrong with me because all the other kids could tick of their favourite colours immediately. That said, when I play RISK I’m always red.

What is your favorite website at the moment? Twitter. I really enjoy the blog at There is great, creative conversation going on at If you have any connection or attraction to Missional Church that is the place for you. (Artists especially) Overall, I think as of late I’ve been more intrigued by social networking projects such as twitter than by any one website.

What are the 3 things that you most like doing with your time? I’ve been reading more in the last couple years than I have in my whole lifetime. Drawing and sketching. If I have a surface within arm’s reach it will be doodled upon. Relaxing with my wife, Amy.



Battle of the holidays

When did you first start using your creativity for God, and how did that come about? It took me a long time to understand that God really did have a use for artists. It wasn’t something that was explicit in my upbringing. Artists were generally seen as being on the outside, discontent with the respectable plan that God really had for their lives. When I went away to art college I began to see again the creative draw that God has and has put inside all of us as co-creators and imaginers. While in school I had the opportunity to illustrate a calendar for Wycliffe Bible Translators. That was the first time I had ever used my art in an expressly Christian avenue.

What inspires you? When I start a piece I often just let my pencil move. As it creates I draw from that energy and begin listening to where I’m heading. In addition: conversation, dreams, music, long drives in the car, smells, sounds, hot showers, good drink, good food, the river…

Who are some of your favorite artists? Much like the colour question, I have don’t have a really solid answer for this.
I could say Egon Schiele for the incredible life and linework of his figures.
And Gustav Klimt for inspiring Schiele.
Ralph Steadman’s influence on the world of illustration is hard to deny.
Also, my friend Ben Weeks ( is a massive inspiration for the life of his lines and the freshness of his approach and our conversations on art and faith while in school.

What is the most amazing thing that you have seen God do? I’m amazed at how he sprouts faith in the dirtiest corners of our neighborhood streets. The places where faith, hope and love have no business being are the places where they seem to be most often found. I don’t thank God enough for the times when he makes that apparent to me. I don’t know. The most amazing thing I’ve seen God do might be the way he has used the smile of a poor child to change the atmosphere of an entire room.

Do you have any particular projects going on at the moment? The biggest project I have going on right now is my work toward a theology degree. Other than that, I’m working on a variety of ideas and projects with friends; ranging from book covers to animated shorts.

What can we expect to see from you in future? I’m fascinated with the idea of creating a space for creativity, art, interaction, conversation, community, help, prayer, danger, safety, disagreement, and agreement. Oh… and firstly, LOVE.

A group of friends and I are currently dreaming of a church community that emerges out of the neighbourhood garden that surrounds it. Creativity and neighborliness are our number one motivators. Church is Art.

What would you most like to see come out of the Christian Creative scene in the next few years? Connected to our dreams of a church plant is the concept of being deeply local.

I have a real hope for a more radical localization of Christianity. While the past couple decades have seen incredible bursts of creativity from Christianity in everything from music to film it has also been a time of cultural homogeneity and borrowing.

We have been losing our locally unique characteristics as we have been told that we have use such and such music and such and such presentation software and such and such graphic appearances etc… I would love to see our church communities really embrace their local-ness and encourage the creatives among them to develop and design art and creativity that is unique to them; and not just so they can farm that talent out to entire continents.

If we can stop leaning on the creativity of a few “professionals” and start recognizing the deep pools immediately around us we could see beauty and art re-engaged by the Church.

Where can we find more of your work? My main online hub is found at My twitter account (, art portfolio, blog and more are all linked from there.

Anything else you would like to say? …Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Interview with Chad Jarnagin

In this post our friend Carole Hicks interviews Christian musician Chad Jarnagin.

Chad Jarnagin

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your heart with the readers here at Artists for Christ! We are honored to have you here. Would you start off by giving us a bit of info on your background, where did you grow up, what is your life like now, that sort of thing.
I am a songwriter, lead worshiper, pastor, & artist.. I’m passionate about mentoring young musicians, writing songs, and leading The Church in worship to their Creator. I grew up around Cincinnati, OH, and now live in Franklin, TN / Nashville where I am the Worship Arts Pastor of Rolling Hills Community Church (

I’ve toured over 1800 shows / events over 10 years including major sporting events with the NBA playoffs w/ the New York Knicks & Indiana Pacers, NFL w/ Tennessee Titans & Kansas City Chiefs, MLB w/ Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers, the NHL, AFL, and more. I’ve also led worship for conferences and conventions including Youth Specialties, State & National Evangelism conventions, as well as many worship & leadership conferences. Most of which happened while with my old band Among Thorns.

What kind of training or schooling do you have that has led to your current success or situation in life?
I went to Carson Newman College. Much of my education has come “on the job”, I have done some schools of music, conferences, & leadership training programs as well. I will truly be a student of life until I am done in the world.

What one thing do you do to find creative inspiration?
I have to find time to be in silence… while reading, writing, or whatever. When I make time for that, all the noise tends to fade so that I can sense the “still small voice”. The true translation of that really means in the “stone silence”. I believe God speaks through many things, but we have to stop ourselves to see and hear Him. With Facebook, Twitter, iPhones, and video gaming we all have our share of distractions / entertainment.

