Friday, February 28, 2014

920 - The Wedding Version

Tinkering with the "Squirrels In Love" from yesterday's JSVB post, I added wedding accessories to the romantic pair.  It's very, very sweet, but I am not convinced the characters read better with the added detail.  Either way, it's not bad at all.  

Thursday, February 27, 2014

919 - "Squirrels In Love"

Here is my "Squirrels In Love" piece.  I think it turned out nicely, very romantic.  

I plan to use this piece as the base for some new artwork with text, but I am pleased to have this part completed.  I feel like I achieved the look I was going for, two hand-drawn squirrels in love in a warm idyllic forest.  

But there's more: I wanted the squirrels to look recognizable as people.  The pose and the facial expressions convey the composition I was seeking.  I worked from a model photo, with the two lovers (my clients) agreeing to pose for me.  I told them, hold this apple, it's an acorn, and you are two squirrels in love.   They hit the pose right away and I snapped the picture. Maybe the glass of tequila, foreground, helped.  

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

918 - Oh, That Speech...

In JSVB Post #916, I mentioned that I wrote a speech. Now, people are asking me how the speech went.  They didn't throw eggs at me, so I consider it a done deal.

Here is a picture of me at the event.  We're unveiling at City Hall a massive and most impressive new public art piece, a legacy commission carved out of Port Coquitlam's famous (and now deceased) Century Tree.   As Chairman of the CCDA, the responsibility of Master of Ceremonies fell to me, which required some speech-writing and speech-delivering. 

In this photo, I've introduced the artist, one of our national treasures, the incomparable Corrine Hunt.  If you watched the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, you'd be instantly familiar with Corrine's work: she designed the bronze, silver, and gold medals.  

Afterwards, there was a good shmooze.  My wife pointed out, rightly, that I was too shy to give Corrine my card, although I did get hers. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

917 - The Botched BG

This is the background I rendered for my squirrels.  Heavy on the classical animation style.

Only, I made a critical error with my layers, and you can see strange squirrel-shaped artefacts that look a bit like shadows.  That, and some of the colour elements are misplaced.  

Today I was too busy to make the fixes, and to be honest, I don't know exactly how I will accomplish the fixes without reverting a couple hours' of labour.  I will try Photoshop's powerful repair tools and hope they work.  


Monday, February 24, 2014

916 - Jeff Writes A Speech

I wrote a speech.  I've taught classes for years, bent the minds of hundreds of young people if not to my will then to some crude understanding of the curriculum, but it's been a very long time since I have ever been required to deliver a formal speech.  Maybe my wedding, back in 1066 (somewhere near the Battle Of Agincourt, if memory serves).

I have to speak officially on behalf of The City.  Fortunately, I know the subject well: public art.  Time will tell if the speech is accepted or if I will be run out of town like a common pygmy. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

915 - Squirrels In Colour

I've coloured in my squirrels, after adding small details like tails and making numerous small technical fixes.  Next is to render the background!  

Saturday, February 22, 2014

914 - Pic Ten Thousand

For a couple of months, I've been wondering what my digital camera would do when the picture counter reached 9,999.  My camera numbers each pull of the trigger, so it's taken me a while to reach ten thousand. 
I bought my camera back in 2009, so roughly five years ago, 2,000 shots a year... approximately five or six shots per day on average.  Not bad.  This is the camera that has lasted the longest and has been the most reliable out of my collection, so I am happy with it.
After 9,999 shots, the counter rolls back to 0001.  This shot is at my dad's birthday party.  It's low light, so everything is blurry.  Fortune-cookie wisdom says it takes 10,000 efforts to become an expert, so I am a bit embarrassed that this shot shows basic photographic ineptitude.  Still, digital photography has made me a much more confident artist, so I'll be happy to advance towards expertness one shutter snap at a time. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

913 - More Lover Squirrels

Man, am I ever falling behind on things!  I did find some time to work on my squirrels, though.  I cleaned up the lines some, buffed the poses, and tried to make the squirrel faces look like their human models.  I think if you knew the people, you'd check out the squirrels and say, "By Gar, that's good ol' so-and-so, and the other one, too!"  

("By Gar"...?!)

I'll post more when I have more!

Monday, February 17, 2014

912 - Lover Squirrels Sketch

A new project: squirrels in love.  It didn't take long for me after I started sketching to realize that the squirrels in my mind's eye were the same ones drawn sixty years ago by the master Disney animator Milt Kahl.  So, I crudely copied them.  

I will refine their poses and look next draft.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

911 - "El Banco Del Slumco"

The thirteenth of every month is Ungood Art Day on JSVB - check out the Ungood Art category! 

Today, I feature a home-made bank book.  I needed to keep track of funds both in dollars and pesos for a recent trip to Mexico, so I made my own ledger.  I'm not much of a book-keeper, though:  at one point I slipped the decimal twice in making a currency conversion and we thought we owed hundreds of dollars instead of something closer to twenty.  That's Ungood!

I predict big things for the Slumco label, someday I will elaborate on that. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

910 - "Wait"

Not long ago, I bought a Sony brand Blu-Ray player.  Sometimes, it has this morbid habit of displaying WAIT on its little screen after I turn the power off.  The word WAIT stays for ten or fifteen seconds before the machine succumbs to its eventual dark state. 

I imagine after I press the "off" button that the little tron-men inside are frantically shoring up dwindling power reserves in their futile efforts to stay alive just a few cycles longer. They call out, hoping that their godlike User (me, right?) will intervene... WAIT!!!

ROY SONY [Tronican Leader, soliloquy, on top of a large, crumbling memory bank]:  

I've seen movies you people wouldn't believe.  Miramax on fire off the shoulder of Orion Pictures.  I've watched Blu-Rays glitter in the dark near the Lion's Gate. All these... discs... will be lost in time... like Betamax... and VHS. Time to die... [ROY expires]

Some searching on the Internet bears out the truth: some Sony players are searching for a wireless Internet connection.  If they cannot find one, they get stuck in a WAIT cycle.  If this happens during a firmware upgrade, the unit will get permanently stuck in a WAIT cycle and will need to be replaced!  

Since I don't allow my new Blu-Ray to access cyberspace and some discs like to be connected to the Internet, this generates the WAIT message.  

Either that, or I'm perpetually killing off the nascent Sony electronic civilization, which frankly has become demoralizing every time I want to watch a new movie.  

Saturday, February 1, 2014

909 - Burgertime!

I am an addict.  

I've become given over to custom-made burgers by my local butcher: a top sirloin-bacon blend he grinds by hand.  Wow!  I have to cook them longer than normal to make sure the meat is done, and they shrink a bit more than normal, but boy howdy are they tasty!  The best burgers in town, hands down.