Saturday, January 31, 2009

Last of the comic book cover parodies (for now)

Some more examples of my cover partodies showing the great variety of imaging possible with the computer. These were great fun to create. All were created by combining line art and digital images.


I just let my imagination run wild and came up with interesting oddball images. This ink line art was originally done for a Dracula book. I will show all of my Dracula
illustrations in a future post on my other blog HARRY BORGMAN ART.




This one is a wild collage of many previously drawn images.


It was also fun designing all of the type and logos. Great computer practice. These are all printed on 13 x19" archival paper using pigmented inks. They are exhibited as signed, limited edition prints in galleries and museums.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

More parodies


I tried some really weird comic book cover parodies with a science fiction flavor. Doing the backgrounds were great fun and would have been quite difficult to do using traditional mediums, but were fairly easy to accomplish on the computer. The baboon image is an old engraving that I found in a book. This is an excellent way to experiment with design and color on the computer.


More craziness aa well as great fun with color and design.


Two more wild designs, anything goes when experimenting !


It's amazing what can be dome using the computer medium, it really begs one to experiment.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

More comic book cover parodies

Continuing with my series of comic book cover parodies, here are four more examples.


For this cover I used a few old ink drawings that were originally done for a Dracula book, combining them to create this cover.


A take-off on Batman and Robin.


The line art used here was originally done as part of a series of prints illustratimg Edgar Rice Burrough's stories, this particular print depicted "Beyond Thirty". The art was scanned into the computer where the lettering and color was added.


I have done over 100 of these parodies, they are signed, limited edition 13 x19" prints that are exhibited in art galleries and Art Centers. They were all created on the computer.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Even more DaVinci

DaVinci 1

Another cover using Mona's enigmatic smile as the theme.

DaVinci 6

On this cover comic strip I used a lot of Leonardo's drawings and added a couple of ladies.


A combination of Leonardo and Harry. I use this image on my business cards and promotional material.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Comic Book cover parodies & Davinci

DaVinci 3

More crazy comic book cover parodies, this time based on Leonardo DaVinci's work.

DaVinci 4

This cover is about the Camera Obscura, something that Davinci used and was quite interested in. This device can be a box or even a room with a small hole in one side. Light from the outside scene passes through the hole and appears as an upside down image on the opposite wall. This can be used as a drawing aid.

DaVinci 2

A play on the enigmatic smile of the Mona Lisa. I think even Leonardo would get a chuckle out of this image.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Comic book cover parodies

When I was a youngster I was fascinated by comic strips and comic books. Most kids, whether they liked to draw or not, felt the same way about the comics. I was determined to become a comic book artist. I loved the work of Lou Fine, Will Eisner, Noel Sickles, Milton Caniff, Simon and Kirby, Fred Guardineer, Roy Crane, Hal Foster and a host of others.
My high school teacher, Margaret Stein, broadened my view by introducing me to the worlds of commercial and fine art. Margaret was a very tough teacher, she used to give me "D" grades because she felt that I wasn't working hard enough. At the time I was winning national Scholastic art awards ! She certainly prepared me for the commercial art business. Margaret had actually worked in a New York art studio and had a good grasp of the business. How lucky can a fledgling art student be ? You rarely have knowledgeable teachers like this at the college level. She was also responsible for the production of the school yearbook and assigned me the job of art director. More about this in a future post.
A couple of years ago I began doing a series of comic book cover parodies which are all created using Photoshop Elements 2.0. They are signed limited edition prints on 13 x 19" archival paper that are exhibited in galleries and Art centers.

DD 7

This image is one of a series of parodies on the fine art world, DIGITAL DREAMS, which I later adapted for one of my comic book cover parodies.

Dali 3

Dali 1

More nonsense, Dali's work is made for parodies.

Dali 2

This is also a great way to practice digital techniques. Dali would have certainly enjoyed working on the computer.

Dali 4

These images are really a combination of art and the collage technique. I add photos and pieces of Dali's paintings until I have an interesting composition. While these images are not planned, I do have a basic idea when I begin which often changes dramatically during the process.


Forgive me but I just can't resist mimicking those old "Draw ME" ads. More comic book cover parodies on my next post.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

More digital experiments

Here are some more examples of what I call art unique to the computer, mages that would be difficult to accomplish with traditional mediums but quite natural to create on the computer.

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As I have previously mentioned, these images are a combination of art and the collage technique. Some portions of these imaqes are actually pieces from earlier paintings. The Photoshop Airbrush Tool was used to render the gradations.

CA 7

This is one of my favorite renderings, the composition and colors work very well together.

CA 8

Another fun experiment using only flat colors.

CA 9

Above is a clean, light airy study using fresh colors while the piece below is more of a somber, although quite interesting rendering.

CA 10

These, and the examples from the previous post give you a good idea of what can be done using this technique. None of these images were planned, I generally begin with a flat overall color background. Then I add various shapes, some from previous works, gradually building up the composition and color values.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Art unique to the computer

There are countless ways that that art can be created on the computer. Working in this medium for a few years got me thinking about what I would term "the art technique most natural for the computer". It would most likely be something that would be difficult to do in the traditional mediums yet accomplished with relative ease on the computer. The images below are the technique I arrived at. While these images would be possible to mimic in more traditional mediums they would certainly be a tedious chore.

