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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Doomhammer 2010: Watercolor

Man vs. Machine
12 x 18
Acrylic Ink on Bristol

So by watercolor, I actually mean to say Acrylic Ink. I have started using FW Inks for the last few paintings. And if you dilute them, they feel just like watercolor, except that once they are down you can't pry them up. No, not with a thousand golden crow bars. Their only down side that I can discover is that if you apply them straight, with no dilution, they will begin to take on the plastic feel of acrylic after several heavy layers. Other than this I really love them. Perhaps most of all because they preserve the underlaying drawing perfectly.

I am finished with the Acrylic phase, but I am not planning on stopping just yet. I am going to do an experiment:

I am going to do render a digital version of this watercolor, in the same manner as the Hobbit pieces. And then I am also going to take the original watercolor, and after sealing it in a few layers of acrylic polymer, I am going to finish it in oil.
Afterwards I am going to compare the 2 to see which looks superior and post the results here.

I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on these and which you find more attractive. (or less hideous, as the case may be)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Doomhammer 2010: Drawing

Man vs. Machine.

I initially drew this image to be about the guy. Specifically about his left foot. The entire composition and action of the image was actually meant to revolve around that foot. But it was fundamentally about this guy leaping down at this assault mech. It was a cry against the tools that have turned into systems too vast to affect any longer and that slowly dehumanize us and demand that we become more and more dependent upon them.

But as I continued to sketch I got drawn in by the machine.

I began by thinking:

Idiot-machine computers... Absurd, plastic-jurassics built by sea monkeys out of bailing wire and kitty litter to be soma for the masses and flimsy replacement-brains... We must rise up, we must smash our television sets, hurl our phones into the sea and scream, "I'm a human being! Not some plastic toy, not just some number. MY LIFE HAS MEANING!"

But soon it changed to:

Hmm... If I was piloting a 15-foot mech, I would want a 30mm chaingun. And all kinds of communications equipment. Lights, computers, fiber-optics. And it would need to have smoke screen launchers, otherwise it would get chewed up by the air support. Yeah, ... and it would need to have a missle launcher. Laser guided... Something manageable though, maybe a javelein launcher to counter armor... And then it would need....Wow, I love the modern era...

And so on. Soon I forgot about the guy, who was the whole reason I started this piece. The audacity of some guy with nothing more than a pair of handguns, leaping out at a giant machine, at THE machine. I really liked that.

But now I began to see the image from the Machine's perspective:

Who is this anarchist leaping down at me?
I defend society.
I hold the line here.
I keep the torch of civilization lit.
I keep the forces of nature at bay,
and this bomb-throwing anarchist is attacking me.

I will crush him.

So now I identify with both of my characters, and it has seemingly become a matter of perspective on who exactly the protagonist is and who exactly the antagonist is.

In the end I found that anarchy was easier to draw. The guy was finished quickly with no problems. I felt like it just worked. Getting the forces of civilization together on the other hand, took a bit more.
I wanted to really make sure that this machine was convincing. That it looked usable, that it had been battle-tested. That it could survive full-scale war in densely urban environments.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Doomhammer 2010: Comp

I hate technology.
But not as much as I love it.

I've gotten away from doing action perspectives in recent years, having been so taken by the formal compositional arrangements of the Romantic and Victorian painters. But every now and again I like to go back to my comic book roots and do something really outlandish.

I liked the perspective in my original thumbnail, but something about the arrangement of the bridge pylons kept bothering me. So I decided to try to lay out my scene in Google's free 3d program, Sketchup to try and solve the problem. It only took about an hour to figure out, and after that it was pretty easy to work the scene out and solve the perspective issues.

It seems fitting that I would end up using technology to help me work on my piece about how much I sometimes hate technology.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Doomhammer 2010: Conceptual

Sometimes a person paints to communicate to other people a specific feeling or emotion they have experienced in their lives.

And other times, a person may paint for themselves, to make sense of all the fire in their head. To turn the static upstairs into something they can better understand.

Last week the Mac Pro, the Xbox and the cell phone all died on the same day. I found myself terribly frustrated at my circumstances. Why can't things just work? What idiot monkeys even made these things? Oh! Miserable life- it is better for me to die than to live.


Then I remember that people all over the world have lived happy and full lives without the benefit of this exotic technology for a long time and I should do some yoga, calm down and find inner peace.

But I drew this instead: