Thursday, February 28, 2013

29 Faces for February

Switching gears again... for the last day of the challenge.  Today is the 28th!  I passed 29 on the 19th, not counting old pieces, nor doubles in a single work... so we're cool, right?

Thank you to Ayala Art for sponsoring this Challenge!!!  LOVE YOU!

Here is a quick rendition of one of the Harry Potter dragons, the Ukrainian Ironbelly, which guards the deepest vaults of Gringotts Bank.   Poor creature has been chained and tortured for who knows how long -- probably centuries.  It's white with age, blood stains from the cuts made by layers of chains around its neck.  It is not in a good mood!

Older work?  Let's seeeee...  Harry's Hungarian Horntail:


And one of my own design, though I may have posted it here, before. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

29 Faces for February

I have held off sketching Elizabeth Swann until now.  Though plucky, the character is still too much of a debutante in the beginning to be of much interest.  At least, to me.  I love how she grows with each movie, and in the second half of the last of the trilogy, she is elected (of all things!) Pirate King!  Let me give you the set up for this scene --

"Revenge won't bring yer father back, Miss Swann, and it's not somethin' I'm intendin' to die for. "

"You're right.  
Then what shall we die for?"
She moves across the deck to the base of the rigging, while addressing the whole crew:
"You will listen to me.  LISTEN!
The Brethren will still be looking here, to us, to the Black Pearl, to lead.  And what will they see?  Frightened bilge-rats, aboard a derelict ship?  No.  No, they will see free men -- and FREEDOM!  
And what the enemy will see is the flash of our canons.  They will hear the ring of our swords, and they will know what we can DO -- by the sweat of our brows, and the strength of our backs, and the courage of our hearts!
Gentlemen -- Hoist the colors!"

That speech gets me every time, and is followed by my favorite scene of the movie series.  The colors are indeed hoisted, across the whole pirate fleet.  And the flags they hoist are replicas of the actual, historically authentic pirate flags and standards used at that time period.   They have to invent a few of them, but as many of them as they could manage are bits of true history.  I have no idea why, but I choke up every single time I see this! 

OK, let's lighten it up a bit.
At the menu selection for the blue-ray dvd, there's this animated, talking pirate skull.  I forgot that I couldn't pause the motion at this point, so I had to "hit a moving target."  Keeping it quick and simple, this fellow emerged on the paper:

                  He kept saying, "Dead men tell no tales!"

Remember "Jack"?  
No, not Jack Sparrow (excuse me -- Captain Jack Sparrow!)...
I mean, Jack, the Undead Monkey?   
So cute a li'l rascal, until you saw him in the moonlight.
Then he looked something like ... this! 

(This was actually quite FUN to sketch.  But I really don't think I did him justice!) 

I think I'll forgo an older sketch today, and just leave you with the image of the Undead Monkey in your mind, shall I?!!  

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

29 Faces for February

One of my favorite characters in Pirates of the Caribbean is Master Ragetti, the crewman with the wooden eye.  Only a somewhat lesser character, he and his buddy Pintel are, at times, the much needed comic relief, and they do it so well.  Pintel's character is somewhat flat, whereas Ragetti's gets more rounding as the series progresses.   In the third movie, he loses the wooden eye, and adopts a proper pirate patch.

In this scene, he is correcting Capt. Barbossa's delivery of the incantation meant to restore Calypso to her former state.  It is supposed to be recited, "as if to a lover!"  Barbossa utters the words in a loud, grandiloquent manner.  Of course, the spell fails.  

Ragetti says, "N-n-no, you didn't say it right.  Y-you have to say it right."
He turns to the goddess and whispers the words softly in her ear, "Calypso?  I release you from your human bonds."

It works.  Bless you for understanding women, Master Ragetti.   And for loving the sea, as a proper pirate should.

                                    Mackenzie Crook as Ragetti.

Now, for a Will Turner moment.  He must wheel and deal to secure the release of his father from Davey Jones's command, while keeping Elizabeth and himself protected.   Here he is striking a deal with Lord Cutler Beckett, in Beckett's cabin, dangling the "special" compass in front of him:

                                     "What is it you want -- MOST?"

