The Art of Breakfast

Watch this film in HD and full screen for maximum pleasure.

I have long wanted to make higher quality films that would show the process of illustrated journaling. I’m not a huge fan of detailed step-by-step instruction because I think everyone finds their own way to recording their lives in a journal. But I do know that seeing good films about how people make things is always inspirational to me. I love the videos Etsy posts periodically as well as small documentaries about how people make artisanal foods.

Jack shot this film with our new Canon 7D. He has an amazing ability to make images in any medium and picked up cinematography right away — insisting that we rent certain lenses and keeping my most commercial instincts at bay. Thanks to him we ended up with a slick film that still has some artistic merit.  Tommy Kane, my long-time drawing buddy, and master of his own video domain, was on hand to make suggestions and climb ladders. We shot over one weekend, then spent a couple more weeks putting it all together.  We all learned a lot during this process and can’t wait to make the next film.

Here are some of the videos that inspired our film:

90 Comments

  1. cherylrazmus

    Loved it! I’m a newbie journaler, still mostly drawing in pencil first. But sometime soon, I intend to break out in nibs and loose ink, all because of you. Thanks, Danny, for sharing. And Jack is doing a great job, too.

  2. carolsloan

    You guys did a great job!

  3. Ron Philbeck

    Wonderful Danny, Jack Tea and Tommy K.!!! Really loved it. Proper tea and all! Love the smile at 3:10. I am thankful to you for all your work, films, books, podcasts, blog posts etc. It has all helped me immensely. Cheers~Ron

  4. Stephanie

    It was fantastic! I got into art after reading your Creative License book and have since read all your other books. It was great seeing you work this way. I look forward to your next movie!

  5. Ross Gillespie

    Great film and drawing. I haven’t used pen and ink for ages….the film makes me want to try again soon. Look forward to your next offering. Many thanks.

  6. jmyrmel

    Absolutely fabulous, I can’t wait for more. What beautiful work from all of you!

  7. Barbara Daley

    I love this. I thought I was the only person that did this sort of thing…it is delightful!

  8. Lip Wei Choo

    Breakfasts should be celebrated in this manner :)

  9. Carolyn

    This is great! Loved it. Fabulous work by you both.

  10. Kemish

    What a wonderful way to start the day! Love it!

  11. Vanessa Penagos

    This was wonderful! You’re such an inspiration :)

  12. The Mad Penciler

    This is terrific and thoroughly enjoyable. I learned a lot by watching it. I’ve always wondered about your process – read about it a bit in your books but still have wondered about how you went about coloring in the ink drawings. I also learned about the liquid watercolors because I’ve never seen them used. (Now I’m wondering about their lightfastness…)

    Now I’m also wishing for some really good bagels as I’m sitting here with my first cuppa this morning. Alas, it’ll have to be toast…

    Jack has a great talent there. I hope you continue on this path.

    ~ Diana

    • dannygregory

      Doc Martin’s aren’t light proof. That’s not an issue when you only paint in books that can be closed and kept on a shelf!

      • The Mad Penciler

        I was wondering because Cathy Johnson once wrote about her surprise upon opening a journal page done with intense pencils to find a pink cat. The book had been closed. I think Roz Stendahl followed with lightfast tests. Since following that thread I’ve been interested in lightfast qualities of supplies.

      • Kate (Cathy Johnson)

        Yep, definitely, my watercolor pencil drawing (Graphitint actually, not Inktense, but same company and same issues unless you’re careful) had faded, even in a closed journal over a year’s time. Several of them…so I am kind of hyper-aware.

    • The Mad Penciler

      Actually, upon further reflection, perhaps it was Graphitint pencils….

  13. Sandy

    Wow – everything a morning should be!! Awesome Jack!

  14. journalcraft

    Great filming, great directing, great editing, great art and a tasty breakfast – what a feast!

  15. Sharon

    Can’t wait for the sequels: lunch & dinner!

  16. Brenda Swenson

    That has to be one of the most enjoyable progression videos I’ve seen! It was artistic in every way from the teaching perspective to the creative way it was shot.

    Thanks for sharing your breakfast!

  17. Almu

    Great video, but even greater drawings!!! I love it!

  18. Shelly

    Yes! This is how us artists like our breakfast! Love this!

  19. tchatchke

    Loved it!

  20. Cookie Ballou

    Thank you! That was wonderful!

