Thursday, September 17, 2015

2015 Fresh - June.

IMAO Link of the Day: 4of7 Is Not Trying To Avoid Jail.
   Hello everyone! I'm sorry I haven't posted anything since July. I'd like to say it was because I've been out and away on the best vacation of my life. Nope. I'd like to say it was because I've been working hard and making money hand-over-fist. Nope. At least I can tell you it Wasn't because I was in jail or on the run, trying to avoid jail. Heck, even that would make for a pretty good story at least.
   Anyway, I'm back in the saddle and I've got 3 months worth of work to show off, so let's get started.

   I continued to experiment with "off-the-grid" designs.

Still Not Quite Right, But Getting Closer. 6/3/15

4 Corner Crazy Open 3-Point Color Progression. 6/6/15

   This next one was so "off-the-grid" that it nearly flew off the edge of the page.
Off-The-Grid Rainbow Brambles. 6/8/15

   At this point I felt the need for a change of pace, so I decided to do a good, old-fashioned "Fun With Circles" design.

Dark Window. 6/11/15

   Then I went back to off-the-grid-ishness, with an element of circle-ness as well.

23 Color Crazy Open 3-Point Progression With Random Nodes of Confluence and Extra Bulgyness. 6/15/15

   This next design has a very similar underlying structure to the above design, but with a different treatment of the secondary design elements (and a much shorter title).

Cathedral. 6/25/15

   Finally, here's the finished version of that Work-In-Progress I showed here in a previous post.
To quote Commander Scott in response to the question, "What is it?" - "It's green!"

Subliminal Evangelism. 6/30/15

Update: 09/17/15 - Oops! I forgot to include my latest work-in-progress! Here it is ...

Work In Progress 9/17/15
And now, for those who have gotten bed sores from sitting on the edge of their seats in anticipation for 2 months, finally some relief! Kevin Koastie returns!

Hmm... must be I-Phasers?
And I'll award a Musey to the first one to identify the pop-culture reference in the first panel of this cartoon! :)

Update: 9/21/15 - Contest closed! We have a winner!
A Musey for Texas Annie!
   Thanks everyone for visiting my site and I hope to have more stuff to show you in a very reasonable interval of time! Bye!

Monday, July 6, 2015

2010 Quasi-Fresh - August.

IMAO Link of the Day: New Pretty Picture Under Construction. 
  Hello again! Tonight I'll be showing off the work I completed in August of 2010. I also have a Work-In-Progress, and another exciting episode of The Adventures of Kevin Koastie!
    I hope everybody enjoyed their 4th of July weekend. I saw 2 movies today. The first was Max, a film about a German Sheppard dog suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (I  cried.) The second was Pixar's Inside Out, a film about a girl forced to move from rural Minnesota to San Francisco and almost losing her mind. (I cried).
   Hmmm.... maybe I'm not cut out to be a movie reviewer! Actually, I think both films were well done, family friendly and inspiring, so you should go see them. The dog that played Max in the first movie should get an Oscar for best performance by an actor in a non-speaking role, if there is such a thing.

   Anyway, down to business! Those of you who've been visiting my little blog from the beginning and have good memories will recognize some of tonight's selection. But that's a good thing! That means they were good enough for me to want to show off out of sequence before, and now you get to see them again, in chronological order!

Collide-a-Scope. 8/3/10

Awkward Spirals. 8/6/10
This one started out as a globe, but ended up as a eight color clock-wise spiral.

Incursions. 8/19/10
I decided to try 10 different variations on a dream-catcher design on one page. I used the same color progression for all ten, so as the colors moved out, they began to invade each others territory. Hence the title, "Incursions."

Release the Kraken! 8/24/10
Snow Flake Town. 8/27/10
Well, that's it for the old pretty pictures. Now here's a new pretty picture under construction.

Work-In-Progress. 7/6/15
   And now, Kevin Koastie!

Remember kids; Don't mess with the old guys - they have knives!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

2015 Fresh - May. Seriously Off-The-Grid.

IMAO Link of the Day: Say, Does Cheshire Cat Look Like It's Moving To Anyone Else?  
 I did some interesting designs in May. I guess it's too bad I wasn't able to show them to anyone until the tail-end of June. Oops, sorry. And the Ever-Exciting, Break-Neck-Pace, On-The-Edge-Of-Your-Seat Adventures of Kevin Koastie is back as well! Yay! Let's get started, shall we?

