Lloyd Metcalf Inc.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Holiday season

The Holidays are upon us, there's no denying it. We are a few days into Hannukah, and everyone is talking holiday plans and meals.
Well have at it!!! Clockwork Santa says,"Tick tock Tick" instead of Ho ho ho!!
Hope you all enjoy the season.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

An Adventure!!

It's Adventure time at Lloyd Metcalf Inc.

The Gaming group known locally as "The Failsquad" has decided it's time to produce some adventure modules. These adventures will be based in the open source D20 system of Pathfinder and taken to GaryCon 2013 this year.
As things move along and printing becomes finalized these wonderous products (Illustrated by yours truly) will be available online at Http://www.failsquad.com .

See ladies, I told you all I would make those fantasies come true! *snicker*

At anyrate, FS-001 will be the module we use to break into the market and it features, of all things, Kobolds. In this module we present the Kobold with the way they were intended to help GMs and Players alike begin to fear and learn to hate the word "Kobold".

That's right, sneaky trap-setters that create ruthless traps, prehensile tails (that so many GM's forget). Kobolds who don't charge right in on an armored party bristling with swords, Kobolds who wait for the worst possible moment to stab and run.

A new surprise awaits purchasers of the module, as implied by the cover, there will be some mounted warriors and a new class for players who are so inspired.

I am very excited and happy to be a part of this project, after all, it really is my lifes dream to get paid to paint and draw "Dungeons and Dragons" stuff.
There will be a lot of this sort of illustration coming up, so stay tuned!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Vampiric illustration

When a friend included me in a Facebook message regarding his work on some writing regarding a vampire in the 40's I thought, "Sure, you need some illustration, why not? I only have 4 other jobs to do right now..Maybe I will do this someday when I have time."
Then I couldn't get the descriptions out of my brain.
Daily I try to paint or draw SOMETHING... ANYTHING... just to keep the wheels turning and the steam flowing. without even looking at the last project I had going I started the illustration.
I really was enjoying keeping things painterly through various methods. I ended up with the above image.
Perhaps there is a little room for "tightening", but over-all I felt good about the result for the evening.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Golem

Of flesh and stone, it came shambling out of the swamps and across the plain.
The battle was won, the day belonged to the good citizens, until it came.
Hunched, running like the gorillas plowing through the troops like a spade through earth.
With its' great arms bodies and horses were thrown through the air. Raw, wild power controlled by the will of evil.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Goblin Preist of Maglubiyet

A bit of illustration for a project I am working. A Goblin priest of Maglubiyet (The goblin god)
Still needs a little tweaking, but it's almost there.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

New painting style test.

Recently, I have begun to take a drawing, multply on the mid range color, dodge out highlights (multiple layers), multiply in the darks.

Then of course, dump the whole thing and use it as an underpainting.

Giving you the "eye"

I was actually pretty pleased with the result.

From Pixels to Paint

Digital painting and illustration is a "thing" almost all unto itself. It is no less involved and requires no less artistic ability than traditional art.
I have been very fascinated in ways digital artists are bringing digital art to the gallery wall.
This is one of the pieces I lacquered onto a board, and have been experimenting with new techniques as often as I can.
The future of digital art looks bright.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Larry Elmore original work

Normally I would refuse to do this sort of thing, but those who know me, know I am a fan of fantasy RPG games. Even more, I am a fan of the art and artists that inspire so many people and make a great game epic.
One of my artistic inspirations from day one has been Larry Elmore, who started with TSR on the basic game system.
Here is everyone's opportunity to have and hold not only a full color copy of some of his best works, but signed original works by the master himself.
Elmore has a style that is very particular to detail, planning and careful thought. His work reflect the hours, days, and years of experience he has gained.
A worth-while investment to be sure, I have pledged my funds to this project, take a look for yourself!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Morning on the bog

Early in the morning, out on the bog, waiting for the sun to come up. It was time to start down the trail and see what the forest had in store. But not before snapping a quick photo when I got there.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Digital Juice!

Corel Painter, My Love Hate

Corel Painter has been living on my laptop and desktop for a long time now. Every version looks so dang exciting, I just can't seem to pass each one up. Painter 10 was barely useable for me, it was a heavy system hog, Corel 11 fixed all those performance issues, and now 12 is running like gravy, and many items have been removed, some streamlined, some switched.

In all fairness, even Corel suggests that Painter would ideally compliment the use of photoshop as a digital painting tool. Indeed Corel easily opens photoshop .PSD's and appropriately keeps layers and all right where they should be.

My comfort level is in Photoshop, I will admit to constantly becoming frustrated with Painter when I can't simply pop over and find opacity, shape dynamics, rotation and flow settings for the brush I am using. The settings are there, but they are labeled differently and living in different places.The stock brushes, while very organic in feel, can become irritating beyond belief when you just want a quick alteration, like a similar, but finer stroke that flows a little less. You get pulled out of the creation flow to switch brain sides while you hunt for settings. In Photoshop this is a quick adjustment, in Painter, it's more hunting around. You also have to deal with a tool box that lists items like (pencil) (markers) (pastels) (conte) etc.

