mrlich: (dragonbones)
Little Warriors - the VikingStarting a new project - the Little Warriors. I'm going to be doing a series of images of kids in costume with the archetype they're dressed at behind them.

There's a couple of things I would love some feedback on:

1. I'm not sure yet whether I want to make the background figure 'ghostly' or 'tangible'. Right now I'm leaning a little more towards ghostly - with a slight shift. I was thinking about making them look more tangible the closer they are to the kid in the foreground. Any thoughts?

2. "Little Warriors" or "Lil Warriors"? Again - I have a direction that I'm leaning towards, but I don't want to sway anyone. I want all of your gut reactions.

I selected viking as the first archetype as a sorta advance fan art for [livejournal.com profile] gdg's Wolves of Odin. (I really can't wait.)

Oh, and no - this one is not done - not by a long shot - but it's late and I need sleep.
Dec. 28th, 2007 12:02 am

Fan Art

mrlich: (dragonbones)
The Janet Character is © JH of deadplayground.comSo the other day I asked [livejournal.com profile] arletta if she ever saw the fan art I did of her character Janet. She hadn't, so I went looking for it.

Well, it turns out that must have been one of the images that I got really frustrated with and trashed. Felt guilty telling her I had art for her and then not delivering, so I did a new one tonight. This is the result. Enjoy.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
Well, for those of you who don't already know, my main desktop PC has taken a big fat turd and is done. I'm pretty sure that I can fix it.

But I refuse.

The poor beast is a frankensteined collection of probably 4-6 generations of hardware. It's time to put the poor thing down. She's been good and faithful, but I think that I make enough money that it will be a better use of my time to buy a new machine off the shelf of some big box company, strip it of all the crap they load on it for 'Joe-Home-User' and have it... well... just work. Obviously that doesn't mean that I won't ever hack or mod the thing, but at least for a time, I want a machine that just does what it's supposed to do without me holding its virtual hand and stroking the case sweetly while saying prayers to long dead gods in the hopes that it might get through the night.

Clearly I'm putting too much thought into this.

Anyway. The point is that I am not without my ability to surf teh intarwebs or post to LJ, but it does vastly restrict my ability to do digital art. Both of my laptops are not exactly what one would call 'gaming rigs' This means that anything I do digitally will not likely be anything I could use for prints - even when using software with as few system requirements as Open Canvas 1.x (which I am still amazed would fit on a 1.44 floppy unzipped!).

I want to wait until [personal profile] xtingu and I are in our new place before I go buying a new desktop. We're so close to move in day that I don't want to buy a machine just to transport twice.

But I was getting the digital art itch. I've been doing more with traditional media. (See crappy camera phone 'scans' here and here.) As usual, I found myself learning at a rapid rate when I forced myself to shift gears back to traditional, but it just doesn't satisfy me the way that digital stuff does. Especially with OC's ability to replay the process, I find that I learn a lot from digital as well, I can work (muuuuch) faster and it more readily translates to the net (I don't have my scanner hooked up to either of my laptops and wouldn't want to really).

AnyMcWhoozles, I tell you all this to let you know that I finally installed the driver for my wacom and did a quick sketch self portrait -
As always, I'm more than a little interested in everyone's thoughts - so comment away.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (coffee)
I have two new 'things' that I'm working on artistically:

1. Meet my Inner Skeletor. For those of you familiar with Iron Maiden's character/mascot Eddie the Head, I was having a discussion with [livejournal.com profile] xtingu and the IJG's intrepid leader Andrew Durkin about said character. As Andy notes in one of his posts, we were thinking that it might be entirely amusing to create a ghoulish character mascot of the band. I'm going to let you just mull that one over. Updates coming in the near future.