  21. Sherrie Roberts

    Wonderful! Breakfast is very important meal! yummy! Some marmalade next time, Please.

  22. Jaye

    I love your video. The lighting is fantastic and it is great to see how you work (in a small way). I love the movement in your drawing.

  23. Kate (Cathy Johnson)

    What FUN, Danny…loved to see you at work! (And your bagel’s cold…)

    GREAT job, Jack!

  24. Scott

    Maybe I missed it, but who performed the background music? I didn’t notice a credit at the end.

  25. Monika Baum

    Wow this made my day!
    I came home and was disappointed to see my mailbox still empty. My colleague and I ordered Cathy Johnson’s new book the same morning last week – she had her copy delivered on Friday already and I was really bummed about not having received mine until I watched your video.
    Fantastic job, Jack! Yummy drawing, Danny! I’m looking forward to the next one :-D

  26. Rita Cleary

    Love it! Love it! Love it! Better than any book on “how to”. Of course, I was wondering how you could wait so long to eat that bagel.

    Did I say I love it? You two Gregorys are gifted!

  27. Sheryl Kessler

    That was a really great video! Very inspiring. Was the Fabriano watercolor journal handmade by you?

  28. Sheryl Kessler

    I just found the journal at Wet Paint!!!

  29. Tina

    Thank You, Dear Danny,
    and Jack with your friend- for making this FANTASTIC inspiration – so professional, so inspirational and I just have to see it over and over again- it makes me wanna draw!!! Makes me wanna paint and it simply enhances my life. Dramatically!!!

    I´ve also read several of your books and plans on keeping doing so. You´ve made me buy Art Journals and actually draw in them as well. Almost daily. Started this past New Years. Keeping some materials with me at all times- almost. GREAT when I have to wait for my sons or my mom- sitting in the car or in a waiting room- these days I´m loving it!!! Just loving it- Loving my life again!!!

    How can I not be grateful for you & your great spirit of joy?!

    I´m superexcited that you & Jack will make MORE goodness!!!

    Maybe one day- you´ll let us join in the fun in a interactive manner- like Big Picture is doing?

    Anyhow- I´m more then grateful to all you´ve done and are doing!!!

    Grateful Greetings from

    Tina in Stockholm

  30. Beverley

    Hi Danny, my daughter and I just enjoyed watching your video, she especially enjoyed watching you drawing in ink and using the Dr Martens. You blot in the same way that she does. We can get those colours here in the UK and they will have to be put on our list for when we next go into London to pick some up.

  31. Vicky Williamson

    Fantastic video as well as being totally inspirational! Makes me want to go sketch something right now . . . .

  32. Emilie

    how many breakfasts have you drawn now? Also, why did you pour salt on the watercolor? does that affect it, set it, change it in some way? great video and and drawing, you are indeed inspiring!

  33. Jillian

    More, more, more! How about a whole journaling class online??? It would be fabulous! Great film, great art!

  34. Kaisa from Finland

    Thank you for sharing your happiness with all of us :)

  35. Alissa

    YThank you for creating a a whimsical happy video, that is a joy and inspiration to watch

  36. Emie

    THANK YOU for the video!!! It is very inspirational and I went right over and orderd your book!!
    Emie

  37. Trevor Romain

    Brilliant video Danny! Wonderful to see the passion for your art in your eyes. Seeing the video brought back fond memories of drinking PG Tips in your kitchen when you invited me to contribute to An Illustrated Life. I am also happy to say that your more frequent blogging has inspired me to continue my sketch/thoughts blog again after a long hiatus. (It was you suggested that I blog in the very first place, years ago.) Also, how nice to have seen Jack grow as an artist in the pages of this blog over the years. You must be so proud of him!

  38. Gabrielle

    This is beautiful and so inspiring! I laughed out loud at the part where we see all the faces in your kitchen – seeing you draw and colour “live” is wonderful. Thank you for sharing this!

  39. Donna Jeanne Koepp

    Absolutely wonderful. Great to find you blog again (long ago fan). Lovely and I need to watch it again.

  40. captelaine

    I started on the journaling habit after reading your book Creative License… I’m hooked… loved this video… Jack is a talented young man.. great video… and I loved seeing how you draw… amazing inspiration. Thanks for all you do.

