Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Elemental Palette

This evenings art experiment involved using my own selection of backgrounds taken from a photo I did of a watercolor palette. You can find out more about the base project on the post- Watercolor Palette Pictures.

Each color on the palette immediately reminded me of the elements, specifically in the shades of Bionicle. I didn't want to spend hours on something silly, so I used some short cuts by selecting images of the Toa Nuva, then turning them into stamp outlines using a filter in PSE.

I couldn't decide between letting the colors show through the stamp images or not, so I made the one above, then saved a version of them on solid white, as shown below.

The six main elements are fun, but I did have two blocks left from the photo, so I decided to play around and create Toa Mata singles of Tahu and Lewa.

I did the same stamped image on watercolor effect for these, and put the two buddies together on a page.

Lewa looked right as an outline, but he also looked pretty good as a paper pieced image. I think this would make a nice card.

During my selecting and stamp making, I kept each form for later use.

Each picture I used has been assembled on a stamp sheet for fun (left).

The outlines alone look pretty cool.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Mudst Go On Takua

'Mud'st go on, Takua  was an odd little idea that came to mind after "star153", someone on Deviant Art, requested for a picture of Takua and Jaller in ankle deep mud. After looking at their favorites, it was apparent star153 is someone in Brittan who has a fetish for pictures relating to the subject of characters in such a situation.

At first I wasn't sure if I  felt like making a sketch, but the more I thought about it, the more amusing the idea became. I didn't just imagine these two standing in the mud, but rather saw them drudging through it.

It became a silly idea of where all they may have traveled during their mask of light quest, and in a jungle there's bound to be swampy terrain. After creating a sloppy pencil sketch of this idea, I proceeded to think up dialogue for these two.

 Takua: "Are you sure that thing is working right?"

Jaller: "If the real herald had it, we wouldn't be in this mess."

Takua: "You're doing fine, but if we're on the right path, that mask has a strange sense of humor."

Jaller: "What's the matter, Takua, I thought you liked having adventures."

Takua: >:(

My layout of the idea was a quick and scratchy thumbnail in my sketchbook (left), and then I did a digital overlay on the photograph to better define the shapes of the characters (right). I find the base sketch before the actual outlining to be just a tad bit more charming than the final result.
When first imagining the concept, I saw it in black and white more so than color in my head, which is a bit uncommon for me. I made the picture in color first, then decided to make it black and white just to see it the way I imagined it. 

Making it black and white is like looking at a photograph from the past, a record of the chroniclers possible adventures which are now placed in stone and faded in memory. 

A bit of trivia about the piece: I created some of my own brushes for making odd cattails, swamp grasses, trees, and leaves. The background beyond the trees was a section of an actual watercolor texture I did. It seemed convenient and quick for this simple project. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Trill's Lightstone Necklace

While I had my paper beach scene up, after a long photo session of mug pictures, I played around with an idea of where Trill might have gotten her new little necklace.
I grabbed my Po Matoran and made a scene of teasing kindness.

Trill's little stone necklace is made from scraps of yellow cording, and a chunk of citrine. With a bit
of knotting, I made her a somewhat islandy looking charm just for fun. It ties around her neck, which means it can work for any small toy if the bow is adjusted.
I made a mini comic with the photos when a story idea started to form. It's just a silly concept, but during Trill's travels as a chronicler in training and a map maker, she meets a visiting Po Matoran on her way off along Ga beach. They talk to each other, Trill mentions how she wants to map the underground tunnels of Onu, but is spooked by the dark, and the Po Matoran offers her a gift to help her along her journey.

The joke is that he thinks she's cute, and offers his light stone necklace to impress her.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Trill's Houseplant Exploration

 Finally, edited pictures of Trill have been made (date actually completed being May 18, 2017).
I tend to find scenic spots in the houseplants for Trill to hang out in. For several days now I've been eyeing the Chinese evergreen in the bathroom, which is supported by bakers twine tied to false flower stems wedged in the dirt.  I also like how the edge of the pot appears to be a sectioned off garden plot.
The way it looked between the leaves reminded me of some island scene where either Trill or another Matoran tied the tree to supporting poles to keep it upright. Could be someone planted this tree some time ago, and as it grew it needed support.

This tree grows nearby to the coast of Ga Koro. Trill likes to come here for shade.
I had Trill observed the rope to make sure it didn't need replacing (left). Trill does after all know how to make new rope if need be. I found the bathroom plant served well for photo adventures with Trill, especially with LED lighting and blue walls.Trill in the bathroom plants looks great with eye and head glow.
I also made do with the larger Chinese Evergreen pictures taken in the front room (the mini jungle). There was one version of Trill calling out which wasn't so blurry it couldn't work as a picture, so I blurred the background a bit and gave it some life (right).
Unfortunately, even after turning on the lights, the plant was so shaded that the camera had trouble taking a clear picture, and all three of my attempts turned out a bit fuzzy.
That's not to say I couldn't use the shakiness of the images to my advantage. Trill held her hands up so her voice would carry as she called for someone, but this pose could just as easily be Trill screaming at something. With a few adjustments like motion blur, I could make these images appear as though something is coming after her.
The blurrier version of Trill calling out remained inspiring for Trill screaming out. With a bit of radial blur I wanted to give the viewer a sense of seeing Trill through a creatures eyes as it tries coming at her. To add to the dramatic moment, I played with Trills mask and stretch her mouth to look like she's actually screaming (right).
There are always those occasions where photography may be blurred, and then I thought how it's funny that there's radial or motion blur filters in some programs to get the look, yet here I have it happening naturally. This may seem like a wasted shot, until I thought of how to use it and what it might entail.