2. Randomization and art. So I was sitting in a Borders book store tonight. Yes, I normally am a Barnes and Noble kind of guy, but I felt like 'mixing it up' a bit. Don't try to stop me - I'm a madman like that. Anyway - I was thinking about fantasy art and looking through the latest batch of "World's Greatest" magazines which promote the better fantasy artists and illustrators. It's been said that art is the creation of something with the intent to illicit an emotional response. I kinda like that summary about as much as any other, so I'm always looking to see what kind of emotional response the artist is looking to pull from me. As I was doing this, I noticed that a number of the artists in these magazines were using a tool I hadn't realized they were using before.

Symbols. Okay, sure - I knew that other artists use symbols all the time, but I had really thought about it in this light before. Namely, the artists were using archetypes to garner certain emotional responses to the image. Robots, dragons, faeries - people who would be looking at these images have a certain emotional investment in these standards. The artists in these magazines are using that investment to gain the emotional response that they're looking for.

This got me to thinking.

About a million and one years ago, I discovered the website www.Mythosa.net. For those of you who do now, or did at one time, do the RPG thing, Bruce Gulke (as creator of the website) has created one of the best, most fleshed out, and all round 'slickest' campaign worlds online that I have come across. While most of you may not know this, that's saying a lot. Campaign paroozing is a hobby of mine. Anyway - that's not all Bruce does. He's created a program called the Tablesmith.

The short version of the answer to "What is Tablesmith?" is this: It's the architecture needed to randomly generate responses based on data in tables created by the user. Or randomizer+database=fun. It's designed for gamers, but I've always thought that the Tablesmith had a broad spectrum of uses outside of direct RPG stuff. Writers, developers, game designers - the list could go on for quite a while. It's not focussed on fantasy or sci-fi or anything else really. Bruce designed it in a way that is usable by all of the above and more. If it seems like I'm going on because I'm impressed it's because I am.

Anyway, tonight, while sitting in said cafe I was thinking to myself: wouldn't it be a fun sort of 'game' to use Tablesmith to generate random subjects? I could create tables to generate the topic that any number of images would focus on.

While I just don't have the kind of background (or brains) to create something like [livejournal.com profile] deeptape's SandCastle Project, this seemed like a good way for me to mix technology with art. I've created a ridiculously simple version of the table already, but I will post more when I refine it.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (oof)
Wow kids - I was pleased as punch to read this article posted to life hack.

While the subject matter might be intimidating to folks, I would say that the less you feel you know about art the more you should read it. It's a short piece, easy to digest, and pretty damn solid to my way of thinking. I highly recommend it.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
Boutell's TattooI've again been honored by a friend who deems what I do worthy of embedding in their flesh for all time. [personal profile] boutell went out and got inked. The concept and original roughs were designed by him alone, but he came to me for the finished design. He posted about it here, including some detail shots if you would like to see them.

My friends are likely to inflate my ego.

Looks good bro.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
The weekend thus far (rather than the weekend in review- for a change):

Friday:
Immediately following work, I rode to drop off a movie and pick up (rent) the DVD collection of Brisco County Jr.. I remember it being a fun series and Bruce Campbell s kinda a personal hero. What's more, it makes better sense than full blown movies for 'workout entertainment' as they're only one hour shows each episode, so I'm not working out for a half hour or an hour and then sitting for another hour to an hour and a half.

After picking up Bruce's misadventures, I headed back to the house where I met up with [profile] lotusanddragon  . We headed over to [personal profile] shellefly  's place to pick her up and than to Philly to assist in the celebrating of [personal profile] jeremym  's birthday at North Bowl. The place rocks - there's just no two ways about it. Great music, the drinks flow, and the lanes are clean and well maintained. That's one hell of a combination.

After bowling, the rest of the gang which included [personal profile] ms_violet  , [personal profile] boutell  , and many more (whose lj names I can't recall because I suck) headed somewhere for a drink, but [profile] lotusanddragon   and I headed back to the house since he still had to pack for his trip to Japan. We did that (I kept him company while he did it really) and got a chance for the first time in a long time to just shoot the shit. It was a grand time. We even had a mini-adventure taking a quick trip to his office for some forgotten info while K-T (who doesn't have LJ) read some of the end of the last Harry Potter book to us via my cell phone's speakerphone function. Then a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee, a moment where I broke his world a little by introducing him to the 'omg shoes' video, some chill time up on the deck, and the limo service was there to take him to the airport. It really kinda felt like the perfect way to send my bro off to another country. I sacked out afterward to some long overdue sleep.

