The first of a couple of builds for which I collaborated with my father (ie, palmed off the hard work to).
The concept for this comes, of course, from KoL. The epic weapon of the disco bandit is a banjo crafted out of a disco ball. Serendipitously, just as the idea to create the thing came to me, a fellow student at life-drawing classes showed me some photos of instruments made out of food tins. I started googling around and found that banjos made of cookie tins are actually quite widely made by artists and traveling musicians (the can itself is a great storage device) and there are many guides to making them around the place.
Eventually, my internet travels led me to a site explaining how to create a banjo out of a gourd, and this became the basis of the disco banjo.
I bought a disco ball from Cheap-as-Chips and peeled off mirror sections until I found the seam along which the hemispheres of the ball were connected. Lots of photos from this stage, cos I had a lot of fun with it! Except when the thing first split open and noxious plasticy fumes filled my lungs.
Once the disco ball was dealt with, I purchased a drum head, banjo strings and guitar pegs and drafted some timber guides for my father to do the woodwork.
Sadly there are no more progress shots from here on as I passed everything over to my dad and he assembled the whole thing with expert craftsmanship.
The tailpiece is a separate piece of timber, screwed from the outside of the ball to the bracer piece on the inside. It also sits over the rim of the drum to hold things in place.
The banjo is fretless and tuned in fifths as I played ‘cello way back when.
Blaugust is back, which means more blogging! I’m hoping to be able to provide lots of content this time, with the crutch of “old art” to help me fulfill that goal.
This piece is from my life drawing classes last year. The assignment involved drawing a self-portrait involving three figures composed in some kind of narrative. We were also supposed to take stylistic lead from another artist.
I chose to emulate Marlene Dumas’ ink drawings as I was at the time experimenting quite heavily with watercolours and inks. I combined her use of unpredictable washes with the sharply defined edges that can be attained by using masking fluid.
I got quite wrapped up in the narrative and the symbolism. I think our lecturer was specifically addressing me when she cautioned us against turning the assignment into an illustrative work. And although the assortment of (mostly) round shapes in the background on the right seem quite arbitrarily chosen, there is a meaning attached to each.
Another attempt at a familiar idea. If I could be bothered I think there are some interesting comparisons and contrasts to draw here in terms of execution and themes.
In a sudden, productive burst of clarity I bring you a sketch
and a song.
 Worked a teeny bit more on the sketch.
[edit2] And then it changed lots!
Pencils for a comic page based on this dialogue.
This initially looked like it could easily be two or three pages but since I was having trouble identifying the best places to split the pages I challenged myself to fit it all in one. The dialogue’s pretty dense as a result. It’s funny how right I was in places about the space the text would take, and how so very wrong I was in others.
Interpreting the text and turning it into something visually interesting was tricky too. I didn’t want it to be talking heads the whole way through the page so I injected some personality, emotion and body language. In fact the driver behind this interpretation was the visual of Cedar’s outstretched arms as he displayed the marks on them to Nirri. Of course I then gave him an outfit that changed his movements doing so, but I’m glad I didn’t stick steadfastly to the original image in my head.