Digital Thursday

So, I have finally finished the fourth image in a series of four revolving around the Culturally Inappropriate Superfriends. Just who are and why do the Culturally Inappropriate Superfriends exist? Well... way back in 1973 when the studio execs looked at how amazingly white the heroes in The Superfriends were, they decided to add 4 ethnic minorities in the US to the cast of heroes. They created Apache Chief (Native American Indian), Samurai (Japanese), Black Vulcan (African American), and El Dorado (Hispanic) to round out the heroci cast of Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Flash, etc...

Anyhoo... here are all four in their final glory!

Apache Chief

Black Vulcan

El Dorado


To recap:
I have many irons in the fire
It turns out that the fire just makes irons hot enough to burn
I need to leave really soon for lunch
Mmmmmm lunch
Listening to You're Not Going Anywhere by Brad Sucks
Have a great weekend everyone

Digital Thursday

Today’s Digital Thursday is to show you how I need the digital medium to make my traditional work look better.

First up is the actual hand-drawn piece that I did for the most recent Ten Ton Studios Sketch Challenge of Iron Fist.

It is not bad, but it is a departure from my “normal” “style.” I decided to go very minimalist on it to see if I could get the shapes right.

Second up is the digital assist on my linework.

I did 3 things on this digital assist.

Thing 1: I added the blue stripes for visual interest
Thing 2: I corrected the body proportions on Iron Fist. He was a bit torso short in the original
Thing 3: I did some minor color correction

To recap:
I feel that I am okay in the traditional art realm
I feel I am better when I can assist myself digitally
I have things I need to get done this weekend
But I also have things that will keep me from getting all those things done
I threw in half a Power Man for free
I just spent $78 at Blick Art Materials
It is a good thing I had a $50 gift card
Listening to Great DJ by the Ting Tings
Have a great weekend everyone

Digital Thursday

So here is how it went down. It is Sunday evening late, it is the day after I got home from Canada, I have a proposal due Wednesday for some web development that I have never attempted before, and the lovely and amazing Wifey says to me, “I need you to make a map for me tomorrow.”

Really, tomorrow, Honey? You know all that I have to get done and I am still a bit travel stunned, right? Oh well, it is something to do at least. She determined with my lack of vocation that I had ample time to accomplish my tasks. She was right.

She outlined to me what she needed for a women leaders in non-profit organizations (a very small population) meeting. She wanted to look at the path that the previous meetings had taken and thought a landscape would be a fun way of doing it. I put my Tolkien hat on and here we go

Click to embiggin and then click it some more.

Been a while since I had a “Digital Thursday.”

To recap:
Wifey just got the 15in MacBook Pro
It is all shiny
Got a free iTouch with it
Go her!
She is so close to making one of those “Make the Switch” commercials
Isn’t there a joke about Born Again Christians and Mac Switchers?
Listening to Fern by Zoe Keating
4 posts in a row
Eat that!
Have a great weekend everyone

Digital Thursday

Okay, I know it is late, but i did not have much time to work on anything until just now. (SEE YESTERDAY'S POST)

Anyhoo... I am trying to get back in the swing of the whole digital art thing.

Here is a 90 minute painting.

and here is the reference.

To recap:
Damn it is late
Listening to Mandlebrot Set by Johnathan Coulton
Have a great weekend everyone

Digital Thursday

Well, it has been a while since I posted anything for a Digital Thursday. That is how it is sometimes. I am attempting to focus a bit more on my graphic design and art stuff whilst unemployed, so hopefully this weekly occurrence will occur weakly weekly.

Wifey asked me to illustrate some of the information that was recently gleaned by one of the groups to which she belongs. The idea is that the information that they have learned so far for this particular project has created their purpose and that the purpose is wrapped in some questions. I added the bees because I liked the idea that there are certain aspects of their jobs that "cross-pollinate" from project to project. That is why I added the bees.

