May. 6th, 2009 10:23 pm

Name Change

mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - (Default)
happily fallingHeya kids. Just wanted to let everyone know that I changed my userid here. I've always thought that 'mrl24' was... well... dull. I came up with the userid of mrlich not terribly long ago, and I think that it fits for a number of reasons, so I've been using it on other sites etc. In an effort to get all of my various worlds to jive, I figured it was time to change it here as well.

You don't have to worry if you've linked to me in a post of your own - LJ updates the links to show my new userid automagically. :)

Oh - and just for fun - the image is the (extremely rough) sketch I did of an idea that came to me in something of a daydream on my way home from work tonight.
mrlich: (dragonbones)
The Idea:
I realized that there's about a million and one tutorials out there for the visual arts. Enough that I'm not going to link to anything here - a simple Google search will handle that nicely for anyone who cares to look.

The problem is the fact that it seems like 75% of those tutorials are on How to Color Using Cell Techniques or How to Draw Anime Eyes. Now don't get me wrong - it's perfectly delightful that folks are creating tutorials on these subjects, but it got me thinking: there's got to be stuff that people want to know, but can't find online.

The Question:

Is there something that you would like to see in a tutorial that you haven't seen already? Is there some aspect of drawing or painting? Composition? Perspective? or something that I haven't even thought of that you would like to know more about by way of tutorial?

If so, just reply here and I'll see what I can do about that. :)
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 [ 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.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - (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 [ 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 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 [ 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 - (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.)


mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - (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 [ profile] lafemmekatia's image.

I slowed down a bit and lost a bit of drive while working on [ 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 [ 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 - (coffee)
So during 'Creativity Night' with [ profile] xtingu and [ 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 - (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


mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - (Default)
Wow. Rough morning. I was up way too late with [ 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. [ 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 - (Default)
lafemmekatia's image - stage 2Did some more work on [ profile] lafemmekatia's image for my portrait experiment. There are ways that I see improvement, but I also think that I screwed a couple things up, and have to go back and fix them. Fortunately, this next stage is a one hour long session, so that gives me plenty of time to gent into the flow of things.

I'm trying not to jump the gun here. Part of this experiment is to get me to stick with an image until I've done what I set out to do, and I have to say that I'm fighting that urge now. My instinct is to do quick sketchwork, and if it's not where I want it to be? Drop it and move on. Hopefully I can get through a simple one more hour, and then I can sink my proverbial teeth into the next image.

As always, I would love to get all of your comments/thoughts/recommendations.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - (Default)
... the first 3 people to respond to this will get a free original portrait done by me. It can be of whoever you would like - but you must provide the photograph.

There will be no modifications / alterations after I'm done. You hand me the photo (or email - whatevah), I do the portrait and hand it back. End of story.

Ok kids...


(edit: I've got my three responses. That's all that I signed up to do, but if you have a picture that you think is really fun/interesting, it won't hurt to post it - you never know...)

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