Saturday, July 08, 2006

Illustration Friday -- Skyline

This week, I thought I would try the oil paints in ArtRage 2.

I originally started my Illustration Friday topic with a NYC skyline that included the World Trade Center towers. I was excited about doing this classic skyline at first since Cathie and I are going there at the end of this month. Then I got depressed about doing that particular scene and decided that I wanted to do something a bit more cheerful.

I'm not sure if it necessarily cheerful, but in the end, I chose a skyline from Beach 6 at Presque Isle State Park in Erie, PA. The cheerful part came because Cathie, the boys, and I were there over Memorial Day weekend and I remembered this was how the skyline looks. We had a blast and everyone was happy playing in the COLD water and sand.

Growing up in Erie, I remember going there when I was a kid and there were no stone monuments blocking the view of the boats that were out in the lake. I even remember on a clear day you could see Canada.

I guess you could say, "Skylines are like life. You never know when and how much they will change."

Friday, July 07, 2006

Fireworks at Baker Park

Since we had great weather for the Fourth here (the rains hit south of us -- Sorry DC), Cathie and I walked to Baker Park with the boys to see the fireworks. We were not sure exactly how the two of them, especially James, would react to the loud booms, but they were both great. The boys actually loved the fireworks so much that, without prompt, we heard a lot of "oooo's" and "ahhh's" from them.

If you go here, you can see some of the pictures I took of the fireworks. The pictures of the crowds did not turn out as well as I would have hoped, but there were probably a thousand people in and around the park that night.

Hope everyone had a fun and safe holiday.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July

Hope everyone has some fun plans today. We are taking the kids to Baker Park for some fun. We will be spending most of our time in the Kids Tent making PB&J sandwiches, controlling remote control cars, and playing in the air tents. We will probably also sample some of the great vendor foods they have and maybe even get to enjoy some of the bands that are playing.

If for some reason, you are looking for something cool to do on the Internet, check out this site. ZoomQuilt is a collaborative art project. It has a slight MC Escher look and feel to it. The main website has a HTML version and screensaver in addition to the Flash version linked above.

Have fun! Enjoy! And be safe on this holiday!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Doodles of the Day -- 07.02.2006

For someone who said they would probably not be posting much due to projects, work, and school, I seem to have posted a lot lately. :)

Anyway, I had some opportunities to play with my Wacom tablet and ArtRage today.

"Chalkboard Doodles" was created using a chalkboard canvas and chalk as the medium.

"Fruit Doodles" was created using the Oil Paints tool on a basic canvas.

Art of a Different Kind

When I took the dogs out to do their business the other night, I had an interesting surprise at the doorway of their kennel. A spider had spun a web across the opening. Luckily, it was high enough that the dogs did not disturb it when they entered it and I could sneak under it in order to get this picture.

I really like spiders particularly because of their webs. Most of it is due to the fact that I am fascinated by fractals, especially those found in nature.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Illustration Friday -- Sticky

The first thing that came to my mind when I saw this week's Illustration Friday theme was a pancake with some nice sticky maple syrup.

My second attempt at 'Sticky' is a person eating glue. I would say that this would leave him in a pretty "sticky" situation. :-)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Doodles of the Day -- 06.28.2006

I recently upgraded my free version to the full version of ArtRage 2. I thought it was very cool before and thought I would give the full version a try since it was only $19.95.

I must say that I was not disappointed. I played around with it and my tablet and came up with the follow drawings.

"Paint on Wood" started out as three bugs on the canvas and quickly became paint smears on a brown background and then finally this.

"Blackboard Doodles" is just a compilation of different drawing tools on a black canvas.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Meme -- Fake Past

I am not a meme person, but when I saw this over at Tit's List, I thought it was hilarious and would give it a try. So, all you creative people out there, refresh my memory on some things we did in the past. My mind is a little hazy right now and need all the help you can give me.

If you read this, please post a comment with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL memory of you and me.

It can be anything you want - good or bad - BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE.

When you're finished, post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON'T ACTUALLY remember about you.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Illustration Friday -- Rain

I was originally going to do something with a line from my favorite movie for this week's Illustration Friday's theme, "Rain." The quote, "It can't rain all the time," is from the movie 'The Crow.' There is just something about that movie that I still enjoy to this day. However, I could not think of anything that would do the movie or quote justice.

Then I read Cathie's recent post "Confetti" and instantly knew this is what I would draw. Below is a snippet of our back yard after a recent rain storm. Branches, leaves and daisy petals "littered" the back patio.

BTW, sorry I haven't been around much. Work has become very busy. Also, working on some "art" projects at home. I've been painting our bedroom and getting ready to paint the boys bedrooms in August when they are away at their Grandparents. I should also apologize if I am not around much in the future as well. Classes start Monday, so, I'll have yet another thing on my plate to keep me busy.

