Over the past months I have been tapping away at keys, collecting scans of artworks old and new and even a lot of forgotten works, in order to make a very intensive book of my works to date.
At first, it was only going to be the Airships and Tentacles series, but I began to use “lost” artworks for section endings, and decided I should include old paintings from before the series, as well as all of those pieces I have worked on during the series as album covers, book covers, commissions, illustrations, or things I did during the series just to clear my head and work on something different. It even includes a few samplings from my-yet-to-be-published literary works, and some pieces I’ve done relating to the works of others (Voltaire, Clive Barker, Dexter Palmer, Bethalynne Bajema, and others), and collections of doodles and sketches to decorate text pages (such as the Table of Contents, Words from the Artist and other sections)
The book has a cover specially designed by Bethalynne Bajema from my existing artwork, and I *love* what she did with it. Click the image or link below to view as a PDF online, or right click (recommended) to download and view in 2-page side by side book format.
I started this, thinking I was going to take an 8×10 pencil sketch and make a neat water-colory looking piece of it, or maybe just smooth it out and make some edits.
I began by making it 16×20 at 400 DPI, and then took to smoothing out all of my pencil grainy-ness. I chose this size, because I like my works to be high resolution, and my prints to be perfect – I also always consider that I might finish a piece, and then wish I had made it available much bigger.
The downside to working digital for me, is that can I zoom in to where I can see the individual pixels when it comes to detail… I begin just doing this for one part, then realize that the entirety of the work now needs to be in this ultra-high resolution – and set off on a journey of exploring a miles-square map of pixels for.. as long as it takes… in this case, over 300 hours I really did not have to spare. I think I spent nearly two weeks planning on being done “tomorrow”.
It was certainly a way to indulge though – as an artist these days, I don’t always get the chance to put so much work into one piece – though I do put a tremendous amount of work into every one comparatively.
From pencil sketch, to over 2 gigs of file size, hundreds of layers of painted elements, plus all the modification layers for overlay, lightening, darkening, color, multiplication, saturation, etcetera…
About a day or two in, I decided it would be a great idea to actually log the process for this one… and I saved a lot of progress pics. Below, you can actually see the details of the finished piece. One thing with all of my paintings and other images: Web resolution will never let you see how packed with detail every inch is, or all of the interesting scenes, items, and mini-artworks semi-hidden throughout the painting.
Below that, I’ve added my progress pics – for people who are interested by such things.
A rather rough sketch… these were quickies done for $25 a pop for bus fare a year or so back. The paper type really did not allow for erasing, so they were one-shot deals. I liked the concept and base layout enough, I thought I would do some digital work on it to make it print-ready.
A lot of steps went by before I realized it was going to be a much bigger project than I planned. It was the point where I was fleshing out this airship where I decided some screen caps would be good. I had started on the girl, switched to the airship, cut my pencil work out to its own layer, and placed other airships where I wanted them, as placeholders for the sake of layout.
I blacked out the girl for this stage, I didn’t want its pencily quality drawing my focus from the background I was working on.
head/face. This part took all of my night – so not much else has changed.
boots and leggy things… I put a lot of base work into this, then decided I would need to enlarge the feet, and widen and lengthen the lower legs. I write notes to myself whenever there is something important I want to hit first thing the next day… you’ll see these notes in other screen caps below.
The very beginnings of the holster and belt… I would later go in further, and further, sharpening up these details, then making details within these details… and sharpening those up. Oh, you can also see the base/beginning brushings of her stripey-pants.
Yeah, I know, people have gotten pretty used to me making with the fantastical steampunk stuff – but there are a lot of times when the things in my head aren’t exactly in the genres I’m known for, often times these things aren’t exactly things people would want hanging on their walls, or even like.
That, is perfectly okay.
I took a 6-month break from showing anything new here – not that I stopped creating, but I was building big things, painting big murals upon them, working large scale in everything from the art itself to the undertaking as a whole… I managed 7 new paintings – each 3 foot by 7 foot, and can’t show them right now as I have no budget for imaging them.
I’d like to say I am working on something even bigger than that, but I am working smaller for a bit – less over the top, less fantastical, less with the huge.
… Some of this, is because the project, and all that time, really tapped me out emotionally, physically, and otherwise – I may have shot my life completely down the tube, I don’t know – I’ve lost my faith in humanity save for a small handful of people I met and worked with during the process, and have lost all hold on any illusion that there is any hope for a real arts scene or art happenings in the town I am currently living in and my thoughts in general on art as a living: expletive filled and feeling rather final.
Until I find a job, hopefully something good and hands-on, blood and sweat and not having to deal with people variety… landscaping, construction, etc…
I guess I still have to do whatever I can do, manage whatever I can manage, every day, regardless – so I do what I can do, which is painting, on what I have available to paint on.
I’m finding bits of board and unused canvas around the house big enough to do paintings on, and painting away for no one and no reason in particular.
I think some might call this “freedom”.
If you liked the sorts of things I spent the last few years painting – well, there were ways to express that – Just downloading images, wasn’t it.
But, for those who missed all the oddness and ugliness… well, it seems that I am back in that regard, and will paint new things, whenever I feel like it, whenever I have stuff to paint on.
I’m not done being an artist – I was born that way, I’ll die that way – I am just feeling rather done with *this*.
I am going to go back to breaking my back for a living, because I’d enjoy that a lot more than watching the internet for a non-living. I am going to wrap all my works up as I make them, store them up, list a few here now and then, and show them if and when a chance to show them someplace good comes up.
My latest two pieces are painted on 8×10 inch scraps of birch. They are filled with tiny details. They are the product of free-painting, with no particular image, story, or anything in mind short of the current element leading into the next and tying in with the previous. I suppose this is leading a lot more toward the style of my older, more surreal works, and I am exploring that for a while… contemplating how I will break that formula on the next, reflecting on missed chances in the previous…. building toward something, though I have no idea what, nor do I care.
