Monday, 16 March 2009

Art Monday: shale banner progress


The new Mythical Flying Trilobite Fossil blog banner is almost complete. Here you can see the oil on shale, with oil & pencil crinoids off to the right hand side.The last few steps will be to peel the bristol off the back of the shale, and scan the bristol and shale in separately. This shale is too big for the scanner, so I may have to tilt it to wedge it in, or Photoshop-together two parts.

In the little peek of it last week, Eric Heupal of Eclectic Echoes and The Ot
her 95% suggested we don't often see enough bite marks on trilobites. Hmm. Battle-scars, eh? So far I have not put any on this little critter. This week I have taken a new leap forward in technique and invested in an Intuos 3 tablet. I know there's a couple of touch-ups I may try with it, and scars are on the list. I hope to have this baby completed in the next couple of days.

As a little aside, here's my first efforts (besides some loopy happy face exercises to get me use to the feel) with my new tablet. Remember this encrinurus drawing?
So here I've tried to mimic my pencil strokes and added two new nodules to the head, and a new elongated nodule on the left side of the cephalon. I may need to adjust the sensitivity of the pen to mimic my lighter pencil strokes. In the upper middle, I tried some light washes, and below that, some bolder painted strokes. Can't wait to play some more.

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow under Creative Commons Licence.
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12 comments:

Sean Craven said...

Hey, Glendon!

I prefer the insect-like wings on the flying trilobite -- the bat ones look cool but when I first saw a version with the new wings it just looked better and made more intuitive sense.

What size of tablet did you get? I can see a big tablet working better for a painter, but as I've mentioned I prefer a small one... I hope you're having fun with it.

The thing I like best about working digitally as compared with a lot of traditional media is that I can keep more of the initial vibe of the sketch in the finished piece. Try painting over a pencil or charcoal drawing using a Photoshop layer set to Multiply mode and you'll see what I mean.

Glendon Mellow said...

Hey Sean!

Thanks, I like the insect wings too, though I prefer them larger to the body size. It's a trade-off here because of the size of the stone.

My tablet is 4x6; minly because it's what I can afford, but many artists I admire have said they tend to work on their smaller ones more often than larger. Moving your hand to do a brush stroke on a detailed piece desn't need to be big and expansive. I think it will suit me quite well.

I'll try the multiply layer. Here I just messed with the opacity.

Thanks, man!

Traumador said...

much like sean i too also like the insect wings a bit more than the bat ones (not that i hate the bat wing either).

as for this new banner it is going to be awesome!

the criniods trailing off onto the paper gives this a feel of both a real fossil (its not completely complete, and you had to reconstruct part of it), and a visual bridge into the artistic realm of imagination.

my favourite element is the newly added cruzina (aka trilobite footprints), it gives the flying trilobite a whole new sense of real behaviour. before they were JUST flying enigmas. now we get a scene depicting one too tired, or sick, or hurt to fly, and it has to get around the "old" fashioned way of its ancestors. love it!

keep up the amazing work!

Glendon Mellow said...

Thanks Traumador, I'm glad you're digging it. I like the trace fossils too.

I may try to emphasize the pencil some more somehow.

Eric T. Jones said...

looking good! I look forward to seeing it at the top of the blog. Is that a toy trilobite up in the top of the first picture?

Glendon Mellow said...

Hey Eric! Thanks.

It is a toy trilobite. My wife picked up the excellent Burgess Shale set of toys from the Royal Ontario Museum. Came with pikaia, olenoides (pictured), wiwaxia, opabinia and laggania.

I was checking the toy for the 3-d effect, but I was painting a different species.

Hopefully this will be done soon!

Raptor Lewis said...

I love the banner, dude!! This gives me the sense of imagination pushing into reality and illustrating the benefits or effects of scientific advancements. Though, you are merely creating a blog banner, a an artist myself, I sense an even broader symbolism and potential in your illustration. I absolutely love how, though perhaps unintentionally, create a broader symbol or picture. Keep it up, dude!

Emily Damstra said...

Glendon, I'm curious where you got the shale you're painting on. Do you know what formation it is from? Seems like that information could make your finished art even more interesting. Anyway, I like your new flying trilobite - keep up the good work.
My husband got the Burgess Shale toys from the ROM too! Wish they'd make more.

Glendon Mellow said...

Thanks Raptor! Glad you like it. he rest will probably be digital when I find the time.


Thanks Emily! This piece of shale is actually the last of some roofing tiles my wife picked up from the lawn of a house in the Annex area of Toronto when they were re-roofing one of the historic houses there. So I'm really not sure of the formation. I wish I knew. Perhaps there's a way to track it down at the Archives...hmmm.

Those ROM toys are great fun. Can't wait to see the Burgess Shale exhibit this week.

Does your husband make the Laggania chase the other ones around while making alien sucking noises?

Eric T. Jones said...

That's a cool toy!I'm going to see if I can get something like it for the little pet monkeys back home.

Peter Bond said...

To capture the shale portion, you might consider taking a photograph of it and then Photoshoping it onto the scanned bristol.

Very excited about the new banner - when is it going up? (Think I prefer the bat wings over the insect, but these still rock! Are pterosaur or 747 wings next?!)

Great work so far!

Glendon Mellow said...

Hey Peter,

Yeah, I've scanned the shale and the bristol separately and I'll be using Photoshop to put them together and add the lettering. I've got another couple of projects on the go that I'm pretty excited about, so they've slowed this down.

It's funny you mention 747 and pterosaur wings - I've often thought of helicopter rotors! Eventually we may see all kinds. Sky's the limit, eh?

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