Can you stand another Orlando pic?  I'll use this one as my "older" sketch, from LOTR, RotK.  He is about to draw an arrow from his quiver to threaten/kill the wizard Saruman.

What a difference about six years can make, hmmm?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

29 Faces for February

Still on Pirates of the Caribbean, At World's End.
Below are Governor Weatherby Swann, and Bootstrap Bill Turner: the fathers of the two romantic leads.  
Just a couple of average dads ......... heh heh ....

Here Gov. Swann is telling his daughter how proud of her he is.

A deranged Bootstrap, alerting the ship's crew of Elizabeth's escape: "Part of the crew, Part of the ship! PART OF THE CREW, PART OF THE SHIP!  ALL HANDS! Prisoner has escaped!"  
This has tragic results for someone else.

Now, for something old....  Gimli the Dwarf, from Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers.  Aragorn has just proposed that he, Gimli, and Legolas try to rescue Merry and Pippin, who have been abducted by the Uruk-hai (very bad guys).

Saturday, February 23, 2013

29 Faces for February

Just a couple of faces, one of them a true "quickie".   One of my cats tends to camp out next to me on the couch, when I sketch.  Occasionally, he tries to help! (That is, he tries to "catch" one end or the other of the pencil as it moves over the page!)  This afternoon, he was quiet and calm, and sleepy.  But it took him awhile to settle down, and every time he broke pose, then settled back, he went to a slightly different position.  I know, excuses again!  (There is a photo of Leo and Cole in the slideshow to the upper left. Don't blink! LOL)

His name is "Cole", named for a character in the tv series, Charmed.  His brother is "Leo," and both names are truly indicative of their personalities.  I don't watch the show (their first owner did) but I have seen a couple episodes, and with those two characters.   Yup! that about nails it!   Here is a fast sketch of Cole, sleeping.

Aaaaaannnnd, back to the Pirates of the Caribbean, this time "At World's End" -- this time, with Master Pintel, played by Lee Arenberg.  He has just scolded the two captains, who are arguing over who gives orders, and is only just beginning to see that yelling, "STOW IT!" to any captain, much less these two, could be a mistake.

Let's see, what now for an older piece?  How about...
From Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers,  our favorite Ent:  Treebeard!  Some day I would like to sculpt him, but for now, a sketch will do.

Friday, February 22, 2013

29 Faces for February

Well, good thing I was ahead a bit on Wednesday night, with an extra face!  I had a very busy day, yesterday -- no time to get in the mood to sketch, or anything creative.  I have had some time today, and got one sketch done.  We'll see what the weekend brings!

From Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead Man's Chest, Davey Jones, himself... played by Bill Nighy.
This was Wednesday night's extra face.

I'm back to Harry Potter, tonight!  From Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 1, here is Griphook, the Goblin.  He has just been slashed with a knife by Bellatrix LeStrange. 

Interesting how taking a photo of a two-dimensional object can show up where I went wrong.  I'm used to it for the 3-D artwork, but 2-D to 2-D still surprises me.  I have some adjustments to make!

What should I do for an older piece?  How about Elrond, from LOTR, FotR.......

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

29 Faces for February

Made a sketch last night, from Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead Man's Chest, and was watching it further for some more possibilities, when SNAP! The power went out! I still don't know what caused it, as we were having rain, but nothing vigorous.  Past weekend was windy, so I'm thinking damage was done to a large limb which hung suspended awhile, then finally dropped last night -- onto some important power lines.  Much of my town was affected, but not all of it.

Anyway, here is last night's piece, Joshamee Gibbs:  

In a discussion about the possibility of the East India Trading Company having complete control over the seas,  Elizabeth asks if that's bad.  Mr. Gibbs replies, "Bad!  Bad fer every mother's son what calls himself Pirate!  I think there's a bit more speed to be coaxed from these sails...."

