Merry Darwin Day 2012!

Appropriately enough, I'm working on some scientific illustrations of beetles this Darwin Day. Can't show anyone yet. 

Please enjoy these images of our man Charles from years' past, and make sure to read The Beagle Project's Blog post about Darwin's birthday aboard the H.M.S. Beagle. 

The images below are from 2009, when I attempted to live blog progress from scratch of a new oil painting of a young Charles Darwin discovering a glyptodont skull in South America during the voyage of the Beagle. At the time (you can find all the blog entries in February 2009) I wasn't happy with how the piece was turning out, and the exercise got weird. Still glad I attempted it - it's good to experiment.

If you look at the first sketch, you can see the ghostly sketch of the Beagle masts rising behind our young explorer.

Quick sketch to get the shadows and composition down.





Focused on the face first. Relatively happy with the pencils.

Tinted in Photoshop, I actually like this sketched image better than the final.

My work station. Love those Micron brushes. 

More or less (somewhat less) complete. 



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

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Darwin Day is coming!

Darwin Took Steps  © Glendon Mellow 2008. Oil on canvas paper.


Darwin Day is coming up on February 12th!

If there's any painting I've done that's iconic of my work, it's this one.  Darwin Took Steps has appeared on books, magazines and around the intertubes.  It's available as prints, greeting cards, postcards, t-shirts and even stickers in my online shop.  Great time to order, and half the profit goes to The Beagle Project.

The image also appears in two of my calendar collections (one version in pencil).  Not too late to order those either.  You can pick what month the calendar starts. 

Click here to go to the Darwin Took Steps gallery + shop.
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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow

Art & Science at the Centre for Inquiry

Recently, Pam Walls of the Centre for Inquiry Ontario invited me to join in a group art show with the theme of art & science. I put three pieces in the show, and attempted to sell three others. Admittedly. turnout was slim, and most of the other artists were not there. This could have been because the gallery show was part of a larger conference with a big attending fee, and it wasn't clear anyone could attend the free gallery show - I couldn't figure it out from the website, and asked someone the day-of. Not to grumble overmuch - the people in attendance were interesting and we had a nice evening.

Michelle joined me, and we had a great time, met some interesting people including artist Karyn Wong and her boyfriend Jacob. Karyn's work is pretty fantastic stuff (digital fairies!) so make sure to check it out.

I was also invited to take part in a panel discussion on art and science. This was a packed room, and the participants asked excellent questions of the presenters. Each of us on the panel had about 20 minutes, and I briefly touched on questions like;
How does art give back to science?

Has art been the stimulus of research?
How can anthropomorphizing areas of research help - as in thinking about organelles or particles?

Mostly a few questions from the ScienceOnline09 and ScienceOnline2010, while using a few of my paintings as a springboard to get the audience involved. I managed to generate a few laughs, so I think it went well.

The other two presenters on our panel were pretty amazing. I wish it could have gone longer. Here's the blurb from the CFI site:

11:00 am - 12:30 pm - Panel 2: Science and Art
Can art be turned into a science? Can science be turned into an art? How do science and art influence each other? Plus, we'll explore the intersection of art and design with science and technology.
* Paula Gardner, The Portage Project: Material meets Digital in Mobile Experience
* Roshelle Filart, Selling Science to the Public
* CFI Conference Art Exhibitors, featuring Glendon Mellow, "Art in Awe of Science"


Thanks to Pam Walls and Justin Trottier for a great day!


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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: Darwin Display

From -nieh-'s Flickr photostream.

A mighty tip of a ten-gallon hat to Michael Barton of Dispersal of Darwin for sending me the link. I believe this must be the Casa de las Ciencias display I mentioned recently.

Sweet. I like the Darwin-Moth painting. Anyone know who painted that one? I'm proud to have Darwin Took Steps in such good company.

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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 ***

2010 Calendar Available now!

Happy Origin Day!

Happy Origin Day!

150 years ago, Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species was originally published. It's like a science-blogohedron holiday today - wonderful links and commentary everywhere.

Why not read a few links, become inspired about science education, and perhaps make a donation to the Beagle Project?


Darwin Took Steps, above, will be shown to a new audience in 2010. As part of Casa de las Ciencias 2010 Darwin exhibit, a reproduction of my painting will be shown as part of a display about how Darwin is still making waves in visual media. I'm completely thrilled! My first museum exhibit, and in Spain no less! I have never been to Europe, and Michelle thinks next summer would be the perfect time to head to Spain. Good idea. The building itself is beautiful, and they have a great logo for their Darwin year. (Museum photo from Wikipedia.)

This painting is piling up a nice c.v. of its own - debuting on The Eloquent Atheist, shown on the cover of Secular Nation, the book cover of La Mente di Darwin, as part of the book cover for Open Laboratory 2008 - and hopefully, it will continue to intrigue new viewers to learn about Charles Darwin and his wonderful writing.

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If you like this image, it's available as matted prints, greeting cards and t-shirts in my reproduction shop. A portion of the profits goes in support of The Beagle Project.

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

Art Monday: Science Checkmate

A couple of days ago, I used Photoshop to edit my painting, Science Chess Accommodating Religion. I want to try changing the relationships of the pieces, and making the image more graphic and cartoony so it could appear on a t-shirt. I am thinking about captioning it "Science Checkmate".

Michael Barton, of
The Dispersal of Darwin suggested placing the pieces around the fallen bishop. Great Idea, Michael! It changes the way they appear utterly. Finally, I will need to punch up the whites and reds so it can be printed on fabric with more vibrant and clear colour.
I have to say, I'm working with Photoshop Elements these days, a program that came in in the box with my Wacom Intuos 3 tablet. I didn't use it on my old computer, but Elements (so far) appears to be superior to me old Photoshop CS. The selection brush is one of the coolest things ever. I thought it was just for tracing and it took a moment after selecting the outline of the Mendel piece to realize it simply expands the selection field to wherever you've brushed! It was a magic moment.


I'll post the final cartoony image and t-shirt another day, once it's in the repro shop.

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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 ***

Science Checkmate

Using my oil painting Science Accommodating Religion, I've been noodling around with the image.

This might look good on a t-shirt if I punch up the colours to a less painterly, more graphic cartoony look. Hmm. I saved the image with all the pieces in separate layers so I can move them around and resize them easily. Now that I look at it, perhaps the pieces should not be so evenly spaced.

Looking for opinions: how should I tweak it for a shirt in my repro shop?

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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 ***