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Friday, October 27, 2017

BB 35 More on this Behemoth

   So - as promised here are a couple more images I recently created of the inside of the Battleship Texas. I am re-posting a piece I drew a few months ago of the ship in dock as it is right now. The current restoration work is supposed to be finished in Jan. of 2018. What made these types of battle ships stand out were their Waist Guns. Above you can barely make out the rounded armor ports just below the top edge of the ship. They were on individual swivel mounts, not turrets. The Turrets were the big guns on the top of the deck.

From the blueprints I can see a total of 9 of these on each side of the ship. At full combat that must have been very noisy and smoky since those wide open ports would allow the blow back into the deck. Would have loved those wood floors in my home though LOL.

   About halfway up the superstructure is the Bridge. In comparison to other Battleships this one is tiny. Now from this view you can't see the back of the Bridge with the large plotting table. Again you can barely make out the spot on the first drawing where this Bridge is. Hint, look for the round port holes.

BB 35 - One of the oldest Battleships still in existence

  So - to indulge my fascination with things full of detail and old and of the military I have started a series of interior illustrations of the Battleship Texas. Its Keel was laid in 1910 - so it is older then the Titanic. It is the last existing Dreadnaught class American Battleships and it fought in 3 wars - WW1, WW2 and Korea. It also has the distinction of being one of the first Navy ships decommissioned to be a museum.
   I have picked this ship - not because of all that said above, but because I have been on that ship. It is fascinating ship to tour. Definately built for the human stature of that time period(shorter then me lol). Yet it is still massive. The one time that I toured it I was on a time crunch so I kind of ran through it and did not get a chance to really see it all. But, even what I did see was a wonder.
   For this series I wanted to show you here the process I go through to bring theses images to life. Well, at least the last 3 steps since I did not think to scan it in during the first two steps. So, to recap it - I chose the image to work on then did a pencil sketch of it with as much detail as I can get it. This starts with the general shapes to fit all the elements in in the correct locations and perspective. The next step is to go over the entire drawing with my smallest pen tip (005) and then erase all the pencil work. The next step you can see here below. It is the Ink wash stage. I go over the entire image with two shades of ink wash - medium and dark. I lay it in several layers to create dimension.
   After I am satisfied with this step I move to the water color pencils and lay down the color. This is also done in several layers to mix the colors up a bit to match the actual scene.

   The final stage is going back over the entire image with the pen (same one) to build up the texture and add more dimension. after that I use a white pen to outline some foreground objects   and to add some highlights to it.

    One final little step was I went over the image with a few colored pencils (not water color) to touch up the colors. I will be sharing the other images I have shortly

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Whole World Mobilizing

   As promised I had mentioned the 4 page spread article that I was doing a big amount of work for the Salvation Army in the magazine "SA Connects". Well, here it is in full - greatfully - some of the artwork I already had - I just sold it to them but there was a good deal of other bits and pieces I had to create to add to this finished work. Would love to see that as an actual game board - but that is an other deal.

   So - had to create new work to get this piece finished - only 5 of the images on this board were already done. There were 11 other images that I created for this work. See if you can find them. the only hint I will give you is that the buildings and cars I DID NOT do.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Another 100 yr old house.

   Well, I had to blitz on this one. This is the Oliver Culver house here in Rochester. Really, a beautiful one with tons of character and charm - not to mention lots of detail. It is the latest Architectural rendition illustration for the Landmark Society of Western NY. It is for a magazine they put out every month.

     I say I had to blitz on this one because I had another building they had asked me to draw (a post office), but mid month last month they changed it to this home. That alone would not have been a problem but I had a couple other pans in the fire - so to speak - and then Juli and I went on a long weekend to my hometown Ithaca. In doing so I lost track of the time and when I returned home I got an email asking if the artwork would be done on July 10th. I got that email on July 10th.  I scrambled off an email back and was told at the latest I could get it to them by the 25th. So I dived right in.

   Now, I quickly got the pencil line work done then inked over the lines the started laying water color down with in two days time. I took the 3rd day to go over it all with colored pencil and retouch some of the ink. so, in the end I got it emailed off to them with an invoice by the 15th(one day later) and they were very pleased. The original is 9" W x 6 5/8" tall. I was surprised by how quickly this one came together. I am getting proficient in this style of artwork so it is getting easier to do them.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Whole World Mobilizing

   Attention - Attention - raise those cellphones in flashlight mode for a big reveal!. Coming soon to the SA Connects magazine - a large spread with my work all over it. The image above will be one of the images in it but, until it comes out in about two weeks I can't reveal any more. The Title of this post will give it away - so look for that piece to come out. It is a collaboration between me and the people of the Salvation Factory. With their editorial and graphics abilities and my artwork we have created a beautiful piece for that magazine.
   It was a short notice commission and after a week of nonstop work I am wiped out - however the results show for themselves. What made it more time consuming was working with less then top notch equipment for the digital side of things. Sometimes painting pixel by pixel to get what needed done. All in all though I am happy with the end product.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Day 5 of the 28 day challenge

Well - I know there was a little gap there. The pinched nerve on my left shoulder blade had had me almost to the point of tears at times, This past Saturday I went to an Accupreasure guy and it was horrible pain while he was treating me , but, I felt better - to a point, Now I can handle the days OK - still - at night I can't sleep the night through. very frustrating, Anyway - here is the latest installment of the challenge.