   Years ago, I figured out that I could make some pretty interesting geometric designs based on a simple square or triangle based grid. Drawing the grid lines on the page I was working on was kind of messy, so I looked for a solution. I created my own grid pattern on a separate sheet of drawing paper, bought a clear plastic clipboard to draw on, and positioned my grid under my sheet of drawing paper.
Then when I hold my clipboard up to the light, I can see the grid through my sheet of drawing paper and lightly pick out the points I need to set the dimensions of my next design. Problem solved! Yay!

   But back in April I started to experiment with grid-like designs drawn without a grid, I like to incorporate the magical Random Element into my designs, but what if I drew a design where the Random Element was in the Grid itself?

   Yeah, it felt like that!
So I spent most of May (and June) working out the details of how to draw a design without a grid, Kind of like working without a net. So, now let's have a look at what came off the slab in May!

Cheshire Cat. 5/6/15
   A young lady at work saw me working on this one. I was carefully filling in all the black squares with a felt tipped pen, when she suggested that the un-marked portion looked "kind of like a grin". Well, that inspired observation stopped me from completely filling in the rest of the design - which is what I probably would have done otherwise - and instead I stole an idea from Alice in Wonderland and presented a grin without a cat!

And... since she gave me an idea that I could use, she deserves a Musey!

A Musey for that young lady at work, whose name escapes me at the moment!
In the last few years I've done drawings of the "idea" of beer, the "idea" of bacon, the "idea" of cookies and the "idea" of cupcakes; so this next one should fit right in.

The "Idea" of Sangria. 5/7/15
   Keeping with the 'Off-the-Grid' theme, I tried combining an old idea with this new technique, just for the fun of it.
Off The Grid Maze. 5/12/15

Unexpected Mountain. 5/16/15
I drew this with a top-down, right-to-left, crazy-open 3-point color progression. Despite the random grid and confluence of vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines, the colors flowed inextricably into a sort of valley towards the center line of the design. I didn't like the way that looked, so I turned it upside down and then it looked like a mountain! Yay!

Rough Draft (or How to Fold a Piece of Paper in Half 8 Times). 5/19/15
   I spent a lot of time at work last month (and this month, for that matter) but I couldn't be drawing every minute of the day that I was at work - management frowns on that sort of thing, for some reason. But I could pass the time when I couldn't draw but my hands were itching to do Something by folding a sheet of scratch paper in half 8 times. (Oh yes, it Can be done!)
   After I did that, I noticed that the creases of the folds in the piece of paper made another kind of grid, so I flatten it out, and drew this one free-hand, with no guidelines at all! OK, I told a lie, I think I drew a few guidelines somewhere in the center of the page where it gets all scrunched up.

Totally Expected Valley. 5/28/15
This one is a sequel to Unexpected Mountain. Same sort of pattern, same sort of color progression, (but with different colors). The main difference is that I eliminated most of the diagonal lines and Didn't turn it upside down when I was done. I wanted to see if that same sort of valley would form and it did. Now I know more than I did before. I also figured out that if I draw my random grid vertically and horizontally, the diagonal lines will be crooked, but if I draw the grid diagonally, the horizontal and vertical lines will be crooked. Huh. I guess I should have seen that coming. Still, that's something I can use so I'll store that info for future reference.

   And to finish up the month of May, here's a non-random grid based design.
A Different Kind of Bulgyness. 5/30/15

   Oh, I almost forgot, here's a work in progress. I drew it on a piece of green paper so the white colored pencil would show.
Work in Progress 6/27/15
If you can't see much white in this design, don't worry, I haven't finished coloring it in yet.

And now Kevin Koastie!

Stop! ... Hero Time!
Thanks, everyone! Hopefully you'll be seeing me post some more lovely pictures and exciting cartoons real soon!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

2015 Fresh - April (Nearly Off the Grid).

IMAO Link of the Day: Honoring Bacon. 
  Hi Everybody! Let's see, my last post was on April 25th, and in that post I remarked that I hadn't done a post since April 3rd (22 days). I started this post on May 27th, and may not  finish it until sometime tomorrow, the 28th, which should make it a 32 day delay since my last post. A New Record!!!
   I'm still drawing (feverishly) every chance I get, and I've been exploring some new design Ideas that look promising. Why then haven't I been blogging? 2 main reasons - 1. I've been either working or sleeping for the last month. 2. Kevin Koastie was giving me writer's block. It didn't feel right to do a post that didn't include another episode of his adventures, but I was using every chance I had to work on those new abstract designs I mentioned above and couldn't pull myself away to do another raggedy old cartoon. Well, I finally did the raggedy cartoon and so now I can show off the work I completed in April, 2015, which led to the work I did in May, 2015 which kept me from posting anything here!
   But I'll have to finish this later, because now it's time for me to get ready to go to work!

5/28/15 4:40 am. OK, it's later, I'm home from work and I can't sleep, so I might as well finish this post!

Memphis Famous - 1st Draft. 4/1/15

This is another Logo design, promoting a musical event intended to feature Famous Memphis musicians, or at least musicians who are famous around Memphis.

   Then I heard a 'rumor' about a couple of my favorite Internet People and I thought to myself, "That's sounds like good news, if it means what I think it means! They deserve Bacon!"

The "Idea" of Bacon 2.0. 4/10/15
   This is when I started to go "off the grid". I've been using square or triangular grids to help me create my designs for years. But I created this one without a grid, or at least with a grid distorted by two semi-circles. That worked so well, I tried it again but with this next one, I offset the two semi-circles to make it even more "squiggly".

Rainbow Bacon. 4/13/15

   So ... if those couple of people I'm thinking about ever happen to make an announcement of some sort, the sort that involves presents and congratulations and such, I've got a matching set of pictures for them! Just sayin' ...

New Old School - 1st Draft. 4/19/15
   This is another Logo for a different musical event. The idea behind this one is to have a group of young and old musicians jam together in a concert. I chose Blue and Gold for the colors of the lettering, because those were my old school colors.Central Valley Valiants. Go Valiants!

7 Layers Deep - Earth Day Braid. 4/22/15
   No, I haven't gone 'Green'. I heard it was Earth Day again on the radio, and that got me thinking about all the bovine excretions I've heard down through the years about what environmental "crisis" was gonna kill us all next, and I though, "They just keep piling it higher and deeper!". Well, this design has a total of seven different strands in it. I drew each strand separately, so that they gradually move farther into the background, and picked a different color for each strand. Then of course I had to color in all the bits between the strands and there you go! Ta Da!

Thinking Inside the Box (or) Death and Taxes 3.0. 4/27/15

Every April around tax time my imagination takes a grim and grizzly turn. This year, not so much - I got a pretty good refund. Yeah, I know, I just loaned the money to the government for a year interest free, but it's still a wad of cash I wasn't expecting, which is always pleasant.

   Now here's a few previews of coming attractions.

Black & White Test #54
Black & White Test #55

Work in Progress
And ... at long last ... a New Episode of The Adventures of Kevin Koastie! Yay! As you may recall, the Space Guard Cutter Free Enterprise had just been boarded by a squad of Elvish Storm Troopers after Dr. McKoi had been transmogrified into a Dwarf by Mr. Sprock's magic ring ... and the crew are nearly all drunk out of their minds from celebrating Talk Like A Pirate Day all evening!

Go get'em, Doc!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

2010 Quasi-Fresh - July.

IMAO Link of the Day: Catch the Dream.
   Man! I can't believe I haven't posted anything here since April 3! I've had a Kevin Koastie cartoon all set to show for 2 weeks, but just haven't found the time to do a full-blown post. On the positive side, my next paycheck should show an enormous increase in the amount of Overtime pay! Maybe I'll splurge and buy a pound of hamburger with the windfall!

   Today I'll be showing the work I completed in July, 2010. Also a few Works-In-Progress and the aforementioned cartoon.

