Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Sketching Along with "The Living Edens" and the Sci-Art Tweetstorm

Symbiartic's Science Art Tweetstorm is back!  Today is technically the last day of the event, so I'm sharing sketches I drew while I watched "The Living Edens: Manu, Peru".

3.24.21 - "The Living Edens: Peru" Sketches

The above drawings were on the last few pages of my Articka Note Sketchbook.  The next batch are on the first few pages of my current Sketchbook, the Ohuhu Marker Pad.  Both are square, take ink and pencils nicely, both are okay with watercolors, and both call to mind the Illo Sketchbook.  So far, I'd put all these Sketchbooks on basically equal footing.

Also, the best way to combat "first page blues" is to go straight from one Sketchbook to the next and the second best way is to find reference of one of your favorite animals and draw their butt.

3.24.21 - "The Living Edens: Peru" Sketches

(Say why didn't any dinosaur books that mentioned Hoatzens told me they are pretty?  Because darn, that is one beautiful bird.)

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Let's Watch the "Jurassic Park" VHS Promotional Film!

They say the past is like a different planet.  What I have to share with you today, as an early birthday present, is a very powerful example of that idea.

I've explored "Jurassic Park" in several different ways over the years.  As one of the most significant ever pieces of paleoart (which it technically is), as a groundbreaking moment in animation history (which it also technically is), as a distinctively 1990's pop culture moment (which it ALSO also technically is), and as, well, a really good movie (let's not talk about the sequels though.)  This strange video is mostly an artifact of the pop culture moment, and I say artifact because I don't even know if this kind of video is a thing that exists anymore.  

Let me set the scene for younger readers out there.  Back in the Age of Video Stores, owning a physical copy of your favorite movie was a pretty big deal.  The people who ran the video stores would often get early promotional copies of movies on VHS sent to them by the movie studios.  And most of them had the movie itself preceded by a film like this one to convince the video store owner that stocking copies of the movie for rent and for sale would be a really good investment.  You weren't usually able -or allowed to- watch these promotional copies unless you worked at a video store or were friends with someone who did.  So I have seen a few of these, and I promise you that this "Jurassic Park" one is one of the best:   

I really can't decide what my favorite part is.  The Mtv Beachhouse!  The survival pack contest!  The excitement over their Official "Jurassic Park" Website (in 1994, can you even imagine)!  The fact that we don't even get to see any "Jurassic Park" dinosaurs in full until they show off that incredible standee!  The fact that, in 1994 mind, it's even presented as questionable that stocking the biggest hit of the decade thus far would be a good idea.

-----

Art of the Day

Inspired by SerpenIllus' awesome Tyrannosaurus drawing, I started to do my own color take mostly based off it and... I got a little carried away. That tail...

1.6.21 - A Tyrannosaurus, Why Not?

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Tove Jansson and The Moomins

 Here is a lovely three-part documentary on author/illustrator Tove Jansson and her wonderful and enduring "Moomins" series.  I wasn't familiar with much beyond the Anime series and the comic strip, so a lot of this was new to me and I'm glad to have learned it.

 

-----

Art of the Day

Did you know that Nuthatches "puff up" when angry?  Because I just saw this behavior for the first time and I'm delighted beyond words.

2.4.21 - Angry Fluff!

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Let's go Under the Sea!

It is Pisces Season my friends, and I can think of no better place to spend it than deep under the sea.  First, lets travel on a virtual ride on the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction from the early, weird days of Disney World.  This comes from our friends at Defunctland, and is intended to be experienced on a VR headset.  I played it on my phone held right up to my face, which worked... okay.  It is a phenomenal recreation of a ride I got to experience one time ever and I look forward to other attraction recreations.

Next, an episode of the wonderful "Eyewitness Video" series about the ocean.  I really like this series and want to binge it at some point - after "The Muppet Show" of course.

And finally, Blank Check Podcast is doing a series on John Musker and Ron Clements and the Disney Renaissance.  So far, it's fantastic and their recent "Little Mermaid" episode is wonderful.

-----

Art of the Day!

A little water sprite for Faebruary

2.18.21 - It is Pisces Season, my friends...

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The 2020 Paleo Rewind

Before we completely leave 2020 behind, it might be nice to do a year in review type thing.  And while there are a lot of options out there, I don't believe there's one that's more on brand for me than a Paleontology Year in Review.  Since 2020 was a Lot, even in the realm of prehistoric creatures and the people who love them, this Paleo Rewind gives each month to a different YouTuber and the result is a roller coaster.  Here's the whole shebang, edited together by E.D.G.E.: 

-----

Art of the Day: Another older painting but another one whose joy and energy I want to bring into the New Year.  Corgi owners seem to like this one.  And yes, Fairies riding Corgis is a Folklore Thing.

