Saturday, October 2, 2010

More of the mind

So, I'm not quite sure what's going on.. but lately when I'm working in Corel Painter Essentials 4.. what is in my head just comes out quicker. Sooner rather than later I am going to have to truly test myself and see wat I can do about minute details and replicating textures.

I started off not wanting to paint a face...wound up painting crease lines that resembled a face..and broke it into 2 halves.. tried to seperate it spacially by shadow using colours.And then I went silly with the eyes.

I'm probably going to quote this wrong.. because I can't remember the name.. but I think it was Jack Kirby.. that amazing Man of Marvel (alongside Stan Lee)... had books and books of sketches.. of nothing more than hands. I think if I was to just sit and idly draw things.. eventually I'd wind up with books of hands..but only a couple. Quite a few of faces though. Especially feminine faces, I'm not very good at capturing the softness that is inherent, damnably mandatory even, for creating women and feminine styled I'd sketch them out until I'v got hundreds of references to work from.. picking out the pieces of what works in one face, trying to bring them all together. I've already got some notepads full of sketches.. circles over what turned out that I like, notes on where/how to try\improve on the things that I didn't.

Perhaps tomorrow I'll try and do an illuminted silhouette painting for you folks.

Friday, October 1, 2010

One-Off ideas

Ahh, the One-Off.
Usually little more than a quick chuckle, based off of a random thought that just sticks with you.
Sometimes they make sense, sometimes they don't.

I admit the idea wasn't mine - I wasn't part of the conversation that came across this obviousness, but I did read about it.. I just can't remember where. I want to say Twitter. I also want to blame either CB Cebulski, or Skottie Young or Agent M Loves Tacos...or they might all be innocent and I read it somewhere else.

Either way, this's been sitting in my head for a lil while.. the initial idea was tht Captain America had called the Avengers together for an emergency meeting, sitting down the likes of Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor and some others.. straight-faced and serious, talking about some vague, serious issue that was plaguing the Avengers. Calls Wolverine in. Wolverine begins to speak..sniffs twice, then blames (in my head) Thor for leaking Asgardian Mead-farts all over Avengers HQ.

Ah, Wolverine. He always knows who dealt it, because you can bet he smelled it.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Well, it seems I'm continuing with Corel Painter Essentials 4 and letting my hand wander with the guise of various emotions and other ethereal things.

I also think I'm either getting quicker at bringing out what I want to see.. or this one by itself was just easier for me.. because I didn't expect to be done so soon. Then again, sometimes simpler is better, yeh?

I try to keep myself dabbled in various ideas and techniques and media.. digital, pencil, pen, some acrylic paints, airbrush when I can, body art with washable markers.. I've even got some plastecine & models made up. I try to keep my artistic range open so that I can be flexible enough to force myself to tackle many different things, from gritty and noir to cutesy-poo and manga (not that any of them are exclusive mind you.. some of the most amusing/disturbing things happen to be very very adult-natured & gritty, but with almost chibi(deformed&super cute) characters.) A lot of the crossover ideas don't work well..because let's face it.. when something clashes with another thing.. it takes skill to make it come together without overpowering one or the other.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010



Bizarre, completely misunderstood things. Self-professed and proclaimed-by-peer `professionals` claim to know the secret of dreams. I also have some prime real estate in Florida to sell you, too. (that would be sarcasm).

Dreams are often claimed to be the subconcious mind working out problems and issues the brain's been struggling with during the day. It's also claimed that everybody dreams, every night, and that you just don't remember them. I've got another shock for that crowd - I remember ALL my dreams..and there are plenty of nights where I simply don't dream. I close my eyes, time goes by, I open my eyes. "Oh, you didn't enter r.e.m.-sleep" I'm told. Well, if everything else I've been told is true.. then yes, I have..and I still don't dream. I can remember my dreams back to my wee childhood.. it's a bizarre thing, but I remember all of my dreams, when I dream. Sometimes it's very detailed.. other times it's simply a hazy `I had a dream` thing, which has some detail, but is mostly an amorphous furry blob of imagery.

I had a weird dream last night.. and seeing as yesterday's post was pain/frustration/anger.. today's will be about dream. Using mostly watercolours ..hope it comes across well.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Workin' it!

I did some crunching last night. numbers, not hard-candies..though the candies would have been a galaxy of sweetness by comparison.

I quit a full-time, go-nowhere, slacker's dream of a job to go back to school.
Three months before I graduated, I started looking for full-time work. Six months before I graduated, I began looking for part-time work. In the 15 months since I've graduated, I've had 9 face-to-face interviews, 2 phone calls, and approximately 8 emails from Workopolis saying they've got a great part-time job for me, with a company from the U.K that wants access to my Royal Bank account, so I can make 10% commissions on the total-sum of whatever payment-cheques I process. ..Uhm.. yeah, no.
I graduated approximately 3 months into the `economic downturn` that supposedly `we're recovered from`. That's BS, and you can bank on it. Economic downturn nothing, we were a breath away from another Great Depression..but don't tell the public that, they'll freak out. Because, you know, the masses can't handle the truth, apparently. Anyhow.. Here I am, college diploma, professional certification, work experience-but not in the diploma-related-field... and, nothing. That wonderful `economic downturn` helped nudge 2 of the vital industries in the city to shut down further than they were going to at the time. That put approximately 30,000 people with more work-related-experience than me into the market. Now who would you hire? The guy fresh from school, or the person with 25 years' experience?

