What have you done NOW?




I owe this post to my fellow blogger KSujulie. I read her amazing and funny blog the moment something new is posted. Her amazing way of writing draws you in, makes you laugh, and just plain makes sense! If it wasn’t for a reply she left to one of my comments on her blog, I would be putting this post off much longer! Thanks Julie! Without further adieu…

My girlfriend had long ago requested that I draw a tattoo for her. She had this idea for it, and told me the story behind it. When she was little, her Grandpa gave her a little red drum for Christmas. She loved the little red drum, and played it (annoying the pants off of her Dad, which was Grandpa’s goal). She asked me to draw a pair of hands holding the drum as a tribute to her Grandpa, and fond memories.

girl with drum
Opening the drum with Grandpa. Look at that stylish hair!
girl with drum
Banging the drum. Even holding the drumsticks the right way!

I started doing some research a couple of months ago. It was hard finding examples of hands in the position I wanted. It was even harder finding an older man’s hands! My girlfriend envisioned the hands cupping a tiny version of the drum, holding it gingerly. Finally, I found an image that I thought would work!

Hands to hold a drum
Hands to hold a drum –

I spent a few hours working on a realistic sketch of the hands. I did about three versions. When I showed her, she told me she thought it was great. But I wasn’t happy. Unfortunately, we were in the middle of a move, so everything got put on the back burner. Once we settled into the new place, I had a little time on my hands to get the ball rolling again, and my pencil drawing again!

I decided to take a different approach, and simplify the image. I wanted it to be more original – and not just a boring, standard picture of hands. I wanted there to be something different about it. So I ended up with this drawing:

line drawing of hands
Comic-ish drawing of hands for the tattoo

I was very happy with the result! Now came the hard part. While researching, I managed to find an image of the EXACT drum my girlfriend had received for Christmas so many years ago. The problem was drawing it to stylistically fit the tattoo.

red drum
The little red drum!

I started drawing. I wasn’t sure how the colours or the lines should look. I wanted to incorporate colour, but have the drum look like it belonged in the drawing. My first attempt looked like this:

line drawing of drum
Line drawing of the drum in colour

I was ok with this, but I wasn’t quite happy. I decided that it needed to be outlined in black, like the hands. I set to work again drawing the drum. Some improvements were made:

drum line drawing
Black outline of the drum

I was happy with the result! But now it needed some colour. I set to work scanning it and altering the finished drawing on my computer.

line drawing of red drum
Colour version of the little red drum

Now I just had to put them together! Oh, the joy of computers and software! Here is the finished product! It’s great to draw again 😉

hands holding drum tattoo
The final product. This will be tattooed on my girlfriend’s back. She’s gotta start saving her pennies 😉

HDR Self

A portrait is meant to show our best side. We take photos at parties, weddings, birthdays, and other happy occasions. We choose the best ones and upload them to our facebook or to email to friends. We wear makeup, flattering clothes, do our hair, and strategically cover parts of us that we aren’t exactly happy with. Sometimes, we blur visual details in our own mind – not really even looking closely at the people around us. Once in a while, we realize we haven’t really seen the people we know and love in great detail – because we don’t actually look!

I’ve been experimenting with HDR photos (High Dynamic Range) that allow you to bring out vivid details in photographs. I did a post a while back featuring some images I took and converted to HDR. It occurred to me that the last thing most people would want to do would be to combine the detail of HDR with a self portrait and show all those details we so carefully cover up – so I dove in! I took several self-portraits of my face, hands, feet, and other parts – parts that some people might think are ugly. I brought out all the details as best as I could, to showcase the other side of self portraits. Below, I highlight my wrinkles, my pores, my blemishes, my chubby parts, my moles, my feet, my dirty fingernails…

HDR hand photo
A photo of my hand – wrinkles, hangnails, dirty fingernails, and all. I love details!!!

Continue reading “HDR Self”

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