CA 1
CA 2

These images are a combination of art and the collage technique. Some of the pieces in these studies are actually sections of other digital images that were done previously. I didn't do any preliminary sketches or other planning before starting these renderings.

CA 3
CA 4
CA 5

This is a fun technique to explore as you are working with color, design as well as your own imagination. I used Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 to create all of these images. I'll show you a few more on Saturday's post. Incidentally, I post on this blog every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. On my other blog, HARRY BORGMAN ART, I post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

More digital abstractions

Abst 7

The images in this group are partially based on a photo of a piece of sculpture that I had constructed out of strips of wood. In some cases I scanned parts of the photo into the computer. Again, this is an example of how working in one medium can influence you when working in another. These are basically experiments in color and design that are ideal to create on the computer.


Most of the linear work on this image were drawn in using the Photoshop Line Tool. This a very complex rendering that took quite a while to compose. By extending the image outside of the rectangular border I created a more interesting design.

Abst 9

Enlarging the linear images and adding the rectangular shapes results in a powerful design. None of theses studies were planned, I just began each one with a color background.

Abst 10

I feel that this is my most successful attempt, the design and colors work very well together. This piece has been exhibited in galleries and art centers as a 13 x 10" signed, limited edition digital print.

Abst 11

Two additional interesting color/design studies. I could have done several more variations using this basic design.

Abst 12

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Digital abstractions

I love abstract art and do a lot of paintings in that vein. The computer has opened up new worlds for me as I can quickly do interesting color sketches that later can be used as a basis for a painting. Some of my digital work is exhibited in galleries and art centers as limited edition prints. Here are some of my early abstract digital studies.

Abst 1

I basically start with an overall color on the background and begin to add shapes and other colors.

Abst 2
Abst 3

On the study below I scanned in photos of parts of a wooden sculpture I had constructed. When doing sketches like these, anything goes, get wild and experiment with crazy color combinations and designs.

Abst 4

More of the same. This is a great way to practice with design and color on the computer.

Abst 5

Some of these studies worked out quite well, they are interesting enough to frame and show in my gallery. To see some of my abstract and other paintings as well as my sculpture, go to my LINKS and click on CRAIG SMITH GALLERY. Check out the other artists as well, you'll see some very interesting work. If you are ever near Harbert in Southwestern Michigan, be sure to visit his spacious gallery. Another great spot to visit is the Scarlet Macaw Art Center in downtown Sawyer

Abst 6

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Still more computer-generated figure studies

The computer is great fun to experiment with once you get used to dealing with this sometimes infernal machine. Mysterious crashes can occur at the most inconvenient times and if you haven't saved your work, you'll have to start all over. Hopefully you learn a lesson from this, but you don't and suddenly it happens again.... and again ! At times the computer definitely seems anti artist ! Learning how new programs work can also be a real chore at times. Then there are computer upgrades and some of your favorite programs won't work with the new system. Many of the books dealing with computer operations can be mystifying. I'm not trying to discourage you from dealing with this amazing machine, just giving you an idea of some of the things you can expect to experience. Myself, and most of my artist friends, have just jumped in head first and bungled through somehow. Believe me it's well worth whatever effort it takes to learn how to create digital art. Usually there are several ways to accomplish the same thing and you will gravitate towards the method that best suits you. As you work more with the computer you will fully understand what I mean. Occasionally you will accidentally stumble onto a new way to do something and hopefully remember just how you did it. As I always remind you, the computer is a terrific art medium and can really help you develop as an artist.

Fig 7

Here's a realistic digital painting done in Photoshop Elements 2.0 using a mouse. When I was a child I severely hurt a finger on my right hand and would not use it. I began writing and drawing with my left hand and still do. But I find it impossible to use my left hand to draw with the mouse but can easily do so with my right hand. Technically, I must be right-handed even though I draw with my left. When using the Wacom tablet with the pen I do use my left hand.

Fig 8

A second version of the same composition this time I changed the background color and added a few black shapes and some lines as a design elements.

Fig  16

Here are four other versions where I played around with the background colors. The two lower versions are negative images of the original. Doing many studies like these are invaluable for an artist as a learning exercise. They are also fairly easy to do on the computer.

Fig 10

Another figure study, this time done in a loose sketchy technique. This type of color sketch is very good practice and can be based on a photo or drawing. In fact, you can paint directly over a scanned photo.

Fig 15

Any number of additional versions can be created with little effort. I just work over copies of my original image. Once you familiarize yourself with the Photoshop tools studies like these will be fun to explore. You don't need the pro Photoshop program, the simplified versions like Photoshop Elements are more than adequate to create these types of studies. If you have a printer or scanner most likely it came bundled with a version of Photoshop Elements, so you have all you need to start experimenting with digital images.