Krismas sketch

A quick Krismas sketch. 


Click to enlarge. Maybe I'll need to do a Candy Cane Crinoid Forest. Hm.





I love this post by Dale McGowan about "Krismas" as an explanation for how many celebrate the solstice season.  

Some other fun holiday artwork can be found at Rouble Rust, Clever Girl and Eric Orchard

- - - - - - - - 

Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow


Another peek : Invasive Species paintings

Part of the assignment is to Photoshop the large paintings into a background. Admittedly, I didn't give that a lot of thought the first time around. In critique class last week, it was suggested I try the tree upside down for a more otherworld look, and have the paintings hanging from ropes. I used a different photo of Trinity-Bellwoods park for this version.


I'm happy with how a low-opacity paint bucket layer using a colour lifted from the sky unified the atmosphere.
- - - - - - - -
Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
under Creative Commons Licence.

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

Quick peek at Invasive Species

Some pics of what I've been working on the last few weeks, click to enlarge. Crit-class is this afternoon.

Invasive Species
:

...

...
These paintings are 48"x12" and 36"x48. Bigger than I've done in a while, and it was really freeing. Since I began blogging almost 3 years ago, a lot of my work tends to fit on my scanner.

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

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

Art Monday: Trilobite Tree

Trilobite Tree

Since I am under more deadline pressure than usual, please enjoy this little drawing originally shown on The Flying Trilobite back in June of 2007. Lots of work is happening behind the curtains right now, just like on The Muppet Show. Only imagine Kermit trying to get some painting done while Gonzo rounds up chickens and Fozzie sets fire to the stage. Life is like that sometimes.

Need more sleep. But first must draw anatomy on stretched surgical gloves.


- - - - - - - -

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

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

Fanboy Monday: Fanboy Month Begins at the Ent

Lately I've been filling my sketchbook with some of my favourite characters from various pop culture franchises in a very fanboy-ish manner. So for the month of August, expect each Art Monday to feature something fun and different from usual Flying Trilobite fare. There are still a number of paintings not under the fanboy umbrella that I aim to crank out this month. Y'see I'm practicing not-sleeping for when I return to school in September.

Today, let's begin at the Ent.

Pencil in my super-awesome giant Moleskine Folio. I created this piece for Henry Gee and the magazine Mallorn. (I'm hoping it sees publication! Naked desire! There!) Henry was looking for something different than the work of Peter Jackson's films, or D&D derived imagery. I knew almost right away I wanted to do an Ent walking surrealistically on tiny roots and eyes blinking out of knots.

I think it's going to eat the wizard-dude though.
- - -
Next week: let's bust out some Marvel Comics, shall we?
- - - - - - - -

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

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

Art Monday: loosening up


Painting is still a learning process, or as I refer to it, a struggle. It's rare that I produce a piece I am 100% okay with. Going back and forth on the amount of realism I want to inject into my work is a part of the struggle. The small oil sketch above is a light in the tunnel for me, or perhaps a point-change mutation with beneficial traits being expressed, if you prefer.

This piece, Callimorphia dominula, was created for a colleague as a Secret Santa gift. (The recipient is extremely talented, and though I don't often refer to folks at my day-job, keeping the two worlds separate, you can see Ash's paintings here.) Since her name is Ash, I painted leaves from an ash tree (Fraxinus excelsior), and a Scarlet Tiger Moth - - or is it one of the faerie-like Meliae?

The mutation for me was in the attempt to create a thickly-painted -one might say slathered- background, and a realistic foreground.

The background here on the left is obscured, partly because I put the still-very-wet painting onto my scanner, and it left shadows of the sticky paint when it scanned. What you're missing there is largely off-white, with a hint of blue-green.

In the coming months, I hope to get a number of paintings developed, and this little sketch feels like I've uncovered a small but vital technique that breaks a block I've had for a while.


