Watchers – Painting

A mixed media painting on cold-press. Ink, watercolor, and photo-manipulation for the geometric overlay of the ink-splatter. The face near the middle connected to the smoke is actually a portrait I did when I was first getting into digital and mixed media. It saved me a lot of time to use that and I think it looks pretty interesting.

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copr Blu-Art 2018, all rights reserved.

Gemini – Mixed Media Painting

Another piece of my long standing zodiac project. This one means a lot to me. One of my best friends fell thirty feet in a climbing accident and hit his head on a rock. It took the doctors three days to determine he was brain dead. They took him off support last Saturday. He was a Gemini and my friend Kendra and I created a unique version of the image for his birthday, which was a week before the accident. He never got to see it finished, but I think he would’ve liked it. He was always supportive of my art. He was probably my only fan when I first started. He was just a good friend, always there for me, even when I wasn’t there for me, and even when I wasn’t there for him.

Gemini 93×104 inches

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copr blu-art, Kochre, and arctic-ink 2018

Some minor issues, but we’ll fix them.

Vertebra – Photo-manipulation

A straight photo-manipulation my friend and I made using a mix of personal and free assets. It was a fun day trip driving out to Des Moines to gather a plethora of photos, and this is what we came up with. I think it could have gone a lot worse considering our relative inexperience with photography.

Putting it together was also difficult, as we had something like three hundred pictures to comb through. Anyway, I had fun putting it together!

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copr Blu-art 2018

Amalgam

One of my first attempts at a piece with an invisible background (not easy the way I paint). My style breaks down in cleanliness a little when you take away the background which I usually use for positive and negative space interplay, but this came out alright. It’s a little confusing to look at but it’s also a T-shirt design and I kind of like that it looks like a simple shape from far away but is also rather detailed up close.

It’s a mixed media piece. The women were done in ink while the buildings were photo manipulated into a fractal pattern. The pain splatters and textured splashes were painted digitally.

 

 

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Here’s some examples of how it looks printed:

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Anyway, had a lot of fun putting this together between exams and ER shifts this weekend.

 

Here’s a link to the store page if anyone is interested: https://www.designbyhumans.com/shop/t-shirt/men/metric-rain/952154/2

V – I miss you

Time lost up front.

You fell and it’s to late too fix the hole in your head.

So I’ll be there when they say it’s time, because I wasn’t there when I should’ve been. Time paid back in half…at best. Still, I’ll be there when they set you free, of that prison gravity put you in.

And at least your valves will work for someone who didn’t fall, but if I’m being honest I don’t care. Because their brain isn’t yours. There’s a romantic something to be found in the fact your heart will be pumping for someone else, but I liked your brain better than your heart. It was a good heart. You ran eight miles a day and left me in the dust whenever I tried to tag along.

I could blame the pseudo-asthma but the truth is you had a better heart. Figuratively and literally; a better heart. Which brings me back to the construct of you; your brain. Your dead brain. You survived the surgery and suddenly Kendra was right to have driven straight to Madison. You pushed through. But, it’s just as well, I’ll get to see you but I owe her an apology. The surgeon said you had three hours and I had eight hours of pavement to cover. So I cried instead.

Then we thought you were alive again. Until they couldn’t wake you up. So I cried again and at least Kendra was back to cry with me. I know I need to be there for her more than I have been too.

Still.

Fuck you for not using ropes. And fuck me for thinking it was cool every time you scaled a building or cliff face without them. Fuck me for not loving you back when you needed it and fuck me for taking so long to realize you were still my best friend. Fuck me for assuming you wanted nothing to do with me over that lie.

At least we figured it out near the end. Figured out we still needed each other.

And I know you want to leave now. I know you don’t want to be trapped in a coma. I know you don’t want to be buried so we’ll scatter you where you said.

Thank you for everything. Thank you for convincing me to keep arting, thank you for playing Borderlands 2 with me everyday after school for over a year because you knew I was lonely, and thank you for being there that summer during my surgery. Thank you for helping me cook for French class and convincing everyone I did it alone while I was in the other room. Thank you for thinking I was worth keeping around, and for believing in fate and love when I couldn’t seem to comprehend either. Thank you for taking the time to help me learn. I love you V.

And I’ll be there when they pull the plug and cut out your valves.

Cancer – Painting

Phew. Been working on this one for a few months. A put out a smaller version a while back, then realized it had more potential. So I added, a lot. And made it huge. I’m proud of it. There’s a lot of little details that are easy to miss, especially when it’s shrunk down like this. (If you can find the negative space crab, I’ll be impressed.

I still need to clean up a few things (especially the lips and the transition to the waterfall). But I think it’s on track to be one of my most complex pieces.

 

94×73 inch digital painting

Cancer

copr Blu-art and Arktic-ink 2018, all rights reserved.

Wallpaper cut:

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More Cover Art!

A collaboration project with an old art buddy of mine. Been working on it over the past month or so and I think it’s coming along nicely. It’s primarily a digital painting but there are composite elements in the largest flower and the famous building I’ve forgotten the name of (both were free photos from unsplash.com that we reworked into the composition). The subject was also based on a photo which I masked over and painted/re-textured. That’s essentially the equivalent of tracing something, but it is still painted and I think she turned out well.

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copr Blu-art and Kochre. 

I moved away here from my normal hyper-textured/realistic style primarily because there isn’t enough skin to make it work. Most of the composition was just black…so we worked in little Easter eggs from the story.