Who is Trill speaking to? Why are her hands up? Whoever or whatever it is may be having trouble focusing after getting hit by a lone tranquilizer dart. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Trill's Bookcase Hangout and Water Tank Inspection

(Mar. 5, 2017)

Trill at her normal resting spot on my bookcase shelf.

I find it amusing that I set the water cup for my deffuser next to her. It's like she's always mediating before the water pitcher, standing before the two Bionicle graphic novels just behind her.

Trill has been very patient, and is waiting for me to write the story of how we met, but still I remain too busy to sit down and work on the Pearllight Origins tale.

Till then, Trill keeps me inspired where I can see her as I work at my desk.

(Mar. 26, 2017)

Yesterday I took a picture of Trill gazing down a pit to the water tank (distiller).

The tank has been in need of cleaning, and Trill is there to inspect it as a water type should.

I played around with tweaking the picture for more interest. first I edited out certain objects (left), then I added in some water effects and lighting (right).

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Lewa the Last Windbreaker- Kanohi Miru collages

"Lewa The Last Windbreaker" has been a planned idea on the list for a very long time. The joke is rather an inside joke on my part, seeing I make references to Lewa being a windbag in the sense of bad gas through my fan fictions and occasional art pieces.

The blue arrow is obviously from "Avatar the Last Airbender" (which I've never watched, but know about some of the basic things). With that idea in mind, I found Lewa's kanohi miru to be perfect for slapping a blue arrow onto, along with my inside joke.
So much work went into tracing, cutting, and piecing my Mata masks together that I didn't want to ruin them with a side joke idea of adding a blue arrow to Lewa's forehead. This is why I went in digitally to create the joke versions.

Both the blue arrow and the lettering were added digitally, but the blue arrow was an actual paper cut out I made, and then scanned for this purpose. 

The idea to make collage versions of Lewa Mata's face was inspired by the colors of a magic eraser box. 

I went through two designs, leaving both the masks plain for the actual art pieces.
As shown above, there are two different kinds of backgrounds I made using watercolor and a new set of Tim Holtz stencils. There's the sunny version, and the splotchy version, both of them serving best for the slightly different gradients of the two masks. 

Collages measure around 9x12''.
As shown here, this is what the box looked like before I cut it into pieces and created two different Mirus from the front and back textures of the packaging.

Shown on the left is a back view of the mask, a display showing how I pieced it together and labeled the parts to keep track of everything.
Most of it was cut out using a razor blade, and glued together using fast tack tacky glue.
I had created myself a stencil of the Miru so all the shapes would be just right on the collage.
To make the pieces pop up off the page I used sticky foam pads, cut out multiple parts of ads for the eyes and face beneath, then did the rest using the magic eraser box.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Glowing Suva

 "Volcanic Waters"

There's something interesting about vapor and light, which is why I enjoy staring at deffusers. I saw the opportunity to take pictures of our small Linkyo deffuser this evening when no one was around.  The glow of blue I chose for the defuser, and the reddish orange of the nearby salt lamp are perfect contrasting colors, like water in a volcano.

The shape of it has reminded me of multiple things, including a Matoran's hut or a Toa's suva. This then inspired me to take pictures of Trillahru on another one of her adventures this evening.

Above, her first discovery of a glowing Suva occurred near the volcano. The triangular tracking stone she holds in her hand led her to the glowing suva like a compass would point North, only the stone flashes light when you're at a found destination.

Trill can only wonder why this suva is steaming.

What's actually happening in these scenes? It's probably a good time to list my ideas now that I've edited my chosen pictures. Trill holds, I would say, a special suva stone, something that unlocks the power of a Toa's suva. She has a task to tap into a suva of her element, by placing this crystal into its center.
 After my first experimental pictures, I went and got out a tile and a backdrop to make life easier. this resulted in dark room scenes which gave me the idea that Trill found other glowing, vapor spewing suvas underground or within mysterious temple walls of some hidden place on the island.

This particular suva is a peculiar one, in the fact it glows blue when active, obviously meant for someone from the water region. It has a funny shaped top that spews steam from below, like a venting cap for some underground hot water spring. For all we know, it could be a venting cap placed their to prevent pressure, and Trill is testing to see if it's a suva or not. :P
I wanted to have a slightly less dramatic pose for one scene, so I stood Trill upright and had her gaze at the steaming suva. This is likely a scene of her observations before she holds out the crystal to this device.
Trill's discovery of this is no doubt a moment in her history of exploration during her times of land measurement for an island accurate map. She's been willing to take on a few extra tasks during her travels, even if it means exploring a spooky temple or underground lair.
 She herself can be kind of spooky when excited (left), or just observing things around the suva (right).

I was surprised at how the blue light was kind of like black light on Trill's eyes and mask. Here she is, staring into your soul.
Blue light is always fun, but I wanted to play with colors and change the mood a bit. Green created  the perfect spooky atmosphere I was looking for, like a lantern in the lair of Makuta. Trill goes from being bright blue, to a sickly green.
"Before the vat of antidermis"

I love creating tense atmosphere. Here, Trill summons the elemental energy from the green suva. I took some angled shots of the scene just to create an unnerving feel. This is what you might see in a nightmare.

What's happening in the scenes of green are up to imagination, but I think Trill is either being influenced by Makuta, or she's trying to undo Makuta's plans by placing the crystal into a suva within his underground lair of shadow.
 "Resist the Shadows"
 "Summoning" (right and below).

 Will you fall to the darkness?

Trill observed this ghastly suva as she did the blue one. The ones where the mist appears to be wrapping itself around her interest me, because it's like antidermis of a Makuta, whispering in her ear.