Trilobite Boy featured on io9

Trilobite Boy and some of my other paintings and drawings were featured on io9 this morning, written up by editor-in-chief Annalee Newitz.  Trilobite Boy appeared right on the front page between Captain America and Captain Jack Sparrow.

The article is a lot of fun, and yes, I'd love to work with James Cameron on the next Avatar.  Or Gore Verbinski, George Lucas or Guillermo del Toro, for that matter. ;-P

Thanks to Marilyn Terrell for sharing Trilobite Boy with Annalee in the first place!

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow

Trilobite Boy character sketches

Here's something I started working on tonight using the digital painting program ArtRage. This is a screenshot of the program. Click to enlarge.

I've been planning on doing some paintings with the character on the left, now dubbed Trilobite Boy.  He's based off of the painting I did called Life as a Trilobite (below).

The girl on the right is wearing the anomalocarid dress.  I've never actually finished a painting of that dress:  I usually get frustrated or start working on other things. Here's some earlier versions, none of which were completed.  The circle on her chest would be filled with a leechy, knife-like circular teeth pattern: 

I just want to play with these characters, and have fun. I have a bunch of rough sketches in my Moleskine of Trilobite Boy in various scenarios, so expect to see more of him over the next little while.  (And for Daniel and Peter, one will be under a bright blue sky with bold colours!)

More to come!  I'm working on some more characters. She needs a pet.

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

Print Shop

Major Billy Barker & his Pterosaur Squadron

Major Billy Barker & his Pterosaur Squadron
(click to enlarge, or visit my gallery for a larger view)

The paint is still wet, thus, the photo at a weird angle to prevent glare. I'll see if I can get a better shot up for my next Art Monday. Oil paint on canvas. This is my submission to the third Art Evolved group gallery, which happens to be launching July 1st, Canada Day.

In my generation, a lot of history learned in school was rote memorization. Dates, names, places. My high school had a vast amount of letters from former students to their teachers in the World Wars that we read each Remembrance Day. Perhaps the advantage of the internet is the ease at which you can learn now. No trip to the library, not knowing what you are looking for. Click, click, and there it is. Perhaps this is Gen X apathy, I'm not sure.

Sometimes as an artist, rarely, I get an image full-blown in my mind. That was the case here. Composition, lighting, hues. I needed some details for the biplanes.

So I did a bit of online poking to look up biplanes, and found the story of a true Canadian adventurer, perfect to add to my (perhaps audacious) idea. Major William George "Billy" Barker was a World War 1 flying ace and Victoria Cross recipient who flew Sopwith Camels against German Fokkers. Although I could not find any information indicating he fought against the infamous Red Baron, Manfred Von Richtofen, I thought the drama of these two excellent pilots would heighten the alternate history in this concept painting. Of course, our Canadian hero Major Billy Barker has a trick up those RAF sleeves: his fighting pterosaur squadron, made up of Quetzalcoatlus northropi.

The Red Baron will live to fight another day. Some theories have it that he was shot and wounded by other Canadian pilots though that remains controversial. Whatever the case, I love that the idea that popped into my mind led me to reading about Major Barker in time for Canada Day, and Art Evolved.

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Art Evolved Pterosaur Gallery
Major Billy Barker on Wikipedia
Major Billy Barker & his Sopwith Camel at Ace Pilots
The Red Baron on Wikipedia
The Red Baron & his Fokker at Ace Pilots

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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: WWI pterosaur sketchy sketches

The last few weeks of Art Mondays have mainly been sketches and unfinished drawings. This week is a bit more of the same. I fins that sometimes, inspiration for new and varied pieces falls into my mind in a torrent, and I struggle with my pencil to keep up.

Perhaps it's the season. I walk to my day-job, about 40 minutes through a beautiful park, past galleries and boutique clothing stores in one of the hippest areas in Toronto. Trees are full, the air is warm and we haven't had a smog day yet. It's a good time for thinking.

Next week, Art Evolved is launching it's third gallery of prehistoric art, and the theme is pterosaurs. There's been a lot of debate about physiology flying back and forth on Art Evolved. Unsure of my exact position in scientific illustration, I p
ondered whether to go for a full-on restoration illustration, or something unusual and fantastic like my first two entries.

It's a rare thing, when the whole idea appears before your mind's eye, full-blown, down to the brush strokes. This happened here.

A little research, and I am falling in love with the idea. I plan to keep
it loose, and go for a more sketchy painting style in this one.

In brief, I wanted pterosaurs, specifically Quetzalcoatlus northropi fighting alongside the RAF against the Red Baron. I'm not a World War 1 history buff by any stretch, though lately I've been reading little bits. I came across the name of Major Billy Barker on Wikipedia, and knew I had the right hook to the painting. Barker was Canada's own flying ace, with 50 confirmed aerial kills, and he pioneered the leader-wingman strategy for pilots. A real character.

And the best part is, the pterosaur gallery is launching on July 1st; Canada Day. Sweet.

I used to hesitate to put sketches like this online. They contain a lot of useful information for me to use, but they are by no means drawings in their own right; and that's an important distinction. A sketch is a rough idea, an analogue to a hypothesis in science. The drawing is the capital-T Theory, fleshed out and a piece of art in it's own right, paint not necessary.

Hmm. This post is like my art lately. Wandering all over the place. Ok. Time to get back to the aerial battle and oil paints.

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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: TriloBot, transform!

A glimpse of my Transformers fan concept: TriloBot.

It's an Autobot.

A ways to go yet, I may try to paint this one completely digitall
y...possibly alter the pose to look more like swimming. TriloBot is holding some coral in his hand. He was an analogue to a marine biologist back on Cybertron, and now spends his time on Earth helping guard the oceans from the depredations of the Decepticons and overfishing.

Perhaps I'll work up an old "techspec" too when I finish the piece.

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow under Creative Commons Licence.
Transformers licence belongs to Hasbro Inc. though; this is purely meant a s a fan fun exercise.

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