Thursday, April 25, 2013

From Pencil Sketch to Digital Illustration: Columbine Study

Too nice a day to stay inside so I decided to work in my garden. Saw that the columbines I planted 7 years ago are still reseeding and in bloom again. I always found this particular flower to have such an interesting form - thought it would make an good subject for a digital illustration.

Over the next few days the plan is to photograph the flower and import it into Real Color (which will generate a RGB color palette featuring the 5 most dominant hues) and then scan today's pencil sketch into Adobe Illustrator CS5 as the base layer on which to build my illustration. I'll use the 5 colors (and resulting variations) produced by Real Color in Illustrator and see how the RC palette looks when applied to a drawing.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

System 96 Reactive Glass Experiments pt 2: Blue Topaz, Chambray Opal, Payne's Gray, Cobalt, Turquoise, Opal

My shipment of the new System 96 colors (Chambray Opal and Payne's Gray) came in a few days ago and was excited to try them out. Curious to see if they have enough copper to react with red reactive glasses.  As you can see in the sample (Reactive clear top layer extends to red line. To right of red line is clear 3mm glass) below, the answer is "no"...however, they do fuse very nicely - lovely, subtle colors.  I can see using these two in the near future with Pewter and Charcoal opal. Some interesting reactions occured with Turquoise stringers and 24 gauge copper wire producing strong dark red outlines.

Another relatively new color in the System 96 line, Blue Topaz is a cathedral glass that is supposed to have a high copper content which would produce a strong reaction. Oddly enough in my experiment below (top 1/2 clear glass, bottom 1/2 reactive clear), it had little color shift.  It may have been that the elements I had placed in between the top layer and the blue glass might have effected the reaction. I'll have to try this again without inclusions (copper wire, white and cobalt confetti) and see what happens. Beautiful color, especially when light passes through it.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Artist of Note: Philip Worthington, "Shadow Monsters" at Seattle EMP: Interactive Art Meets Technology

Recently, I had the pleasure of seeing the Shadow Monsters installation at the Experience Music Project in Seattle.  Shadow Monsters is the work of Philip Worthington, a British artist, who creates shadow puppets that are altered by visual recognition software.  When a person stands in front of a large light box, a shadow puppet is projected onto a large screen only the images change with movement. Eyes appear in closed counter spaces, moving noodle-like appendages grow from heads, and fangs appear in open angle areas (such as a hand with thumb and fingers at 45 degree angle).  Sounds were also written into the program, such as growling noises for creatures that have open jaws (as in the first photo).

I have to say, I'm not sure which was more interesting to watch...the shadow puppets or the people as they watch their shadows being transformed on screen.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Wonderland Prop/Set: Completed and Installed. Papier Mache, Acrylic Paint on Board, 2013

Wonderland prop completed and installed, April 3, 2013.

Some changes that I ended up making from the original concept sketch:

  • Instead of two large front panels (4x4') and a side panel to cover braces, I decided to do four panels (3 front, 1 side). Was easier to transport to stage in my car without damage.
  • Fewer details in the background painting. Left as more gestural/abstract to let the papier mache work stand out and also not to detract attention from the actors.
  • Decided to reuse some of the left over tissue from the acacia tree prop as grass accents near the papier mache rock border.
  • Rocks were added once the prop placed on stage (final position). Attached button shanks to unseen side and strung the rocks together in four lengths through the shank holes.  After strung, rocks were attached to foamcore using zipper pull findings (which were fixed to the foamcore using 24 gauge steel wire).