Caves of Florida

18 08 2014

Back in May after my B-day, I took a trip to see the Florida caves for the first time. (Yes, this is much belated.) Who even knew there were caves in Florida? That aren’t underwater that is. The only above-water caves in the state are at Florida Caverns State Park, see here.

Swamp on the drive in...

Swamp on the drive in…

It’s outside of Tallahassee, a 4 hour drive from Jacksonville. It had severely rained the day before, so there were an unbelievable amount of mosquitos and over 1/3 of the caves were flooded, but it was still worth the trip.

statue in front of the path to the Visitor's Center

statue in front of the path to the Visitor’s Center

the first cave entrance

the first cave entrance

We had to pass the first entrance and enter the second to skirt around the flooded areas.

descending into the caves

descending into the caves

They do tour groups frequently – I think every 1/2 hour. It’s not a thing where you can just go on your own, but the tour is helpful anyway as the guide was very knowledgeable.

Some areas were much wider than I expected!

Some areas were much wider than I expected!

I had my low light lens, but it doesn’t do well in close quarters since it’s a set focal length. So I had to break out the cell phone for some of the pics (like the above grainy one.)

 

stalactites!

stalactites!

 

They call this the "wedding cake," and they actually do have weddings here, but for small parties only.

They call this the “wedding cake,” and they actually do have weddings here, but for small parties only.

plenty of lights...in some areas, the minors inlaid bits of ceramic plates in the rock to reflect light and spread light around more.

plenty of lights…in some areas, the miners inlaid bits of ceramic plates in the rock to reflect light and spread light around more.

impressive

impressive

All the lights are standard white/orange. I think they should mix it up with some blues/reds/greens. Thank you, Photoshop.

All the lights are standard white/orange. I think they should mix it up with some blues/reds/greens. Thank you, Photoshop.

more pretty....

more pretty….

I don’t really have a pic of it, but in some areas the stalagmites are gray or black colored. The guide said that oil in human skin causes it to react that way over time, so you should avoid touching anything.

still pool of water

still pool of water

Pretty sure a bat is lurking in there.

Pretty sure a bat is lurking in there.

It was pretty awesome. Can’t imagine being tasked with digging that all out in mostly darkness.

 





Chiseled

13 08 2014

greek guy

I am loving this tablet! Still learning – attempted for the first time here to block in colors and shadows first before linework. Added the linear definition at the end. This guy is based on a photo I took in France at the Palais Rohan.





Aira

11 08 2014

Aira

More tablet experimentation – I am probably like one of 5 Americans that have seen Green Legend Ran, but I remember thinking it was pretty awesome as a kid. They had these alien-worshiping bishops that started turning into plants. This is a quick take on Aira, Ran’s “silver-haired maiden” counterpart.  Anyhow, I’m playing around with how to turn a scanned traditional sketch into digital tablet art.

Aira sketchThis was the original sketch. Annoyingly you can’t delete or really erase the background layer in Photoshop, which is what anything you scan opens as. But you can make a duplicate layer from the background and alter that and paint white over the original to hide it – ta da!

may 2014 sketch tablified

This was about a 3 minute digital overlay of part of the original sketch below. Being able to color without a mouse is a dream!

may 2014 sketch





Tablet!

5 08 2014

My tablet came in! The people that say there’s a learning curve for traditional artists are right (getting a fluid line is REALLY hard), but OMG – so cool to draw instead of mouse-clicking a thousand times! I’ve been playing around with it:

I like this one, apart from the too-small hand.

I like this one, apart from the too-small hand.

a study tonight, getting used to quick sketching

a study tonight, getting used to quick sketching

I want to learn how to do the painterly thing with it – but the smudge and blur tools are having so much lag. Below:

my first thing on the tablet - an experiment in painting using "normal" versus "multiply"

my first thing on the tablet – an experiment in painting using “normal” versus “multiply”

2nd drawing on tablet - attempt at linework using the tablet pen. Harder than I thought!

2nd drawing on tablet – attempt at linework using the tablet pen. Harder than I thought!

 





A Hint of Petrol

29 07 2014

Some little silly drawings of my silly little characters that I pencilled and inked last week and then “attempted” to scan and digitally color. I also just ordered a tablet (gets here Thursday!), and, apart from the fact that I have no inate understanding of light sources…or color theory…or perspective, I think it will really improve/quicken my digital processes. This mouse business is impossible.

Are you gonna eat that?

Are you gonna eat that?

I just learned this year that "hint of petrol" is a phrase actually used in wine descriptions. If they were going for unappealing, good job.

I just learned this year that “hint of petrol” is a phrase actually used in wine descriptions. If they were going for unappealing, good job.

2 out of 4 drawing are food-themed. Maybe I think about food a little too much.

3 out of 4 drawings are food/drink-themed. Maybe I think about food a little too much.

I know of no swamp-like creek with both Spanish moss AND lillypads, but whatever - artistic license.

I know of no swamp-like creek with both Spanish moss AND lillypads, but whatever – artistic license.





…And Also, Gravity

24 07 2014

defy hair





Dali

17 07 2014

Finally got to see the Dali Museum – for real this time! We snuck it into the tail end of a 4 day cleaning-house trip to St. Pete, FL. Technically, I have seen the Dali Museum before – a year + ago I went in and ate at the café…the end. So this time was for real. :)

Mish-mash on the floor looks like a skull when reflected off a cylinder - this was popular hundreds of years ago in paintings

Mish-mash on the floor looks like a skull when reflected off a cylinder – this was popular hundreds of years ago in paintings

Abe Lincoln/lady

Abe Lincoln/lady

More Abe Lincoln! 3D printing

More Abe Lincoln! 3D printing

Not Dali; from the 1500s

Not Dali; from the 1500s

The place is essentially a downstairs with a gift shop, café, theater, and ticket area. Then you go up to the 3rd floor (offices take up the 2nd floor) where they have 2 galleries – the pictures above are from one which seems to have rotating collections. This time the theme is “Masters of Illusion.” Some of the pieces are not Dali, but Dali-esque I suppose in the sense that they’re a bit surreal. The other gallery was all Dali and all fantastic, but they didn’t allow pictures.

exercise

exercise

cafe

café

Geometric!

Geometric!

view of the St. Pete Pier from the 3rd floor

view of the St. Pete Pier from the 3rd floor

A couple interesting things in the gift shop below:

cute snails!

cute snails!

bead creature in the gift shop

bead creature in the gift shop

Outdoors is a garden-type area. They have a giant mustache you can pose by, a bench with one of those signature “melting” clocks, a wishing tree, and a maze.

tropical tree

tropical tree

the wishing tree of wristbands

the wishing tree of wristbands

maze gate

maze gate

Dali!

Dali!

If you like Dali or just good art (say what you will about him, but he was diverse in scale, subject matter, and style – it’s amazing how detailed some tiny little figures are), I think it’s worth a visit. It’s sort of expensive considering there are only 2 gallery areas, but dat façade though!








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