Today, I did this one, Tia Dalma.  Gotta love Tia Dalma!

"You! You have A Touch of Destiny about you, William Turner!"

And now, for something older.... an Art Doll sculpt I did several years ago.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

29 Faces for February

Just noodling around in the Paint Program again... loosening up, I guess.

"Midnight Girl with Hair of Flame"

(I'll get more serious, later.  Promise!)

Monday, February 18, 2013

29 Faces for February

Day 18 in the 29 Faces Challenge, but I have considerably more faces than that.   Not counting the older faces, nor doubles in a single work, there are now... 29?  Really?  Did I count that right?  Anyway, this is possibly the 29th, but at least, the most recent. 

Professor and Headmaster of Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore:

Atop the Astronomy Tower, Dumbledore sees Draco Malfoy approaching.  We all know what Draco has in mind, even Dumbledore, but he politely asks, "Good evening, Draco.  What brings you here, on this fine, spring evening?"  Polite, but wary.  He knows this must be handled perfectly, for his own plans to work out -- for the greater good.  

This is the second actor to play Dumbledore, Michael Gambon.  His portrayal of the character is rather weak when he takes over the job in the third movie, from the late Richard Harris.  Perhaps he was directed that way.  This later Dumbledore requires a good deal of dynamism, and Gambon is fully up to the job.  He is the forceful wizard that ties together so many elements of the story.  In the last book and movie, we finally get to understand who Albus Dumbledore really is.

And an older pic:

"Scabbers" --> Peter Pettigrew, from HPPoA.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

29 Faces for February

I just want to pause here, and let anyone following my blog know that this series of faces titled, "29 Faces for February" is a month-long challenge originated by Ayala Art, last year (a leap year, therefore 29 days in February).  It was so popular, they had two more 29 Faces challenges in other months, and it's being done, of course, this month too!  I just found out about it in January, and jumped at the chance to participate.  

It has been an awesome -- and awe-inspiring! -- interchange amongst artists of all levels, in all sorts of mediums.  We are doing pieces both in and out of our comfort zones.  And we're growing!  Not only as artists, but as a group with common interests ... as friends.  

Thank you, Ayala Art, for coming up with such a cool idea!

29 Faces for February

Stop me before I sketch again!!!  I just can't HELP myself.... 

Here's the Duchess of Deranged, the Empress of Evil, the Lady of Loathesome... 
OK, stop me before I do more of THIS, heh heh....


29 Faces for February

Last night, I got back into the Harry Potter mode, and popped Half Blood Prince into the dvd player.   I was searching for a good pose for Slughorn, but HAD to do this one first!   So, add this to yesterday's count, though posted today.  Professor Slughorn is below.

 Professor Severus Snape.  He has just delivered a message to Harry, in a covert sort of way; Harry asks for more information, and for once, Snape bites back a snide retort.  Bad enough he was sent as messenger boy -- to a boy -- but that's where the line is drawn.  (Oh, and another kid has just vomited on Snape's shoes.... that doesn't help his mood any, either.)

Professor of Potions, Horace Slughorn.  
He has just come to the painful realization that he must give up the critical information he was ashamedly withholding.  "Don't think too badly of me..."

And for something older:
 Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts.  This is the scene from HP Sorcerer's Stone, when Hagrid defends Dumbledore's reputation from the Muggles.  One of my favorite scenes, because not only does it show Hagrid's character of fierce loyalty, but it sets up Harry's character to be unquestioningly loyal to Dumbledore as well.  That loyalty is part and parcel of the underlying themes of the series.  Gotta LOVE Hagrid!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

29 Faces for February

Been playing in the Paint Program again, and this little Faun Boy popped out!  

It's not unfamiliar to me, but not exactly in my "comfort zone," either.  Used to use the one in the old computer a fair bit, but this one is different.  Some improvements... some changes are quite aggravating.  I like doing it this way, because it looks a bit like sanguine conte on a toothy, cold-pressed paper.  Used to love using those in Figure Drawing class, long ago.

