Arts in the Family: A Family of Artists Just Trying to Make a Living in the Wilds of Texas


Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Daring and Dangerous Books

Here's something I found on Neil Gaiman's blog. They're a couple of books that should be read by children of all ages. I'll be getting copies for my kids soon.

Return of the Beast

Brush and ink on paper. 8"x12".

I worked on this late last night and stopped when everything started looking fuzzy. I still think I could do some more work on it. I'll have to let it be for a while and come back to it later. It's been a fun challenge.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hatching a Beast

The illustration above was drawn with a #2 Ticonderoga pencil and the ink applied with a #0 round watercolor brush.

Here's what I've got completed so far with the Beast from Twenty Thousand Fathoms drawing. I was going to wait until it was completed before I posted it but being the kid I can be at times I couldn't do it. I've always loved the quality of a black and white ink drawing done with hatching. Some of my favorite illustrators that use that style are Frank Frazetta, Bernie Wrightson, William Stout and Alfredo Alcala to name a few. I don't think I'm in their league but it sure is fun trying.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Of Monsters and Meetings

Well, Sarah and I had our meeting to figure out our joint presentation for the "Water: A Living Lesson" conference. We came up with a running order of the presentation from start to finish using a combination of her presentation called "Water 101" and the "Edwards Aquifer: History of a Rock Star" presentation which is my Doc Ed show for fourth and fifth graders. Plus there are interactive segments using games and hands on activities covering geology, water conservation and preservation. It only took us an hour or so to figure it out. The hard part for me is to translate my Rock Star presentation to Spanish because the workshop is for educators from Central and South America. I'm glad I still have a couple of weeks to get it done.

I presented the Amazing Aquifer Adventure show to a groups of sixty elementary school-age youngsters at Salinas Elementary School Adventure Camp. It went well but working in a gym can be very echo-y. I was very glad when I uttered the last line of the presentation.

The destruction of the lighthouse from the 1951 film "The Beast from Twenty Thousand Fathoms brought to life by stop motion animation master Ray Harryhausen.

I started inking a drawing I'd been wanting to do for a long time. It's a scene from the film "Beast from Twenty Thousand Fathoms"
which is based on the 1951 Ray Bradbury short story " The Foghorn" which was published in the Saturday Evening Post. The short story itself takes place entirely at a lighthouse. It's a story of profound loneliness that spans millions of years for a creature that hears what it believes to be the call of one of it's kind but is only the "Voice" of the foghorn.

There's a scene in the story where the monster rises from the sea to attack the lighthouse, which is in the film version as well, that I chose to illustrate. It's the moment before the monster rears up to destroy the lighthouse after the foghorn stops calling out momentarily. So far so good. I'm taking it slow because I'm using crossing hatching throughout the drawing which can be time consuming but produces beautiful results. I drew my version of a poster for the film "Them", in a similar fashion. That's another giant- monster- on- the- loose film. It's a genre I which I really like.

Below is a link to Wikipedia and The Official Ray Harryhausen website with lots more info on the story.

Monday, June 20, 2011

It's Still Summer!!

Things are getting a might crispy outdoors so my we've taken to living a trogloditic life in our little home. In the morning we open the blinds and draw back the curtains. We normally enjoy the sun lighting up our home. These past few weeks have temporarily(I hope) ended that practice. For now the windows are covered to prevent the heat from invading our shady sanctuary. The thermostat is set at a comfy, fiscally responsible 77 degrees so that we can draw or watch a movie or juggle sans sweat and the fridge is stocked up with popsicles in a wide variety of colors.

Tomorrow I've got a Doc Ed show at Salinas Elementary for their Adventure Club Summer Camp but it's at 9a.m. so the weather wont be too bad while I'm out. Then it's off to a meeting at the Edwards Aquifer Authority to discuss the presentation Sarah and I will be doing for the Water: A Living Lesson water conference, which takes place in July on the campus of Our Lady of the Lake University. We're going to combine my Aquifer Adventure show with her presentation and it will also be in Spanish. Lots to do!

I'm looking forward to tomorrow tonight because I'll be seeing the second part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy: The Two Towers at the Huebner Oaks Theater. Pammy wont be with me this time around but she does want to come along for next week's showing of "Return of the King". I know it's something we can watch on dvd but that's just not as fun as seeing it as a shared experience on the big screen. What can I say; I'm a movie purest and Tolkien nerd.

Yesterday was Father's Day and I have to say it was a very nice day. We started it off by having breakfast at our favorite place on the westside of town:Natalie's a.k.a. The Pink House. Afterward, we made a pit stop at the Panaderia Superior for some excellent pan dulce then we came home to relax for a few hours before we went to dinner with the in-laws at the Jim's on Perrin Beitel Road. My idea of relaxing was to draw for a couple of hours while I watched a movie on the computer. The movie was "At the Earth's Core", a dreadful film adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs book but I'm a Peter Cushing fan and then there was also the lovely Caroline Munro to consider. Hubba hubba! All in all it was a very relaxing and fun day for all.

Caroline Munro as "Princess Dia" from the film "At the Earth's Core", (1976).

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Paul McCartney

Man, I can't believe I missed Paul McCartney's birthday on Saturday. I'm asleep at the wheel! Below are some sites to check out as well as a couple of songs to celebrate his birthday. Enjoy.

Slapstick Theater- The Three Stooges

C'mere, you porcupine!

Today is Moe Howard's birthday. He would have been 114 years old. In honor of this master of slapstick's birthday, today's Slapstick Theater is all about the stooges. So get a ball peen hammer, a pie and a comfy chair then sit back, relax and enjoy some classic comedy courtesy of the Three Stooges! Happy Father's Day to all you numbskulls!

Men In Black was the only Three Stooges film nominated for an Academy Award for Best Comedy Short Film. Very cool!

Sunday Morning Matinee- At The Earth's Core (1976)

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