Sunday, 29 April 2012

Spirits

Third posting this month, I think, which is unexpected and very quick for me, really. I've been 'processing' a bunch of drawings and paintings that have been hanging around sadly in my sketchbooks, demanding attention, but I'm waiting to gather enough of each type in one place so that I can post them in specific collections.

However, I have just finished something that I got done much quicker than I had anticipated (I'm a slooow worker) - I thought it would be an ongoing thing in between other stuff, but I managed to plough through it in a few days.

It started out with the excitement of finding a lone piece of brown paper in my paper cupboard. I love drawing on brown paper, but I rarely find brown paper sketchbooks to the colour of my liking, so I cobble together collections of single scraps of the stuff, backs of envelopes, single sheets of nice toffee coloured stuff that the local art shop sells in single sheets sometimes, etc.
A fairly spontaneous doodle magically appeared on this single sheet of paper, not in relation to anything at all that I've been doing recently. And here it is:

She's meant to be underwater, but it kind of turned out as if she's... a little bit on fire.
Anyhow, this little doodle gave rise to another idea based on Venice and its annual Carnevale.
I wanted to do more than just a single picture, and I went through about fifty different ideas, layouts, even what the hell was actually going to HAPPEN in the damn thing, and this indecision happened right through drawing it out, colouring and finishing it. I do that a lot.

So, here is the finished product of all that irritating indecision:



And there it is. A page of comic-like panels depicting a single point in time, rather than the usual unfolding of events within a scene. A girl in a Venetian gondola dips her hand into the Grand Canal, unaware of the 'ladies and gentlemen' watching her from beneath the water. The middle panel is in the vague shape of a Venetian bridge, acting as a barrier between the two very different 'worlds'. The writing at the bottom is a terrible mutilation of a quote made by John Ruskin on the nature of Venice "A splendour of miscellaneous spirits." I apologise Mr Ruskin for using your words for my own devious ends...

That's all I want to show off for now, I suppose!

Until the next time,

Arrivederci!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Miscellaneous (Likely the first of many)

Bonjour!

Last post I said I had a bunch of work to show off that had no particular relation to anything. Well... that was kind of a lie - an unintentional lie. Probably about 70% of the stuff I think is somewhat worthy of show is related in some way or another to Greek myths, like 70% of ALL the stuff I've already posted on this blog since Christmas. I have an obsession... but I hadn't realised the magnitude of it until today.

But, seriously. Seriously. SERIOUSLY. SSSEEERRRIIIOOO - yeah, you get it. This is the last of my Greek myth-y submissions for a while. I promise. And by 'a while', I probably mean.. like... a month, or something. Who knows.
But anyway, for now, the following images are the last completed miscellaneous Greek Myth-y images I've done that I feel are adequate enough to post. They're all very different styles, so please forgive the messy jumble that is this Blog Post.

So, here we go.
First up, Hera. The goddess, wife (and sister <.<) of Zeus.
Goddess of women and marriage, primarily. The animals associated with her are the peacock and the cow, and sometimes also the lion. (I am disappointed that I lacked the skills to put a cow in the image and still pull it off as being somewhat graceful and goddess-like. Oh well, maybe one day.) I went for a kind of Art Nouveau/Greek patterns mish-mash here.
"Talk to the hand, pussy."


Next up, a fairly rough play around with indian ink.
Unfortunately, my scanner really hated the type of watercolour paper I used for this, so don't look too closely at it. It looks much better in real life.
This is a rather dark, gloomy interpretation of the usually fairly happy or otherwise peaceful Hippocampus - or, Half horse/half fish. For someone who drew horses almost exclusively up until the age of 12, they sure are a bit of a challenge.




And, finally, one I finished just recently.
A pencil drawing, toned and coloured slightly in photoshop.
A depiction of someone (not necessarily Jason, as the real myth suggests) stealing the fabled Golden Fleece from the unsleeping Colchian Dragon who was meant to be guarding it. Dragon be mad.
Most Greek dragons are said to be serpentine, and the Colchian dragon was described as having 3 tongues, but apart from that, few other details are given of him. So, since he was guarding a ram's golden fleece, I gave him ram-like horns.


(((Click for full view)))


And, that's it, for now!
No more Greek stuff. At least for a few weeks.
I'll save the genuinely random images that I have ready to show for when I have collected a few more to create distinct categories for them.

Now, I've been given a rather fabulous encyclopaedia of World Mythology by a very good Swedish friend, and I'm off to read it some more! ;)

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Me Gusta

Greetings and salutations, peasants!

Heh...

I don't have a whole load of stuff to show you, really. I mean, I do, but right now I only really want to focus on one thing - something I started ages ago, then abandoned, then took up again and finished.

Once again, surprise, surprise, surprise - so much surprise anyone with a heart condition should probably avert their gaze - it is inspired, at least vaguely, by Greek Myth. By my 'Erebus' comic page (which can be viewed in a couple of posts prior to this one), to be precise.

I started it having no idea how to proceed in colouring it - whether it should be black and white, ink, pencil, paint, digital... I really couldn't make up my mind.
I left the idea alone for several weeks, until I rediscovered an image I had saved on my computer in my 'amaze-balls' folder, from the front cover of a book of short comic stories. I remember being quite amazed by the image, partly because it's a very nice image, but mostly because, if you look at it closely, you can see that all the little details in the image are in fact very scruffily painted in - a single stroke to make a window, scratchy, scribbled brushstrokes to define shadow and other details, but from a distance it looks meticulously painted:

(Image on the cover of the 'Flight' anthology of short comic stories,
 published by Image Comics/Ballentine Books)

I've always been in awe of people who can slap paint (real and digital) around quite haphazardly and come out with a professional, clean-looking image.
When I happen to give it a try - painting in a slightly impressionistic way that suggests quick, rough strokes to give the impression of detail and professionalism - my images usually come out looking like what they are - a mess:


Yeah...

But, finding that "Flight" image again for some reason made me take up my graphics tablet and accompanying pen and slap some digital paint haphazardly around on a digital canvas in the hopes that a half-decent image might form based around the 'Erebus'-inspired idea I had abandoned.

Wanna see the result?


So, what is it?
It's a vaguely Ancient Greek-ish town made from books and candles.
I imagine the inhabitants of this unmitigated fire hazard worship the distant grandfather clock as some sort of deity. It chimes the hours away for them, provided they offer it a sacrificial silverfish each and every morning.

As earlier suggested, I didn't want to go into huge detail - keeping the image busy but not weighed down with things like text on book spines etc. I'm fairly pleased with it.


Welp, that's what I wanted to show you - all the other images I have to show are largely random bits and pieces that I'll bunch together in 'bits and pieces' post at a later date.

Turrah for now!