Anyhoo... Here is my attempt at the harvest of the information of a meeting I did not have the opportunity to attend.
Click to embiggen

All total this was about 7 hours of work. If I knew exactly how I was going to treat the words right from the begiining, it would have been right around 5 hours. There are parts of this that I really love and there are parts that don't work that great. I am not going to spend much more time on it because Wifey needs to get it to the people who attended the meeting. If I had another 5 hours of un-interupted time I could really dial into it and tighten up the pieces that I feel are weak. Then it would be worthy of a fridge door, fo sho!

To recap:
I have sent out veritable digital boatloads of resumes
So far I haven't gotten anything back
That is my update for the job sitch
I am about to go out for a work out
Because I can
And really because I should
Listening to Fire Starter by the Prodigy
Have a great weekend, everyone

Digital Thursday (Happy Holidays Edition)

The idea behind this year’s Christmas Card had to revolve around the concept of “four.” The SRH clan grew to that quaternary number this year and the card needed to reflect that. Since Wifey deep-sixed the idea of “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalyspe” a search for other four motifs was in order. We thought about the 4 humors (blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm), the cardinal directions, classical elements (fire, air, water, and earth), seasons, card suits, the Beatles (who would want to be Ringo?), etc… We setteled on The Fantastic Four.

The card was done in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. The primary image work being done in Photoshop with the typography and final design layout in Illustrator. I have not changed the names on this to protect the innocent.

It took about 1 hour to do the Mr Fantastic piece. Of all of them it took the least work. I had to modify my shirt to look like a FF costume and then make a bendy neck. Easy-peasy lemon-squeezy.

The Human Torch was next. That piece took about 2 hours to get together. The final file had over 10 layers with multiple effects and transparencies. Even though it took a fair amount of time and effort, it was still pretty straight forward as far as what needed to be done.

Next up was the Thing. This one took some smurfing out. What I wanted to see in the final version was pretty clear, but what steps were necessary to get there was a different story all together. This one took about 2 hours as well.

The final image to be worked on was Wifey’s Invisible Girl…. What do you do to depict someone as being invisible? This one took about 3 hours mainly because many paths taken did not lead anywhere but ruin.

The typography and design work was 2 more hours. All in all, this card is the culmination of 10 hours of diligent work.Click to embiggen

Accompanying the card will a one page letter updating folk on the family. Many of you intrepid readers will be receiving this email, so please act surprised when you click on the image.

To recap:
Nearly done with the Christmas shopping
I have not re-initialized the iPod yet
The company Christmas party is happening this afternoon
I am not going
Not sure what will be for dinner tonight
I have learned not to predict
If you would like a copy of the email and card, please email me from the contact information on my profile page
Listening to people chat at work
Have a great weekend everyone

Digital Thursday

Digital Thursday has come again and I have very little to show for it. Actually all I have are the digital tutorials I have been doing within Photoshop to share.

The first is a denim texture built from scratch. Openned up a blank document and used filters and effects as well as the dodge and burn tools to get the final effect.

The second is a rust texture, which I have heard from others is “OK” but lacking in the flakiness that rust typically has. I told them to make their own rust texture and leave me alone. They did… and now I am lonely.

The issue that I have had so far with the Photoshop tutorials is that they are very good at giving step by step instructions as to how one accomplishes the very specific result that the tutorial is designed to create, but the techniques defined are difficult to translate into non-denim making reasons (for example). Don’t get me wrong, it did teach me a bit about the dodge and burn tools, but other than that it was pretty much just about the denim.

The bed-time ritual tonight will most likely involve a movie night for the boy. Wifey is working until around 8 tonight and Little Man and Q will be left to my inadequacies. Goody for them. I really have not learned how to juggle the attention between the 2 kids as of yet. It seems so far that as I focus on one the other needs attention. It is a tough act, and I do not feel it is okay to say to either kid, “Suck it up, buttercup” just yet. Although, Little Man has done his share of sucking it up.