- -
All original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow. The contents of this blog are under a Creative Commons Licence. See sidebar for details.
Please visit my blog, gallery and reproduction store.

What do you read outside?

Spring in the city! The last few days, I've stopped in Trinity-Bellwoods Park on my way home from work, and read a chapter or three of Parenting Beyond Belief, edited by Dale McGowan.

There is something satisfying about reading outdoors in the sun. I pass through Trinity-Bellwoods usually twice a day on my 30 minute walk. I've mentioned the park before, and here are a couple of even better pics of the stunning little albino squirrel, having a snack with a friend.

Parenting Beyond Belief is an excellent book I found out about backwards, through reading the editor-author's blog, Meming of Life. Dale McGowan is entertaining and informative, and also heartfelt. He knows how to mix appealing anecdotes with research, so the literary calories are not hollow.

Here in Toronto, Chapters/Indigo/Coles/World's Biggest has it listed in their system, but I can't seem to find it. A new Book City moved in, and were happy to have it delivered to the location on my walk home. Nice! The sales consultant thought it looked pretty interesting too.

It's easy for me to pick a favourite in this book. Teaching Kids to Yawn at Counterfeit Wonder, by Dale McGowan. I like anything by McGowan in particular. Even the endnotes can be entertaining.

There are science experiments you can do with kids. A beautiful letter to his daughter by Richard Dawkins, whose writing has inspired much of my painting in the past. Essays on how to deal with concepts of death with your children (and for me - this was good stuff).

This is not a ponderous, heavy book, and is not meant to be. It is a nimble conversation-starting book, a catalysing book, a deeply interesting book. It does not matter if you are atheist, Bright, religious-but-liberal-and-a-little-lapsed; a parent of adopted or natural children, an educator, or involved in some young person's life.

Never quite understood the fuss about evolution? Chapter 8: Jaw-Dropping, Mind-Buzzing Science has the easy explanation of what Darwin discovered. Order this book, and while you're waiting for it to arrive, read The Meming of Life.

There is something a little sublime when sitting below a massive, twisty old tree, reading an excellent book while the sun is shining, buds are slow-mo bursting, kids are on bikes, dogs are lolling on their backs in the grass, and you have a bottle of blueberry-green tea.

Spring is back. What have you read outside? What do you plan to read?

- -

All original artwork on
The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow. The contents of this blog are under a Creative Commons Licence. See sidebar for details. Squirrel photos by Glendon Mellow. I tried not to hound the little guy; this was taken from a distance. It's a squirrel, ya gotta be respectful.

Trilobite Tree

I have always loved drawing trees, mainly leafless as in winter, with their ever-shrinking sizes of branch. A few times in the past, I have used a tree to outline a silhouette. I drew this trilobite shape in the branches as a challenge to myself when I was inaugerating a new Moleskine sketchbook I had bought.

It is loosely based on Elrathia, as many of my drawings are. I have some affection for that species. I think they look the most recognisable and iconic, if you will, of the trilobite types. I also have a wee one inset in a ring my wife gave me one Valentine's Day. I always try and remember to draw 13 pleurae, though in this tree, those were blown off in a windstorm.
(That's my story...they blew right off-panel, so don't bother looking. The branches crushed someone's SUV, too.)

The moon is an enrolled trilobite, as the head evokes that crescent shape, and because I love it, there is an eye in the knot of the tree, a Symbolist influence. I drew this with an HB .3mm lead and copious use of a kneadable eraser, since they don't leave those annoying eraser bits. The mushroom is not there to suggest anything, it's just for atmosphere, much like the grass. (Hmmm...that last statement didn't come out too well.) Years ago, in my University days, one of my fellow students kept insisting I had to be taking drugs to come up with my imagery. I hadn't, and still don't (I don't even drink alcohol, I just have lots of coffee) and since then this has been a personal badge of honour. My artwork may look like I'm on drugs, but I'm getting by on my own ideas and hard work.