Thursday, September 21, 2017

Day to Night Photos

Unlike plein-air paintings, which take hours or even days to complete, photographs are usually the product of a fraction of a second. 

Paris. Photo by Stephen Wilkes
An exception among photographers is Stephen Wilkes, who has documented a series of famous destinations in what he calls "Day to Night" photos.

Ellis Island, Photo by Stephen Wilkes
Locking the camera in a fixed position, he takes photos over a period as long as 30 hours, the light shifting gradually from nighttime to daytime illumination. He then combines them later digitally. The effect works best in urban environments, where artificial light defines the nightscape.

Link to the 'Day to Night' photos of Stephen Wilkes

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tips for Taping Off

When I do Dinotopia paintings on illustration board, I tape off the edge with blue low-tack painter's tape (from the hardware store). Then I cut a thin strip of white so-called "artist's tape" to put over that to preserve my perspective grid markings. Red marking is the eye level. I don't recommend using the white tape directly on the illustration board because the adhesion is too strong and it rips the board—and it's non-archival, as is almost all tape, really.

I seal the whole surface, including the edge where the tape meets the drawing, with clear acrylic matte medium so that the oil paint doesn't seep under the tape. 

When the painting is finished, I remove the tape. The image can be flapped with polyethylene coated paper while in production, and it has a safety margin of white board around the image. When it comes to framing it can either be cut down to the edge of the painting and framed without glass or matted and framed. 
Previously on GJ:
Perspective Grid
Technique Notes
Want more insights? Pick up a signed copy of the new expanded edition of Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara at my website or on Amazon or Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Did Medieval people walk the way we do?

Here's a video that's impossible to watch without walking around and trying it out. (Link to video)
Roland Warzecha proposes that Medieval people walked with different body mechanics, planting the toe first, rather than the heel first—or at least, softening the heel strike.

I've been trying it out, but it's hard to build up any speed and it seems like a lot of effort to maintain that mode. Maybe my tendons are too short. Anyway, I'd be interested in what you think after you try it out, especially what animators think about this.
Further reading
The modern medical establishment regards "toe-walking" as an abnormality
New York magazine article on barefoot walking
Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks

Monday, September 18, 2017

New expanded edition of Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara

Dover Publications has just released a new expanded edition of Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara in their premier Calla line of illustrated books. (Link to book trailer video on YouTube)

This beautiful hardcover, slipcased edition includes an exclusive peek behind the scenes, with 30 pages of sketches, storyboards, maquettes, photos of models, character designs, and models posing.

If you live in the USA (or can provide a domestic US shipping address), you can order a signed copy from my website store and it's also available from Amazon

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Readings from Ruskin

(Link to YouTube) Here is a vintage recording of readings that I did from the Victorian art critic John Ruskin, excerpted from his famous works "Modern Painters" and "The Elements of Drawing."

The recording is from a cassette tape which circulated by mail in 1985 among a group of art friends called "The Golden Palm Tape Network."

Topics include:
1. Greetings to Ron Harris and James Warhola.
2. Discussion about audio line mixers
3. Readings from Ruskin:
• painting open water
• advice to students
• gradation
• atmospheric perspective.

Note his point at around 20 minutes in that cool colors don't necessarily recede, and warm colors don't necessarily advance.

You can still get copies of Modern Painters in print at Amazon. The other book I quoted from is The Elements of Drawing

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Where are the most photos taken?

A while ago, Google released this heat map image showing the places in the world that are photographed the most, based on the geotagging metadata.

Tourist places in Europe get the most traffic, especially art capitals like Paris and Barcelona, coastal regions of Spain, and picturesque regions in the Alps.

Google's artificial intelligence systems no longer need geotagging to know where a photo was taken. After analyzing huge databases of more than 93 million images, they can now recognize where any photo was taken.