I emptied out my bag and drew everything I had inside of it. These kinds of drawings are fun to look at. You can tell a lot about who that person is by the contents of their purse or shoulder bag. Mine - it was a bit straight forward. I am an artist and I keep my sketching tools in the bag.

Clockwise from top left - phone.tablet charger, napkins, pencil lead refills, leather colored pencil holder, my current sketchbook, pink silicone collapsible cup, business cards, mini composition book, poker chips from work, portable water mister, ball point pen, 2 indigo blue pencils and 2 white, a Sharpie no bleed fine tip pen, a mechanical pencil, a 005 size pen(tiny tip) a flash drive, and eraser and a heart shaped pencil sharpener.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

28 Day challenge, Day 4

Todays challenge as a bit of fun. I was challenged to draw some album art - it could be of any album but I chose this one. Petra is my all time favorite Christians Group and I prefer their earlier work even though I do love all their work. I chose this one because it was a play on positive and negative space. It this instance the negative space is pure black - yet the letters become the negative space like a window onto the scene you see here. It is one of my favorite albums of theirs.

Day 3 of the 28 Day challenge

Well - day 3 I was supposed to draw a house plant. Again, Well - I don't have one so I went hunting around the house for a substitute. I found this. It was my wife Juli's flowers from when she was a made of honor over a yr ago. They were dried up and faded yet they are still pretty as they are now. Of course I could not convey all the details but this was a good representation.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

28 Day Challenge, Day 2

Todays excercise is to draw my beverage. Currently - as ususal - I am drinking my diet coke. While the instructions give me only 20 mins I took about 35. I used pencil, pen, gray marker and watercolor. Most of my regular tools. It was interesting to mix all these media. It is also a new style of drawing for me - not to worry about being perfect. but I like it anyway.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

28 Day Challenge

So - to keep my back feeling OK (pinched nerve) I am sitting in the only chair in the house that feels good to me - My office chair in my room and decided to start this 29 day excercise for creative people. Each day there is a new challenge. The first is called "Receipt". It is to help you learn to take notice of the everyday things around us in the world that we ignore. You take out a receipt that is shoved into one of your pockets and draw it in its entirety. So - here is the receipt I pulled out and drew

Friday, March 10, 2017

To Go Boldly

     To give you an Idea of my age my first Sci Fi passion was Star Wars. When the first movie came out I was a young teenager. The scope and the drama of it made me fall in love with it. I still to this day have a passion for it. But with age and experience I fell in love with Star Trek.

     Mostly I really fell for it after my time in active service.  I could identify better with it's expression of a regimented life. Yes, the military undertones. Weaving in the moral messages made those military lives no longer military but more so reflections of real life and the problems we all face day to day.

     So much I identified with it that I held it to a higher esteem then I did Star Wars. I was also one of those fans that was somewhat critical of the direction the new Star Trek movies were going (until "Beyond"). And because of that I was pleased to discover the fan film productions (all of them). They gave us Trekkies an outlet for what we saw as the true Star Trek. It was through the online fan films that I was introduced to "Axanar."

     At first sight of the blogs about it and the small video clips I ate it up. I could not afford to be a Donor (literally living paycheck to paycheck), but I wished them well in producing the movie. When the 21 minute "Prelude to Axanar" came out I knew it was the best out there for Trek, but I also knew the great risk of producing something this good. Those who have followed them know what came next, the lawsuit. And for 15 months we all hung on by our fingernails.

     In the end the lawsuit was settled - with some big concessions on both sides. But now the hard work of Ares Studios is beginning - to produce a convincing 30 min movie (the concession). Now, many months ago I - for the fun of it and for practice - created a pencil portrait of JG Hertzler, one of the actors in this production. I've been drawn to him since he played a Klingon in Star Trek Deep Space Nine for several seasons and, in this movie, he plays a Human captain fighting the Klingon's. It was a double portrait of him as the Klingon and as the Human. I titled it "Conflicted." It was done simply because I knew he was coming to our local Sci Fi convention and wanted to have him sign it.

     Well, he did not make it. So, in frustration I scanned it onto my computer and shared the image and my frustration in Facebook.  I was touched that JG saw that image and apologized to me for that. But, it did not stop there. The other fans of Axanar (hundreds of them) kept saying how great the piece was and wished it was a print they could buy, including JG. That brought me to the attention of the producer of the movie. We chatted online which led to talking over the phone to a proposal to reproduce the image as a print to help raise more money for the movie after the settlement. We often chat - sometimes just a word of encouragement - what with all the headache of being sued, but have discussed the movie and the production. And, No I will not discuss that stuff. As an artist I do understand the need for some legal and creative privacy. But, it has all put me a a unique position I could never have dreamed of being in. That being, someone who has become a part of the history of Star Trek (all be it a small one).

     I look at the Axanar Art that I have and am creating as my "Donation" to the production of this film. Just as equal to the Donors who believed enough in this production to give them their money. Since doing that portrait I have started also creating comic book style artwork for their use as well. I will be producing several pieces for them and the fans of this film.