My Portfolio

Monday, January 14, 2008

Watching You Watching Me

The other day I was walking to the grocery store around the corner from my apartment, and I noticed that one of the trees was watching me. I've walked past this tree probably two hundred times, and somehow I never noticed that it had all these creepy eyes all over it. It's a pretty fantastic tree:

It even has a creepy face.

Anyway, the tree inspired me, so I decided to draw it, with lots of outlines so I could really put my new Cintiq tablet to the test. The large, expensive Cintiqs are gorgeous (like an Apple Cinema Display that you can draw on), but the advantage of the smaller one is that you can put it in your lap and relax and draw on it like a sketchbook, turning it and tilting it as desired. So I drew a lot of lines, here and there over the past few days, and I ended up with this:

(click to enlarge)

By the time I was done with all those lines I didn't particularly feel like coloring the thing in, and I kind of liked it black and white anyway. But it does sort of feel like a page from a coloring book, so I thought maybe someone else might want to color it in. If you happen to feel like coloring, here is a large version you can play with - and do please email me the results, or post them in the comments.

When I was a little kid the local grocery store used to have occasional coloring contests on their brown paper grocery bags. A picture of a turkey at Thanksgiving, or pumpkins at Halloween, that sort of thing. It always annoyed me because with brown as a base color, none of my brilliant Crayolas came out the way they were intended. But I did it anyway, and one time I won five dollars, and it was immensely exciting. This will sort of be like that, except you'll have a nice white base color, and no one is going to win five dollars.

P.S. In case you don't know, a nice way to color a flat image like this is to set it as a multiply layer in Photoshop and then do the color on a layer underneath it.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, cool drawing! if i had any artistic skills i would color it in!

January 14, 2008 10:18 PM  
Blogger Adrian Clement said...

Nice. Your story reminded me of this over at Wooster:

January 14, 2008 11:42 PM  
Blogger Mimi said...

ha, that tree is actually amazing.

and i think that drawing has to be one of my favourites. i'm trying to think of what it reminds me of (not the tree..) but i'm drawing a blank and it's bugging me.

i'd love to see any results of people colouring it.

January 15, 2008 12:58 PM  
Blogger Selestrielle said...

Wah this tree's really freaky! Like your drawing too :) Maybe I'll try to color it if I find the time.

PS: See, now I've got a Blogger account because of you. :P

January 15, 2008 2:49 PM  
Blogger Kyle said...

I might have to break out my crayons

January 15, 2008 3:30 PM  
Blogger E. Kubinek said...

Okay, I totally thought you altered the top pic of the tree, cause of the big eye in the top center, the way the bird crap hits it, at first glance it makes it look like a reflected light source on a shiny surface.
Spooky tree indeed.

And the drawing, yeah, WHEN are you going to do a comic book???
Seriously, here.

I am going to go and fumble around with your pic in photoshop now, wish me luck, I'm horrid at all the digital stuff....

January 15, 2008 8:29 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

It actually is light reflecting off the eyeball! It's so weird, the surface of that part of the tree is different somehow - smoother. Here is that part of the image at full size, straight out of the camera.

January 15, 2008 9:58 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

The QFC still runs those coloring contests.

January 16, 2008 2:20 PM  
Blogger Alias Grace said...

That tree is crazy.

January 16, 2008 5:58 PM  
Blogger E. Kubinek said...

Oh, Its sap!
Thats why its shiny and has that white bit!
Thats a maple tree, and with the climate that southern california has right now, it would be prime syrup season probably (yes, I really do live THAT far in the sticks as to know that).
Does that tree turn REALLY deep red (like blood red) in fall? (Ever?) The smooth bark makes me wonder if it isn't a Japanese maple.
okay nature geek is gonna shut up now....

January 16, 2008 7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've that tree so many times! I always thought someone carved that face. It creeps me out every time I see that tree.

January 19, 2008 5:28 PM  
Anonymous lisa said...

That is an AMAZING tree! Where is it I want to take photos of it/or is it a type of tree? I have never seen that, it's a great find.

January 27, 2008 4:17 PM  
Blogger E. Kubinek said...

Here is my entry to the non existent coloring contest.

I am REALLY bad at photoshop, and/ or any digital art programs.
That is pretty much the best I can do, and that isn't saying much.

I am surprised that no one else has done one yet and posted the link on here.

January 27, 2008 8:48 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Nicely done! I like the unusual take on the color scheme and replacing the black with brown, very cool.

A few people have emailed me their versions, they really ought to post them here, as well. It's fun to see what people have done with it.

January 28, 2008 2:39 PM  
Blogger ellecee said...

The little robot in the sketch reminds me of a dalek.

January 28, 2008 3:14 PM  
Blogger E. Kubinek said...

Thank you.

I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to digital stuff, so any compliment is gladly welcome.

Just fooling around trying to color your drawing makes me respect the hell out of the graphics artists that do the digital coloring for comic books these days!
Crazy time consuming!

And for the record, it is just sick how easy you make it look!

January 28, 2008 5:25 PM  
Blogger feri said...

I also have something to share, i hope, you'll like it.

...and i hope, the link works.

Dear e. kubinek, i really like your work, it seems to me, it's from an old comic book, because of this brown color. Very nice.

(ahm, and i'm sorry for my english)

January 29, 2008 10:27 AM  
Blogger E. Kubinek said...

Thank you Feri!
Yours is REALLY good!
I like the contrast between the eyes and the trees, really nice color use!

January 29, 2008 12:03 PM  
Blogger Badgirl said...

i always wondered who took the amazing photos for NIN; very unique eye for isolating your subject.

now that i see your different mediums, it's all amazing stuff!

i tried to give some color to your trees, just elementary colors.

March 19, 2008 2:21 PM  
OpenID hurricane-mario said...

feri- that's amazing coloring. You just made my day.

March 19, 2008 9:31 PM  
Blogger Mandy said...

you are so awesome-and you are a wealth of information!
Mandolin Davis

April 10, 2008 1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the tree's have eyes...

April 18, 2008 1:39 AM  
Blogger afterhuman said...


November 7, 2008 11:34 PM  
Anonymous Darien Destros said...

I'll give a shot at coloring it with MS Paint.


January 5, 2009 8:43 PM  

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