Monday, 28 September 2009

Art Monday: 1st school assignment so far

Here's what I've been working on so far for school.

Our drawing studio class has a simple structure. 1st class,presentation of the assignment. 2nd class, present progress so far and work on it. 3rd class, class and instructor critique. That's tomorrow, and the final is much further along than you can see here.
Hand sowing flax seeds and fossils.

We are to do a drawing about the York U landscape. Our professor has an evident love for nature (he came to the first class with a list from the environmental studies program of every catalogued species found on campus), and so I got to thinking about York's deeper history. Like much of Southern Ontario, marine fossils can be found. Or would be. Most of York's campus was once farmland, and any larger sized rocks are gone from the soil. The rest is landfill. There's no rocky outcroppings anywhere.Ammonite shell sprouting flax flowers (incomplete).

So I have also done a shale drawing of an ammonite. I'll show that with the final next week.

My project has also gone in an unexpected direction after last week's group discussion about works in progress. I'll find out tomorrow if I'm pushing it too far from the literal I had started with.
Flax seed sprouting cephalopod.


The final is being matte medium transferred onto beechwood supports, and over-layed with mylar containing notations. I've also layered a couple of the wood supports with pumice stone medium to give it a rocky feel.

- - - - - - - -

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

Flying Trilobite Gallery *** Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ***

Monday, 21 September 2009

Fanboy Monday: superhero anatomy

When I originally posted this, I was squirrelly about infringing on copyrights, and so I called it a "Made-Up Hominid". I've tried to learn a lot about copyrights, both here in Canada and in the U.S. and a fan homage is another thing entirely. I own some moral rights to the art, but I may not profit from it since the character belongs to one of the comic companies. So. Time to "out" this drawing as the fanboy piece of art that it is. Should be easy enough. After the guess, I'll list the diagram notations that are absent in this picture (you can see the indicating lines) in the comments.

This art was done like, a gazillion years ago. Next week will feature some more new content.

- - - - - - - -
Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
under Creative Commons Licence.

Flying Trilobite Gallery *** Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ***

Monday, 14 September 2009

Art Monday: settling in

Although I haven't had very much time to draw and paint lately, I can feel the beginnings of new routine establishing itself.

The trip to York U is a long one, and I have my trusty iPod Touch with the Brushes app to sketch with while bumped and jostled on the subway and bus.

For the moment, my class on Drawing & Narrative is on Tuesday mornings and I'm taking the whole day off work so I can get in some studio time in the afternoon.


I've started and stopped so many projects lately that I'm actually creating a checklist to keep them straight. Here's where I left off the Anomalocarid Dress that I began for Art Evolved's last group gallery:


I'm using Artrage, and this image on the right is such a massive hodge-podge of techniques. I am still sorting out my workflow, and this image is on many layers while I do that. Painting over top of the existing pencil sketch seems to be less rewarding than if I had completed the sketch in ArtRage itself.

There's a long way to go, and this is deep in the Ugly Phase: that phase of painting where I almost can't look at it. It's essentially an underpainting of colours to support more detailed layers over top. Although ArtRage functions realistically like oil in many ways, I have to kind of lay down a process for myself.

Normally when painting on canvas, I pre-prime the canvas with either a raw umber or straight ivory black. I enjoy the process of painting and watching the figures edge their way out of the darkness. It's like the image reveals itself on black instead of appearing on white.

With this image, I began by painting over the sketch, meaning over an off-white. So I added heavy blacks, and they feel big and globby.And the skin isn't right. I wanted a lopsided smile, but turned it into a deformed mouth. I'll likely need to start over, delete the scanned sketch page, leaving only the drawing, or reverse the values of the scanned image.

Let's see what I can do to correct this image in days to come.

- - - - - - - -

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

Flying Trilobite Gallery *** Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ***

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Send GrrlScientist to Antarctica!

I want to send GrrlScientist to Antarctica. I'll explain via Rossetti and Audubon.

These days, art critique always contains caveats and perhaps ironic winks with the reader about visual opportunities missed by the artist.

Years ago, I inherited a great number of art books from my great-grandmother. After reading through leather-bound Ruskin, and books a hundred years old, I found a true gem.

A book about Dante Gabriel Rossetti that it is written free of irony, free of cynicism. It is a critique and a review, but one that found the Pre-Raphaelite artist worthy of unabashed, uninhibited praise. It was a medicine I had not known I needed. I re-read it fro
m time to time to remind myself to aim for that high altitude of inspiration in another human being.