I’m especially proud of the eye re-texturing I did specifically for this piece.

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Here’s a closeup of the most recent addition. There’s some smoothing out to do still, but I’m rather fond of how it turned out.

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Here is a close-up of the hands alongside a few of the more complex transitions:

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I know it seems needlessly bloody, but the character depicted loses a finger during the act this heads, which is what it references. Furthermore, I did a questionable job on repainting the contour of the hand and messed up the skin color a little. The blood helps cover up the mediocrity.

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The artwork displayed here is copyrighted and not available for any type of reproduction without explicit written permission from me. I’m pretty open to letting people use stuff as long as they pass along credit, so don’t be afraid to ask!

My Portfolio: https://arctic-ink.myportfolio.com/

My Deviant Art: https://arctic-ink.deviantart.com/

My Design by Humans shop: https://www.designbyhumans.com/shop/ArcticInk/

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Work

For me, if I don’t have an overarching goal, ambition, or thing that seems impossible to work towards; I go a little crazy. My mind is active and it’s like it creates internal problems that I have to solve but probably can’t because they’re ill-defined and not as pressing or relevant as they seem. Most would call this sort of experience anxiety, and I tend to agree. These go away when I have something huge to work on. My books, an ambitious art project, pouring my everything into my classes. I need to outrun myself.

I think the need to be improving, the need to not waste time is important. But it’s hurt every relationship I’ve tried to have or cultivate. Friends are easy to fit in but close friends and my ex’s all end up realizing I can’t relax. I can’t do leisure. I can’t make time for them when I’ve already scheduled out my day with thirty hours worth of hard work. And if I did there’s no guarantee they’ll like what they see. Anxious.

I’m overbooked, all the time…but I like that. It’s the only way I sleep. I need it, otherwise my mind goes back to torturing me and convincing me all these little problems and all the stuff from my past still matters when it doesn’t. It’s all or nothing with people, and it’s not right to make anyone my project, so they stay at arms length and I hope they don’t mind that I need to plow ahead with my passions. Regret never helped a soul and I’ve already learned from those mistakes. I don’t have a time machine, so I need to keep my eye on ‘what’s next’. Perpetually.

Okay, breaks over. Back to studying!

 

Peace,

Blu

Sketches from my first sketchbook: Six years of progress #1

I took my first art/design course when I was a sophomore in high school (six years ago). I was interested in making art for video games and I was already learning C# and experimenting with tools like Autodesk maya and engines like UDK to make my own stuff.

That whole dream never really panned out (ended up in hard sciences) but I really went at the art. I was doing fifty hours a week, staying up all night to practice contour and learn to draw new things. It was one of my first real obsessive periods. I periodically get really into things which later eb and flow but most have stuck around (writing and drawing more than anything).

For the class we had to do daily sketches from life or our head based on a prompt. These are some of them. Bare in mind that while I was working hard, I was very much a beginner. It’s awesome to look back and compare this stuff to my current works and compositions. The style is actually pretty similar, still, in a lot of ways. It’s just more refined and cohesive now.

I’ll go in order of the pages and this was taped to the front page.

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I started out with bic pens and markers which s what this was in. Pretty sketchy shading but I was really proud of the contour. It took my a while and few tries at the time to nail down the general shape of a face let alone the gesture of a body.

This was probably the first time I tried to depict tattoos on skin, which is something I do on a regular basis now. I’ve gone so far as to design elaborate tattoos just so I could put them in a drawing later on:

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In this semi-photo-realistic digital portrait I spent the most time on the tattoos and hair. I’ve found that abstract designs (time here) work much better for accenting skin in the context of a drawing.

This style evolved further into turning the skin into it’s own canvas within a canvas:

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Here the skin is less skin and more of a symbolic mosaic kind of story. I don’t like to explain intent explicitly and won’t, but there is a specific reason things are where they are here.

To me it’s really cool to be able to trace stylistic elements I employ in my hyper-realism and composite art back to one of the first decent anime sketches I did a few months after I started drawing.

Singularity – Artwork

A composite wallpaper I made using adobe photo-shop and personal/free assets. Thanks to NASA for providing the awesome in-space photo I used in the top left transition.

2400×4200 pix

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– special thanks to KO for modeling and taking upwards of forty awkward shots of her legs for this piece, you’re the real hero –

The base of the piece was a photograph one of my best friends took of her legs, then I masked over it and repainted/replaced the skin to get more of a painted/graphic look which makes it easier to blend into a conceptual piece that already has a mixture of drawn objects next to photographs. The smoke, city, and blended transitions were all painted in to connect the extremely disparate elements of the piece. I wanted it to look like worlds or realities were about to crash together while there’s this tear or rift in reality just a few feet away from the model. The problem is she has to jump to reach the red door before everything comes crashing down.

The biggest challenge here was trying to highlight a focus, because everything is pretty hyper-detailed and distracting. That chaos is good and needed to represent worlds literally colliding, but it make it tricky to form a true compositional balance when the background is –for lack of a better word– is a cluster-duck.

Anyway, I think it turned out pretty cool for what it is and I learned a lot making it which is always the goal here.

 

Cheers!

-Blu

 

-Free stock credits (via unsplash)

https://unsplash.com/@istocode

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My portfolio (I do take commissions): https://arctic-ink.myportfolio.com/

My clothing designs: https://www.designbyhumans.com/shop/ArcticInk/