October 6th, 2003

breeden

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Finally, finished those pesky cardinals! It was fun--the Christensen influence is obvious, and I really enjoyed the funky anatomy, so I think I may do a few more.

Photographing them was nearly as hard as painting 'em...ever since I started working large, they've been tough, and I've had to use Photoshop for--madness!--photo-retouching! Which means, ironically, that I'm suddenly using all those tools that I hate, hate, hate for art, because for their actual intended purpose, they're quite useful. Dodge and burn should never be used to color with, but you can do good things with them for correction on, say, the black layer of a CMYK seperation. And gradients, while a big no-no for backgrounds, are handy to counteract lighting flaws when overlaid on another layer. (I actually had to get James to show me how to use the gradient tool, because it's been like five years since I've even touched it.) I kept feeling twitchy every time I hit those tools, though. Such ingrained aversion!

http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/3326195/
and a detail at http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/3326245/
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breeden

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Oh, and by the way...just so nobody misses it, the hyena-wolfy critter in Digger finally got a name in today's episode (which is free for the next two days) so if you jog over there at long last, the elusive moniker is cast! (I had to share.)

Seeking amusement last night, I went flipping through the on-line versions of Andrew Lang's Fairy Books, which have great illustrations by H. J. Ford, and through a few others. It's amazing how incestous the stories are--half of them are basically Cupid & Psyche with different props, wicked stepmothers duel it out with fairy godmothers using everything short of lightsabers, identical villianous roles are played by dragons, the Devil, water nixies and wizard kings, everybody has fruit trees where the fruit is vanishing to some enchanted bird or other, and I've read a couple of otherwise wildly different stories that all feature someone taking care of a black mare that hides in the clouds, the sea, and a hill and can only be caught by the intervention of talking eagles, fish, and foxes. I know, archetypes and all that, but it's funny anyway. I've doodled up a few sketches so far--some of the imagery is amazingly bizarre. For example, a few scenes that are just plain cool:
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