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About Traditional Art / Hobbyist Premium Member Emily Holland23/Female/United States Recent Activity
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For some reason, all the space sites I follow can't stop talking about Apollo 11. Pictures of the moon landing, etc. that kept popping up on my facebook news feed nagged me to revisit an idea I had a few months ago. I wanted to make a small diorama of an Apollo spashdown with an astronaut exiting the hatch. So I got to work.

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Except this time, it won't be small. Instead of sitting centered on a 6x6 panel, the command module will be dwarfed by a vast ocean.

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I started by sanding the paint off one of my lost causes and priming the surface with a heavy gesso. I mixed in some paper towel to create a base for the waves.

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While that dried, I began to tackle the problem of making a real life spacecraft out of the contents of this box.

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A sane person would search eBay for an Apollo model kit, but that is not me. Luckily, I was able to find a plastic container that sort of approximated the shape of the capsule.

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I greebled up the inside of the hatch with whatever I could find.

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...and trimmed the door frame and windows.

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Next, I sprayed some primer, which when dry will be followed by a coat of paint to make it all a uniform color.

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It looks rough but it only needs to be an approximation. It'll look very small against the waterscape as if viewed from a helicopter. By the way I think I should mention that this one is meant to hang on a wall. There is no way I'm making shelf space for something this big.

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I'll come back to this later, but I wanted to work on the water so the layers would have time to dry.

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I experimented with paints, mediums, and metallic powder. I settled on a base mix of black gesso, phthalo blue paint, heavy white gesso, and water.

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Some black and blue paint helped to accentuate the waves.

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Finished base coat. Now onto the wave crests. I piled on heavy gloss gel medium, which may or may not dry clear. It doesn't matter. There will be many layers to come.

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NEW - 9/27/14

Okay. So I actually finished this a long time ago but I kind of forgot to update this journal. Whoops. I'll try to remember what I did as best as I can.

1greenlayer1 by Malicious-Monkey

After the wave crests dried I added a green layer. The paint will dry transluscent to suggest algae.

3texture by Malicious-Monkey



4metallicgreenlayer by Malicious-Monkey
5selflevel by Malicious-Monkey

I tried to smooth out the waves with self leveling gel.
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It didn't work very well.

8heavy by Malicious-Monkey

So I used gloss heavy instead.

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This is what it looked like after I added the white foam layer.

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It's a little too much so I had to tone it down with some more blue and green.

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Better.

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See the difference in color? The small ocean scene takes place on another planet where the algae is red and black. It's a subtle difference but it matters.


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This is the finished product. It looks brighter because I took the photos in a different light with a different camera.

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Those who have been following my pursuits might have noticed that I've been making a lot of drawings in this style lately:

A Throng of Thoracostomes by Malicious-Monkey

I thought it would be a good idea to share my technique because this method of drawing is cheap, fast, and portable. Only two drawing instruments are needed: an ink pen (I use Pilot Precise but other brands work just as well) and a water brush.

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The water brush is a relatively recent invention. Basically, it's a paintbrush with its own water supply. Their original purpose is to hold water for watercolor painting so you don't have to lug around a jar of water everywhere you go. That's handy, but it's not how I use mine.

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Instead of filling the reservoir with plain water and dipping into a palette of watercolors, I add three or four drops of ink to the water. My water brush now serves as a quick and dirty shader for pen drawings.

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The ink doesn't layer well. What I mean is, brushing over the same spot multiple times doesn't make the shading darker. To get around that, I either carry brushes with different concentrations of ink or I dip into the ink container for an extra boost. With India ink, a little goes a long way, so the residue around the cap and spout is all you need.

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The drawing took less than 5 minutes.

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Emily Holland
Artist | Hobbyist | Traditional Art
United States
UC Davis - Animal Science
Media: pencil, sculpture, watercolor, oils, acrylic, diorama, pen
Subjects: scifi, nature, worldbuilding, fanart


I write science fiction on the side:
Interests

Activity


Assorted Pterosperm Reproductive Bodies by Malicious-Monkey
Assorted Pterosperm Reproductive Bodies
Many popular depictions of aliens have features of insects and other invertebrates. Although this is no less terracentric than alien wolves and alien men, these portrayals get a free pass because invertebrates already look alien to the human eye. This is why hive people so often look like ants, and hardly any extraterrestrials in popular culture have fur.

