I went on a guided hiking trip with Skokie Park District and took some nature photos this weekend! We traveled to the Jasper-Pulaski Nature Reserve in Indiana for the sandhill crane migration. The nature preserve is in a really rural area. And there is no cellular coverage there, either.
I only had a 300 mm lens on a Nikon DSLR and was looking at envy with anyone that had a 600 mm or larger lens. It turns out that sandhill cranes are sensitive to being disturbed and the nature preserve has the viewing area is well back from the feeding and roosting areas. Binoculars were really helpful for viewing; photography was difficult. At least I have some images that will be okay as visual references for drawing or painting. Also, the weekend had a big surprise; so that will be the last photo!
The best description of “intuitive painting” as the phrase is in use today is working wet and loosely, letting the paint media have some random effects and working for enjoyment more than trying to model features. Doing faces is a popular subject and ArtTrader magazine has a nice article with many examples here. The technique works best if you work with a monochrome or very few closely related colours.
I tried to branch out and used some watered down CMY Process silkscreen inks. The art went into a round robin zine that had a group of artists contributing work. I think I framed this painting with too many ink lines and worked too tightly, so I will try this process again. It is an interesting exercise to do for working loosely and quickly.
Are you wandering around a fluorescent lit cave taking pictures of people’s cosplay? That’s a fan convention for you! It is great to see the mad love people put into their cosplay. I was going to just put up a few favorites and then I decided to blog a ton more. I was just carrying my crappy pocket camera and using the sport setting to not blast people with the flash. All pictures are from ACen (Anime Central) Chicago at the Rosemont Convention Center.
I identify characters where I can and take wild guesses where I cannot. The joy of cosplay is that people are taking from a wide range of movies, anime, manga, webcomics, comics, cartoons, video games and memes. They are further mixing up genres, genders and mash ups to the point that no one can know everything… or can they? If I get anything wrong or you know what something is, please let me know! I love that just about anything with a fan base has some fans passionate enough to cosplay characters.
This Bioshock was off the chain! Lights with sounds from the game keyed to the costume.
400 x 400 pixels
Here is the finished little “What’s in your mailbox?” animated GIF someone requested for a mail art group. It’s cute and it was fun to make. Too bad the GIF format pixelates color gradients. The animation looks better in the program because the glowing light and clouds are smooth. I have no idea why there is not an animated JPG format; only a programmer could explain why.
I put a lot of time into the second round of this little seven second animation. I forgot to save the original Photoshop file where I matched and laid out the layers of the rough pencil sketches. I just did a screen capture of the GIF I put online, dropped each screen capture as a layer for the new Photoshop file and up-sampled the roughs to 144 dpi.
I was going batty from slamming layers in Photoshop all day. Sal, my Hockey Blogger Boyfriend, insisted I find the Beavis and Butthead “Animation Sucks” episode, which further proves that Mike Judge is both brilliant and hilarious in describing reality. Animation is pretty exhausting. It helps to try and not do it all at once. You really need to take breaks when working on an animation project. It also helps to remind yourself that the professional grade work is done by huge teams of people using better software and hardware!
Small 250 x 250 pixels
I made an owl pattern you can use for free! Please no sales or commercial use involving this pattern. I am retaining copyright on this pattern; you may use it for personal enjoyment, gifts and swaps / trades. The weather in Chiberia still has us snowed in. I was pretty bored from being indoors and created this pattern for a small stuffed toy, hanging ornament or you could even use this pattern for a paper collage.
I recommend felt for a sewn pattern; t-shirt scraps will work well also. Embroidery floss and some hand embroidering is a nice way to embellish this pattern. Buttons make nice eyes. Using felt or any stiff fabric for the feet will make the stuffed toy version stand upright.
I find it helpful to print the pattern on thick paper like cardstock, cut out the pattern and trace it on the reverse of the fabrics being used to sew the owl. You can enlarge the pattern digitally or on a photocopier. The pattern here is made to be 4 inches tall. Right click and open the image in a new tab if you are having trouble getting the full sized pattern image to download.
This is a basic eight page zine that is made from one sheet of paper. Print the template below for a practice copy. The orientation of the page numbers shows which way is up for each page. Accordion fold the zine to get your eight pages. Right click and open in a new tab in your browser if you are having trouble downloading the full size image. This is sized to 8.5″ x 11″ paper.
Here is a quarter fold zine pattern for 8 pages from one page. The differences are: you need to cut across the whole center dashed line, you need something to bind the pages together (like a needle and heavy thread or staples), and you need to print two-sided on one piece of paper. I marked how to flip the paper around in your printer or copier if the system you use is not automatic. I like using 110# cardstock paper for this pattern so inks do not bleed through the pages. Open and download this PDF for the pattern. I placed the .jpg versions below.
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My friends and I got out of the city for the day last Sunday and frolicked around the Bristol Renaissance Faire. We are all such wonderful djörks, we were wearing costumes and being quite silly. We were fortunate enough to have Hamlet, Prince of Denmark join us for the day. I brought along my crappy pocket camera but actually got some nice shots through the day. I only did minor amounts of cropping and colour correction on these shots. You cannot use these images for any commercial reason but may enjoy them personally, pass them along to friends, performers of the fair and other awesome, nerdy djörks. Enjoy!
The Green Fairy