Archive for August, 2010

Travel Sketches

WHOA-HO! So I mentioned I went to Collingwood on Friday, and it’s preeeeetty unlikely that I would go on a long trip like that and not do any sketching. SO! Why not have a look-see?

This was part of the harbour in Collingwood. Ooooh. Ahhhh.

This was part of the harbour in Collingwood. Ooooh. Ahhhh.

Aaaaand then I found this place called the Osprey Wetlands, just south of Collingwood… Lemme see if I can explain. I THINK it’s a little wildlife reserve kind of area, and I know you can hike and stuff through it, but I couldn’t really find an entrance. At least not in the traditional sense. I found a few access roads that I’d be weary to take a pickup truck down, let alone the small Toyota I was driving. Anyhow, the place is PACKED with wildlife and is RIDICULOUSLY beautiful. Really glad I stopped there. Yes, I did manage to pull over for a good SKETCHING.

But my sketch really didn’t do it justice or turn out that great, so I redone it, I did! Yeah! Why not check them both out…

This is what I did while I was there...

This is what I did while I was there...

Much much much much much much closer to what I really saw.

Much much much much much much closer to what I really saw. Hahaha, big difference.

Pretty cool. Collingwood is a really nice place, too. I had a killer coffee that some kid made for me. Alright.

Dracula in Collingwood

Well, not literally, but close enough.

If you happen to find yourself in the city of Collingwood between September 1st and 26th, you can see my Dracula prints at the Collingwood Public Library! How about that? The Exhibition is called, Read Me Like A Book, and coincides with a book festival the city is holding, Wordstock.

The Jewel of the Seven Stars

OK, so aside from Dinosaurs, I have a bit of thing for Gothic Horror stories. No, no, no, not Gothic Romance… Never that. Gothic Horror! Turn of the century kind of stuff (the LAST century, not this one, geez). OK, so now that we’re talking about the same thing, I read a lot of this stuff. Short stories usually. And uh, well… I read them mostly because I like drawing monsters. Ahem, anyway, I just finished reading The Jewel of the Seven Stars by Bram Stoker… and it was pretty darn good.

Since most of this stuff isn’t a full on novel, I thought it’d be a lot of fun to try making cover illustrations for them instead of illustrations to fit in with the text (like I’ve been doing with Dracula). So far I like it a lot cause you can sum up the story in one image. Ah-HA! But there’s a catch!! You gotta make sure you don’t give too much away! Maybe TEASE the audience… make them WANT to read it…

Anyhow, here’s how the process went…

BG Colour

Background colour.

Red Added

Add the red.

All Done

Now the black!

Three colours and you’re done? HA! This is the first time I’ve ever done a three-colour print. It could use a little tweaking here and there, but I think it turned out pretty great. Take a look!

Darker Yellow

Lighter Yellow

Don't know what it is, but I love printing on cardboard. I don't get to do it very often, though. Usually have to wait until I finish off a pad of paper.

Cardboard? HA!

And last I gave it a shot on cardboard. I don’t know what it is, but I love printing on cardboard. Oh baby. But I can only do it when I get to the end of a pad of paper. Ooohh, there’s always a catch.

More on the Mosasaur

Well hello! This week I’ve got a real jawbreaker of a knuckle-ball for you folks… Check out this print I made!

Mosasaur Print Black

It turns out that 90lb computer paper is AWESOME for block printing!

Oooooooh, it’s a Mosasur! If you haven’t been listening, I kinda love these horrible, terrifying monsters. Being of course a marine reptile RATHER than a Dinosaur, they were coolest thing on the block riiiight before everything died. You know, 65 million years ago or what-have-you.

Anyhow, I thought I’d try something a little different. All my other dino block prints are just the bones, so this time I thought I’d try an outline of what the old boy might look like (strictly hearsay of course) and then carve out the part that we know for sure, the bones. Turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself. I was a little worried about the details. But then again I made this with the intention of putting it on a t-shirt, so we’ll see how that goes.

The next two are on construction paper. Just remember, if you ever grow up to be an artist, construction paper, white glue, and the like are just as useful now as they were when you were in kindergarten. And brush your teeth, don’t forget about that, either.

Mosasaur Yellow Construction Paper

If it wasn't for the fact that construction paper will fade to gray after 10 minutes of light exposure, it would be pretty sweet, too.

Mosasaur Black Construction Paper

I messed around a bit with the orientation of it, and I think the yellow one was a lot closer. But this a BIG lino block. This sucker barely fits on an 8 1/2 x 11. Construction paper is bigger than that though. Yessss.

So since the last time I mentioned the Mosasaur on here, I’ve learned something EVEN MORE RIDICULOUS about it, and you can see it pretty well in this print (the black one more than the others). The Mosasaur actually had a second jaw on the roof of it’s mouth that moved INDEPENDENTLY from the top and bottom rows of teeth. It was smaller and more set back towards the throat than the other sets of teeath and it’s purpose was to clamp down on prey and hold it in place as it opened it’s mouth wider to swallow it’s prey. Soooo, what it comes down to is, if the Mosasaur bites you once, just once, you’re through. You’re eaten. You have no hope of getting away because it has an extra freaking jaw, full of backward facing teeth that hold you down (slippery little fish that you are) while it gets a better grip with it’s BIGGER teeth.

Oh, wow.

WEIRD SIDENOTE: I was just listening to my favourite Cryptozoology podcast, THE CRYPTID FACTOR (If you’ve never listened to it, you really should… the episodes are posted here. One episode is pretty good. Two is charming. Three and you’re a loyal, loyal fan. Just keeps getting funnier), and they were talking about a new theory that the Mosasaur STILL EXISTS off the coast of New Zealand. Uhhhhh… Kinda weird since it’s pretty much my favourite dino-type fellow, but also my absolute LAST choice for something I’d want to exist at the same time as. My own personal skepticism in this case being that if man was EVER able to successfully cross a body of water, it was because there weren’t any Mosasaurs around to eat them. Apparently there’s a chance that this is a much smaller off-shoot of it’s massive ancestors and is possibly warm blooded, which does make it much more likely to have survived all this time (warm blood being the reason early whales were able to escape from their greatest predators into colder, arctic waters and therefore survive until today).

I’m gonna look into this.

Phoenicopterus Ruber

Well hey now, I thought I didn’t have anything to post last week, BUT IT TURNS OUT I had this page of flamingo sketches… how about that?

Let’s see, it’s from the Toronto Zoo, straight out of my sketchbook, and includes decoded flamingo speak.

Fun for the kids: try and find the duck.

Fun for the kids: try and find the duck.

Coming up? I have a tribute to the Queen of England. Go ahead and look forward to THAT.