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Showing posts from 2010

Going Back To The Beginning

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I've decided to tweek my Blog and have temporarily used a photograph of Lands End for the backdrop. Sarah Baird's blog looked so good, I had to borrow the layout. I will though replace the photograph with a piece of suitable new Art when I get myself organised.

Although I intend to work with pastels,here are a couple of watercolours I did some time ago. I was really enthusiastic about the medium before I started college, but dropped it in favour of three dimensional work. I once attended a workshop with my painting hero Ray Campbell Smith in Tonbridge Wells. I adopted his pallete as I admired the look it gave to landscapes.


Good Things...Small Packages?

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I have sent out my lenticular images of Zac to some publishers with a card featuring the synopsis of the story. They are rather diminutive in size and might get mistaken for Christmas cards, but maybe this will work in my favour:)

Each publisher has a different policy when it comes to submissions, many asking not to be sent manuscripts. So I'm hoping these cards give a bit of a taster and beg to be followed up:)





Final Adjustments Before I Move On

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http://www.storyportal.co.uk/zac_spanner.html

Business cards to finish and send out, then it's time to concentrate on developing some serious Art:)

Zac-reworked and one of the bad guys

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I'm still trying to improve the cover and have been working on the Alien. It still needs some detailing at this point before I begin posing.


Tweek,tweek,tweek....

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I've given Zac a more dynamic pose. I think it's an improvement:)


Latest Zac Book Cover

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Here is the latest cover design for 'Zac Spanner Amd The Invasion Of The Zargonites' in situ in his secret lab hidden in the attic.

I have ordered some lenticular lenses for the mailouts I intend to send to Art Editors and may choose to feature the above image on the cards.

Link to flipping book dummy with the first chapter of the story: HERE
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I've just posted a VR model of Zac on my site. I've been working on the rig so I can pose him. I'll probably create a little lip-synch animation which I'll add to my site later.

Click herefor mini VR tour of Zac:)Click and drag on the model to turn. File is about 900k

PC Recovery

Managed to sort out my website. My Pc got infected with the Ramnit virus on the 3rd Oct which attacks HTML and exe files. It propagated over 5,000 pieces of malicious code on my system and uploaded itself to my website. So 'Stop badware' blocked access to my pages.

Some forums suggested wiping my entire hardrive but I used Malwarebytes then an excellent online scanner 'Eset' which mopped up the last few hidden viruses. I'm now running 'Microsoft Security Essentials' which seems really efficient and unobtrusive. Google have given my site the all clear as have 'StopBadware' after I asked them to recheck my site.

Last Acorn Dummy Finished

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I have finished writing and re-writing this children's story. I have also completed the roughs which I simply scanned and coloured in Photoshop. I just have to create a couple of finished illustrations which will represent the type of image I intend to feature in the finished book.

Here are a couple of the roughs:




Creative Juices...

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...Are starting to flow.

On my site I've been adding pages to my dummy book 'The last Acorn' and 'Zac Spanner And The Zargonites.' Click here and here. The illustrations are just scanned in roughs given a bit of colour in Photoshop.

It takes time to create sets in digital 3D and Zac's Laboratory is no exception. Here are the barebones of the lab so far.


It looks fairly clinical at the moment so I need to make it look a bit more lived in.

New Zac Spanner WIP Pages

I've added the three couple of pages of Zac's first adventure to my site:

http://www.storyportal.co.uk/zac_spanner_wip.html

Zacharia-as mum knows him

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Here is Zachary wearing the jumper his mum knitted for him out of Yaks wool. She also styled his hair, chose his trousers and shoes. Poor guy!

Zac-homage to Billy The Cat

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When I was a kid I had a tough time at primary school and spent a lot of time escaping, something I've continued to this day:)

At that time my grandad ran a newspaper distribution company so I used to get The Beano regularly. It featured a character called Billy The Cat. He was an ordinary kid who would transform to a super hero, chase down criminals and save classmates from bullies. I could have done with him at my school:) But it was a comfort reading his adventures at night when I was bullied at school during the day. Aspects of my character Zac pays homage to him and with his backpack and helmet:).




CGI Zac

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I've decided to go down the CGI route with Zac. I'm still working on a few details including the texturing of his trousers but He's getting there I think. I have got an alternative hairstyle but it may be too funky for his character. There are a few accessories missing but I did spend a bit of time designing his trainers. More info to come:)

Zac Spanner

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I'm getting on with my new website: 'Story Porta'l and working on my character: Zac Spanner, (Zacharia Spanoski-great grandson of a 2nd world war refugee rocket scientist). Here's ascreen grab of the website in production, the Zac Spanner book title and a really rough preliminary sketch of Zac himself:)





Mazey Day 2010

I Want To be An Illustrator Again

Having just visited the Falmouth degree Show:

Click here

I am inspired to ressurect my ailing Illustration career. Far from being intimidated by seeing loads of fresh Illustrators entering the Illustration market, it enthuses me to be involved again.

I know to many of you it is mumbo jumbo, but I have been getting many warning signs from Oracle cards recently. I have been drawing the same card, ('Arrow Master'), time and again out of a deck of 40 cards, and always reversed. It's telling me to make sure I am moving in the right direction. I have taken a step outside of what I am doing and have reconsidered my current course.

More soon.

Ancient And Modern

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Ancient Celtic Well

The other week I visited a local well at Madron. The water is reputed to have healing powers. The Votives hanging from the tree are offerings to the naiad, (spirit) of the well. it is believed that as the material rots down, so the affliction diminishes.

The route to the well was for hundreds of years like a journey through a portal to another world. But now with the clumsy action of a well meaning council, a path has been cut straight to the well, bypassing the meandering route over stone styles, and so reducing its magic.








The well in the chapel has been used for hundreds of years for baptisms by Christians, continuing the rituals carried out by Pagans who populated west Cornwall. It is a great place to come for quiet meditation. Further reading can be found here
Computer Upgrade I have finally got all the gear I need to rebuild my PC. I bought a beast of a graphics card, and as is often the way, it left other components found wanting. So I had to buy a bigger power un…

I'm no hairdresser...

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..but I am spending a lot of time working on differeny hairstyles. The program is proving a bit buggy. So I am having a few issues. I think I'll stick with the long flowing hair look though.


I've nearly finished building my new PC. And at the weekend I might start building my workbench. I am considering choping up our old dining table. Don't tell the wife:)

Working with CGI Dynamics

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I have been experimenting with wind effects on hair. I have been rendering out a series of images and will post the resulting animation soon. It need a bit more density around the back of the head but it's getting there. Each rendered image takes around 3/4 of an hour and there are at least 60 of them!

Refining

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I've softened the face somewhat and have been working on rigging the figure for animation. It's the old law of diminishing returns. You attain a certain standard of work within a reasonable timescale; but then to get it up to a higher level, the smallest improvement in quality takes a disproportionate amount of time.




I hope to sell my kiln this Friday and have already seen the enameling kiln I intend to buy in its place. I will start work on building a new workspace next week, or rather two workspaces, one for silversmithing/sculpting and the other to house the new computer workstation. My old pc has practically ground to a halt now.

I am going to bow out of the ceramics class early. I discovered that it was not right for me and also it had a negative impact as far as making aquaintances is concerned. Part of the reason for joining the course was to get me out of the house, which for a freelancer is important. But the trouble with joining daytime courses is that the intake tends …

Finally I'm back

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I've been putting a lot of effort into ceramics and CGI in the past few weeks. None of the ceramic work in progress has really been ready for posting.

I have found the ceramics course useful in that it has shown the limitations of the medium with my style of work. I prefer to create detailed sculpture but working using clay with its particular properties, has proved a bit frustrating. I will concentrate my efforts with other sculpture mediums which I think suit me better. The tutor is full of praise for me but I know I have yet to get anywhere near the level I aspire to.

There are people on the ceramics course who I have felt a connection with. Unfortunately they are all women on the course so these friendships will not be sustainable. So I guess I'm back to square one in some ways. I think my illustration career has bid me a fond farewell. I gave it a good go but couldn't quite get onto the next rung of the ladder. Getting a number of books published was more than I could h…

Taken Time Out

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It's been a fair while since I last posted on this Blog. I have been having a bit of a reassessment of my career aspirations and have made some decisions.

I decided to have a bit of a clear out so started with all my plasticine characters and props. They've been stored in cupboards waiting to be taken out and recycled for the next job. I thought it would make more sense to put it in large storage boxes and stow them out of the way.

But as I was putting them away I kinda had the feeling that this could be it, the ending of a chapter, my Illustration career. I've been rumbling along for 8 or 9 years now and I think maybe the wheels have finally come off. They didn't go hurtling down the track. The cart has just lurched gently into the verge and they have slipped off the hubs. I had a sad feeling in the pit of my stomach, which was the realisation coming over me.

I am pretty much behind with the assignment on my ceramics course. I went into pottery thinking I could maybe mak…

Self Publishing

Although I am going to be serialising my graphic novel for free on my website, I also want to produce a printed version for people to purchase.

I came across this machine which semi automates the book binding process. I may well order one through my sister in the states. Here's a link to some videos:

htttp://atomicpublishing.net/video.aspx

First Vase Like Thing

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This is my first attempt at glazed ceramics. I wanted to create something with an organic look. But I decided to use a vivid glaze which is what earthenware glazes tend to be.







Normal Service Will Be Resumed

I have been really busy working on my Xyla project. I will start posting again with a vengence next week:)

Coming Soon.....

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