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Friday, August 9, 2019

Scorpio, April 2019: I draw your horoscope

From my April 2019 horoscope project, where I illustrated a common thread in the online horoscopes for each sign.


Final image:

Pisces, April 2019: I draw your horoscope

From my April 2019 horoscope project, where I illustrated a common thread in the online horoscopes for each sign.


Final image:

Leo April 2019: I draw your horoscope

From my April 2019 horoscope project, where I illustrated a common thread in the online horoscopes for each sign.

Final image:

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Iris And The Lid (from the series Ciana's Notes on Portraiture)

Forget every "makeup for you eye shape" article you've ever read.

There is time to explore eye shape in portraiture, but this post isn't it. Nor their size, nor the form of the lids, nor any mystical woo about souls. This post is only about where the lids intersect with the iris and pupil, and how that effects expression. As a portrait artist you should pay extra attention to this detail, because the human brain pays a disproportionate amount of attention to eyes, thus any little mistake is noticeable immediately.

As we emote and our eyeballs roll hither and thither, and as we scrunch our faces in speech and emotion, naturally the lids move over the iris and will intersect at different points. That's why a smile is associated with a squished up, crinkled lower lid that sits high on the eyeball. To smile with the bottom of the iris exposed, meanwhile, is very unsettling.

Bill Skarsgård smiling normally, left, and as Pennywise from It, smiling with exposed bottom iris, right.

But faces are all different of course, and distinctive in the point at which the lids intersect the iris while looking straight ahead in a neutral expression. It can create an important "aura" to a person. The neutral form can unwittingly imitate certain expressions in the general population, thereby creating iciness, naiveté, peacefulness, or a number of other first glance impressions.

Looking straight ahead, most people's upper eyelid covers just the top of the iris, and most people's bottom lid skirts the bottom edge of the iris, covering it slightly. Here are some average lid-iris intersections:

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Libra, April 2019: I draw your horoscope

From my April 2019 horoscope project, where I illustrated a common thread in the online horoscopes for each sign.

Final image:

Sagittarius, April 2019: I draw your horoscope

From my April 2019 horoscope project, where I illustrated a common thread in the online horoscopes for each sign.


Final image:

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Notre-Dame de Paris

I can't believe it's been decimated by fire. This morning I thought about all the history behind it and drew this.



Capricorn, April 2019: I draw your horoscope

From my April 2019 horoscope project, where I illustrated a common thread in the online horoscopes for each sign.


Final image:

Monday, April 15, 2019

Aquarius, April 2019: I draw your horoscope

From my April 2019 horoscope project, where I illustrated a common thread in the online horoscopes for each sign.




Final image:

Virgo, April 2019: I draw your horoscope

From my April 2019 horoscope project, where I illustrated a common thread in the online horoscopes for each sign.




Final image:

Cancer, April 2019: I draw your horoscope

From my April 2019 horoscope project, where I illustrated a common thread in the online horoscopes for each sign.


Final image:

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Taurus, April 2019: I draw your horoscope

From my April 2019 horoscope project, where I illustrated a common thread in the online horoscopes for each sign.


Final image:

Friday, April 5, 2019

Aries, April 2019; I draw your horoscope

From my April 2019 horoscope project, where I illustrated a common thread in the online horoscopes for each sign.


Here's the final image:

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Gemini, April 2019: I draw your horoscope

From my April 2019 horoscope project, where I illustrated a common thread in the online horoscopes for each sign.


Final image:

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The April Horoscopes Project!

The Inktober experience was so bracing, artistically and emotionally, that I challenged myself again to a motivational thematic project. Illustrating horoscopes comes with a built-in deadline and is satisfyingly open to interpretation. But mainly they’re fun!

I don’t actually believe that the dance of the planets has any impact on our fate (unless, I suppose, we collide with one). But I do enjoy having my fortune told in any medium. It’s relaxing and makes me feel special, enchanted. I also appreciate that horoscopes provide a psychological exercise, causing one to examine one’s actions and feelings from a fresh perspective. I suppose I could instead schedule a calendar appointment to sit down regularly and reflect without the woo, but we all know I wouldn’t ever do something so tedious or responsible.

