Sunday, October 28, 2012

Brown Pelican near Coronado Islands

This brown pelican pen and ink illustration was inspired by a photo I snapped during a fishing trip off the Coronado Islands south of San Diego.  A literal flock of pelicans followed our boat and performed a repeated flight pattern; soaring up close to the boat, landing in the water hoping for fish to be dropped and later taking off again to catch up with the boat.  I took about 100 photos and selected the one used here as the basis for my illustration.  We caught more pelicans than fish this day.  Between the pelicans and the sea lions it made for a difficult day of fishing.  Several yellow fit tuna were caught by others on the boat, but one of them lost its tail after being snapped up by a sea lion.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

San Diego Zoo Elephant in Black and White

This illustration of an African elephant started with a photograph we snapped at the San Diego Zoo several years back.  The original photo was not that great and, in fact, there was a cable running horizontally through the middle.  In pen and ink, I was able to clean up the composition substantially and come out with something that looked interesting and pleasing to me.  This illustration was done with the stipple technique and probably took more than 30 hours.  Stippling is good for capturing subtle variations of tone but bad on the hand.  There could possibly be more than a million individual ink dots on this drawing.

I have been learning a lot about scanning and photographing artwork allowing me to put these images on line.  At first glance, it would seem that scanning pen and ink drawings would be very straightforward; just black and white, right?  However, I have found that my ink is never perfectly black and when scanning I must scan in gray scale, not pure black and white.  Then, the paper is never perfectly white and the surface texture will show up if I am not careful. After doing some on-line research I found some relatively simple techniques utilizing the advanced scanner software capability (adjusting the light curve and histogram).  Then it is a question of further adjustments, matching what you see on the original illustration against what you see on screen and what the printout looks like.

You can click on this image to see a larger view.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Transported Lion

This latest pen and ink illustration is of a young, male lion.  I started with a mediocre photograph I snapped at the San Diego Wild Animal Park (Now the Safari Park).  I decided to transport the lion back to what I imagined would be something like his native African habitat by modifying the background.  The background is purely a figment of my imagination. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Faces of Penang - Generations

During my stay in Penang this year I had an opportunity to attend the Thaipusam festival.  At the foot of the hill leading up to the Indian temple I happened to snap a photo with my iphone of three generations of women taking a break in the shade on a very hot day.  The photo was not all that great but I liked the composition and used it for the basis of this pen and ink illustration.  I really liked the contrast in the women's ages, each one gazing in a different directions and the variety of textures.