Would you mind sharing the story of how you came to know Christ and how he shows up in your day-to-day life as an artist?
When I was 15 I went through the motions of saying a prayer, doing the “right” things and trying not to do the “wrong” things, but came to find that by the age of 22 I hadn’t surrendered me to Him. I found freedom when I began a relationship at that point when I was 22. Funny thing is, I had already been in Christian music for 3 yrs at that point. I’m glad God is bigger than the religion we substitute for Him sometimes.

I create space in life to read the Scriptures, books, and meditate as much as I can. God is everywhere everyday. He shows up in conversations at coffee shops, pubs, school, and even Urban Outfitters if we pay attention. <smile>

Do you now or have you ever felt isolated as an artist in the world, or do you have a strong community of believers that you stay connected with throughout the day?
I do have some amazing friends. Most of which have their own artsy tweaks to them. The sense of community in my town of Franklin is pretty rad. There is a Godly synergy that is sometimes unexplainable.

As artists we will probably always feel a little different, which can lead to isolation. I have worked on staff at churches and have been made to feel alone. The bigger picture is to be aware of who God has made us to be. He wired you the way you are for a honkin’ reason! I am still wrapping my head/heart around that.

Do you ever use your art as a medium to help others and share the gospel?
I hope so! It’s my heart and strategy that my music, writings, and art relates to people where they are. I hope it engages Believers to respond in worship to their God. For others, I can usually begin to connect just b/c of my appearance. In other words, I probably don’t look like I just walked out of church. <wink> Music is something that everyone can relate to. When people hear that I’m a musician they are 95% willing to converse b/c they are genuinely interested in the music.

I have a few plans to use music to influence positive change in my community through my church I might add.

Do you have any nuggets of wisdom, any tips for young artists who are just starting out?
I started out in music when I was 15. Begin as young as you can, b/c you will be learning forever. Make time to read, listen, love, and create. Whatever you are dreaming, go for it. With the technical tools at our disposal today, you can do it all. If you are a song-writer, write and record it with your Mac (or a friends Mac). If you are an actor, act. Be it at school or wherever. Filmakers, shoot, film, and edit away. Designers, create, craft, and dream on.

The world is waiting for you to show up to the party. If you are a Believer, wear His name well. Don’t run from the world b/c it is different from you. Run TO it. Love it b/c it needs loving… and it needs inspiration with new beautiful, thought provoking art.

…If you are on Twitter you can follow both Carole and Chad – James

What is Color?

What is Color?

Before we attempt to control it, let’s explore a bit about what color is and how we sense and specify it.


Light is actually “electromagnetic energy,” of the same general category as X-Rays, AM/FM Radio Waves, and Microwaves. Visible band light occurs between the wavelenghts of approximately 400 billionths of a meter and 700 billionths of a meter. Blue/Violet light has the shortest wavelength, Green an intermediate length, and Red the longest wave. Visible band light just happens to be the range of electromagnetic energy we collect and sense with our eyes and brain.

Just beyond the visible band’s Blue area is Ultraviolet. Infrared exceeds the visible band as wavelength increases. The wavelengths of light are very important when dealing with optical systems because light of various wavelenghts acts differently entering particular mediums (such as lens glass, lens coatings, and even the air between lens elements).

One of the most important fundamental issues about color-one that will appear in this series of basic tutorials regularly-is that while light is remarkably reliable our ability to sense it is not. Vision may vary drastically from individual to individual-reasons may include pathologies (such as diabetes and color blindness), environmental conditions such as how dark it is or the color of ambient light, and even psychological states (the viewer’s mood)!

One of the most common methods of portraying color is called the Color Wheel. Think about a compass: The top will be 0 degrees (or 360 degrees if you wish), with Green at 120 degrees (1/3/ of the 360 degree wheel) and Blue at 240 degrees.

Color WheelThis is consistent with Adobe’s Color Picker layout:

Color Picker

You’ll notice that Blue’s Hue value in the Color Picker’s “HSB” section is showing 240 degrees, corresponding to our Color Wheel above. Hue is the technical name for what you may think of as fundamental color, while Saturation (S) is the purity and Brightness (B) is the luminance value of color-they’re expressed in percent. More on what a Gamut is and how it is measured later…

You can identify color by a number of different methods. The HSB system above is not as common as the RGB system (RGB obviously represents “Red, Green, Blue”) in which Red, Green, and Blue are used as the underlying mixing system. There are other color schemas such as CMYK, L*a*b*, and even schemas for individual devices (such as your monitor and printer). Don’t be intimidated-the strange language we use to talk about them gives a false impression of their actual complexity.

Note this Color Picker showing the HSB and RGB values for a particular color:

Color Picker HSB and RGB values

All four color systems (HSB, RGB, Lab, and CMYK) are actually reading values for the very same color. The value at the bottom of the Color Picker, which is preceded by the pound sign (“#”), is a hexadecimal notation for the specified color used in applications such as .xml and .html.

On your own study: A human vision primer

– Leo