Saturday, June 30, 2018

1520 - "Happy B Day"

Had I not misplaced this image, I would have presented it sooner since it's my 'birthday cake", and my birthday was several days ago.

Backstory: A month previously I'm sitting in our local Chinese restaurant (it's very good, by the way) with my friend Ted.  We're sipping at scorching hot wu long tea served in little white ceramic crucibles that are far too hot to touch.  We look at the menu and naturally the conversation turns toward wondering why the Chinese don't make lasagna.  

We reason out the most likely list of ingredients: marinated barbecued beef, shredded.  Chinese vegetables and peppers for roughage.  Wonton or tofu wrappers to make layers, and cooked tofu on top.  Instead of tomato sauce, black bean sauce.   

Then my birthday arrives, and I'm invited over to Ted's place.  Staggering all belief, he's made the Chinese lasagna we had imagined, and I took a picture of it.  Ted wrote "Happy B Day" using Shanghai noodles.  

Of course since I'm the birthday boy, I get to have the first slice of this new cuisine.  My hosts look at me the way scientists peer through a solid foot of plate glass into a locked test chamber with the subject strapped to a steel table: perhaps after tasting this I will explode or turn inside out, or maybe the house will need to be quarantined.

Honestly, it was pretty darned good!  I'd eat it again. 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

1519 - "G&G 13: Formula De"

This is the final version of the Formula De poster for the Gaming & Guinness group.  The gigantic 30-sided dice are rolled to decide what happens to each race car on the fictional Formula De track.  With all of the text and special effects, the composition of this poster finally comes together.  

Monaco (and its typeface), Guinness (and its harp logo), and G&G ("Fraternatatis Venatus") are the intellectual property of their respective owners.  The use of Guinness with racing cars in this image no way endorses, encourages, or condones drinking and driving.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

1518 - "Monaco Formula One"

Here is the finished Monaco Formula One artwork.  This piece is poster-sized, 24"x36".  I used the colours from my colour test as samples to create the larger image, which in turn was painted over my upsampled photobash of Monaco.  Or put another way, I painted a big picture using a small picture as the source.  

I've really been to Monaco, years ago.  I remember the bright, sunny, vivid colours, and that it was powerfully expensive so we only stayed there for an hour or two.  It seems so strange to me that people can live an a place like Monaco: with its wealth, royalty, and roguish mystique, I recall it being more like a fantasy playground for the world elite than a real community.   

Monday, June 18, 2018

1517 - Monaco Colour Test

Some time ago, I received a commission to paint a poster to commemorate the Formula One race in Monaco.  Only, it's not the Formula One race, but the Formula De race, which is really a board game care race played with dice and markers on a tabletop track.  Even so, I wanted to make this poster look really official. 

I've mentioned on JSVB before my admiration for master illustrator James Gurney and his instructional books.  For this poster, I tried to employ as many of his trick of the trade as I could.

The first step was to create a mock-up model of the scene, which I did by making a photo collage of a Monaco street scene in Photoshop.  Some of the buildings you see in the picture line the route of the real race, but most are cut and pasted from other Mediterranean playgrounds of the rich and famous.  I used Photoshop's Distort and Perspective edit functions to make the buildings fit into the scene.  Then, I figured out the lighting and how the sun would stream down the road. By this time, I had an exciting and dynamic composition laid out.

James Gurney gives very strong lessons on how to create a realistic colour palette and use lighting to make the colours pop.  I started out with a reasonable palette, but the shadows were too muted and the bright colours weren't bold enough.  So I used Photoshop to advance colour vibrance to its maximum and saved that picture.  Then I doubled the vibrance by maxing it out again.  The colour set I ended up with is close to what you see in this picture. 

I used it to sample the colours I wanted and painted over my photo collage to create this colour test image.  I was very happy with how this turned out on the first try.  This picture is around the size of a postcard though; the final project was to be poster-sized!  

Friday, June 15, 2018

1516 - Blonde On The Phone

I looked at some kitschy 1950's-style clipart and re-did the blonde woman on the phone.  This one hits the mark.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

1515 - Phoney Artwork

"Draw for me a picture of a blonde on the telephone," my wife says.  

So I do, or at least start to, but the artwork stinks because I'm not using a proper model or references.  

Welcome to Ungood Art Day, traditionally the thirteenth day of every month on JSVB.  Most artists try to always show their best art.  On Ungood Art Day, I'll put up something that didn't go well for whatever reason.  I'll next show a version of this piece where I restart and do it better.  


Monday, June 11, 2018

1514 - Constructing A Superior Woman

The Marla McGivers model I created for my JSVB Birthday Spectacular (9) had me trying out a new workflow.  

I've been studying master illustrator James Gurney by reading his excellent art instruction books.  Among other things, Mr. Gurney advocates using a maquette, which is a small scale model of a three-dimensional subject that art artist can use to aid in visualization. 

Mr. Gurney makes his maquettes out of modelling clay, but there's no reason I can think of not to use a digital source.  After all, I can just paint over the 3D image with rendering applications.  

So I built a model and posed it according to a sexy pose I found on the Internet.  Who know you could find sexy poses online?  At this stage, I painted on her clothes, face, and hair mostly by following pictures of Marla McGivers from Star Trek.  You can see there are rough parts in her skin tone as well the shape of the dress.  I have a bunch of iterative saves that show my progress in fixing these elements, but they're pretty boring so I feel I only need one of these to pad out my JSVB posts.  


