Thursday, April 22, 2010

Platypterygius longmani 9

There we go. This afternoon's tasks had me intimidated, but everything fell into place nicely. Unless I'm mistaken, this is the finished piece, awash with the tang of the briny deep.

Platypterygius longmani 8

Well, taking the butterfly wings out of the coral didn't take as long as I thought it would, and why do simple descriptions of everyday tasks sound so weird?


I thought this was going to be a real trial, but then I figured out a shortcut. The shortcut inadvertently shifted the color relations between the background and the ichthyosaur in exactly how I was going to do it anyway. (Notice how the fins are just about the same color as the coral? The way the gray subtly harmonizes with the background?) That saved me a good chunk of work right there. One more color adjustment and then I'm done with it.

Platypterygius longmani 7

So here's the final rendering and placement of the main figure.

The next step is going to be to modify the coral directly behind the figure. There are traces of the initial figure remaining that need to be obscured and made to fit the current composition. I'll do this using blending tools in Painter.

Next, the color on the ichthyosaur needs to be modified to fit in with the rest of the composition. This, and the rest of the piece, will be done in Photoshop.

Finally, the overall color needs to be made more oceanic and more dense -- the sense of light should be stronger as well. I may experiment with using a Curves adjustment layer for some of this...

Plus? Tonight I get barbecue... Further details to come.

Platypterygius longmani 6

Here we go, fully rendered in Painter. At first I was horrified when I realized that I didn't have the colors saved from my first round of renders -- but then I found that the rubber stamp tool was my friend. Thank you, rubber stamp tool. You're a good pal.

Honestly? I've never rendered this well in a painterly fashion before. This is turning out to be a bit of a breakthrough piece...

And now on to the final composite, background finishes, and color correction!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Platypterygius longmani 5

On inspection, this needs more rendering...

But let's get an idea of how it looks. I'm going to want to punch up the color and brighten the highlights, but this is definitely starting to go somewhere.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Platypterygius longmani 4

And there we go. That's it for today; I'm bushed. This one was intended to be a simple demonstration of the selections I've made this evening, but it kind of got out of hand when I started playing with filters in Photoshop.

Platypterygius longmani 3

So now I have to do the selections for the ichthyosaur, then ship things into Painter for rendering, so it'll be a long time before the next post, at least two or three hours. Shit -- five all ready. Well, we'll see how far I get tonight. I'm exhausted but game.

Platypterygius longmani 2

Here's the graphic illustration, done in Illustrator using Live Trace and Live Paint functions.

Platypterygius longmani 1

The next challenge up at Art Evolved is an ichthyosaur. Well, here we go! I'm going to spend the rest of the afternoon and early evening liveblogging this project. I hope -- perhaps in vain -- to have two finished art pieces by the end of the session.

One will be a simple graphic based on this sketch; the other will be a fully rendered piece. I've already done most of the work for the latter; all I have to do is adjust colors and render the beast.

And just for the record; this is not intended to be a rigorous reconstruction; rather, it's art derived from the fossil. For instance, the spine flexes up and down in this illustration, and I doubt ichthyosaurs did much of that. Oh, well, it's what my hand and eye did.

This was done in pencil on tracing vellum, then cleaned up in Photoshop.

See you soon...

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Pope!

I know this shouldn't be funny. This is institutionalized abuse of an exceptionally vile and damaging nature. This is a world power run amok with no-one in authority being willing to step up and prosecute criminal charges.

But last night, I had a realization about this whole wretched situation that made me crack up.

The Pope is a supervillain!

He wears a costume. He has a made-up name. He claims to have superpowers, and many believe those claims. He is a former Nazi Youth who spearheaded a conspiracy intended to benefit child molesters, and that is just one of many crimes against humanity committed by his shadowy criminal organization. He plunders the third world to maintain a palace of grotesque luxury. He has a Popemobile! I mean, come on.

No-one I can think of in the history of the world has been so clearly, so unmistakeably, exactly the kind of supervillain that Batman or the Fantastic Four would fight. He's pretty much Doctor Doom, right down to having his own Latveria.

And if you're Catholic, and you find my opinions offensive? Don't think I've singled you out. I pretty much hate all religions, from Hinduism which encourages people to kill their children by bathing them in a river of shit to Islam, whose concept of an afterlife is grotesquely perverse, degrading, and sweatily juvenile, to the Evangelical Christianity that's turning the US into a theocracy run by and for ignorant jingoistic pinheads. I hate 'em all...

... but at least they aren't run by supervillains.