Saturday, 24 January 2015

Renault and a Beck tune = Wonderment plus

I was alerted to this stunning campaign by Andrew Comb, it's a very unique approach for a car commercial,  it's almost a music video. Almost? Let's call it a music video. Sexx Laws from Beck's Midnight Vultures album and the new Renault Twingo pair up to create a kaleidoscopic trip to anywhere and everywhere. Done by these guys.

Monday, 19 January 2015

More Victor Paredes.

I always want to highlight work by Victor, not just because it is so nice, but because it so well demonstrates the power of Anime Studio Pro as a great animation tool.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

MyPaint update and a thing called Webchemy

MyPaint works fairly well on the Surface Pro, but you will need to use the keyboard for rotating the canvas and zooming.
While on the MyPaint site I checked out their links to other open source paint apps. The one that got my attention was a thing called Webchemy, you create shapes with it and it has mirror modes so you can block out interesting Rorschach-like designs quickly. Some artists are using this in a serious illustrative way to produce complex images, for me its more an idea generating device, as the controls don't feel at all fussy and you can just start creating shapes without giving it too much thought.

The app exports PNG on transparent background and also SVG (scaleable vector graphic), so you can take these starting ideas somewhere else and work them further.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Testing out MyPaint

MyPaint is a free open source paint program along the lines of others such as Krita (which I briefly reviewed late last year). The main thing I discovered upon firing it up is that it seeks to be very minimal, with the tools kept at bay as much as possible. I've only spent about 20 minutes with it but it is very easy to get into and I'm having fun with it.

I'm using the Bamboo tablet with this since I haven't installed it on the Surface Pro yet, I have no idea how it will perform on that device. My first impression is that the brushes are cool, being nice and responsive to strokes, and actually, very customizable, so there's a lot to investigate.

Below is the very first thing I did on it with a wacky wet brush that I chose at random.

One thing different about MyPaint is that it doesn't start out with a document size, you just have this (supposedly) endless canvas that you can later crop to the size of the artwork. The aim of this program is to concentrate on creating artwork, it has no manipulation tools, filters or color grading options, and that's fine because it keeps the whole thing stripped back and occupies a small space on your hard drive.

Getting used to the Surface Pro 3

I recently aquired a Surface Pro 3 i7, specifically to allow me to illustrate directly on the screen rather than on a Bamboo tablet, which you'll appreciate operates separate to the screen. However I'm determined to get get better with both devices as there are times that I'll want the bigger screen of a PC.

I really like the Surface, I took it out today and did a bunch of doodeling in Cafe's and shopping center sit down areas. I enjoyed the experience of working digitally in open and public environments, it energized me in a way that is different to working at a desk.

 I was trying to get used to the slippery smooth glass screen when using the pen, so I concentrated on simple lines and strokes. Each illustration was unplanned, simply based around the first stroke put down and growing out of that. I'm still finding myself, trying to work out what sort of illustrator I'm going to be, and the Surface is like a magic sketchbook. Here are some of the better doodles I turned out today.

I'm also falling in love with the brush sets of the artist Kyle T Webster, I purchased pretty much all of them and it's such a joy to go through the list, select a brush and see what it brings to the work. I recommend them highly to anyone working in Photoshop.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Not proud to be an artist right now.

Well it seems virtually nobody stood up for free speech, few publications dared to reprint the cartoons that inspired the killings and we got instead a hashtag movement and a candle lit vigil attended by the masses who'd never bought or heard of the magazine to begin with.

There where big signs held up stating "Not Afraid". Really? Not afraid, when some goon in a home-made battle ensemble raids your place of work and points an uzi at your face? Most sane people would totally fail the not afraid test at that juncture.

The fact that most newspapers and media outlets went out of their way to not re-print the cartoons shows me that our writers and artists have given in and accepted the new set of limitations imposed on their freedoms by men with guns and knives, they have shown that they are "Very Afraid!".

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Happy New Year.

So barely a week in and we have a mass shooting in the center of Paris, the offices of a satirical magazine (Charlie Hebdo) is raided by two thugs and at least 12 people have been slaughtered. The magazine's crime is that it has a sense of humor, and the Islamic thugs who executed this vile destruction do not.

It is vitally important that comedians, cartoonists and writers continue to ridicule the Islamic religion as they do all other religions, the danger is that attacks like this make Islam a special no go zone, we can't afford that, not in a free society. 

So you turn up to work in your fun office with cool people, suddenly there is noise, chaos and panic. Now the room is covered in blood and your co-workers are dead, where do you go from there? I'd forgive these victims if they suddenly lose the passion to tell jokes about a religion that inspired such killings, but I cannot respect others who decide to remove Islam from their material.

Any of us could become victims of such crimes, provoked or not, just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. If satire and social commentary is your stock in trade, you'd be living in no better time to practice it. To ignore certain disturbing global trends for fear of being targeted, is to choose to be vanquished without even a battle.

Any form of self censorship, whether prescribed by the individual or the state, is precisely the outcome that Sharia law would enforce, such political correctness is Sharia under another name.

Normally I'm at pains to keep anything remotely political out of this blog, however since the subject of Just Add Motion is art related, I want to report how saddened and disappointed I've been over the years to discover how cowered and fearful most artists actually are, the image of brave young revolutionary sold to me in my younger years turns out to be mostly mythical, and in actuality the art community seem easily turned and the first to bend. Therefore I'll not be surprised if few in the arts community stand up to defend the satirical actions of Charlie Hebro, I'd actually be surprised if any do, such is the timidity of the art world today.

It is a sad thing when artists and writers are slaughtered for their beliefs, and a sadder thing when fellow artists and writers feel justified in keeping quiet about it.