Unearthed - Charcoal (so far) Composited

Unearthed - charcoal composite from Ubatuber on Vimeo.

A few more seconds of charcoal animation done, and composited into the Unearthed footage.  Still needs tweaking, but I will wait for a final pass once the 2-D work is done.  For now putting it on hold to refocus on Krampus for the holidays...


Unearthed 2-D - Frame One

Here is the first frame of my charcoal animation.  I haven't actually started animating yet, but it begins here.  When working out the story, I ultimately decided to start with a crucified man.  The religious imagery came naturally, organically, even though I am surprised by myself because I am not a religious person per se.  I was raised Catholic and have serious issues with institutionalized religion.  Nevertheless, beginning the story here at this recognizable image gave it a mystical vibe right off the bat.  Quick impact, get the story going.  Its been difficult nailing down the specifics of this story because of the nature of what has to happen in the 2-D sequence.  It is, essentially, exposition.  I am explaining the history of a particular artifact that Herbie is after, that he has killed for (I have described Herbie in the past as a Darth Indiana).  I had a lot of trouble figuring out how to portray the item's history without dialogue, with only visual information.  But by George, I think I've got it.....maybe you'll understand better when I have something moving to show you :)

I left a few inches of paper around the taped-off image space, a gutter, so that I can work charcoal there if I need to.  A lot of times when I am using charcoal, I like to use my fingers to smudge for delicate shadows.  By drawing heavily in the gutter with my softest stick, I basically give myself little piles of charcoal dust to dip into when I need a subtle tonal shift.  I have a jar of charcoal dust also, but that stuff is messy, especially with a ceiling fan going, so I usually prefer this method.  All of the "dust" sticks to the paper until I rub my fingers into it.


Unearthed - The 2-D Sequence begins...

I've been getting myself set up to begin my first charcoal animation, which will be a 2-D sequence in "Unearthed". I'm aiming to do the entire animation on a single sheet of paper, image area approximately 12" x 16"....


Altered Book

Here is a page out of my altered book, a commissioned project that I am working on.  Inspired by the poem "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird", this refurbished old library book has charcoal work, collage, painting, printmaking techniques all throughout.  This page features the thirteenth stanza, "It was evening all afternoon.  It was snowing and it was going to snow.  The blackbirds sat in the cedar-limbs." Black feathers added using gel medium, watercolor painted background, pen n ink illustration.


Makings of a Dryad

One of my backburner projects is a sculpture of a dryad(s) assembled from oak tree branches and pieces parts that have fallen in my yard.  I have been collecting them for about a year.  I think I may get working on it as my submission to this year's "no dead artists" show at a local gallery.  I submit every year but have never been selected.

Yesterday I was investigating a large branch that fell during hurricane Isaac last year, and discovered an amazing pattern under the bark in places...possibly new knots beginning to form? I think this will be worked into the "hair" of the carving.  Beautiful unnatural natural pattern.  Amazed by nature as always.


Brain Kramps

I've hit a bit of a snag with some of my Krampus footage, and am at this point trying to decide whether to keep photoshopping or reshoot. The problem is, I have a shot which requires rig removal.  Done it a few times before, easy peasy, no issues.  This time though, apparently my wonky lighting setup created several tiny ghostly shadows of the rig in two or three areas.  Didn't even notice them until playback after doing the initial rig removal. I did another pass in Photoshop and noticed another rig shadow after the second go. I think the issue is the practical lighting, the Christmas tree and garland lights that point every which way.  As the rig passes these spots, shadows go everywhere. Trying to creatively Photoshop but will probably end up reshooting....I hate reshooting...I will post some video soon, the opening few seconds at the very least...


On the Easel...

Hellooooooooo!  Been wanting to post about more projects here, not just my animation.  Currently I am working a handful of projects including a family portrait for my brother (his Xmas gift, shame on me).  I am also doing a still life for him of some of my nephews' favorite things.  And I've been commissioned to do art inspired by a poem called "thirteen ways of looking at a blackbird", for which I am creating an altered book. 
I had a lot of success with Etsy last year, and I love crafting (its necessary for stop mo, isn't it?), but Im feeling my creativity leaning more towards fine art right now, and plan to hit up some galleries for representation this year.  So I'm dusting off the oil paints and getting back to my roots :).   My plan: brainstorm a list of "cool" cities (austin, Seattle, Portland, etc), create a list of galleries which show work from new artists leaning towards symbolism or fantasy type art, and start emailing.  More on that later....cheers!


Androids and Communicators and Social Media, Oh My!

Testing 1, 2...I recently (finally) got myself an intelligent phone and just downloaded the Blogger app.  My own little cyberspace communicator.  Hopefully this will make posting here a little easier, and so, more frequent.  I have begun to distance myself more and more from Facebook, and plan to refocus my sharing efforts here, on the blog that started it all.  (i have issues with Facebook's privacy, and also, don't care about my "friends" eating habits, or who is doing what with who, or the like.  The whole thing has become very surreal to me, this social media craze.  In my "real" life I am an extremely private, very quiet guy.  I don't want privacy to become a "remember when"....end rant :)...so here we go.  Welcome to 2013 :)

Krampus is getting anxious with me....I fear I may get coal next Christmas if I don't get off my keester and get busy....