Wednesday, April 30, 2014

52-Week Illustration Challenge, Week 18

Week 18 Heavenly body
Week 18: Celestial body

This is an iPhone photograph of a white styrofoam ball, painted with a few slaps of acrylic paint and mounted on a wire skewer in a glass.

I actually used some black cloth draping (ie. a pair of black boxer shorts and the top and bottom of my long thermal underwear), two sizes of star-shaped glitter tossed randomly, and an orange ping pong ball with a lick of paint. The shaft of light is from a battery-operated torch. Curious how I created the shot? Here's my secret booth for most of my indoor iPhone photography. The torch is wedged into the toilet roll holder, offscreen at right.

Week 18 Raw shot

Had to have another crack at this theme. Same elements as the first version, but I created some rings for the big planet by hot-laminating circles of yellow paper and gluing on some glitter. Light sources via a torch (wedged into the toilet roll holder), and the light-up model of the USS Enterprise ("Star Trek"). Smaller moons are represented by a bouncy ball, a ping pong ball and a foam clown nose. This image again took me about 15 minutes to assemble and photograph with my iPhone.

Week 18 Celestial body II
Week 18: Celestial body II

Nero vs Khan
Nero vs Khan

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Meet Kermit!

With Kermit the hand-raised tawny frogmouth proving that he really cannot fly.

Kermit 1 Kermit 2 Kermit 3

Saturday, April 26, 2014

I, Enterprise

New Trek stuff arrives Down Under

I picked up Part 2 of IDW's Star Trek "I, Enterprise" two-parter comic (Issues #31-32), about Science Officer 0718, on Thursday. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The character was seen on the bridge of the Enterprise in JJ Abrams' "Star Trek Into Darkness" movie, and he was a mysterious, cool-looking, android/cyborg background character about whom we knew very little.

Fans have certainly seen this kind of story before in Star Trek: the Ilia Probe in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture"; the Enterprise-D's computer achieving sentience in "Emergence" (TNG); the Borg Drone they called One, who came from the EMH's mobile emitter, Seven's nanoprobes and Mulcahey's DNA (VOY's "Drone"); Morgan Primus's most recent guise in the "New Frontier" novels and comics; and the holographic avatar of a ship's computer in the novel "Titan: Synthesis", fashioned after Minuet (originally from episodes of TNG).

But this story works well. I'm thrilled we got to know more about 0718. I hadn't really expected a backstory to unfold already, and thought Bad Robot may have done a little more with him in the next movie first. He's featured on the alternate photo cover of Part 1 (actor Joseph Gatt, pictured above) and drawn on the regular cover of Part 2.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

52-Week Illustration Challenge, Week 17

Week 17 Horse I, II
Week 17: Horse I and II

Horses and Seahorse in double-ended black Sharpie on acrylic backgrounds over primed canvas miniatures. Detail in metallic gold Signo pigment ink. Horses are based on a sculpture displayed in the foyer of the Manning Building, Pitt Steet, near Central Station, Sydney CBD. Seahorse is from a photograph I took at Darling Harbour Aquarium.

I saw a giant permanent marker in a discount store and had an idea to try sketching a zebra with minimal pencilled guidelines. I'm quite happy with the result. It's huge in comparison to the miniatures!

Week 17 Horse III - Zebra
Week 17: Horse III - Zebra

Zebra sketch inked with 7mm "extra broad" black permanent marker, with watercolour muzzle and background on A3 art paper.
I also had a burning idea for a cartoon:

Week 17 Horse IV - Pantomime horse
Week 17: Horse IV - Washing day at the pantomime

Double-ended black Sharpie (no pencil lines!), plus watercolour on white primed gesso canvas sheet.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

52-Week Illustration Challenge, Week 16

Week 16 Book cover
Week 16: Book cover.

For this week's theme, "Book Cover", I finally put a design on paper that has been in my head for decades. I have tried (and also not-yet tried) to commission same from several professional artists I know. You know, "One day, when you're not too busy..." I was willing to pay $$$$ to get someone to create a cover for me, to my exacting specifications, that would be a homage to several genres - and Bob Peak's poster art for "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" - and/or might have been great for a website front page, or even a "Best of..." collection of my writing over several decades. "Have Phaser, Will Travel" was the name of a regular column I wrote bimonthly for a science fiction media newsletter (1982-1992), and then the name of my first blog. This Challenge has inspired me to say, instead, in the words of the Little Red Hen, "I'll do it all by myself!" (Who knows, maybe it's an eBook cover for an actual digital collection?)

Watercolours on white acrylic gesso primed canvas sheet, with double-ended, waterproof, black Sharpie outlining, plus titles in Pages. Stars are opaque white Signo pigment ink.

Week 16 Book cover, black and white art

Exciting update:
This future cover art arrived from a Meetup and Facebook Friend whom I have never met in person. Yet. Thank you so much Benjamin Angus. I am thrilled and impressed by your talent and generosity! Now I have to compile that eBook of decades of articles and columns.

Have Phaser Will Travel cover art

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

52-Week Illustration Challenge, Week 15

Week 15 Detail
Week 15: Detail

Meerkat in black Sharpie, coloured with oil pastels, on brown paper satchel.

Week 14 Simplicity II and Detail
Week 14: Simplicity II and Week 15: Detail.

I decided to have another go at "detail", revisiting the saurian aliens of Sirius, from the television phenomenon, "V": the 80s version, not the recent remake. Handpainted lizard scales show through my phony human mask in this "V" selfie:

Week 15 Detail II - V Selfie

This was the trickiest "selfie" ever taken. No prescription lenses, but get everything important in focus: and highlight the cheek, the hand, the hat and chest insignias, and hide the Apple logo on the iPhone!

Week 15 Detail of the detail in Detail II

Update II:
Fish design created on black "scratch paper", which comes in a pack of five sheets (plus tool) for $4.00 from a toy shop.

Week 15 Detail III
Week 15: Detail III - Fish

Thursday, April 03, 2014

52-Week Illustration Challenge, Week 14

Week 14 Simplicity
Week 14: Simplicity

How different is this? Framed very simply, and photographed with my iPhone instead of scanning it. (The scanner seemed to separate out the black shading that I'd so carefully blended into the red!)

I decided to have another go at simplicity!

Week 14 Simplicity II - Meerkat
Week 14 Simplicity: Meerkat in black Sharpie on brown paper satchel