Category: drawing

Maps, moving pictures, and mermaids…

… and other daily creates from this week.

I haven’t blogged about my daily creates for 6 days in this 30-day daily create marathon, so I’ve got a bit of catching up to do. And I am behind on one of them from this week already.

The daily create for June 12 was:

Maps are crazy things, full of inaccuracies, strange proportions and distortions, and there often be dragons hiding off the edge of the World!

Add to the craziness of cartography by using the tool at Map Stack to create a visual piece of art that uses a map (either of your place or some other place) as the source of inspiration. Add layers to make a rich interpretation of the world.

Map Stack is a lot of fun. It’s like an image manipulation tool like GIMP only for maps (and not as powerful). Here is the one I made of the area of Melbourne where I lived when we spent a year on sabbatical in Australia (2012-2013…I first took DS106 in the Spring of 2013).

 

The daily create for June 13, 2017:

ZOMG ROTL art! Follow the lead of Slut4Art and create a TIL, TFW, ICYMI type tweet for what is going on in classic art.

I took a long time for this one. I went to the openly-licensed collections listed in the Creative Commons search tool to find an image I could say a TIL or TFW or ICYMI thing about. Finding the right image took at least an hour…I can’t remember exactly how long. Here’s what I came up with:

Appraising the Day’s Work by Anna Ancher (1883), licensed CC0 on Europeana.

If I’m just going to add text to an image, usually I use Pixlr Express because it’s super easy and fast. But I wanted to use speech bubbles and that just wasn’t working out easily. Once you set text or stickers in Pixlr Express you can’t move them again later, and that was too limiting.

So I used GIMP for this, and created speech bubbles myself. I used the rectangular select tool to select a section on a new, transparent layer, and then used the bucket tool to fill it in. I used the free select tool to create the little arrow thing pointing to who is saying what. I put each of the speech bubbles on different layers so I could move them independently. Having them on layers meant I could adjust the transparency of them as well, which I liked.

The best part about this one, though, is that I got a reply from Skagens Museum to my tweet with this image in it (a set of museums focusing on Skagens painters, of which Anna Ancher is one):

 

The daily create for June 14:

Panorama clone yourself!

More of me? I mean you? Yes! Try this low tech approach to place yourself multiple times in a mobile phone panorama image.

You will need a friend to operate a mobile phone camera in panorama mode. The idea is to have them pause their movement after they pass your first position, then you run around behind them and set up just ahead of the continued motion.

I played around with this multiple times and had some pretty strange results sometimes. This one turned out the best. Thanks to my son for moving the camera!

Dinner would be done quicker if there were more of me.

You can get strange effects with this, like this one where my son’s arms disappeared in the middle image for some reason.

Look ma, no arms!

The daily create for June 15:

All this one said was: “I am nervous.”

I did a quick drawing…

This was the only thing that came to me when I saw the prompt.

 

The daily create for June 16:

Design the poster for a movie with this plot: “A mermaid rebuilds the Brooklyn Bridge out of paradoxes.”

(from Magical Realism Bot on Twitter)

This was a challenge. I spent the day trying to come up with something, and in the end what I did was kind of literal–a mermaid spewing paradoxes that actually hold up the bridge.

Sources for image:

  • Brooklyn bridge, licensed CC0 on pixabay.com
  • Mermaid icons purchased from thenounproject.com (I have a yearly subscription, which also allows you to download in colour). The Noun Project has a handy app that’s great except that you can’t find links to the icons on the website through it, so I don’t have a link for the mermaid icon I used.

I’d like to say I made the speech bubbles easily like in the Anna Ancher image above, but I tried to do something fancy with the one holding up the bridge and spent way too long on it. I wanted to warp it to fit the bridge shape, and spent a long time trying to figure out how to do that in GIMP. Suffice it to say I didn’t really figure out a good way, though much time was wasted playing with Tools->Distort->Curve Bend, which works okay except you can’t see exactly what it’s doing until you close out of it and so you have to do it over and over (there is a “preview” function but that didn’t seem to do much).

In the end I used the free select tool to make it more rectangular, and then used bucket fill as well as the eraser to take out the curves I had added and make the speech bubble more like a rectangle. Overall, this was over an hour’s worth of work, which is far too long for a daily create, especially for results I’m not that excited about.

 

The daily create for June 17:

Terrible, terrible headlines!

Use the Upworthy Generator to see examples and create your own DS106 Unworthy Headline. Bonus internet points if you find an appropriate image to go with your headline.

And wrap a story it innuendo about it.

Okay, so I hadn’t actually heard of Upworthy, and I had to go look not only at the parody generator but the original site too. Even then the easiest way for me to go about this one was to find an image first. I searched through some of my old images and found one I took in Costa Rica last December. A friend who is a botanist said it’s some kind of passion flower.

I took a picture of it originally because I thought it looked like something out of Dr. Seuss. Hence the headline here.

I did this one in Pixlr Express, which also has, I discovered, a “splash” tool that desaturates the whole image and lets you ‘paint’ the colour back in where you want it. This one truly took me more like the 15 minutes a daily create should take!

 

 

Map of today

Today’s #ds106 daily create was:

Draw your path on a map. Stop being a slave to GPS trackers! Get out a real map (or even a digitized on), find yourself, and show us where you traveled today.

I really don’t want to put any information about my daily whereabouts on a map, unless it’s just my work–that information is public. But anything that reveals where I live, or what parts of town I tend to frequent…I’d rather that not be readily available online, for safety reasons.

So instead I drew a kind of emotional map of today, on a background of mountains and water because that’s what I’m surrounded by here in Vancouver. The mountains go right down into the water. Sea-to-sky they call it here. And this background seemed to fit the shape of the movement of my moods today.

Map of today

Today was difficult. I spent a good deal of time last night looking at the news about the attack on Bastille Day in Nice, and today I started off this morning still feeling awful and outraged. At a certain point I just crumpled in a heap in my office, unable to do any work. For some reason this particular attack hit me hard. Maybe it was because it had been a family holiday with kids–something I and my family do all the time. Maybe it was just on top of everything else in the past few months. I don’t know, but I really couldn’t take it. There were brief moments of despair in there.

Then I started doing some connections/collaborations with people in #clmooc, and I started to feel better. Something about joining with others to create something gave me a renewed sense of hope and I was able to face the day. That’s something I’ve experienced many times in ds106, and I thought it might work for this otherwise very difficult day. It did.

Here’s a blog post about how connecting and making things helped me through.

So when it came time to think about a map of today, an emotional map was the first thing that came to mind…

And I’ve been playing around with actual pencil and paper drawing lately, just because I’ve mostly been doing so much digitally that I wanted a change for a little bit. And I want to get better at drawing. I keep thinking “I can’t draw,” and though that, like so much of what I thought I “couldn’t” do before #ds106, is bullshit, it’s also true that I’ll only get better with practice. Here’s some practice.