Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tall Tuesday: I'm Dreaming of a Tall Christmas!



I don't normally show off my card before it arrives to everyone I sent it to, but since it's tall related, and it's the last Tuesday before Christmas.....Here it is in all its glory!

In this case I was inspired by two Christmas shows: 1) The Snow "Bumble" in the T.V. special, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" who places the star atop the Christmas tree in Santa Claus's home, and 2) the movie, "Elf" with Will Ferrell. "Elf" actually illustrates some of the challenges of being tall such ducking through doors and sleeping in beds that are too small. I love him sitting in Daddy's (Bob Newhart) lap.

I hope everyone tall or small has a festive Christmas season!

About the art:

This was drawn on Bristol board with pencil, ink and watercolor. I used masking fluid applied with a toothpick to mask out the lettering in the tree. Some fine tuning clean up was done in Photoshop. I left the texture of the paper in the scan, which gave an illusion of texture in the printed card.

I should have printed a test sample on glossy paper at home since the printed card came out much darker than I thought it would.

Prior to the final art I worked out some thumbnail sketches and a mockup, both traditional and digital (using ArtRage), to determine where to use ink and where to let the watercolor shapes stand alone.





I printed the card through Zazzle. I'll write more about this in another post.

Mail Theme for Illustration Friday


I'm not above recycling my images for Illustration Friday. I posted this one last October under "Fast". Below are the other images referenced in that post. That post's website link to the wallpaper is broken now, but feel free to use these three as wallpaper.




Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Contagious Yawn Phenomenon


Yawning. It happens. It's contagious. Why? I don't know, but here are some links to various theories.

Yawning: It Isn't About Oxygen Anymore
Yawn Theory: The Effects of Contagious Yawns on Males and Females (I like the note about Mom helping with the paste ups.)

I remember a funny joke where supposedly a student wrote a science paper explaining how contagious yawning was a way to equalize the air pressure in a room. Unfortunately I can't find it.

About the art:
It was all made in an old version of Adobe Illustrator. I don't prefer to create art directly in Illustrator. It feels a little too mechanical and technical, but the copy and paste and alignment features were exactly what I needed for this concept.

Tall Tuesday: Helping Others With Your Height



I saw this video from Values.com called "Top Shelf" a few months back where a tall man helps a shorter, senior woman grab an item off the shelf in a grocery store. I've done this many times over the years. Whether it's the holiday season or not try to lend a helping hand where you can, and welcome the good karma feeling you receive in return.

About the art:
I went traditional with ink, watercolor and colored pencil. I used a dental tool to scratch out the jeans to make them a little worn looking. I need to work on applying watercolor to faces. I apply the rosy blushes too late or with too much water making it too blotchy. The jacket came out a little too blue as well, but that's the point of doing these practice pieces.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tall Tuesday: Vintage vs New Banana Republic



There was a time when the Banana Republic clothing stores had a mystique about them. If I could only where their clothing, I would instantly be on safari in Africa, shopping the bazaars of Morocco, digging for relics in South America or climbing the mountains of the Far East. It was instant exotic adventure. Tom Cruise's bomber jacket from "Top Gun" and Harrison Ford's vintage clothes from "Indiana Jones" help reinforce this dream in my teenage mind.

Alas it was not to be. Their clothes did not fit a lad of 6'7". T-shirts were too short. Shorts rode up and pants looked like capris. When I was fortunate enough to visit their store in Cleveland, complete with palms and an old army jeep, I could only come away with a khaki roll up hat, which I still wear for yard work today.

Years later Banana Republic offers tall clothes via their website only. I only discovered the fact this year and had a major buying spree thanks to a 40% off on-line coupon. I like some of their current styles. The wool slacks and sweaters are great.

But let's face it the mystique is gone. Shopping on-line has definite advantages, but it pales compared to flipping through their vintage catalogs that looked and read like travel journals. Every item was represented through a man-made illustration with watercolor and colored pencil. Interspersed were lovely spot art illustrations usually dealing with a them from the featured artist. Just check out these covers by H. Craig Hannah (the Expatriate Hall of Fame) and An Ching Chang (On the Road to Mandalay). Fantastic!

I'll try to post more scans from these later once I finish my Christmas card for the year. I also wanted to do a proper illustration for this post.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tall Tuesday: Savoring Whistler's Art



ML and I visited the University of Michigan's Art Museum to view prints by James Abbott McNeill Whistler. It was a fantastic collection that was well organized by time period and themes. I was fascinated how he balanced lights and darks, details and emptiness to create wonderful atmosphere. I also enjoyed learning more about lithography. It explained how Whistler pushed the boundaries of lithography to create almost watercolor effects with subtle tonal gradations and tried to bring respect to medium considered low brow and used only for advertising and mass media.

The collection was also very large, which by the end left us a little wore out. Although I exaggerate a little in my sketch I had to perform the hip thrust and shallow bends in my knees and back to get a good look at the pieces. One minor disadvantage to being very tall. I suppose it wouldn't be much easier being very short or in a wheelchair craning to look up at the art either.

Hanging art at home creates a challenge as to how high to hang it to where I can look at it easily and others, too. When I lived in an apartment I didn't think about it and hung everything near my eye level. Sometimes someone would comment, "Why is all your artwork hung so high?" Cretins! (I use that term lovingly.)

About the art:
I used Koh-I-Noor woodless graphite pencils that I received as a gift recently. I really like them. They have a nice weight and allow me to use the full width of the tapered lead without feeling like the tip is going to break off. It felt nice to use a pencil to lay down some tones. It's been a while since I've used them. A white pencil was used for the few highlights.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tall Tuesday: Big Bird


With Thanksgiving this week I thought I would pay homage to another tall childhood television friend, Sesame Street's Big Bird. From what I can find on the trusty Internet Big Bird's height is 8'2" tall. I was also fond of his friend, Mr. Snffleupagus, who for the longest time was only seen by Big Bird.

Have a happy Thanksgiving! If you don't celebrate it, give thanks for what you have and who you have in your life anyway.

Peace.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tall Tuesday: Tall Teeth

I had the pleasure to visit yet another endodontist recently and thought it appropriate to talk about teeth.

My teeth are very large. I learned this back when I was around twelve, sitting in the chair at my orthodontist's with about six of his peers staring into my mouth. It was a very uncomfortable experience. Apparantly my case was challenging in that my teeth were too large for my mouth. He needed to make room for my wisdom teeth to come in, or else I would have a toothy traffic jam down the road. This did wonders for my young ego.



My oral ego did get a little boost a couple of years ago when during a root canal, the endodontist discovered I had five roots in my wisdom tooth rather than a more typical three or four. I thought she should frame the X-ray for bragging rights with her peers.



Before Mr. T showed up in Rocky III and the A-Team there was another colorful Mr. T, who was also a member of an alphabetic team, "The Letter People", a show I watched in grade school. For some reason Mr. T with his tall teeth and Texan accent stuck with me all these years. Looking back on this show via YouTube it seems a bit Tedious and Tiresome but it does have some Terrifically Trippy puppets and letter songs. Mr. H, N and S are particularly fun.





My PSA to you - Take care of your own tall teeth. Brush and floss regularly, and stay away from sugar filled drinks!

Check out this experiment soaking teeth in various sweet drinks for 14 days. Yuck!

"Parents and kids need to understand the mechanics of how cavities occur, and how what they do can make them worse," said Messina, who has a dental office in Cleveland. "And one of the worst things we can do is take a very sugary, acidic drink and sip it all day."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tall Tuesday: Cap and Trade



I was listening to this episode of Living On Earth the other day, regarding the recent Republican sweep in the elections and the impact on climate change legislation and heard this sound bite from the Federal Senator-elect from Wisconsin, Ron Johnson:

“No, I absolutely do not believe the science of man-caused climate change is proven, not by any stretch of the imagination. I think it's far more likely that it's just sunspot activity or something in geologic eons of time where we have changes in the climate.”

I would like to stretch Mr. Johnson's imagination with the following letter.

Dear Senator-elect Johnson from Wisconsin,

I have an alternative "cap and trade" proposal to help reduce global warming that will be a much less costly alternative to the one currently being proposed in Congress. It is a known fact that 20-30% of heat loss is through the human head. I can confirm this through personal experience. I am 6’7”, and when I am in a crowded room it is hot! Scientists say that the global warming trend started accelerating after the 1960’s. Suspiciously this also happens to be when hats went into serious decline in popularity.

Therefore I say, “A cap on every head! The broader the better!” Just look at the facts:
1) Global warming directly due to humans will decrease by 20-30%
2) The sagging U.S. milliner industry will increase exponentially, creating more jobs.
3) The extra shade provided by the broad brims will help decrease temperatures.
4) Hats with lighter colors or reflective materials will reflect back the sun’s rays.
5) America will look more dapper, feel better about themselves and bring back pride in the U.S.A.!

