Monday, September 30, 2013

850 - John The Baptist, Part I

Post number 850 for JSVB: I am starting a new icon.  Do you see John The Baptist?  If so, you are holier than me.  It's either a grassy knoll or a green Wookiee.  I would make this Chewbacca, too, if I hadn't gilded it already.  Gold is expensive. 
Thoughts on Chewbacca as a John The Baptist figure in Star Wars: both were hairy, both were present at the dunking of the Saviour Of The Universe, one at the banks of the River Jordan, the other in trash compactor 3263827.  I am certain I am not the first one to make these connections, so I will just stop here.  Next week, we'll see some facial colour, so this will be better defined.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

849 - Fish Farm Factory Freight

I brought my sketchbook to a meeting I had to attend.  For once the sketches, although very quick and almost random, helped crystallize some of the thoughts the group had. 
Some days, I can believe that I would last almost a whole day shackled to an office cubicle.

Friday, September 27, 2013

848 - Gummi Spiders

Auugh, yet another of a thousand and a thousand pictures of Hallowe'en candy to be seen on the Internet from more than a month before Hallowe'en.
Emphatic NO!  It's not treats for Hallowe'en at all: it's spider-shaped Back-To-School Candy!  Stay in school, kids, or the Great Pumpkin  Giant Spider will getcha! 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

847 - "Enterprise Lounge"

Here is the final artwork for a little bit of leisure time in the Enterprise Lounge.
If Captain Kirk spent time in the lounge, he was often in the company of his first officer, Mr. Spock, and they would play chess.  Yeoman Rand spent quite a bit of time close to the Captain as well, so I thought it would not be too far of a stretch to depict them playing cards.  The game they are playing is the inspiration for this artwork, but I will talk about that in another JSVB post in the future.
Before she "transferred off the ship", the Yeoman Rand character was planned as the lead female for the original Star Trek series.  Just as Janice Rand was universally liked on the Enterprise, Grace Lee Whitney, the actor that played Rand, was reported to be well regarded on the Star Trek set.  Even so, many dark rumours surround the early departure of Whitney from the series, including abuse and alcoholism. 
It's my thought that Kirk and Rand could share a bottle of Saurian Brandy responsibly over a friendly game of cards, so that's what I drew.

Monday, September 23, 2013

846 - Lounge Nearly Complete

So close to finishing!  I need to colour the game cards and run some blending operations.  This should not take long, but I am out of time for working on this today.  Maybe I will finish it tomorrow.  I look forward to that. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

845 - Lounge In Detail

I'm plugging away at the details on my Enterprise lounge picture.  This is work.  Most of the flat colours are at the bottom part of the piece, and you can see the difference between the blocked-in areas and the finished ones.  Fortunately, the characters turned out as I had expected.  I am getting close to finally finishing this project, which will free me up to do other things, eventually.

Friday, September 20, 2013

844 - Talk Like A Pirate Day


I don't often make corrections to previous JSVB posts.  However, my wife pointed out that yesterday was "International Talk Like A Pirate Day", and not "International Talk Like H. Poirot Day", which was what I had thought.  I apologise most deeply for any anguish or confusion yesterday's post may have caused.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

843 - Talk Like H. Poirot Day

My wife tells me that today is "International Talk Like Hercule Poirot Day".  I'm not sure I get it since these days Hercule Poirot, mystery writer Agatha Christie's genius detective character, is rather obscure, fussy, and quaint compared to  what contemporary CSI-drenched audiences are used to, but what the hey.  My wife seems to be feeling blue today, so I hope this cheers her up some. 
"I dissect rucksacks.  It is very interesting."  Whatever that means. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

842 - The Blunderswell

Knock on wood! 
I've noticed an unusual degree of clumsy behavior all around me.  From stepping off of ladders to tripping into rosebushes, falling down stairs, slipping, straining, banging, and barging into things, people I know are ending up with cuts, bruises, sprains, and contusions enough to fill a medical textbook.  Parents, friends, aunts and uncles, in-laws, and even people who know people who know me are suddenly all afflicted by what I am calling The Blunderswell, a massive human wave of clumsiness and regret treated with Tylenol and icepacks.
Let's be careful out there!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