Saturday:
Saturday morning I woke late (figured I earned it) and headed to [profile] jafosmite  's concert with X-Fusion at the 100th Annual Arden Fair. I took the Yamaha, and it was a damn good thing - the place was mobbed. I managed to find a completely illegal convenient parking space, locked up the scoot, and headed straight for where I hear the boys getting ready. The show rocked hard, though there's little surprise there. It was fun watching an all new batch of folks rockin out to X-Fusion's music. I was a little disappointed by the fact that the fair closed supah early, so I only had time to do a quick 'fly through' after the show, but I'm betting that's a good thing in the long run as I need to keep all the cash I can these days.

After the fair, I headed to good ol' Barnes and Noble for some time to do some writing, screw around, and browse the newest batch of 'how to draw' books and magazines. This is something that I haven't done in a while, and I missed it. It's something that I enjoy both with friends or alone. When I'm by myself, it's almost like meditation. I can people watch, get my thoughts in order, and often be inspired. I was impressed by my ability to not buy any of the new art books/magazines. Almost, but I managed to put them back. Really, it's not like I would use them - not in any real way. Most art books are great, but they wind up being more or less inspiration sources and that's about it. While I was sitting and parusing my latest batch of books and magazines, I got a phone call from [personal profile] xtingu  . Being a spaz, I went instantly into high alert mode - she was supposed to be out on the playa, and that would mean without cell phone reception of any kind at all. She assured me that nothing was wrong but that she 'just wasn't feeling it' this year and that she was homeward bound and would keep me posted on her travel plans. She said she missed me. I'm a lucky bastard like that. I stayed at B&N pretty late and went home. Once back at the house, I started working on one of the images that I got stuck in my head while at the bookstore and when I realized that it was almost 2am I hit the sack - I had a big day coming up.

Sunday:
Woke up fairly early, but not early enough. I had planned to ride with [profile] burningkirby  , Lee (sans lj), and Ballz (also sans lj). However, as I am the planning master, I didn't have any of their phone numbers and I was having net connectivity issues (I had Ballz's street address in my email account). I did finally get connected, but the whole process delayed me enough that I got to Ballz's place about 15 minutes later than planned and I hate being the limiting factor. We made our way via back roads to [profile] burningkirby  's compound where we gathered up [profile] burningkirby   and Lee and after some very minor repairs to [profile] burningkirby  's bike, we headed out. It was the perfect morning for a ride. Cool but not cold. Bright and sunny and just... frickin... gorgeous. miles melted past under our wheels as we rolled west into PA. If I can convince Ballz to send me a copy of our route, maybe I'll post it later. What a great run. I broke the 600 mile mark since buying the Yamaha with ease.

After our ride we stopped back at [profile] burningkirby  's place and had some snackages. Then off to Lee's and then I headed back to B&N. Yes, back to B&N. I've decided that I'm a creature of habit. Once I find something I like, I tend to stick with it until I find the next thing that I like. While there I got some more stuff done both in the writing and the creativity departments.

While I was at B&N, [personal profile] xtingu   called to let me know that she had landed and asked if I could meet her at her apartment. I said sure, packed up my gear, and headed over. We arrived at almost identical times, and commenced a good old fashioned 're-connect' kind of night. We were visited albeit briefly by [profile] theseitz   who showed us his supah sexy new iPhone. We sacked out shortly thereafter.

Monday:
We woke up a bit late and had some more really amazing reconnect time. It had been a while since [personal profile] xtingu   and I had the chance to talk more than "Hi - how's the weather?" Okay - I'm exagerating, but you get the point. We'd let our 'life stuff' kinda keep us so focussed that we hadn't spent much time just talking. We'd both missed it terribly and this time (Sunday night and Monday morning) really scratched that itch.