Now for the second part of my proposal it’s a known fact that people 6’3” and above are tall! I can confirm this with a tape measure. Because we are taller with more surface area and are closer to the sky we inadvertently contribute to global warming more than our shorter brothers and sisters. And talls living in the northern climates are unfortunately incrementally increasing the rate of melting of the glaciers and Arctic sea ice.

Thus I propose providing government incentives for talls in the northern states trading places with those of shorter stature in the southern states. The migration of talls to the south will reduce the heat stress on the more sensitive northern climate. Our extra size coupled with broad brimmed hats will provide even more shade to the southern climates and will actually reduce temperatures there. It’s a win-win for the environment!

“Trade your smalls for talls!” Well, that might not be the best slogan, but I’m sure your campaign managers will come up with something.

Until then lets hope the Earth’s core gets back to normal and those darn sunspots go away!

Peace on Earth. Goodwill towards man.

Sincerely,
Ken Eaton


About the art:
I spent more time writing than illustrating this one. Drawn with Hunt quill pen, ink and watercolor on cheap watercolor paper.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tall Tuesday: Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke Are Eliminated



Tonight Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke were voted off of Dancing With The Stars. Although Cheryl is a fantastic dancer and choreographer and wore special 4" heels, I think the height difference between hurt them. If she had the legs to match his stride, especially with their foxtrot last night, I think he might of gone farther. Despite being called the Jolly Green Giant for the flashy green of the zoot suit, I liked the long jacket.

What Rick did prove is that a 6'7" man can look graceful on the dance floor. This makes up for a lack luster performance from Clyde Drexler from the 2007 season. See my earlier post about that.

Here are a few stories about Rick and Cheryl.
http://www.tvguide.com/News/Dancings-Cheryl-Burke-1023146.aspx
http://www.accesshollywood.com/rick-fox-and-cheryl-burke-talk-dancing-the-pressures-definitely-on_article_38766

About the art:
I'm working on a larger format watercolor of the pair, but for now you'll have to settle for the preliminary sketches. Although Rick is a handsome man he has got over the top expression with his HUGE smiles and dancing eyebrows. Hopefully I can capture their likenesses and pizazz.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Illustration Friday: Spent


In January 2009 I promised to post the dark half of my 2005 Christmas card within a week. Phooey on you for not holding me up to the promise! Take a trip in time to read about the card here.

Dark and light. Thgil dna krad. A little "Twin Peaks" humor for you. I remember being completely captivated in the first season and mostly lost and confused in the second. I just watched "Fire Walk With Me", a sort of prequel to the series and wish I hadn't. Other than Chris Isaak and the music it didn't have any of the mystery of series.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tall Tuesday: Nutrition and Height



NPR gave me a freebie topic for this week. They had a Morning Edition story on Monday, Measuring A Country's Health By Its Height by Nancy Shute. It was essentially a rehash of what was written in "The Tall Book" about the U.S. losing it's status as having the tallest people in the world. The Dutch are now the leaders over the U.S. by about 2 inches on average. I posted about this earlier here.

The story leading into it dealt with trying to get kids to eat healthier, which in turn should improve their chances of reaching the maximum height potential rather than waistline potential.

About the art:
The Illustration Friday topic this week is racing. Below is the sketch done in pencil and colored in Photoshop. Above is the final done with a steel nib pen, ink and watercolor. My thought was that "real" food, fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc. are in it for the long haul giving you benefits over a long period of time. Fast food, candy, cookies, pizza, pop, chips, and such give you short term energy with a big health price tag, but like a NASCAR they get all the marketing dollars from corporations. In the above drawing the car didn't quite make it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tall Tuesday: Spooky Tricks for the Tall




Years ago I helped a good friend of mine with a haunted house held in the dressing rooms and halls of the old amphitheater in the Toledo Zoo. I was in the last room before the exit that had lots of old pipes and man-made fog. With my height, and dim lighting many people thought I was a prop. Adults and older kids were the most fun to scare. I took it easy with little ones. What are parents thinking taking 5 and 6 year olds to a haunted house?! I was hoarse with leg cramps by the end of the night but had a great time!

I suppose you don't have to be super tall for something like this and try to use a crate to stand on, but don't blame me if you fall!

For other tall costume ideas check out this post at The Tall Blog.

