Everyone have a great weekend.
I could take this beyond one little digital piece, but I won’t. I promise.
If you are confused, visit I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER and view the “lolcats.” But you’ll get addicted. So click only after careful consideration about your free time, because the archives are calling like sirens…
Today is International Cephalopod Awareness Day! Everyone please take a moment to consider the little-appreciated intelligence and beauty of class Cephalopoda.
Did you know that octopus arms act so independently of the brain that they can be said to have brains of their own? Did you know that cuttlefish can be trained to find their way out of mazes by looking at signs? Did you know the squids of family Histioteuthidae are called “cock-eyed squids” because their left eyes are long tubes bulging out of their heads?
Use today to spend a few moments learning about cephalopods. They rock.
Baseball Squid by Meg Lyman
6×6 Gouache on Cradled Gessobord
I have stopped working on this. It doesn’t feel finished to me, but I can’t think of what else to do. It works well enough, and I’m about ready to give up on it. Bad post-scan color balancing aside, does anyone have suggestions?
Snoozy Squid by Meg Lyman
I doodled a bunch of cephalopods during some down time at DragonCon last weekend. That is, when I wasn’t distracted by neat costumes. A group of people came dressed as huge Tetris pieces!
I haven’t drawn with my tablet in a while, so I colored him digitally. I’m experimenting with non-smudge tool blending. This was done with a hard-edged brush on low opacity and color-picking the two colors, and as they blended, color-picking the blend. I’m really new at this, so any suggestions are appreciated.
Once I got the background finished, I started on the octopus. First I painted the darks. I used a reddish-purple for the core shadows and a bluish-purple for the rest of the darks. I am probably not done with the darks yet; I’ll come back to them later to make sure everything balances out.
Next: Create the orange practice cone and flag, and lay in the middle tones on the ball. I’ll probably leave the white for the lightest areas.
Next: Paint the middle tones on the arms and eye, and some grass on the arms to integrate octopus and foreground. Notice the big difference the lighting makes in the color of the photograph – this was in daylight, the others were under halogen bulbs.
My boyfriend told me the eye wasn’t focal enough, and he couldn’t tell the little guy was supposed to be sleeping. So I used The Gimp to try a few different eyes.
Finally, I ended up with this: sad. Maybe they lost the game… or maybe he’s just sad that everyone keeps kicking him around. I added highlights and little details. It’s color-corrected and done!
Critiques and comments welcome!
Next in my ambitious lineup of sports squids, I present… The Socctopus!
(OK, it’s not a squid, but the pun worked better this way.)
This is a another WIP showing my process from start to finish, but with paint instead of pencil. The whole thing is already posted on the WetCanvas gouache board, in case you can’t wait to see the conclusion.
Start: I made many many sketches and doodles, trying to decide 1) content 2) positioning 3) composition and 4) value.
Next: Value study. I was on lunch break at work and had only a sharpie and a blue highlighter, which work well for a 3-value study.
Then: In pencil, I sketched out the composition full-sized. This is on cheap typing paper and is 8×10″.
The colors I planned to use: Prussian Blue, Cadmium Green, Alizarin Crimson, and Lemon Yellow, all Holbein. I’ll also use white for highlights, but only at the end. The big “X” on the cad green means it can cause cancer if inhaled, so avoid licking it.
I transferred the paper sketch onto Cradled Gessobord, using the same carbon-paper method that I used for the Chiroopractor. The pencil lines transferred very light, so I washed in the dark areas (black sharpie in value sketch) with blue to help me keep my bearings along the way.
Next: background. I have been told that it is a good idea to do the background first. I am not exactly sure why, but I suspect it has to do with 1) integrating subject and background and 2) getting bored and lazy and deciding the subject looks fine without a background.
For the grass, I did a light wash of cadmium green (a great color for bright grass). I then mixed two greens – light and dark – and made the grass blades with a 3/0 brush. Once I had the area around the socctopus filled in, I ditched the teeny brush for a fan, and finished the background grass with it. I’ll add blades of grass on top of the octopus’ arms later, to integrate him with his surroundings.
That’s it for now. Conclusion: next week!
The Winoctopus by Meg Lyman
Digital – Prints Available
Cephalopods need more love and representation in art. They’re amazing, beautiful, intelligent creatures. They also happen to make great plays-on-words. What should I call this one? Winoctopus? Wineoctopus? Wine-octopus? Wino-octopus?