Art Monday: making of "Introducing Sara Chasm"

Yesterday saw the debut of ART Evolved: Life's Time Capsule, a new paleo-art blog with a whole crew of regular artists. When Craig Dylke approached me about it, I let out a heavy sigh. My commissioned work has been increasingly busy -for which I am continually excited- so could I really contribute to an ongoing group blog?

I just had to. Too exciting, and a lot of my favourite bloggers are present. Now, after the champagne has been smashed against the prow of our Ceratopsian Gallery, I couldn't be happier.

For my contribution, Introducing Sara Chasm, I knew I wanted to do some
thing a little left of scientific illustration. Okay, far off to the side.

I began by scribbling this sketch in my Moleskine on my walk
to work one morning.
It's important to carry around a small sketchbook for capturing tho
se ideas in the moment: when you wake up, when meeting a friend for coffee, after a shower or walking outdoors.

Using my trusty .3mm pencil, I made a more refined sketch. The photo reference is of a real person. I mulled over having Sara's t-shirt read ,"Canadian Grrls Rock", or maybe "Alberta girlz kick ass". Those also would have been good wall tags.For a while, Sara was going to be a hipster-photo-blogger of the kind that dwells on West Queen West here in Toronto, but the spray painted tag added a lot of colour. I drew that using my favourite india ink-brush pen, and erased all the pencilly-bits. A thick black pen (I use Faber-Castell's Pitt pens) like this can be great for quickly dropping in digital paint in Photoshop.I created the background using some rocks I scanned for texture, and embossed them to go with the light direction. With a digital hard brush I spattered paint in yellow-greens. Then, I added a medium-opacity white stucco to the wall.The oil painting. Completed in about 6 hours while listening to M.I.A., Beastie Boys, Nine Inch Nails and the new Lily Allen cd. I arrived at her name by thinking about Sara from ceratopsian, Chasm from chasmosaurus, and together they both sound a bit like sarcasm.After scanning the wet oil painting, there had to be a lot of clean-up. Using levels, I colour-corrected the blacks and whites. I tried to erase and blur the edges a bit to help it blend into the background.Finally, a bit of lighting to set the mood off. Click to enlarge the final product!
What do you think? I think Ms. Chasm looks a bit more 2-dimensional than originally intended, but the final product has a bit of an anime-feeling I don't see in my work. Will we see Sara Chasm again?

Make sure to check out the other images in the Art Evolved ceratopsian gallery, and leave comments!

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

Flying Trilobite Gallery
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2009 Calendar available for a limited time

ART Evolved - the launch! pkkk-keeww! (that's a launching noise)

ART Evolved: Life's Time Capsule makes its mark on the innertubes today!

A gathering of 11 blogging paleo-artists, we're launching with a group gallery filled with horned frilliness. Ceratopsian dinosaurs! Drop by and make a comment or twenty.

I've chosen to paint a chasmosaurus, entitled Introducing Sara Chasm. Chasmosaurus is one of my very favourite fossils
that I've been visiting since I was a kid at the Royal Ontario Museum. I've anthropomorphized her a tad. "Making of" post to appear right here tomorrow.

You can also read bios of each artist , and here's mine. Our membership consists of:
Raven Amos
Peter Bond
Sean Craven
Craig Dylke
Marek Eby
Scott Elyard
Mo Hassan
Glendon Mellow
Zachary Miller
Angie Rodrigues
Ville Sinkkonen

We'll need to work on an "Avengers Assemble" paleo-artsy battle cry.


There's some tremendous talent at Art Evolved, I just couldn't say no to being a part of it. And a special thanks to Craig Dylke and Peter Bond, our administrators.

Why are you still here?! I said Ceratopsians! Get to ART Evolved!


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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 ##
# 2009 Calendar available for a limited time