Odd Scenes of Animals III

The year is starting off a bit off-schedule w/the painting but I am working on a few paintings this month. Maybe I’ll just post a couple a month – to give myself some breathing room. I should have one more done by the end of the month. In any case – here’s another weird one for the “Odd Scenes” series.

For the trivia books, this one was partially inspired by my recent discovery of Bert Monroy – one of the best digital painters I’ve ever come across and one of the pioneers of Photoshop (he wrote the first book on Photoshop!). I would love to own a poster or two of his work but sadly he only sells them directly for $250 (and up) so I’ll have to wait till I have some spare cash to burn. Anyhow, one of the things Bert excels at is making life-like scenes – particularly with still life scenes, shadows, reflections etc. I am not great at those things but I tried a few new things in this piece after checking out Bert’s work. If you consider yourself a fan of art/painting you should definitely check out his stuff!…

Odd Scenes of Animals III

Here are the final two entries for my 2011 365 project. They’re both a bit weak imho but I was running low on free time/brain power these last couple weeks of the year.

The weird pink donut thing was my initial idea for my Dribbble invite contest entry. I ended up going vector for that (here) but I figured I’d finish it (ish) and save it for old time’s sake.

For anyone interested, here’s a link to all the paintings from 2011:

I still don’t know what kind of painting I’ll be doing in 2012 yet – but I guess we’ll see in a week or two…

My New Year Resolutions for 2012

Just like last year I’ll review how I did with my resolutions from last year before  listing my goals for this coming year. I only set two goals for 2011 but that didn’t mean I had it easy! Both of them took a fair amount of time – in different ways.

2011 Resolutions Review

  1. Resolution #1: “365 Project: iPhone-Painting-a-Day…(or Week!)” | Grade: A-

    As soon as I got my iPad (~March 2011) this quickly changed to “iPad-Painting-a-Day/Week” – hopefully that didn’t disqualify me for this resolution. It is interesting to note that I went through 3 different painting “apps” in addition to moving from the phone to the tablet – so the paintings this year crossed quite a spectrum.  There were a fair amount of weeks where I just worked on one painting (instead of 7) but other than a few skipped days during the Christmas card project time period I kept up with this pretty consistently. I posted all my paintings for this on Flickr here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chris-emerson/sets/72157625724352098/with/5801934265 – go take a look to see the whole batch.

  2. Resolution #2: “Submit an app or game to the Apple App Store” | Grade: A

    This was a long-term/long-shot considering where I was at the start of 2011. I did have some basic knowledge of the technologies available to make mobile apps then but I really hadn’t had any opportunities at work (or in my own, scarce, free time) to build an actual mobile app yet. Anyhow – as 2011 progressed I explored the mobile app development landscape further at work and in my own (did I mention scarce) free time. My initial assumption was that I would end up using PhoneGap but for various reasons I ended up using Adobe Flash instead. The main reason for this was because Adobe made great strides in 2011 in staying in the mobile app game – specifically around playing well with Apple – plus, in an ironic turn of events, Adobe actually acquired PhoneGap later in the year – which I wasn’t expecting. Anyhow, as some folks may not know, even though Apple doesn’t allow Adobe Flash to run on their mobile devices, Adobe has created a way for their developers to “export” standard Flash applications to run as legit, native Apple applications (i.e. not Flash) – so that’s why/how I was able to use Flash. Just for the record, I am still a big fan/follower of PhoneGap – and thanks to my job change in February I have had the opportunity to build a few PhoneGap mobile apps at the office this year – so I’ve been able to get some experience with both technologies.

    Earlier in the year I started a few “game” projects that were fun – but they both lacked the time and structure that those kind of games would need to be successfully pulled off – so I ended up leaving them on the cutting room floor for now. I may revisit them in the future but here are a couple screenshots showing the proof of concepts I put together for them – all of which were running on the iPad.

    This won’t be a shock to some, but my final “app” idea was too complicated  for the time I had left in the year to build it. So in mid-November I decided I had to simplify it to a drastic bare minimum if  I was even going to attempt to finish and submit it to the App Store before the end of the year.  I am holding out hope to still build my original app idea so I won’t say what that was, yet – but the app I built for this is called “Wooden Clock”. It’s as simple as it sounds by the way – it’s just a wooden clock that tells the time. No bells or whistles – other than a ticking sound, hourly chimes and a pendulum. Aside from the pain of letting go of my original app idea, the only challenge to getting Wooden Clock built was keeping the app running smoothly. It’s not as smooth as I’d like but I think it’s good enough for now.

