Monday, September 29, 2014

2012 Sorta Fresh - August.

   Hello folks! Usually I post something new on Sunday evenings after I get home from work. But I had to work late on Sunday, so didn't have time to create a new post before my bedtime. Rather than stay up late and risk oversleeping and being late for work Monday morning (again) I decided to hit the hay and do the post tonight. So here I am! And it was well worth the wait, 'cause I got some good stuff to share.
   I completed eight designs in August, 2012, seven of which incorporate spirals of some kind.
So let the Spiral Mania begin!
IMAO Link of the Day: Spiralmania (not the Def Leppard album)

Double Nautilus Spiral. 8/1/12

They tended to become more complex as the month progressed.

Almost Fractal Spiral. 8/3/12

Rising Spiral. 8/7/12

   I added a zig-zag element to fill the bottom of the page, and colored it from the center out which produced some interesting 'ray' effects. To make sure everyone could see the spiral, I traced it over with a fine tipped felt marker. I asked myself the question, "How far can I push the details of this design, how far can I go in adding fiddly bits?" The answer seems to be, "Too far! Rein it in a little, why don't ya?" So I did.

Getting Closer. 8/17/12

   I don't know why I added that extra line to the right, central side of the design, which created an extra area of fiddly-ness that broke the symmetry of the pattern, but I'm sure it probably looked like the right thing to do at the time.

   Now that I had the basic spiral figured out, I started getting fancy with it again.

Cosmic Egg, Cracking. 8/20/12

Then I did something completely different.

Raspberry Angel. 8/22/12

   Raspberry Angel gets its title from the two raspberry colored swoops to the left and right which look like wings to me. The colors flowed from there in to the center and out to the edges. This ain't your average Christmas card angel - more like one of those "wheels within wheels" angels Ezekiel saw. (Gosh, I hope they don't mind!)

   Then I decided to add spirals to other design elements I'd used before to see how they'd work together.

Counter-Rotating Star. 8/23/12
Harmony. 8/26/12
   And.... we end the month with Harmony! I did one more spiral in September, 2012, and then got busy with some globes and other stuff as if my fit of spiral-mania never happened. I guess I got it out of my system (for now).

   Here's three new picture pages. You'll get to see the finished designs when I post my "2014 Fresh - September" collection next week.

Black and White Test #23

Black and White Test #24

Black and White Test #25

Today in The Adventures of Kevin Koastie, we learn that the crew of the R.S.E. Space Guard Cutter Free Enterprise know how to party!

(Banned From Argo - Traditional Star Fleet Filk Song).

In Vino Veritas (but beer works too)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

2012 Sorta Fresh - July.

   Tonight I'll be showing off the work I completed in July, 2012. (with some other stuff )
I recall I promised some epic spiral designs at the end of my last post, 2012 Sorta Fresh - June. Well, there's a few spirals in tonight's selection, but you might have to squint a little to find them. Upon review, it seems I didn't go full-blown spiral crazy until August. But I did some good stuff in July, so I hope no one will feel disappointed!
Update: IMAO Link of the Day: 2012 Sorta Fresh - July

Ripples. 7/3/12

   Ripples is a double compression zone, vertically oriented off-kilter design with a center-out 3-point progression color scheme, as you can plainly see.

Leggo. 7/7/12

Leggo is an exercise finding uses for the 'nodes of confluence' design element. I set the limits of the design, then filled it in with squares, diagonal lines, curves and a bunch of really teeny fiddly bits. When it was finished, I stared at it in puzzled fascination, trying to think of a title for this one. I finally decided that it looked sorta like a big, multi-colored Leggo block. Oh well.
* Update: In the comments, Oppo said it reminded him of "A View of a Partly Cloudy Night Sky  From a Room with No Roof" which is a Way better title than 'Leggo'. Oh, and Lego is spelled with only one 'g'. I still learn something new every day; unfortunately, sometimes it's something that I should have learned years ago! D'oh!

Buddy's Requiem Window. 7/12/12

   This one became a memorial to a stray dog we adopted and named Buddy. He had such a fluffy coat of black and white fur that I was tempted to have him skinned and made into a pair of gloves when he died - but I didn't.
   Looking at this design again, I see some possibilities that need exploring. Hmmm... yep, definitely seeing some possibilities here!

    The next one is a two-fer. (two fer the price of one) I colored it in from the left and right edges in just 'cause, you know? When I finished it and stared at it for a minute, I noticed that something was staring back at me. Then I turned it upside down and still saw it! Have you ever seen a portrait where the eyes seem to follow you? Well, these eyes might follow you all the way home and into your dreams! Just sayin'...

It Lurks Between the Lines. 7/16/12
... and when you turn it over ...
Between the Lines it Lurks. 7/16/12

Pseudo-Mandelbrot Egg. 7/19/12

   OK, There's a spiral! I like how the middle bit of this design turned out. Maybe someday I'll figure out how to do it again. Harumph!

Wave Interference Pattern. 7/27/12

   I tried a complex variation on a 3-point progression with this design. Maybe too complex, since I never tried it again.

   After having fits with Wave Interference Pattern, I finished off the month with something simpler, but pretty.
Crystal Spiral. 7/31/12

Now here's a couple of Picture Pages for you.

Black and White Test #21

Black and White Test #22

And now, Kevin Koastie! Arrrr!

Thanks to Harvey for reminding me that Talk Like A Pirate Day was this week!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

2012 Sorta Fresh - June.

   Hello again! My mind has been bubbling like a vigorously fermenting gallon of watermelon wine on top of the fridge with ideas for Kevin Koastie, but the challenge is to break down those ideas into a 3 or 4 panel cartoon format without filling each panel with exposition and no action. Oh, and I've also been drawing some new artsy stuff as well. In fact, before I show you my work from June, 2012, let me show you one special piece I finished last week. This is a design I did as a sort of "Hope Everything Works Out All Right For You" shout-out to Anonymiss at Nuking Politics.

Oops, Sorry! I forgot to stick the link to IMAO in earlier this week. Here it is now! (Sigh, better late than never, I guess.)
IMAO Link of the Day: Bubbling Like a Vigorously Fermenting Gallon of Watermelon Wine on Top of the Fridge.

Swirly In The Sky With Bacon. 9/8/14

   So, I think it turned out pretty good, and since Anonymiss inspired it, here's a Musey for Anonymiss!

A Musey for Anonymiss!

   Now here's the June 2012 collection!

Effervescent. 6/7/12 

Here's something else that looked fizzy to me. It's a 4-point semi-random fractile with nodes of infinite confluence (and a lot of pretty colors).

First Thursday Hypercube. 6/9/12

   I've shown this one before as part of my Hypercube collection. I could also describe is as a semi-random, semi-weaved, semi-linked structure, but it has six equal length sides, so it's a Hypercube!

Brown Tapestry With Random Nodes of Confluence.

I think I showed this one before too. As I recall, I started with a dark brown around the edges and worked my way to the center. This one is also another experiment with infinite confluence. Well, the "infinite" is sort of implied, you know.

Half a  Bubble Off Plumb Dream Catcher. 6/15/12

The Dream Catcher is mostly symmetrical, but if you look closely at the rectangle I drew around it, you'll discover what I didn't notice until I drew the rectangle. I'd missed the center of the page by about a third of an inch. I measured the edges of the rectangle from the edges of the page, so the rectangle is square and true, but the Dreamcatcher is off kilter by just a hair. If anyone asks, I meant to do that, OK? I drew it on a piece of blue construction paper, because I was out of drawing paper that day. But it's all good, I guess.

20 Color Alpha-chromatic, Top Down 3 Point Cascade, With Random Nodes of Confluence. 6/19/12

The title of this one really says it all.

Closed and Open 3-Point Progression. 6/28/12

I bought a package of parchment patterned cardstock in various shades of grey at this time, and used them as the background of nearly every picture I drew for the next couple of months. The difference between Closed and Open as regards a 3-point color progression is hard to describe, but Closed makes the result seem more solid, and Open makes it seem a bit more sparkly. Then there's the Crazy Open 3-point progression, which shouldn't be attempted by amateurs. But hey, I'm a professional so it's OK. Of course, at this point, I hadn't even invented the Crazy Open 3-point progression yet. I was about to become obsessed with spirals in July. This one has a early stage spiral at the center, and that caught my attention as I considered all the possibilities ... Ah, good times!

   Here's 2 more picture pages, in two different styles. Enjoy!

Black and White Test 19

Black and White Test 20

And now, Kevin learns the importance of knowing where the stairs and elevators are, in a running-away-from scenario.

Out of the Frying Pan, and Back Into the Frying Pan. Doh!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

2012 Sorta Fresh - May.

   Tonight I'll be showing the work I completed in May of 2012. It was another good month for me, with 8 completed designs. Oh, and there'll be some other stuff down at the bottom, of course.

IMAO Link of the Day: This side up ... No, Wait! That side up.

   First is a Two-Fer, a picture with two different titles, depending on which way round you chose to display it. It's also a vertically aligned off-kilter design, just for your information. I've displayed this one before, but I like it, so here it is again!

The Hammer Dropped. 5/2/12

...and if you turn it around, it becomes ...

Keyhole. 5/2/12

Golden Turtle. 5/14/12

Golden Turtle, like Hootie Owl and The "Idea" of Watermelon, started out as abstract geometric designs - another experiment is line, proportion and aspect, with no particular title in mind when I began. But a young girl caught a glimpse of it and said, "That bit in the middle looks like a turtle!"
   As they say, "Once you see it, you can't un-see it!", so I when I saw what she saw, only one title would do! (I really hope I never accidentally draw something that looks like something I don't want to see - IYKWIMAITYD!)

Warm and Cold. 5/17/12

   In Warm and Cold I tried a variation on a Dream-Catcher design; uniform in pattern all the way to the center, and all the way out to the corners of the page, with the middle bit just about as tightly drawn as I could manage. The chose of colors really seem to compliment the design - sort of like a rainbow caught in a blender, but in a good way!

   Towards the end of the month I gave myself a challenge. I wanted to draw 5 different designs, each utilizing different forms and patterns, but all colored with the same 10 colors, applied in the same order. I thought this would highlight the differences while simultaneously uniting the designs by the shared color palette. The first was drawn on a full sized sheet of drawing paper, but the rest were drawn on 6" by 9" paper. In fact, on paper from the same drawing pad that I'm currently using to draw my Kevin Koastie cartoons, so, like the cartoons, I'll display those "full size". You're welcome!
   PS: the dating on these 5 designs is screwed up - There's no way I could have drawn and colored them all in just 3 days, but I'm pretty sure I finished them all in May, so what the heck!

10 Color Study #1. 5/28/12
10 Color Study #2. 5/30/12
10 Color Study #3. 5/30/12
10 Color Study #4. 5/29/12
10 Color Study #5. 5/31/12

Well, that's all I've got for May, 2012! Stay tuned for next weeks post, when I start experimenting with Spirals - which became quite an obsession with me for a while there. Er, that'll be 2012 Sorta Fresh - June, of course.

Here's a picture page of a design I'm working on which may eventually find its way into the delicate but capable hands of Anonymiss  of Nuking Politics fame.
   According to this post at IMAO Support Appreciated. , Anonymiss needs our prayers, good wishes, encouragement, and/or positive vibes. So spare a thought for her if you will, or at least eat a cookie in her honor!

Black & White Test #18

And now... Kevin Koastie!

Kevin exercises the 'Better Part of Valor". 

He who turns and runs away, lives to fight another day!

Monday, September 1, 2014

2014 Fresh - August.

   Today I'll be showing off the work I finished in August, 2014. It was a busy month for me, artistically, in which I tried variations on several types of designs, and tried some completely new stuff as well.
   First is a second variation on the last design I completed in July, 2014. It was an experiment in adding unexpected fluctuations into a otherwise symmetrical pattern. It involved rolling dice ... more I cannot say!
I mean this one - The Butterfly Effect - Illustrated.

   So I followed that one with this new one!

Uniform Semi-Random Asymmetrical Ring of Power. 8/5/14
There were a lot of fiddly bits in this one, and a lot of random fluctuations in the pattern, but the overall progression still remained pretty stable. I guess the random bits cancelled each other out?
Anyway, the colors and the shapes reminded me of that big, fiery eye of Sauron  from the Lord of the Rings, and that got me thinking about the Ring of Power, and that's where the titles for these things comes from! 
   It takes a lot of focus to draw all the lines and color in all the bits neatly, and part of my mind wonders widely while all the technical stuff is going on. Part of me is critiquing the current effort, offering suggestions on how to improve the next one. Part is listening to the radio, part of me is watching out for "wild-eyed pistol wavers who aren't afraid to die" and part is greeting customers and holding the door open for folks. It certainly makes the time go by!