  41. Rita Cleary

    Danny….any recommendations re dip pens? I’ve had one or two nibs in the past that were definitely NOT flexible. I love the look, and want to try it again, but there are so many choices, and I don’t want to order and find out it isn’t the flexible type. Thanks! Rita

    • dannygregory

      I collect nibs from various places (calligraphy shows are the best – I often go to the annual show these guys hold :http://www.societyofscribes.org/). I have had some luck with Japanese ones but I rarely even remember the name sof the ones I by. They only cost a buck or two so I’d suggest you just start a collection and see what works for you. Be prepared for a mess and for mistakes. In fact, that’s why I prefer dip pens because they are unpredictable and give the most human line. I also like my Lamy Safari fountain pen but it has no where near the organic flexibility of a dip pen and a steel nib/.

  42. Amy Norkitis

    Your film made my day! It just made me smile from beginning to end. And I have to take a minute to tell you… I was an art student who got a job as a graphic designer after college, but didn’t really continue creating art because it took too many supplies, too much space…excuses, excuses…etc. Then, in the summer of 2009 I decided to start a sketchbook. At least it was something. About a week after I started sketching again I happened across your book, An Illustrated Life, in a bookstore. I truly believe that the Universe led me to this gift of inspiration. It was exactly what I needed, when I needed it. It is my bible, as my husband calls it. I pour over it again and again, have recommended it to others who have purchased it, and have even loaned it to friends… which I don’t do anymore because I went through withdraw. You have led me to many other inspirational artists and I have always wanted to Thank You for all that you put out there! It is amazing and wonderful, and awesome to see that your son is following in your footsteps. Thank you!

  43. Don Low

    Great! Thanks for sharing!!

  44. Irene

    Danny, I really enjoyed this!

  45. Jonie Helms

    Loved your film – both the drawing/painting and camera/editing work. Just found your “Creative License” book at the library and so appreciate your way with words. I bought journals for the kids and I, so we have begun our journey. During the film we were all wondering what ink you were using and then you gave us your supply list at the end. So helpful. Thank you for being an artist that shares.

  46. Andrea Joseph

    I bloody love this.

  47. Fern

    oh boy. it was all so beautiful and inspiring, but it was the “watchers” that nailed the whole thing for me. I hate those guys. You were the first one who I heard ever mention that I didn’t need to “listen” to them. I hope they make an appearance throughout the film in other forms. Every story needs a bad guy to conquer, yes?

  48. Lisa Cheney-Jorgensen

    I so love this Danny! It definitely captures the moment each time we work in our books. Bravo!! This has inspired me to dig out my nibs, i have become a bit lazy with my Pitt Pens. Nothing compares to the line quality of the dipped pen. :)

  49. Chris Ecker

    I loved your film! Inspired me to have breakfast right away and sketch it – too bad, it’s nearly midnight… Maybe I should have a midnight snack. The last time I did that I followed your advice to exactly draw every crumb on the bread. I did that and became soooo hungry while doing so, but after all that effort it tasted delicious. :-) Thanks for all the inspiration you give me!

  50. dodington

    I happened upon your gem of a movie just before starting my painting for the day and it reminded me how long it’s been since I recorded my process and inspired me to make my own, low-tech video: http://dodington.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/i-have-a-treat-for-you/

    Thanks so much! Very inspiring! I loved the little interlude of creepy kitchen faces… :)

  51. Anthony Zierhut

    I love Jack’s use of selective focus and the macro lens. Great compositions, really great editing (the break with the faces in the middle was brilliant, nice match to the music throughout). I did gasp, however, when I saw you dip into the Dr. Martins colors – knowing how they fade, etc., but I suppose, as you say, if the book is closed most of the time (and their colors are beautiful). Wonderful, beautiful and inspiring. Thank you for making this. That boy of yours is quite a talent.

  52. Veronique

    Hello Danny. I met your work for the first time while I was looking for books about drawing in Amazon. And I bought 6 months ago The Creative License and An Illustrated Life. And I have been enjoying them a lot. Only today I started reading your blog for the first time. And enjoying it as well. Thank you very much for your creative work and for sharing it. Thank you so much.

  53. yun

    Nicely done!

  54. AnAis

    Fantastic work, Dany!! Thanks for sharing :)

  55. AnAis

    Very well done!! Thanks for sharing with us :)

  56. Steph

    Danny, it’s the BEST how-to video I’ve ever seen. It very nearly made me cry. Amongst a plethora of media that is always, invariably, prescriptive, you demonstrated the effortlessness of the art of drawing and without uttering a word. Talking about showing-not-telling… It’s marvelous.