2.20.18 - The Noble Steed

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Let's Ring in the New Year with "Along the Moonbeam Trail"

As a fellow admirer of crows once sang in a song that has been drilled in the tooth of my memory since high school, maybe this year will be better than the last.  God I hope so.  I at least intend to blog more, when I can; anything that strikes my fancy and is also too weird and/or wonderful NOT to post about.

Case in point: "Along the Moonbeam Trail".  This is a short silent film recently restored to the best of the editors' abilities (here's hoping they find the ending).  I'd like to thank Tyler Greenfield for posting a clip on Twitter because it's honestly astounding that I've never seen it or heard of it.  It has everything!  It is not my Entire Aesthetic (for one thing, I'd have more than one [1] major female character and she'd do more than being a Deus ex Machina), but it's about as close as a movie from this time period could hope to be:

Everything about this is great but I'm torn between the random witch, the "pterosaur" who's really one of the first movie dragons, and the stegosaurus and his cute skink-tongue.

-----

Art of the Day!

I painted this back in 2018 and I'm reposting it here to bring this wonderful magical energy into 2021.  Happy New Year!

1.3.18 - Big Mood, 2018

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Jolly Thoughts on Recently Experienced Festive Media!

Happy Night Before the Night Before Christmas!  I know this holiday season is probably very different, but as if to make up for the whole... everything else, 2020 brought us a wealth of reasonably good to excellent new holiday movies and specials.  And I caught up on a few specials that are new to me.  And so, some (mostly) jolly thoughts:

"Mariah Carey's Magical Christmas" - Whatever you're imagining from a Mariah Carey Christmas Special, I can assure you this isn't going to have any shocking surprises. 
But I liked it!  The Peanuts animation in the middle is so cute and the songs are, of course, terrific.  I'm just surprised that this didn't happen back in the 90's.

"My Gift: A Christmas Special from Carrie Underwood" - Carrie sings a bunch of Christmas songs and, well, that's about it.  Singing kids, sparkles, and a general "We're trying to make the best of what we can control" feeling.  It's nice.

"A Holly Dolly Christmas" - Dolly Parton sings and tells stories and generally is awesome both here and in real life.  We respect a Queen.

"Jingle Jangle" - I love this so much!  The colorful steampunk aesthetic, the music, the magic; so far this is my favorite live-action Netflix Christmas movie.
It's also a movie where a guy creates a self-aware A.I. and immediately starts planning on making more to sell as toys for children.  For some reason, they don't really dwell on that part.

"Happiest Season" - I know there is a lot of Discourse over this one but I'm not going to go too crazy here.  It is a romantic comedy -a Christmas romantic comedy no less- and I enjoyed it!  If you know me at all, you know this is huge.

"It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie" - "Oh hey," I thought, "I haven't seen this Muppet holiday special!  I wonder why Freeform aired it only two times very early in the morning in between their mandated '700 Club' broadcasts?"
And then, dear readers, I watched it.
"Oh.  Oh no... 😰
"This is, at least the second-strangest movie I've ever seen where a supernatural being played by Woopie Goldberg helps a little guy get their life in order.  That club scene though, yiiiiikes..."

"Anna and the Apocalypse" - Like many zombie comedies, this is a lot of fun until it isn't.  It's also a holiday musical, and I kind of want to add some of the songs to my Weird Christmas Playlist.  Kind of.  Seems a little on the nose for this year.

"Hilda" - The brand new second season has an episode about the Yule Lads, so it counts.  Plus the whole series is basically Weird And/Or Obscure Nordic Folklore and is so beautiful and lovely and cozy!  I don't think we've had a good cozy animated series since "David the Gnome" back in the day.  It is, I believe the term is, Hygge as heck.
(But darn the cliffhanger ending... )

"Ziggy's Gift" - You can find this in the good old Thief Archive, which is appropriate because it is very obviously a Richard Williams joint.  It's nice; worth watching for the scene with the turkeys.

"Pee-Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special" - Maybe this is a bold proclamation but this is, I think, the best live-action Christmas special of my generation that does not contain Fraggles or John Legend.  Halfway through this rewatch I was ten times happier than I was when I started it.  (Not sure why Netflix is dropping it right before Christmas though.)

"Twelve-Hundred Ghosts" - You ever notice how many "Christmas Carol" parodies and straight adaptations there are?  It was almost inevitable that some mad genius would edit every one they could find into one coherent "megamix".  That genius is Heath Waterman and if you only have time for one Christmas movie off this list, make it this one.  On the one hand, it's genuinely moving.  On the other, it's hilarious (I'll never get over Mystical Buffalo Marley).  

-----

Art of the Day!  Happy Holidays everyone!

2008 Holiday Card