I think a classic antique storybook style compliments the Zodiac nicely, so I grabbed my little bottle of Parker ink and a dip pen and got started. And I filmed it for all the ASMR fans. For those unfamiliar, ASMR is a relaxing, euphoric tingling sensation that some people get from personal attention, from rustling noises or watching someone quietly complete a task. Many people experience it while watching Bob Ross paint or getting a haircut. 

But maybe I’ll repeat this project another month, in another style. What do you think? Suggestions?

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Karl Lagerfeld: Bigot Who Is Dead Now

Designer Karl Lagerfeld recently died. Before you engage in some social media retrospective on Karl Lagerfeld's achievements or conscientiously separate the man's problems from his genius, consider this.

Karl Lagerfeld didn't WANT his legacy to be associated with people sized Heidi Klum or larger. He didn't WANT his memory to live on in their fat hearts and minds. And his wishes should be respected.

You're not some Marie Antoinette, his "fashion empire" wasn't FOR you. He created a second legacy, though, just for you. That is yours to keep alive:

His empire is built on the funerals of little girls who died of eating disorders while he peddled Heroin Chic.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Inktober 2018 Day 31, "Slice"

Day 31 of Inktober, prompt word "Slice." I previously wrote about Inktober here. This is an edited version, but I'm posting these daily on my Instagram, @St.Rhinoceros:

Inktober 2018, day 31 "Slice" by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Day 31 of Inktober 2018, prompt word "Slice." Ink and watercolor on paper. by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros. [Image description: a profile of a head sits centered on a floral background. The profile, drawn in black and white, has a 3-D edge as if it is a slice of head viewed from a slight angle instead of a simple silhouette. The inside area where the brain would be is filled with a black and white image of eleven crows flying out of a bare winter treetop. The background is several richly colored realistic flowers on a black background: two red-orange ruffled tulips with leaves, a light purple-blue peony, two pale shell-pink peonies, two magenta ranunculus, and two reddish purple poppies with stems.]

Inktober 2018, Day 30 "Jolt"

Day 30 of Inktober, prompt word "Jolt." I previously wrote about Inktober here. This is an edited version, but I'm posting these daily on my Instagram, @St.Rhinoceros:

Inktober 2018, Day 30 "Jolt" by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Day 30 of Inktober 2018, prompt word "Jolt." Dip pen and ink. by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros. [Image description: black and white line drawing on a white background of a woman reaching underwater toward the viewer. Only her hand and face are visible below the surface of the water, and the finger tips reach out toward the viewer, as if to rescue them from drowning, with dramatic perspective. The woman's face is intent and her eyes look toward the viewer. Her hair floats straight up. Lots of little bubbles create underwater texture.]

Inktober 2018, Day 29 "Double"

Day 29 of Inktober, prompt word "Double." I previously wrote about Inktober here. This is an edited version, but I'm posting these daily on my Instagram, @St.Rhinoceros:

Inktober 2018, day 29 "Double (Black Lodge)" by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Day 29 of Inktober 2018, prompt word "Double." This is a self-portrait as the Black Lodge version of myself, like Twin Peaks' Agent Dale Cooper's evil twin. If you haven't seen the new season of Twin Peaks, drop everything and go watch it! Of course I was afraid the new season after a hiatus since the early 90s would fail to recapture the initial magic, and to the extent that the earlier series create an appealing, goofy Americana feeling, it does fail a bit. But the spiritual, emotional, surreal and horror aspects really shined in this season. There is some goofiness and humor with the FBI agents and their world, though. Without spoiling anything (because it has nothing to do with the plot because it's David Lynch and some memorable scenes and characters simply have nothing to do with anything), there's an exquisite scene of a call girl simply exiting a room with tremendous style. Kyle MacLachlan acts his little butt off in the new series, and this drawing is a riff on a memorable scene of his. [Image description: black and white ink drawing of a haggard woman driving a car. Only hear head, shoulders and hand on the steering wheel are shown. She wears a black jacket on a black background and black steering wheel, with dark ragged cross hatching on the face and hand. The hair is backlit and outlined in white. The woman stares straight ahead at the viewer, looking intense, evil and expressionless, with a closed mouth and penetrating eyes.]