About the art:
Created in ArtRage. Here is a lunchtime sketch leading up to it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tall Tuesday: The Tallest Man on Earth



No, I'm not talking about Leonid Stadnyk, Ajas Ahmed or Sultan Kösen. I'm talking about 5'6" Kristian Matsson, a folk singer from Sweden, who named himself, "The Tallest Man on Earth." I found him while looking up a story on NPR. You can listen to him on NPR here.

About the art:
Being behind at work and still working on an illustration job left even less time this week for a proper illustration. He is supposed to be standing on a musical notation. Not sure what the double one is with the bridge. I wiped out the extraneous junk around him in GIMP. Sometime I'll get back to making something decent to post!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tall Tuesday: Giant Prehistoric Penguins


This article jumped out at me in the Yahoo! news headlines about giant prehistoric penguins. They were 5 feet tall, standing taller than the emperor penguins of today. It also goes into scientific detail about how they determined they had reddish-brown coloring rather than the classic black and white penguins of today. Here is my less scientific reason.

About the art:
It was created in ArtRage Studio Pro. I'm in the middle of another job and didn't put much time into it as I would have liked.

Back when I was trying to syndicate my "Arctic Circle" comic strip in 1999 and again in 2001 I had a penguin, who had strayed from the south pole, in it. Not to be confused with the Arctic Circle comic strip by Alex Hallatt, which was syndicated in 2005 and also has stray penguins in the Arctic. I tried submitting again in 2003, dropping the penguin to no avail. I enjoyed drawing the strips but struggled to come up with something remotely humorous to fill them.

Interesting side note, Hallatt's strip was originally named "Polar Circle" until someone at King Features thought of calling it "Arctic Circle". Coincidence?

Here is a strip from the 2001 submission.



For Illustration Friday posting of "beneath" - this gives a good sampling of sea life beneath the (rapidly melting) arctic ice.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tall Tuesday: Copilot

During our recent well deserved and relaxing vacation, ML and I had to travel in a Cessna 402 a few times. Passing up the opportunity to sit in the copilot seat the first time I decided to try it the second time when there were fewer passengers. You can see here where my typical seat was, having the most leg and (just barely)head room. My hair was actually rubbing the roof liner.



ML said I entertained the other passengers as I packed myself into the copilot seat. I can't figure out why!



Once I was seated I questioned the pilot several time if I was a hindrance to him as there was one knob behind my left knee he had to work. He swore I was fine, that bigger people than me had sat there. I find it hard to believe.

It was fun to sit up there with the controls in front of me and have a pilot view of the 20 minute trip. That being said I made sure my knees were pressed into the side of the plane on my right and the side of the control panel on my left. The copilot controller follows the pilot's actions, meaning my controller would move in and out and rotate in front of me. I in no way felt experienced enough to control the plane with my knees!



About the art:
These are spontaneous brush and ink drawings colored in Photoshop. There were a couple warm up images seen here.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tall Tuesday: Break Time


It's time to take a break for a week or two. In the meantime check out the other tall blogs in my links column. Also, here is a temporarily permanent new logo. I've had a sketch for a while and finally decided to try it out.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tall Tuesday: Donate your tall clothes


It is difficult enough finding clothes to buy when you are above average height. Imagine being down on your luck and not being able to afford them and being forced to where pants that don't reach your ankles or coats that don't reach your waist or wrists.

ML helped purge my closet the other day, which left me with a pile of clothes for donation. Rather than drop them off a Salvation Army to be sold I called around and found another charity that has a big and tall section in there thrift shops. It's Grace Centers of Hope.

About the art:
This was a relatively quick sketch done with the marker tool in ArtRage.

The composition and character looked "immovable" and thought it would fit in with Illustration Friday this week.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tall Tuesday: Ambush


It didn't go down quite as shown, but I was caught a little off guard. While waiting in the checkout line at the produce store a petite woman behind me bluntly asked me how tall I was, which woke me from my checkout stupor. "When did you stop growing? My son is blah, blah, blah, and I need to know what to expect." I did not expect this as a follow up question. Although she asked it in a tone of slight dread, I could sense inside her head she's thinking, "Yes! My son is TALL!!!" After I answered her I received an intense education on the tall members of her family, her grandfather's WWII thigh splice in France and her son's courting by coaches of various sports. How often does this type of thing happen to you?