The traditional artist who has not spent hours, days, and weeks in Photoshop would probably make quick work of the learning curve of Painter. I also have a personal grumbling with the "autopaint" feature that I think some take too much advantage of.

So why even use Painter 12?

Watch a couple of Android Jones videos and you will know why. Look at some of his work, and you will be running to the nearest software joint with money in hand eagerly giving it up. As soon as you open up the software with your Wacom Tablet you think,"oh yeah, this is going to be fun!"
Indeed it is VERY fun.
Painter actually uses canvas texture, it's one of the places the software shines brightly. This can be simulated in Photoshop, but Painter has the idea of drawing on paper with a texture nailed down to a science. It was important for the Corel team to match what artists wanted and were comfortable with. This software was build with traditional artists in its' heart, while Photoshop incorporated them much later and a little more awkwardly.
When you pop open the tool bar and grab (Pencil 2B) it performs exactly as you would expect a 2B pencil to do, the same with Felt tip markers, and all other tools. The tools can actually feel so extremely organic, I find it totally affecting my lines and style as I become so completely inspired and enveloped by the look and feel of the materials I am working with.
I often forget to use layers at all when I'm in painter because it accurately conveys the feeling of actually working on the surface. You can't have layers on a real world painting canvas, so I forget I CAN in Painter. Yes, it's that good at replicating the look and feel.
Open a can of turps and spear paint on your hands if you want, but it is no longer necessary.... (although turps and linseed smel soooo good!!.....open a window)
Painter 12 also added a nice feature that Photoshop has TOTALLY missed the boat on. The mirror! You can put a line on the canvas, and what you do one one side is replicated in mirror fashion on the other side or sides. That's right, you can even Kaleidoscope it with many mirror lines. When it comes to drawing faces and what not, just the single mirrored plane is worth its' weight in GOLD!
For casual sketching I find myself in Painter frequently, becoming inspired by the strokes and lines that can be created. My refinement of images seems to come through in Photoshop.

However, I think everyone should do themselves a favor and push through the learning curve of Painter. For a digital artist, it is ideal once you learn the software.  Entire Comic book / Graphic novels are being made in Painter, not to mention gallery artists and performance artists like Android Jones.

The love / hate ends with love, but it is necessary to approach it with the idea that Painter does something different than Photoshop, it is not trying to replicate or replace it.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Haunted Maine Ghost Hunting

We got invited to join New England ghost Hunters on one of their favorite haunts as Halloween approached. We gathered up all the gear two people could muster and ran off into the night to meet some new friends. We toured Parsonsfield Seminary during a staged haunted house tour before joining the investigators for the real thing.
The team knew the building well, and showed us around and pointed out the essentials of what they do and how they approach an investigation. A few EVP sessions were had, a spirit sniffing dog "Loki" was present and we became so wrapped up in filming, and getting extended exposure photos we hardly noticed the night speeding by.
I could see Colleen's eyes light up at the combining of science and spirit. Two things that are so opposing to one another that they become similar.
The Parsonsfield Seminary, or ParSem, as it is called by the locals was founded in 1832 and has a very deep history. We pieced together the following video for Saco River community Television Channel 2, enjoy.

There was a lot of history in the old Seminary building

For those who are interested in Paranormal research, here are some tools to help get you started.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Web Work to Illustrator

When the Web Slows Down
It's time for a creative to turn his / her mind to other income generators. The face of illustration has changed drastically over the years, and adding a computer to the art box has been one of my favorite changes.
Even though everyone knows an economic slow down is the time to advertise, it is sometimes hard for clients to see through the bills to get the word out to bring clients in.
While I give them a rest and let them figure out how to put all the numbers together, I have holes in my schedule that I would love to fill with per diem and freelance illustration. Children's authors, magazine publishers, and web builders can't seem to grab the short attention span of today's audience without an image. Print ready artwork has never seen days of such ease! Direct from the artist hand into a digital format, no photos, no scanning. The artist paints in pixels that immediately jump into your workflow.
Writers and creatives lifting images off of website are running the risk of copyright infringement. Those that aren't, are running the risk of seeing their same image pop up in 20 different places for 20 different products or stories.
Lets make it work!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Photos at Night

Photos at night can be a blessing and a curse. Sometimes the things I see in the preview of the camera are nothing like what loads up on screen.
The fact of the matter is, there is something just worth all the hassle because you get to play with glow sticks, fire, and light up toys.
Sometimes a great photo happens just running around with a shop light, and sometimes you just need to use nothing at all.

These stints of working without a contract, just for the heck of it are some of the greatest learning experiences a photographer has, in my humble opinion. There is no expectation, no result needed at all. Just "do stuff" make a photo, and see what happens.
When it comes out good, try to remember what you just did!

I am always looking for an opportunity to make photos just for myself and the sheer joy that comes of it.
Lloyd Metcalf

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Getting photos done on a budget

Getting photos of events, people and places where you might want a photographer can be cheaper than you think, and actually worth more than you might think.