Here is something that I worked on this morning while playing around with my tablet. This one goes back some to my original concept somewhat.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Illustration Friday -- Jungle

Skyscraper: A Haiku

Our concrete mountains
scaled by pressing a button.
Crowded peak, then sky.

This week's drawing for Illustration Friday's theme "Jungle" was inspired by Cathie's current submission to One Deep Breath.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Illustration Friday -- (Self) Portrait

From the moment I saw the topic, I knew that I wanted to do a self-portrait. I have not done one since high school. I took the picture of me from the family photo that Cathie posted on her site and did the head shot.

I did it in my 11x14 sketch book, so this is the digital photo versus a direct digital scan.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Doodle of the Day -- 6-6-2006

"Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell who does not have the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom: let him who hath understanding reckon the number of the beast, for it is a human number. Its number is six threescore six" -- Revelation 13:16-18

The marking on the Beast's right hand is the Greek symbol for six hundred sixty-six (666).

Monday, June 05, 2006

New Books

Cathie went to NYC with her mother this past weekend. In her adventures there, she picked me up a couple of really cool books while at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

"The Art Book" is a list of 500 artists and describes one of their typical works. The work ranges from early medieval to modern times. It is alphabetical order so it makes finding an artist easy since you do not need to know what period his/her work is from. Very educational.

"The Wisdom of the Buddha" seems to be more of a historical book than any philosophical teachings. I am not a practicing Buddhist, but I do enjoy reading and learning about the religion. This book certainly looks interesting and looks like it adds a lot of additional information that I was not aware of from other reading I have done on the subject.

I think both books are great and cannot wait to read them.

Hopefully, I will have my IF drawing up later this week. It is taking me longer then expected.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Doodle of the Day -- 6-1-2006

These four doodles came while on a conference call for work. The bottom one with the mohawk is based off of the Microsoft MSN Messenger icon. I just added my twist to it. The bug with the leaf started out like the scene from Dr. Strangelove but turned it this instead. The other two were just random doodles.

Cathie bought me a Boyd's Bear for Christmas one year. The figurine is of a bear working on a laptop with a bunch of computer books around him. While sitting at my desk, I doodled the head of the figurine with my new pencils.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Illustration Friday -- Cake (and Edith, Too)

This weeks topic for Illustration Friday is Cake. Instead of doing the traditional drawing of a cake, I wanted to do something out of the ordinary. While in Edinboro this weekend, I drew this and titled it, "Cake and Edith, Too."

Not sure if I'll color it or not. Maybe coloring it will be a Photoshop project for me one day.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Doodle of the Day -- 5-24-2006

Well, this will probably be my last post until next week. We are all off to Edinboro, PA for Memorial Day weekend. I plan on packing up my art pads, pencils, and pens. Hopefully, I will be inspired by the trees and animals around Cathie's parents house and I will have lots of things to share upon my return.

With that said, I leave you with three things I have done in the last few days.

This first one I call "Shadow Lady." I wanted to try out my new pencils (Prismacolor Turquoise 7B, 4B, 2B, and 2H) that I just bought. They were on clearance at JoAnn's. How could I resist. So, this little lady appeared.

The next thing I drew was "King Doodle." I guess it is a character inspired by a deck of cards. He, or she, was done using a .45mm Micron pen. I started with an oval and the rest just happened.

This last one is called "RFP Doodle." I did this as my eyes started to glaze over from reading this RFP for work. The words and letters started to "lift" off the page. I grabbed my .45mm Micron pen again and went to work. My eyes are better now.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Weekly Photoshop Challenge -- Fixer Upper

Since I used to be in the construction field when I was younger, this theme really excited me. It also pushed my knowledge of Photoshop and helped me with learning new things that it could do.

The house that I chose to use is right around the corner from ours. We live in the Historic District of the city, so you cannot use "new" products to remodel. Windows, doors, roofing all has to be authentic to the year of the house. As you can see, one side of this building has been remodeled and is currently being lived in, the other half... well, it needs help.

I decided to make this duplex into a single family home. I converted the roof into a common color. I removed the second door and replaced it with a window. I also removed the window air conditioner unit. The last thing I did was remove the neighbor and gave them some more yard.

For more Fixer Uppers or to participate, visit the Weekly Photoshop Challenge hosted by TXArtcGal.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Illustration Friday -- Sorry

Wasn't sure at first how I was going to accomplish this week's theme. Usually, I like action words versus emotion words. However, I thought of my dogs and how they look when they get in the garbage or have an accident in the house. Although, my dogs have never broke a vase, they have done their share of damage. Their eyes have that "I'm sorry" look to them and you instantly forget your anger.

This one's for all you pet owners out there. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Illustration Friday -- Angels and Devils

Before Photoshop work

After Photoshop work

WOW! Can you believe that we got another tough topic this week?

