Black and White Trilobite iPhone Case


New iPhone case in my online store!  A sophisticated black and white trilobite for those moments in life where you need your glowing device to make a statement: "hey, I don't need hundreds of colours".
There's more cases available than are pictured here for iPhone 3,4, & 5 as well as iPod touch - and coming in the new year, iPad cases too! 




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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite © to Glendon Mellow
under Creative Commons Licence.

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Arthropod Meeting


Sometimes I forget just how useful warm-up sketches and painting can be. Enjoying taking old pencil sketches and digitally watercolour painting them with ArtRage to get my engine running for commissioned projects. 

I tend to build up a lot of neurotic "all conditions must be perfect in life, studio and mindset" hang-ups before I get started on things. It's good to visually slap myself out of it by working on pieces like this that are already decent drawings, and just play loose with the colour. 


I like this enough I made prints available in my store- - - - - - - -

Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite © to Glendon Mellow
under Creative Commons Licence.

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There's a Trilobite loose in the App Store!

That's how this oil painting:

© Glendon Mellow


Became this:


© Glendon Mellow


Using Manga Camera, Halftone and Instagram, respectively. I love seeing my images in different versions.

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite © to Glendon Mellow
under Creative Commons Licence.

Portfolio
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Print Shop

Find me on Symbiartic, the art+science blog on the Scientific American Blog Network!






Fossil Gears









One of the highlights during our road trip from Toronto to Halifax was spending a night at atheist-political-sciencey blogger Lousy Canuck's place. Jason and Jodi were kind enough to put our travelling caravan up for the night and introduce us to the wonder of Portal 2. 

To thank @lousycanuck and @pixelsnake for their hospitality, I repainted one of the paintings on slate from my (now-dismantled) final school project into this new work, Fossil Gears

The visit was far too short. We need to meet up again some time! 


Flying Trilobite, left, Lousy Canuck, right.



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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite © to Glendon Mellow
under Creative Commons Licence.

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Merry Krismas, Trilobiteers!

Tra-la-la-la-lobite © Glendon Mellow
Make sure to read about the true meaning of Krismas for many of us on The Meming of Life with Dale McGowan.

Krismas, as defined by Jacob Walker:

Krismas is a secular holiday that celebrates the myth of Kris Kringle, commonly known as Santa Claus. It happens on December 25th of each year, and is also closely associated with Krismas Eve, which occurs December 24th… Krismas is about giving gifts, especially those “from the heart”; it is about the magic of childhood; it is about peace on earth; and it is about goodwill towards humankind, and anything else you wish it to mean that does not involve the Jesus as a savior bit. 
Merry Everything to Everyone!

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
under Creative Commons Licence.

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Making of The Last Refuge (repost)


This is a repost from last year.  I've been thinking about the process on this painting, and trying to apply some of the lessons learned in some new work I have incubating in my brain and my sketchbook. 
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Earlier this month I debuted a new painting, commissioned by Kevin Zelnio of Deep Sea News and The Other 95%.  You can see Kevin's post about
 The Last Refuge here, and who it was for. 

Here's a little about the process of making that painting. 

Kevin had mentioned it to me quite a while earlier, the first time we met in person.  The idea rattled around in my head quite a bit, so there wasn't a lot of prep work needed for this one. 

I started with the sketch above, done using my Faber-Castell Pitt pens.  It's a typical type of starting sketch for me, not a lot of stuff that may make sense to someone else.  I'll try to explain it after the jump.

First of all, it's two sketches side by side.  Let's look at the right one: the little "x" marks all around are a typical comic book notation for all black background. I knew I wanted heavy black shadows, and the light source coming from behind. 

You can see the original composition was quite symmetrical:  I wanted almost a reverent feel, almost like a religious landscape.  It's an easier feeling to invoke with obvious geometry and I thought black smoker thermal vents on either side would evoke that. 

Turned on Die Antwoord  and Massive Attack videos on my 'puter, made some coffee (mocha java) and got started painting.  Used black acrylic for a base in the background. As oil paints age, they become darker and more transparent, so a dark ground will prevent the painting from bleaching over time. 

But at the last second I changed the composition.



Something about all that indanthrene blue...I needed to give the ocean itself more space.  I jettisoned the symmetrical composition for a more natural one.  Also, I wanted a series of lines of light that would direct the eye around the painting in a trangular way, and the submersible hiding behind a smoker wouldn't have helped.




I stayed with a classical compositions with three distances.  The first distance, is the rock at the bottom left with the big standard trilobite (Elrathia kingi is one of my favourites).  This typically gives the viewer an entryway into the painting, and since we're in the West, starting on the left is typical.  The trilobite kind of gazes and points into the rest of the painting. The 2nd, or middle distance, brings in more detail, and shows the "story" of the painting.

When painting the submersible, originally I hadn't add much in the way of light.  I knew I wanted to make some dramatic beams, and a halo, but if I did that and it looked awful, I wouldn't be able to get that smooth deep blue of the surrounding water without starting completely over in the background.



Had to go for it. I was happy with the result, but I still miss that deep mysterious blue cutting down the left hand side.  The light is more dramatic, less tranquil.  


The shape of the light beam is actually inspired by comics. I still pick up Marvel or Dark Horse comics now and then, (love New Avengers) and the shape of the light beams is roughly the same as when a ninja throws multiple stars: the arc of their hand intercut with the path of the throwing stars. If you read comics, you probably know what I mean. 

For the title, I kicked around names like "Deep Discovery" and suchlike, but Kevn supplied the perfect one:  The Last Refuge.

My aim for The Last Refuge was to create a painting the recipient could sit still and look at, and notice little details in the edges.  The cluster of trilobites on the right. The tubeworms rising out of the dark. The shape and texture of the sulpherous smoke. 

It's about a dream, isn't it?  Richard Fortey in Trilobite!  Eyewitness to Evolution said, "Hope has faded that, when today's mid-ocean ridges were explored by bathyscape, in some dimly-known abyss there might still dwell a solitary trilobite to bring Paleozoic virtues into the age of the soundbite..,". 

I hope Kevin and the painting's recipient enjoy The Last Refuge for many years to come. 
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The Last Refuge is also available in a variety of prints from my online print shop. I recommend the laminated print (shown below) or the charcoal frame with dark mat




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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
under Creative Commons Licence.

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--> Find me on Symbiartic, the art+science blog on the new Scientific American Blog Network!

Two Arthropods Meet - a teeny commission challenge

After meeting the tireless Karyn Traphagen at ScienceOnline11 in January, she asked me for an unusual commissioned painting: something on slate, no larger than 1.5"x2".

It was more difficult than I had thought.  I have often painted creatures and details that small -I knew I had the right brushes- but I had never tried to fit a whole composition in something that small.

The challenge was on.


Apparently I drink too much coffee to reliably use the camera's up-close feature.
The piece languished on my desk for a little while, unfinished, until I came up with the idea of adding the ladybug, an image that I've done in a similar way before in pencil. I added a bit of gold-coloured paint (actually titanium-coated mica flakes) to the ladybug to give it a shimmer.

Here's the final piece:




Thanks Karyn!
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Interested? I have a couple of larger, similar pieces painted on slate for sale and I remain available for commissions.

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow