Sunday, November 23, 2014

2011 Kind'a Fresh - April.

   Tonight I'll be revealing my work from April, 2011. I'll also begin revealing why we're not all bowing before our Elvish Overlords (yet).

IMAO Link of the Day: Coffee-Stained Mess-terpiece.

As an aside; it just dawned on me that's it's been over a year since I created my first post here. Of course, it wasn't until Dec. 3, 2013 that I did my second post - I had to get a scanner - but I've been going gang-busters ever since. So far, 61 posts, and 18,170 page views. Thanks to all the bloggers and fans at IMAO for your encouragement. Just tonight, Harvey sent me an E-mail with the subject line, "Saw this, thought of you". It's both encouraging and inspiring - it's simple, once you see it, but I admit I'd never thought of it before! Here it is:

(How to draw your hand in 3D)

   First up is another coffee-stained mess-terpiece. As I recall, I coffee-stained the paper deliberately, just for the fun of it. As it turned out, it was appropriate, considering the dark subject matter of this design.

3 Day Power Outage (It Sucked!). 4/10/11

   We were without lights or power for 3 days in early April - making do with candles and lanterns at night, which were chilly 'cause we didn't have heat either. Now, with another color selection, this same design could have been as cheery and happy as a day in Spring, but after living without television for 3 days my wife was in a foul mood, and as everyone knows, "If Momma ain't happy, ain't Nobody happy!". Fortunately, power was restored, good humor returned, and life was good again! Yay!

Seeking True Center. 4/20/11

   Seeking True Center is a off-kilter dream catcher. What appears to be the center of the design is actually about 1/2 inch to the left of the center of the page. To reveal the true center, I used my trusty compass to draw one circle around the true center point in dark brown or mahogany (I disremember which). I then colored the rest of the design from the inside-out, the outside-in, and from the true circle in both directions. This broke up the color progression which otherwise would have been  pretty, but uninteresting. Again, a little carefully crafted randomness brought the design to life!
   Oh, and I did the background cross-hatching and shading in shades of blue and green, just because.

Symmetrical Pulses. 4/22/11

   Symmetrical Pulses is exactly like Seeking True Center, except for the places where it's completely different. The background cross-hatching, for example, is what I tried but failed to do for the background of Seeking True Center; but I learned from my mistake that time, so that's all right.
   And whereas Seeking True Center was a off-kilter design and this one is exactly bulls-eye perfectly centered... hmmm... never mind! Except that they both incorporate circles in their designs, they're nothing alike.

Closed Weave Easter Basket. 4/26/11

   This one is an attempt to re-capture the magic of my earlier work, Open Weave Easter Basket.
I mean this one.
But I got busy fiddling with the details - double strand weave instead of single strand, trying to
3-D-ify the corners, and filling in the stretched bits of the weave instead of leaving them open. And then there's that weird 'eye-thing' going on at the center! Let me give you a close-up of that.
What was I thinking?!

   Oh well, I've passed a lot of water since then. I learn a little more with each design, even if it's something to add to my list of what doesn't work!

   Now here's two more picture pages, and then Kevin Koastie!

Black & White Test #41

Black & White Test #42

   Here's a little video  that helped inspire tonight's cartoon.

Oops! "Immortal" is spelled with two M's! Dang!

Monday, November 17, 2014

2011 Kind'a Fresh - March.

   Tonight I'll be showing off the work I did in March, 2011. Tonight I'm also cooking a big pot of potato and chicken gizzard stew, but that's another story. 
    Oh, more good news! I bought some new pens to ink my cartoons with, and they're faster drying than the one I was using before, so no smudges this week! Yay!

Update:  11/17/14 - My computer was working slower than molasses last night, so this evening I downloaded some software from (As seen on TV!) and cleaned up my machine. Now it runs like new! Yay! Anyway, that's why I didn't finish this post on Sunday night. Sorry for the delay.

