Saturday, October 29, 2016

Jasper Volcano

Here's an interesting background I made yesterday using a photo of a red jasper. Left version is the non shaded version, right is the shaded and enhance version. I used the clone tool to create extra texture area, which means this doesn't look just like the pendant, but it still has some kind of background appeal like a volcano spitting.

This is inspired off of what I see in the actual stone (left). I love this pendant because I see a little illustration in it. In the corner you have the silhouette of  a rock cliff or the top of a volcano, the bright red streaks being the lava which erupts and spews through the darkened sky of clouds which reflect the glow of fire.

The setting only makes it even more beautiful, like an oval sun. 

I made the background images as an experiment, wishing I could have a painting that looks like this stone.
Playing with it in PSE helped me accomplish something similar to an actual textured painting, but I would still love to have a real painting of it for the aesthetic of acrylic paint texture. I like the depth of actual paintings, and the fact they can be fun to touch.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Outside Your Home

"Outside Your Home"
Another photo manipulation I started and finished today. I've been a bit bugged by the fact PSE doesn't seem to save the rain filter the way I want to, losing translucency when it flattens for saving. Above is an example of that, and I couldn't find a way to save the image in higher definition without losing the translucent quality of the rain, so I devised a different method.
I print screened the image directly in the program, then pasted it to another file and enlarged it. Unfortunately some of the color qualities and details seemed to get lost in the process, but in this case it sort of works anyway since the scene is gloomy and purposely made to be somewhat spooky.
I played around with darker and lighter settings the darker version on the right and the lighter on the left. I started off with warm light versions, keeping the original photo shades as a focal point, but it just didn't seem pleasing enough.
It may still find a place in one of my journals for this depending on what mood I'm going for.
This is when I played with the same pictures of darker and lighter, with an added blue filter. The blue brought out something in the image I liked more. 

In some ways this image actually doesn't seem all that scary. It could tell more than a creepy story.
Like say.....what if the hooded guy is actually a good guy, and the home is of someone he loves, and his head is turned because someone is coming up behind him. Or maybe the hooded guy is stalking a murderer. The other possibility (suggested by an acquaintance) is that this is a disheveled young father who had lost his family, and always revisits what's become of the house he used to live in, but can never bring himself to get close or enter, so he waits outside for hours on end.

It seemed like an okay idea, but the figure I chose just seems too young to have lost a family. Granted, if he were say 26 and had experience the loss of a wife and infant, it would be a tragic story. But the gloom and body language of the piece seems to lean better towards more spooky concepts.

The other story idea it makes me think of is related to the image "Breakdown". You know, that picture of a human Erozion crashed on the roadside in the rain. "Outside Your Home" kind of has a similar feel, where a possibly human Ero is being followed from behind as he heads towards a friend's home in the dim of night through the rain. Or perhaps he's afraid to go home, which is why he's standing outside a friend's place debating on what to do. There are a number of ideas that come to mind.

I used one of my own failed images to create the background. At the time I had tried taking a photo of a house light across the street, liking the spookiness of it.
My hands weren't stable, and the camera doesn't do well in the dark, so the results were practically useless, but I saved the image anyway, thinking it may come in handy someday for a photo manipulation.
Sure enough, the idea came, and it seemed to be just fine as a background out of focus and in the dark . I brought focus to the foreground figure (a hooded guy I found on google images).

This is why I save even the reject photos, because they too have a purpose when the right idea comes along.

I extended the image by copying a strip of the color and duplicating it on a larger page.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Dryer Ball Fruit

 A few days ago I had been rolling this spiky little orange dryer ball over my forehead, then an idea came to mind. As I held the ball in my hand I started imagining how it looked like some kind of alien fruit, the tips of the spikes even being a natural greenish color from where the orange has worn away.

After a bit of rummaging in the plastic plant bin, I gave life to the spiky orange ball, then took photos of the alien fruit. I'm still trying to decide on how it would taste....maybe it would be like an orange or lime mixed with the texture and taste of pineapple. 
I took a good amount of pictures from different angles to use in photo editing, but the one here is what I chose for a main sketch page image. 

After using some filters and sketch techniques in PSE, I made it look like a botanical drawing, something you may find in Pearllight's notebook from her travels to other worlds, possibly somewhere in the Bionicle universe. 
Eventually I hope to add it to a book and write about it like it's a real thing. I'll have to think up a false scientific name for it and go into details on what it's like. 
If I ever do manage to make some kind of journal page about it, I'll probably be sharing it here.
I also made a more modern color and a gray sketch version of the image.
Here's a view of the original photo, charming in its own way, but I really feel the false sketch version adds a certain life to it.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Fish Bone Monsters

(Finished Oct. 17, 2016)

Fish bone beasts, creepy, yet cool in my opinion. This image series is a result of me experimenting with anonymous images I took of the refuse from the process of making fish broth. My intention was to somehow use those pictures in art, and I seem to have a found a way.
All images, including the lizard body on rocks, seaweed backdrop, and assembled head are from my own photo collection. Only part I got from google images are the eyes of the monster, taken from a photo of a sheep.
The head of the monster itself is essentially a collage done digitally, made from selected parts of the photos I took. I saw something in certain parts of those pictures and played around till I found something interesting in their ensemble. It all started with teeth, made from adjusted images of a fish spine. It started as a mouth and became a head.