Next, we hopped on the bike and headed up to [personal profile] swingchickie  's place for the afternoon and got some more hang time with the good peeps. [personal profile] swingchickie   and Jack, [personal profile] jeremym   (and the always awesome JD), [personal profile] boutell   and Jenny, [profile] opadit   and Steve, [personal profile] ms_violet   and Vince, and of course [personal profile] xtingu   and myself. Jack manned the grill and [personal profile] xtingu   brought some corn salsa that was muy muy yummy.

Then, of course, there were donuts.

Now, [personal profile] xtingu   and I have come back to her place, she's on the phone with her folks and I'm wrapping up what was started as a "weekend up to this post" but has become a "weekend in review".

Hope you had a weekend as awesome as mine!
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
I need to write and draw more. Like a lot more.

Of course these days it really is starting to feel like I need more hours in the day to do that. There are several of you who may be reading this that I owe artwork to. Please believe me when I say that I haven't forgotten you - there's just a lot on my plate. I'm working fast and furious to get it all out a.s.a.p.

Promise.

Tonight was KT's unofficial send-off to Colorado. There were lots of good peeps at the Washington Ale House, and I didn't get to talk to them all because I sometimes just can't handle crowds. I came home a little bit early for some quality time with one of the best threesomes out there - my computer, the intarwebs, and myself.

In addition to some much needed 'down time' I got the chance to chat with [livejournal.com profile] kar0na and it felt good to unwind and just BS while doing said unwinding.

It's already well past my bedtime. Tomorrow it's back to the drawing board, and when I'm done with the jobs I have lined up, I have an idea for another 1100 strip.

Stay tuned True Believers...
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
For those of you who where there on the 4th when we discussed whether I was a ninja, a pirate, or a robot. I present Patch - the robotic ninja pirate! (Sorry for the crappy image - I had to use my camera phone to take it.)

0721070949.jpg

mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
So you've probably all forgotten the little experiment that I started back in February.



Well I didn't. It was driving me nuts that I never did finish the portraits that I had promised. I had plenty of steam to do an hour on [livejournal.com profile] lafemmekatia's image.



I slowed down a bit and lost a bit of drive while working on [livejournal.com profile] theseitz's image of Rodney Dangerfield. I sucked it up and worked on him for a little over 1/2 hour. Poor Rodney. You've looked better buddy.



I have just finished (at long last) the image I promised for [livejournal.com profile] anisette_toast. I actually found this one coming together fairly quickly. There was a lot going on here tonight, and while I would think that should be an 'excuse' for why the image didn't turn out the way I wanted, it actually seemed to be the reverse. In just 1/2 hour (ok - maybe a touch more) I felt comfortable calling it a night.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (coffee)
So during 'Creativity Night' with [livejournal.com profile] xtingu and [livejournal.com profile] shellefly the topic of bios came up. I hate writing them, and have had to write a number of them for the different websites that I'm on. I'm really awful at writing about myself for promotional purposes and I need to do it for both myself and for some others.

I've done the obvious Google searches, but I just thought that I would turn this little dilemma out to you oh wizards of teh intarwebs. Do any of you know of a place with a good bit on writing artist related bios?
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
I was thinking about doing some t-shirt designs. Mostly, I'm probably going to stick with my forte - tribal designs and the like. However, I have some pretty damn clever friends, so I thought that I would put the word out:

If any of you have an idea for a funny (or serious for that matter) shirt - let me know. If I like the idea, and I put it on a shirt, I'll (at least) buy one of the shirts for you, and you can brag to all of your friends that you came up with the idea!
Jun. 4th, 2007 10:06 am

artwerks

mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
Wow. Rough morning. I was up way too late with [livejournal.com profile] xtingu to be up this damn early. At least it was for the right reasons - we created artwork last night. As much as I illustrate, I'm no pro when it comes to traditional media painting, and I decided yesterday morning that I needed to fix that. [livejournal.com profile] xtingu agreed when I said that she should try her hand at it too.