I’d say more, but I still feel that people who like to talk a lot about their work, should be spending that time working.
In thinking of something really good, but inexpensive that I could put together as an added incentive to be a part of our kickstarter, and in staying up all night making a new engraving – it came to me…
This coloring book.
When I was a kid, Advanced Dungeons and Dragon’s Monster manual, and their Dieties and Demigods, had some rather awesome illustrations in them: All black and white. I loved those illustrations, but I loved them even more when I caught a Glimpse of my friend Brian’s book… which he had taken colored pencils to for each and every illustration. I thought it pretty amazing how with some simple color over the black and white of the pages, those illustrations really came to life. They were simple to color, because the shading was already there – which made for a basic coloring level, with lots of room for improvisation, and advanced looking results.
I thought to myself this AM, “Hey… all these engravings I’ve been doing would be perfect for this”,and so I set to gathering up pages for a coloring book… and with all the engraving that I do, I have a *lot* of them.
Here are the images that will be in this coloring book… which will for the time being, only be available through our kickstarter for an $11 donation (which includes Shipping and Handling). The coloring book is over 30 pages, and ready to color.
You’ll notice that some of the images below are colored, because I copied really quick from my gallery. These images will be uncolored in the coloring book version (see above).
If you would like to see a PDF of the actual book, CLICK HERE
If you would like to buy a copy of the book for $12, CLICK HERE
I’ve been up a *lot* of hours, so I am going to keep this short and add images and links.
This new work started with a pencil drawing, and I just couldn’t stand to leave it at that. It led to many days of wakey-time and a lot of sitting at the computer… a reminder why I don’t do digital art that often…too hard to put down.
I am making ten 11×14 metallics and 5 20×16 giclees on canvas available, as I would like to hold onto a bunch of these for the World Steam Expo in May.
Why?? Well… I was going through and testing my cart, and found that the price for giclees on canvas did not auto-update inline when selecting canvas stretching mounting options.
I also realized that about the time I started offering these options, I started selling the things a lot less often.
Maybe it was too confusing, maybe too many options makes it harder to choose, maybe it was the price difference from page to shopping cart, or all of the above – but since I was editing all of these, I decided it would be a good time to make a sale of some sort, and to make it big.
So, here it is – All giclees are priced drastically below normal, and the shipping fees that *should* be there $30 in shipping for most, are not there at all… yep.. $5 flat rate shipping on all orders.
All giclees are printed in Archival pigment inks on archival canvas, and protected by a UV-resistant coating for an estimated archival rating of $200+ years.
These beautiful and super-accurate reproductions are pretty much indistinguishable from the original paintings, and most are limited to 50 or less… that means that out of 60-some billion people, only 50 will own a print – ever.
These come with certificates of authenticity, printed on Hahnemuhle fine art paper, signed and numbered by me, with matching serialized holograms affixed to the certificate and the back of the canvas, to protect the value of your investment, and because they are shiny.
Does your summer shelter need windows to elsewhere, but without that annoying heat caused by sunlight? Tired of the warmth radiated by television, computers, and other electronic devices? Would you like the have images to liven up your place, without the annoyance of sound, and without the pesky associated energy costs of batteries and outlets?
You should try “Art”!
Art is 100% energy efficient, requires no outlets, and will continue to work day or night, even during power outages and Zombie Apocalypse (natural light source required for optimal enjoyment). Unlike money, which depends on a reliable system of government, art can be traded for gold, tools, women, men, chickens, or circus bears in post-apocalyptic settings, save for those dominated by troglodites and C.H.U.D.s, and it even serves as highly-prized contraband in every dystopian oligarchal collectivist society.
Concerned about your safety? Well, with the wonder of art, most any dangerous beast or precarious situation can be safely contained within a handy frame (not included)!!! Art has, in many tests, been proven to contain everything from ravenous krakens to the Civil War; Even ancient gods have a significant amount of difficulty escaping the confines of a well-crafted image: Play your records backwards day or night next to art, and if your soul is devoured, or sanity eaten, refunds will be the last of your concerns, guaranteed!
Need a friend? You can talk to art. Art will never interrupt or recommend you get professional help. Art will never, ever eat the snacks that were obviously yours because you wrote your name all over it in red marker; Art will never go to a party without you and then say it was studying all night.
Need a better view? Dread the expense of moving? Is it illegal in your area to asplode that ugly neighboring house or apartment building? Replace that ugly view with an always-pleasant view of another world, no more wondering “What are they doing over there?”; With art you can overwrite their existence safely, and without the fuss of jail time or mental wards. You can even place Art in areas without windows for an easy-to-install added viewing space(“easy-to-install” requires some working understanding of hammer physics and wall technology)!!!
But wait! Art is now available with your choice of discounts!! Read below !!!
Both discounts are valid at http://www.mykeamend.com/new/products-page/ and are simple to claim (just key in the coupon codes below at checkout).
1) Free Shipping (USA on all standard items. Basically, $5 off – since my flat rate, site-wide price for shipping in the US is $5. For original artworks and overseas shipping, this coupon simply takes $5 off of shipping.
Just enter “freeship” (without the quotation marks) at checkout.
2) 10% off. Yep, 10% off your entire order, including original artworks and other one of a kind items. The 10% off even applies to already sale-priced items.
Just enter “10p” (without the quotation marks) at checkout.
Offers are valid now, through whenever, which will likely be a week from now… though you should jump on it now so you don’t forget later, miss out on this incredible deal, and spend eternity in regret as a whino or one of those people who scream threatening words at trash bins. Websites are standing by.