Sunday, June 27, 2010

Graphic Novel Artwork

CSIS, espionage, disinformation, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq

Chapter 3 (Prologue Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 4 and the first two pages of Chapter 6 posted previously)

InDesign document, computer drawing, characters by Philip Hogg

©2010 Charlene Brown


When I posted Chapter 2 of this (as yet un-titled) graphic novel, I indicated that, with Philip Hogg now drawing the figures, production would be way more reliable and I might even post things in order from now on… and here’s Chapter 3, as promised!


There are just three more two-page spreads plus the cover to go – then I’ll put a (readable, maybe even understandable) pdf of the whole thing up on my website.


BTW, much to my surprise, I noticed another application of the ‘Calgary skyline’ technique I’ve used here, in Abstract Comics today. I’m kidding about there being any ‘Calgary skyline’ technique, but have a look anyway… maybe you'll see it too.


In a few days, I plan to write a mid-year review of The Plan for 2010 including my progress in learning to use a tablet for graphic novel illustration.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Icefields Parkway

Saskatchewan Crossing

Watercolour and ink

©2010 Charlene Brown


This was painted using a photo taken on a painting trip last September, looking south from the bridge where the Icefields Parkway crosses the North Saskatchewan River. It shows the early fall colours at this elevation – they were a little further along when we reached our eventual destination, Lake O’Hara, in Yoho National Park.


I’m heading into the Rockies again in a couple of weeks, this time to Mt. Assiniboine, a British Columbia Provincial Park, accessible only by helicopter from Kananaskis Country in Alberta. (Well, you can also go in on foot, but we won’t be doing that!) I’m hoping to do some plein air painting, but will take lots of pictures in case that proves difficult – the clothing suggested for this expedition includes an unsettling amount of rain and snow gear!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Virtual Paintout in Hawaii


Diamond Head Rd, Honolulu HI
Watercolour and crayon
©2010 Charlene Brown

The June location for the Virtual Paintout is Hawaii, on either Oahu or Maui, the two islands available on Google Streetview. This picture shows the view out from Diamond Head Road on Oahu.

Here is the link on Google Streetview. (You have to swivel the camera left a bit).

As usual, there was no problem finding lots of highly paintable locations for this Virtual Paintout – the difficulty was in deciding among them all!


Friday, June 11, 2010

Don't miss deadlines!


Harbour Ferry Ballet

Watercolour, crayon and ink

©2009 Charlene Brown


I’ve been following up on listings that accept email entries on the Call for Submissions page of a newsletter put out by Opus Framing, where I buy most of my art supplies. Let me tell you about two recent misadventures involving missed deadlines.

Painting on the Edge – for which I have never had a painting accepted – is a Vancouver-based competition, open to all living artists worldwide. This year, I realized on June 5 that the deadline for entry was not June 6, as I’d thought, but June 4! So I saved myself the $20 entry fee, by-passed the middleman, and consigned this year’s entry, St John’s NL, directly to my personal Salon des Refusés.

Another competition I tried was for label designs for a well-known winery in the Okanagan. I thought this was a great idea, believing that “life is too short to drink wine that doesn’t have a nice painting on the label,” and shot off nine (you were allowed up to 10) email attachments using the form on the winery’s website – on the deadline day. Harbour Ferry Ballet, shown here, was one of them. My computer ground away for about twenty minutes, during which I took the trouble to check the size of the files and found that most of them were way too big, But then I got the message that they had been received! Then, the next morning, I got an email saying there had in fact been a Delivery Failure. I tried emailing again to explain why I’d missed the deadline, but that email couldn’t be delivered either. And their phone was busy. I think perhaps I wasn’t the only deadline dummy in this one.

What I’m trying to say is – don’t wait until the last minute!

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Surprise near Acapulco

Ruins at Tehuacalco

Watercolour, crayon and ink

©2010 Charlene Brown


I think that Tehuacalco was the highlight of our cruise – partly because it was a surprise. Most people consider transiting the Panama Canal to be the best part of the repositioning cruises. And that was indeed a fascinating experience, which certainly lived up to expectations… But it was just that – expected.


I don’t think I’d ever even heard of Tehuacalco before I began planning shore excursions for this trip. It was a centre of the Yope Civilization, and flourished between 650 and 1100 CE, but was only discovered in 1991. The site was opened to the public in late 2008, following digging and restoration beginning in 2006. It’s been beautifully restored – some would say too beautifully, but I think it’s just right. And the setting is spectacular, on a hilly plateau surrounded by volcanoes. According to the signage, the shape of the main building, “El Palacio refleja la simetría del volcán, La Compuerta” (reflects the symmetry of the volcano). I think that’s perfect.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Living fences of Costa Rica


After transiting the Panama Canal we headed north to Puerto Caldera, and then took a shore excursion up into the hill country of Costa Rica.


The roads are lined with these lovely living fences, which surround most of the farms. The reason for using trees, strung with three or four lines of wire, to fence the land is very simple – the ubiquitous termites don’t eat live wood. The established fences, lobbed off many times so the wire stays close to the ground, are mainly gumba limbo, but the younger in-fill trees are sometimes more flamboyant plants, such as hibiscus or poinciana – though not usually in full flower as shown here. Don’t you agree the whole concept is wonderfully paintable, along with the chain of volcanoes that forms the backbone of the country?


If you’re interested, there is a sketch of this volcano during one of its active periods in 2004 on a blog post from last year.