MOON + JELLYFISH
Out in the middle of a wide dark sea, a little jellyfish was all alone. It waited such a long time to find its kin, but nary another jelly did it meet. The sea offered companions of tuna, dolphin, and herring, but none of these would do. Then one night, the little jellyfish looked up and saw the biggest, most glorious jelly of them all shimmering just above the waves. Its bell was so great and bright that its tentacles could not be seen. The little jelly loved it at once and called it Frederic, never knowing it was giving its tiny heart to the moon.
Notes: It has been a while – I’ve been distracted by some other artistic pursuits. With this image, I wanted to really focus on the technical representation of looking through water at the moon. It was a fun challenge. I started with a reference for the jellyfish and then gave in to whimsy. Feeling more comfortable all the time.
QUEEN + CHICKEN
The queen’s evident insanity was the talk of the kingdom. Shortly after the death of her husband, the beauteous queen became fixated on one of the chickens in her royal barnyard, proclaiming to her court that the chicken was none other than the recently deceased king reincarnated as a laying hen. She commissioned a special crown to serve as a nest for her beloved chicken and wore both crown and bird upon her head at all times, insisting the chicken-king must be consulted and included in all royal matters.
Fearing that the neighboring kingdom would catch wind of their queen’s peculiar new habit, nobles and peasants alike adopted the practice of wearing small barnyard animals as living hats, hoping the act would be attributed to fashion rather than madness. By the time word had spread of “the kingdom of animal hats”, its residents were enjoying the advantage of a fierce reputation derived from the hyperbole of storytellers. It was certain that no one would be foolish enough to think of plundering or enslaving a kingdom whose residents were capable of making weasels and rattlesnakes pretend to be hats.
Notes: Began with a scanned sketch for this one and left segments of the line drawing in the finished work. Also experimented with the shape tool and overlaying patterns for the background. While the tools are becoming more intuitive, I’m still having trouble getting a smooth workflow established – something that will (I hope) enable me to move more quickly. For the story, Ryan and I have a particular fondness for chickens and hats, so they will likely be a theme with these entries. I actually think I may flesh this concept out as a full story as the illustration potential for the hats is kind of exciting. Stay tuned…
ALBATROSS + SOLAR FLARE
On a moon in a galaxy far away, there lives a flock of giant space albatross. The birds make their homes in the craters that mar the moon’s surface. From their nests there, they can view the nearby sun. Every so often, a large solar flare bursts forth, casting hundreds of molten minnows into space. The giant space albatross descend upon the fish and glide home on solar wind to consume their prize.
Notes: Used about 40 layers on this one. Experimented with more masks, opacity, and the blur and smudge tools. Most particularly, I enjoyed experimenting with the “warp” transformation when manipulating the fish. I think the results were pretty effective, given the forgiving shape of the fish. Enjoyed doing space imagery.
BABY DINOSAUR + CLOUD
No one was around when the baby dinosaur hatched. He was terribly hungry but his parents weren’t there to show him what a baby dinosaur was supposed to eat. He looked around and tried to decide what would be the most delicious thing to munch. Then he saw them: big puffy, fluffy, cuddly white clouds floating in the distance. The more he looked at them, the tastier they appeared, particularly the one in the middle that looked like… well… he didn’t have the words to describe it. Just as the baby dino was about to jump for the yummy cloud, his parents burst out of the foliage and surprised him with a tender triceratops steak and a big hug. Though the steak was delicious and the baby dinosaur was grateful to know what he was supposed to eat, he couldn’t help wondering for the rest of his life what clouds might taste like.
Notes: This image was my first experience using masks. I LOVE THEM! Oh, the time I could have saved in some of my past images if I’d only known about masks. I also discovered that I can rotate my canvas display as I’m working like I would if I were drawing on a real paper. I always draw with my paper askew, so being able to do this on the computer has made the whole experience so much more natural feeling. Lots of good, practical learning with this one.
HORSE + BATTERY
An old man built the horse from metal scraps he found in the junkyard. It was kinetic with moveable joints, built to scale and powered by a lithium battery. There was only one problem with his magnificent horse: the old man had forgotten to include an “off” switch.
The moment the battery was in place the horse galloped away, leaving the old man in a trail of dust. It galloped for several hundred miles and was just passing through a farmer’s garden when its battery became exhausted.
The next day, the farmer found the horse in an exquisite equine posture posed right before her freshly planted pepper plants. The farmer was delighted and the horse lived out the rest its peculiar life as garden sculpture.
Notes: I really wanted to try my hand at a more complex scene as an experiment in time management. This image took me about three days worth of work. I am quite pleased with how my previous experiments with different brushes, layering, and other painting strategies came together in this image. Still lots to learn, but I’m so happy with how quickly progress is evident in the products I’m posting. Compare this with my first post. It’s almost hilarious…
Here’s a preview of my next illustration. At over 90 degrees with no AC or fan in this apartment, it’s simply too hot to work anymore. Full illustration and story to come by Monday.
A puffin doodle. Just for fun. Enjoyed drawing puffins for my last submission and wanted to continue playing with my new brushes.