Anyway, here's the wee Faun:

Now, for an older face ... from the same program, OK?   I'd nearly forgotten how much I like this young girl.  I named her "Princess of Hearts".

Friday, February 15, 2013

29 Faces for February

Heehee.... couldn't help myself!  Started noodling around in the computer's Paint program, and scribbled up someting like stuff I have done long ago.  It was easier in the old pooter, but I could get used to this one, in time.  At least, I don't have to take a photo of it with the camera!  Colors should be true.  So, here is the Dark Elf, in Mosaic (sort of) Paint Program:


29 Faces for February

Finished another Dark Elf, done with the Artbars, but this time on cold pressed watercolor paper.  Made a booboo, despite going so carefully, but my trying to fix it loosened it up considerably.  Dang sleeve!  OK, so here he is...........

I will say that it is odd, yet kind of nice, to be painting again, though watercolor was never my long suit.  With these Artbar things, I might just get into them!

Now, to choose an older face.... How about this?

Firenz, from HP, Sorcerer's Stone.  "Do you know what is hidden in the castle at this very moment, Mr. Potter?"

Thursday, February 14, 2013

29 Faces for February

Sorry if this is maudlin, or trite, but it was something inside me, scratching to get out today.  

The color is off, quite blue-shifted; the pages are white.  Still don't know what's wrong with the camera or the editing programs.  Face on the left is quite pale and bluish, anyway, but not the one on the right.  She is fuller,  healthy,  and alive.  I have a bit more work to do on them, but this will do for now.

                                          "Broken Heart"

Let's see what I can find for an older face:

BOROMIR!!!  From LOTR, The Two Towers.  Yeah, that'll do it.  
The quote is, "Remember this day, little brother!" after the victory at Osgilliath.   

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

29 Faces for February

My Derwent Artbars are here!!!!!  Yaaaaaayyyyyy....

So, I've been playing like it's Christmas morning, doing two (invented) faces.  Made one very, VERY stupid mistake: I grabbed one of my sketchbooks to put the first face on.  WHAT WAS I THINKING???  Of course, the paper was entirely UN-suited for use with water!  The preliminary sketch wasn't half bad, IMO....  By the way, the papers are white, both faces.  Weird things with my camera, plus shadows... page looks darker than it is.  OK, well, he's a Dark Elf, isn't he? 

 So, after the first application of water (yes, there were several!) I cut the page out of the sketchbook so the rest of the pages wouldn't get too messed up.  Ummm, Lesson #2: Wait until paper is dry before cutting with a knife.  Seriously.  The knife wasn't all that sharp, but I figured scoring twice would be enough to pull the paper off.  Never pull on wet paper....  Also, without being stretched on a board, the (wrong!) paper wrinkled even worse!  
Here he is, Mr. Wrinkles, much of the way through his transformation.

On the face of it, I first thought, "Ewwww... wrinkled paper!  TORN paper!"  But he is kinda hot (I know, dirty old lady here...)  so I continued.  Also, I started another piece on proper watercolor paper.  Not great stuff, but decent.  I stayed with the same palette, for the most part, for both faces. 

Here he is, finished, and the young lady I made up, below him.  I think I'll forgo an older, face photo today. These seem to need to stand on their own, or fail on their own. 

I think the male is a qualified failure, or a qualified success.  The primary flaw is of course, the selection of the wrong kind of paper, though there are others.   The big success with him is that I am now getting intrigued by the idea of a Dark Elf sort of series.  Could be black and white sketches, paintings, or sculpts -- it's grabbing me, WATCH OUT!!!  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

29 Faces for February

February 12th: 
Lincoln's birthday, the ninth anniversary of my owning my car (LOVE that car!) and another day in the 29 Faces challenge.  

I feel fairly good about this one, but still unsure if I'll keep it.  It's made from the clay used for yesterday's face, so you might say that she is his "daughter!  Still needs a lot of smoothing, I can see now.  Especially at the brows!

Here are three views of the piece:   

She's a bit androgynous, but I do see this as female.  Trouble is, the face is so big it would take a pretty tall body to be in proportion, and I'm not overly fond of this brand of clay.  We shall see.

