Tuesday, February 23, 2016

February Art Project

My second in a series of art projects. This was planned for a client but never got past the pencil stage. I liked the way it was coming out so I finished it myself. The process was my standard of traditional ink and brush work with computer color. In this case Photoshop.

Next month I am planning a book cover for a classic piece of literature. Maybe by that time I'll have something to write about as well.

Friday, February 12, 2016

7 Ways to Improve the Super Bowl

The Super Bowl has come and gone and like the groundhog of sports that means six more months of no football. Time to reflect on this past season and look ahead to the next. In some ways, however, football has landed in a 45,000 seat rut. With mundane ads, a typical halftime show, supported by a decent, if somewhat lackluster, game this year was no exception. Don’t despair, for I have a few ideas on how to improve on America’s Pastime. Here are my seven ways to make the Big Game even bigger and better.

  1. 50% Off Bowl

It takes place during that dead week between the playoffs and the Bowl itself. You know, the Pro Bowl that nobody cares about. I mean football in Hawaii? Instead, why not have the second place team from each conference play each other? This year’s match-up would have featured New England against the Cardinals. I’d watch that. Their bonuses would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $40,000 to $20,000 per player, about 50% of what the Bowl players receive. Not too shabby. Commercial time is half off as well and could become more affordable for many companies. Over the years it might even surpass the Super Bowl.

  1. 10 Minute Half Time

Get rid of the 30-minute half time. No other sport allows for this kind of rest. Plus, how many times can we watch jets fly overhead, fireworks, and giant displays in the crowds. I realize you have limitations in such a venue. So, just get rid of it. By cutting the halftime down, it speeds up the game, the players’ adrenalin level doesn’t drop, and hopefully coaches are forced to put in the second and third stringers. And who knows, maybe these losers will make something happen.

  1. Fantasy Football Commercials

Remember when football commercials featured sexy women, ex-players drinking beer, and Tiparillos? The sexiest ad this year featured Ryan Reynolds. Who changed the channel to The Bachelor?!? I want to feel like a young man again watching these ads. I don’t want to be reminded of my toenail fungus, or that I can’t crap, or even crap too much. Besides, I would rather my daughter see an ad for Johnny Walker Black than Cialis. No more big pharma ads next year please.

  1. Cheerleader Highlights

Let’s take those precious ten minutes during half time and showcase one reason football became America’s number one sport—cheerleaders. These are the real unsung heroes of the gridiron. With tiny outfits and tinier paychecks, the dancers deserve some camera time. Did someone say Mud Bowl? Hey, when your job is to cheer, in Buffalo, in December you should get some reward.

  1. No Crying Game

Any player on either team that cries, either tears of joy or sorrow, has to give a post game interview wearing a dress. Come on fellas, can’t you keep it together in front of 100 million people? Maybe you should be playing baseball. Oh that’s right, there’s no crying in baseball either.

  1. Lottery Tickets

Each year hold a national lottery where anyone is eligible to win four tickets for the price of $1. One hundred winners will be chosen with a total of 400 seats given away. The winners are all seated together forming an ad hoc version of the “Dog Pound”. Let’s bring more fans to the game and less corporations.

  1. Analysis

And lastly, the halftime analysis. Don’t need it. I just watched the damn thing. And if they insist on keeping it, host it with players suffering with CTE*. Too insensitive? Then how about the players’ wives? It could be the Real Housewives of Football.

I could probably think of a few more, or expand on these, but let Roger Goodell pony up some bucks first.

I decided for a New Year’s Resolution this year to improve my portfolio through monthly art projects. January’s was a series of color charts based on the Flemish masters’. I used oils but acrylics work just as well. I coated Crescent illustration board with two coats of gesso. The charts consist of one basic chart and eleven ‘color themed’ variations. I chose my colors based on those done in the past modified with my own color palette. They are:

Cadmium Lemon
Cadmium Yellow Medium
Cadmium Yellow Deep
Yellow Ochre
Burnt Sienna
Cadmium Red Light
Mars Violet
Alizarin Crimson
Cerulean Blue
Ultramarine Blue

Each color was then mixed with various amounts of Titanium White to create 4 stepped tints. The process can be tedious and grueling at times, but also very satisfying and enlightening. I had to redo two charts (see below) and three columns (not shown), but I’m very pleased with the results. I found the earth tones the easiest to mix, followed by the blues, reds, and finally yellows. Perhaps, it is my own color sense or that yellow is high in value straight from the tube that made those so difficult. Every color on each chart should be harmonious with every other color on that same chart. (Compare the Cad. Lemon and Cad. Yellow Med. first attempt and the second to see what I mean.). Examples from other artists can be found through a search engine. Please email me with questions.

My first two attempts.