    There are of course (literally) hundreds of clock apps on iPad and iPhone – so this app certainly doesn’t get huge points for originality. That said  I would say a good 75% of all those clock apps are pretty ugly (IMHO) – so I take some solace from that since I did try to make this one prettier than the average clock app. But – the goal for my resolution here has always just been to simply get an app or game submitted to the App Store so I probably shouldn’t analyze it too much – it is just a clock app. On a related note, I couldn’t justify actually charging $ for this given the already over-flooded “clock app” market – but if I add more bells and whistles eventually to it I may think about charging a buck or two for it… we’ll see.

    In standard “over the top” fashion, I whipped up a single-page website for the app – you can view it, and the eventually working download link here: http://apps.chris-emerson.net/woodenclock/. The app was submitted to the App Store a few days after Christmas – I’ll post an update or comment here if it ever gets put on the App Store or not (there’s no guarantee it will get posted… unlike the Android store heh). Special thanks to some of my pals for providing me some “pre-release” customer quotes for the website 🙂

2012 Resolutions!

  1. Resolution #1: “365 Project: Weekly or Daily iPad Paintings”

    Based on this past year it seems like my tendency is to paint one painting a week – so I figure I’ll just shape my “365 Project” to expect that. There may be times where I do one thing a day, but we’ll see. The bottom line here is that I really like painting on the iPad so I will continue doing it until I get sick of it! So here’s to another year of digital painting.

  2. Resolution #2: “Submit another app or game to the Apple App Store and Android Store”

    Pending my success at getting this year’s app into the App Store I aim to get a 2nd app completed and submitted to both the Apple App Store as well as the Android Store. Whether or not my app will be my old idea or a new one is to be determined!

  3. Placeholder for Resolution #3

    Two resolutions just seems too easy since I’ve done that for 2 years now… so I’ll come up with a 3rd soon…

Ok that’s all for now… happy (almost) new year everyone!

Odd Scenes of Animals II

The end of the year isn’t letting up with things to do but now that the Christmas card is out of the way I’m back to trying to stick to one (or a few) paintings a week. Here’s this past week’s effort – no idea what’s going on here… the snake was Linc’s idea and the beaver was thrown in for fun 🙂

Christmas Rejects 2011

Before settling on this year’s Christmas card concept I worked on a few paintings that later became rejects. Here they are for anyone interested in seeing what was left on the cutting room floor. These will also be available on the “cards” website when the 2011 card goes online – but I thought I’d document these here as standalone “365 Project” efforts in any case.

Evacuation VI

Hey everyone. The past (couple?) weeks I’ve been focusing my ‘painting-a-day’ time on this year’s Christmas card. I figure I could consider  all the sketch-storming and color tests (all iPad-based) fulfillment of my 365 Project obligations even if those efforts don’t surface for a few more weeks. Anyhow, somewhere between all the racking my brain for this year’s Christmas card idea I went on at least one, off-topic tangent – another one for the “Evacuation” no doubt.

As I normally do, I’ll disclaim this one by stating that I, unlike my pal Marc, know very little about aircraft or naval ships so please suspend some reality if/when critiquing my ability to reproduce them in painted pixels! That aside, I did have fun w/this – my only wish is that I had had the time/skill to pull off some more splashing/drama under the alien ship (maybe a sub or two just breaking out of the water, etc).

Here’s all entries in the Evacuation series so far:

[miniflickr photoset_id=72157627577324357&sortby=date-posted-asc&per_page=50]

Ok … back to the card!

Polar Bears and Penguins I

Ok so I’ve done a dozen or so paintings with polar bears and penguins but I’m calling this the 1st in the series … mainly because the alternative is to come up with a name for what’s happening in this scene – and I have no idea what that would be! This painting took me a couple weeks (again) – once again due to being pretty busy w/work and family stuff – but also because I’m still getting the hang of painting w/this “new” app (procreate). Also, my main gripe about this one is that it came out way too pastel once it left the iPad – it was not so saturated on the iPad itself – but whateva.

FYI – I think I will soon hunker down and start using my daily painting time to begin working on this year’s Christmas card – so if  I don’t post for a while that may be why.