  57. Jane LaFazio

    OMG. fabulous, stunning, beautiful, totally inspirational. incredible production, cinematography. Seriously, a perfect little film. I’m reposting your video on my blog and The Sketchbook Challenge and facebook……..I want everyone to see it.
    xoxoxo

  58. Annemarie

    Saw Breakfast on Scrapbook Challenge! I enjoyed watching the process! thanks for sharing.

  59. Cherie's Art

    Absolutely wonderful! Such an adorable and really sweet film!

    I saw this mentioned on Violette’s Creative Juice’s website and she was thanking Kym of Bliss Artworks for mentioning it to her, so now, I’ve posted it to my Facebook page! See how you can get ‘found’? I’m so glad I found you too!

    Now I’m really looking forward to reading your books and seeing more of your films, thank you guys! Keep up the wonderous work!

    Cherie

  60. Kym

    Wonderful film. I look forward to seeing the next one!

  61. jafabrit

    I just knew you were a brit before I even read your bio, the breakfast gave you away, LOVE it. the drawing as well as the video.
    cheers from an expat in Yellow Springs, Ohio

  62. AnAis

    Just a question: where can I buy a sketchbook like this??
    Thanks in advance

  63. Sheryl

    You can purchase the Fabriano Venezia Sketchbooks at Wet Paint, Cheap Joe’s and New York Central Art Supply. I ordered the 6 x 9″ from Wet Paint, and the 9 x 12″ from New York Central (because it is closer to where I live and I received it the next day without extra charges). Both arrived and they are beautiful. The paper is smooth-ish–not exactly hot press but certainly not rough, and thick (90 lb.). I too saw the sketchbooks in the video and searched them out. I will be using them on an upcoming vacation so I cannot tell you my experience yet. But if the Master (Danny Gregory) uses them they cannot be bad?!

  64. Timaree

    It was super! I so enjoy watching someone create. Thanks so much.

  65. Lynn

    Delightful!!!!

  66. Joanne

    absolutely beautiful — have watched it over and over — music is great also — have your books and you are a true inspiration — I am new to journaling/sketching with watercolor, but am interested in trying nibs and ink and dr. martin watercolor after watching this video — thank you sooo much for inspiring me :0)

  67. Corliss Eden

    This was posted on your fan’s page – Jane LaFazio – whom I have been following for sometime now. I can see why you are a favorite of hers. I loved every second of your video. Thank you.

  68. Lynne

    Inspiring and a wonderful way to start the day! I just watched while eating my own breakfast (brunch really–it’s almost noon here.) With the others, I’d LOVE to see more of you in action.
    Thanks,
    Lynne

  69. Molly Zautner

    Stunning. I enjoyed your breakfast !

    molly z.

  70. Susanne

    We want more!!! So nice to see you draw. This was a beautiful video….Thank you, Susanne

  71. Tam

    Fabulous video!

  72. Mat

    Really, this video is fantastic. I have love it from the first to the last frame. The way it is narrated, the music, the drawings, the colors… sincerely: thanks a lot for it. Thanks.

  73. rhodadesignstudio

    Wonderful. Brought a smile to my face that is still lingering. I’m going to show it to my art class on the first day (tomorrow!!).

  74. Richard Sheppard

    Great work Danny! Nice breakfast and terrific drawing. Now you’re a movie star!

  75. Chiqui Pineda-Azimi

    AWESOME!

    now i want a bagel. :p

  76. Elena

    I wonder, how are those inks so stable. I’m trying now to find the perfect ink. Checking out black cat waterproof inks didn’t show the result I wanted.
    Recently I bought Noodler’s bulletproof black ink and it seems to take several hours to dry before being touched by water and brushed over with watercolour.
    How is that this video shows that watercolours are being painted over freshly drawn lines of a picture? What is the real waiting period for Black cat waterproof ink to dry? Seems like it is not smudging at all!
    Sorry for being so straight without overwhelming shouts =) I DO love your work and it is YOU, who inspired me to change my drawing views from academic-clean-pencil-strokes to free lines of a pen. I just want to understand how to use new materials. Fountain pen is the most close to me one. I’ve been using it since 6th grade of school and still draw and write with Waterman fountain pen and their inks. But it’s all black-and-white where I wanted to put in some colour in the softest way. But that means, inks must be waterproof. And I just can’t find out which ones won’t ruin my drawings.

  77. Susan White

    Who created the music used in this fun video?

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