Above is the male version of the fish bone beast. The male fish bone beasts have a spine crest that lines the front of their head, an extra bone support for protection during fights. They also contain extra frills on the sides of their head. These frills spread outward and glow to oncoming females during mating season.

 What the mythical scientific name of these creatures would be has not been decided, but I'm sure I'll think of something eventually.
Their species is amphibious, and quite large, at least 7 feet tall from head to toe when standing on hind legs. Their head measures about three feet vertically and around 2.5 feet horizontally from the widest part of their skull.
They eat mostly meat, but also some vegetation including seaweed.
Here's the second matching image of a female fish bone beast. The females don't have extra bone on the front of their heads, or large frills near their jaw. The somewhat translucent cartilage on the front of their head will glow when they seek for a male.
I made extra cards of just their heads, a way to display all the details.
There may be a second set of pictures for these beasts, ones of their heads with no eyes. Those images would be part of a creepier series based around their decay.
(Finished around Oct. 14, 2016)

Relative pictures of the fish bone beasts are these two images I call the Slime Spine, a picture to look almost alien like as though this fish spine is some kind of bug hatching from its egg. These pictures pre-date the fish bone beasts, and were a test run of what I could do with the fish broth photos.

Here's one of the photos I took, just to show an example of what I worked from to make the heads of the creatures. It looks kind of icky, which is exactly why it inspired me. What you see in this image is the cartilage and bone of a skate fish, mixed in with cod fish bones and vegetable matter.

All of the pictures I've made recently have been made with the view of how they'd look as cards or print outs to use in my journals or in other crafts. The artwork seems extra enchanting when I view it as something that can be put to use in an interesting way.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Makers Halloween Mini books

Halloween is soon coming, and I've had these little minis made for over a week now. 
These recycled items were tossed in the pile of Halloween junk mail and scrapbook supplies I gathered together for the Spider Silk journal.

These are plain little notebook/sketchbook journals made from a tissue box and some packaging from a set of Halloween tights by Maker's Halloween. 

I added a purple ribbon closure to the Maker's Halloween mini. The look of it just seems so perfect as a book cover.

And the spooky tree tissue box is one of my favorite tissue box images, pretty, yet haunting. It's the second tissue box book I've made, using O wire binding methods.
Back side of the books. I left the Maker's Halloween journal the way it was front and back. The information and bar code seemed charming, so I left them.
For being so small, both books hold quite a few pages, and can serve well for writing, sketching, or even small wallet sized photos.
I used some pretty raven paper from my Halloween paper stack to cover the inside of my spooky tree book. The ravens seemed fitting for the theme, and style. 
The tree book contains sketch paper, with some black scrapbook pages in between as dividers.

The picture above shows the first page with just a plain sheet of black paper for the opening page.
Later I took the corners snipped from the inner covers for this book, and applied them to the back and front page for more interest. I felt it made kind of a nice spot to put a title or picture.
In the Maker's Halloween journal, I covered the insides with some leftover scrapbook paper.
It's one of my favorites, metallic skeletons and skull faces that reflect the light. Since the scraps weren't large enough to cover the entire inside, I accented the top and bottom edges with sparkly purple scraps.
Again, for this journal same as the spooky tree one, I used some corner pieces to make the front page more interesting. It's also a nice way to use up the tiniest of scraps.
The Maker's Halloween journal is made up of all scrapbook paper, mostly plain in the shades of white, purple, and black.
The only patterned papers added are in two spots of the journal. It kind of just serves as a divider in both sections.

The book only measure about 3 1/2'' x 2 1/2''. It's a pocket sized journal.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Flying Pink Unicorn Card

Another quirky greeting card inspired by a Christmas ornament from World Market. I didn't actually get this one to take home, but took a picture of it while at the store.

My mind was doing silly things as I stared at the pink paper unicorn with thread hair. The first thing that came to mind is of a card my mom gave me for Valentine's Day, one of a unicorn pooping candy hearts.
after that I imagine this pink paper unicorn being rocket powered by magical pony gas which sparkles and smells like cotton candy.

Like the crab card, I made a text and no text version of this.

Derpy Crab Card

I had taken a few photos of some ornaments I liked at World Market. This crab was just too funny not to get and take pictures of.

After I took some pictures of it for writing about, I made this greeting card because it makes me laugh so much....especially with its derpy eye. :P

So I made a greeting card using scanned scrapbook papers and dye cuts for the background, then added my edited photo of the crab.

One day I might print out a few of these and add them to a beach themed journal.
I also have a no words version, as an illustration or personal message kind of card...that is if it were a print.