Dog Star Football and Fringe Benefits - Further Progress (Part 3)

Fringe Benefit with
corrected background.
Continuing on from Part 1 and Part 2 I decided to put Dog Star Football to one side for now and focus entirely on the Fringe Benefit painting. This artwork needed to be finished by the day before I'm writing this post so it could be part of an exhibition at The Gawler Community Gallery.

As well as that I felt it needed my full attention because the start I had made in Part 2 wasn't quite right. The background was too red rather than the more blueish/purple that I had in mind. Hence, the first thing I did was repaint the background as you can see in the video below.



As I said in the above video I had thought I might even finish the artwork in that session but as it turned out it took two more sessions combined into one video (below) to get this artwork completed.

I'm really not used to painting at such a small scale with acrylics so, whilst these videos may make my process look effortless, I can assure you there was quite a bit of cursing involved trying not to mess up the finer lines. Here's a tip for free... work on bigger canvases... people have to stand further back to look at them so your mistakes look smaller!



Fringe Benefit - Finished.
I am happy with the final artwork but I would have liked to have worked on it longer and in more detail. However I know my limitations. Whilst I could probably have added more detail, many brushes would've been snapped in two trying to achiever perfection. I'll leave that kind of dedication to more important artworks than this.

Now that Fringe Benefit is finished the rest of this diary series will focus on Dog Star Football - which is destined for Ebay should you be interested in buying it.


Dog Star Football and Fringe Benefits - Further Progress (Part 2)

My entire paint set.
I have to admit, I find committing myself to painting again something of a struggle. I haven't done any additional work to either painting until today, a week after I started and wrote Part 1 to this series of blogs.

Why have I not worked on them until today you may ask? Well today I needed to write about my progress in this blog post so... I thought I'd better... you know... 'progress'.

It's not that Dog Star Football or Fringe Benefit are particularly hard paintings to create, well, Fringe Benefit is a bit harder than usual but not by much. If I just follow my process they'll turn out just fine.

It's just that I need to start painting pictures that have more meaning to me than my previous work has. Start really painting the things I want to paint and stop painting things that will result in a nice painting but doesn't really say more than that.

Anyhow, enough navel gazing. Here's where I'm at with the current artworks.

Dog Star Football

Dog Star Footbal - Main areas of colour finished.
Despite not working on this until today I was thinking about the overall colour scheme I would employ for both paintings throughout the week.

For Dog Star, having made the decision to add a background with a low horizon line (usually my backgrounds are just a gradient of one colour) I decided to make the top section look like sky and the bottom look like grass. In that way it would suggest the dog was on a field... perhaps even a football field.

Dog Star himself I decided to colour an off white, cream colour and, he will eventually have dark brown ears, suggesting that this dog could be the grown up version of Dog Star Puppy - mentioned in Part 1.

Fringe Benefit

Fringe Benefit - Background, skin tone and some hair done.
I have in mind a pinkish-purple colour scheme for this painting. It's subject, I suspect, will appeal more to a female viewer and I've noticed many of our local female artists like that range of colours in their own work. Well at least colours that range from dark blues and purples through red and then to pinks... not so much green.

At this stage I am a little concerned that my background didn't turn out quite so brightly as I had in mind. In fact it looks a little muddy so I imagine I may have to brighten it up at a later time. Once I see how the rest of the image is panning out.

Both artworks will need to have progress much further by my next post. Hopefully I can discipline myself to do some more work through the week than I did this time. Until then watch me work in the video below as I progress these paintings to the point you've seen in the above photos. I also give some brief information about the paints I use.

Dog Star Football and Fringe Benefits - Painting Again (Part 1)

In my New Years Resolutions post I said I wanted to do more painting this year and now I've finally made a start with two paintings, 'Dog Star Football' and 'Fringe Benefit'.

The keyword here is 'start'. This is the first of a series of posts and video diaries documenting the progress of these two artworks. One is destined to be my first artwork in a while that I've listed on Ebay, whilst the other will be exhibited at The Gawler Community Gallery during this coming March.

At this point I'll tell you about what inspired each artwork.

Dog Star Football


Dog Star Football - Primary colours undercoat.

Final 'Tera' Artwork.
Dog Star Football started out as one of many sketches I did trying to create a cartoon version of my brother's dog, Tera, to put on some Cafepress items and send to him as a gift for his birthday last year.

He's a follower of Australian Rules Football which prompted an idea of combining his dog with football in some way. Hence the sketch of the dog balancing a football on her tail (Tera's a female dog). See the image below.

