Published in EARTH Magazine!

In the September 2009 issue of EARTH Magazine, you can find a two-page profile of Art Evolved by Carolyn Gramling.


There is artwork by myself, Zach Miller, and Art Evolved founders Craig Dylke and Peter Bond. There's a nice interview with Craig and Peter as well. That's our headline there on the cover: Paleo-artists get creative.

My Mythical Flying Trilobite Fossil III (that makes up the current banner above) gets over a third of page 65 - seeing my own images in publication never gets old. Finding a feature article in the 7-11 in my Toronto neighbourhood is awesome. Being in there with online friends and artists I respect is shiny.

The issue itself is a treat, including the cover article about mass extinctions. Hadn't though about it before, but crinoids like the ones on the right of my banner have actually made through the 5 worst mass extinctions of all time. Fascinating stuff.

Thanks to Peter and Craig for inviting me into this online adventure at Art Evolved, and thanks to Carolyn Gramling for recognizing the next wave in art about our planet's prehistorical fauna.


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

Flying Trilobite Gallery
*** Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ***

Art Monday: how much digital?

Prepare to be underwhelmed.

Recently, I purchased a Wacom Intuos 3 4x6 tablet. Many of the contemporary artists I admire have included some digital elements into their workflow. I'm thinking of people like Jon Foster who paints in oil, then digital, and back again. Some artists like Wayne Barlowe were resolute in working with traditional materials, until experimentation with digital tools yielded a change of attitude, as seen in this digital piece by Barlowe from his Inferno series.

The last couple of years, I have incorporated more and more dig
ital elements in my work, especially for blog banners. I've been reading ImagineFX quite a bit to get a handle on the possibilities. There are times when I see a complicated method for say, a tree root, that I scratch my head and wonder why not just oil paint it instead of all this 3-d vectoring? The right tool for the right job.

In the case of my new Mythical Flying Trilobite Fossil banner, it is still painted mostly in oils on a piece of shale. But I wanted to add a bit of multi-media to it, and included some pencilled portions of the crinoids on the right side. For digital, I often simply colour-correct and add text. This time I added a bit more with the tablet. Using a neutral putty-coloured background, you can see how much digital is painted over top of my scan of the oil-painted-shale:Click to enlarge. For comparison, here's the full painting again:You can see some details were added. Though I use incredibly small Micron brushes, I was able to add even more little veiny-structures to the wings. A few more highlights in blue, pink and white to add to the iridescence, with some green and blue transparent paint underneath to give some depth and a prismatic feel.

I also spent ages getting the correct green for the nobs on the trilobite's back
, to give it some coloured markings, though I'm not sure how visible they really are in the final.

The part I'm happiest with is the bit of green algae or moss staining the shale around a phantom outline of a crinoid stalk near the bottom centre.


It's a little thing, but using partially opaque digital paint and shaping it with the handy eraser on the back of the digital pen, I managed to create a detail I quite like in a previously empty area. This felt like a minor landmark in my painting abilities.

Will digital painting completely overwhelm my oils in a couple of years, as some friends and colleagues have speculated? It could happen. At the moment though, my art is a mashed together hybrid of traditional and digital, pigment and pixel.

Suitable that the blog is named after a mashed together hybrid too, I think.

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow under Creative Commons Licence.
Flying Trilobite Gallery
### Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ###

Mythical Flying Trilobite Fossil III

The new blog banner is now installed above.
Mythical Flying Trilobite Fossil III
Oil on shale, pencil on bristol and a surprising amount of digital done in Photoshop with my new tablet. Copyright to moi, 2009.

For Art Monday, I'll try to show some of the details, and maybe just how much digital there is overlaying the oil on shale. I added quite a bit of colour to this little beastie.

Insect wings instead of mammal! Do I need a new tattoo?

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

Flying Trilobite Gallery
### Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ###

Art Monday: shale banner progress


The new Mythical Flying Trilobite Fossil blog banner is almost complete. Here you can see the oil on shale, with oil & pencil crinoids off to the right hand side.The last few steps will be to peel the bristol off the back of the shale, and scan the bristol and shale in separately. This shale is too big for the scanner, so I may have to tilt it to wedge it in, or Photoshop-together two parts.

In the little peek of it last week, Eric Heupal of Eclectic Echoes and The Ot
her 95% suggested we don't often see enough bite marks on trilobites. Hmm. Battle-scars, eh? So far I have not put any on this little critter. This week I have taken a new leap forward in technique and invested in an Intuos 3 tablet. I know there's a couple of touch-ups I may try with it, and scars are on the list. I hope to have this baby completed in the next couple of days.

As a little aside, here's my first efforts (besides some loopy happy face exercises to get me use to the feel) with my new tablet. Remember this encrinurus drawing?
So here I've tried to mimic my pencil strokes and added two new nodules to the head, and a new elongated nodule on the left side of the cephalon. I may need to adjust the sensitivity of the pen to mimic my lighter pencil strokes. In the upper middle, I tried some light washes, and below that, some bolder painted strokes. Can't wait to play some more.

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow under Creative Commons Licence.
Flying Trilobite Gallery
### Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ###

Art Monday: shale painting underway

A raw and unedited scan of what will be my new blog banner. Note the shiny wet oils glaring off the shale.

A mythical flying trilobite fossil heading for some crunchy crinoids.

Enough lollygagging! Back to work!

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow under Creative Commons Licence.
Flying Trilobite Gallery ### Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ###