Saturday, January 26, 2013

Update 2013

Sorry once again for the delay since my last post - belated Happy Hanukkah to our Jewish readers, belated Happy Christmas and belated Happy New Year to everyone else! It's also been a while since I gave an update on how all our different projects are progressing so here goes:

Another Format change!

It wasn't long ago when I mentioned that we were changing our picture format from portrait to landscape - well we have changed it again! This time to suit widescreen power-points. The first story to get the widescreen treatment is Joseph. I know what you're going to say..."I thought you were illustrating Acts!" I was, but I've been moved onto a completely new project that begins in February. I got up to Acts 19 so I still have a few blogs to publish on Acts. I won't be finishing Joseph either before the new project starts as there are roughly 50 widescreen pictures needed for this story. This is one of the new Joseph pictures below.

Camp Project

The camp project is going on really well. I saw the main building for the first time in October and it's really stunning! I'm hoping to be going down again next month so I expect they'll be even more to see then. It should be opening soon so I'll be blogging about that when it does. Here's a picture I took in October.

New Website

I believe that we are to expect a new website soon - this will mean that all of the most recent picture sets, that are not as yet on line, will be! Including all the sets on Acts. We are long overdue a new website but there's been so much going on in other areas. I'll let you know as soon as I hear more.

Wacom Cintiq

I'm about to change the way I work - in fact, the way I've always worked. I'm about to go completely digital! Although I've coloured digitally for a long time now I still ink my line work in brush and ink. That's about to change as I'm awaiting delivery of a Wacom Cintiq 24HD (above). I know that a few artists that read this blog already use the Cintiq so I would appreciate your thoughts on reproducing brush lines with one. I'm a little apprehensive about the change. I'll let you know how I get on. (Maybe you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!)

Holocaust Memorial Day

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day (in the UK). We usually mention this on the blog as a number of are readers are Jewish Bible artists some of whom have lost relatives in the Holocaust. Please visit the HMD website here. Our good friend Nahum HaLevi lost relatives in the Holocaust - he has a new website here that's definitely worth a visit.


deboraw said...

Graham, how exciting for you to be so busy! I'm looking forward to seeing all of your work on the website. I hope they will be big enough I can see them. LOL--looked at your 'Joseph' picture and it came out the same thumbprint only on a black back ground. How funny. Love your work!

Paul Green said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nahum said...

Thank you for your kind thoughts on Holocaust Memorial Day, and for your gracious mention of my website. Your new Format has a very nice 3 dimensional look which is very pleasing to the eye.

Juan said...

The Wacom Cintiq will be another great tool.
I've used several programs for inking, but none of them compare to Adobe Illustrator for quality of line. Photoshop and Painter can use the pressure sensitivity to great advantage, but the cleanest lines can only be achieved by using a vector-based program. Of course, you can easily move between Illustrator and Photoshop after you have finished your line drawing.

Bible artist said...

Hi all - my apologies for not answering these emails earlier but I've been in the process of changing over to a new Apple mac which is always a nightmare!

I've been trying to copy all my old emails to my new mailbox without success - even trying the way that Apple tech support showed me didn't work! I'm almost sorted although I'm still waiting for my new version of photoshop to arrive - I'm jumping from the old version 7 up to CS6 which is going to be anther steep learning curve!

Anyway my apologies again.

Yes, the pictures are getting bigger. This is one of the reasons that I needed to update my Mac - the picture files were getting bigger and my mac was getting slower! I was told that 5 years in the computer world is a lifetime! So my mac was a pensioner!

Hi Paul could you re post your comment again as I wanted to answer it. (I can't retrieve it from my old emails either) cheers!

My pleasure as always Nahum. The world mustn't forget about the Holocaust. I've just read the novel 1984 by George Orwell and I was struck by the similarities between Big Brother who was rewriting history and those today who are trying to wipe out all memories of the holocaust.

Many thanks for that Juan - that's really helpful to know. I've always steered away from illustrator as the illustrations that I've seen done in it look very angular and logo like - not soft like those done in photoshop. People have argued that, a vector illustration can be blown up to the size of a building without losing quality but realistically who's going to blow up a Bible picture to the size of a building?

From what you've said I need to get hold of Illustrator and Painter. I've read about some problems with Painter 12's compatibility with Apple macs so I don't know if 11 would be better?
Thanks again!

Paul Green said...

I remember the days when the pencil, sable brush, Indian ink and paper were all you needed to create artwork. I went through Art College and my illustration career using these tools. No technology that costs thousands of pounds. No compatibilty problems. No upgrading of software. New technology may be fine for some but it excludes so many people who can't afford the expensive hardware or software.

Bible artist said...

That's true Paul - I have yet to see though if inking in digitally can match or improve on 'brush and ink'. I imagine that it should be more controllable but, will that be a good thing? I'll have to wait and see.

Many artists upgrade as soon as the latest computer or software programme comes out - the problem is when you don't do that, (like me), technology does leave you behind and your computer soon becomes obsolete! My old computer was starting to struggle accessing some of the newer websites (and it was only 5 years old!)

When you think about it though Paul, although producing artwork was more laborious back then, we got much better prices than they pay now for artwork. This is even more true in animation. It's been a while since I've done any animation but I suspect that not many places would pay £70,000 for a ten minute episode of an animated series today! Everything going digital has made things easier to do, but it's driven the price down too.

It will be interesting to see, as more and more technology becomes available enabling kids to draw digitally on tablets/phones etc, if drawing on paper will become a thing of the past!

Paul Green said...

Yes expenses keep increasing and income decreases Graham. I remember technology first became a factor in the 1980s when I had to ink on the front and paint on the reverse of the paper. I needed a lightbox. It was a big pain and felt too technical. Just look back at the great art in "Look & Learn" - all hand painted. You can see the different styles and feel the hand of the artist. Nowadays so much artwork looks the same. All very smooth and slick but almost too perfect. I hope the kids of tomorrow still have a choice of paper or digital but once the paper mills close down there'll be no choice remaining.

Bible artist said...

I'm amazed when I see some of the Look and Learn original artwork selling for around £120 when, in my opinion, it's real value should be closer to £300+!
Great artwork has been devalued.

deboraw said...

That should make my hand made paper, and art work more ? precious, right? But I love paper--how could they take away my paper? Love oil paints, turpentine, canvas...I suppose I should stop rambling. Hope ya'll have a good day.

Bible artist said...

Yes, I think that hand drawn original art on paper might grow in value faster as more artists go digital. They'll be less original artwork (on paper) around - so it's possible!

My Cintiq arrived today so I'll let you know how I get on.

deboraw said...

Okay, I now have a technical question for you. In illustrating the Judges--Samson is described as having 'seven locks' of hair (Judges 16:19). In drawing this any idea what this would look like? Any other tips on any of the other judges would be appreciated as well.

Bible artist said...

I was thinking about the length of Samson's hair the other week - can you imagine how long it must have been having not been cut from birth to adulthood! Artists tend to draw Samson's hair a little longer than shoulder length.
Unless it was slow growing it must have been down to his knees or even lower!
I've seen some pictures of Samson with 7 platted locks, (like you would platt a girls hair).
I haven't drawn any of the other Judges as yet Deboraw so I'll be coming to you to pick your brains when it's time!

deboraw said...

My brains feel like they're scrambled so not sure I'll be any help. I was wondering would it have been (in your minds eye at least) 7 separate braids, as in one down the middle (like a French braid starting from the front down the back)then three on each side? Or more like an Indian braid? Most of the time men's hair doesn't seem to grow as long as women's, but then you have Absalom who cut his hair yearly? because it was so long and heavy. I would estimate Samson's hair to be longer than most illustrations (a little longer than shoulder length)--but probably not longer than waist length. Just my observation with general length. What would the normal hair 'style' be? Probably not longer than shoulder for men? Often times illustrations have Abraham, Moses, Eli, Samuel as long and wild. Is it proper to give them head coverings? I would think.

Russ said...

Hi Graham, how are you getting on with the new Cintiq? I find working on screen I loose so much satisfaction in my work. I saw some animators using them at an exhibition once and it looked a lot better than using a conventional tablet or mouse. Fond memories of watching you and Paul animating using the tools of the trade in the good old days.

Bible artist said...

Hi Russ - good to hear from you again. It's going o.k. It's a steep learning curve as I'm trying to become familiar with a new operating system (OSX 10.8.2), a new Photoshop (CS6) and the Cintiq. I've tried a number of ways to integrate the cintiq into my workflow by incorporating the cintiq and my display into one huge desktop, but after several attempts I'm resigned to keeping it separate, working on one at a time. The problem is that you have both the mouse and the pen fighting over the desktop, you have 2 keyboards, (one actual and one digital), and two sets of short cut commands. (One for the keyboard and one for the cintiq) The whole thing gets very confusing! What you once did without thinking now takes a lot of thought. Hence, I've decided to keep them separate!

One good thing is that I'm going through many tutorials on photoshop and the Mac and learning a whole lot of new stuff! I've managed to start creating my own brushes now to replicate my normal brush lines.

I haven't worked enough on it yet to decide if it's going to be a suitable replacement for my brush but the pen's a lot better to colour with than the mouse, especially as it's now in my natural drawing hand! I think I might start giving updates on how I get on!

Russ said...

It sounds like hard work setting up but I'm sure you will soon get used to it. I think it is the sort of thing you look back and wonder how you managed without.

We have just started going to Wheelock Heath Baptist Church and I was delighted to see some of your work on the wall upstairs this morning! I was speaking to John Robberts, one of the deacons, about you, he knows Jem Hudson and was at the camp at a conference recently!

It would be really interesting to know how you get on with the Cintiq.

Russ said...

Another thing, sorry to keep going on but Frank Brearley is preaching at Wheelock tomorrow! I will shut up now. :-)

Bible artist said...

Wow! It's a small world! I was speaking with Jem and Frank Brierley this morning on a conference call.
Please pass my regards on tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Love your art and I am anxious to see the childrens bible as I teach 8 to 12 year olds in my church. God bless. Jude

Unknown said...

Hope you're enjoying the Cintiq! My old Cintiq is still holding up but is starting to show its age with loss of brightness and requiring regular calibration.

One Cintiq tip I can suggest ... I still use a disposable cotton glove with all the fingers cut out except for the pinky (like we used to do in the pre-digital days!). It's not to keep the oils off the screen, but rather so my hand can glide smoothly across the Cintiq screen, especially when summer arrives and my hand gets sweaty.

Unknown said...

Appreciate your comment to Deborahw about Samson's hair. I'm working through a series on Judges and will be doing two lessons on Samson.

I was struggling today on the logistics of Gideon's men with torches in left hand covered with a jar, and a trumpet in the right hand. How do they break the jar? How was the jar rigged up? Cut the bottom out? How would they have used an existing type of clay jar available in the camp, to cover the torch in such a way to be held in one hand, not snuff out the flame, how should I have them break the jar, etc. etc..

At least I'm able to correct our old artwork that shows them charging down a hill, 'attacking' with torches and 'swords' in hand. I'll instead have them "standing" in place, shouting with only trumpet and jar in hand.

Unknown said...

Correction ... "Shouting with only trumpet and TORCH in hand!"

Have been praying for your ministry. Continued strength and endurance to run the race.


deboraw said...

Tim, I appreciated your comment, and your dilemma. There seem to be a few of those conundrums throughout the scriptures. Keeps life interesting I guess. LOL