Clouded Volcano

Clouded Volcano

3D render in Blender, touchups in Photoshop

At the start I was practicing and experimenting with making clouds in Blender, and eventually it became this. I think it looks kind of like a photo, even though it’s all 3D. I had tried having smoke come out of the volcano but I liked how serene it seemed without it. Even though I live very close to a large dormant volcano, maybe a 10 minute drive away, it’s not quite as dramatic as this. Still, the one near me can look pretty good when the clouds are just right.

Fiery Moon

Fiery Moon 800x500

Blender 2.72 and Photoshop CS4, 1280×800 wallpaper version- here

I was thinking about Io, the very volcanic moon of Jupiter, when I designed this moon. It seems like it would be interesting to explore a place like that. Io looks a lot different though. The texture of the moon was done in Blender using only generated textures and a lot of nodes.

The gas giant in the background was modeled after Saturn, but it wasn’t actually meant to look so much like Saturn. The textures for that and the rings were done in Photoshop, as was the final assembling of the different objects and some color touchups. I rendered them individually because my computer starts overheating before the end of a “long” render at that size, even though I only set it to 80 samples.

The background photo of stars is one that I took. I may have blurred and greyed it a little too much, but I wanted the moon to be in focus rather than everything being completely sharp.



I went outside to try taking star photos and I noticed the moon looked interesting, so I took one photo of that with the same settings that I was going to try on stars- 4 second exposure at f/4.5 and ISO 800 with a 50mm lens. I got star photos too, but nothing interesting.

This is the view from my front door if I look toward the highway. That big tree is a huge oak that a lot of acorn woodpeckers like to drill holes into so they can stuff acorns into them. It’s called a granary tree when they do that, and they’re always trying to protect their store of acorns from squirrels and other birds.

Moses at the Burning Bush

Moses at the Burning Bush

Acrylic on canvas, 10”x8”

This is a based on a sketch made by Rembrandt, seen here. Because the original is only a sketch, it’s hard to know exactly what he intended everything to be. It seemed to me that the burning bush was intended to be placed somewhere off the left edge of the canvas, so that what we see is Moses’s reaction to seeing it and wondering what it was. The real trees of the area were probably not as large and lush as what Rembrandt drew, but I went ahead and worked from his sketch as it was drawn. I rarely paint in acrylic and I think it’s been at least 10 years since I’ve painted a person. My version is also only a sketch, using only burnt sienna and white, but I added a little more shading than Rembrandt’s version.

This scene comes from the Bible, the book of Exodus, chapter 3. The situation was that Moses was living in the land of Midian east of Egypt as a shepherd. Moses left Egypt when he was 40 years old and was a shepherd for another 40 years, making him 80 when this scene occurs. As he was leading his flock he came to a mountain called Horeb, which is also called Sinai, and is known as “the mountain of God.”

“And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And He said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover He said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.” (Exodus 3:2-6)

Clouds, Mountains, Forests

I’m experimenting more with black watercolors, white, and composition, as well as some of my favorite subjects. I don’t normally use gouache, but I filled a pan in my palette with white and used it on some of these. It looks like I’ve painted and drawn a lot of things in black recently. Maybe I’ll change gears and focus on a different color now.

Verdant Mist

Verdant Mist

Mixed media, watercolor and acrylic on paper, 6″x9″

I had attempted to repaint the sketch from the last post larger, but it just wasn’t working out. Eventually I decided to paint in the remaining white areas with a dark grey to practice with abstraction, but then they looked like mountains and I decided to go with that. The acrylic paint I added was some white and black liquid airbrush formula from Golden and some white heavy body formula from Liquitex. There’s a few mistakes, but that’s okay because the whole thing was almost one big mistake.