Friday, August 07, 2015

Copying an Ancient Painting

This is a work in progress, and I will update the finished picture when it's ready.  I have this enlargement of an ancient Chinese painting as a background on my computer and my wife liked it enough to want a copy for our house.  The original is fairly damaged and I think it's a water color, so I'm doing mine as a water color.   The original is also deceptiveness full of intricate brush work, and I wonder how long it took to do the whole painting as this is only a small portion?  I'm learning much from doing this.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Quite Contrary...

Mary isn't the only one who is contrary.  I was made fun of for my work station in my home office.  You see, I have a habit of using my right hand to draw and my left on a computer mouse.  Now, that's not to say I don't use my right hand for the mouse...I just switch it up a bit.  Hopefully I won't get carpal tunnel syndrome, or the worst would be I get it in both hands.  Anyway, it works for me.

Most people who do graphics work on the computer use a large 21" Cinque, and, if you read my blog with any faithfulness, you know my struggle to get something comparable, yet more inexpensive.  I made a decision on a 13" HD, and am well pleased.  It fits my space and I can dump all my menus and tools onto a preexisting monitor where they are larger and more visible than if they encroaching on my work-stage.

You can see I share one mouse pad between two systems, and that works well for me too.  Go figure...


Thursday, July 02, 2015

Donald In 3D

We’ve had this old, damaged stereoscopic picture of Donald on our wall for many years.   It’s under glass and hard to free-view because of the glare but I always thought it was inverted.  I took it out of the frame and swapped the images around and now I can see it correctly.  Can you free view?  Cross your eyes and focus on the image that forms in the middle.
Original Mounted Under Glass

Images Swapped and Glass Removed

UPDATE:  A friend thought this was from a cartoon, and as far as I can tell my picture is from a ViewMaster Reel.  But! There was a Donald cartoon done in 3D called "Working for Peanuts" that someone uploaded to
YouTube in the free-view format here:

Sunday, June 14, 2015

New Painting_Snowy Owl

Here's an oil painting I just finished and mailed out to it's new owners. The lighting is cheated quite a bit but I call it poetic license, perhaps the bird is flying up to a hidden bounce card that's just off screen?  I did smooth out the background and made the stars more varied but I didn't photograph the finished picture.  Shame on me.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Sergio Pablos and the new 2D Twist

With Klaus, Sergio Pablos has created a potential game-changer by applying the latest digital technology to a traditional approach, and, in the process, redefining what a hand-drawn feature could look like. Pablos is keeping his proprietary process under wraps for the moment.

You could be forgiven for thinking the character animation was modeled and animated with CGI software because Klaus has the polished sheen of the latest big-budget studio CGI epic. But watch again, and the enduring organic charm of hand-drawn animation is evident throughout.

Pablos, of course, knows a thing or two about drawn animation. An accomplished animation master who participated in the 1990s Disney renaissance, he animated on films such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Hercules, before supervising Tantor in Tarzan and Dr. Doppler in Treasure Planet.
After the hand-drawn feature animation industry collapsed stateside, he moved back to his home country of Spain where he launched his own company Animagic (today, known as SPA Studios). His company has racked up an impressive list of credits, providing pre-production and production support to feature productions, but Pablos’s biggest claim to fame is originating the concept for the blockbuster Illumination franchise Despicable Me.

  Klaus teaser ©2015 Sergio Pablos Animation Studios, S.L. & ANTENA 3 FILMS, S.L.U. All rights reserved from The SPA Studios on Vimeo.

This is a rather truncated posting and the original with an interview of Pablos for Cartoon Brew is here in its entirety:

Thursday, May 28, 2015


I did a decorative piece on wood for some friends.  They wanted hummingbirds for a picture to be mounted above their newly painted garage which has an overhanging roof over the door. This was way out of my comfort zone because I just don't do decorative paintings.  Anyway, they like it so I'm happy.  This is an oil painting on wood which I sealed with Satin Helmsman Indoor/Outdoor Spar Urethane.

The tail going over the border is a trick I picked up from my mother who would paint hands, or a feather in a hat or something, breaking outside the picture and over the border.  She did one of me as a kid where my one arm looked like it was leaning on the border and my hand hung over and cast a shadow.  I wish I had that painting now, and wonder where it is.


Friday, May 22, 2015

The Beatles and Aleister Crowely

This Blog is mostly dedicated to animation but occasionally something gets my attention that prompts me to write about it.  This is one of those times and the subject is once again The Beatles. 

I’ve come to believe that the Beatles were more mirrors than innovators, and because of their popularity, they were able to influence a generation with new ideas.  I think they became a conduit for us that reflected their own spiritual quest and made fashion and esoteric subjects like transcendental mediation assessable to everyone.  The Beatles also brought a very British Victorian history with them and tried to reconcile it to a new modern way of thinking. 

The Beatles admiration of occultist Aleister Crowley is such an example of this British integration.  In England, Crowely was infamously known as ‘the wickedest man on earth’ and called himself ‘the Beast’ after the biblical Antichrist. 

After the controlling influence of manager Brian Epstein was taken away by his passing, the Beatles admittedly felt free to pursue more personal subject matter in their work.  The turning point where Aleister Crowley became visible as an influence was the cover of “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.”  Crowley is plainly shown in the upper left hand corner, but there is some speculation that he may appear twice on the album as the partially obscured red-faced figure wearing a fez.   The idea of ‘twins’ would be further built into the Beatle mythology with the whole Paul is Dead rumor, which also began with the Pepper cover.      

Crowely wrote a book he claims to have been dictated to him by the spirit Aiwass.   According to Crowley, the first appearance of Aiwass was during the Three Days of the writing of Liber al vel Legis. His first and only identification as such is in Chapter I: "Behold! it is revealed by Aiwass the minister of Hoor-paar-kraat"  This spirit would later write the book the Beatles would embrace called “The Book of The Law,” which preached the concept of "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law."

Crowely admonished practitioners of the law to listen to recordings backwards and to practice speaking backwards. An example he gives is “Let him practice speaking backwards: thus for ‘I am He’ let him say ‘Eh ma I’.”  Sounds like ‘I am he, as you are he, as you are me, etc, from “I am the Walrus,” doesn’t it?

How about the image from “The Magical Mystery Tour” showing a sign on Paul’s desk that reads: ‘I Was’?  Now admittedly it reads: ‘I you Was’, but if you just read the bold letters it sounds like Crowely’s spirit guide Aiwass, doesn’t it?

Sir Paul has often stated he believes in magic and he clarifies it’s magic with a ‘K’ spelled ‘magick’.  This is how Crowely spelled it.  Now the Beatles weren’t the only ones to follow Crowely.  Black Sabbath, Lead Zepplin, The Rolling Stones, and many others were adherents, along with the father of solid rocket fuel, Jack Parsons, and the creator of the cult Scientology, L.R. Hubbard, interesting, no?