841 - Return To The Lounge

I took a break from working on this piece.  I was worried that I would not be able to balance the skin tone of the girl to the rest of the picture after I discovered a technical error.  It turns out to have been an asy fix after all, but I had  to sleep on it.  I am a big believer in using the first moments of wakefulness after restful sleep to solve problems.  Apparently, our brains issue the most alpha waves upon waking, and the rapid flow of alpha waves is crucial to creative problem solving.
I also started blocking in the highlights of the scene.  They might be a bit too vibrant, but I can rebalance them later.  The flat colours look drab in comparison, so it's not good to make the fixes until all of the lights are built. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

840 - Knockout Eyes

Ungood Art Day is traditionally the thirteenth day of every month on JSVB.  Here, I post my own art of the most dubious quality, hopefully a sincere project that went hopelessly bad in an entertaining way.  People like to laugh at Ungood Art: it makes them feel good, and that's not an ungood thing.  You can see the whole Ungood Art section by clicking on the Ungood Art tag to the right. 
Seems that my fallback position if I haven't made any Ungood Art within the month is to pose with things stuck in my eyes.  Ferrero Rocher candies and battery-powered tea lights come to mind.  Please click here and here to see those. 
Today's excursion into decorative eyeballs comes from some sort of rice snack.  I exclaimed, these treats would make an excellent example of crossed eyes.  And now here we are.  I added some Photoshop to make the picture look like old cinematic film stock, or at least what I figure that ought to look like. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

839 - "Roy Batty"

A cute little bat design I've come up with, unfortunately injured.  My wife and I have had some experience lately with injured bats.  Drawing them isn't so bad, I just went with mouse with wings. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

838 - Old WTP

Out of a combined sense of need and masochism, I went looking through my old animation stuff.  This is an old rendering of Winnie The Pooh.  It looks like I was working from the Disney model sheet.  It's a bit wonky, so it's probably just a doodle or some sort of practise run, one of who knows how many now. 
This design of Winnie The Pooh is the intellectual property of the Walt Disney Co.

Friday, September 6, 2013

837 - Colourful Language

To the casual viewer, you look at the picture: blip!  You're done.  For me the artist, most every entry represents hours of painstaking labour, not knowing for sure how the thing will turn out, and hoping that somewhere in the workflow there does not lurk a crippling mistake or error. 
After laying in most of the colour on this piece, I discovered such an error, just a little digital tweak that I missed that changes the entire picture.  That's why Rand has glowing skin tone and Kirk does not.  I have to decide whether or not I can correct the mistake by hand, undo a day and a half of work by blocking the colours again from scratch, or try to make a digital fix in Photoshop. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

836 - Blocking The Lounge

I've started blocking in colours for the lounge.  Normally, this is a simple, crucial step for digital painting.  Every colour element gets its own layer.  For example, Kirk's tunic gets its own layer, so does Rand's dress, the table, the red supports, the bottle of Saurian brandy, and so on.  The colours are blocked in solid.  Since I did all the tone work earlier, all I have to do is set each layer to Multiply, and the tone shades show through the transparent paint.  If I need to make a selection of a painted area, let's say to throw in a gradient or to make a frisket, then all I have to do is select the colour on the layer I want to work with. 
It's monkey work  which requires a higher level of organization and a large  number of layers.  The payoff is greater flexibility in choosing selections and colours. 
I am experimenting with a new technique for applying colour, which is why the picture has a neutral buff-brown cast to it.  Hopefully, I will be able to produce a "vignette" effect something like out of a Norman Rockwell painting.  Right now the brown mutes most of the colours, but it also makes them look richer, especially the reds.  I don't know if the effect will work, so this is a gamble.  I've already had a few false starts (which I haven't bothered to post here  on JSVB), and I am fairly unsure that the hours I have put into this will ultimately pay off.  Lately, I had a musical encouragement, so I am holding onto that as a good luck charm. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

835 - Loungetone Greyscale

I am going to sleep on this.  There are a bunch of very small things I should correct in this picture, but otherwise, I believe I have completed laying out all the grey tones.  The next big step is colourization.