February 2007

On Feb 25 2007 the intel building in Austin, TX was imploded. This is footage taken by my still camera. I stabilized it and slowed it down.

See my gallery of tonemap images.

Skip all this and go straight to the Gallery.

There is nothing like the feeling of buying a fresh pack of Sharpies®. A brand new 24 pack in my hand represents tremendous potential. I could label things, do a little drawing or coloring, or anything. They are so neat and tidy, all of the colors are still there, I haven’t lost any yet.

The last time I bought a new pack of them I decided that I wanted to try something different with them. I have a pack of glossy thick almost card stock paper that the Sharpies ® just glide over when I color on them. There is something very meditative about coloring with one on a slick piece of paper.

Everyone knows what a Sharpie ® is. But just in case you don’t know, they are multi-use markers made by Sanford. Originally I think they came in eight colors but now I think the color count is reaching close to 30.

Seeing that many colors before me I decided that I should try something different than I had tried before with this new set. I picked a night time photo of the Eiffel Tower that I had taken while in Paris. Since the photo has large areas of black I would get to just color for a large portion of it. Rather than focus on the form of the tower I decided to look at the color. I used a program from Stoik Hobby Software called Color by Number. This program will take a photo and reduce it to a predefined color range. The results were ok but I wanted a little more detail that I was able to achieve with this method.

Since I started with a photo in Paris, I decided to make it my theme while doing my experimenting. Next I chose another night time photo of columns in front of St. Sulpice.

This time I used Photoshop to prep my image. Starting with the original, I adjusted the colors to increase the contrast and boost the brightness. Then I converted the image to a indexed color image using a custom sharpie palette that I had prepared. To reduce the colors to larger shapes I bumped this image up to RGB again then ran the super magic wonderful cutout filter. (Filters -> Artistic -> Cutout) Then I reduced the color again to the sharpie palette. From this I separated each color into its own layer, then printed out each color onto its own sheet of paper. Lastly I traced each color one at a time onto a slick sheet of paper using a light table. All of this may sound complex and needing of more explanation. I agree. I do plan on writing a step by step tutorial of this technique soon.

I did a couple more in this style of ‘color separations’ then the last one I have completed I decided to do using only a black Sharpie ®. This one is of the front of Notre Dame cathedral.

Here is my B&W one color rendering:

This was the original photo:

Now I plan on doing at least one more of Paris before moving on. I thought that it might also be interesting to try a pop art style similar to Roy Lichtenstein’s paintings.