Monday, October 31, 2011

479 - Mother Of Tenderness, Part IV

I understand that a religious icon does not relate well to Hallowe'en.  In point of fact, it's anti-Hallowe'en.  Some years, October 31st is parties and hedonism, other years, it's just another work day.  Today, I had deadlines to meet and an icon to write.  I put on my Star Trek sweater, gave candies to a dozen kids and then got back to work.  So, if iconism is the opposite of Hallowe'en, then so is pushing pixels and wrangling mice. 

Today's progress includes numerous glazings (of the artwork, not the artist) to tone down the heat of the earth tones and to help the colours blend.  The glazing process caused an eye to drift and the chin to sag, so that's going to have to be fixed.  You can see some new basic guidelines that were drawn in as an effort to correct the anatomy.  Those, too, will get glazed over and will blend into the artwork. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

478 - Tink To High Heaven

Sketch studies of the cartoon dish fairy.  I'm very off-model for Marc Davis' high standard, but she's still kind of cute. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

477 - Hallowe'en Baby

Operation Draw Holiday Babies continues.  I've set up a line-art baby for Hallowe'en, which is just a couple of sleeps away. 

To see some previous holiday babies on JSVB, please click here and here.

Friday, October 28, 2011

476 - Fowl Balls

The St. Louis Cardinals secured their 11th World Series victory tonight in  a thrilling Game Seven showdown.  I thought it was a tremendous ball game.  The Texas Rangers put on a terriffic show, coming so close to winning. 

I've been asked about this year's chicken jerseys.  Every year, the stuffed toy chickens that watch TV with my wife and I get custom jerseys with poultry themes.  The St. Louis jersey has chickens substituting for cardinals.  Birds of a feather, and all that. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

475 - Ultimate Rally Squirrel

Only the intervention of the Ultimate Rally Squirrel could have saved the St. Louis Cardinals from an almost certain loss to the Texas Rangers.  Now we are faced with the truly magnificent prospect of a World Series that goes to seven games.

So what is the Ultimate Rally Squirrel?  It's the current St. Louis rally craze of holding onto a toy squirrel, but wearing last year's rally craze of Pablo Sandoval's panda hat.  Amazing that it worked. 

To see the panda hat in action during last year's World Series, please click here.

The background image is the copyright property of Major League Baseball, and has been rebroadcast and retransmitted without their express written consent.  If they catch up with me, my next JSVB post might be from Statesville Prison, along with Thames the Butler, Martin, Dutch Gunderson, Lana, and Sally Decker...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

474 - DFv2

The Dish Fairy, Version 2 (Dfv2).  I heard that the previous fairy (click here to see her) was not fairy-like enough.  No wings, especially.  So, I tried making her look more like the stuff you'd see out of Hollywood.  An improvement, but Marc Davis I am not.

Monday, October 24, 2011

473 - Mother Of Tenderness, Part III

Today, I worked on the new icon.  After laying down the sanquir, a dark green base coat for the skin tone, I start adding the warm skin tones.  The darker tones go on first, and then lighter tones layer on top of those, much like real skin.  

The trick, I find this time around, is that the faces are much smaller than the previous icon, so the brush strokes are smaller.  It's too easy to paint outside of the boundaries.  Towards the end, I was fighting the paint and the brush. 

At this point, the mask-like appearance isn't a bad thing, as I am laying bright colour on top of dark.  A richer selection of colours will add more life to the skin tone, and glazing will smooth out the harsh gradients. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

472 - "The Dish Fairy"

I've been busy.  However, JSVB needs entries, so I took some time to draw a quick favour.  Here is a small print poster for the Dish Fairy, who is no longer washing dishes by magic.  I'm thinking I could improve on the art and the layout, but I think it gets the idea across, which is all that is important right now.

The sweet irony is that I personally seldom do the dishes. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

471 - Blue Bridge 72

A quick, fairly conventional sketch layout using somewhat non-conventional technique.  I doubt that I will be able to post the finished piece.

