Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Illustration Friday says Illustrate a Punk. I did it twice, Here's one with markers,

 And here's one done in Autodesk Sketchbook

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Flying Kangaroo

I thought I would set myself a little challenge. Last week I had an idea  for an animated sculpture that I would like to make one day - a flying kangaroo. 

Regular readers of this irregular blog know that I have a fascination for automata - figurative kinetic sculptures. I have attempted a few myself in the last couple of years, most successfully my diesel-punk fish which picked up the Highly Commended prize at the 2016 Martin Hanson Awards held at the Gladstone Qld Art Gallery. And then it also won the Peoples' Choice prize, which was not just a certificate, but actual cash!

So late last week I spent time at our local Rockhampton zoo, sketching the kangaroos, who were very obliging. I then started to work out how to mechanized a roo. 

After a few sketches I thought I would try a more finished illustration. I did an A4 pencil sketch, which I then inked and photographed.

 I imported the linework into Autodesk Sketchbook, With the lines on the top layer with a multiply setting (which makes all but the darkest parts - the lines - transparent to lower layers), I went about digitally painting it. There are plenty of chances to experiment with different brushes and try different effects, and you can be a bit less precious about each step because there is the wonderful undo function! A modern aeronautical approach to the design.

Then, for variety, I did a da Vinci-Punk version. In a week or two, the Rockhampton Art Gallery is hosting a display of working models of some of Leonardo's greatest inventions. Our gallery is a little small for the whole collection, so the flying machines will be displayed at the airport, enticing visitors to see the rest in town. I loosely traced over the original lines digitally, used my new grunge brushes and imported an original da Vinci drawing for a bit of added texture.

Finally I took my original sketch and coloured it with markers. It was actually a lot quicker than doing it digitally (although I am still learning the program), but, of course, there is no undo in real life!

So now, when it comes time to build the model, I have a choice of doing a sleek composite metal Airbus Industrie kangaroo, or a wooden and fabric da Vinci-punk version. And I daresay there are other design options to explore. How would an Art Nouveau one look? Or Art Deco/streamlined 1930's industrial design version go? Or a completely natural version, with fur and feathers? The sky, I guess, is the limit.