Feb 28, 2010

Monday ArtDay: Snow Sports (Another night in for Mike)

Actus Personus:

Big Mike: a large conjubial man with a zealous air.
Richard the Bear:  a stuffed bear with bright eyes.
Ralph the Faithful Friend: unseen and unheard.
Zelda: the Alien: a glass eye.
The 'Wife": a tall dark, sensuous and patient woman.

After a hard day down at the Bigtel insurance office Mike and Richard just loved to watch the Slalom re-runs on Saturday night Foxtel.

'Richard', Mike would often tell his wife, 'wasn't really a stuffed bear.... Richard just looked like a stuffed bear.'
 'In reality,' Mike would explain patiently to his wife, 'Richard the bear was a kind hearted alien from the planet Zog who, five hundred years ago, had been placed in a mind warp by Nimueh, the evil sorceress, and imprisonned on earth in a stuffed bear's body.'

During their drinking sessions down at the 'Cricketers', Mike often admitted to his best friend Ralph that  he wasn't sure his wife believed him about the bear.
Sometimes after dinner he'd catch her staring at him as if he were crazy.
Mike didn't care (well that's what he told Ralph anyway). He knew he wasn't mad.
Just wait till he spilled the beans on Zelda, the alien who's soul was locked in the glass eye of their new rocking horse.
Then his wife would really think he was off his rocker.

At least Ralph believed, thought Mike. Now that was important.

Feb 26, 2010

Illustration Friday: Perspective

I made another version of this one because I thought the original one was lacking. For a new perspective, I put Jack in (goatee and specs) to help Rodger and his friend along the path. (Please click for big)

The original version: Had a bit of fun with this one. Originally the rider was going to be the devil; but I cut his tail off.
So I went a different way. I think this would be a fine 'ad' for a Bank that I know. Consequently I went for a bit of 'realism'.......

The man is all dressed up in his finery, he has a confident stare; but something, somewhere is lacking. Luckily his donkey, whose name is Rodger, knows the way over the rocky ground ahead.
Or does he.....?  Only time will tell.

Thanks for all the comments on this one. I reduced the pecs (thanks Ces) and sat the pointy rocks better in the landscape...

(Thanks for looking and please click for large)
By the way there are some great links to other Illustration related pages at the bottom of this page!

"Rodger the Donkey"

Feb 25, 2010

The Return of The Black Unicorn

Thanks to the talented artist Mita  of "Illustration Poetry" for suggesting the Black Unicorn yesterday. Sorry it took so long! Please click either image for big.

The Illustrator as Stretcher of the Truth

Well thanks to the crits (thanks Janne and LDahl and everybody who commented!) I worked up the image some more. I got rid of the 2d birds and organised a flock of real Ravens to invade the artist's mind. Plus a few skulls to represent 'you know what". And some sparkles (where oh where would we, to be lost beside the sea, in darkness, to be sparkle-less ?)

Below is the full page set up. Thanks for looking! Both images are quite large so if you'd like detail please click for big!

Feb 22, 2010

The Artist as Stretcher of Truths

Hmmm. Well here she is "The Artist" herself, plucking truths from the air around her, be they birds or stars or strange words that make no sense to anyone but herself.....

Now let's see a few days ago Susan from Susan Beth Studios awarded myself and six others the above award. Thankyou Susan. I am deeply touched.

So it is my wonderful honour to pass on this award to those who I think can take it. There are a zillion grande artists on the net as you can see if you look to the list on the left, so  I'm going to choose my 'awardees' because of the diversity of styles ..... which basically means I'd like to apologise to those I left out (you, I believe, are the lucky ones.).

I'd also like to apologise to those that I chose!

Here goes. Tad-tadah!

(Sounds of clearing thoat)  "I'd like to award the amazingly fantastic "Blogger Award" (see image above) to the following amazingly fantastic 7 wonderful artists." (To see the rules go here.)

All these artists have something wonderful to offer and are well worth visiting and spending time with.

LDahl: Little FootPrints and The Labrat and this beautiful site Windy Nights

Of course if you take a cruise through the long list of artists on the left you'll find all the other people who also deserved to be on this list!