We had some fun tromping around Michaels and gathering supplies. We noted that there's a very clear reason why we're known as 'starving artists' (just check out the prices on paint - let alone all the tools you need to paint with - brushes, knives, pallets, canvasses, etc. etc. etc.). There's an excitement to it though. Maybe I'm just an art geek, but when you're there at that store - with all those supplies - all you can think about is the potential held in that place. What's possible with the stuff in that store? It's a great feeling.

We brought the car load of supplies back to her place (along with a ton of crap that I already had at my place) and got to work. I don't want to spill the beans on her painting - I'll let her do that in her own time, but I will say this - I love it. She's very good at what she does, and I would love to have one of her images in my house. You should all consider commissioning her.

As to my own image? Well, I had one hell of a time getting used to the idea that I couldn't just hit cntrl+z to 'undo' something once I had done it. That's a very frustrating thing if I may say so. I wasted a lot of paint. I learned tons in a very short span of time (relatively speaking). My original intent had been to paint a photo-realism male torso, with the right hand touching the sternum with it's extended fingers. Spiraling out from the touch would be tribal tattoo designs - seemingly 'growing' into the skin.

Okay, so I was a bit ambitious for my first time out - sue me.

Getting the technical bits figured out proved to be a little too much for me to do the image I had in mind, so I simplified. I did away with the hand and tattoos and dropped it back to a simple male torso. I think that the image turned out ok, even if it's not what I was really looking to do.

I'll post pictures of both what I originally intended and a snapshot of the finished painting later.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
Click for the Larger VersionWell kids, [profile] lafemmekatia's image is finally done. I find it frustrating that I have to force myself to sit down to do this sort of work - as if I were being paid for it - and when I actually get to it? I have a blast. The time flies, and I don't have nearly the problem doing the work that I expect to. I think that it's a bit of the old 'dentists' chair scenerio'.

Many thanks to [profile] kar0na  for getting me the picture since [profile] lafemmekatia's been busy.

I learned a lot while doing the image. I stumbled through different techniques and found myself saying things like "Oh... that's not so hard..." and similar thoughts throughout the process. It's starting to make me think that I have a minor issue with anxiety. Whatevah.

Now it's time to get crackin' on [profile] theseitz's image - good ol' Rodney:

Feb. 20th, 2007 11:56 pm

Tonight...

mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
...I went to see Ghost Rider on my own. There's some itch that gets scratched when I go to the movies on my own. It's not something I want to do all the time, but every once in a while, it does me genuine good.

I loved the movie. That's at least one more reason I'm glad I went alone.

After the movie, I got to hang out with the lovely and always talented [livejournal.com profile] shellefly did some artwork, and now I'm here.

It's been a good day.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
I have syndicated a few Craigslist art job listing feeds to LiveJournal if any of my artistic friends are interested:

Delaware Art Job Listings

Philadelphia Art Job Listings

Southern NJ Art Job Listings

I don't know how many of you will be interested, but thought that I would throw them up there as a PSA.

Thank you, drive through.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
Did a 5 minute sketch of Ghost Rider in honor of the new movie starring Nick Cage. Let's all keep our fingers crossed that it's not going to blow chunks.

Also had the good fortune of hanging with the ever lovely [livejournal.com profile] shellefly tonight, and get a little hot Barne's and Noble action. Armed with our trusty laptops, we went to town. She knocked out some words and I... well... I'm working on something a little different. More soon.

[livejournal.com profile] xtingu had her first full day at the new gig. I won't steal her thunder, but sounds like it went pretty well. Everyone keep your fingers crossed that everything just keeps getting better - I think you'll all agree with me that she deserves it.

Alrighty. It's way past my bed time and here I am talking to you lunatics! I'm out of here like... something witty goes here!

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