Dream Catcher #2. 7/7/10
   I'd done a lot of designs up to this point that involved drawing spiral lines from the center of the page out to the edges. As the lines moved out from the center they moved further apart from each other, so I'd add extra lines between the original lines and as they continued to move further apart I'd add even more extra lines between the lines I'd already drawn. Now, some of those designs turned out pretty cool, if I do say so myself, but I wanted to try something different. Dream Catcher #1 was the breakthrough! (Sorry I can't show it to you, but I sold it years ago.)
   What's different about these designs I call 'Dream Catchers' is that they involve exactly twice the number of lines as a regular old spiral design. I drew a spiral design, all the curved lines curving in the same direction, and then redrew the same design over the first design, but with all the lines curving in the opposite direction. I was so pleased with the results that I had to do several more in quick succession in order to explore the possibilities!

Dream Catcher #3. 7/12/10
   Of course, the center of the design, where all the lines converge, is the weak point of each design that has a center. It's kind of like how they say that the laws of physics break down within a 'Singularity' because of the extreme forces involved. Science! Well, when I've got a couple of hundred lines stretching towards the center, I have to do something with them before they converge there, or each design would end up with a messy mass of black ink at its core. But after I wrestle all those lines into some sort of order, I've got to fill the center of the design, (the bulls eye) with something, right?
   Hmmm... maybe I'll do a special post someday - featuring only the very center of all my circular designs, to show the various solutions I've come up with to answer the question, "Well, that looks pretty good, I reckon, but now what do I do to fill the hole at the center?" What would I call a post like that? "Plugging The Hole - A Retrospective"? :)

Wrecked Tangles. 7/15/10
   Wrecked Tangles is a throw-back to some of my earliest designs, where I started with total randomness and created a design by imposing order on the chaos. I did that by drawing little circles around the speckles on a piece of grey cardboard (the kind you sometimes find as the back cover of a notebook) and then playing 'connect the dots'. Well, starting with a blank piece of drawing paper, I didn't have any speckles to play with, so I drew some. I drew a bunch of concentric circles and semi-circles with my compass, and then placed a dot where any of the lines crossed. Then, with teeth gritting determination, I drew a whole bunch of rectangles. Except for the two triangles at the top and bottom of the design, every block of color in the design should have 4 sides. Now, if I'd made every block of color a triangle, it stands to reason that the design would have ended up at least one third more complex, but it is what it is!

Summer Cubed. 7/23/10
   Summer Cubed is a fairly simple 9 color design. It started as a hyper-cube, but then I wrapped it in a 3-point braid design and linked the two together with a shared color scheme. Why, it practically drew itself!

Sky Blue Monkey Wrench. 7/30/10
   This one has elements in common with Summer Cubed; external symmetry, internal randomness, and a 3-point braid motif. But I tried something different with the colors. Usually when I color a structure design like this, I'll pick trios of related colors to color the top, left and right of each part of the structure to help create the illusion of shadow and depth. With this design I added 1 extra color to throw off the pattern. I called the extra color the 'monkey wrench'. In this case that color was Sky Blue. Ta Da! Another title is born! I tried the 'monkey wrench' color thing a few more times, then stopped.

   Now here's a peak at a few works-in-progress!
New Old School - B & W
   Some parts of the line segments in the braid portion of this design were about 1/32 of an inch apart. I have to stop doing that before I go blind!

Work In Progress. 4/25/15
   I might title this one, "Thinking Inside the Box" or "Death And Taxes, 3.0". We'll see.

   And now for the high point of my week, and I'm sure of yours... Kevin Koastie! Yaaay!

OK, we've got elements of Buck Rodgers, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings and now Star Wars all mashed together. I've got room for just one more action/adventure/fantasy/sci-fi franchise to lampoon at this time. Which should it be?
Thanks everybody! Sorry for the delay. Please think good thoughts/pray for my dog Katie, she's very sick. Have a good week!

Friday, April 3, 2015

2015 Fresh - March.

IMAO Link of the Day: Finishing Things "In Progress".
   They closed down the place I work for a day in honor of Good Friday. Or they decided to give everyone a 3-day weekend that just happened to coincide with the celebration of Easter. Whatever.
   The point is I have an unexpected and unpaid vacation day and I feel like Dustin Hoffman in that movie, "Rain Man" as the minutes counted down to The Peoples Court TV show with Judge Whopner! What ever shall I do with all this spare time?