Inktober 2018, Day 28 "Gift"

Day 28 of Inktober, prompt word "Gift." I previously wrote about Inktober here. This is an edited version, but I'm posting these daily on my Instagram, @St.Rhinoceros:

Inktober 2018, Day 28 "Gift" by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Day 28 of Inktober 2018, prompt word "Gift." Dip pen and ink. by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros. I was feeling pretty despondent about "what is the point of art" when I made this; it's a bit sarcastic. When you think about it, there really ISN'T any point to art, and throwing your hat in the ring along with the greats really IS crazy. We all just do it anyway, that's how it works. [Image description: black and white line drawing of a mountain of motifs from famous paintings, including Artemisia Ghentileschi's Judith Slaying Holofernes, Matisse's Blue Seated Woman, Vermeer's Maid Pouring Milk, Manet's Bar Maid, Monet's Bridge, Velasquez's Infanta, Goya's Saturn Devouring His Son, Sargent's Madame X, Sophie Calle's self portrait covering one eye, Tamara de Lempicka's self portrait while driving, Degas's Woman Using Binoculars, Cassatt's Woman in Loge Using Binoculars, Cezanne's Still Life With Fruit (with a tiny figure skiing over the edge of the white tablecloth like the famous dream sequence from Hitchcock's Spellbound designed by Dali), Matisse's leafy cutouts, da Vinci's sketch of a helicopter-like device, Man Ray's iron with spikes, Toulouse-Lautrec's dancing woman, Lee Bontecou's welded hole sculpture, Odilon Redon's Cyclops, van Gogh's Starry Night, Degas' ballerina fixing her shoe, and Yayoi Kusama's polka dots, and Duchamp's Urinal. A small cartoon woman stands atop the pile of famous motifs holding a paintbrush and palette in one hand and holding up a finger to speak with the other. She's squatting under some sort of ceiling or roof because there's not much more room for anything else on the page. A word bubble comes from her mouth reading, "Ehh, I think I can do better."]

Inktober 2018, Day 27 "Thunder"

Day 27 of Inktober, prompt word "Thunder." I previously wrote about Inktober here. This is an edited version, but I'm posting these daily on my Instagram, @St.Rhinoceros:


Inktober 2018 Day 27 "Thunder" by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Day 27 of Inktober 2018, prompt word "Thunder." Dip pen and ink. by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros. [Image description: realistic black and white drawing of a thunderstorm. A small landscape takes up the bottom eighth of the image; towering storm clouds take up the rest of the space. A tiny single-wide trailer home on blocks sits on a wooded hill overlooking a valley and hills. Far away at the horizon a tornado has formed. In the middle ground a huge cloud is raining into the valley, creating a sweeping diagonal swath of lines and light from the bottom left up to the top right of the image. Several puffy black horizontal clouds are silhouetted against the rain. Behind the raining cloud, and to the right and behind the hill and trailer home are towering puffy cumulus clouds. Lightning jumps between two clouds. Shadows form on the ground from the clouds and the composition is overall dappled black with finely lined shades of grey. The storm appears to be moving toward the tiny trailer home.]

Inktober 2018 Day 26 "Stretch"

Day 26 of Inktober, prompt word "Stretch." I previously wrote about Inktober here. This is an edited version, but I'm posting these daily on my Instagram, @St.Rhinoceros:

Inktober 2018, Day 26 "Stretch" by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Day 26 of Intkober 2018, prompt word "Stretch." Dip pen and ink. by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros. [Image description: black and white drawing of an interior looking through two doorways into a third room with a window. A man sits in a chair in front of the bright window turning halfway to look behind him. Behind the door frame in the second room, just out of his view, is a woman standing with one leg bent as if hesitating to take a step, with her head tilted as if about to peer around the corner or contemplating what is around the corner, and her hand is over her heart. She stands mostly in shadow. The drawing is shaded mostly with horizontal pen strokes. The space around the doorway closest to the viewer is black, with reflected light from the window on the floor creating sort of a bright visual runway for the eye of the viewer to travel toward the man and window. Style is realistic.]