To recap:
Luckily there is food to be eaten at the house
Because I would like dinner
Yes, dinner sounds nice
Something with leftover brats or maybe a cheap pizza
Prolly the former
There is a better chance of being able to eat a leftover brat and rice or something than the chance of wolfing down a frozen ‘za
Did you see that? I just coined a new slang term for pizza
I am soooo street
Wait, the “soooo” cancelled out the streetness of “’za,” didn’t it?
And by “streetness” I do mean suburban middle class middle aged white guy version of street
Listening to Wallflowers by MC Frontalot
Have a great weekend everyone

Digital Thursday

So last week I did not post my ready to publish Digital Thursday piece of work because some sort of family thing came up. Therefore this week I am posting last week’s Digital Thursday thus making it this week’s Digital Thursday.

Last week I was going to merely show you my entry to the November Cartographer’s Guild mapping Challenge, but this week I am showing you the WINNING ENTRY FROM THE NOVEMBER CARTOGRAPHER”S GUILD MAPPING CHALLENGE!

That’s right; today you will gaze upon winningness.

Here is the winning entry for the Novemeber Challenge over at the Cartographer's Guild. The Challenge was to:

Whether you are "Lost in Space", "Pigs in Space", or colonizing the "Spore Universe", what the intrepid space farer really needs is a decent map.

The challenge this month is to create an orbital map, star-system map or even a quadrant map. A map as large as an entire galaxy, or the immediate environment surrounding a planet or star system.

Not just any old political map... this is intended to be a traveler's map (not a Traveller map) to aid in "getting there", where ever there may be.

Sharpen up your lightstylus, put a fresh coat of paint on the Tardis, and prepare to beam up...

Entries should be in by no later than November 25, 2008.

Good Luck!!

The idea behind this one actually came from a Star Wars mock-up of an "Imperial Credit". That graphic is completely badass. I tried to approach the same level of badassery, but I know that I came up short, and that is ok because this map has made me better for doing it. There are already some techniques to this one that I will incorporate into my work maps and other pieces that I know how to do better now.

The other idea behind this map was to do it with a single ink in mind, as if it had been done as an intaglio print. The process took a while, but it would have been insanely time consuming by hand. Thank you vector illustration programs. The portraits in the bottom corners really started out the feel of the map. Lots of crosshatching and pen and ink techniques on them. Everything else was done in illustrator. I only pulled it into Photoshop at the end to add the shaded relief of the border elements.

The map is designed to print at an ANSI D size (24 in x 34in) or a 2 x 3. The initial work in PS was done at 200 dpi, but the posted version is only 100 dpi so it would post.

To recap:
Q doesn’t like eating for anyone other than Wifey
That is quite the burden for any mama to bear
Might try to make sausage and stuffing casserole tonight for dinner
It has been a few days since I have eaten sausage stuffing casserole
I have some work associated with the city of Cleveland that I am doing my best not to work on
Most of my emails of late have not been specifically for me
I am a person and I deserve personal emails
I am tired and all yawny
Which is markedly different than being tired and all Yanni
That means you are trite and boring to listen to
Whereas I am merely sleepy
Don’t disavow me of that notion
Listening to No One Knows by Queens of the Stone Age
Have a great weekend everyone

Digital Thursday

The November Cartographer’s Guild Challenge is a space traveler’s map. The idea is that the map has to encompass at least more than a planet. Maybe a planet and it’s moons, maybe a solar system, maybe a galaxy, maybe a universe, potentially a multiverse, but definitely more than a typical planet map. Anyhoo… I decided to do a space-farer’s solar system map in a Victorian style with portraits and filigris and cartouches and scrollwork and such.

Here is the basic concept.

And here are the insets for the lower left and lower right portraits. I, of course still need to add the borders and scallops and plaques and stuff to them.
At first with trips to Battle Creek and Thanksgiving holidays and other obligatory stuff, but since Wifey and Q are in Massachusetts and Little Man will be spending the evening with Mim on Friday, I have some time to push this mapping challenge out.

Things left to get finished

The filigris (one can never have too much filigris)
The cartouches (2 styles to be mirrored)
The coats-of-arms
The border elements
Oh! And the map

Ummm… sooo… pretty much everything

So… at least I have that going on for me.

To recap:
Day 1 of bach-ing it with Little Man and he is alive and well
Last night he had Chinese food for the first time ever
He did really well with it
Amazingly well when you consider that he has never really had any of that Asian flavor set before
Chicken fried rice and some lo mien
Nothing too crazy
He doesn’t quite get my love of the egg-roll
No one really does… to tell the truth
I don’t sleep so well without the Wifey in town
Not listening to anything
Have a great weekend

No so Digital Thursday

Ummm... I am postponing this Digital Thursday until tomorrow for an odd Digital Friday experience. That's right, I will post something on my Friday sabbath. I will whip something up tonight for the digital experience tomorrow.

Any requests?

To recap:
Busy today...
Not so much tomorrow
Ergo the postponal

Digital Thursday

Well, even though it is the actual blogaversary today I thought I would post up an update to last week’s Digital Thursday and do an extra special Halloween post for the Blogaversary.

Last week I showed you the near finished work in progress for the October Challenge of the Cartographer’s Guild. I gave you the background on what the challenge was about and all that stuff. Well, today I am going to give the version that I submitted for the contest. I will also outline what I would have done had I had more time in which to accomplish those doings.

Anywhoo… here is the submitted version of the challenge. (please click to embiggenate for the devil is in the details of this bugger.) The main difference between this one and the one I showed last Thursday is that I halved the width of the planking for the dock, I added an airboat, some boxes and crates, some flotsam and jetsam, and tables and chairs for the Dead Spider Bar and Grill.

1. If I had time I would have liked to put some kind of element in the barren center area of the map. It looks too open and too bare to be useful in such a cramped space.

2. In some of the open water areas that don’t seem to make sense I would have added pilings to show that construction is happening there or about to happen there.

3. The roofs of the structures are bit on the bare side. They should have some kind of detail to add seams and panels to the rather large roof areas. A single sheet of metal is not going to cover most of those areas. Also, even though these shacks are in the bayou, they still need fireplaces and stoves, so chimneys and smokestacks need to be evident .

4. The lower left portion of the map should indicate where a boat is docking.

5. There need to be a few more airboats in the upper left corner.

6. There should be the shadow of a gator in the water area with the “dead” mechanized spider.

7. More flotsam and jetsam because those are fun words to say.

Oh, and here is a Supergirl I dre for a Ten Ton Studios Sketch Challenge (click to embiggen)

To recap:
Happy blogaversary to me
No one even offered to buy me lunch :(
And it is my Blogaversary :’(
I am sad and poor and kind of hungry now
Feel free to wish me a happy blogaversary in the comments... it will make me all warm and squishy inside
Looks like I will win the October Challenge with the above map
Kick ass!
I'm a winner!
I am attempting to build up a fantasy cartographic portfolio in order to make some extra scratch in the gaming world
Little Man is dressing up as a cat for Halloween
I am not dressing up
Listening to Something Is Not Right With Me by the Cold War Kids off of Loyalty to Loyalty
Have a great weekend

Digital Thursday

Here it is the triumphant return of Digital Thursday! I know it has been a few weeks since I did anything all digital like, but this is a free blog and I am a tired man.

Anyway… the Cartography Guild has a monthly mapping challenge, and I am endeavoring to do as many of these challenges as I possibly can. I am attempting to create a nice fantasy mapping portfolio so I might be able to make a little extra scratch in these difficult economic times. I entered last month’s challenge and did pretty well (yea me!), but last month’s challenge was more up my alley style wise. I am stretching myself here and attempting to do a style that I haven’t ever done.

The challenge this month is to take the above shape primitive and…

Try to convey some of the character of the place you are mapping. You can choose any genre, and any size settlement. You must stick to the fundamental plan as far as possible and the layout must be recognizable in your entry.

I decided to set the time frame of the map as something kind of steampunk-ish and put it in a swamp. I chose a swamp because it allows for more levels of interactivity. There is a swampfloor/water level, the walking surface level, and a structure level. I really wanted to play with this idea of levels even though the lower to middle levels don’t seem to make much logical sense. For example there are holes in the decking that I have no idea (as of yet) why they are there other than to look cool.