Sunday, June 10, 2018

1513 - "Happy Birthday To Me! (9)"

Well, another year, another birthday, another present to myself.  This time it's the sexy Lieutenant Marla McGivers from the Star Trek Episode "Space Seed".

Over the past couple of years for personal reasons that are not easy to explain on JSVB, I've developed a strong attachment to this character.  Certainly it's enough for me to try for a well-rendered portrait.

Marla is peculiar.  She only appeared in the one episode, and her treachery nearly kills the entire crew of the Enterprise.  Or perhaps a better way to phrase her actions would be as misplaced loyalty.  

The Star Trek Guide points out that although she is lieutenant by rank, her uniform doesn't have that stripe.  Her duty on the Enterprise was as the ship's historian: she could interpret what the ship found on her five year voyage of discovery in terms of Earth history, which seems to me a remarkably useless skill given the wide variety of strange and alien worlds Captain Kirk discovers.  Mind you, kirk also encounters a few "parallel Earths", but Marla McGivers is never seen to help with those.

She does find critical use when the Enterprise locates the marooned spacecraft Botany Bay: it's a sleeper ship sent from Earth in our time, and it's loaded with genetically-enhanced supercriminals entombed in hypersleep.  Through Marla, we come to understand how Khan Singh and his team came to be jettisoned into deep space.  She sides with Khan in a mutiny that nearly costs the lives of all the crew.  

Marla McGivers is one of the first crewmembers on the Enterprise shown to actively pursue the arts.  She seems to prefer painting rather than doing her regular duties, something I appreciate.   

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

1512 - "A Dirty Deed In Colour"

Click to embiggen, scroll down for a printable version!

If you're Canadian, you paid for it!  Your tax money is going directly to the Kinder-Morgan shareholders, who did nothing to earn it except prevaricate about building the Trans-Mountain pipeline and to own the land rights to said line.  I can only imagine the board of directors at Kinder-Morgan who one day had their necks in the noose trying to finance an unpopular oilsands project and then the next day they had all their capital reimbursed with bonuses by Justin Trudeau despite not having laid one inch of new pipe.  

Of course, $3.5 million is only the beginning.  As herculean as he is, Prime Minister Trudeau can't build the pipeline on his own.  He'll probably just go back and hire Kinder-Morgan since they already have the blueprints in hand.  How much will that cost?  Well, back in 2012, the number of $100 billion was not out of the question.

As part of the deal, the Alberta government pledges to carry any cost over-runs.  So: one hundred billion minus three and a half billion equals how much to Alberta?  Well, we'll see. 

Yesterday, I showed the black-and white version of your deed, which allows you ownership of approximately one forty-millionth of the pipeline (one TMP divided by approximately 39,000,000 Canadians).  You can go see JSVB Post #1511 by clicking here if you haven't had your fill of pipeline rants. 

Below is the full-size deed.  It renders to exactly the size of a Canadian dollar bill, so if you like you can save it and print it out to carry in your purse or wallet.  Amaze your friends!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

1511 - A Dirty Deed In Black & White

I have to say I'm not pleased with how the Canadian Federal Liberals handled the Kinder-Morgan pipeline expansion.  Instead of allowing Kinder-Morgan to use their own means to twin their existing pipeline, and instead of blocking the expansion to protect the environment owing to Kinder-Morgan's sketchy stewardship of their Burnaby line (a break spewed oil like a geyser into a residential neighbourhood not far from where I live), the Liberals simply chose to use taxpayer money to completely buy out the land rights to the Trans-Mountain Pipeline.  The baseline cost for that is $3.5 billion.  

So now every Canadian, all 39 million of us, are all part owners of the TMP.  I figure the Libs will be too cheap to send us deeds to our individual stakes in this thing, so I created some on my own.  This is the black and white version, which looks pretty decent.  Tomorrow, I will supply a very  snazzy colourized one that will be suitable for printing or even framing. 

So what's with 00304659 and why is that number special?  Please click here to find out!  EDIT: Well, I got the number wrong by one digit.  I'll fix it in the colour version.

I also have a song lyric to commemorate the hallowed event: JSVB Post #1501 - click here! 

Also, if you're interested in going back in time, please check out JSVB Post #627 by clicking here.  That's the point when the Christy Clark government finally decided to have a say in the TMP after months of completely ignoring Kinder Morgan.  I love how the project was estimated at $100 billion in 2012 and only $3.5 billion today.  What a bargain Mr. Trudeau the Younger has managed to get for us!  

Saturday, June 2, 2018

1510 - "Trudy"

It used to be easier in conversation to tell Prime Minister Trudeau apart from his father, also Prime Minister Trudeau.  After all, both at the time of their election were forward-thinking, youthful, and dynamic leaders with tons of personal charisma.  But then Trudeau Elder got wrapped up in the National Energy Program, where Ottawa dictated to Western Canada exactly how to collect and sell their energy resources to the rest of the nation.  The NEP divided Canada and brought down the ruling Liberal political party at the time.

So that's an easy way to tell Trudeau Elder apart from Trudeau Younger, since our current Prime Minister Trudeau has so far created national consensus regarding sharing energy resources fairl-

Oh.  Whoops!

Well, another way to tell the Prime Ministers Trudeau apart is to call ours "Trudy".  

At first I was trying for a far more South Park style of Trudy - I had wanted to call this JSVB entry "Cartoony Trudy" - but I settled for more of a caricature.  What could I possibly need with this artwork, do you think?