   So I decided to use this time to present the work I completed in March, 2015! That's the month that we just finished. It's 31 days long. Yeah, definitely 31 days long. April has only 30 days. 30 is a even number. You can divide it by 2 with no remainder. Yeah, definitely an even number. 31 is not an even number ... it's a prime number ... Oh Oh! Prime number! ... I'm a very good driver!

   Man, I need to make myself some coffee! (a brief time passes) Ah, better now!

   A few weeks back (2010 Quasi-Fresh - March. 2/25/15)  I showed a Work-in-Progress.
This One!

I said (concerning this design), "The tricky bit will be selecting the right pallet of colors. If I do it right, it'll look Fabulous!"
Fabulous. 3/2/15
   Then I got back to work on that Phoenix design again.
The Phoenix, 2nd Draft. 3/6/15
   Then I pressed on with another version!
The Phoenix, 3rd Draft. 3/10/15
      I changed the logo to make it easier to read, and modified the color pallet and the color progression, but it turned out to be a pretty good blend of random and ordered. You can almost smell the burning feathers!

   This next one was a fluke that inspired another new development which kept my interest for most of the rest of the month of March.
Cloud Grey Window. 3/13/15
    I've done these single-strand ribbon designs before, but a fluke in the dimensions of this design make it unique. I call it 'Cloud Grey Window' because I began coloring one of the ribbons with my Cloud Grey pencil, and the ribbon Just Wouldn't End!  The whole central part of the design is cloud grey, with streaks of cloud grey extending to every point of the design! Because I draw the ribbons in segments, and then later connect the ribbons at the edges, where they change direction, I had no idea that the one color would predominate the finished design that way. Now, this design was almost symmetrical - the fluke that broke the symmetry was in the extensions at the top and bottom of the design which I'd worked in to fill up the corners of the Window - 'cause it's supposed to be a window, see?
   So I started a little quest to explore ways to deliberately add 'flukes' to my designs that would preserve the symmetry of the outer edges of the designs, but allow great freedom for Randomness to do it's thing within the designs!

Doubled Random Dream Catcher. 3/14/15
    The center of this design reminded me of a checker board, so I distracted myself from my previous distraction by drawing another design that was extremely checkerboard-ish.

Circular Checker Board. 3/16/15

    Well, I couldn't leave that alone, so I played with the checker board motif again in my next design, but I also went back to the internal randomness quest as well. Oh, and since St. Patrick's Day came and went while I was coloring it, I added a layer of green to the design in honor of the holiday!

St. Patrick's Day Doubly Random Dream Catcher. 3/20/15
   After working out the doubly random design with a couple of dream catchers, I decided I was ready to try to apply the design structure to another single strand ribbon weave design.
I showed it 'in progress',
I mean this one.
And here's the finished design!
3.625 Times Around - (Doubly Random Single Strand Weave). 3/21/15
   By this time, Palm Sunday was rolling around, and I realized I hadn't done a single Easter-related design yet! So I used the oval motif I'd used in the previous designs, warped it into an egg shape, and made it Triply-Random! (but with lots of light, pretty colors 'cause Easter!)
Easter 2015. 3/24/15
Notice the little ring at the top? I drew that there to mark the beginning and the end of the longest continuous ribbon in the design. Follow the path if you can and you'll see that it's almost endless!
(but if you follow it long enough, you end up on top! Hmm... Did I just find an Easter metaphor in my Easter Egg design? If I'd done it deliberately, it wouldn't have worked - but since it was a fluke, something unplanned, just one of those things... yeah, I'll take it! Yay!) Happy Easter!

   Now we're almost done with March. Here's one more Triply-Random weave. With this one, I made the ribbons dark, and the background colors lighter. The result is gloomier than the above Easter egg, but I drew it closer to Good Friday, so gloomier is appropriate. But Sunday is a'coming!

Triply-Random Single Strand Weave with Complex Color Progression. 3/28/15

I couldn't resist! I have to play this video too!

Oh, and here's Kevin Koastie!

The fewmets have hit the windmill now!
Well, now it's time for me to get ready for church! Be Blessed!