Monday, October 17, 2011

470 - Mother Of Tenderness, Part II

The second painting session for the new icon.  I skipped painting on Thanksgiving.  I didn't want to get acrylic in the turkey stuffing. 

Here we can clearly see the gilding, which got messy around the edges.  That will be fixed later.  I did put down a guide for the halo.

Also, I got a start on the underspending, which traditionally is a dark olive green, sort of.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

469 - Mice, Again

Yes, more sketches of cartoon mice characters.  None of these guys have much use, at least not yet. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

468 - S.E.5 Sketch

Lately, I've been immersing myself in the lore of the World War One fighter plane.  The stories are by turns beautiful and tragic, exhilirating and horrifying. 

I made a quick sketch of a British S.E.5, which strikes me as one of the more iconic-looking fightercraft, apart from those of the "Red Baron's Flying Circus", including the famous red Fokker triplane.  Well, two wings are easier to draw than three, although I feel that I butchered their perspective in this case. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

467 - Bottle Map Of Manhattan

Yesterday (JSVB Ungood Art Entry #23) was my wife's birthday. We had a little party. At the end, we were left with what looked to me like a map of modern-day Manhattan made out of empty booze bottles. Is it art? No, but empties are a common enough by-product of the artistic process.

Here we see Limoncello, Amaretto, Grand Marnier, Saskatoon Berry Schnapps, Raspberry Tequila, Orange Bitters, some cheap sparkling wine and a local Merlot.  Not shown are Canadian Club, Vermouth, Sour Apple Liqueur, Sambuca, and Kahlua, on account of they were not emptied. 

DISCLAIMER: Kids, don't try this yourself!  Alcohol is bad for young people whose brains are still growing.  A rule of thumb: if you're name isn't on a mortgage somewhere, you probably shouldn't be drinking.

DISCLAIMER 2: Most of these bottles were fairly close to empty by the time we got to them for the party.  If they had been full, I wouldn't have been able to post to JSVB. 

TRIVIA: A Manhattan is a cocktail.  Two parts whisky to one part vermouth with a splash of bitters and an optional cherry.  I like it served chilled, shaken like a martini and strained, others prefer it on ice.  Either way, a Manhattan is served cold. 

TRIVIA 2: Despite having all of the ingredients at the party for a Manhattan, we didn't make a single one.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

466 - Venus Has A Sister

Here is the companion piece to last month's Ungood Art post.  We see that Venus has a sister, and like myself, she's a little cracked. 

Please click here to revisit what may arguably be the peak of the JSVB Ungood Art experience, "Grey Venus Rising".

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

465 - Minestrone Warrior

On-demand minetsrone soup, that's what life is like in the big city in the new millenium.  I had some stock on hand, and my wife harvested some fresh vegetables from our garden plot.  Together, we made savoury minetsrone. 

Minestrone isn't a complicated soup, it's one of those things that you throw together out of left-overs, so there isn't a specific recipe.  You do need chicken stock, tomatoes, and some other vegetables.

JSVB Post #80 details how you can make stock.  Although my recipe is for beef, all you need to do replace beef bones with left-over chicken carcasses to get chicken stock.  Click here to learn more about my stock.

Heat your stock (at least 4-8 cups) to simmer in a large pot.  While you do this, you can chop up your vegetables.  I used carrots, onions, celery, cabbage, and green beans.  Fry these under medium heat for about ten minutes in a pan with about a tablespoon of oil.  Remove from the pan (dump them into the stock), then chop 6-8 Roma tomatoes and a clove of garlic.  Fry these as well.  Fry the tomatoes until the liquid starts to boil out and the flesh breaks up easily when stirred, probably around 20 minutes.  Throw all of the vegetables into the stock.  I added about 1/2 cup of pizza sauce as well.  I had some home-made stuff left-over, but I figure you can use store bought sauce if you watch the salt content.

Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, oregano, rosemary, and sugar.  I'd estimate maybe a teaspoon of each, but add more or less according to taste.  Finally, add some good quality basalmic vinegar, which is my secret ingredient.  Again, maybe around a teaspoon, although it's easy to overdo basalmic vinegar, so be careful. 

