Getting It All In Proportion!
I was out taking some photographs a couple of Saturdays ago in Glasgow, and thought the grand old Duke was looking mighty dandy in his traffic cone hat. It's a Glaswegian tradition to give their favourite statues this exotic headwear, and I must admit, I don't think i've ever seen the Duke without it. I couldn't resist getting him down on canvas in his dashing pose.
I started the Duke's painting today, and try as I might, I just couldn’t get the measurements right. I don’t mind if, at the end, i’ve consciously exaggerated some of the features, to bring my own style to it - well it is a painting rather than a photograph after all.
For the start, though, I like to know that it’s roughly in the original proportions, and here's my workflow to achieve an initial digital sketch, ready to copy to the physical canvas.
1. Set up a digital canvas in the proportions of your physical canvas in the software programme of your choice.and import your original photo. Resize the photo on this 'image layer' to fill the canvas, play about until you are happy with it.
2. Take the opacity of the original image layer down enough that you can still see it.
3. Add a new layer on top.
4. On this new layer sketch/trace the outlines of your image - not too much tho, as it's totally just a simple line image we need.
5. Hide or delete the original image layer.
6. Change the background colour (so that the grid, in white, will show up).
7. Lay over the rule of thirds grid on top. In photoshop just press the crop button and it will appear.
8. You can either take a snapshot of this, or physically draw in the rule of thirds lines. For quickness I just take a snaphot.
There you have it, a sketched outline which will correspond to your physical canvas - you'll obviously draw a 'rule of thirds' grid on your canvas too, and this will match up when you are sketching this outline onto it.
Hope this helps!
Sometimes I just start doodling and a wee character appears. I don't know if this wee guy started off as a dog, but as he progressed he became a bunny...then a bunny with a cape flying through the sky!
If you'd like a wee hero bunny of your own, then please click the image above and he'll fly you off to my "brodie's sketchbook" collection at zazzle. Of course he's also on redbubble and cafe press too, and you can reach him by clicking on my shop links below!
Have a creative day and i'll see ye tomorra!
If you're a frequent visitor to my blog, you'll know how fond I am of drawing Highland Cows.
You'll also know I had to 'rescue' Wee Hamish the highland cow from the copyright thieves operating on Amazon - more booo than mooo!
Well, now that I have Wee Hamish safely back home, I thought I would celebrate with a new design for him. With the phrase "I love moo hairy much" (it's Wee Hamish's way of saying I love you), I present to you my lovely wee coo - rhymes that, doesn't it'
Click on his image below and he'll carry you away to my 'heilan coo' collection on Zazzle!
Ach, look at his wee happy face, how can you resist? Thanks also for using the links from my site, it helps keep Wee Hamish and his pals out of the reaches of the copyright thieves, and means that i'll get paid for my work (i'll be able to buy Wee Hamish something nice for a treat!)
Have a creative day and i'll see ye tomorra!
Following on from yesterday's Prr-umpkins (Cat Pumpkins), I present you with young Vlad, our new Vampire Sommelier. If you are ever wondering about what's on his 'whines and spirits' list, then he'll kindly proffer a few suggestions - usually a very nice red...or a very nice Very Red!
If you know someone who simply needs this design on a mug, t-shirt, or even greetings card then click on the image below to travel to my Zazzle halloween collection.
Remember, if there's any other products you'd like me to put Vlad on, then please contact me here or on Zazzle itself.
Have creative day and i'll see ye tomorra!
What do you get when you mix a pumpkin and a cat? A halloween Prr-umpkin of course!
It's the purrfect combination of spookiness and fun for any crazy cat lover you may know!
If you'd like your very own Prr-umpkin then check out my halloween collection over on Zazzle. Click the image above to be transported faster than a witch on a broomstick!
Have a creative day and i'll see you tomorrow!
I started drawing this fellow, and, well divine inspiration must have struck as he turned into 'The Minister's Cat'. It got me thinking about the game we used to play when we were up at my granny's farm in Skipness. You know when you are clapping your hands on your lap and saying "the minister's cat is an 'angry' cat....'boisterous' cat...'courteous' cat", as each person in turn has to give the cat an adjective to describe it. I used to love that wee game. It was usually followed by "I packed my bags and went to London, and took with me a - and then you had to name something and repeat the last persons on the list etc. Total innocence...and I suppose it was innocence that led me to the next wee story, concerning a Skipness Minister too.
Now, you have to remember that I was only a wee tiny boy, and had the face of an angel, and it was so long ago that i probably only remember bits of what happened.
My grannys farm was about a mile and a half's walk from Skipness village and its little shop, so it was a bit of a trek getting there, and I only had wee legs, but, if you were in desperate need of a sweetie...or in the adults case a cigarette, then trek to it you must.
It was on one such occasion that we had gone to the store, then dilly dallied about for a bit by the shoreline, before ambling back, Well, the local minister must have seen us all shambling along by the side of the road whilst he was in his car, and decided to give us a lift. The usual polite conversation must have ensued, and at one point, it must have been my turn to fill in any silences. With my wee angelic countenance I started to pipe up a little ditty that I had been taught...most likely by a bigger cousin, which went along the lines of -
"Yum, Yum, bubblegum
Stick it up a policeman's bum!"
As hands shot up to cover my mouth it only encouraged me to repeat the phrase like some out of control parakeet.
Stick it up a ...gnnaarrbbb,,,plfuffle..
Well, the sense of mortification near shot the windscreen oot the car, and i'm sure the minister was finally glad to decant us hooligans off at my granny's farm.
I wonder if it ever made it into his sermon on the following Sunday?
Wee horrors so we were. Anyway, have a creative day and i'll see ye tomorra!
