Saturday, December 9, 2017

Obi-Wan Kenobi Painted Rock

Just to show that I'm still alive...  and still wasting my time painting on stones...
Because of the curved surface of the rock, his facial proportions alter slightly with each pic I take.  This one seems to be the most balanced.

This rock is part of the local rock painting club's countdown to Episode VIII release.  The Obi-Wan rock, along with the Return of the Jedi Luke rock, will be part of a giveaway.  I'll be honest, I'm a bit sad to see this guy go, I really enjoy the painterly, choppy brush work-- it fits the subject, and also gives him a slight bit of life, as if he's moving.

Oh wait a minute.... you never saw the Return of the Jedi Luke rock, did you?  Man, I really need to drop by here more often!
The likeness is so-so, but the blonde hair and the green saber let you know it's Luke.  My favorite part of this one is the highlights on the hand and on the black glove.  The shine on the lightsaber isn't too shabby either. 

Anyways, both of these rocks were knocked out in about two and a half hours each, as sort of an off-the-cuff sudden idea to paint a rock.  I guess that tells me that I'm better off not thinking about a project too much, but instead just acting on instinct and going with the flow.  Being my age, you'd think I would've learned these things by now.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Leia On The Rocks...

So continuing with the painted rocks series, here's Princess Leia (again, I know).  I felt that the previous Leia rock was weak and wanted to try for something better.  It certainly is better, but still not as good as I'd like it to be.  The whole painting on a curved surface thing is surprisingly tricky.

To make the hunt for the rock more fun, I created a simple graphic of Artoo projecting a hologram of the local junior college campus.  We printed 5 of these "tickets," and then went to the local library and stashed them inside Carrie Fisher's books.  We then told people that the clue was hidden in the library.

My wife started it officially at 6 pm, and it took about 45 minutes for someone to find it, even though she had hid it well inside some landscaping.  It was a pretty good sized rock too, so maybe that helped-- and that it was glossy.  Oh well, it ended up obviously going to someone who wanted it, so hopefully it will have  a long life.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

My Latest Rock Painting...

So the first rock that I painted was the one with Moses parting the Red Sea, done in a children's storybook visual style.  I decided to go a bit further with my most recent rock, depicting Jonah being tossed into the sea, and the ominous sign of a fish/whale in the distance behind him.  The interesting part about this project was  trying to tell a series of events with only one image: He was on the boat, then they tossed him into the water, then the fish/whale appeared, and then he prayed to God.  Initially, I had gone with the "praying hands" gesture for him, but it didn't look earnest/panicked enough.  The tightly clasped hands was more like it.

My favorite part is the line that separates the water level from the deep below, and the turbulence of the sea (with stormy sky and apocalyptic red tint in the distance).  My least favorite part?  Jonah himself, whose face didn't turn out as nicely as it had in my initial sketch.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Some of My Painted Rocks for Local Fun

Painting on rocks is as old as... people and.. rocks. Yes, from ancient caves to rocks purchased at Home Depot, people can still be counted on to put an image on a stone. People can also be counted upon to partake in whatever might be the current seemingly pointless activity, or "fad."

So here in the valley, where originality mostly can't be found, it should come as no surprise that people have resorted to painting any rock they can find. Since I'm still a human, for now, I went ahead and had a go. Basically, like in many other parts of the country (probably ten years ago), people are painting and hiding rocks, then giving clues for others to try to find them first.

So here are some of my painted rocks. I'll say this: painting on a pitted, round, uneven surface is not always fun. There. I said it.
The source for this image was a panel from the Marvel Comics Adaptation of "The Empire Strikes Back."  And judging from about 70% of the artwork in that issue, THEIR source for their drawings were still shots from the film!
This image of Vader also came from the same "Empire" issue.  I like the yellow highlight on his helmet, and how it reacts with the vermillion background.
Now, this one is actually a free hand drawing.  His head looks squished in this image, but if you look at it from the right side of the stone, it looks correct.  One of the challenges with painting on a rounded surface.  Leonard Nimoy had rough skin, but no, it wasn't THIS rough!
This was the first rock I painted, of Moses parting the Red Sea.  No pre-drawing or planning, just painted directly on, with a sort of Bible story book style art.  I like the highlights on his hand and shadow on his cheek.
This Princess Leia image was acquired from a freeze frame image from "The Empire Strikes Back."  It took about 13 minutes from the time my wife announced that she'd hid this one that it was declared found.  Really though, it's sort of "meh" as far quality goes.
I couldn't forget Threepio of course.  This source image came from issue #50 of the original run of "Star Wars" by Marvel, an issue with particularly impressive artwork and inking.  My copy is totally trashed, but I still prize it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Experimental Portrait of Julian Edelman... Well, Why Not?

So, after the Jabba the Hutt exercise, in which I utilized white shapes against a black background, I decided to take it to the next level, by introducing color.

I figured that if I chose a subject that was in active motion, and not just a giant slug splayed out on a dias in a palatial throne room in the middle of a Tatooine desert, then perhaps I could utilize color to express motion and energy.

So I took the colors of NFL wide receiver Julian Edelman's uniform and shook them all up, and took the approach that they were sort of shaking off of him as he made his cuts.  If the colors crossed each other, I would treat them as semi-opaque and allow them to blend.

What I most liked about the finished image is that even though there's not a lot of information there, I'm sure that most people who watch football would be able to tell who he is, even though there's a real morass of color mess going on around his face.  Also, I like how most of his shins/calves are not rendered, only barely indicated with a dash here and there.

This is getting fun, it's the absolute opposite of how I've been doing things for all of my life.  I find that it's more interesting to engage a viewer with an opportunity to use their own imagination and fill in the blanks, rather than to force feed them every little stitch and hair.

Who woulda thought?


Friday, September 9, 2016

Ink Portrait of Jabba the Hutt.... Well, why not?

So for some inexplicable reason a few days ago, I began to feel like something was missing from the exterior walls of my workshop.  I'm not sure why, but obviously among all of the posters and models and ephemera that goes with being a Star Wars/Star Trek geek, I had failed to have anything Jabba-related.

I must remedy this matter, I said to myself.  And so I watched Return of the Jedi again, a movie that my 3 year-old is very much into these days, and took some mental notes (as if I needed any), and began work on an 11 x 17 inch piece of bristol paper.

The image, as you can see, is mostly black shadows, as if there's an interrogation lamp in a vast otherwise dark room.  I have always preferred Jabba with one eye squinted, with a sort of look of incredulity.  Sort of a "I know you're lying, but... please continue"  look.

And so now, Jabba lives again!  Realized with black india ink.  He resides on the wall outside my shop, right above my tool rack, in a fittingly dingy environment.

There will be no Salacious Crumb.