This little oddment began as a sketch for Illustration Friday’s “Unicorn” prompt, turned into an ornament given as a gift, & now it’s a greeting for you all: wishing you a holiday season full of rare & unexpected delights!
Dunny Waterlogged Acrylic on vinyl toy, 3" tall
It has been a long & winding road, but I finally finished the second custom Dunny– actually the fourth for this collector. This little fellow will be a traveling companion for Azulejo, soon to be crossing the ocean to Portugal!
Coming Attractions Pen & ink in sketchbook
I’ve got a new painting in the works & I’ve been playing with some ideas in pen & ink, posting wip sketches over at Instagram. I thought you all might be interested– I’m planning to share some painting process shots there too. Have a look if you like! (You don’t need an Instagram account to see my page.) These are done in a mini Moleskine sketchbook, with India ink & a Hunt 108 flexible crow-quill pen. The backgrounds are painted in with a Pentel brushpen, & white details added with a Uniball Signo gel pen.
Dunny Azulejo Acrylic on vinyl toy, ~3" tall
It has been quite a while since I painted a custom toy! Here is my latest, Azulejo. His patterns are based on Portuguese tiles, & he holds a miniature “tile” made of painted wood. I’m embarking on another Dunny now– if you’d like to see progress shots, I’ll be posting some on Instagram at instagram.com/curiousartlab/
Emerging Ecosystem Pencil, acrylic & digital
It’s been a while since I posted a doodle– this one started as a pencil sketch, then I played with it some more in Photoshop, using painted textures I’ve scanned, along with text from an antique children’s science book. I thought it turned out to look a bit like a valentine, if valentines were crawling with imaginary organisms.
The Bobs: Mr. Duality AlphaBands
Ah, I do have a weakness for The Bobs. They’re an a cappella group with a decidedly quirky bent. They do originals that range from silly (lots & lots of silly) to surprisingly intense, & amazing covers that are all over the musical map. This image illustrates their song, Mr. Duality. Sample lyrics:
My two sides want to pull me apart
But we’re stuck together, where do we start?
That might seem to be dichotomy
But it could be worse if there were a lotta me
I don’t want to have multiple personalities
Two is enough!
The art is Photoshop, with background text & diagrams scanned from Iriquois Arithmetics, Iriquois Publishing Co, 1932 & Audel’s Engineers and Mechanics Guide 8, Theo Audel & Co, 1921, plus painted textures.
Heart-flower Hand-painted miniature, acrylic on paper in glass & copper locket
Back in the day I did a lot of greeting card & wrapping paper art in the hearts-&-flowers vein. After a few years of that I had had about all the sweetness I could swallow. I called it a quarter-life crisis… & my art has been getting weirder ever since. Someday maybe it will catch up with the rest of me… then look out! ;-)
But speaking of hearts, flowers, & veins, this little anatomical-botanical curiosity popped into my head recently, & I thought it was a perfect candidate for occupying a small empty locket I’d purchased on Etsy. And to continue the wonky circularity (or should I say circulatory system?) of the tale, it’s now available in my shop!
It’s about an inch wide by two inches tall if you count the bail. The picture shows both front & back. The text was borrowed from an old dictionary.
A Stellar New Year! Ephemera from my collection
Dunny Inky Custom Dunny: Acrylic, text collage & found objects on vinyl toy
I’m no journalist, but I am an ink-stained wretch! I love to write & draw with dip pens, especially my beloved flexible crow-quill, Hunt 108. It gives a lovely responsive line with hairline thins & gorgeous juicy thicks, but it does have a ferocious tendency to spatter. My fingers, my desk, & pretty much everything around me tend to be bespeckled most of the time, much like this fellow. ;-)
This custom Dunny was a commission, but the client allowed me free rein with concepts. (A wonderful treat, I must say!) I set to sketching & as usual the act of drawing brought forth a flurry of ideas. In this case the shape of the torso reminded me of old-school ink bottles, which made me think of calligraphic flourishes & spatters. The client chose the sketch (along with the one for Ultramarine) & thus Inky was born!
I had to do the flourishes with acrylic & fine brushes, though, because the pen didn’t play well with vinyl. It was quite a challenge getting into the tight corners!
It’s hard to tell from this dark scan, but Inky holds a dip pen made of a poppy stalk handle topped with a fallen-soldier 108. (They do tend to wear down quickly, so I go through them by the dozen.) His ears/horns are cut-down nibs as well, I forget which sort as I found them in a box of rejected nibs. (Yes, I’m a bit of a hoarder… but see, I needed them!)
The GIF below shows Inky in process. The text is printed out on archival tissue, which conforms better to the Dunny’s contours than regular paper. It’s devilishly fragile, though!
Dunny Dance Custom Dunny: Acrylic, text collage & found objects on vinyl toy
While waiting for paint to dry on the Dunny I’m currently working on, I thought it would be fun to combine the progress shots for Dunny Ultramarine into a little gif. (Thanks to the magic of Photoshop, it is now possible to dance with one’s own backside.) ;-)
For a closer look at the finished Dunny, along with some info about the process, please see my previous post.