Inktober 2018, Day 25 "Prickly"

Day 25 of Inktober, prompt word "Prickly." I previously wrote about Inktober here. This is an edited version, but I'm posting these daily on my Instagram, @St.Rhinoceros:

Inktober 2018, Day 25 "Prickly" by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Day 25 of Inktober 2018, prompt word "Prickly." This is a representation of that prickly sort of headache you get when you're sleep deprived, which I certainly was when I made this. Dip pen and brush, ink. By Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros. [Image description: black and white psychedelic-looking drawing of the torso of a skeleton with crystals growing off the neck. A large brain floats in the space above it with cords leading out to two eyeballs. One looks to the left off the page. The other looks at the viewer and has a droopy baggy lid drawn over it. The background is full of messy white line drawings of faces and eyes on a black background. A stripey line divides the background between skeleton and brain, and above the line the background is short lines forming an undulating pattern. The skeleton bones have dots on them, and the eyeball that looks off page is repeated several times in a line filled with different patterns. Every inch of the page is covered in pattern.]

Inktober 2018, Day 24 "Chop"

Day 24 of Inktober, prompt word "Chop." I previously wrote about Inktober here. This is an edited version, but I'm posting these daily on my Instagram, @St.Rhinoceros:

Inktober 2018, Day 24 "Chop" by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Day 24 of Inktober 2018, prompt word "Chop." Dip pen and ink. by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros. [Image description: black and white drawing of the head and shoulders of a woman. She holds a knife with a sphere impaled on the end of it, which she examines with a disinterestedly skeptical expression. The sphere contains an image of a bird flying over treetops, as in a crystal ball or a parallel reality contained within the sphere. The sphere is the light source; the background is black and the figure is shaded in high contrast. Somewhat realistic style.]

Inktober 2018, Day 23 "Muddy"

Day 23 of Inktober, prompt word "Muddy." I previously wrote about Inktober here. This is an edited version, but I'm posting these daily on my Instagram, @St.Rhinoceros:

Inktober 2018, Day 23 "Muddy" by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Day 23 of Inktober 2018, prompt word "Muddy." Dip pen and brush, ink. By Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros. [Image description: black and white drawing the head and shoulders of a woman who is spinning around from upper left to bottom right of the image to face something the lower right of the viewer. She has wet stringy hair that is smacking her in the face and blobs of mud flying off of her face and torso. There's a big splash of mud through the negative space in the background in the upper section of the image. Most of the drawing is done with messy dark ink washes. The face is done with crosshatching pen marks. The face looks intense and angry.]

Inktober 2018, Day 22 "Expensive"

Day 22 of Inktober, prompt word "Expensive." I previously wrote about Inktober here. This is an edited version, but I'm posting these daily on my Instagram, @St.Rhinoceros.

I simply wanted to write some beautiful script with the dip pen, and that turned out to be more difficult than I thought. I ended up with two attempts I was willing to post, and none I loved. I would like that time machine, though.

Inktober 2018, Day 22 "Expensive" #1, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Day 22 of Inktober 2018, prompt word "Expensive." by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros. [Image description: black and white ink drawing of a handwritten letter sitting on top of an envelope. The letter is formally written and is addressed to St. Rhinocéros's past self, then describes some financial difficulties and requests some actions for the Past Self to take to avoid said difficulties, ending with encouragement to be more "difficult" with regards to arguing financial decisions and to view the ensuing confidence as an investment in itself. The letter is signed Future Rhinocéros. A small chic package decorated with lavender sprigs and twine sits in the top right with a gift tag that reads, "F.R. -- Message received! Enclosed please find a time machine. -Past R."]

