Friday, July 29, 2011

Always Changing

I've decided that this here blog is going to be dedicated to the pursuit of creative stuff.  I love my organic life, but I won't be jabbering about it anymore, unless somehow tied in to art or craft.  So organic fabric is cool, but no more food stuffs.  I'll leave that for the pros.  You'll be seeing some changes to reflect that, soon.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Glowing Problem

My work, my real-deal-for-the-galleries work, deals with contrasting innate survival skills, instincts, and physical attributes against those which are manufactured.  Remember Clownfish?  That's part of this body of work.  There are so many ways to explore the topic, and I love it so.  After Clownfish, I decided it might be fun to do a series on bioluminescent creatures.  Most of these guys don't just go around glowing all the time; there's a behavior associated.  So this is a twofold topic: crazy physical adaptation (glowing) and using this as a tool (instinctive behavior). But this has turned out to be an ambitious project.

I'm not alone in saying that the vision in my head is amazing, but the real world example is less awe-inspiring.  I think I have a handle on getting things to glow, but the oh-so subtle color transitions are killing me.  Not to mention, I've only tried to paint such amorphous things as jellies and sea cucumbers.  The sea cucumber was far more successful as it had more structure, and more colors.

I think I have a plan:

  • black gesso - these things live in the abyss that is the deep sea.  It's DARK down there.
  • paint with glazes - hopefully this allows for the subtle color variations that I'm after.  It seems to work on the studies.
  • paint things that ARE NOT amorphous blobs.  It's hard to suggest depth in a clear creature with a short depth of field.  I think I'll have much better luck when I start painting recognizable things like the dragonfish (love!) or octopus.
  • use oils - nothing else conveys light the same way.  Not watercolor, and certainly not acrylic.  I'm avoiding opaque materials at all cost!
If you've tried this before, or you want to, let me know what you discover(ed).  

If you're not a painter, check out these cool videos.  They'll explain exactly why I want to paint these guys. :)
There's a ton more, but I'll save them for later. 

Edith Widder:Glowing Life in an Undersea World - kind of technical, but super informative.
                     The Weird Wonderful World of Bioluminescense

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Anathema Progress

Rachel hit the 1/3 mark of her funding goal today!  And, while doing all this advertising, she has made quite a name for herself as a letterer.  I couldn't be more pleased - except for maybe when I see that progress bar hit 100%.

Like her on Facebook, and Twitter, and Everywhere else!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Open Show - Instant Motivator

Open show at the CS Gallery in August.  Deadline for submissions in one week.  Don't have anything ready.

But I will.

I need this motivation.  Anyone else trying to make something new and show-worthy in just a week?  I'll do it if it means I have to submit my sketches and studies, by golly!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

New Anathema Art

Rachel just got the third page of pencilled art for Anathema!  Alan is so stinking talented!  And so is Jorge.  Oh, and Rachel, too!  We've got the project almost 1/3 funded, which is greatly exciting!  (I say "we" like it's my project, too. Ha.)  Anyway, if you  haven't checked it out yet, please do.  And don't forget to spread the word!

Anathema Kickstarter

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hit & Run - No. 1

Last night, I attended an event called "Hit and Run Happy Hour" at the CS Gallery.  It's a really unique monthly gig, that's opening, closing, art fair all in one.  Artists pay a fee to be able so sell for these two hours. Basically, it earns the artists some quick cash, and allows us to network "without working that hard," as Daniel said. Plus, refreshments are provided. I had a great time, though socializing with strangers usually leaves me feeling pretty drained.  It was really interesting mix of mediums.  My table was between O Joy Photography and Paper Pieces by Vicki.

I brought in my patrons, and a friend who I think should start showing there.  It's a great venue, and Daniel is very easy to work with - very relaxed, not stuffy at all.  I'd really like to eliminate that idea of fine art being pretentious.  We have to pretend to be pretentious so that the wealthy will pay attention to us and buy our stuff.  It's all a big dumb game.

But anyway, here are some of the people that participated last night.  If you couldn't come out, take a look at their websites.  A lot of them are part of the Columbus Etsy team. Great stuff!

Blue Flame Leather - leather items for very, very, VERY reasonable prices! I didn't get to talk to this girl, but I look forward do the chance. :)
Cam's Crochet - great crochet jewelry and accessories.  I would have bought all her bracelets if my dumb hands would fit through the things.
Cobenick Studios - This is Daniel's shop.  Handmade paper, books, calligraphy.
Cassandra Glass Photography - beautiful candids and scenes. No website, but this is her e-mail, right off her business card.
O Joy Photography  - her photos have a hazy, dreamy feeling to them, and she puts them on functional objects!  Win-win!
Paper Pieces by Vicki - Pre-made scrapbooks.  Totally worth it, in my not-so-humble opinion.
The Roscoe Room - Suzanne is so much fun, and the story about the name of her studio is great!  She's full of insight and encouragement, and I would totally be best friends with her. :)  The Roscoe Room is her studio, and is attached to the CS Gallery.  It's much more appropriate than the insurance office that used to be there.

I can't wait to show with all these great people again!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Anathema - A Return to Classic Horror in Comics

Here's the reason I was drawing Rachel so much!  If you like horror, or comics that aren't your garden superhero variety, please help spread the word!


Monday, July 18, 2011

Night Light - The Trick

Not too long ago, I told you that I was very excited about the way painting digitally allows you to manipulate colors consistently, and therefore keep continuity and make your work believable.  I had to take an existing character, and make it look like she's sitting in the dark, illuminated by her laptop only.

Here's a little dose of color theory: the darker it is, the cooler everything looks, and the less contrast it has.

Whenever I have to do a series of images in photoshop, I create a palette layer, and include all the colors I use.  This means everything can have perfect continuity, within a single image, and from one frame to the next in sequential art.  To make a night scene as believable as possible, you must do the same thing to each color.  This is incredibly easy on the computer.
With your palette on its own layer, do a color overlay.  Use a very cool, almost grey blue.
Shoot for something like this:   Make adjustments as necessary, but this will make for a good, dramatic difference.

Then, when you pick up the colors from your palette, it will find the adjusted colors.  Paint away, and it will automatically look like cool, evening light!  Here's the difference:
Illustrated Rachel - Daytime

Illustrated Rachel - Illuminated by Computer

I did cheat a little when it came to the hair color.  The highlights were much lighter than I thought they should be, for only having light on a little bit of her hair.  This is where one must use a discerning eye and take liberties!  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Night Light

When it comes to how I choose to do things, I'm often a traditionalist.  Give me home made ice cream and clothes, paper literature, and real, messy, paint!  So when I say this, please understand how much it means:

I found a new appreciation for painting digitally. 

I had to take illustrated Rachel, and paint her as if she was in a dark room, with only the light of the laptop illuminating her.  This is not something I'd ever attempted before, but I know the way it should work.  I gave it a whirl, and what can I say, but success!  It was a really fun and interesting challenge, and will really test your knowledge of the way light works, and your understanding of human anatomy!

I can't wait to show off this drawing!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

New Project!

Rachel and I are going to do it!

We're going to start a web comic!  I'd like it if people read it, maybe even laughed a little.  But this is more important, on a personal level.  We're both artists.  This single platform will keep us working, and together, no less!  She'll have to come up with some short story, I'll have to illustrate it.  I'll gladly work on this project, dedicating time to it every week, just to keep the fires hot.  Once we finish this video, we'll be in business!

I'm excited.
: )

Friday, July 8, 2011

Illustrated Rachel

Here she is!  This is the illustrated version of Rachel.  It will be used for her Kickstarter video.  She added her initials to the background.  (RAD, in case you couldn't tell.  She's as proud of hers as I am of mine.) I've got 8 more illustrations to draw, and 16 or something to color.  At my current pace, I'm getting four drawn, and half of one colored each night.  That's three or four hours of work.  It doesn't feel like I'm getting much accomplished.  But when I consider that it took two or three weeks for Rachel's penciler to do her first page, I don't feel so bad.  

I need to start figuring out how much time it takes to do the illustration and color separately.  Then, perhaps I can start making this into a business.  My goodness, I would love to. As much frustration the hair caused me, I still feel better than I have in months.  It's like I've been missing a crucial nutrient, and getting it back, I realize how sick I was feeling.  

We're thinking about doing a weekly web comic.  It would naturally, feature us! Well, her,  mostly.  She's the funny one.  (Look for my Things My Sweetie Says posts.  Redonk!)  What do you think?  Totally lame idea, or would you read about us and look at my pretty pictures?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

TMSS: Winner!

Upon agreeing to go to the comic shop:

*alarms sound and gold coins fly out of my butthole*

You might have to have a good imagination for this one. 
I promise, it's hilarious if you do.

Drawing Up a Big Batch of Happy

Rachel and I always try to work together.  She's very much an ideas person, and I'm very much a do-er.  Unfortunately, our combined skills and ideas usually leave some kind of gap.  When she said she wanted a fairly normal, calligraphic logo for her comic, I doodled one.  Lo and behold, she liked it!

Now, we're in the process of putting together a video for a kickstarter page.  For those of you who don't know kickstarter, it's a website where creative people can collect donations to have their projects funded, and pledgers receive fun rewards.  Rachel doesn't like appearing in front of a camera, so we decided to draw her video.  Yes, that's right, I'm DRAWING the video.  I'm not fully animating it, that would be crazy.  I am doing sequential images to complement the sound.

Last night, I managed to draw 4 of the roughly 20 images we'll be using.  I got one partially colored, too.  Drawing black hair is kind of difficult, as it turns out! Nevertheless, those four hours we spent at the computer working on these drawings were some of the most enjoyable ones I've had in a while.  I was seriously sitting at the computer GIGGLING because I was so entertained.  Of all the things I enjoy, making art is the most enjoyable.

May you always have as much fun being productive as I did last night!

Remember the Zornow Challenege?  I do.  I'm still working on it.  When I post the video, you'll have to let me know how I'm doing. :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Coffee Table to Bench

I'm going to have to try this!  

I'm thinking the library could definitely use one, someday.  I love the lines of the table.  They make such an elegant bench seat!  

Oooh, the possibilities!