TET Art: Three Wise Color Monkeys - Part 3

Under Painting completed.
My Three Wise Color Monkeys painting has progressed this week.

If you want to follow along but this is the first post you've seen, you may like to go back and read Part 1 and Part 2 for the previous stages. It'll give you a good insight into how I create my paintings that you may wish to try yourself.

TET Art: Three Wise Color Monkeys - Part 2

Camera Inception!
Last post I announced the start of a new painting titled, Three Wise Color Monkeys. Turns out I was serious about getting back into creating some traditional art because I managed to get over the first hurdle... making a start.

For most artists, making a start means setting up the canvas, paints, and actually painting the first brush strokes. For me it's working out how I'm going to set up my camera so I can film the whole process with the least disruption to actually doing the art.

You'd think I'd know where to set up a camera by now considering I have filmed myself painting more than 30 artworks on my YouTube Channel.

The problem was, if I set my camera up in the usual way, it would constantly be in the way of a major thoroughfare through my studio.

With a bit of thought I managed to find this amazing elevated camera angle just over my right shoulder (see the photo above), achieved by standing my tripod on top of a bookshelf. Not only is the camera nicely out of the way but also, the view is wide enough that I can talk to camera if need be without bending too much to make sure my head is in shot.

You might think setting up a camera is not much of a barrier to making a start, and you'd be right. However I'm not actually a big fan of filming myself painting so setting up a camera is more of a chore than it really should be. Plus I can't really not set up a camera when I'm trying to revive my YouTube channel.

Watch the video diary below for a little more info about my camera set up then watch me paint stage 1 of the actual artwork.




Stage 1 - Transferring the Drawing


Transferring the Sketch to Canvas.
Almost every painting I've done since 1995 starts the same way, drawing the sketch onto the canvas using red acrylic paint. There's no light pencil sketch first - though I seem to recall I used to do this but at some point I decided it was a waste of time.

The way I paint is very loose in the beginning, gradually progressing to finer, more considered detail toward the end. As a result any initial drawing tends to get lost under my paint so I just stopped doing them.

For those InkTober purists who think drawing digitally is easy because you don't have to commit to your lines, try drawing in red acrylic paint on canvas, and then talk to me about 'commitment to lines'.

As you can see from the photo above my transfer sketch is very loose, possibly even unintelligible in places to anyone but me. You'll also notice I've filled in areas with red because red paint also serves as a mid-tone for my initial under painting that I do using the three primary colors (red, yellow, and blue - did I really need to spell that out?).

If you're really observant, and able to decipher my scribble, you may notice the middle monkey's legs have changed position. I wasn't happy with the way they were positioned in the sketch so I thought I'd try something else (how's that for commitment - InkTober purists?).

The next stage will be to complete my under painting, then to start blocking in the major areas of color. I'm anticipating this to be a some what easier painting to complete given the majority of the final color is very close to primary and secondary colors (the colors you get from mixing two primary colors together - helped spelling that out, right?).

Hopefully I'll get most of that done by next week.

If you'd like to follow this artwork's progress but blog posts and video diaries aren't for you, I'm also posting work in progress photos to my Instagram. So be sure to stop by there and follow me for the latest images.

TET Art: Three Wise Color Monkeys - Part 1

Three Wise Color Monkeys Sketch.
After completing the InkTober challenge where I spent everyday completing at least one digital ink artwork, I feel I really need to keep my hand in on the traditional art too.

Partly as an excuse not to be staring at a monitor for some of my day but also because the traditional art I create has a very different look to my digital art.

Movie Review: Thor Ragnarok (2017) *Spoiler Free*

Is Thor Ragnarok the best Thor movie so far? Honestly, it's hard to say.

I really like the first Thor movie. It's a more relateable story, as much as a story about a god coming to Earth can be relateable. It definitely has a character arc for Thor though. You feel like he's grown as a god/person.

Since then Thor has mostly just been Thor whenever he turns up in a Marvel movie... and he's great. Chris Hemsworth is reason enough to watch a Thor movie. He makes a fairly intense, fantastical character fun and believable. However, for the most part since the first movie, he's just reacting to events around him.

Thor Ragnarok is very much that. Thor reacting to events around him. It's entertaining to be sure. I enjoyed the film very much, but my engagement with the story ended at the end credits.

In Ragnarok Thor is tasked with saving Asgard from certain destruction (Ragnarok) at the hands of the all-powerful, Hela (Cate Blanchett). Along the way he ends up on Sakarr, a junkyard planet ruled by The Grand Master (Jeff Goldblum), where he must fight his way to freedom in a Gladiatorial Battle to the death.

People have said Ragnarok is a very 'jokey' Thor movie, but Thor movies have always used humor. Here it's just a more in your face, with Thor instigating some of the jokes rather than simply playing the straight man for the jokes to bounce off. (As they should given Chris is so good at comedy acting).

As well, director Taika Waititi's brand of humor stands out as very different to the humor in any other Marvel movie. The kind of humor where you take grand ideas and layer 'normality and mundane' over the top... such as what would you actually have to do to start a revolution? Print posters maybe? (I'm a big fan of this kind of comedy).

There's a lot to like within this film. Most notable is seeing Hulk be more than a raging, angry smash machine for the first time. It's a little jarring to see Hulk talk like a regular person but he's done that for a long time in the comics, it's about time someone finally translated that to the movie version.

Cate Blanchett, as Hela, makes for a formidable villain, even if she is just another bad guy/girl wanting to rule the universe (...hey lady, there's a queue!). It's a character that I would not mind seeing again in a future Thor movie (that's not really a spoiler, she may have died in this film - you don't know - I'm just sayin' - she's very believable as a force to be reckoned with when your main character is a god).

 You also see a lot more interesting technology and more of the universe in Sakarr, a planet that feels like it belongs more in a Guardians of the Galaxy movie but got lost on the way to set - which is not a put down. You could set a whole movie on that planet and it would be amazing.

The film does have a few issues. For me, the main one is in the third act (don't worry no spoilers ahead) where time seems to stand still on several occasions for a critical piece of dialogue or moment, then starts up again when that moment passes. The kind of thing where you have a large scale battle happening and the two main characters need to exchange glares/dialogue, license plate numbers (I don't know, whatever they have to do) and neither of them is interrupted by an elbow to the back of the head from someone fighting nearby.

There's a couple of other questionable moments in the film I have but to mention them here would spoil the end of the film. Neither of them will spoil your enjoyment of the movie should you discover the same issues.

Overall it is a fun movie. Some critics are saying it's easily the best Thor movie but I'm not so sure. The first Thor film, in my opinion has a much stronger character arc for Thor. Here the Thor at the start of the film is still the same at the end, just a little more battle weary and a little more knowledgeable about his own abilities.

That said, the film does set the stage for next year's Infinity War movie, so if you're following the across movie story arc's you'll definitely want to see Thor Ragnarok.

You'll also want to see it if you've been missing the Hulk - rumor has it this is part one of a three movie character arc for the big green guy.

I saw Thor Ragnarok in 3D, which was kind of good but not essential. I'm actually over seeing movies in 3D, we just didn't realize the session we chose to was going to be a 3D one, and didn't want to wait until the regular 2D session. 3D always looks great for about the first 20 minutes of a film then you stop noticing it (at least I do) because you're more interested in the story and not the 3D effect. That's pretty much how the 3D version of this movie panned out for me.

Well worth seeing in a theatre. You may even see it a couple of times because it really is a lot of fun. You just won't be analyzing the film too much after you've seen it. Everything you need to know is all in the film.

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