Once AGAIN, I forgot to post an older face photo.  Hang on.... 

This became a Christmas ornament, an Angel.  It's not polymer clay, but an air-dry type.  The eyes are plastic, commercially made ones.

Monday, February 11, 2013

29 Faces for February

My, my.... day 11 already!  Cool.......

Did nothing yesterday until after 11PM, sometime.  Just made up a face, to get something done, and was finished before 11:30 PM.  So it certainly came in under the deadline for the day.  Left some of the working lines, erased a few.  There are some I truly hate leaving in, and others I don't mind being there. 

BIG switch in gears for today!  Went 3-D, and this was my plan for approximately 1/3 of the way through the project.  It's about time I got back to sculpting, so I popped in a movie and started conditioning some polymer clay.  By the time the movie was done, this guy had emerged.  Oh, the movie was "Shrek", so I guess I was in a whimsical mood. 

Tried a flash pic in the kitchen, which washed out one side of his face.   Then I took him out on the back steps, and snapped this one, which I'll use.  Yes, it's snowing.  Again.  Coming down fast in giant, fluffy flakes.  Sure, we need that, right?  My feelings are expressed well by this disgruntled and skeptical guy.  Grrrrr....

Whoops!  Late addition-- I forgot to add something old!

Ummmm... who shall it be?

Faramir, son of Denethor, in LOTR, RotK.  He is seeing Eowyn for the first time, as they both recuperate from war wounds.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

29 Faces for February

Day NINE!  
OK, a bit different today, though still a portrait.  Not from a photo, and most certainly NOT from a movie still, heh heh....  but this model works cheap.  She needs breaks though, and she whines about her back, and the water dripping on her sketchbook, waaah, waaaaaah.  Whiny old bat.  

She's wearing a knit cap, like the one she was wearing while shoveling snow earlier in the morning.  LOTS of snow.  Not the same cap, since the first one was still wet and icky... ew. 

I usually like "playing in the wrinkles" of the portraits I do, but not so much this time.  
This time... it's personal.
That's what I get for not doing a self portrait in many years.  Time-shock!

Whoops!  Almost forgot to include an older face.  (Hahahaha... the puns are flowing today!)

Minerva McGonagall, HPSS.  She has just found out that the Trio of kids have found out about the Super-Secret Sorcerer's Stone. (yeah, say that, five times, fast!)  
She simply looks over her glasses, and says to them, "How do you know....?"

Friday, February 8, 2013

29 Faces for February

Well, now... Day 8!  I did a sketch for day 7, but didn't post it.  Have one for today too, so here they are, together.  Not particularly happy with either one, but neither am I miserable about them.  I can see the flaws.  Norrington's face should be longer, and perhaps Barbosa's face is a bit too long, especially the lower half.  I adore Geoffrey Rush's Captain Barbosa!  I believe I'll do him again, same or different scene/pose -- but in a different medium.  With the pencils, I just cannot get the blacks black enough!  There are deep shadows here, for dramatic effect.  Even if the proportions were exactly correct, the depth of value just falls short.  I have some new art items coming in the mail, assuming the storm doesn't hinder their progress.

Barbosa  has dined with Miss Elizabeth Swan, or at least she has dined.  He tells the story of the pirate medallion -- cursed Aztec Gold!  All pieces must be returned with the blood of the accursed crew who stole the gold.  He thinks she is the daughter of a deceased member of the crew: "That's why there'd be no sense in killin' ye -- YET!"

Commodore James Norrington, negotiating Captain Jack Sparrow's terms of detainment on his ship.  'You will then spend the rest of the voyage contemplating all possible meanings of the phrase, "silent as the grave."  Do I make myself clear?'

And now, what shall we throw in for an older one?  Lessee... how about....

Gandalf the Gray!  From LOTR, FotR, early  in the movie ... as he jests with Frodo in the horse-cart, approaching Bag End.   I love this pose of Gandalf!