Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pacioli in San Sepolcro

My favorite part of art class in college was the art history. I learned so many things that I did not know that I wanted to know. And the fun parts were about typography and how the fonts were made. My favorite font is Fritz Quadrata. Fra Luca Pacioli is primarily responsible for figuring out how early Romans chiseled letters into their buildings using the Golden Mean and disseminating that information. Pacioli's formulas helped daVinci (which might be an overstatement, collaboration may be more accurate) break down the Vetruvian Man.
He grew up in San Sepolco, a north Umbrian town southeast of Florence, returning periodically as life got a little weird for him. I developed the ink drawing as a stamp idea in school to commemorate Pacioli's typographic contributions. Then of course I've added layers of textures, text and designs.

Morroccan Leather? Nope.

The eraser tool can be your best friend in multiplying the usefulness of the flourishes. I had to cut off the end of a flourish to lay it over the scroll and get a repeating pattern that made sense. The other key to making this work was adjusting the swatch layer (scrolls) to harden the light so that it looked like batik. Then.... for the authentic leather look I went with the texture that looked a bit like skin and kept it away from the zombie scheme.
The original watercolor is here:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Art Every Day

If it is true that the way to be successful is to just show up at the drawing board then the only way that is going to happen right now is with the digital studio that is picmonkey. The physical space still isn't ready. And I have begun to take on more work of the "paid" variety. Yay! The bills get paid. Boo!The art doesn't get done.

Well no... that is not true. The art gets done. I just have to feel like doing this the digital way is not cheating. That manipulating my own work is still art.

Today's entry:
If you have read this blog for any length of time you will recognize this amphora as the old headline picture. The key... layers, layer, layers. Use the eraser tool. And keep the basic rules of art in mind, especially proportion and overlapping. Overlapping is where the eraser tool comes in handy.

And play with the fade slider. The lettering would totally have been overwhelming without the slider. The original writing, bottom left hand corner in my own handwriting, has a transparent quality to it because of the nature of the materials used. And I didn't want the original to be crisp anyway. It was supposed to look like a page out of an archaeology journal. The letters were chosen, colored then a mode of application had to be chosen then the fade. I think this one is actually hard lighted. But don't quote me on that.

I really like this one even if it is all dark and chocolate-y.
Actually the resemblance to chocolate might be what I like the best.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Digital Art flexes the Brain Cells

Revised for the new Holiday season coming upon us. I like this treatment in many ways. But I am still not one hundred percent sold on it. I really want this to work for more than Christmas. I originally had thought to do a stargazer here and blend two themes. But I am not sure exactly how that is going to happen. That is not the fault of picmonkey so much as it is the fault of the operator. I just can't figure out how to finagle it.

But I am pretty damn stoked about the things that I am doing with the limited editing palette. And by limited I mean the range of tools and images is decidedly smaller than my rubber stamp and ink pad collection.

Monday, October 7, 2013

For Dawn: Thinking of You All

This patchwork of my stargazer watercolors is not quite done yet. So far it's been a two hour process and I am a little stuck. Not horribly stuck. But a little stuck. One of my favorite bloggers is having a helluva time with Life the Universe & Everything™ right now and the "stuck in the process" seems like an important thing to acknowledge as much as trying to brighten up the day for her.

I am hoping that some good news can come her way soon. I know a lot of people in Arizona close to her in geography but no one who can do too much to help her out right now and it is frustrating. To be part of a network that is helpful for the commiserating but not terribly potent in the realm of help is as frustrating as being in the middle of major life issues and having no clue what to do. But Dawn just keeps putting one foot in front of the other.

I guess the important thing to remember in those instances is that, because of the nature of the Universe and it's own healing mechanisms, these are the times when the thoughts count the most. A good thought sent to a hurting friend will find them eventually.... like that laugh that comes out when no one has told a joke. It might be a delayed reaction. But it is a reaction. And it helps. Just because I want to be able to do more, as do all of her friends, doesn't mean that what we are actually able to do doesn't count. And that is where we get stuck as the support team.

And even if you don't know Dawn, or read her blog, when you see this post, think of her and wish her strength, energy and a safe place in her emotional cycle to let out some of the tears that get stuck when you try to stay strong and downplay the stress/grief/etc...


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