I have a few things left to do to the image:

1. I need to make an airboat and inert it into the upper left
2. I need to create the bow of a 1890’s steampunk tug-boat and have it poke into the lower left corner.
3. I need to differentiate the rooftop levels a bit more
4. There are some shadow fixes that need to happen
5. Some of those roofs need chimneys

If I focus on it tonight and tomorrow night, I should be able to work through the issues that seem to be cropping up.

Anyway… without further ado, my contribution to this week’s Digital Thursday.
It is “due” the 25th of October so I need to work work work to finish it out.

To recap:
I have sketched out about 3 air-boats, so that should be nice and fast to do
I could really use some sleep though
There will come a point where I hit the “good enough” button and call this map quits
I hope that happens after the above laundry list item 5
Speaking of laundry, it is time for me to wash some clothes as well
It seems I am wearing the last of the clean underwear
Was that too much information?
Well, it was not too much useful information, I can tell you that much
Listening to Ikea by Jonathan Coulton
Have a great weekend

Digital Thursday

It is Digital Thursday and through some kind of hecurlean effort (much to Wifey's chagrin) I was able to push this latest Digital Thursday piece out the door before the deadline of today. This Digital Thursday episode is brought to you by the Cartographers' Guild. "What is the Cartographers' Guild?" you ask. well it is a forum of cartographers who like making fantasy and role playing game maps. Some are professionals in the RPG industry, but most are enthusiasts who just enjoy RPG's, sci-fi and fantasy maps.

This piece is from the September Mapping Challenge, which was quite a bit more open ended than most of the challenges I have seen. The challenge this month was to take a quickly sketched map and do it up in a style of our own choosing. The sketched map was this one:
Overall this sketched map is pretty quick and dirty. The green is forest, the yellow-ish brown is swampland, and the pink are places that people live. This month there were 28 entries. It was, in a weird way, good that I waited so long to complete mine. By there being 28 entries the contestant cartographers really need to do something special to distinguish themselves from the competition. Seeing what genres were already done, I really needed to come up with an angle that was different.

My idea was that an advanced spacefaring people were surveying a more primitive society's planet. Here I give you "Planetary Survey."
All total this was about 12 hours in the making (not including the stops and starts down dead end styles). It was done in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator CS3. I don't think I will win, but I should at least get some votes.

To recap:
I haven't done a mapping challenge in a looong time
It was an interesting exercise
Speaking of exercise I needs to do that again soon
Having a Papa day tomorrow
So I will not be joining all of you stuck in the office
I will be in my own private Hell
A hell of taking care of 2 kids at the same time
I don't know how people do it day in and day out
Listening to 4 Sticks by the Rollins Band off of the Led Zepplin tribute album Encomium
Have a great weekend everyone

Digital Thursday

For today's Digital Thursday I want to show off some of the photo shoot that we did with franzphotography for the family. It was primarily Little Man's 5th birthday shoot (although they were taken a month after his birthday), but the whole fam got involved. Me and Little Man with are pirate faces

Wifey and Little Man
Q with an Elvis collar
It seems from this picture that Wifey actually likes me? I know... WTF?
Me and Q
The Family
The Family again

Little Man hopping
An innocent Little Man
Wifey and Q
A meeting of the minds
Happy Q

To recap:
Just got word from Wifey... we have cable TV and Phone... can the Internets be far away?
The photographer who took these shots is a great guy
I should make more of an effort to hang out with him
There are a few other local people I need to make more of an effort with
When I get home I will re-attach the pics so they can be embiggened
*EDIT* oooh it looks like I can already click for embiggination!
Had a cracking good sinus headache when I woke up this morning
Listening to Strangers in the Night by Cake off ofB-Sides and Rarities
Have a great weekend everyone

Digital Thursday

Well, I decided to take off most the identifying markers from this graphic and posting it up as an "example" of the mapping work that I do.