   Back in March of 2013, I bought a big old box of 100 colored pencils at Target, then said farewell to the ragged remnants of the old box of colors with a few tribute designs.
I mean this one - Last Stand.
and this one - Generations.
   Well... It's getting close to that time again, sadly. I lost a hard working, fearless colored pencil in August. I had a special assignment for it, and it fulfilled it's task like a real trooper, saving a flawed design from the trashcan by covering up mistakes I'd made during the inking phase. Its useful life was tragically cut short in a regrettable pencil-sharpening accident. (sigh)

Requiem for a Colored Pencil. 8/7/14

   I attended an art show in Memphis in August as the 'Featured Artist'. I had all my art spread out around me, and I greeted the attendees and showed off my work, answering their questions, etc. At the end of the evening, I didn't sell a danged thing. But I did bring something to work on while I sat there and listened to the folk-singer who was strumming his guitar and singing to entertain the meager visitors, so the evening wasn't a total waste. Here it is.

One Man Show/Last Man Standing. 8/11/14
 This one has two titles, and two meanings. Take your pick!

   Then I started playing with cubes again, but in a new and different way!

Cubic Space. 8/14/14
In Cubic Space I experimented with the size and position of the blocks, as well as with the color progression. This one was a bottom-to-top progression.

Rubic's Rose. 8/19/14
   In Rubic's Rose all the blocks are the same size. The underlying foundation lines were constructed in the style of one of my town designs (it even has blocky stair cases). I then crosshatched the whole thing to increase the number of blocks by a factor of 16. Then I colored it with a open, 3-point progression from the inside out and I got this really neat Rose effect. Someone said the little blocks reminded them of a Rubic's Cube and I said, "OK, I can use that!"

Revealing True Center. 8/23/14
In Revealing True Center I doubled the complexity of the design, while keeping the size of the blocks of color exactly the same. Except for right near the center where I left a cube twice the size of the others to start the color progression. But then I used my compass to draw a circle centered around the true center of the design, and began coloring in both directions from that circle, while also continuing the progression from the false center. The clash of colors you see here is the result.  I'm gonna have to try this circle progression trick again, to see if I can make a globe out of cubes. A sort of Rubic's World? Hmmm....

8-Point Globe. 8/26/14
I took another stab at a 8-point globe, with fiddly bits around the edges, but I made a change to the color progression due to a smudge that appeared in the lower right quadrant while I was inking it.
Was it an errant rain drop? A fleck of spittle? a drop of sweat that caused the ink to run? I don't know, but the smudge had to be dealt with! So how? Well, I had three options.
1. Yell "Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!" and rip the whole thing into tiny pieces.
2. Ignore it and hope no one notices.
3. Use the principle that "Nature Favors the Hidden Flaw" and start the color pattern from the point of the smudge.
So I used option 3 with variations and it seemed to turn out all right!

These last two designs are variations on a briar weave but with a smoother, more organic treatment of the secondary elements, with some randomness and off-kilter-ness thrown in. They're completely different, except for where they're exactly the same.

Decisions, Decisions. 8/28/14
I named this one Decisions, Decisions because it was something new. I hadn't established my techniques for setting the structure, blocking the design, finishing the secondary elements or even the selection of colors or the coloring of the bits between the bits. Most obvious was the decision to change the colors to color in the bits between the bits halfway through. It gives the final design a sort of yingity-yangity vibe. Which is cool, I guess.

The "Idea" of Watermelon. 8/31/14
I began to draw this oval variation on the briar weave (perhaps I should call it a fern weave?) when one of the customers at the bank said, "That there looks like a watermelon to me! Yep, I reckon!" So I said, "Thanks, Special Ed, I can use that!" (Just kidding, his name wasn't Ed.) What the heck, it was a long month, I had a hankering for watermelon  anyway, and it's been a while since I did a "Idea of" design, so I replaced the dark blue and violet colors I'd intended to use with three shades of green. But now with watermelon on my mind, I went to the store and bought two good seedless melons for only $2.99 each, and this weekend I ate one and made a gallon of watermelon wine with the other. I'll let you know how that works out in 6 or 7 weeks.
   Well, that's all the completed new work so far. Next week I'll go back to dredging memory lane for some gems from 2012.
   Here's two new picture pages for your consideration.

Black & White Test 16

Black & White Test 17

   The Labor Day Weekend Holiday has given me an extra day to get my next episode of Kevin Koastie ready. I really wanted to finish The "Idea" of Watermelon this weekend so that I could include it in this post. But delay today means haste tomorrow. Now I have only 6 days to decide what Plan "B" will be!

The Plot Thickens!