Thursday, May 30, 2013

790 - Lions Versus Artists

On request, this was my attempt to revitalize the old B.C. Lions logo.  The main part is that I have re-mounted the stylized roaring lion head from the 1980's and returned it to the illustrated lion body from the 1960's that everybody loves.  The pose is also new.  I think it was a good effort, but the Lions went with someone else's design.  That's the art biz.  I shoulda played football instead. 
I was going to save this piece for a few days since Training Camp is the first week of June, but I am hoping some scouts will see this bit on JSVB and sign me up for their team. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

789 - The Vodka Candy Experiment

Hypothesis: That candy jujubes, when soaked in vodka, would swell to twice their size and become edible vodka shooters.
History:  Most artists I know are addicts to caffeine, alcohol, smokes (or worse), or some combination of those.  An animator friend who is a tremendous artist suggested making jujube vodka shooters by soaking the candy in vodka.  Accepting that she would know as much about adult candy as she would about drawing pictures, I decided to try making vodka treats for myself.
Method: In a sealed jar, I poured equal amounts of high-quality vodka and high-quality jujubes.  After tightening the lid, I left the jar untouched for 48 hours.
Outcome:  The jujubes barely increased in size.  I was hoping they would be as big as welcome mats.  All of the colours of the candy were leached into the vodka, which took on a dark, opaque aspect.  I opened the jar.
   1) The liquid, although looking foul, smelled sweet and tasted sweeter.   I have a robust candy-flavoured vodka.  It's pretty nice!
   2) The jujubes were all pale and sickly-looking.  They were no longer chewy, but instead tended to crumble.  They weren't horrible to eat, but niether were they enjoyable.  Very bland. 
Result: The hypothesis was disproven.  The candy was unappetizing.  The vodka, on the other hand, was great!  Future note: when attempting this experiment again, use only the same flavour of jujube, or use flavours that would pair well.  Otherwise you end up with vodka that tastes like the entire bag of jujubes all at once. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

788 - A Hundred Baby Spiders

The egg hatched, and a hundred baby spiders came out. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

787 - Petergrad

This weekend, my friend Peter was awarded his doctorate in Sociology.  I very much enjoyed the ceremony.  The picture quality is a little dodgy because I don't have any long lenses for my camera - maybe I could afford one if certain JSVB readers bought more art instead of just ripping it off. 
There were many things to enjoy: Peter dressed up like a character from the lid of a Cataan game box, Peter's sister showing up to the ceremony wearing the same hat as the dear Doctor, the lovely weather, and the company of my even lovelier wife sheathed into her hot-hot red Las Vegas dress (click here to see that!) . 
I will take every opportunity to greet Peter with, "What's Up Doc?" at least for as long as he keeps his college job.  And for the rest of his life, he will have to tell people, "No, I am not that kind of Doctor."  Still, any kind of Doctor is pretty great in my book. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

786 - Love Me (Mail) Tender

The problem: a recurring suburban nightmare of mail being sent to the wrong address based on out-of-date records.  The solution: Elvis! Elvis! Elvis!

Check out JSVB Post #9 from way back when, where I drew another Elvis for another letter that needed to... Return To Sender.  Please click here to see that.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

785 - I Boldly Go

How another new project starts.  Some underpainting, some colour cues digitally sampled, other laid in by mk.I hand/eye. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

784 - Tadpole

Littlegreenfroggius Shylukulii. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

783 - Debt Waffles

The wager was that the Vancouver Canucks would win at least one game in the NHL Playoffs this year.  She even gave me odds.  If I won, I'd get not just one but two breakfasts-in-bed.  If I lost, all I had to do was make her one. 
This was one of the most difficult breakfasts-in-bed I've made.  Even though the requested meal was simple enough (chocolate chip waffles in peach sauce, strawberries with yoghourt and granola, and sparkling orange juice - not shown: lemon sorbet dessert), getting the ingredients together proved to nearly wipe me out this morning.  That, and the stupid Canucks.
Stupid Canucks. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

782 - Sickie Bunny

Hey, Sickie Bunny!  Get better soon!  Hop to it!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

781 - Scratch & Sniff

I've developed an experimental scratch & sniff artwork, see what you think.
1) Ensure that the image is in the center of your screen. 
2) Very VERY lightly brush the screen with the tip of your finger a few times.  If you are using a touchscreen, use very small moves.
3) Place the tip of your nose at the bottom of the image.  Inhale deeply. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

780 - C-3-GIMP-O

Here's the black C-3PO model I started with for my JKE-RBN7 Star Wars baseball card.  I modified this draft considerably when I realized that drawing an ebony C-3PO makes the character look like a kinky sex fiend zipped into a black latex sensory deprivation suit, complete with slave collar.  Think of "The Gimp" from "Pulp Fiction" (1994).  I hoped that drawing the baseball uniform and cap would make it look less depraved, but the drawing ended up looking like a kinky sex fiend zipped into a black latex suit wearing a baseball jersey and cap. 
I realized I had to tone down the black and add some details to make the character's head  look less like a sex mask. 
This isn't quite the actual drawing I was working on, I stopped about two-thirds of the way into this draft when I suddenly realized where it was going.  Today, I finished this draft and restored the original black colour, which just took a few minutes.  It's ungood enough for Ungood Art Day, which happens to be today, traditionally the thirteenth day of every month.  Every Ungood Art Day, I post some piece I've worked on that went horribly wrong in some way.  It's a nice shot of humble after posting an entry that attracted almost 7,000 hits in one day.
To see how the black C-3PO was supposed to turn out, please check out JSVB post #773 by clicking here.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

779 - Spike!

