Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Abandoned Eatery



Tysons Corner, the onetime rural crossroads turned into burgeoning Edge City, has a few places which have been left behind in the frenzy of development. This is one of them. It is in an area of dull office buildings and car sales and service places. It used to be a "Fuddruckers" hamburger eatery but it is now abandoned. The building is painted in hamburger and condiment colors of reds and yellows but that has faded, like an old amusement park that was once cheerful and active. Note the faux balustrade on top of the main gable in front. It isn't a real terrace. You couldn't take your burger plate up there and sit at a little table overlooking the pleasant vista of parking lots or car storage. There is a motel near the building where guests could eat at the convenient location. Sooner or later this building will be removed and something else more tasteful will appear there.

Black tech pen ink on car fender supported sketchbook page, 8" x 4 1/2", May 3, 2016.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Kallitechnia Water Stairway


The colonies of Kallitechnia were arranged by themes of the ancient Four Elements, that is, Earth, Water, Fire, and Air. Not only was the people's way of life full of their element, the architecture and costume fashions followed the theme. The overall style was Art Nouveau which adapted easily to the elemental philosophy and ornamentation. In this drawing you see a fanciful carved stairway which makes its way through multiple levels of fountains. This is in the Water House, and you can see figures of mermaids, seals, and aquatic creatures in the stairway and fountain designs.

Black ink on illustration board, original drawing 12" x 9", March 1997. Click for larger view.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Snack at Starbucks


In the future, we will drink coffee out of little portable covered paper cups and eat our lunch in the form of a peanut-flavored protein bar in a plastic wrapper. Well here it is, my early evening snack when I creep out of my studio for my one glimpse at the real world, although Whole Foods does not qualify as the "real world." It's an Atkins bar, which is supposed to be nutritious but also contains somewhat dangerous artificial sweetener. I have long since come to the conclusion that any food except colorful vegetables and white meat chicken or tuna is bad for me. That's good food, sure, but I would get tired of it all the time. I can have all the broccoli and almonds I want, which is not all that much. I have been waiting for "People Vittles," a package of chewy, tasty, nutritious snacking that resembles what we feed our privileged cats. This bar is almost there. The low-carb protein bar is made for people who want to lose weight, or who are just too damn lazy to prepare their own snacks. As for the coffee, that's a double espresso macchiato from the worshipful Starbucks, a concoction sometimes referred to as "productivity in a cup." Despite drinking it, I was not very Productive today, not to mention hearing ominous crackling noises coming out of the electrical wall outlet that my Cintiq was plugged into. Pull the plug. The Cintiq gives an almost human sigh as I dismiss Windows 10, and goes dark.

Black tech pen and grayscale markers on sketchbook page, some Photoshoppage on the border, 4" x 4 1/2", May 1, 2016.

2600 posts here on the By-Product since March 2008. I don't know what that means, but it must mean something.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Little Chinese dragon


A dragon is often a combination of different animals, and such is this one, made from feline, reptilian, and annelid qualities. It's a small dragon, no bigger than a medium-sized dog, and is at its best when scampering over mountain crags. Large dragons can use these little ones for protection while manifesting their greatness at the parliament of animals. They also are good at picking up scraps of food or paper, a task which excites them, as this one shows. They're not very friendly to humans but will not attack unless provoked.

Black tech pen ink on sketchbook page, with a little extra Photoshop, 4" x 2 1/4", April 30-May 1, 2016.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Computer Angel


I designed this image for a communications-themed card for a prayer group I belong to. Most of my fellows in this group are tech professionals of one sort or another. So I created a computer angel. Gabriel, one of the Four Archangels, is the patron of communications, so I depicted him/her as working with a computer, with small pen and stylus tools in his/her pocket. I imitated an old-fashioned woodcut style to illustrate what was the state of the art back in the 1990s. They didn't have flat screens or tablets or smartphones then. 

Original drawing is ink on illustration board, 5" x 7", November 1996.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Promotional Pirate Fantasy


This is a bit of a mishmosh, but they published it anyway in one of the "progress reports" for members of the upcoming 1998 Baltimore World Science Fiction Convention, BucConeer. The image was also used as a holiday card sent to people who were working on the convention staff. There's a castle, a spaceship, otherworldly moons, and an old pirate ship because the convention had a pirate theme. The name "BucCONeer " is a typical bit of science fiction fan wordplay though I have never figured out just how to spell it. I did a lot of volunteer promotional art for them and one elaborate heraldic design for a T-shirt. I think I had fun at that convention but as I remember I also had a cold which cut into my fun-having energy. I suppose I could look at my 1998 journal for memories. I haven't been to a Worldcon since 2004, for various reasons, and I don't miss going.

Pirate card image is black ink on illustration board, 6" x 9", November 1996.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Wine Logo Again


I worked with this wine logo earlier, experimenting with Photoshop coloring of different transparencies. This version of the drawing uses mostly transparent color, like digital watercolor, and a bit of green overlay in the leaves. It's just a sketch and doesn't have the graphic precision I aspire to, but I like the "clear-line" style. I'd like to use it on a greeting card or a wine bottle label, but if done commercially I'd re-draw it.

Tech pen ink drawing colored in Photoshop, 3 1/2" x 3 1/2", March-April 2016.