About the art:
I should have made my shirt yellow or gold to break up all the green.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tall Tuesday: Dancin' with myself

Growing up as the tallest in my school made me very self conscience about certain activities. School dances was one of them. I would think, "Do not bring unwanted attention to yourself and screw up any potential chances with the few girls who might be interested in you or give an opportunity for ridicule." It wasn't until I went on a school trip to Washington D.C. that I threw caution to the wind and shook a leg at the dance with two other schools that were in the program. There was no stopping me after that! Or as Adam Ant sang in "Prince Charming" - "Ridicule is nothing to be scared of!"



One problem with dancing with someone that you are nineteen inches taller than is that you appear to be dancing alone in a group. It's also awkward when the other person can't reach your shoulders during a slow dance.


ML and I had an opportunity to cut a rug at a wedding this weekend and could show off the results of dance class lessons. We learned enough to go from the basic step-around-in-a-small-circle dance to a crude box step. Dancing with the Stars watch out!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tall Tuesday: More Work


Being tall means more work than the average person. No, I'm not referring to job work, house work or yard work. I'm referring to the definition from physics.

Work = Force x Distance

For example, a man of average height 5'9.5" lifts a 10 pound weight to his shoulder, let's assume about 5' from the ground, and I lift a 10 pound weight to my shoulder, let's assume about 5'10" from the ground. I have to move that same weight 10" more to get it to the same relative position to my body. Therefore I generate more work.

Take from this what you will. I just know I did too much landscaping work this weekend and am sore!

Here is a fun little Java applet to give you an understanding of the physics of work.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tall Tuesday: ATM's


This is me at the mall yesterday using the walk up ATM set up for wheelchair accessibility. If I stand at a "normal" distance I can only see the bottom quarter of the screen, so it takes a little effort to get in a position to be able to read the screen and try to maintain some privacy at the keypad and with any hope, some dignity.

About the art:
I used ArtRage3 Studio Pro for this one from start to finish. I used the paint brush set to about 6% loading for an approximate dry brush effect. The color is on a separate layer. I also tried to add a little bit of a scene in this one.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tall Tuesday: There was a crooked man



What is this man doing?
a) the latest pilates moves
b) contemporary dance
c) having a Quaker epiphany
d) using an airplane toilet

Yes, the correct answer is (d). Being a 6'7" male makes using most airplane bathrooms a feat of contorsionism and balance, especially if turbulence is involved, so as to not create a mess of things. To add yet another element of difficulty is to prop a seat that will not stay up.

Sitting on one can be no joy either. For those with long legs that touch the door you have to decide whether to splay or hold the knees together and twisting to the side.

Darcy Villere (6'7") has a photo on his Facebook page that he took hunched over looking into an airplane bathroom mirror. I originally found it on his blog, The Tall Blog. He is dressed and it is safe for viewing.


About the art:
Below is the watercolor quick sketch thinking it would be more abstract and arty.



Next came this one made in ArtRage3 Studio Pro with its watercolor tool. A bit more exaggerated but too much shading to give it mass and still not very funny.


Finally I digitally inked over the watercolor in ArtRage3 to create a pure silhouette, which I think is a bit more comic.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tall Tuesday: Airplane Seats


I was just able to fit this in before Tuesday is over! I had to finish an illustration job first.
Airplane seats are the bane of the extra tall everywhere. I had to fly for work recently and was able to enjoy one again. This sketch is from a couple years ago when I had to fly to Spain for an assembly line run off. It's pretty self explanatory.

About the art:

This is a scan from my one time experiment with a Moleskine sketchbook. They are attractive and solid, but I didn't care for the cream color paper and thought the texture was too smooth. It also took me time to use it feeling it was too precious to mess up a page. I don't sketch much from life due to time and lack of inspiration, but the facing page has some Montserrat.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tall Tuesday: Idi Amin


On the opposite end of the political spectrum from Peter Garrett was Idi Amin, the military dictator and President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. Based on this webpage he was between 6'3" and 6'4". The man was ruthless and brutal and responsible for untold thousands of deaths.

Forest Whitaker (6'2") did an amazing job portraying this man in "The Last King of Scotland."
I did a little research on him afterwards and noticed Amin's fixation with medals. I think I was trying to show how he cut the hand off of the puppeteer that thought he could control him in running Uganda. Tragically wrong.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Tall Tuesday: Peter Garrett



The 6'6" Peter Garrett is former lead singer of Midnight Oil and now Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts in Australia. He is probably best known in the States from the "Beds Are Burning" music video back in the mid 1980's. With his bald head, rugged features and spasmodic dancing, he makes for a memorable figure. I still have VCR recording of "Blackfella Whitefella" documentary that featured some great songs and showed how active the band was politically. They were big on environmental and Aboriginal issues. All these years later he's an elected member of Australia's Labor Party and appears to be having mixed results of trying to change the system from within rather than shouting from without. Not an easy thing to do, but I give him credit for trying and wish him well.