Simple Zig-Zag With Links. 3/3/11
   Have you ever noticed something for the first time, even though it's been right under your nose for years? I use a 6-point grid pattern that I drew to help me draw my cubic-style designs. I clip the pattern and my drawing paper to a clear plastic clipboard, secure the bottoms of the pages with a rubber band, and then hold the clipboard  up to the light. I can see the pattern through the paper and that helps me draw the guide lines that are the beginning of each design. Well, one day, trying to decide what to draw next, I noticed (for the first time) the artistic possibilities of the grid pattern itself!
   I later developed this into the 12 point, 18 dimension, chain-reaction zig-zag net, but this is where it started!

Complex Zig-Zag with Links and Windows. 3/9/11

   The difference between this one and the first one is in my treatment of the secondary structures. Whereas before I'd filled in the spaces between the lines with pointy bits, this time I extended the pointy bits all the way through the middle to the next adjoining line, which gave the whole design a more 3-D-ish look. Of course, that made it harder to connect all the bits with links, so I left those bits open and called them 'windows'. Quite simple, really!

Daylight Savings Time - Spring Ahead. 3/13/11

   With this one I was playing with the ability to create the illusion of depth by simply changing the direction of the lines. The illusion becomes more pronounced if you hold the picture at an angle of about 70 degrees and look at it with one eye closed - just sayin'...

Caught a Falling Star. 3/17/11

   How did that old song go? "Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket; save it for a rainy day!"
Been there, done that!

Perry Como boogies down.

Windmill. 3/22/11

   Everything just came together with this design! (One of my favorites.) The forms, the proportions, the selection of colors and the way the colors flowed to fill the design - it's all good! Now, if I could just do that every time! But then again, if they were all masterpieces, I'd never learn anything new!

   Well, that's all the art from March, 2011. Here's 3 Picture Pages, and then a New and Improved episode of Kevin Koastie!

Black & White Test #38
Black & White Test #39

Black & White Test #40

Even Anthropomorphic Personifications need Love too!

Monday, November 10, 2014

2011 Kind'a Fresh - February.

   Tonight I'll be displaying my work from February, 2011. I did 5 designs that month. One has been posted here before, as far as I can recall, but most are completely new! Also 2 new Picture Pages and a tragically flawed new episode of Kevin Koastie.
IMAO Link of the Day: Smudges and Streaks and Smears, Oh My!

Raw February - On Coffee Stained Paper. 2/4/11

   What do you do when you spill your coffee on a new design while it's still in the pencil-sketch stage but looking really interesting and you don't want to throw it out and start over again? Easy! You soak the whole page in coffee, press it out between two paper towels, let it dry, and pretend that "I meant to do that!".

Implied Connections. 2/11/11

   Implied Connections started out as a 3-point maze but then I decided to get fancy with it. The title refers to a trick I tried with the color application, whereby the colors continued behind the forms you can see to the next adjoining forms that they would have connected with if they were real, 3-dimensional forms. I don't know If it makes the picture better, but it sure forced me to think about what I was doing at every step of the process.
   Then I did it again, only different.

The Swarm (Mostly Blue). 2/16/11

   This one gave me a creepy "Look out! They're coming for you!" vibe - (but in a Good way). So I named it The Swarm. Drawing a design that incorporates several changes in scale is hard. The individual elements are easy enough, but it's the points of conversion where the scale changes size that causes me to burn a few extra brain cells as I try to link everything together as seamlessly as possible.

Early Spring. 2/22/14

   Let's see.... I went from 'Raw February' to 'Early Spring' in only 18 days. There must have been a major change in the weather that year. ((Curse You, Global Warming!) This one is another Point Of Contact design, with the circles even more pronounced than in the last one I showed here (Circular Logic - 1/13/11) .

Created In My Image. 2/28/11

   This one is a sort of partial self-portrait. Do you remember making a turkey picture as a school make-work project around Thanksgiving time? The kiddies trace the outline of their hands on a piece of paper, then try to make it look like a turkey. This reminds me of one of those 'aura photographs' that were all the  buzz several years ago, but maybe that's just me!

   Now here's some Picture pages for you!

Black and White Test - #e36.

These last two are different, except for where they're the same.