Feb 20, 2010

Illustration Friday: 'Propagate'

     "Hey! Hey! There's blood on the tines of my pitchfork," shouted Uncle Jim.
     Beside him Aunt Maude went bright red. She knew all about the blood, of course, but she wasn't going to tell Jim whose blood it was. She wasn't going to propagate any more lies.
     In fact, she realised, no one was going to tell Jim.
    He'd have to find out for himself.

(From :'Seven Ways to Skin a Cat', by Raymond Foster, Pub. 1985 Simon and Sampleton, Liverpool)

Feb 19, 2010

Stretcher of the Truth

Every Sunday night, straight after baked dinner, the boys and grandpa Oliphant would head out into the shed for a few hours. There the old man would regale them with tales of his younger days, when he'd been the Captain of a the 'Mary Ellen', cruisng the North Atlantic in search of the famous cut throat Pirate, 'Yellow Beard.'.

Recently I was delighted to receive an award from the talented artist Susan Beth , something about being a bald faced Liar. :)
"Who me?". I asked silently. But I quickly realised that all artists are 'stretchers of the truth', that it is our job to help the viewer to suspend disbelief, and  to let them enter the world that we have created, and perhaps even lose themselves in that world.
Hence Granda Peterson is a true "artist". (To be continued, where I will carry out my duties in passing on the baton)

Please click for big. Cheers

Feb 18, 2010

Dragon Method

Hello, I haven't modelled much lately so I thought I would share a brief rundown of the process. Bottom picture is the model in progress - called the 'mesh'. I used a great free program named anim8or for this, but will tweak it later in Carrara if I decide to use him for closeups etc.

The second image is a render of the transmap - or alpha map. A 'render' is like taking a photograph of the mesh. You use the alphamap in photoshop as a mask.

The next picture has a bit of dragon texture applied. You use the alpha mask to make sure your texture stays only on the dragon while working in photoshop. The texture has been given a 'pinlight' or 'overlay' parameter for it's layer. Then various parts erased to reveal the highlights on the model.

The final is after a bit of dirtying up, a few clouds added, some more texture and a few flocks of birds to put it in situ. Plus a bit of sparkle. Where would we be without sparkle I ask you. Plus a ubiquitous moon.

As always click for big and thanks for looking!


PS Anim8or is free here if you would like to try your hand.

There's more info for traditional artists moving to 3d here 

Feb 16, 2010

Humpty Dumpty

Humpty Dumpty 

In Sixteen Hundred and Forty-Eight
When England suffered the pains of state
The Roundheads lay siege to Colchester town
Where the king's men still fought for the crown

There One-Eyed Thompson stood on the wall
A gunner of deadliest aim of all
From St. Mary's Tower his cannon he fired
Humpty-Dumpty was its name

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

Well this is an odd verison from Wikipaedia!

 The image is a play with digital collage. I rendered all the objects in 3d with this image in mind, then cut and pasted and bashed them together. It was once again fun..... I've been watching some great textural collage from Janne and Karen and hoping to absorb some lessons!

Once again, thanks for looking.

Feb 15, 2010

The White Rabbit

White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don't do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she's ten feet tall

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you're going to fall
Tell 'em a hookah smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call

Call Alice
When she was just small

Well I tried something different with this one, a bit of collage, a bit of this, and a bit of that. It was fun, but very hard to do in 3d.

Feb 13, 2010

Illustration Friday: "Adrift"

Marty and Christine Geraldson saw Tim  wade out into Lime Creek at about 10.30 pm. The thirteen year old boy was fully dressed except for his shoes. Clutched in his hands were three strange dolls; one dressed as Santa, another as a medieval squire, the last as a well dressed explorer - Stanley Livingstone in turned out later. 

"Oh.... and he had something else ... a small wooden boat," Christine told the girl from the big city newspaper the next day. " Tim waded out into the creek till the water was waist height. We watched him put the toys in the boat and then he just stood there, staring into the darkness, not even shivering, but humming this strange song, like a dirge...  My husband Marty wanted to call the sheriff, but I .... I don't know why but I stopped him. There was always something odd about Tim, something adrift, as we say up at the hospital. But I never thought this would happen...."

