Photography: Toying with lightning

In my path to learning more about photography, I’m keeping my art sense in mind when I shoot things. The big idea behind much of my art is to simply try new things, to experiment with new methods. Along those lines, I decided to try shooting some lightning.

Conveniently, there was an angry storm outside, so my idea was timed pretty well.

I set up the tripod just inside the back door, with my Canon T3i mounted on top. Having (unsuccessfully) tried to shoot the moon, I figured similar settings would be a good idea (failure is how I decide on good ideas).… Read the rest

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Photography: Of Flowers and Camera RAW

As with art, writing, and everything else that I do, I like to experiment. Often, that experimentation is very raw, very chaotic, and can lead to fascinating places. Other times, the experimentation is more clear, more precise, and still leads to interesting places.

In this case, I wanted to try taking some shots of the flowers in our backyard. It was a chance to work more with photography, to try and understand all of the nuances that go into taking a good picture. On the flip side, it also meant that I could work with Camera RAW, something that I’ve been getting very interested in.… Read the rest

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New Ink Art and Alphabeast: M is for Mummy

Quite awhile back, when I was first getting back into inking, I created an ink based on the Im-Ho-Tep/Mummy character from the 1932 film version of The Mummy (see it here). The idea with that one was to work from a photo, something I hadn’t done much (if ever), to recreate the iconic face of Karloff’s mummy.

Since then, I’ve wanted to create a different mummy, one that didn’t rely on any photos at all. I’m getting confident with my ink work again, so I wanted to abandon the photo reference and just create something new.… Read the rest

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New acrylic painting: Selene at Bonifacio

A few months ago, a former graphic design client of mine asked me to do a traditional painting for her, something she could give away as a present. She had been on a long trip to the Mediterranean, and wanted to repay her hosts with something more than just a “thank you” card.

I thought it would be a good challenge, and something that I might learn a lot from, so I said yes. This would be something radically different from my normal works. No monsters, nothing creepy. In fact, it needed to be bright, inviting, and quite detailed in the accuracy of both the region and the yacht that carried them for the week.… Read the rest

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Alphabeasts: E is for Eloko

I’m having fun with the Alphabeasts project (visit http://alphabeasts.tumblr.com/ for more info), it’s making me really think about what I want to do for it. The creatures are all different as well, so it’s a good challenge to come up with different textures and ideas. On top of that, getting away from working with photos, while a good project on its own, has been good for my confidence.

This week’s creature is an Eloko, from the Mongo-Nkundo language. It’s a sort of dwarf creature, mean as all can be. Here’s a description from http://www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/Eloko:

The Biloko [plural for Eloko] live in hollow trees and are dressed only in leaves.Read the rest

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New Painting: Darkness on the Path

I’ve been trying lately to get on a schedule of having regular, smaller works completed. The last month has proven instead to confound that plan, but I’m still hoping to get that worked out.

Case in point, my new painting for today. It’s meant to be a smaller, less involved painting, and for the overall series I think it will fit right in. The idea behind the smaller works is to do less complex ideas, versus the detail that I add on the larger pieces and digital works.

This idea came about mostly because of the dark figure in the center of the painting.… Read the rest

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The Tools and Materials I Use, Part 1: Stock, ink, pencils

Whenever I’m on Twitter (and, to a lesser extent, Facebook and Google +), there always seems to be these great discussions about the type of materials and tools that artists use in their art. Often there are similarities, and quite often too there are new and cool things that I hadn’t heard of before.

I thought it would be a good idea to share what I use to create art, at least traditional art. My digital art is easy enough to explain, it’s Photoshop and a Wacom tablet. But with traditional media, there are so many different combinations and so many different things to try that it’s great to experiment with them all.… Read the rest

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New Ink Art and working with reference: Cthulhucraft

I’ve been itching to do more ink work lately, and I decided over the weekend that H.P. Lovecraft’s birthday was a great chance to work something in.

The trick, of course, in doing art of a recognizable character (or person) is that you just have to get it right. Sure, there is some leeway here and there, some space to be an artist. But the essence of the character has to be correct, or all is lost.

With the ink art I’ve been doing in the last year, I’ve been trying to get as close as I can to the characters and still leave open that ability for my own art to sneak through.… Read the rest

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Social networks and the artist

There are a lot of social networks out there, and often as an artist it can be difficult to choose which ones would be best. There’s something to be said for really needing to be doing art all the time, but I don’t think that’s quite fair.

In my situation, as it is from many others (that I’ve heard), I not only need to be finishing work on current projects but I need to be looking for the next gig in line too. Submissions are a great place to keep things going of course, but being on the social networks can help in many ways too.… Read the rest

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My art technique and artist bookshelves

A few years back, I wrote an article about the art technique books I have (it’s here). I thought it might be a good time to revisit that, as well as post some of the artist books that I have as well.

However, reading a bunch of text is probably pretty boring, and artists are visual people, so I decided to just take photos of the books I have. There are plenty of books that, if you’ve seen them here, might now be easier to recognize in the stores.

I’m particularly picky about the books I buy, I’m looking for great quality and for books I’ll probably flip through on occasion.… Read the rest

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From start to finish: Christopher

I’ve been considering doing an ink work of something from the film District 9 for some time, and I finally decided to fit it in here. I managed to fit it in between two other commissioned pieces (call it a “break”).

I also decided that, instead of just an ink work, I’d have fun with it. I’ll probably still go back and do a normal ink work of something from District 9, but this one was fun.

This is the character Christopher from the film. Well, it will be when you see that I’m done with it.… Read the rest

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New Ink Work: The Hard Night

Sometimes when I’m thinking of doing some art, I get a good idea going. Some concept, or some particular scene grabs me and I want to get art made of it.

Today was no different, as I’d had an idea for another ink work based on some old noir films. I thought that not only would it be fun to try, but there would also be the challenge of texture again like the Lorre/M piece.

So I started in working on it, and, actually, it wasn’t too bad. But, as with all things, the little issues started to bug me, and I started getting dragged into the old “you’re not good enough for this” thought pattern.… Read the rest

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Stepping back: comparing the ink project

I decided that it might not be a bad idea to take a step back and look at the inks I’ve been working on.

For those that haven’t been following (I know, I know, no one has been), I started doing ink cards and ink works late last year as a way to learn more from photos and film.

I wanted to learn more about lighting, about texture, and about things that I can’t just pull from my head. Most of the work over the years has been right from my head, either as an original piece or based on a story.… Read the rest

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Photos from New Mexico

I’m still getting settled into our new house, but I thought I’d best post something (just so no one thinks I died or anything).

These photos were taken on our trip to New Mexico in May, and I thought they turned out pretty well.  These in particular are from Santa Fe, though we went a few other places too.

Hopefully there will be some new art posted before too long as well, keep your fingers crossed.

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