You are getting two posts this morning. The first is a link to an igmur post I found on my Facebook page this morning that blew me away. It is about a sculptor who creates larger than life sculptures of animals out of what appears to be chicken fencing. See for yourself:
As you know, from following this blog, I am trying to start making money off of my creative output, both written and painted. The whole tenor of this blog has changed from thoughts on life, history, and politics to discussions on the mechanics of art and writing. One of the things I recently did was to create a Patreon page to gain financial support through sharing exclusive content with patrons of my site. One of the other ways I planned to turn my creativity into a business was to create prints of my work for sale.
To that end, I would like to ask a question. Would you be willing to pay up front for a print of my work? The reason I ask is that I would not be able to sell a print to you now without getting the money first to pay for the process. My thoughts are that I could talk to a printing company, get quotes and a test print of certain images (to make sure the quality is there) then post a price based on a reasonable profit margin. I would also personally sign each print beyond the signature I have in the painting. However, I would have to get the money for the print and shipping beforehand since I do not have the cash to make a bunch of prints and sell them. I basically would order the print as the money came in to pay for it.
At this point, you can buy some prints of my work at my deviantart page but the sizes are limited and I don’t feel they do the work justice. I am hoping that if the test prints turn out well then I can make the prints in larger sizes to properly show off the detail. So, if there is enough interest, I will start checking into the possibilities. The works I am thinking about can all be seen as large size images, except for Quiet Strength – Silent Vulnerability which can only be seen as part of my finished in 2016 recap, at my devianart page. The images to consider are:
Mystics and Misfits cover with no typography
Quiet Strength – Silent Vulnerability
Universal Eyes – Infinite Sadness
Denouncer cover with no typography
As I create more works, I will expand the list, but these are the ones I feel are worth printing and have no legal issues attached to them. Princess for Ever After; unfortunately, would require asking Disney for the right to sell it and the same for Juliette and Josephus needing legal rights to sell. If there is enough interest, I will consider checking into the rights. For now, the ball is all yours. Let me know what you think.
As I said recently, I am on kinda a high from reaching the conclusion of the Carrie Fisher project. It has been a while since I have had such a good feeling, my mind is running around in circles thinking about the challenges I overcame with the painting and jumping about with excitement at what I can probably do now. The feeling is a pleasant mix of past accomplishment and euphoric future possibilities.
I get this feeling from other people’s work as well. When I see something done that just amazes me, I find new ideas springing up in my head. Books, films, art, and music can all affect me this way. Any creative endeavor that opens my mind to new possibilities from changing the way a story is told (Cloud Atlas – the book not the movie) to new ways of depicting science fiction (Star Wars’ game changing special effects) can do it. Many of the books in my collection have changed what I viewed possible in the genres of science fiction and fantasy, leaving me in an excited state for weeks. It is almost as if the books are stored kinetic energy released through reading, exciting the engine of my mind. I hope that some of what I do has the same result on you. This feeling is what I live for.
Well folks here it is the completed tribute to Carrie Fisher. This one has been a long time coming and I was so happy with the results I could not wait until Sunday to reveal it. I started this image back at the beginning of January. This one took longer than many of the other images because I was again attempting something new, namely smooth transitions in color tones necessitated by the skin of Carrie’s face. The learning process of the skin shading later came in handy with the silkiness of her dress. When I decided to add Y-Wing fighters to the image, I added another challenge that slowed me up. I have generally stayed away from vehicles because I am not that good at mechanical representations and the best image I could find was a three-quarters view. I could not have copied that if I wanted to; however, I was able to make decent enough measurements to come up with a top down view.
Now, let us talk about the painting itself. First, I chose this image of Carrie Fisher because it was the way I first fell in love with her. Yeah, the slave girl bikini was hot but the soft silk of this dress plus her feistier nature just can’t be topped. In addition, this particular photo from the early promos caught my attention because of the intensity of her gaze. Understanding Carrie Fisher’s history you can almost see the pain buried underneath the future galactic Princess’ determination. Perhaps a look at the real person under the fantasy.
I paid extra attention to the creation of the background because I wanted the star field to look like it came directly from the movies. One thing I noticed while re-watching The Empire Strikes Back was that Lucas did not put nebulae in the films. We always see just a splash of stars. However, if you look closely, you will see areas of soft fuzzy light and darker zones creating patterns. I captured this effect by tapping lightly with the airbrush function in clusters to make the soft glow and an absence of these clusters for darker areas.
The Y-Wings are basically copies, scaled to different sizes, from two versions I created. On a separate layer I made the softer glow around the engines and extended the trails to the bottom of the image. The design reminds me of one of the playbill posters I saw at the time. The reason I chose the Y-wings is that in one of the first novels to come out after Star Wars, The Splinter of the Minds Eye, Leia piloted one. Also, I always thought they were kinda cool.
The planet in the background is of course Alderaan. Nothing tying into the real woman behind the character, but I wanted to stay on theme and putting earth their didn’t feel correct for me. For me, I depicted what I felt was important about Carrie Fisher by picking the particular image above others I could have chosen. Everything else was for me. Finally, I chose to make her look like a returned Jedi Knight for obvious reasons, which works just as well for Leia as it does for Carrie.
I am truly beginning to love digital painting because it suits my style. I like to experiment with layouts but I am not fond of redoing images set to paper. Yes, trained artists are used to creating several planning sketches for layout and/or color choices but I never acquired that skill. Although, on occasion, I have created a few quick sketches to flesh out an idea, for the most part I dive right in and work straight through. If I later decide that I should have done things different, I tell myself that is for the next image since, to me, the image is now set in stone. Doing massive changes in a physical painting, while not impossible, is difficult and the results, in my case, leave something to be desired.
On the other hand, since I am doing each element as a separate digital painting and placing them into a background image, I can easily play with placement, size, and additional effects until I achieve the desired image. I don’t have to redo the whole design to try these things without damage to the canvas or other parts of the image. For instance, in my Carrie Fisher tribute, I had originally copied Carrie’s image into the background as is, no size change. After adding a few elements, I decided she needed to be bigger. In a physical work I would have had to live with the incorrect size or redo the entire image to that point. I am not big on that. In the digital realm, I just resized her layer and boom, there it was. Same with the size of Y-wings and Alderaan. Plus, since the Y-Wings are copied from only two images, I can add or delete the number I place in the final painting. Currently I have five fighters in the painting. I may add more.
Basically, when I get an idea in my head, I like to pin it down on paper. However, once on paper, I tend to stick with that design whether it works or not. I do have enough of a sense of layout and format that they aren’t too bad, but in many cases, they could be better. Digital painting, which in my mind might be a little bit of a cheat, allows me to make the changes I would otherwise not do. For me, digital painting does for my artwork what a word processor does for my writing. I am a hunt and peck typist at best, if I had to constantly retype entire pages of text because I rethought a sentence, there would be no stories from me. Word processing allowed me to explore another side of my imagination. Now I can do the same with my art.
I am in the last stretches of my Carrie Fisher tribute. I ported her image over to the main canvas and gave her a jedi glow, while I played a little more with the Y-Wing placement and extended the exhaust trails to the bottom of the screen. I may add a few more Y-Wings yet. Finally, I have started the painting of Alderaan.
I never realized it from the original movie because of how brief an appearance it made, but Alderaan is an icy planet like Hoth except it still has oceans. Yeah, I know that is how it is depicted in the prequels but I did not like how they portrayed it there. However, looking at the reference image I am using, you can really see it was meant to be that way. Hopefully, that will come across in my treatment as well.