Feb 12, 2010

Monday ArtDay: Train

Well here's Mike out in the garage with his new train. "Fun for all the Family." it says on the box.
Oh really?
All the family? Mike, your dinner's on the table and your wife is upset you didn't mow the lawn.... again.
 Oh, oh.... Poor Mike, he's just a big kid at heart. Still, aren't we all? (please click for big)

Feb 11, 2010

Old King Cole: WIP: Detail

Please find enclose a detail of the WIP, tempted to put smoke in his pipe but instead I put a small tear in his eye....

and the most popular version of Old King Cole....

Old King Cole was a merry old soul
And a merry old soul was he;
He called for his pipe, and he called for his bowl
And he called for his fiddlers three.
Every fiddler he had a fiddle,
And a very fine fiddle had he;
Oh there's none so rare, as can compare
With King Cole and his fiddlers three.

Old King Cole: Work in Progress


Well there wasn't any surf today..... I've been working on this for a few days, trying to find the right angle and the right lighting. Very hard to do with a few character's geting them all to inter-relate. I was tempted to go the dark way. There's a few variations here if you'd like to look....

The story of Old King Cole is quite interesting.

Good King Cole,
And he call'd for his Bowle,
And he call'd for Fidler's three;
And there was Fiddle, Fiddle,
And twice Fiddle, Fiddle,
For 'twas my Lady's Birth-day,
Therefore we keep Holy-day
And come to be merry.

I made an exciting discovery today, how to emulate pigment drop out in water colour in my photshop elements program. Now to use it somewhere....

2010 Show Review:

Hope you don't mind me putting this up. I'm in a small group of painters here in Newcastle. We've been painting together once a week for about ten years. There's only six of us, but we go by the name "Seven Painters." We  get publicity occasionally and it's great when we do because it gives us an injection of enthusiasm, so I thought I'd put this up.

There's only five of us showing in this one - hence the Magnificant Five. Luckily the show has been a great commercial success and is still running.

This is the review in last Saturday's arts section of  The Newcastle Herald - our big paper.

Thanks for looking! Please click for big if you'd like to read it.

Feb 8, 2010

Illustration Friday: "Muddy"

Well, this week's prompt on IF was "Muddy". I got pretty muddied up figureing out what to illustrate. At first it was Muddy Waters the muso, but I realised that I'd just be doing a three d copy of someone else's photograph; and then I was tempted to try the easy way out: a road going into a town called "Muddy Waters, Pop: 2300"; then someone silly looking pulling a face while drinking a glass of muddy water. Finally I came up with this one. Hope you like it! Please click for bigger. Cheers.

Feb 5, 2010

Sunlight and Shadow


I did this one to illustrate the concept Sunlight and Shadow. Initially I had a "bad man" in the shadows in the background, but it looked too creepy - so I took him out. Poor bad man.... Thanks for looking.

Feb 2, 2010

Little Miss Muffet

Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey;
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.

Well there is a story to this one. Why is Miss Muffet dressed as a Geisha Girl?  Why is she sitting on a mushroom and not a 'tuffet'? What is Reginald doing in the background? What's that gluggy stuff she is eating?

Illustration from: "The Memoirs of Sir Reginald Farquar, Bounder and Scoundrel" Chapter VII, pages 561-564: (Houghton and Gough 1978; copyright, 1978 Sir Reginald Farquar)

Feb 1, 2010

Rub-a-Dub- Dub

Three men in a tub,
And how do you think they got there?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick-maker,
They all jumped out of a rotten potato,
'Twas enough to make a man stare.

Well, I'm sure that wasn't the version that I recall from childhood, but it sounds pretty funny (at least it has a "t'was" in it!). These chaps have beer tankards on the supposition that "tub" is rhyming Cockney for "Pub." I don't know whether this is finished yet, or I'll work on it a wee bit more. I have a feeling I'll dig up some more Nursery Rhymes. Oh the joy of being a kid, if not in the heart, but in the brain.....