Kurt Komoda     agony@optonline.net

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Freelance Art and Macro Madness!

   May is over. That's sad. My birthday was last month. I'm 42, now. That's sad, too. All things considered, though, I'm feeling good.  I enjoy doing work for the RPG community- and they're good at recommending me to eachother. The subject matter has consistently been within my interests, and I get to experiment with a variety of styles. I've done work for Burning Wheel, How We Came to Live Here, Bulldogs, and now I've just finished a bunch of illustrations for Star Hero. Here are a few examples:
   The mechanic, above, didn't turn out as whimsical or gawky as I had originally envisioned, but the quick painting technique seemed to work out alright. I knew I wasn't going to do the entire job in this style, but I felt like playing around.
  A character depiction, based heavily on a Komodo Dragon. I decided to follow the more colorful specimens, to add some more distinctiveness.
   This came out pretty much exactly as I had first envisioned it when reading the brief, except that I think I overdid the colors. Maybe I just don't like the day-glo looking palette. I guess I could easily fix this in photoshop, since everything is on layers. I find that I really enjoy drawing plantlife.
   Some whimsical spaceship designs. I haven't drawn spaceships since I was a kid, so this was interesting. The client chose the middle ship on the left for an ion storm illustration. When sketching it, I wanted it to be reminiscent of a skull and bones.

   Okay, the other thing I've been doing- and this has been my main drive for the past month- is macro photography. I picked up a Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens for my Canon 40D, and have been having a ball with it, despite the lack of good specimens at this time of year in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
    I couldn't believe just how close I was able to get to my subjects right out of the box. Above is the head of a carpenter ant. Here, I was using my 580 EXII flash with a diffuser attachment. 
   At the request of my brother, I went on a special mission just to find good centipede specimens. This first one, 14 segments long(adults are 15), was very small, but did me the favor of hanging out in the open. Something it's larger, redder brothers and sisters wouldn't do. here, I am using a Ray Flash ring flash adaptor- not the expensive LED types, but an imitation that uses mirrors and gets very, very good results. I highly recommend it!
   This is an adult garden centipede-  very fast mover. I just had to grab it by its hind legs and drop it into a glass ashtray with smooth sides. The smooth sides worked on insects, but this guy just ran round and round until it built up enough speed to literally leap over the edge of the ashtray. Still, I got a few good shots of it.
   A small jumping spider called "Metacryba taeniola." I got a whole bunch of shots of this jumper, and I think they're better than all the other shots of this breed I came across when trying to identify it. 

   I can't wait for the summer or travel to bring bigger and better subjects to shoot. Please check out all of my macro shots on my Flickr page.






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