some_things_never_sleep

The texture of zombies and the dead

One thing I love about art is seeing the different interpretations that artists have. A different take on a sunset, or a new way to paint buildings, and even new ways to paint monsters. These new methods and creative views drive what I love in art. Let’s face it, especially where monsters are involved.

It can be tricky, especially if the basic idea of a type of monster is fairly well laid out. Since Zombie Month is upon us here at Apex (and it’s just eating at me to talk about it), we can take a look at the dead.… Read the rest

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Perception of the visuals: the look and feel of noir

Picture this: there’s a former cop standing in one spot, with a beautiful woman standing behind him. His gun is drawn, and he’s waiting for the bad guy to show himself so they can have a “final showdown”. It’s a tense scene, where quite a lot of bad things are about to happen.

Now, everyone reading this has a different idea of the scene. Some of us grew up on Miami Vice and Magnum P.I., so we could see a similar idea in our heads. Others of us see the action hero, the John McClane with his machine gun loaded and ready to fire.… Read the rest

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New Artwork: A Lost Night

For some time, I’ve been wanting to create another “loose” piece, using scratchboard, ink, acrylic, and seemingly everything else I can find in my office. Quite a few people like the previous piece like this, last year’s The Lost Nightmare, and I thought today would be a good time to try another.

I had picked up some new scratchboard stock, so I went to work. I had an idea of where I was going, towards a “zombie” style creature, but I just wanted to keep that as a general framework.… Read the rest

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New Ink Art and Alphabeast: Q is for Qilin

Here’s today’s second catch-up Alphabeast art, for the letter Q. This is a qilin, from Chinese mythology, and something I found very interesting.

As a creature, a qilin is (from Wikipedia and others) a creature that’s described in a few different ways. Among them is a description of a beast with horns/antlers, more of a dragon’s head, and taller like a deer or giraffe even.

I thought it would be a good challenge to try and do this one a little differently than the creepy Peg Powler I created earlier (here).… Read the rest

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New Ink Art: Tortoise Moment

For quite awhile now, I’ve wanted to do an ink of a large tortoise. I’ve seen them in various places throughout the years, and they have a great texture in their skin that I’ve wanted to try and work with on an ink.

Any time you have an ink idea with texture though, it complicates things. You only get black lines (unless you are doing a wash or something), so those black lines have to represent both the texture and the shadows. That can be tricky, and it takes a little more thought as it is being worked out.… Read the rest

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New Ink Art and Alphabeast: O is for Onryō

The second Alphabeast ink of the day is a Japanese mythological creature known as the onryō.

If you’ve seen The Ring (or Ringu), even maybe The Grudge, you probably have a pretty good idea what a onryō is. An onryō is a vengeful ghost, seeking retribution for some wrong that happened to it during life.

The most famous onryō is probably Oiwa, from the Japanese ghost story Yotsuya Kaidan. Oiwa, before she dies, was given a poison creme that left her face, especially her left eye, drooped down.… Read the rest

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New ink art and Alphabeast: J is for Jikininki

I’m gradually starting to get caught back up, after a disastrous few months. I decided that I didn’t want to end 2011 with nothing completed, so I manged to kick out two pieces of art in the last couple of days. The first was the skatedeck art, The All-Mighty Dollar (see it here), and below is the second one.

This one doesn’t quite catch me up to the current Alphabeasts letter (it’s about to be “L”), but hopefully I can start the week with an “L” image. This one is for “J”, and it’s based on the Japanese mythological character of the jikininki.… Read the rest

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Alphabeasts: H is for Headcrab

For this week’s Alphabeasts entry, I decided to stick with Valve’s games, albeit a slightly older one. From the Half Life series, there are these little creatures called “headcrabs”, which I thought would be fun.

Headcrabs like to throw themselves at you, and can be pretty annoying. With the trusty crowbar they aren’t too hard to beat (BA DUM CHEE!), but when they attach themselves to a victim they make the person a zombie. Those are a little harder to destroy, and have a tendency to scare the crap out of you when you are least expecting it.… Read the rest

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New Ink Card: The Spaniard

Since last night’s ink card (see it here!) was a bit on the dark side, both figuratively and literally, I thought I’d something different with today’s ink card.

Today’s ink is of “The Spaniard”, the temporary nickname for the character of Maximus in the film Gladiator. I chose it not only because I really like that movie (really really), but it posed a bit of challenge in texture and shadow.

The crosshatched lines, unlike a wash or a painting, have to be both the texture and the shadows of a piece.… Read the rest

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New Ink Work: Tomas

It’s not really a well-kept secret that I like the scary stuff. So, when I was looking to create a new ink work for the end of the week, I ended up with a scary figure.

Now, in this case, it may or may not look that scary. The character is Tomas, from the film The Orphanage, and, near the beginning of the film, this child comes up. I won’t give you any spoilers, but it is a pretty creepy character.

I decided to do things a little differently with this one.… 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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New ink art: Mörder

I decided that I should take a break from inking monsters, and try something that has less texture to it. Texture is fun with characters, but I want to challenge myself by working with images that don’t necessarily have a lot of texture in the important areas.

Case in point, this new ink that I’ve now completed. It’s based on Peter Lorre’s character from the film M, and, though there is certainly a lot of texture in the piece, it’s his face that doesn’t have a lot of it.

Inking his face, I had to use very light lines, spaced fairly far apart (relatively).… Read the rest

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