Ilion's early explorers were surprised to find that the life there did not fit into neat boxes like "plant," "animal," and "vertebrate." They found insectoid lifeforms - but they were not animals. They were the flying seeds of pterosperm black plants. Some of the trees appeared to be infested with wood fungus - but it was not fungus. The structures belonged to the tree; their purpose was to attract and fertilize the flying seeds, then develop into a fruit. Ilion's higher gravity and lower oxygen levels limited the evolution of flight among animals. Here, plants rule the skies. Pterosperm seeds are short-lived and single-minded. Their goal is to disperse and find a pollen pad or pitcher of their own species while avoiding predation.

All flying seeds have four limbs, a tail, and a head. The head contains the main sensory organs for sight, balance, and olfaction. It also contains the opening through which pollen is ingested. The limbs are divided into upper and lower. The upper limbs are wings. The lower limbs can be wings, feet, halteres, or vestigial remnants. Some seeds also possess a caudal fin for stabilization during flight. The function of the tail varies from species to species. For some, it is a balancing organ; for others, a grasping appendage. While attached to the parent tree, the seed is fed through the tail and in some cases the tail’s function as a feeding proboscis persists beyond its connection to the tree. Heterotrophic seeds pierce plants to dring from their blood vessels. These seeds tend to survive longer and may one day spawn an animal lineage of their own.

Learn more about black plants:

A Bounty Black Plants by Malicious-MonkeyPhylogeny of Black Plants by Malicious-Monkey23 - Germination by Malicious-Monkey
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The Destination is Everything by Malicious-Monkey
The Destination is Everything
"They say the journey matters more than the destination. I disagree. The destination is everything."

- Alex O’Hearn, biologist of Odyssey I and Odyssey II


Here is a shot of the interstellar ship Odyssey approaching its destination, a habitable exoplanet orbiting Barnard's Star. The picture was taken from one of the seven uncrewed companion craft carrying equipment, food, and supplies for the expedition.

More about Odyssey: fav.me/d66ldwn


"Does it look like Earth, but redder? Well, it has oceans, continents, rivers, mountains, deserts, islands, and a substellar tropical storm massive enough to swallow Kansas in one gulp, and the rest of the States along with it. That last one was the first indication that we were not in Kansas anymore. Swinging around the dark side brought the second shock. The familiar symphony of lights that spread across Earth like a bioluminescent slime mold were nowhere in sight. Try as I might, I couldn’t make out the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, the brilliant Nile, or the stark contrast between Europe and its seas. Ilion’s night was as dark as Mars’s, if not more so. This, of course, made the thunderstorms all the more spectacular."

- Michael Vander, commander of Odyssey I


Ilion’s present climate is wholly dependent on the presence of a shallow ocean at the substellar point. The tidally-locked planet would look very different if there were a landmass here instead. The land would be extremely hot and dry at zenith, leaving only a ring of habitability between the substellar point and the terminator. Ilion is not that way. The sun’s heat and air currents whip the humid air at the Greater Ajax Ocean into a permanent, stable tempest. Periodically, a secondary storm will split from this system and head toward the continents. Of these, the hardest hit is Pandaros, where rainstorms supply the forests with water beyond what the trees produce themselves. Pandaros is by far the wettest continent, followed by Aeneas, where Elephant Gulf supplies ample fog to the temperate south. A surprising number of storms make all the way to Polyxena. Near the west terminator, these systems manifest as blizzards that can last weeks. Polyxena’s climate is highly sensitive to changes in solar output. At times, conditions render it uninhabitable. The continent’s few permanent residents must cope by migrating, hibernating, or sowing seeds that wait patiently for favorable conditions before sprouting.