For someone like myself, who makes photo only a part of what I do, it still maintains a sort of "hobby" status for me, even though I work at it semi-professionally (depending on your definition of pro).

I have even been known to work for trade of services or items on occasion just to keep the shutter snapping and to keep my eye fresh.

Why have a photographer?

Would be the question that comes to many peoples mind when they have cameras on their smart phones that are taking 8 or more megapixel images and doing more and more tricks. The fact of the matter is, there is a difference between simply snapping a photo and having a photographer actively with you and seeking out those "special moments" of whatever activity it is you are doing. Having someone available with specific DSLR settings, focal lengths, and lenses to capture images, while you are in the images, or activity.

A little piece of me wonders if people really realize how much of their lives they are missing when I see concerts  or fireworks and it is just a sea of hands holding up smartphones. People are experiencing the world, through their devices. They are watching a concert, through their phone. They are no longer watching the show, or enjoying the music because they are trying to capture something on their phone.

Set the phone down, be in life, and let a photographer capture the special moments.

A picture is worth a thousand... dollars

Many times listing items for sale require not only to get the photo of the items in the best way, but in the worst way. Details need to be photographed, and sometimes that includes the dings and scratches. Things that not only show the quality of the items for sale, but your integrity by also listing what may be wrong.

Product photography can be the difference between a few sales, and many sales when it comes to online listing. Grabbing quick snapshots with your phone or a cheap camera could mean cutting your own sales short. It could also mean lost future customers if they are not receiving what they expected.

So get in touch, maybe there is a truly affordable solution that can be worked out so I can keep my cameras warm, and you can have the prints you want to share and cherish, or use to make your fortune.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Photo Update

Making Photos
Since the last blog update, the camera gear has been updated, and and lovely new smugmug account where many of the new photos can be perused, purchased and prints ordered.
LMetcalf SmugMug Page
On the page you can find a number of locations around Maine, Gothquaboggan outing, heck even a wedding!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Art is coming down

The art is getting picked up from the Geno's Rockwall show today.
Not that it hasn't been fun, or worth while, but I think I need to take a break from showings like this for a time.

It is draining, with little return. There needs to be real love behind doing an exhibit, and I will wait until I feel it again, or have helping hands to make it go smoothly.

Many thanks to Geno's though, this one was fun.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May - First Friday

It has been a busy month and it all comes together this Friday at Geno's Rock wall.
The art opening has been a long process, but one that looks like it will be fun, and enjoyable. While the body of my work is already progressing and expanding from this micro platform, th emicro world will continue to be part of the future art works.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Daily Doodle 3_3_12 (sneak peek)

Larvae Love:
Another sneak peak at some of the images that will be at the core of the artwork First Friday in May.
The more I work with these little things the more I start to think they are cute.
When they hit the adult phase..... not so much.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Daily Doodle 3_2_12

Slime Algae.
Even in the most organic matter, a place where we think there is ultimate disorder, there is extreme order.
As opposed to the things that people make, paper and post-it notes consist of nothing more than a chaotic mashing of fibers.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Daily Doodle (been a while) 3/1/12

This is the direction the next show will be going in (vaguely) as I work out technique and style elements.
The prints will be mounted and covered in heavy Epoxy/Resin.

This was a live specimen in sea water, at about 150-200x (I can only guess as magnification on the camera lens is not listed)
colorized, adjusted, painted..... but still art from micro life.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Daily doodle 2_12_12 sorta

This was an image I did a while back, but will be included in the upcoming show as a modified print.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Daily Doodle 2_10_12

Today a snippet idea from the sketchbook during portfolio class.
Yes, I was listening

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Daily Doodle 1_22_12

Todays doodle straight from the sketchbook. A classic AD&D Dwarf.... suffering from 3 charisma. haa

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Daily Doodle 1_17_12

Thing 1 thing 2.
This has some potential, or at least the technique will be expanded into some things like it.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Daily doodle 2

Todays doodle. (actually a little more finished)

Daily Doodle

Apparently, I am not the standard blogger of the standard mindset. So in an effort to continue with the purpose of the blog, I have decided to start what I will call "Daily Doodles".
I won't need to spend hours thinking up some clever thing to say, or comment on and I will be able to focus on what I need..... a bit of art.
I will be trying to spend some time daily, or at least frequently doodling away at some project. I am freeing myself from the need to post finished pieces here. This will give readers, or more accurately, viewers an opportunity to see the creative flow in process. Sometimes, like the doodle here, I just get out the wacom and scribble around. The result after a few minutes is usually discarded or put aside for another time. Instead, I will be making an earnest effort to post the daily doodles here. I should at least be posting the ones I like the best.
I hope you all enjoy, and while commentary is welcome, I'm not concerned with critique here. Everything posted as a daily doodle, will be just that.... a doodle.
More finished works will be posted on the site, or FB pages. Hope you enjoy, and maybe a little inspiration will be found and perhaps the images will be a leaping point for some greater works.... I also may come back and review and decide to refine older doodles.
Let's give it a go!!