VW Rabbit

Every artist has their Achilles heel but if we are to grow as an artist, we have to address our shortcomings even if they frustrate us. In the long run, such diligence pays off and we’ll have more weapons at our disposal when it comes time to create. I have several such antagonists. One of them, happens to be the 3/4 profile of an automobile. I use an automobile as an example but I guess my real problem is with still life and perspective. I find them incredibly boring but they’re indispensable for honing your skills and once you master them, they’ll enhance the things you love to draw.

Drawing an automobile has been quite the frustrating experience I’d imagined it would be. My initial sketch was mediocre at best but I was fairly confident that I could spruce it up in Illustrator. I’ve been using Illustrator for about 2 months now and I’m beginning to feel a little bit more confident using it. The model for this experiment is a VW Rabbit, a cute little car. Well, after working on it for a few hours, I began to feel agitated as it was not going well. I tried to use the 3D tool for the tires but they ended up looking a bit wide and flat. The rest of it didn’t look quite right either. I was worried that I had become a cubist. I was on the verge of giving up but I decided to take a break instead and fix it later. After much tweaking and multiple redoes of certain elements, it started to look decent and I’m glad I stuck with it! It’s still a work in progress but the experience has no doubt improved my game. I guess the message here is to abandon your comfort zone every once in awhile and explore other avenues of invention. What seems to be a chore at first will ultimately make you a better artist and isn’t that the whole idea?

The Donner Cut
Superman II The Richard Donner Cut (TRDC) is the highly anticipated release of the Superman sequel as (almost) conceived and intended by the film’s original Director, Richard Donner. I say almost because Donner, who directed the first film, was removed from the project during filming and replaced by Richard Lester who is credited with the theatrical cut. Both films were to be shot back to back.

Superman II picks up where the first film left off. If you have not seen it, not to worry. There is a brief recap at the beginning of the film. As Superman’s relationship with Lois Lane grows, so does his desire to lead a more normal life. This raises some interesting questions and Superman has to make a choice between his responsibilities as the world’s savior and a chance at happiness. The paradox presents a human element to Superman and is one of the reasons why I enjoy the sequel so much. I have always found the character of Superman to be a little too perfect but this says otherwise. The other reasons I love Superman II are the supervillains. Finally, a challenge! While Superman is out romancing Lois and philosophizing, three supervillains who where imprisoned by Superman’s father escape the phantom zone and wreak havoc on the planet Houston er… Earth. This sets up a major conflict that comes to a head when Superman finally realizes that he can no longer ignore his calling.

While watching TRDC, I cannot help but think how perfectly cast the late Christopher Reeve is as Superman/Clark Kent. He is Superman. I only have one teeny tiny bit of criticism. If the effectiveness of your secret identity hinges on a single article of clothing… say glasses, it is probably not a good idea to constantly draw attention to them by pushing them up every minute or so.

If you have not seen Superman II or are a casual fan of the sequel and do not watch the Lester version religiously, you will enjoy this cut. It is by no means perfect which is to be expected since Donner was not allowed to fully realize his vision. I have read discussion boards regarding this film and it seems that hardcore fans are polarized between the two versions but I find that there is enough love to go around. It is like a great story being told by two different people. It is the same story but just a different interpretation. Much of Lester’s camp approach is removed from the film and there is a greater continuity between Superman I and TRDC. In that sense, I like this version but I cannot say that I prefer one version over the other overwhelmingly. I have a familiarity with the Lester version but I like this cut too. One of my favorite lines is removed from TRDC which is Lex Luthor’s observation on how the supervillains cannot seem to figure out the purpose of doors. I also find fault with the ending and how Superman restores order to the world not because it is lame but because it is a trick I have seen before but it seems to make much more sense than Lester’s implementation of the super kiss. Also missing from TRDC is the super tag sequence in the Fortress of Solitude, Superman’s swank bachelor pad (What no cable?). I am rather fond of that sequence.

If I had to choose one version over the other, I would chose TRDC but it is by no means a slam dunk and I can see how the case can be made for the theatrical cut. It is a little more polished than TRDC but I think both hold their own. In either version, Superman II is wonderful entertainment.

The Winter Heart
I recently did a banner for my sister’s online jewelry store. I was pleased with the image but felt it needed more… emotion and angst which are feelings I’m all too familiar with. So, I added some tears and… well, take a look. I think it’s a bold statement about love and seasonal depression. Click for the full image.

It’s true. I only have a paltry ten friends and I suspect that one of them is a fake and a spammer but I don’t have a clue as to what she’s hocking. I’m not a regular visitor to MySpace so I guess that’s my own doing. I’m all for social networking but I don’t know why there isn’t more of a backlash against MySpace and if that’s social networking, I’m more inclined to be a loner. First of all, it’s extremely slow to load a page. WTF. Do we really need to revisit the horrible web design of the mid ’90′s with animated GIFs and the like? Yes, we all had fun with it when we had to make a web page for computer class but some things are better left dead and buried. If I’m somehow lucky enough to load a page, I then have to worry about not developing an epileptic seizure from all of this animated crap. It’s quite possibly the worst visual experience since the Pokemon cartoon and that, apparently, did cause some seizures. Secondly, I love music as much as the next person but I’m thoughtful enough to spare my friends the audible rape of auto-playing my selected soundtrack. My tastes don’t appeal to everyone. I recognize this and I hope that my friends would return the favor. MySpace is sometimes a very frustrating experience but it doesn’t have to be.

Welcome to my wonderful blog where I’ll be posting artwork that I’m currently working on or pieces that I have completed as well as random thoughts. Enjoy!

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