Thanks to my friend Earl, JSVB observed a huge spike of viewership.  He re-posted JSVB Post #777 onto Reddit, where it drew nearly 7,000 hits to this blog in one day.  That makes "Wrath Of Gandhi" my all-time most-viewed post by a great deal. 
I hope that "Wrath Of Gandhi" continues to bring viewers to JSVB.  I would enjoy more traffic, but I also would enjoy having an audience who prefers to visit JSVB.  More than all that, I like making art that pleases the people I know. 
Earl taught me a valuable lesson on the merit of hitting social media with the right message in the right place.  Hopefully, I will be able to build the popularity of JSVB! 
Thank you to everybody who dropped by, and especially you have my gratitude if you are returning.  If you somehow missed seeing "Wrath Of Gandhi", please click here to see more.

Friday, May 10, 2013

778 - The Best Ribs

It's difficult to talk about great food.  Clich├ęs are just as much of a crutch to the food writer as are stock phrases and epicurean jargon.  To my mind, the best way to describe food is to show others how to find it for themselves, either through a reccomendation or even better, a comprehensive recipe. 
I've come across such a dish in these Chinese-style ribs.  These were the best ribs I've ever made.  They were so good, my wife and I grew angry with our stomachs for getting full.  Such distractingly good ribs, it was hard to do anything after the meal but marvel at them.  For days. 
The secret to the ribs is the sauce, which requires a fair amount of work.  In its first phase, the sauce is a marinade.  Then it becomes a baste, and finally under the broiler, it works as a glaze.   The base is a hoisin combined with soy, garlic, ginger, sugar, onion, and cayenne.  If you can imagine those flavours paired with slow-roasted ribs, you'll understand this mouth-watering dish. 
I will provide a recipe for these ribs, dear JSVB readers, but not today.  I've only tried the sauce once, and I do need to make some changes before I can publish the full recipe.   

Saturday, May 4, 2013

777 - "Wrath Of Gandhi"

Please click on image to embiggen.

For my 777th JSVB post, I am pleased to present... "The Wrath Of Gandhi"!

The last few days, I've been posting my progress on this piece, but I neglected to mention the star of the show: General Mahatma "Wrath-O" Gandhi.

For the non-geeks among my JSVB readers, this is not at all the famous world leader Mahatma Gandhi revered for his peaceful spirituality and unfailing sense of justice.  This is an infamous counter-culture Gandhi who spews death, destruction, and mechanized chaos in his bid to take over the world.  

Gandhi appears as a playable character in the Civilization V videogame.  There are dozens of world leaders available to play, either as avatars for human players or as computer-controlled opponents.  Each computer opponent is given a numerical rating from 1 to 10 for several behavioral attributes.  As a running joke for every version of the Civilization game, Gandhi's desire to acquire and use nuclear weapons is set to 12/10, or a 120% likelihood that he would choose to use nukes.  

Since Gandhi in the game generally flourishes through peaceful diplomacy and careful population management, he's not an easy character to bring to full-out conventional war.  If provoked, Gandhi would much rather carpetbomb the world with nukes than raise a massive army to crush the other nations into submission.  

Some time ago, I wondered how a Civilization V game would go if Gandhi used a conventional military to take over the world.  He would go marching on the world's great capitols in an Indian GDR, or Giant Death Robot, the most powerful conventional military unit in the game, as yet fictional in nature.  I tried a few times to make Gandhi a tyrannical megalomaniac hell-bent on world domination, but typically my ambitions were aborted during the Renaissance, Gandhi being cruelly taken out by other more combative nations at least 400 years before the invention of useful robotics. 

My online friend ragan651 had a lot more success with Gandhi than me.  He took over most of the Civilization V world, but was stopped at the very gates of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.  The illustration is my what-if scenario, had he been able to break the French resitance and storm their capital in a GDR, and then rule the world unopposed.  I've tried to replicate the smudgy, palette-knifey art style of the anonymous illustrator charged with coming up with painted pictures for the Civilization V game.  It's not quite a fit for my own art style, but it's close enough to prove that the Civilization art catalogue can be expanded. 

The Civilization V GDR is your typical hundred-foot-tall walking death-robot.  My version of the GDR is much closer to the nulcear-age aesthetic of the old "Mars Attacks" collector's cards from Topps.  (For another take on collector's cards here on JSVB, please click here.)  I like the big glass dome because that makes it so much easier to see General Gandhi raging inside.  I also like the big crushing pincer claws, while the missile rack is a nod to more Japanese-inspired killer robots.  The Civilization V logo is courtesy Rdg Vitorino of Logopedia.  

For another look at science-fiction warfare, please check out JSVB Post #649 by clicking here.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

776 - Fun With Robots IV

Well, this project has spiralled out of control.  As the military dudes say, I've exceeded the parameters of my mission.  This was just supposed to be a quick project, a proof of technology.  Now it's turning into a real monster, although it's still fun to keep adding to it.
Paris burns!  I'm very pleased at how I got the hue of the smoke clouds to match the special atmospheric lighting that the French capitol enjoys.  There's a sort of golden joie de vivre amid the explosions, fires, and destruction. 
I also finished one of the robot's rocket pods and made it operational.  I was concerned that the launch blast would wreck the painstaking work on the Eiffel Tower disaster, but the smoky clouds and the tiny, faraway elements of the desperate ground battle seem to pull it all back together.  I'm also happy with the formation of stealth bombers laying waste to Parisian landmarks.  I feel that if there's a giant robot tearing apart the Eiffel Tower, there should also be a stealth bomber squadron dropping their payload onto a pitched land battle.  Does anybody else have this much fun with art?
The big question remains: who is going to sit in the command chair of the giant rampaging robot?  You will see, soon enough.