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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fall in full swing

     So, as we all know, it is fall.  But for me it wasn't until a few days ago.  As many of you know, I work from home.  I take calls to get my customers back online - I troubleshoot.  So I sit at my desk in my bedroom all day.  I don't have to go outside for most anything.  Especially these past two weeks with the cold I have had.  All I have wanted to do is rest and recuperate.
      Well, on Monday My wife Juli asked me to run an errand to the local WalMart to pick up some things.  I had spent the past week huddling in the house and I was feeling a little bit better so I grabbed the cart and headed out to the store.
      Being October the sun has been setting around 6:30 and it was at the time almost 5.  So the sun was low.  I took the time to look around at the trees.  It is the perfect time to see them this way.  The sunlight turns them all into stained glass windows.  Now having spent the past 12 years in Colorado I had gotten used to one predominant color for fall, yellow.  Seeing a mountain side covered in aspen trees turning is beautiful.  However I had forgotten what it was like here in the east. 
     I spent part of my childhood here and the falls here are what I equate with fall.  Well, one block from our apartment is this tall tree that caught my eye.  As I said the sun was at just the right angle to light that tree up.  It made me stop and smile.  Now that tree was exactly what I imagined when I thought of fall.  Tall, full of leaves in bright red, orange, yellow and a hint of green.  The fact that most of the trees around it are still very green made it stand out.  The colors made it burst.  If I can remember to bring out my camera at the right time and snap a shot of it before the leaves are all gone I will.  But, today it is raining out, which will knock a lot of them off.  So I will try again tomorrow, on my birthday.  That would be a great present from God. 
     For now, though, I give you a couple leaves to enjoy here.  Take the time to look at the world around you.  You may be surprised by what you see.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Troop 240's 50th

     In honor of my troop's 50th anny. I designed a patch for us and have done some artwork.  There was little time to get the design done so I simplified.  I did a circle patch split down the middle with half the old scout fluer de li on the left and the other half with the new one.  The motto, again I kept it KISS.  "Scouting from generation to the next".  The colors used for the background and the lettering reflected the uniform colors used then and now.  The hardest part was waiting on the national BSA to approve the design.  Here is the digital design.
      When I have one of the patches I will put it up here.  -  I also mentioned that I did some artwork.  One of the ceremonies that the troop performs at every Court of Honor is the candle lighting ceremony.  It is done in the dark so my camera has a hard time getting it.  So I took the best that I had and created a pen and ink rendition of it that I scanned into my computer then colored it in my Gimp program.  Here is the photo(after I lightened it up to see the details).

And here is the artwork I created

Monday, October 7, 2013

Why are you bothering me?

     Another sketch from the zoo.  This guy stuck to the back of his enclosure and most of the time he kept his back to us all.  I walked by his spot several times till I got him to look at me.  It seemed to me he thought, 'get it over with already'.  It made me want to laugh but later on I looked back and thought he was giving me his royal look. 
     I'm just going hog wild with this new tool.  But it is the only way to get good at it.  These images from the zoo may help me get a foot in the door for more work.  I like doing these animals.  They all have a majestic look to them.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Ithaca fog

One morning, during our summer vacation to Ithaca, I woke up to a thick fog.  I stayed out in the shed again and had to walk across the yard to get into the house.  I was half asleep and when I stepped out I had to stop - go back to the shed and get my camera and sketch book.  I walked around the house taking pictures and when I got to this spot I had to draw this.  Again, I did this in pen and ink.  This is my work on the computer to make it come to the quiet life that I felt when I stood there.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Following on a Theme

     So, what can I say.  I'm a dog with a bone.  Teach me a new trick and I chew at it to the nub.  Sometimes I don't have the time to color in my work on site.  It is easy to add color later, but some of those pieces look good in pen and ink as well as in color.  So I don't want to add it.  Using the program to add the color to them after I scan them to my computer.  That means I can keep the original as is and have a color version too. 
     It is a mix of treating it like a water color and as a photo development.  As you can see, the results are very bold.  I really love how it retains the loose feel of a sketch and a magazine illustration.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Refining a new technique

     So on the same theme of my last post I have gone back to another of my pen and ink sketches and I colored it in with my Gimp program.  This time I used some of the old photo developing tools and dodged and burned in highlights and shadows.  It helped me retain the dark lines from my pen and ink.  every time I put down some transparent color - some of the black line would fade a bit.  So doing the dodge and burn helped it pop out again.  I will still do my watercolor by hand, but this will make for easier - quick work for some of the commissioned artwork I have to do from time to time.  
     This image is from the Seneca Park Zoo.  The totem pole used to be in the Midtown Plaza, but it got moved here when they went to tear the Plaza down.  I found a good home here.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Having fun with a new way of coloring

     Recently My wife and I contacted the owner of a house for rent nearby.  It is at 249 Chalford.  Just a block from the apt. we are in now.  It is small but for the 2 of us it would be good.  It is right next to the bus stop we use all the time.  So that would be one draw back, having the bus pass in front every hour till 11pm.  But that is fine.  One day, while waiting for the bus, I drew the view down Chalford from the bus stop.  I got about half the house in the drawing(yes that is how small it is). 
     I only did it in pen and ink.  after scanning it in I decided to try out a new way to color the image.  I used my Gimp program.  I picked out the colors and setting the Opacity to almost nothing I started drawing directly over the image.  I was surprised by the results.  It reminded me of water color.  I did tweek the color saturation to make it brighter but here it is.