I don't think it was tough because of the lack of potential subject matter, but instead the vast amount of ways this could be taken. I had so many thoughts going through my head -- Dan Brown's book of a similar title, kids trick-or-treating, or an angel and devil fighting over good and evil to name a few.

In the end, I chose to do a rendition of the Tao, aka, Yin Yang, which is a Chinese symbol for unity and universal harmony. It shows the compliments between dark and light, good and evil.

I'm extremely disappointed in the way it scanned, so I had to take a digital photo of it. However, this photo still doesn't come close to how this looks in person.

The side which represents "Angels" has a light blue background with clouds, a sun which resembles the Compass Rose, a symbol for guidance, and purple flowers. All of these items have a light, soothing feeling.

The "Devil" side has a Pentagram, which often represents occult or satanic beliefs, a dark ground, with a glowing magma represented between the cracks, and a saw blade tooth pattern that could represent torture. All of these have very dark feeling.

Thanks for stopping by and hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day. Posted by Picasa

UPDATE: Here is the scanned version after some Photoshop work.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Weekly Photoshop Challenge -- Colorization

TXArtcGal started the Weekly Photoshop Challenge over at I am very new at all of the different "tricks" that can be done with Photoshop. I am hoping these challenges will help me learn what can be done with this program.

The above photo is a black and white photo of Cathie's dad when he was a young boy. I added color to the trailer and the ground. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Doodle of the Day -- 5-9-2006

Here are some of my superheroes, villians and aliens I doodled today. I liked the guy in the middle so much I just had to add color. Not sure where the bug listening to music came from. Maybe he is a superhero in training. Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 08, 2006

Doodle of the Day -- 5-8-2006

Sorry for the horrible scan job, but its tough getting an 11x14 sketchbook scanned on one intended for 8x11 documents.

Anyway, these are some doodles of heads that I did. I was trying for different looks and emotions. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Illustration Friday -- Fat

I'll be honest. When I saw this week's theme, I was not inspired in the least. I was actually a little offended by the topic.

"Fat" is such an ugly word. The thought of becoming "fat" causes both young boys and girls to do abnormal things to themselves. They can either starve themselves, make themselves throw-up after they eat, or worse get addicted to diet pills. None of these are good for a healthy body and a healthy mind.

People also look at those who are overweight and immediately come to the assumption that they are lazy, uninspired, or just a below average individual. They never get a second glance. Or worse yet, they become the butt of a joke. This saddens me.

I tried to take a comical approach with this using a dog. This is how I feel after eating a large meal. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Doodle of the Day -- 5-3-2006 aka IF -- Under the "C"

This was one that I wanted to do where I played with the Illustration Friday theme "Under the Sea." Posted by Picasa

Need buttons?

I was playing around in Illustrator and Photoshop to come up with these two buttons. They can be used on your site if you have a desire to link to me. All I would ask is that you let me know that you have them on your site.

If you need a custom size or color scheme, I am willing to modify them somewhat.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Doodle of the Day -- 5-2-2006

Since I'm under the weather, I'm going to post some work that I did not too long ago.

About a month and a half ago, I was approached by another blogger, Cubicle Reverend, about submitting some of my work to him in order for him to display it on his web site. Since then, it seems that he has taken a slight break from the blogging world.

I have not heard from him in a while and I'm not sure if he plans on doing any more "Gallery Showings," but I thought I would use them for today's doodles. If he does plan on using them in the future, then for those who visit him, you will have double the pleasure of seeing them.

The first is a colored pencil design of a tulip. It actually started out as a flower pot that we used to have. I say "used to" because I left it outside one winter and it cracked during the thawing process. The coloring of the flower came from an African Violet, which just happens to be one of Cathie's favorite flowers.

This next little guy is a mad scientist. Although he resembles Cubicles avatar, he just happened to look like the little monkey. I have since gone back and inked him and added color, but I like the original 2H pencil version best. And no, the mouse does not currently have a name. Any suggestions?
My last guy was taken from an infomercial that just happened to be on while I was doing some late night sketching. I cannot remember the product name, but I feel this is intended for the most lazy people ever (hope I do not offend anyone who has this product due to serious back problems). This was from the opening scenes where a person was having difficulties getting out of their chair. The product that they were selling was a chair that leaned forward so you would not have to move any muscles to get into a standing position.

I'll also let you in on a little secret. This had started out as another drawing before this commercial began. Can you see the fruit?
Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 01, 2006

Doodle of the Day -- 5-1-2006

Played with the Wacom and Corel Painter Essentials today. I chose the Acrylic Brush and just tried different widths to get this done. Round flowers are much easier than the tulips. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Illustration Friday -- Under the Sea

This week's theme really made me think. I had so many things "floating" through my mind. Finally, I decided to do an underwater seascape. I wanted to try to do something different this week. Very rarely do I do scenery, so this would be something that would push me. Posted by Picasa