Monday, February 20, 2017

Furry Modem

I finally got my WiFi restored, after months of not having it and ignoring it. Some thunderstorm action had put the old one out with a power surge while I was away in Massachusetts in the House of Mildew. I made an appointment with Cox Communications and everything went well with the cable handler. He installed a fresh new modem/router with everything connected and working. You can see from the drawing I did from life that the modem is healthy and well-fed and seated comfortably on its little feet. It has five glowing blue eyes in front and a tiny little mouth although most of its feeding is done through a cable connected in back. In order to prevent animal abuse or damage it is replaced every month with a fresh one, which is interpreted to me as a rental fee as I cannot tell the difference. I won't even notice when the replacement happens (something about other dimensions). But if any of the blue eyes turn red, I must immediately report it to Cox as the creature might be sick or malfunctioning or angry for some reason.

Black tech pen ink on sketchbook page, 3" x 3", February 20, 2017.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Kabbalah Art Finished

The elaborate process of layering images is done and here is the final version of my Kabbalah book cover. The book, "Meditation, Magic, and the Tree of Life," is authored by Andrew Highfield, a British Western-Esotericist concentrating on the non-Jewish Kabbalah and its imagery. Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism, has been part of European esotericism since the Renaissance. Kabbalistic ideas have percolated into alchemy and Freemasonry and some of the symbols in this illustration come from those areas. In the center is the "Tree of Life," with its ten "stations of emanation." This is, as I describe it, a "flow chart of the Universe," or how divine energies flow from the Deity into the layers of the world. I like my mysticism with lots of color and symbolic imagery so this, to be sort of British, is my cup of tea. I don't know when the book is coming out but it will be available as both e-book and paper volume.

Digital work incorporating an earlier painting of the Tree from 1986. Photoshop on Cintiq, February 2017. Click on the image for a larger view.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Kabbalah Excerpt 2

I used the pixel-precise image cutting tool to excerpt one of the angels in my Kabbalah book cover. You can see stylized textures and simulated bronze and gold. It's all digital though I use some of my old painting techniques on the electronic stylus and screen. I am now finished with the Kabbalah cover but cannot show you the whole thing until Mr. Client approves of it. This angel has a partner facing toward him, thus suggesting the two bronze angels who were mounted on the Ark of the Covenant as told in the Hebrew Bible.

Photoshop on Cintiq, February 2017. Click to see more texture closer up.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Kabbalah Excerpt

Here's an excerpt from my Kabbalah cover art work in progress. The globe on top of the Black Pillar is now Earthlike and golden ribbons drift in the celestial breeze. There's  plenty more to do but at least I don't have to put faces on the angelic beings (whose glowing heads have not arrived yet). I should be done soon. 

Photoshop on Cintiq, February 2017.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Darkovan Title Page Action

I enjoyed making Darkover fan story title pages because I could use different kinds of type and experiment with styles. In this story, the plot is kind of weak: a Darkover-human wilderness dweller or "mountain man" discovers a super-weapon lost by the high-tech Terrans. It looks like a simple writing pen but can deliver blasts of power. In this scene chosen for the title page, I have the shaggy woodsman sneaking up on a bunch of bandits who are torturing a youth, to save him with the unusual device. 

Since most of the action takes place at night, I had to image scenes done in darkness in the deep woods. There is a little campfire for light around the action area but for the woodsman I created a dark forest with ink and brushwork. I often wonder what happened to my Darkover friends, fans, and creative clients. Faded into a darkness mightier than the pen.

Black ink on illustration board, 8" x 10", summer 1985.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Two Pillars of the Astral Temple

In Western Esoteric imagery, a common motif is that of two pillars on the sides of a Gateway, which the astral traveler or visionary must pass through. One pillar is black, the other white. This symbol has been in literature for thousands of years, including a mention in the Bible where they are at the doorway of the Jewish Temple of  Solomon. I am currently working on a book cover on the subject of mystical visualization as seen in Kabbalah, that is Jewish mysticism, and I've put these two famous pillars in my cover design. The blue globes on top of the pillars come from Masonic imagery, which in turn borrowed some material from the older mysticism. The blue globes are not finished; I will be rendering them as planet and sky. The whole cover should be done in a few days. 

Photoshop on Cintiq, February 2017.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Geometrikon Cubist Cardinal

You know Spring is coming when you hear the crowing of the cardinal birds. They are also putting on their mating plumage which is very bright red, like a glowing coal in front of grey woods which are still all twiggy and leafless. They are the Fire Roosters of the Chinese New Year, on the border of domestic and wild. I am all for the brightness on winter days. So far, no snow. My Geometrikon today is a Cubist view of our red-crested friend.

Black ink on sketchbook page, colored in Photoshop, about 4" x 3 1/2", February 14, 2017.