Monday, December 13, 2010

IF: Phenomenon

‘All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world'

Well I wasn't sure what to do for this week but this seemed to cover the topic pretty well. I could have filled pages with brilliant quotes from the Buddha here but in the end settled for just the one.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

IF: Prehistoric

As you can no doubt tell from some of my other illustrations this subject was right up my street:) I already had lots of images I could use for it but decided it would be fun to do a new one.

So In the end I settled on a Megalosaurus (well 2 actually)

This was the first dinosaur described from a bone in 1676 and the subject of the first ever scientific description of a dinosaur on record published by William Buckland in 1822.

Megalosaurus (meaning great lizard) was a large meat eating theropod that lived in what is now the south of England , France and Portugal during the middle Jurassic period, nearly 170 million years ago.

Despite being famous for being first it is still not that well known and no complete skeleton has yet been found, though with what is available and comparing it with other more complete fossils of other related dinosaurs it's possible to arrive at a reasonable idea of what it may have looked like.

It also shows how our understanding of dinosaurs has changed over the years, the early reconstructions depicting it has a large heavy four footed, crocodile headed type creature. Though this may seem strange now at the time with very little evidence to go on, no other dinosaurs to compare it to and the only large reptiles known being crocodilians it was a reasonable assumption.

It is in fact surprisingly recent that the dynamic view of dinosaurs we have today came about. I remember books in the 60s and 70s (I've still got few, I love old dinosaur books)still portraying the large , dull witted tail dragging monsters and long necked swamp bound sauropods.(and even more worryingly I still see the odd kids book today that gets lots of things wrong!)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

IF: Savour

In the film Jurassic park there's a great scene where the T-Rex chomps down on a lawyer and seems to really enjoy it. Taking this to the obvious conclusion James Farlow in his book 'The complete Dinosaur' worked out it would take 292 lawyers each weighing 68 kilograms 150 LBs) to keep a 4 ton T-Rex fed for a year.

Though lawyers are one option I would prefer to start with politicians as they tend to be fatter, more stupid and cause most of the problems in the world.

Even as a long time vegetarian I think its a great idea and we should be making every effort on the cloning front to bring them back, we could even keep one at the houses of parliament, it would really bring in the tourists.

Anyway I thought this called for a ‘new scientist' type diagram to really bring home the benefits.

Monday, November 15, 2010

IF: Burning

Billions of years in the future, when our sun starts to run out of fuel it will become a red giant star its largest radius being about 256 times its current size and it will expand to consume the Earth's orbit.

Astronomers estimate that it will expand past the Earth's orbit in just a billion years. The heating Sun will evaporate the Earth's oceans away, and then solar radiation will blast away the hydrogen from the water. The Earth will never have oceans again. It will eventually become molten.

Still a while to go yet though and of course we may have gone extinct a long time before then anyway or on a more positive note if we survive found a way off the planet:)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

IF: Afterwards

This s an illustration I did a while ago but it seemed to fit with this topic so well I thought I'd use it.

This was another of the old derelict things I like so much and another chance to do some weathered texturing.

I saw a documentary recently in which they said that there are still lots of old tanks from WWII abandoned and rusting away in various places round the world. Recently though people have cottoned on to the fact that they are worth a lot of money so they are now being recovered for museums and for restoration.

Personally I think they can say more being left where they are.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

IF: Spent

Ive always liked derelict,worn out and abandoned things more than bright shiny new ones (well form an aesthetic point of view anyway) They are just more interesting and could no doubt tell some fascinating stories. I especially like it when nature takes some old manmade object and makes it a part of itself.

I've had it in mind for a while to do an image with an old abandoned car so this seemed like the time to do it. I chose the good old Volkswagen beetle. A classic design that's recognised just about everywhere. It was fun to take what was originally a pristine 3D model, and see what I could do with it using various textures.

I see more old and derelict stuff in my images in the future.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

IF: Racing

Well I wasn't sure what to do for this image then decided to go back to the start of racing. This was a race against time rather than another person but it is often cited as the inspiration for the modern marathon. For those who don't know it here's the story (well one version anyway)

In 490 B.C., the Persians landed a large force just outside of Athens on the plains of Marathon and prepared for attack.
The Athenians, who were massively outnumbered needed the help of Sparta so the Athenian generals send Phidippides (or Philippides) a professional runner to Sparta to ask for help. This was 140 miles away over rough and mountainous terrain and Phidippides apparently ran the course in about 36 hours. Sparta agreed to help but due to some strange religious laws’ which involved having to wait for a full moon couldn't go immediately so Phidippides ran back to Athens (another 140 miles!) with the bad news.

Before the Spartans arrive the battle started and though outnumbered 4 to 1 with the help of some clever tactics and some crafty moves the Athenians won. However the remaining Persian army set off hoping to attack Athens itself.
Then generals decided someone would have to beat them to Athens to tell them of the victory and the impending attack.

Now Phidippides While good at running was apparently not too good at hiding and so already exhausted from 2 long runs and a lot of hard fighting in the battle was again chosen to go for a run this time a mere 26 miles back to Athens. He set off (no doubt mumbling under his breath ‘am I the only person in this bloody army who can run’ or some ancient Greek equivalent) He managed to get there in 3 hours, delivered his message and then died from exhaustion.

In some versions of the story he survived (though I'd like to think he hung up his running sandals)

I originally depicted him with his helmet and shield as he sometimes is traditionally. This makes for a more dramatic image but didn't really make sense to me, those things must have weighed a ton and not the thing to have strapped to your back on a 140 mile (or 280 mile if you count the return journey) run! I left the helmet on for effect as its the thing to me that most identifies an ancient Greek solider but even that is a dubious thing to go running in :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

IF: Spooky

Well another subject I had quite a few ideas for. In the end I settled on the old classic spooky house. This was also an opportunity to brush up on the 3d modelling skills.
I made and textured the house in Sketchup then lit and rendered it in another programme (daz studio) followed by post work. Once I’d got it set up I could have done lots of variations on this and it was tricky deciding on the one to go for. In the end settled on the spooky green colour.

Monday, October 11, 2010

IF: Transportation

The If topic this week is transportation. I had quite a few ideas milling around but in the end settled on this one. Maybe not the type of transport you want:) I did a bit of experimenting on the more painterly/graphic/comic style I'm working on again.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

IF: Beneath

Well I'm back after another extended break from this blog!
This is the Great white, a species that's survived for millions of years (exactly how many million is a matter of debate) though sadly the speed that man is wiping them out they may not be here much longer, at least they are now being given protection in some places.
As I've been slacking a bit on the IF topics I did this one especially for it, though I'd had it in mind to do a shark image for a while. Though this is a digital image I've been trying out some tests to get a more natural media look. (I also intend to use real paints and brushes again at some point!)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

IF: Double

Well due to doing other stuff and a few computer problems I didn't get anything out for the last few IF topics.

Sticking with the dinosaur theme as it happened I'd been working on this so thought it would fit in with the with the double theme.

Well if you had these two after you it would be double trouble. These are a pair of carnotaurus one of the stranger looking dinosaurs but for some reason one of my favorites.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

IF: Giant

Well one of the main reasons for starting this blog was to take part in illustration Friday. With one of my interests being dinosaurs the subject of giant and having just completed this image it seems to be the time to start.

This is an Argentinosaurus and they don't get much bigger than this (as far as we know so far!)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

getting started!

Well I may actually get this blog started at some point!