Although his voice, both singing and speaking, is probably what's got him to where he is today, if you think his height had nothing to do with his political influence, take a look at this!

Learn more about him at Wikipedia and his own website.

About the art:
For some reason I felt a compulsion to sketch Peter Garrett and try to capture the power of his voice and physical energy of his unique "dancing". I don't remember using a reference photo. I think it was my mental impression of him: bald head, large frame, flailing limbs and screaming mouth. I added the orange overlay in Photoshop to capture the heat of the Australian desert and the passion in his voice.

On a side note ...
While browsing the Illustration Friday postings I discovered the work of Ann Raff and this fun watercolor she made. Revel in the tall trees with the birds!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tall Tuesday: Weather Revisited


I posted before about "How's the weather up there?" question to tall people. Well here is another illustration related to it - tall people replacing weather satellites. This was really an excuse to post for Illustration Friday as well. In another post I included this sketch where you can see my weather satellite complete with groundhog and trick knee. I simplified it here to go with the style of this illustration. We should be careful with satellites. We don't want angry ones falling from the sky.

About the art:
This is actually the third version of this. I started a more elaborate one that was too busy. Then went straight to inking without the aid of a pencil line a second, smaller version of my original sketch. I flubbed some parts. So I laid in a couple light pencil lines based on it to create this final version. I also scan the inking before applying the watercolor in case I bomb it. Then I can color the backup on the computer. The original is about 4"x4".

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tall Tuesday: Yao Ming's Offspring


Back in January 5, 2010 it was announced via a Yahoo! news headline that Yao Ming, the 7'6" center for the Houston Rockets basketball team, and his wife, Ye Li, a 6'2" basketball player in China, were expecting a baby. It's been six months now. In that time there have been earthquakes, volcano eruptions, tornadoes and a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. With the global economy still in a weakened state will the Earth be able to withstand the looming threat posed by the Mings' "creepy tall" offspring, which is a mere three months away? My heart trembles at the thought! Tall people must not be allowed to breed together as the consequences are much too dire! We can only hope their child's towering height will be used for the side of good!

About the art:
This one pretty much drew itself as soon as I read the article. "Creepy tall." How nice. The article shows the fascination/fear combination still projected onto the very tall. A giant baby terrorizing the city was the immediate concept. If I would have taken the time to do more research I would have tried to make the baby look more like something from an old Chinese ink drawing. I did like the basketball hoop and post being used as a weapon and the basketballs being lobbed at him, both of which popped into my head as I was pencilling in the rough. I used a brush, W&N black ink and what I think is Quinacridone burnt orange watercolor.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tall Tuesday: America, Home of Basketball

1 2 3 4

"Give us your tall, your strong, your quick and agile, your basketball stars."

America gave birth to basketball and like it or not is the global magnet for some of the best players in the world. Just look at the NBA team rosters and you find players from several European countries and some African. Thanks to Yao Ming even China is represented.

Here are two other examples of new young international recruits searching for brighter future through basketball. In another post I mentioned, Marvadene "Bubbles" Anderson, at 6'10" the tallest 16 year old in the world, coming to America from Jamaica to play basketball. In another recent article two brothers coming from Canada via India, Sim (age 17) and Tanveer Bhullar (age 15), 7'4" and 7'2", respectively, to search out U.S. high schools. Perhaps one day they will make it as the "Twin Towers of India"!

About the art:
I had another idea for some Hindu gods playing basketball, but ran out of time and thought the Statue of Liberty was a little more universal for welcoming people to America. Image (1) is the original drawing done in ink with black Conte crayon shading. Image (2) was colored in ArtRage Studio Pro using the watercolor brush on a layer in "multiply" blend mode. In image (3) I added another layer in "multiply" blend mode with color applied with the paint roller and used the palette knife tool to soften it. I thought this might add more drama like a sunset, but it still didn't seem right.

I could have tried fussing with the watercolor tool more to make it look softer and blended, but then I found David Gothard's site and drooled over his ink and watercolor work. And the ideas behind his illustrations! It's almost enough to make me give up. But no! One must press on if one is to find one's inner voice. So I went back to the original art and added watercolor to it. The Conte crayon did smear a little where it was darker but still provided a nice texture.