While haphazardly hiking some poorly rendered forest, I stumbled across Maynard Sachs – the featherless bird of paradise wannabe – whilst searching for a clearing suitable to take a dump in. Dude was sleeping or standoffish, (I didn’t ask,) and was occupying what would have been a choice spot, so with a raised middle finger, I cursed his insensitivity. Dude was a grade-A prick.

Hello?  Anyone still come around here?  Turns out, I was alive the whole time!  So procrastination, a completely fucked work schedule, and a complete lack of time has rendered me creatively infertile for too goddamned long.  Sure, I scribbled an occasional doodle while at work, and its true that I often fell asleep to random art tutorials on Youtube, but I was starting to sink into the hole that only the truly unproductive can know the disgusting feeling of.  It fucking sucked.  With the realization that it has been over a year since my last post, it was finally time to try to start digging myself out, one painful shovelful after another, or risk reaching that point of no return.

Now before this gets too wordy, here’s what I got:

BirdOfParadiseFuckOff
“While haphazardly hiking some poorly rendered forest, I stumbled across Maynard Sachs – the featherless bird of paradise wannabe – whilst searching for a clearing suitable to take a dump in. Dude was sleeping or standoffish, (I didn’t ask,) and was occupying what would have been a choice spot, so with a raised middle finger, I cursed his insensitivity. Dude was a grade-A prick.” – Created in Corel Painter

Have you ever taken a piss at some random place and just kind of stared at the speckles of paint on the wall?  Or maybe looked closely at a series of water stains, or rust, or any other random bullshit.  Kind of let your eyes go out of focus until your brain starts to find images in them?  I have, way too often.  I always regret that I can’t take a mental snapshot of what I envisioned, but I suspect that taking a pencil and sketchbook into a public piss-house might not be considered proper etiquette…  There is a point to this.

So, I was horribly out of practice, and had absolutely no idea of what I wanted to make, thus I decided to force that needed creativity by emulating that random bullshit I mentioned above.  I started by taking the cover off of my poor neglected Wacom Cintiq, fired up Corel Painter, and found a nice scratchy noise brush.  Next, I beat the shit out of the canvass with fast random noise until it was covered with an explosion of fine lines.  Finally, I stared at all of those strange marks until my eyes went out of focus and my imagination awoke.  Using the pencil I began the long process of turning the noise into what my imagination saw.  Look closely enough, and those random marks can still be seen, (I actually am quite pleased with how they give the illustration some character, and plan on utilizing this technique in the future.)  That process guided me through the creation of the creature in its entirety.

With half of the canvass filled, I strained my eyes and saw a tree.  This made sense, but felt very bland.  The picture needed something else to help give it balance.  I could make out the beginnings of a person in the noise, but who was it, and what would they be doing?  And then it all came clear.  The last and only self-portrait I have ever done was over 35 years ago (I’d imagine while I was still shitting my Huggies,) though I have “finished” it MUCH later, and what better reference availability than myself?!  Fact is, I’m usually available the same times I’m available, so it all kind of worked out.  As for what I would be doing, I decided to stick with what I know: drinking an energy drink and flipping someone off  (yeah, I drive an hour each way to work on country roads…my middle finger gets its workout.)

As time was limited, I worked on this a few hours here and there every few days for about a month.  In the end, I am happy with what I have done, but even happier that the little driving fire in me has not been completely extinguished.  I have a newfound sense of urgency to create, will be starting a new job in a few weeks that hopefully allows me a little more personal time, and I can remember once more exactly how good it feels to just make something.

I will be back.

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2 thoughts on “While haphazardly hiking some poorly rendered forest, I stumbled across Maynard Sachs – the featherless bird of paradise wannabe – whilst searching for a clearing suitable to take a dump in. Dude was sleeping or standoffish, (I didn’t ask,) and was occupying what would have been a choice spot, so with a raised middle finger, I cursed his insensitivity. Dude was a grade-A prick.

  1. ‘Bout darn time, ya bastich! It looks GREAT! I’m jealous of your Painter skillz. My attempts with Painter have been half-assed, alas. I really need to work on ’em. 🙂

    I’ve been meaning to send you an e-mail for quite a while… now I have a legit excuse! That is both a threat AND a promise–A Thromise!

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    1. Lobo-styled cussing!? Hell yeah! It’s John! Thanks for the kind words man, it is great hearing from you again. I’ve been meaning to email you too for the past forever, and have been watching your blog regularly. Man, I got some catching up to do…so yeah, I Thromise you’ll be getting an email from me pretty damn soon.
      As for Corel Painter, I’m about as far as you can be from being considered proficient in it, BUT, I can tell you that it’s all about the “real 2b pencil.” It looks, and acts exactly how one of those primitive wood and carbon things…what were they called…oh yeah, a “pencil,” only better. Using tilt to shade can cover greater grounds than the real deal, light colors cover the darks, and best of all, no smudges on your hand!

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