June 28, 2009

198: Portrait Of Roy, G. And Biv

I forgot about this one – the first illustration from my May Day drawing binge that I took further, in terms of post-processing, in June. Based from a photo taken of myself and friends Karla and Kirsty at a hotel room party during the GDC National AGM, the original illustration was a two-tone pen and marker number. Once scanned, the brown ink was desaturated in favour of shades of grey, and colour and texture were added to further differentiate the three figures. The paper texture was a freebie download made available at BittBox. A better look at the detail can be had, right here.

197: Worn Out

Illustration Friday's theme of worn made me think of a lemur. Yes, that's right.

Not just any lemur, but one I photographed during a spring 2007 visit to the local zoo with my zoom lens in tow. I was there to test the lens out on my favourite Big Cage of Snowy Owls and came upon this tired-looking fellow. Granted, I'm not zoological enough to differentiate a healthy, virile lemur from a grizzled old one, but the mannerisms of this guy led me to believe he was pretty aged – and well-worn.

I sketched this lemur based from the photo, using an equally well-worn Pigma brush pen. I'd been using this pen tons lately and it's quite low on ink now – but this gives me a texture I love when I dab the nib on the page (an effect best seen in the muzzle area). The drying pen was also beneficial for the fur, providing delicacy that a healthy, virile brush pen could not achieve.

To follow the theme even moreso, I used an image of weathered wood planks to superimpose the illustration over, placing down Photoshop layers of white paint and muted splashes of colour. I then used a variety of custom brushes to whittle away the spaces between the planks and bring out a few cracks in the surface in an attempt to mimic painting the piece directly on wood.

A closer look at the detail can be had, here.

June 24, 2009

Zhup Wolf: Quark Superstar

I like checking where visitors to Jeopopolis come from – the free SiteMeter doodad I hitched up helps me do this. Today it earned its keep. Tom Waits and Alphaville may be big in Japan, but apparently I'm a "trusted" and "significant figure in the industry" in Russia – according to a "Quark consultant" who posted links to my Flickr set of magazine page spreads on a Russian design and printing forum yesterday.

I used Google Translate to find out what the Reds are saying about me; posts to the thread are laid out below. It's somewhat encouraging to see the eternal Quark-versus-InDesign debate crossing borders and spanning oceans (I switched to InDesign four years ago, despite the consultant's glowing review and ventriloquistic ability to put words in my mouth).

The consultant seems to be a Jeopopolitan convert; it's iffy whether others in the thread are – but Google's attempt at turning the conversation into English can be pretty amusing.


Poster 1: Creative Good Luck: Conservator Magazine

Conservator, natural log Association Ducks Unlimited Canada, published a quarter century. Since 2000, the editors turned to QuarkXPress.

"Starting with the fifth version of QuarkXPress, we keep pace with the progress and to continuously update the product" says art director magazine Zhup Wolf. "'G' pleased us most of all: easy access to all functions, focus on creativity and, most importantly, almost double the reduction of time on layout."

Wolf can be trusted: as significant figures in the industry, he is also a graphic designer and photographer with nearly half of experience. Is your tape on Flikre and blogs Blogspote.

Fifty of his best turn of the journal Conservator, made in QuarkXPress, you can see here and Flikre. They are really good.


Poster 2: Yes, a good layout. Especially liked the picture 2. It's a good idea.


Poster 3: It is necessary to clarify what exactly the program moved to the wording of the quark C pajamas? Indesit then and Quark was not.

Imposition of coding. If an opportunity like this make up – the dignity of Quarks. Well, well higher number of ducks on the page still does not measure creativity 4 th in my opinion – terrible porn.


Poster 4: Indesit then and Quark was not.


Poster 3: Well, more or less working, he became half of the version. Until then, all vopili "Well what!"


Poster 5: Mr. Duc really lucky – when the 500 characters in turn and cool photos in such circumstances to make ugly – have to postratsya.

June 22, 2009

196: Drifting In And Out Of Snow

It's funny (to me anyways) that at the moment summer finally hits my home town – and hits, big-time – illustrative thoughts turn to such cold imagery. But when you come from a place that can conceivably get snow during parts or all of 10 of 12 months in a calendar year, the white stuff can drift into your consciousness quite easily. To wit, to hoot: this owl – sleeping under a blanket of drifted snow.

And since it's too hot to go into further detail, I will insist only upon viewing this link where you can see the piece in its more feathery, detailed glory.

The original line-work was drawn with a Pigma brush pen.

June 16, 2009

195: Panic Shroom

I have a fear of mould. On food, on dank basement floors, on rotting logs – pretty much on anything. Maybe not a fear, even. More like a disgust bordering on paranoia on the cusp of dread. Case in point, a recent backyard gag-inducing dumping of kitchen compostables, which terrifyingly enough contained as much fuzz as veggie matter.

Depending on an extremely specific and seemingly unidentifiable set of circumstances, this disgust/paranoia/dread can occasionally cross over to the realm of mushrooms. But mushrooms to me are a grey area; I'll eat the cutesy store-bought ones like there's no tomorrow, but come across bad boys like you see above or below and I become equally fascinated and squirmy. I like to think of these photos, taken in the Whiteshell last weekend during a late spring hike, as somewhat of a step towards truce – between myself, and icky, sproingy, intestinal fungi everywhere.

Addendum! Anyone out there who can identify these... things... please, by all means pipe up.

June 07, 2009

194: What A Squirrel Wants

Happy worldwide Drawing Day, everyone!

This is my contribution, of sorts – it wasn't drawn exactly today – and also a submission for Illustration Friday's current theme of craving. A pretty straightforward concept; namely, squirrels such as this one consistently crave only one thing... OK, it's spring, so mebbe two things. This red squirrel comes from a photo taken at Flowerpot Island, Ontario, during a 2007 road trip around the Great Lakes. It was frighteningly aggressive, towards a fellow squirrel at this picnic site, as well as to Kerry and myself, us attempting a mild-mannered attempt at a peaceful lunch.

The original drawing, done in brown- and black-ink Pigma Micron brush pens, was my May 8 entry towards a self-directed challenge of sketching once a day in May. All further work crafting it into a submission for Illustration Friday was completed in Photoshop over the weekend.

A closer, more detailed look can be had here.

June 04, 2009

193: Nothing But Blue Sky

This very month of June comes with it all the pomp and hullabaloo of a newly-released edition of the GDC's Manitoba chapter e-news, cobbled together by me – your friendly neighbourhood chapter communications chairjobbie – and featuring valuable input from a phalanx of local chapter members (and thank you, whole-heartedly, each and every one). This edition features all the stalwarts of a summertime blockbuster: Intrigue! Exotic locales! Hot young things hitting the streets! And most of all, fantabulous miscellanea!

Read on.

June 01, 2009

192: Warblers vs. Swallows

Clockwise, from top left: common yellowthroat, barn swallow, yellow warbler, tree swallow.

When I bought my macro lens last fall, I was excited about the prospect of using it at the weekly spring/summer bird banding sessions where I work. This past Friday they were netting little birds left and right, and were a bit too busy for me to get in too close. Even still, I left with a good collection of photos and reference material for drawings or other work. I'll probably attend a few more times, before summer comes and many of the rarer, more colourful catches move further north to nest.

I have deep respect for pro nature photographers, and their unending patience ­ especially for these tiny songbirds. These birds were all (temporarily) captive, held either by the feet or in harmless (trust me) fist-grips, and yet they still fluttered, juked and shook in and out of focus.