Inktober 2018, Day 22 "Expensive" #2, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Attempt #2 at the same idea for "Expensive." By Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros. The text is identical. [Image description: Same letter and response as above, but the text is simply written on the page like a letter, there's no pretense of making it look like a drawing of a letter sitting on a surface. The response is written in a small diagonal framed rectangle at the bottom right of the page. The focus is on the handwriting, which is old-fashioned cursive script, not too fancy.]

Tutorial: How To Paint A Cat

Thank you @Hosico Cat for this amazing tutorial.


[Video description: relaxing vibraphone music plays while the camera shows a close-up of a paintbrush painting a cat's head on a plain white background, which in fact is obviously just an illusion created by a very calm real cat wearing a piece of paper with a hole cut out like an Elizabethan collar and someone stroking the cat's face with a dry paintbrush. The cat glances around and enjoys the paintbrush massage.]


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Inktober 2018 Day 21, "Drain"

Day 21 of Inktober, prompt word "Drain." I previously wrote about Inktober here. This is an edited version, but I'm posting these daily on my Instagram, @St.Rhinoceros:

Inktober 2018 Day 21 "Drain," by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Day 21 of Inktober 2018, prompt word "Drain." I shamelessly stole the pinecone head idea from a phenomenal 1920s Dada / surrealist artist named Claude Cahun; she once wore a costume pinecone or fungus on her head and took some photos. I intended to come up with a more meaningful object with which to replace the head, but after serious effort I was unable to improve on the pinecone. [Image description: black and white ink drawing showing a woman with a big pinecone for a head who has just dropped to her knees and is reaching blindly for her human face/head, which has somehow come off and is melting and dripping through an invisible grid that forms the plane of the ground. The figure is top left, the face is bottom right, and she reaches toward the viewer. She wears shorts, sneakers and a loose cropped T-shirt. Her face is conventionally pretty and calmly smiling but one eye has dripped through the grate. A swath of abstract black brushstrokes behind and to the right of the figure highlight that area of the illustration. The style is graphic-realistic, not cartoony.]

Inktober 2018 Day 20 "Breakable"

Day 20 of Inktober, prompt word "Breakable." I previously wrote about Inktober here. This is an edited version, but I'm posting these daily on my Instagram, @St.Rhinoceros:


Inktober 2018 Day 20 "Breakable" by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Day 20 of Inktober 2018, prompt word "Breakable." Dip pen and ink. By Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros. [Image description: black and white ink drawing of a woman walking on a beach. A more detailed rectangular section in the upper center of the page shows a woman in a sweatshirt and jeans walking near the waves viewed from far away. A piece of driftwood and seaweed sits half buried in the sand. Beyond the frame of that rectangular section is a series of five overlapping contour line drawings of a nude woman walking, looking up and looking down and ahead, walking forward and, with perspective, moving diagonally from upper left to lower right toward the viewer. The larger version of the driftwood also makes an overlapping appearance beyond the rectangular section. The horizon line and edge of the waves extends also beyond the section forming a triangular shape because of perspective. The overall style is realistic, not cartoony.]

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Inktober 2018, Day 1 "Poisonous"

I mentioned that I wasn't able to scan the first Inktober image because it was too large. So I photographed it and I'm finally posting it now.

Day 1 of Inktober, prompt word "Poisonous." I previously wrote about Inktober here. This is an edited version, but I'm posting these daily on my Instagram, @St.Rhinoceros:

Inktober 2018 Day 1 "Poisonous" by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Day 1 of Inktober 2018, prompt word "Poisonous." Dip pen and ink. by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros. [Image description: a black and white ink drawing with ink washes. A black rectangle covers most of the page, set to the bottom left of center. Inside that frame is an ambulance with open doors, viewed from the back looking straight in, slightly from below. A stretcher sits halfway out of the ambulance. A man floats or flies out of the ambulance slightly above the viewer and his head extends out of the black frame at the top left. He has two heads; one looks back at the ambulance, troubled, and the other looks straight ahead, determined. He holds a backpack. The interior of the ambulance is very brightly lit, and one door opens beyond the black frame. The dual light sources make the face very high contrast.]