Saturday, October 21, 2017

Union Monument in the South

Early on my 2003 road trip through the South I visited Chattanooga, Tennessee, where a good friend of mine lived. Just about anyplace in that area was historic and we only needed a short walk to get to Missionary Ridge, where a deadly battle had taken place. This monument marks the spot where dozens of men on both sides died. The monument itself notes the soldiers from Ohio who fought and died there: "The 124th Ohio Infantry, Hazen's Brigade, Wood's Division, 4th Corps, Lt. Col. James Pickands. November 25, 1863." Ohio, that is, Union. This is a Union monument placed on what had been Southern territory. With all the controversy about the placement or removal of Confederate monuments, few comment that Union monuments stand all over the old Confederate territories. The sharp obelisk and warriors bearing arms, all of them Union, are a reminder to the Southerners just who won that war. Interestingly, many of these statues, made out of bronze or zinc or other metals, were mass-produced during the period of their deployment in public squares, with little difference in detail between North and South.

Drawing is black tech pen ink on sketchbook page, 4" x 10", June 30, 2003.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Lythande and Goblin

Uh huh, another "Lythande" illustration. Am I scraping the bottom of the Bradley barrel? Marion is still dead. This one was from a story published in "Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine," about her cross-dressing female-to-male wizard. This one had to do with goblin capitalists, I try to remember. Note the cigar in the goblin's hand. I illustrated all the Lythande stories for that magazine until it closed after the author's demise. I actually enjoyed doing these pen and ink drawings and wouldn't mind doing more, though I would probably simulate it with digital inking nowadays. Knocking about the web looking for Bradley texts I found a vast organized collection of titles (but not texts) which lists everything that MZB ever ever wrote including this one. I will not inflict this on you.

Black ink on illustration board, 9" x 8", May 1999.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

What I Saw: Return of the Laundry Monster

It wants my Oriental rugs. And it just keeps growing, and growing.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sunny Geometrikon Re-mix

Now that's more like it. What are all those blue pencils for anyway? The irregular shape is designed to fit into my sketchbook journal but the words are removed. I suppose I could have done this in digital media but it sometimes looks too precise that way. The lovely wax colored pencils can look like paint if you work with it. These are the blues that aren't sad.

Colored pencil with some white marker, 5" x 4", October 18, 2017.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Street Urchin Game Character

During the course of a role-playing game, you, that is, your character, will need further information. You can find it in a medium like a book or an inscription, or you could use a gadget paid for or found in play, or you could just ask someone. Here, your character engages a street urchin girl to tell him where the next opportunity or contact is. She is from the lowest level of society yet she has native uneducated intelligence. She also may be lying or giving wrong directions. Either way you will want to reward her with a few coins for her information. She doesn't have much of a future; without someone to care for her, she will be snapped up by slavers or pimps or any number of nasty folk. Your character is considering helping her, but he also knows that she may already be part of a vicious gang. Haven is a dangerous place.

Black ink on illustration board, about 5" x 5", spring 1984.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Task Light

I love industrial lighting. I'm especially fond of lanterns and desk lamps, if they're old or visually interesting. I like the old-fashioned enclosed hurricane lamps used in pre-electric houses or in railroads. Just a few years ago there was a decorating fad which used reproductions of old incandescent bulbs inside metal grids, like old factory lights. This didn't last long although Starbucks still has them. 

This is a task lamp, a modern version of what workmen used to give a high intensity light to a job close at hand. The bulb is enclosed so that dust and debris won't get in. This particular light has an LED bulb, rather than a very hot metal halide bulb. LED's have revolutionized the lighting world. They are not burning hot which is much better for safety. Similar bulbs are now in automotive headlights. The style of this light does not have that "antique-industrial" look though.

Black tech pen ink on sketchbook page, colored in marker and Photoshop. 5" x 4 1/2", October 15, 2017.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunny Geometrikon

Even though I work at night, I made a sunny picture. This little Geometrikon visits the Mid-20th Century once again, telling us that the 1950s and '60s were a wonderful time of peace and cheerfulness. Well if you were a designer, or an upper middle-class kid, that was kind of how it worked. Don't worry about those Commies or those marchers with the signs.

I drew the lines and shapes for this in blue pencil and forgot that it doesn't show up well on the scanner. So I colored it digitally by hand with stylus and it looks like I used crayons. I think I'll re-mix it with colored pencils.

Colored pencil lines tinted digitally, 5" x 4", October 15, 2017.