Black & White Test #37

And now, something went wrong when I was drawing this week's cartoon. I tell ya, if I was paid for drawing these, I'd have had to throw out this effort and start again from scratch! (smudges). But then I thought, "Hey! It's still readable! Go for it!" So I did! Heck, you may not even notice the numerous streaks and smears that mar this weeks efforts. The puzzle is, I used the same pens and paper to draw last week's cartoon without a single streak! So what did I do wrong this week? Or to put it another way, what did I do Right last week?

When the smartest guy on the good ship Free Enterprise says "It's Complicated" you Know it's complicated!

Monday, November 3, 2014

2014 Fresh - October.

Tonight I'll be showing the work I completed in October, 2014. I don't know if I'm getting better, but I think I'm definitely getting faster, because I completed 12 designs in 31 days. Well, the first one doesn't count, because I started that one near the tail-end of September, so call it 11.5 designs. Still, that's pretty fast. If I was working in an art factory, the other workers would be pressuring me to "work slower! Do you want the rest of us to look bad?".

IMAO Link of the Day: Pirates Everywhere.

Piercing the Darkness. (In Memory of Emma). 10/1/14

   I drew this one in memory of a little old lady I met. She was my wife's roommate at the nursing home for several months. When I visited with Mary, I'd read to her, and Emma liked to listen to me reading to Mary. So, after Mary died, I continued to visit with Emma on the weekends and I'd read to her. Well, she died in September so I drew this picture in her memory. Sometimes I get to do the scripture readings at church on Sunday. People tell me I read good. I tell them I've had a lot of practice. Rest in Peace, Emma.

Symmetrical Chaos. 10/3/14

I did several variations of a 'broken weave' design in October. These first two were built to a circular structure, and these next three are built to a rectangular/diagonal structure. I found that the final result depends on where you start; in both the designing and the coloring.

Jolly Roger (Arrr!) 10/6/14

   Since I've been 'celebrating' Talk Like A Pirate Day for 6 weeks so far in The Adventures of Kevin Koastie, I may be excused for seeing Pirate paraphernalia  even in abstract geometric designs.

Spruce. 10/8/14

   Spruce is named after a Chihuahua-sized, wire-haired, bug-eyed, little rat-dog we used to own when I was a kid. He was a good dog, but just about as homely as a dog can be. We named him spruce because his fur was like pine-needles. Imagine my surprise when I saw his distorted visage peering out at me from the lines and colors of this design!
   So I decided I'd try to replicate the result by trying to replicate the process.

Furious Gloom 2. 10/10/14

   This one also had a sort of face-like quality, but not quite as dog-like, so I named it after my old imaginary buddy Furious Gloom.
I mean this guy.

   Then, inspired by a comment Jimmy left at IMAO, I began trying to adapt my designs to the form of a Mobius Strip.

Mobius-ish Strip (first attempt). 10/14/14

Mobius-ish Strip (second attempt). 10/17/14

   Neither of these designs quite capture the paradox of a Mobius strip - that is, of a 3 dimensional form with only one side and one edge - but they do prove that figure 8's are a lot harder to draw than humble circles. Anyway, here's a Musey for Jimmy for the idea.
A Musey for Jimmy!

   This next one started as another stab at a Mobius strip, morphed into a semi-random single strand weave pattern, with a central mirror reflection design, but then I faced a problem.

The Fly (close up) 10/21/14
I had to tip it on its side and call it "The Fly" to avoid any title that would include the phrase "blue balls". Phew! I'm glad I was clever enough to avoid That embarrassment!

Going Out In a Blaze Of Glory. 10/22/14

   This one is a tribute to the first 10 colors in my current box of 100 colors to dwindle down to less than 3 inches in length. So I literally "decimated" them; but I got one last good picture out of them on their way out. Rest in Pieces, Black, Pale Grey, Midnight Brown, Brown, Peach, Mandarin, Golden Rod, Apple Green, Dark Blue and Soft Lavender.

   I finished off the month playing with variations of a briar-weave design.

Almost Perfect. 10/24/14

Autumn Rose. 10/28/14

More Perfecter. 10/30/14

Now here's two more Picture Pages, and then a new Kevin Koastie cartoon! Yay!

Black & White Test #34

Black & White Test #35

Beer - It's Important!