"Take a look at this shot from last week’s EVA. See the frozen oceans near the terminator, where a wealth of climate data could be gathered from the ice layers? We won’t be landing there tomorrow. Halfway around the world is a caldera that is way bigger than it has any right to be. It would be a great place to study the stratigraphy and uncover a piece of the world’s geological history. And that’s too bad, because we’re not going there, either. The Greater Ajax Ocean faces the noonday sun at all hours of the day. Tropical storms rise out of these waters and circulate warm air around the globe, preventing the atmosphere from freezing on the dark hemisphere. These systems do not reach the desert that covers a large part of the continent to the north. A mountain range on the southern border of Deiphobus creates a rain shadow, and the plants there must weigh the benefits of near-direct sunlight against the scarcity of water. Their unique adaptations to the arid climate may never be known, because that’s not where we’re headed.

"See that hair-thin valley, right at the rainforest’s edge, at the marked latitude and longitude? No? That’s because the area we’ll be exploring is too small to see with the naked eye from up here. It took almost three years and half a trillion US dollars to bring us here, and we’ll be fleas on the elephant’s back. I hope humankind’s search for neighbors in the cosmos doesn’t end with our tiny sample of Ilion’s diverse landscape. Sixty square kilometers does not do it justice."

- Rashid Andiyar, pilot and mechanic of Odyssey I
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This drawing is huge. It measures 24x18 in. The entire thing is bic pen except for the star field, which is black and white acrylic gesso. I watered down a small amout of white gesso for the atmosphere as well.

I will try to get a sharper photo up in the near future.
EDIT: Here we go.
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Comments


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:iconaronkamo:
AronKamo Featured By Owner Edited 3 days ago   Digital Artist
Big thanks for adding my pic to your collection :)
and of course for the watch :happybounce: 
Reply
:iconarchipithecus:
Archipithecus Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hey, thanks for the watch!
Reply
:iconpesterhugo:
pesterhugo Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much for adding Primatas to your collection! ;)
Primatas by pesterhugo
Reply
:icongourger:
gourger Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
thanks for the add. really nice stuff in your gallery. All of your doodle work are great, especially the creatures one.
My fave is (A Sampling of Hexapede Thoracostomes).
You just need to learn how use better digital art technique, even if they're not necessary to become a great artist, they will help you a lot to achieve best result in a short time. (It's just a suggestion)
Keep going in this way, I'm sure you'll become a great artist.
Reply
:iconmalicious-monkey:
Malicious-Monkey Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I've tried teaching myself digital techniques but for that I think I need more. I need to take classes and learn how to use the software to its fullest. And I need a computer that can run the software without catching fire after twenty minutes.
Reply
:icongourger:
gourger Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I see, but you know Emily more than take a classes and spend a lot of money for expensive courses, you just need practice it. Of course as you say you need a new Computer to do that, but after you don't need to take lesson to how use software. I learn all I know by myself, no one taught me how use photoshop (or any kind of software I'm able to use), I just open and try...try...and try again. Internet come to give me an help in this sense. I watch hundreds of tutorial and after a while I learn the digital way.
You're already good with traditional media, so the switch it'll be really fast and easy. The only things a software can not do is do thing for you, it'll just make the thing easy. If you are not able to paint, photoshop can't do it for you. But is not your case.
So don't give up, just start you'll see the rest it'll come soon.
Cheers
Reply
:iconmalicious-monkey:
Malicious-Monkey Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
See, that's the thing. I used to practice all the time, back when my computer could handle it, and made very little progress. Something was missing and I think it was my mastery of the tool, not my artistic eye. I hit a stopping point where I stopped improving altogether and gave up. Meanwhile, I was making tremendous strides in traditional media and decided to continue down that road instead. Digital is ideal for professional concept artists but for someone like me who does this as a hobby, I like to have something physical I can put on my wall or gift or display at a gallery and a digital print just isn't the same (and ends up being more expensive, anyway).
Reply
:iconthe-episiarch:
The-Episiarch Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2014
Thanks for the fave! You have some really amazing work in your gallery!
Reply
:iconlocationcreator:
LocationCreator Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
I've watched your work now for several years. Your work and your world are amazing.
Reply
:iconmalcolmshortt:
MalcolmShortt Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks for the :+fav:
:)
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