illustration friday: cake

by brandon as illustration friday — brandon Tue 30 May 2006 11:10 am

happy berfday to yooo

Yup. I’m calling this piece “Self-Portrait of the Artist in 20 Years”.

weekly book art: winter world

by brandon as book art — brandon Tue 30 May 2006 11:06 am

the golden-crowned kinglet in winter

Sigund F. Olson wrote in Reflections from the North Country: “If I knew all there is to know about a golden arctic poppy growing on a rocky ledge in the Far North, I would know the whole story of evolution and creation.” He could have substituted the kinglet for the poppy. Kinglets are drab-colored birds with a flaming red, yellow, or orange crest. When excited, kinglets can suddenly flash their crest out of their olive-colored head feathers. They are one of the most common yet least-known forest birds living in the Northern Hemisphere. When I see a kinglet hopping through a densely branched spruce tree covered with pillows of snow, I often imagine myself in its place, wondering how it experiences the world. Having a circumference of about the size of a walnut, the rate of heat flow from the body is increaseover a hundredfold from what it is in my human state. The world is suddenly that much colder, and a fate of freezing to death in the northern winter becomes an almost nightly possibility. However, the wonder and the marvel of how kinglets survive cannot be understood or appreciated except when viewed through the window of the adaptations found in the numerous other animals that share its winter world. It is their special means of cpoing that form context and continuity for the myster of how kinglets survive subzero temperatures. Each species opens, as Edword O. Wilson has said (in The Future of Life), “the gate to the paradisiacal world” that is a “wellspring of hope.” I agree: If kinglets can do it, than anything seems possible.

       â€“ Bernd Heinrich, Winter World

The book is also beautifully illustrated by the author, who has a lifetime of attachment to his subjects, so mine here is a fairly poor shadow compared. But I thought I’d give the bird-in-winter thing a shot. And for now, I’m hanging up this exercise, to work on other projects, the results of which I’ll also be posting here on a weekly basis, should anyone stumble upon it.

weekly blog arting: eyebrow shwacking

by brandon as blog arting — brandon Tue 30 May 2006 10:45 am

From the random blog bag, I present this entry:

I’ve never had super bushy eyebrows. But I did have some stray hairs that seemed two or three times as long as the rest of my eyebrow hairs. They’d stick up, or hang down every now and then, and sometimes I’d think about just getting rid of them.

So I got out my electric clippers, intending to level all my eyebrow hairs to the same length.

But I wasn’t thinking very carefully about the depth setting on them. I also wasn’t entirely careful about being even and consistent.

And, well.

it is inevitable.

Yeeeap, life lessons learned. That’s it for “blog arting” for a month or so – new projects to show up in its place, that is, so long as Uncle Eric doesn’t come over here to kick my butt, seeing as how it turns out he lives in the same city as I do; but, you know, thinking about long-term consequences, eh.

weekly book art: the name of the rose

by brandon as book art — brandon Mon 29 May 2006 2:33 am

William of BaskervilleYes. The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco. A wonderful book. But, if you are like me, you saw the movie before you read the book, and you spent a good 120 pages concentrating, trying, forcing yourself not to see Sean Connery every time William of Baskerville opened his mouth, which is really quite often; and then the effort not to read aloud paragraphs of William’s explications in your terrible, terrible faux-Connery voishe. Well then. A public service:

Brother William’s physical appearance was at the time such as to attract the attention of the most inattentive observer. His height surpassed that of a normal man and he was so thin that he seemed still taller. His eyes were sharp and penetrating; his thin and slightly beaked nose gave his countenance the expression of a man on the lookout, save in certain moments of sluggishness of which I shall speak. His chin also denoted a firm will, though the long face covered with freckles – such as I often saw among those born between Hibernia and Northumbria – could occasionally express hesitation and puzzlement. In time I realized that what seemed a lack of confidence was only curiosity, but at the beginning I knew little of this virtue, which I thought, rather, a passion of the covetous spirit. I believed instead that the rational spirit should not indulge such passion, but feed only on the Truth, which (I thought) one knows from the outset.
Boy that I was, I was first, and most deeply, struck by some clumps of yellowish hair that protruded from his ears, and by his thick blond eyebrows. He had perhaps seen fifty springs and was therefore already very old…

It’s not easy to bring to concrete form a description that’s so physiognomic and yet possessed of strange turns; I had particular trouble visualizing freckles on a fifty-year-old, especially a medieval fifty-year-old subject to the health standards of the time. But this turned out pretty well for a quick color job at 3 in the morning, perhaps. I may shudder later. In any case, drawing it purged me of the Connery image rather well, and hopefully looking at it will do a little of the same for whomever stumbles upon my little post here. The Name of the Rose really is a wonderful book.

weekly blog arting: exopolitics

by brandon as blog arting — brandon Mon 29 May 2006 1:26 am

Ok, this is last week’s. I’m doing one more installment of these and the book art entries (later) tomorrow, and then I’m hanging these up for a while in favor of a more serious weekly project. These will be pieces I hang up at home. If things go real real well I may try to hang them up elsewhere too. So.