Underwater Adventures I

This took me 2 weeks to put together – but a large reason for the long time investment is just the fact that it’s getting harder to sneak in that 15-30 minutes a night. I hope to keep things to 1 week max though.
I think I’ve done an underwater scene or two already (one, two) so I figured I should start a series for it. I used a giant squid in the “Space Adventures” series as well … no doubt due to my fascination with those creatures – every few months I spend an hour or so on YouTube watching videos of research on the hunt for the “giant squid“. This is the first real painting from that new iPad app I started playing with a few weeks ago (procreate) – so the full size is a whopping 1920×1408. My last painting was done with the same app but for some reason I don’t feel like my landscapes are “real” paintings.

Fake Landscapes I

This isn’t the first “fake” landscape I’ve done but since I may be doing more of them with procreate on iPad I thought I’d come up with a series title. I’m still getting used to procreate because it’s still not nearly as comfortable for me to use as Sketchbook Pro – but hopefully that will change with time. Again, the best thing about procreate is that is allows the creation of paintings 1920 x 1408 (see this week’s painting at that size here).

Evacuation V

There was no doubt riots and mass chaos across the nation last week when I didn’t post a weekly painting on Sunday. My apologies for any trauma any of you suffered from that. That week was just a bad combination of “no ideas” and being too busy. I did spend time painting each day but I had to toss one because it was so bad and the 2nd one wasn’t near ready on Sunday. Anyhow – here’s the latest one – yet another in the “Evacuation” series. There are some areas that need more detail but I’ve spent long enough on this guy so I’m setting him free. I hope ideas are easier to come by this week!

Here’s the full set of Evacuation so far:

[miniflickr photoset_id=”72157627577324357″]

Odd Scenes by Moonlight II

This painting is not as horrific as it might seem. I really did imagine the train in a stopped position here – so to all the folks claiming I kill bunnies for sport… untrue! This is another one that looks best on the iPad so the contrast/color is slightly off for PC/Mac screen viewing (all 3 of you with iPads enjoy the knowledge that you’re seeing it as it should be!). I actually have been spending some of my painting-a-day time practicing with another iPad painting app I found recently – but don’t have anything to show from that yet… soon though – stay tuned.

Space Adventures I

Just one painting this week – I needed something easier this week. 🙂 Lincoln picked the initial topic (spaceship) – but not sure he was expecting the addition of the octopus aliens. I tried a few times to get bubbling/wavy water but never came up with something I liked so it’s a bit weak on the accuracy of the physics – but you get the jist!

This seems like a worthy topic for another series so this will be the kick off for “Space Adventures” (i.e. weird scenes I make up that are set in space).

Still Lifes 2011/08

Last week I decided I would try to do a ~15-30 minute still life each day – but as is often the case I was pretty short on time (and creative energy) so I only managed to get 5 done. The two days not shown here involved still lifes that were just not worthy of the record books (it’s harder than you think to come up with a halfway interesting still life scene every day!). I really had fun with the first two – the others not so much.

Trivia: all of these except one came from scenes at my house.

Next week I may allow myself to do another 7-days-on-one-painting as a reward for this week 🙂 …

A Bug’s Strife

Here’s another left field one – no idea where this came from. The kids watched bits of “A Bug’s Life” for the first time this past week so maybe this was a subconscious thing. This is a fairly dark scene (brightness-wise) so it doesn’t translate perfectly to a computer screen (compared to the gloriously crisp and bright iPad) – but hopefully you can get the jist of it!

Evacuation IV

I actually wanted to do a nice, calm scene of a cathedral this week – basically the same perspective/layout of what I ended up with. But after day one I got sucked into making it a continuation of the Evacuation series … so once again we have space robots in some end of the world scene. The twist to this specific apocalyptic scene is that one of the robots discovers music (piano)… after helping destroy the city of course.

Will next week be Evacuation V or something new? Or maybe 7 separate quick paintings?… Who knows! (Wouldn’t it be ironic if the world ended from an alien robot invasion before next Sunday?!)

Evacuation III

I wimped out once again and did a week on one painting (vs. one a day) – I guess I just dig this for now. Hopefully I don’t get lynched by some over-zealous 365 project cult who is violently insistent on participants doing one thing per day for one “thing” involving 7-days-of-effort per week.

Anyhow – this is of course another scene from the “Evacuation” series that I just make up as I go. Alien invasion is much more entertaining/non-frightening than global economic collapse and anarchy… so I went with that. I wanted to add some military force in this one but I lacked the time (and skill) to pull that off so for now it’s just one cop against the invading alien horde. Although I suppose it could be Bruce Willis …

Here are the previous two in the series for reference:

  • Evacuation II
  • Evacuation I