Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 Year-end Review

Royal Roads
Photoshopped watercolour
2010 Charlene Brown

Here's how I think I did with repect to following my plan for 2010:

Paint more spontaneously - very little progress here though I was pleased with the way Mt. Assiniboine turned out in September. When I began abstracting paintings of the Victoria area, I found I had to resort to computer 'abstracting' to get results I liked. The abstracted version of Royal Roads University, originally posted October 27, is an example of this. Do more journaling - I wrote 'illustrated journal' posts about a trip to Mexico in February, a Panama cruise in April-May, a trip to the Rockies in July, and flashbacks to the twentieth century using excerpts of articles published in the 1990s. Continue to participate in group blogs - I completed 12 Virtual Paintout entries and was pleased to see Places to Paint: Charlene Brown's Rockies featured on The Art of the Landscape. Write more how-to articles - I wrote The Extreme Sport of Watercolour Painting for Empty Easel in April. Finish graphic novel and learn how to use Wacom tablet - Yes! I published my comic book in October... but as for using the tablet, I discovered outsourcing! The characters in Counter-Espionage Disinformation for Beginners were drawn by my grandson, Philip Hogg . I did eventually learn how to use the tablet in the Animation and SFX class at the Gulf Islands Film and Television School. Paint more videos and learn how to use Adobe Flash - I learned the basics of this at film school, and completed videos about archaeology (the First War Movie) and A Year in the Butchart Gardens
I'll write a post early in the new year, showing how my goals for 2011 reflect those set out for 2010 (or not).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Butchart Gardens: the video

Winter in Butchart Gardens
computer-painted video
Charlene Brown 2010

I liked the way Photoshop 'abstracted' my painting of Butchart Gardens so much that I made it into a 0ne-minute video showing what this magical place looks like year-round. This picture shows the sunken garden as it looked (briefly) a couple of weeks ago. Since then, the Christmas illuminations, featuring the Twelve Days of Christmas, have been turned on, and Day Five is in this part of the garden, as you will see if you have a look at the video on Youtube.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Virtual Paintout in County Clare

I hope this is County Clare!

Watercolour and crayon

©2010 Charlene Brown

It’s pretty easy to find lovely landscapes in County Clare, the location of this month’s Virtual Paintout. I did have one problem (mentioned by some of the others who have sent pictures in to the Virtual Paintout) – sometimes there’s no way of knowing if you’ve driven into another, equally-lovely county. Limerick, for example.

It was only when I started to draw this scene and zoomed in on the Streetview picture to get a better idea of some of the details, that I even noticed the herd of cows and the buildings! Here’s a link to it – have a look and you’ll see what I mean.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The first war movie

Battle of Kadesh

Bas relief mural

13th Century B.C.E.

This mural, on the second pylon of the Ramesseum near Luxor in Egypt, is said to be a multiple image representation of Ramses II driving a chariot into battle against the Hittites at Kadesh. I decided to break out the ‘moving’ parts and use them to computer-paint a ‘war movie’ video. (Another theory about the mural has it that the multiple legs simply indicate there are two horses pulling Ramses’ chariot, but I prefer the ‘action shot’ version of the story…)

Gert van Dijk’s website is an excellent reference for drawing animations of the various gaits for horses – but I found that the only gaits that the precisely spaced bas relief legs lent themselves to were bounding and pacing! Mr. van Dijk says, “a bound won't work for a horse: it would probably fall,” and I don’t think horses rear up on their hind legs while pacing… So both possibilities need modification. What we have is either a rearing pacer or a mincing bounder. You can see the resulting 30-second video on Youtube … and assuming Ramses didn’t scatter the Hittites driving a pacer, his horse must be bounding (carefully) into battle…

BTW, history tells us that Ramses wasn’t as victorious at Kadesh as his murals would have us believe… Maybe he really did have a pacer pulling his chariot!