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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Book 7 and a Daily Sketch

I finished Harry Potter Book 7 today! I actually had only just started reading it yesterday. I swore to myself that I wouldn't read more than an hour a day, but, well, that didn't quite work out... I won't spoil anything for those who've yet to read it, but I can say that it was gripping and enjoyable -even if it wasn't quite the way I envisioned.

The image below is inspired by that book and also done for the topic "Harry Potter" on the CG Talk Daily Sketch Forum. Done in ArtRage 2 again.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Moon Garden for Illustration Friday

Moon Garden



Moon Garden is now in my Concept Art portfolio.

This morning I decided to participate in Illustration Friday for the first time ever (something I have been meaning to do for a looong while). The topic this week is "moon." I did the above image in the space of a few hours in ArtRage 2.

In other news: the huge LDiehl.com site update is finished! The biggest change is that I finally broke the portfolio down into different sections, deciding what they should be was a struggle unto itself. In the end I decided on: Children's Fantasy, General Fantasy and Science Fiction, Concept Art, and Process (which houses images like image step-by-steps and thumbnail sketches). Oh yeah, I also added good deal of new art. ;)

I finally decided to break out of the vertical rectangle thumbnails I had been using, as I've been doing more and more images that are horizontal in nature and having to crop them to the opposite format is just weird. Rather than make square thumbnails, I though I'd just keep the aspect ratio as is and then fill in around the image with background (so as not to mess up my tables).

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Apples, Pizza, and NetMail

A long day spent battling my website, it seems that even fairly minor updates, if they involve more than a few images or changes, are an ordeal. As a result, I have a rather splitting headache at the moment.

I did manage to finish the Ruby Apple image, which is now in my gallery as well as below. I expect to use it in a self-promotion postcard mailer campaign soon.

Which remains me, I just received my "sample" postcard from the post office today. The US Postal Service has an online mailing service known as NetPost, from which one can create, upload, have printed, and have mailed various sorts of letters, brochures, and postcards. But, I must admit I am rather disappointed in the print quality. Which is a shame because this is such an easy way to do small mailings and so much more convenient than having to do all of that stuff manually. *Sigh*

Well, I'm off to Sarah's for an evening with The Fam: pizza, movies and such. Should be fun.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Toadstool Palace

You know, I don't think that traditional artists (as in non-computer) understand the art rage that comes with suddenly not being able to open a file one has spent much time on.

The painting below it how I amused myself during a frustrating day of wanting to finish the apple image and not being able to open it.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Art Rage and The Key

So I discovered a really nifty new computer paint program... It's called Art Rage. One of my favorited artists on CG Portfolios had updated with a new image and listed this little program as one of the softwares. I liked the effect so I googled it. After playing with the free version for a few hours I bought the paid version. This $20 program it has Photoshop and Painter beat for oil painting on the computer. There is such a wonderfully visceral feeling of paint about it. Not to mention it is fast, has a nice interface, and even lets you tack reference images up along the side. And the tool shortcuts are all numbers! (Something I'd wished for in both Photoshop and Painter for years). Below is the product of my playing around with Art Rage 2 for a couple of hours this morning. I love the oil painted look.



I did indeed see Harry Potter Order of the Phoenix in IMAX. It was almost too big. I think part of the problem is that the seats we got were far to low. If you ever go to an IMAX the highest middle seats are best! I have mixed feelings about the film itself: I loved the acting, the effects, the direction, but I hated the way they left so very much out. To say they cut out the plot by 1/2 is being generous... It was also very choppy feeling in parts, like they'd tried so hard to include certain things that they only showed a few seconds of certain scenes, giving the movie itself a trailer-like feel (complete with one-liners) that was unsatisfying. Fun to watch, but certainly not my favorite Potter movie. All four that came before this were better by far. But what was I expecting when the longest book is made into the shortest movie?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Harry Potter and the Ruby Apple

I'm immensely excited about seeing Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in IMAX tommorrow. It's been years since I've seen anything at an IMAX. The last 20 min of the movie (the battle at the ministry I assume) are going to be IMAX 3D. Wicked!

In other movie news, I saw Ratatouille yesterday. What a cute well-done movie. Eye-candy with a good message. Props to all the artists at Pixar. :)

More work on the ruby apple painting. Mostly Painter though I have cheated a bit and used some Photoshop.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Ruby Apple

I've been working on my first personal piece in a while. The concept/title "Ruby Apple" comes from a neat little bag of fantasy-ish phrases I made up. I've actually done most of this in Painter X (which I just got). I'd say the program has come a ways since Painter 5, which was really the last time I used it.


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