Thursday, December 14, 2000


For an informal mini-jam that uglyart started.

Friday, November 17, 2000


A little expressionistic/experimental piece.

Friday, October 13, 2000

Wednesday, October 11, 2000


Just having some fun with glossy surfaces-- and saturated colour, of course. I haven't quite zeroed in on her appearance yet, but this is supposed to be the blue dancer again (Kiara) from my Café Alien pic of this spring.

Sunday, October 01, 2000

Facial Foreshortening from an Odd Angle

As usual, there's never a reference photo around when I need one, so here's an old constructionist trick. The basic idea is to draw an "easier" view, in order to transfer dimensions to a more difficult foreshortened view.

I've sketched out a semi-plausible, full front-view face, with a few extra "bizarro world" and "transparent woman" lines. I'm using those to help keep track of what the eyes and their bony orbits are doing.

Then I run a few horizontal lines over to a rough profile, and start molding it to fit the dimensions transferred. Hmm. Looks like I've probably got the eyebrow ridge a tad "robust" in this quick example-- but I still think a good deal of the orbit/socket should be showing behind and around the bulge of the closed eyelid.

Anyway, I hope this little exercise has some utility for folks.

Friday, September 22, 2000

Summer's End

My humble tribute to Juicyfruit's clean, linear style.

Thursday, September 14, 2000

Keycap Removal

Juicyfruit wrote:
> . . . it looks like I can't get the key out
> without breaking something. Do you think I should try it anyway?

Here's a rough sketch of my method for pulling a keycap from the lower tier. The spacebar serves as a fulcrum. The "trick" is to pull the key fairly straight up; that's why I use both hands, my left hand serving to counter the torque being applied by the screwdriver in my right hand. Helps to have strong fingernails.

Every keyboard I've attempted to disassemble has been designed to come apart like this, without breaking. Work slowly, gently, but firmly. Heck, you can't make it much worse-- and the keyboard has to be either fixed or replaced. Good luck; take your time.

Tuesday, May 23, 2000

Wednesday, April 19, 2000

Dancers at the Café Alien


Oooh [giggle]-- Me, Doctor?
Now there's a shock...
Yah, who'da thunk it?

A humble tribute pic, for one of our number who often employs kicky color schemes. I do appreciate getting to view those "women of intense color." (Hmm, no wonder this project dragged on.) So once more (and not often enough)-- thanks neutron!

Now to hope that the extrapolated rear view of the avatar's head is recognizable. Oh, and to another of our rainbow warriors: the 8-ball's there, honest-- it's just hidden behind the blue dancer from this angle. I'll show you the layers sometime. 8^b*


Wednesday, April 05, 2000

Two Dancers

Looks like I'm about to get interrupted again-- so here's a little work-in-progress sample to let folks know I'm still alive. 8^b*

These are a couple of supporting characters from an upcoming color pic. I'm finding that working up a fairly finished grayscale "underpainting" is a big help to me in the coloring stage. I have much more experience working in monochrome-- so it makes it easier for me to work out the values, composition, etc. What the heck, an "underpainting plus glazes" approach worked well for classically-trained oil painters for centuries, right?

The initial stage is fairly pencilish, as in the Aliza figure here; I gradually develop it into a monochrome "value painting," as in the more fully-rendered Kiara figure. Color layers for tone are applied "below" the value painting (which I'll occasionally tint to sepia for skintones), and highlights are applied above it.


Thursday, March 09, 2000

Cute AND Ratlike?

After RT's Jenki Ratkin character. It's an interesting challenge, trying to combine "cute" and "ratlike" characteristics... 8^b*

Saturday, March 04, 2000

GIF versus JPEG

jestr wrote:
> Would you recommend .gif over .jpg?
> I thought .gif was mainly for animated bits.

For pictures with large solid-color areas and a modest palette, yes, I would strongly recommend GIF over JPEG format. For pictures with gradual-toned ("gradient") areas and thousands or millions of colors (like a photograph or a painting), I'd recommend JPEG format. (For a posting copy only-- you should always save the original in your paint program's native format. More on why in a bit.) I use each format when each is called for-- see my gallery site blog for examples of both.

Using the picture you posted as an example: The original BMP was 393,190 bytes; your JPEG was practically as big at 386,709 bytes; and a copy saved as a GIF was 70,080 bytes. (!) That is significant, since your entire audience is not on high-speed connections. The GIF also perfectly replicates every pixel in your original BMP, while the JPEG has changed and recolored some (zoom in and compare) as part of its compression method. That is to say, JPEG is a "lossy" algorithm, which is why you NEVER use it for a master copy-- ONLY for publishing to the web. Since you used just 102 colors in your original, that fits comfortably within the 256-color palette allowed by GIF.

Side note: PNG is another non-lossy format, but with less restrictive palette limitations-- IIRC, it can encode 24-bit color (16M colors) with an 8-bit transparency channel (for nice semi-transparent shadow effects, etc.)-- but it's not as widely supported (yet) as GIF and JPEG.

It was immediately obvious the first time I saw this picture that it belonged in GIF format-- this is exactly the kind of image that GIF was designed for. And a photomanip or painting or solid-modeling computer rendering just as obviously calls for JPEG. If an image is kinda in the middle regarding "solid vs. gradient" color areas, try saving both GIF and JPEG copies, and see which is smaller and/or looks better.

Hope this helps.


Thursday, March 02, 2000


With all the mechanical failures (real and virtual) around here so far this year, it stands to reason that my Wacom would start acting weird. It was "skipping"-- in the middle of a stroke, its data stream would contain bursts of near-zero pressure readings. Not very pleasant for drawing.

Pulled and plugged its connections a few times, to try to ensure good electrical contact, and loaded a more recent driver. It seems to be behaving properly now-- here's what developed out of my test scribble in Photoshop. A bit "artsy," but what the hey.

I'm getting REAL tired of perpetually having new breakages to fix...


Friday, January 28, 2000

Bodécious Babe

An homage to the general proportions, at least, of Vaughn Bodé's curvaceous little bundles of femininity.

One technical curiosity: this was drawn using an old SummaSketch tablet-- decidedly not a pressure-sensitive tablet! The variations in line density were instead built up by using a Photoshop brush at partial opacity.

Wednesday, January 05, 2000

Millennium Minus One

"A disgruntled personification travels back in time to protest the theft of her thunder-- while the culprit, oblivious, parties on."

Man, these color jobs take up a lot of room. I tried backing off the JPEG quality, but this was as low as I felt comfortable posting.

Historical Curiosity Note: This is a modification of a cartoon I did under my everyday identity, for the cover of a club newsletter. Essentially, I replaced two New Year's Babies with New Year's Babes. That's traditional imagery, right? 8^b*


Tuesday, January 04, 2000


"Be vewy, vewy quiet: I'm hunting a wascal..."


A casual invented pose-- a bit abstracted/expressionistic/cartoonish.