Since reading this book I have wished to find another review of art -any art- that speaks so favourably it evokes a thirst to experience the art through the critic's eyes.

When Open Laboratory 2008 came out, I was stunned by one contribution in particular. In that anthology of blog posts is one by GrrlScientist about John James Audubon, the ornithologist and painter, the only scientific illustrator found in most fine art survey texts. The blog post, entitled, Audubon's Aviary: Portraits of Endangered Species rings with well-deserved reverence and love for the artwork. Grrl laments the loss of the birds now gone that Audubon lovingly captured full of inquisitive life. It's a blog post I find moving and inspiring and that has changed how I look at Audubon and scientific illustration.

Quark Expeditions is currently holding a contest to send a blogger to Antarctica for the month of February, 2010. GrrlScientist is strongly in the top few but she needs more votes. She's in third place as I write this out of 575 registered bloggers. You can find Grrl under the name Devorah Bennu, and here is her essay. It only takes a moment to register, and there are no follow-up ads or anything.

I voted for Devorah and want to see her win not just because she is a scientist-blogger who can write accurately and with some wit. I voted for Devorah Bennu because she is the grrl who is not afraid to write about the beauty she finds in Antarctica. She's worth reading, she's inspiring, and that's what a trip to the cold continent deserves. Ferocious inspiration.

Vote!

- - - - - - - -

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

Flying Trilobite Gallery ** Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ** twitter.com/flyingtrilobite

EARTH magazine article now online

In case you prefer pixels to print, the article about the Art Evolved crew is now online!

It features an interview about Art Evolved and why Craig Dylke and Peter Bond decided to start an ope paleo-art blog and community. The online version Includes the images from the print article in a rotating slideshow.

The article is here.
Art Evolved is here.
Me gushing about the who thing is here.

Thanks again to Carolyn Gramling, and the editors who made our images look so stunning. They really pop on paper.

- - - - - - - -

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

Flying Trilobite Gallery
*** Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ***

Monday, 7 September 2009

Art Monday: steampunk trilocopter sketch

My last day before returning to school tomorrow. Had a bit of time to monkey around some more with ArtRage and I loooooovvvve it. For the first time in my life I have a new computer; triple-core, 4MB ram, 750MB hard drive and magic elves. I know this may sound ridiculously provincial, but the screen is awesome. And it takes my digital tablet strokes beautifully.

I used my Intuos 3 tablet to sketch out this rough idea in the amazing ArtRage. I cannot recommend this digital painting program enough. The interface is so close to using real paint & pencil (but with an undo key!) it's stunningly elegant for a greasy oil painter like myself to use.

Steampunk flying trilobites: I've had this idea kicking around since my first year online, and I figure with the technology upgrade in my art I might as well give the little critters an upgraded mode of flying. The big one in the middle is a dirigible (I love that word.)


Here's the first one, sketched to simulate pencil. This is a digital sketch, not something I scanned. Obviously I'm happy with the software simulation of graphite.
Here's a duplicate, transformed and re-worked, this time adding some digital paint to it. Again, this is just me goofing around.Tomorrow I'm back at York U, and this term I'm taking Drawing & Narrative. Seemed like a wise thing to take in this portion of my semi-illustrator career.

- - - - - - - -

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

Flying Trilobite Gallery *** Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ***

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Published in EARTH Magazine!

In the September 2009 issue of EARTH Magazine, you can find a two-page profile of Art Evolved by Carolyn Gramling.


There is artwork by myself, Zach Miller, and Art Evolved founders Craig Dylke and Peter Bond. There's a nice interview with Craig and Peter as well. That's our headline there on the cover: Paleo-artists get creative.

My Mythical Flying Trilobite Fossil III (that makes up the current banner above) gets over a third of page 65 - seeing my own images in publication never gets old. Finding a feature article in the 7-11 in my Toronto neighbourhood is awesome. Being in there with online friends and artists I respect is shiny.

The issue itself is a treat, including the cover article about mass extinctions. Hadn't though about it before, but crinoids like the ones on the right of my banner have actually made through the 5 worst mass extinctions of all time. Fascinating stuff.

Thanks to Peter and Craig for inviting me into this online adventure at Art Evolved, and thanks to Carolyn Gramling for recognizing the next wave in art about our planet's prehistorical fauna.


- - - - - - - -

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

Flying Trilobite Gallery
*** Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ***
Copyright © 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Glendon Mellow. All rights reserved. See Creative Commons Licence above in the sidebar for details.