So anyhow.. I did some recollections and number-crunching..and I've averaged about 1 interview, be it in-person or over the phone, per month that I've been unemployed since I graduated.
Now.. to me, that's terrible. It also occurs to me that.. it's pretty good, considering how things are, where they've been and the general cowardice of companies when the economy dives. Now THAT is something I don't understand. With a diploma in Accounting, it boggles me even further.
The economy dives.. prices *seem* higher, but they really drop. It's time for the smart company owners, IF they can(magic word, IF), to sharpen their horns, and expand. Aggressive expansion if they can. While everyone else is hiding in the corner, hoarding their chips.. raise the bet and strike while none other dare to.
'He who dares, wins' is often the (mis)quoted slogan of the British Air Force. But when things get hoary (it's not a bad word, go to and look it up), people huddle together, afraid to act.
Starting to rant here..

That pin-up attempt that I posted before..  I know where I went wrong with it - from my perspective. I sent it to someone i consider a mentor, and they gave amazingly constructive and uplifting 'criticism', pointing out some things I hadn't noticed that need some work. I asked if he'd mind if I tried it once more and sent it back for more critique, to which I was quoted some Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder version), which made my day. Basically, he told me: Don't do it once more.. do it a thousand times more. Do it until you get it right, refining it every step of the way. For every one good (good, not great) drawing, there a thousand really bad ones. (Ergo, for every great drawing, there's a thousand good ones... which means there's at least ten-thousand really bad ones for ever great one)

I think it was the blog-of-note today ...if it's not blog of note today, I stumbled across it then  Go there, and scroll down to #43. It's so true. I don't know how many people, myself included, have demands of themselves to be good at something right off the bat.
I know I do. I know I get frustrated as all get-out when I try to do something I've done before and suddenly can't do it.
I haven't drawn in about 14 years..and recetly took it up again. I expect myself to be better than I am, because I've seen technique, I've seen some great art.. and I try to emulate it.
But you HAVE to work it. Work it work it work it. Wipe the sweat off and work it some more. Work it 'til it hurts, and work through the pain.
Pain of unemployment. Pain of unattained goals. Pain of dreams gone down the toilet. Pain of lost loves, lost family, lost friends. Pain of betrayals, unmet expectations.
The pain of life.
And keep working through it.

So, below is a sample of some digital `pain`. There was no real direction, other than to try and vent some frustrations of the last 15 months agony-of-life, in strokes, jitters and stylus flicks.

Monday, September 27, 2010

An early post!

Yes, it's a minor-miracle.. posting early, before the 11th hour and all that.

Sat around after talking with people who might actually finally have solutions for a 3-month conflict.. hoping things turn out for the happy-happy for all parties involved.

Wasn't sure what to draw.. started re-sketching something that inspired me from a game called Doom Troopers for the ol' SNES. Man, that game was guns and gore, reeeeeaaaaallllllllllly big on storyline(not) and a lot of fun. Come to think of it.. the thing I sketched is a mix of one of the heroes of that game, and from a Palladium book called Wormwood. Oh, nostalgia of my youth.. ah well.

The image below has nothing to do with any of it.
Here's lookin at you, Makenna.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cult of the Geek

So, yeah. Apparently, `geek` is `chic`.. nerd is the word, and a dork is.. still dorky.
While it's nice to see geek-stuff being accepted into the mainstream, there's a slew of people deriding this, claiming that to be a geek was always to be on the outer-fringe of societal norms and whine whine whine, blah blah blah. I got news for you guys - you're totally, completely, and utterly wrong.
Stop trying to be `better than` and all elitist and generally just exclusionary. The whining is starting to lump you into the Emo category.

If geek/nerd stuff was always on the fringe.. it wouldn't have been sustained for the decades it was, let alone be brought into the mainstream social view. That's the short version of the arguement. Things like star trek, star wars, trading card games, dungeons&dragons, role-playing games and book publishers like Palladium wouldn't have thrived. There wouldn't be enough demand for the product to keep the companies afloat.

But seeing as how there's been the Sub-culture (which are not fringe-elements, they simply exist below the generally-known-(and thus exploited)-social-radar..and I would think glad about it). You've got Trekkies, Star Wars fans, GadgetGeeks, Indie-Music-boys and all sorts of other `groups` that can all conglomerate under the banner of `Geek`. It's almost like a bunch of little cults with side-interests that overlap enough that they can all get along. ...except the Star Trek/Wars guys.. they seem to have some serious blood-feud stuff going on - just kidding.

So.. because I couldn't mix Kirk, Picard, Janeway, Sisko and ...Scott Bakula... into one amorphous `Captain` least, not to my liking... I went with this instead.
Something `cult`.. something `geek`.
I give you..

Darth Cthulhu.
(about to sacrifice R2D2)


Pirate-Cannon Gatling-Gun

So, here's what I've finished with. Having a lot of fun perfecting some use with masks. Maybe too much fun.

The previous entry, for yesterday, as it's almost 1am, and the days swap over at midnight, as they should, is the roughed-out shapes for what was floating around my noggin.

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This work is created by Dan Shipton unless otherwise noted, and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada License.