Practice sketches for 'Tera' done last year.
Obviously the football idea didn't happen for the final design but I looked at this sketch today and thought somebody would love a painting that mixes two great loves in the one image.

Dog Star Puppy, Aug 2006
One thing you'll notice between this sketch and the painting so far is that I've added a star shaped marking around the dog's right eye. That's a homage to an artwork I did several years ago now called 'Dog Star Puppy' which featured a puppy dog with a similar star shaped marking over its right eye.

As you can see in the first image I've got as far as the base, primary colours, acrylic, underpainting that I start all my artworks with. Dog Star Football will be available to purchase on Ebay some time in early March.

Fringe Benefit

Fringe Benefit (painting on the right).

My local gallery, The Gawler Community Gallery, is holding an open exhibition in March of 2013 for anyone to create an artwork on a 12" x 12" canvas with the theme being based around the word 'Fringe'. The exhibition is being run as part of the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

As secretary of the gallery I put my hand up for designing the exhibition's promotional poster, including the featured illustration - which I always intended to paint and enter into the exhibition.

As the theme is related to the word 'fringe' and artists painting something related to the word, I took a literal approach with the idea of showing an artist painting a picture of her very nicely prettied up fringe. A 'Fringe Benefit'... I guess.

Original poster image inked
with Manga Studio EX4
Readers of my Animation and Video blog will recognize the source poster image as the one I sketched on paper first then scanned and inked digitally with Manga Studio EX4.

The image is actually a lot more detailed than what I'd usually paint so it will be interesting to see how it turns out.

As with Dog Star Football, so far I've only completed the base under painting.

The final artwork will be on display at the gallery during March 2013 and will be for sale.

If you're interested to not just read but to also see the artworks being created then below is part one of my studio, video diary documenting both artwork's creation.


Looper - Movie Review

Looper brings together two of my favorite things, Bruce Willis and Time Travel. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is also creeping onto my list of favorite actors too. That aside one of Bruce's best performances was many years ago in another time travel movie, Twelve Monkeys,  alongside Brad Pitt (another of my favorite actors). Another great film for people who like smart, time travel films.

Looper's basic plot out line is thus (from its IMDB page):

In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent 30 years into the past, where a hired gun awaits. Someone like Joe, who one day learns the mob wants to 'close the loop' by transporting back Joe's future self.

The above mentioned Joe is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, whilst the older Joe sent back in time is played by Bruce Willis.

There's no need to tell you to go see Looper, you should just see it. Pretty much everyone says it's a great, intelligent sci-fi movie that, at its heart is about relationships more than time travel. I bought the Blue Ray disc version having not had chance to see this in theaters and wasn't disappointed at all with my purchase. I'll definitely be watching this one a few times.

The plot, like just about every time travel film, raises more questions than it answers simply because we don't really know what happens when you mess with people's past history by travelling back from the future. But that's what makes time travel movies interesting to think about and discuss afterward.

For example there's a confusing point in Looper where we see Joe successfully kill his older self even though the whole movie revolves around the fact that Joe didn't successfully kill his older self at that moment. However, if you try to follow the logic, Joe has to have successfully killed his older self first in order for his older self to loop back in time to try and change the past and not get shot by his younger self.

From there you can go on and have whole discussions about whether time is linear or can be looped back on its self etc. Well if you like those kind of discussions.

If not then Joe's whole purpose for changing the past is intriguing in its self and revolves around the fate of his future girlfriend and a future Mob boss. If I said too much more it would start to really spoil the story so I'll move on to other things I liked about the film.

The film is set in 2044 and follows a timeline 30 years into the future from that year. What's great about it is that the future doesn't look a whole lot different to today's world even though there are some nice pieces of future technology woven into the mix of familiar. 

One of the characters owns a fairly cool jet bike that looks, literally like a jet engine with a bike seat and handle bars on top of it (no wheels).

This technique of designing the future in a retro fitted kind of way gives just enough hints that we're not in the present day whilst still keeping everything grounded in what feels like a very real and credible future world filled with the familiar.

In fact the design of the film almost pays homage to the set design of the movie Blade Runner but in a much lighter and open world.

The only thing I struggled a little with in this film was Joseph's facial prosthetics to make him look more like a younger Bruce Willis. I guess he does but for those of us who actually remember what Bruce looked like early on in his career, it doesn't quite match the memory.

It's not a big issue though. The story is so strong they could have done nothing to Joseph's face and I still probably would have had no trouble accepting him as younger Joe.

Overall this film is as good as most people say it is. Well worth seeing and definitely a great addition to any sci fi buff's movie collection.

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