Friday, May 24, 2013

Another Birthday Card

For some reason, the Birthday Card I posted a while back seems to be a popular post on my blog.  So, here's another Birthday Card I did last year for that same friend.  Oh, wait, I should put that in air-quotes.  "Friend."  Har har!

* * *


* * *


* * *

This was done with pen with brush and ink and watercolor on 9" x 12" Strathmore 300 Bristol Board.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

B-Movie Re-Make: Invasion of the Saucer Men

B-Movie: Invasion of the Saucer Men

I have an inordinate fondness for old, cheesy B-Movies.  Growing up, I watched almost anything with monsters, robots, space ships, and aliens.  "Invasion of the Saucer Men", "It Conquered the World", "Plan 9 From Outer Space", "Godzilla Vs. Mothra", "Gamera", "I Was a Teen-Age Werewolf", "The Brain that Wouldn't Die" (also known as "The Head That Wouldn't Die"), and so forth.  I watched them all with the wide-eyed wonder and terror that can only be generated from being 6 years old and having a rather over-active imagination.

In fact, as a bit of sad commentary on my life, I have probably seen 80% of the movies from "Mystery Science Theater 3000" with Joel/Mike, Tom Servo, and Crow down in the corner heckling the movie.  (Que the "Sad Trombone" music for a youth mostly wasted...)  That said, I still have a broad, internal smile for giant paper-mache heads, bad special effects, and terrible dialog and stories of these movies of my childhood.

For those who are interested in seeing some of these (cough) "Classics", most of them are Public Domain and can be seen in their entirety on YouTube, or even downloaded at the Internet Archive.

Just for fun, here's the step-by-step...

* * *

STEP ONE:  First, I did a quick charcoal sketch on 11" x 14" Strathmore (#80) toned paper.  The gray paper acts as a mid-tone, with the charcoal for darks and shadows and white chalk for highlights, it is like getting 3 tones for the price of 2 (black and white, plus the gray of the paper).

* * *

STEP TWO AND THREE:  Next, I lay in some rough shading and blend everything into a soft, blurry mess.  Then I began to model the form a bit more and lift out some charcoal with a kneaded eraser. 

* * *

STEP FOUR AND FIVE:  I continue to push shadows and lift out highlights with a kneaded eraser, then use white chalk to better establish a light source.

* * * 

STEP SIX:  I imported the picture into Photoshop and did some digital touch up in black-and-white.  I used a Chalk brush in PhotoShop for the background, and to add a little more texture to the drawing. 

Hmmm, maybe I should have just left the drawing in black-and-white, since the movies themselves were in black-and-white.  :-)

* * *

STEP SEVEN:  Once in PhotoShop, I added a MULTIPLY Layer and colorized the drawing.  I realized a little too late that I should have included  their creepy hands into the drawing/portrait.  The back of their hands had an eyeball on it and they had retractable, hypodermic needles for fingernails.  To a 6-year-old John Douglas, these aliens were terrifying!  :-)

* * *

Done with charcoal, carbon pencil, and white chalk on 11" x 14" Strathmore (#80) toned paper and colored in PhotoShop.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Shameless Self-Promotion / Cross-Promotion

Please forgive a shameless bit of self-promotion/cross-promotion.  This is still hard for me to get my head around... I was contacted by Joel from the band BURIED, a Dutch death metal band hoping to use my drawing of the Facehugger for their T-Shirts.  That sounded super-cool, so of course I said "YES"!

I'm in Minnesota--about the middest of the Mid-West--so it's weird for me to think about a band from the Netherlands finding my art (part one of the impossible), and then liking it enough to want to put it on their t-shirts (part two of the impossible), and contacting me for permission and putting up a link to my site on their Facebook Page and sending me a few shirts and CD's to boot (part three of the impossible).   The fact there will be people in the Netherlands walking around, wearing shirts with my art on them, is just so weird for me to think about and try to wrap my head around.

So, my secret dream to be on a metal band's t-shirt is something I can cross of my bucket-list.  I would say I can't wait to do more t-shirt art for metal bands, but I don't even know how it happened this time, let alone do it again...  ;-)

Here is one of the band members wearing the shirt (my box of swag is in the mail and should be arriving any day).

You can visit Buried's Facebook page HERE!  If you happen to be at a venue at which they are playing, feel free to purchase one--or more!--of their shirts and CD's!  :-D

Here's the original Facehugger drawing from my series of "Unwanted Valentines".