Simmer for an hour or so.  If you want pasta in your soup right away, throw in some shells about half an hour before you are done simmering.  If you wish to serve the soup later, boil up the shells in fresh water and put the cooked, strained, and cool-rinsed noodles in the soup when you want to serve it.  Otherwise, the pasta will overcook. 

Mangi, Mangi!

Friday, October 7, 2011

464 - Exit The Yankees

Thus endeth the season for the New York Yankees, so sayeth the Detroit Tigers.  Not that I am a big fan of the Tigers, just a very big non-fan of the Yankees.  Besides, post-season baseball has been good so far, despite my lack of care or knowledge about most of the teams who are racing for the pennant. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

463 - Thanksgiving Baby

It's a little early for Thanksgiving here in Canada, but I needed a baby graphic ready before the long weekend.  Informally, I call this "Project Baby Draw".  It's my wife's idea: eventually I'll have enough festive illustrations of babies to cover the major holidays in a format suitable for colouring.

To see another baby, please see JSVB Post #278 by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

462 - "Lubarq"

Here is a sketchbook effort I coloured a little.  It's another science-fiction piece, sort of a strong, simple mutant type.  I picked up the name "Lubarq" from an online random sci-fi name generator.  There aren't many Lubarq's on the Internet these days.


Monday, October 3, 2011

461 - Mother Of Tenderness, Part I

Today, I've started to write another Byzantine style icon.  Again, this one will be of Mary, but this time I also get to have her holding Jesus.  This will add considerable complexity to the piece.  I will have a larger colour palette to work with, and I will have to learn to deal with hands and feet. 

Of course, there will also be more gold, much more than before.  Today, I started the gilding process, which is the first step in any icon.  While being  a far from proficient gilder, I found the effort easier this time around, despite the astronomical price of the gold (although there's maybe five dollars worth of gold in the image so far). 

Steve, our highly experienced instructor took this picture of me getting started in class.

To see a finished icon I have written, please click here.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

460 - Join White Squadron!

"Join White Squadron!  Yes! White Squadron!  First into battle, and first to find replacements for those who went into battle first!"

My wife was searching through some old files and came across this sketch I made back in 1999.  It's a picture of a valiant white corpuscle, a single-celled organism in our bloodstream that ferrets out and destroys disease.   White Squadron refers to the whole elite corps of white corpuscles in our bodies, and not ever to some kind of nasty white supremecist propoganda. 

The quote is in fact a total rip-off of the "Red Squadron" recruitment poster in Ace Azzameen's room in the LucasArts videogame Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance (1999). 

I've drawn warrior corpuscles before.  Arguably, the worst of my JSVB Ungood Art was BraveHelperTCell, which I drew when I was really sick.  This sketch isn't much better.  I like the concept of drawing white corpuscles as great warriors, but I have yet to perfect the art. 

To see BraveHelperTCell, please click here and be amazed.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

459 - Brave New Stadium

"Roof!" He flung open the gates. The warm glory of afternoon sunlight made him start and blink his eyes. "Oh, roof!" he repeated in a voice of rapture. He was as though suddenly and joyfully awakened from a dark annihilating stupor. "Roof!"
-Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Last night, I attended the opening game of the BC Lions football team in the newly renovated BC Place.  Here is a picture of my friend Steve cheering.  Above, you can see the spectacular retractable roof which was open to the cool evening sky. 

Although the entire stadium received extensive remodelling, the new roof is the focal point.  Where before the BC Place dome was permanently closed, now it can be opened and shut something like the iris of a gigantic eye. 

Despite a price tag of well over five hundred million dollars, the new BC Place should prove its worth to our region as a massive magnet for sport and culture.  Still, that price tag is very steep considering the size and use of the stadium.  Since BC Place opened for business in 1983, it has rained only sixteen times for twenty seven seasons of Lions home games. 

Oh, yes, and the Lions won!  Victory!  The CFL 99th Grey Cup championship game will be held here at BC Place on November 27th, 2011.  We'll see you there!

For another JSVB post about BC Place, please click here.