Friday, November 15, 2013

Beauty at the Breaks

I thought it would be warmer the day we visited Cedar Breaks. The sky was clear, the sun was out, it was a beautiful day! Just cold. The contrasts of the high-plateau are stark if not stunning, especially along Spectra Point where the Bristlecone pines have grown for as long as 1,600 years. I wanted to do something relating to automobile travel in the parks as usual. The view of the amphitheater below, however, isn't visible from the road. And the view from the spectacular rim is everything.

I usually don't recommend viewing the canyon from the rim with a coat on your head, but as I mentioned before, it was cold that day!

This picture of a Bristlecone was the inspiration for the poster. I couldn't quite comprehend the branches, so I used a different tree for reference. I also later decided I needed a figure, so my kind wife posed once again for the reference photo.

The tree was a challenge to draw, but I felt good about the outcome. The study is pictured below:

And finally, the final product:

Beware of the Goblins

Goblins are scary. I have seen the movies, I know you should steer clear of the creatures. Well, at least the living ones. Goblins that have been magically turned to stone, however, I highly recommend visiting. The fantastical valley of the Goblins in southern Utah is a magical place. Walking among the stone formations leaves you questioning whether or not your still on earth, and if you have seen the movie Galaxy Quest, you are convinced. This other-worldly feel was what I hoped to capture in form and in color.

Human scale is one of Goblin Valley's charms. So many of Utah's landscapes exhibit monolithic formations of gargantuan proportions. You can also imagine from this picture that the spectator could be having a conversation with the creatures she is facing.

I liked this view of the valley from behind. Surrounded by the towers of stone, one feels isolated from an expected environment. I wonder if she is thirsty out there.

Wait this isn't Goblin Valley! Talk about an expected environment. I needed a figure for my final piece, so I grabbed a missionary on the street to pose for me. Perhaps he has a future as a model!

Below, I have included a study of the Goblins, and the final rendering of the poster:

Next time: Beauty at the Breaks

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tales of Gold Spikes

"Why sure I will participate in the reenactment," I told a fellow who was dressed as if he just stepped out of 1869. "We need you to wear this bowler hat and read this line," the dapper man said. "You will play L. W. Coe." SO while Mr. Coe played himself at Promontory Summit on May 10, 1869, I would stand in the same place on June 23, 2012 and utter his same words. History is cool!

Here is the reenactment cast. I am the guy on the far right in jeans and a bowler hat that is a little tight.

 For the poster, I took this picture of the engines face-to-face. I like the different angle, since most images of the trains show them from the side. Below I have included the final rendering, and a study I did of the "Jupiter."

Next time on Scenic Highways: Beware of the Goblins!

Friday, October 11, 2013

  Glacial Grandeur
I wouldn't miss an opportunity to visit a national park if one were near by. So, when my friend invited me to his wedding in Cardston, Canada, I knew we would have to include a side trip to Glacier National Park. We entered the park on July 3, 2011 and drove up the east end of the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Of course I had to jump out every few miles and take a picture until I found the perfect subject for the Scenic Highways series:

How fortunate that a ranger truck would be available to pose.

Since the road was dedicated in 1933, I wanted a period car to replace the obviously modern truck in the final version of the poster.

This beautiful 1934 Ford Woody was found inside some guy's house in Pennsylvania, and when I say inside the house, I mean in the bedroom. Of course it was removed with care, restored, and now has a backwards license plate on it (or, I flipped the photo).

The final results are exhibited below, A study of the mountain on the left, and the final poster design on the right. Come again for "Tales of Gold and Other Less Valuable spikes."

Monumental Scouting

I can't remember the exact year. 1984 or 1985 I think. I do remember being in the back of a 1970s station wagon, brownish, facing backward in the fold up seat; the kind where you can pull faces at the car behind you. Our scout troop got up before the sun and drove from Riverton, Utah to Bullfrog Marine on Lake Powell. I still remember how sore my bony backside was after taking the two hour trip to Rainbow Bridge in a tri-hull boat. (I much prefer the lack of jolting in a v-hull!) The natural wonder was none-the-less amazing. That was the first time and unfortunately the last time I saw the monument.

Still inspired by the sight, Rainbow Bridge is the subject of my next project. Below is the first of several studies I drew of the bridge as seen from near the boat dock:

I scouted out an older boat that I loosely used as reference:

(Notice the boat is a v-hull, no sore butts for my poster!)

My neighbors agreed to pose as boaters, which looked a little strange to those passing by in cars, however, I think they did a great job modelling the back of their heads for me.

I also used quite a stack of pictures from the internet for the bridge itself, but choose not to violate any laws by reposting them. So here it is, the final rendering of Rainbow Bridge:

Tune in next time for "Glacial Grandeur."

Friday, September 27, 2013

Welcome to Scenic Highways!

We visited Great Basin National Park on Labor Day to find the best view for the poster. I took this picture on the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive:

Who would have thought a scene like this existed along U.S. 50 in Nevada! This reference photo led to the creation of the art below:

The truck is based on a 1967 Ford Camper Special. It's a good thing, considering the truck has a camper on it.