This is built from the CAD work done by the roadway engineer designers. I have to knit together their linework to make a coherent graphic. I tinted the background photo to a green tint in order to make the linework and new facility . Most of the design aesthetic associated with this graphic are legacies from beginnings of this study in 2001.

There are many many ways to make the graphic more pleasing in its design, but since there is a legacy keeping the family feel to the graphic is necessary. This version is supposed to fit on a 36" x 44" poster, but the final will most likely be a larger format print. There is a shit ton of detail on this.

And a close-up for detail

To recap:
The nanny starts today
For blog purposes I will refer to her as The Nanny
For blog porpoises I will refer to her as click click whistle click
It will be interesting to see this in-home childcare works out
Man, am I tired
I don't understand the dainty sneeze
You know the one
Everyone knows one person who dimply says in a conversational tone "a-choo" three times
They then mention how sneezey they have been and go about their business
Now, I am not a lift out of the chair and wake the neighbors sneezer, but my sneezing bouts last 30 seconds and involve much watering of eyes and lemony facial expressions
At the moment I am not listening to anything... well except for a dainty sneezer
Have a great weekend

Digital Thursday

Some work related stuff for today.

These are some cross-section/block diagrams that I did for a public involvment meeting that were not used.

...and here were the ones that were used.

They stopped me from finishing up the more detailed block diagrams with labels and such.
Ooooh, interesting!

To recap:
I will re-embed the images when I get home, then they will be clickable for embiggination
Have a great weekend everyone

Digital Thursday

Here we are on Digital Thursday again, and this time I actually have some stuff to show. It is like graphic design show and tell Intertubes style, baby!

First up is the beginning of an identity package for a company that someone I know is starting up. The co. is a pet care company that wants to promote the idea of high end /upper level care for animals in their own home. Not a boarding house or kennel. The person requesting the package wanted an “upscale” feel with a dog and a cat toasting with champagne. I decided to go with an 1880’s Victorian glitz and glamour feel. Anyway… the first version I did was with a plum and eggplant accent color. It turns out that the client is not a big fan of the purples, so I created about 8 different color schemes and she chose the mint and green accent colors.

I still need to develop the business cards, letterhead, notepad, etc… but I think I am well on my way. That is a project for this weekend.

Second up is a shirt design that a co-worker asked me to develop. He plays a game called Flames of War with a local hobby shop gaming group. I guess there is enough of a regional population of gaming groups that they have loosely organized themselves into “companies.” So this Company wants shirts to kick it up a notch. I hope they go with a bowling shirt instead of a regular old t-shirt.
Bowling shirts would be awesome. Super. Awesome.

To recap:
Big old birthday party going on tonight for Mim
I was right, Wifey was a mess last night
She is doing better now though
The dog and cat logo has gotten surprisingly good reviews from people so far
Reactions I was not exactly expecting
Some of which were oddly intense
Oh well
Wow, I just looked around and my desk is a mess
Bankers look at my Credit Union and are dumbfounded by their hours
I swear they are open from 10 to 10:15am, but not at all on end of month processing days or holidays or days that begin with “T” or “S”
I need to figure out an additional way of making some money
But who doesn’t?
Listening to Seven Days by Sting

Digital Thursday

Okay here we are again with a Dr Doom Digital Thursday. This time around I have modified Jason's inks to include some damage to the armor. then I started painting the armor with a new technique that i am just now getting comfortable with.

Anyway, I give you Decrepit Doom WiP I

Looks like Victor has been getting worked over.

To recap:
Last night they showed the Gymnastics Galla during the primetime Olympic coverage
WTF?!?! Hey, NBC, there was actual sport going on when you were showing that tripe
I know some people want closure from the stessful gymnastic viewing, but come on...
The Olympics didn't have a fairwell send off to the swimming events, and they were frought with tension as well
Actually I bet some of the other ports were pretty tense as well... maybe we could have watched them? or at least highlights of them?
Listening to Divine Hammer by the Breeders
Have a great weekend everyone