If you've been following the blog, you'll know about my problems with unscrupulous image thieves selling my designs on Amazon. It's been challenging, but, it also forces me to get on with some other things that have been on the back burner.
Today i've been concentrating on further development of characters that have been hiding in my sketchbooks, for products, which are so personalised that they'd be too much trouble for image thieves to steal (see my new range of business cards - only a couple of designs up so far in my 'Brodafolio' shop in Zazzle, but from little acorns!).
Here's a sneak preview of the character development, so far, of a little wriggly, jiggly bookworm that is going to have pride of place on a business card ideal for a teacher or librarian - I mean, why should these type of products be so..dowdy. I want to fill them up with lots of fun characters so that when the person hands one over, they'll be instantly memorable - education is fun, let's keep reminding people of that!
So far in 'Brodafolio' we have Alfie with his giant apple for his favourite teacher - but don't worry, he won't be on his own for long!
As always, have a creative day, and i'll see ye tomorra!
The Amazon Image Thieves Take Down Process - An Unexpected Twist!
So here's the deal.
I sat on Sunday and filled in the Amazon Take down form to try and get them to shift their backsides and take down my 'T-rex' character that has been posted onto 92 (at the moment - the number seems to fluctuate!) t-shirts - you know the kind of thing - a few different colours, and in all sizes, from kids, to adults, men and women - i'm only surprised they haven't popped it on a t-shirt for dogs, cats, budgerigars, or spiders yet!
If you think thats quite a lot of notices, then trust me, it isn't - it is in fact only 1 of 3 pages worth I had to submit, and that's just for that 1 design!
I've already had to submit take down notices for a few other different designs, as already explained here.
So far, all i've had is an automated response for each one - fab way to fill up an inbox, but necessary.
The funny thing about this take down process for t-rex, is that the seller on the form shows up as Amazon.com (New) (see pic).
I sent an email to the copyright office at Amazon to ask if that meant Amazon themselves were selling my image themselves...now that would take the biscuit.
Obviously I still haven't heard back.
Maybe it's time to give Amazon's press office in the UK a message.
Thanks for coming on the journey with me so far folks!
Today's been fun!
I set up my greenscreen to have a little 'dance' about in front of it to line up shots etc for the new video.
It's a video detailing what happens when you find your artwork has been stolen by 'Image Thieves' and put up for sale on T-shirts, pillows etc on the Amazon Marketplace. Some of which has been on sale for over a year! There's so much information to get through, that it may need to be split into a couple of videos. Depends how fast I talk..and trust me, with my Scottish accent, you don't want me talking too fast!
Don't get me wrong, I don't think Amazon are the font of all evil. I just think they need a kick up the backside to do what's right by independent artists.
For a global multi-billion dollar company, they could surely have better procedures in place for taking down stolen artwork. They should also have coding that recognises images going up onto their marketplace, bouncing back ones that have already been taken down.
I really do think it's time for Amazon to talk to artists about its 'Image Problem'. Trust me, we do have a knack at coming up with creative problem solving solutions, and you'll find we are always willing to talk.
In my next blog post i'll go into detail about what I think Amazon could do.
I'm off tomorrow filming, so if I don't see you over the weekend, have a fantastic one!.
T-rex Is Back In The Amazon Image Thieves Clutches!
I promised him...I mean, I really did. I looked into those teeny weeny T-rex eyes, and promised him that I would get him back to full size, now that I thought we had rescued him.
No one had been prepared for what came next, the speed of those 'Image Thieves' tentacles shooting into the middle of the group...THWACKKK!...T-rex's pillow spun upwards into the air.
SCHWIFFTT! Another tentacle had curled itself around little T-rex's wrist!
SPLIIIFFTT! Another around the other wrist!
FLIPPHHTT! One more pulling at his vest!
It all happened so fast. Those 'Image Thieves' polluting the Amazon marketplace. They seemed to be pulling T-rex in all directions at once...
"Help!" he shouted as he was jiggled, and piggled, and stretched. The more he yowled, the more my heart broke!
"I'm going to bu-r-s-t!!" he yelped, and just at that moment, Poooommphh! - he exploded into lots and lots of even teenier T-rex's.
Tentacles writhed together forming a cage, and before I knew it they had gathered all the little T-rex's and slithered off into the undergrowth.
"Oh T-rex", I thought to myself, "I will find you again buddy. I will not rest!"
It's a sad fact that there are 'Image Thieves' operating in the Amazon Marketplace.
What is absolutely frustrating the amount of time spent however is the time taken to go through Amazon's process when the rights owner of the design (that's me folks) tries to get the product taken down.
Amazon asks that you send a different form in for each time the seller/criminal lists a product with the design on it.
Am I, as the creator of the artwork, getting a bean from this - not at all...Amazon is though! Amazon will still be getting their seller fee for any counterfeit product sold.
So, what stage am I at now - well this one particular seller had listed the image on 2 t-shirts. I sent in two forms to Amazon to get the products taken down. To which the seller responded by putting the image on 93 other t-shirts! Seriously, they cover 5 whole pages!
That means sending in 93 forms to Amazon to get them taken down.
I emailed Amazon's copyright email address, and have been getting back messages of complete and utter indifference.
It's almost as if they are intentionally making it hard for copyright owners to get their work taken down.
Anyway, it's getting late at night now. I hope you enjoy the illustration and little storyline so far.
Got a few ideas rolling around my head on how to kick things up a gear. Don't want all my video, documentary skills going to waste now, do we.
Sleep tight guys, and don't be letting the Amazon marketplace 'Image Thieves' be giving you bad dreams!
Whit's he up tae noo?
The blog posts of David Brodie, a Scottish artist based near Glasgow.