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!

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