Thursday, March 22, 2018

Winter On the Equinox

On the first day of Spring, the Persian New Year, it snowed here in my local area and over the American Northeast. Here there wasn't much snow, only a few inches, but it stuck to the tree branches and ground, confusing robins looking for worms. It was quite decorative as long as you didn't have to go out in it. 

This winter scene, which looks abstract, is viewed out my window. I used my rare and artistical-mystical grey colored pencils for most of this. I have spent quite a while making a sample color chart to give me a guide to the many shades of gray. I wanted to show this chart here on the By-Product but I got into some sort of file labeling problem and it wouldn't upload. I'll try again in a while.

"Winter Forest" is colored pencils, 4" x 4 1/2", March 21, 2018.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Ideal Room

Here's another example of the illustrations I did for "The Architectural Art" when I worked there. As I explained earlier, these pictures were group efforts and each person did a separate job. In this case, I was handed the line art design which was already on paper, and I copied it and did the color rendering. The furniture was already there but I chose the color schemes. I like the green quilt on the bed and the green curtains to match. I wanted a warm, inviting look for a room that could be in an upscale hotel or bed 'n' breakfast. It isn't perfect like a computer rendering, but I wanted a more "natural" look. This illustration was used as a sample and was not an image of an actual room.

Original image is watercolor over printed drawing, about 9" x 4", 1990. Printed on textured paper. Click on image for a larger view.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

10 years of By-Products!

Here we are, now blogging for 10 years and still going, after more than 3,000 posts. I don't want to compare myself to the "Iron Man" Cal Ripken, but I will say that very few blogs last for 10 years. There have been times when I have thought of quitting but decided against it. When I run out of vintage art to post, what happens then? If I go to a one-in-two days or one-in-three days posting schedule, will I just get lazier and drop it altogether? I can't predict. I like to keep drawing no matter how trivial so don't drop out folks. Thanks for your friendship and faithfulness.

Grayscale markers on sketchbook page, something by something, March something, 2008-2018 and more to come I hope. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

What I Saw: Modernist Laundry

A view of laundry resolves from randomness to expressive color, accented by an Oriental rug background. You can see Kandinsky in his underwear experiencing the process of color movement and changes in contrast. Interior views of domestic necessities work through the presence of a perplexing inhabitant whose taste in color resembles that of a child's playroom. Once the folding and sorting are done an idea of order reappears but only temporarily, as the  ritual impurity of unwashed clothing returns.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Winding Road Meadow

It looks like winter, feels cold like winter, and there seems to be no sign of Spring even though earlier this year there was a bit of unusually warm weather. At Winding Road Cellars you get both wine and weather. I sat drawing from inside and sipping their delicious Cabernet Franc. These gnarly trees and golden meadow are the view from the wine lodge. I did this on my iPad which I don't use very much these days. It works, sort of, but it is definitely obsolete after more than 4 years of service and I'm wondering, should I shell out the bucks and get a new one when all I do with it is draw. The drawings are OK and I like the portability so perhaps I should have a conversation with one of the perky young things at the Apple Store.

"ArtStudio" on iPad, about 6" x 7", March 17th, 2018.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Sea of Space

I have done countless space and astronomical pictures, usually in "editions" and series which I took to conventions and sold at low prices. I was inspired by the space art of those days, which was itself inspired by ground-based telescopes yielding blurry, poorly detailed images. This was, most importantly, pre-Hubble. 

Looking back at my thirty years of space art, sprayed on with an airbrush, I can see that it, like other space art of its day, is out of date. Once the space telescopes went up, and once the "adaptive optics" of ground-based telescopes were deployed, as well as digital photography, you got the most amazing fields of details never before seen. With all those almost biomorphic clouds of dust and gas, illuminated by bright young stars, who needed my old airbrush? 

Interestingly, my more abstract, "graphic"-looking space pieces survived better artistically. This one, a simplified dwarf planet or moon above a nebula, resembles some of the images of Saturn and its moons produced by the Cassini space probe. Artists are still producing space pictures, making realities out of digital information rather than acrylic paint.

"Sea of Space," acrylic on black illustration board, 7" x 10", October 1986.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Nineteenth Century Fan Concept Art

Here's another of my Darkover fan story title pages. This time I tried setting the story not in the faux-Renaissance of the Red Sun but in an equally faux late 19th century. It gave me the chance to render an 1880s-style big dress, and I also had fun with caricature faces such as the two gentlemen at right. I forget what this story was about but from my records this piece was done when I was about to quit doing fan art for pennies and try to make myself a "real" career, which had, looking back, mixed outcomes at best.

Original art is ink on illustration board, 8 1/2" x 11", April 1987.