It’s lucky I haven’t quit this exercise yet, because this week’s material is fantastic. I give you: exopolitics. “The Study of the Politics of Extraterrestrial Contact.” Yeeah. This shit is no joke. The stakes are – well, let’s let our author lay it out for us:

As in the 1940’s and 1950’s I believe we again are at a evolutionary crossroads. We have a second chance to achieve a bright evolutionary future. Lets get it right this time else we either are colonized by predatory alien races or fall back into our preexisting environmental niche because of widespread conflicts and environmental degradation brought about by a failure to adapt to the environmental challenges on the space frontier.

they control our HEADS

A little aside here–
Alien domination is, of course, great fun to draw. I like the idea of physical levers that go into the brain to control motor functions, it’s squicky. I figure alien dominators would have trouble interpreting our facial expressions and probably wouldn’t much care what we thought of them so long as they controlled our limbs and all. So we’d be free to roll our eyes and come up with sarcastic nicknames and just insult them all we like. But we do as the head-aliens tell us. In other words my scenario works just like real life.

The thing I adore about this blog is it’s so old school. You gotta think that when 9/11 happened, and all of everybody was going apeshit, all “things will never be the same,” this guy just stared all that cold in the face: this is nothing. We’ve got aliens among us.

So here’s to Mr. Exopolitics. I choose to believe. If nothing else it’s a more interesting future than the descent into ridiculous hooting tribalism that appears to await us at this point in history. I’m watchin’.

illustration friday: sorry

by brandon as illustration friday — brandon Thu 25 May 2006 1:11 am

sorry dude

Yeah, I stopped living with roommates after sophomore year of college precisely so I wouldn’t be working from real-life memories when drawing pictures like these. I have no terribly terrible stories to tell. One got addicted to Tetris and played it at all hours. Another liked anchovy pizzas. See? No battle scars.

I guess that means it was me that was the nightmare!

Also also also the first featured picture of my portfolio site just happens to fit this theme, if you’re interested in looking at more.

weekly book art: troodon

by brandon as book art — brandon Tue 23 May 2006 11:02 am


Found a little dinosaur book in the shelf, called, simply enough, Pockets Dinosaurs. I got it as a reference when I was doing educational illustration full-time, but after I did I don’t think I ever really wound up drawing any dinosaurs. The featured dinosaur, Troodon, is one that was discovered after my dinosaur-obsessing prime, so it was relatively new to me I guess. The dinosaur book was of the rendering school where no dinosaurs except Archaeopteryx have feathers; obviously I took a different tack. It seems likely to me that all the small theropods had feathers, probably as signalling or mating displays. But I haven’t really been keeping up with the literature.

I’m not good enough (or interested enough) at this kind of rendering to sell it, really, but it’s fun to take a shot at it every now and then.

Oh, and things are late because my G5 is fried. Luckily I had my G4 still sitting around in a box in the corner, but man shit is a hassle. Anyway, somebody’s gonna be real sorry when I get around to IF this week.

Next in Weekly Book Art: The Name of The Rose! Wherein I try to dispel Sean Connery from the role of William of Baskerville once and for all.

weekly blog arting: where to begin?

by brandon as blog arting — brandon Wed 17 May 2006 12:59 am

where to begin?

Today, after sorting through a bunch of spamblogs and photoblogs and blogs in languages I couldn’t read I dug up this entry.

I love a man that isn’t my husband and he already has a wife. I have two children who deserve a whole mom and this mom has felt (up until recently) like a whole bunch of little pieces of one. I have been smiling more lately and I have tried to spend more time with my kids. The whole detox thing?? Not gonna happen… I jumped off the wagon and just chopped it up for firewood. 🙂 Sorry, guess that wasn’t a good joke but I am just wanting to be happy and complete and for now, that’s how I feel when I have J in my life.

As the samurai Sanjuro says in Yojimbo, very interesting.

The blog carries the subhead: Just general thoughts that come to me during the day nothing too indepth considering this is my first time ever trying to put my thoughts into the written form.

Can’t help but wish this woman luck and strength. (And also maybe hope I didn’t accidentally draw my mind’s eye picture of her too old.)

illustration friday: angels and devils

by brandon as illustration friday — brandon Tue 16 May 2006 12:44 pm

cosplay at the 46th annual John Milton symposium

Cosplay at the 46th Annual John Milton Symposium*

~ or ~

A Post-Existential** Tribute to the Works of Daniel Clowes***

*If any single other IFer has taken this tack I shall procure a hat and eat it.
**If anybody knows a good solid adjective in the vein of “eschatological” that means “studies of and relating to beliefs of the afterlife” I’d love to hear it; I’m winging it here.
**Interesting video of a Dan Clowes interview to be found here.

weekly blog arting: drained

by brandon as blog arting — brandon Tue 16 May 2006 1:09 am

So I draw straws and get a post that goes:

While I’m here, I thought I’d drop a line! I plan on making some changes whenever I get home and decompress (see below). These will involve adding avatar icons for everyone, which I need pictures for. So, send me pictures! Of yourselves, preferably, one that you think would turn into a good smiling face for us all to see by your messages.

and gets real exciting from there. Except for the exciting part. Well, it’s just some guy’s weblog that he’s set up for the family, so it’s okay, really. But is there anything a fearless cartoon illustrator can help with?

We were called in here for what was supposed to be a friendly developer get-together, and quickly turned into a 16-hour day week of horribleness that has drained me so completely that I can’t think of a good metaphor for how drained I am.

Well, Mr. Teske. Funny you should bring this up. I believe I can help you with your metaphor. Let’s break it down into a three-stage process:

drained, part one

drained, part two

drained, part three

I believe this properly illustrates the extremity of the man’s drainage. Don’t you? Yes. My work here is done.

(This one was late. Another blog arting post tomorrow. Yes! Tomorrow.)

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