Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Everyone in Marie Claire magazine

Everyone in Marie Claire, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Some good practice! I flipped through Marie Claire (the French one) and drew everyone who appeared in its pages. French Marie Claire, btw, is way way better than the American one.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Charleston Airport

Charleston Airport, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
The little brick airport in Charleston, SC, years ago (they've since remodeled and done a nice job). Back in the day it looked a little like an Applebee's might if you removed all the "pieces of flair" from the walls, or maybe some sort of state-run laundromat.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sketch of a bus

Sketch of a Bus, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
I ran across this old sketch recently that I did in a bus on the way to UW in Seattle.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Berlin, July 2016

Girl with a phone, Berlin July 2016 by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
I couldn't make out what her tattoos were when I saw her on the street, so I gave her a full sleeve of my favorite junk foods.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Digital artwork storage

I'm in the process of re-organizing my digital art files-- all the photos of my sketches, paintings, art photography, embarrassing art school experiments, all the high school stuff I used to apply to college. I have original high-quality images, small watermarked versions of them, and working GIMP files (like open-source Photoshop). EVERYTHING from about 1998 onward. That's currently about 7,500 items (some of them duplicates and different versions of the same image), but that excludes all the stuff I have yet to photograph (lots of sketchbooks and work in storage), the many portraits I sold and forgot to photograph, and all the stuff on slides and film, which are sitting in a storage facility on another continent. I'm so glad we're all done with slides.

There must be people out there who are as excited as I am about proper categorization and cross-referencing of files, so here's my system: every item is named by its date (year-month-day) then title, then material, then any pertinent info (such as "sketched-in-Budapest" or "sold_to_So-and-So"), then dimensions. For instance: 2012-2-14Portrait_of_Anne_Bonney-drawn-from-imagination_charcoal_14x20. That way they're automatically displayed by order of date, almost like a visual diary.

Then all files are tagged with color coded tags. I can select "display by tag" so all the colors are displayed grouped together (and still in order of date/name), and pieces with more than one tag show up twice. Or I can scroll down the list and visually differentiate.
red=illustration and any sketches I can use to build my identity as an illustrator (@St.Rhinoceros on Instagram, btw)
yellow=art photos and photo-collage
blue=paintings and drawings (except portraits and figure drawings)
purple=figure drawings
orange=other (sculpture, prints, odd projects)

Both "small" and "sample" versions of most original files exist ("small" are low-resolution images I can easily send and display online; "sample" images are small and have watermarks and/or labels as part of the original image). They're named the same thing as the original file but with  _small or _sample at the end so they're listed next to the original.

My main goal is to eliminate duplicates of the enormous original files, because my computer storage is almost at capacity and it doesn't need to be. I could store the images on an external drive, but I use them all the time and that would be inconvenient (but to be sure, they're backed up on a USB stick!). So if I need to create a file for a project, such as organizing images for a blog or an application for a gig, my plan is to make duplicates of only the small / sample images, and be confident that there is only one large original, and I know where to find it. I also hope to eliminate the process of creating a sample piece in GIMP only to discover I've already done so and stored the sample somewhere weird. I've edited the truly terrible pieces to be low-resolution so they take up less storage (and I cannot fathom ever printing them).

I'm torn, though, on the tags. I have the option of creating tags that have no color, just a title, in order to further categorize the work (in my case those tags would be several series titles, "good pieces," "sold" "destroyed" "missing" and several storage locations). But is this the best way to do it?

So, do you agree or disagree with my methods? Do you have any suggestions? And most of all, how do you store your own files?

The FBI's fingerprint cataloguing and storage facility, 1940s. Via MessyNessyChic, where you can find more photos of what amounts to a mind-bogglingly massive human computer made of women who were paid in war bonds which they were also encouraged to buy. They categorized the whorls and ridges of each print with a magnifying glass using the Henry System of fingerprint categorization. Each woman categorized up to 35,000 fingerprints per day, working 10 hours 6 days per week. Every soldier, person who'd been jailed, government worker and volunteer had prints on file. The facility held about 70 million prints in 1943. That's significantly more files than I'm dealing with right now.

Saturday, August 13, 2016


Contour, by Ciana Pullen  / St. Rhinocéros
A small detail from an old figure drawing warm-up sketch that I went back and re-worked. I was very happy with the piece in its entirety, until my husband remarked that it looked like the German flag (which is synonymous with sports, since that's the only time you see the flag out and about). Now I can't un-see it; I might have to add a fourth color here and there.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Adventures in Space

Back at the beginning of July I participated in an exhibit at The Lighthouse in Glasgow, Scotland called Adventures in Space. Jon Jardine put the show together as part of the Festival of Architecture, and it explored the influence of architecture and science fiction on each other. Ian Campbell did some large-scale illustrations of iconic sci-fi cityscapes and buildings, while Douglas Prince, Piotr Sell and I worked with Jon to make black & white hexagonal illustrations of everything from Futurama to Metropolis. All in all I did around 30 illustrations for the show. RIAS (Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland) sponsored the show and flew us illustrators to Glasgow for the opening. I got to bring Tom along and have a mini-vacation. We had no idea how much we'd love Scotland! It's right up there next to Paris on my list of places to return one day.

The show is up now through October 2, so if you're in the Glasgow area, stop in and see it.

Adventures in Space

Tintin illustrations
Two illustrations I did for Explorers on the Moon and Destination Moon (both Tintin comics).

Rossum's Universal Robots and Amazing Stories illustrations
An illustration I did for Rossum's Universal Robots, top (a play from the 1920s about robots who become sentient and run amok), and the Amazing Stories sci fi magazines from the 1920s through 40s (bottom 2 illustrations, after the Frank R. Paul cover illustrations).

War of the Worlds and Impossible Voyage illustrations
I did the illustration in the top left in the style of the original illustrations in War of the Worlds from the early 1900s. Also, the Impossible Voyage illustration on the bottom right.

The Forbidden Planet, one of my favorite of the illustrations I did for this show.

Amazing Stories of Science Fiction, illustration by Ciana Pullen

Blade Runner, illustration by Ciana Pullen

Amazing Stories of Science Fiction, illustration by Ciana Pullen

Buck Rogers, illustration by Ciana Pullen
A cobbled-together interpretation of several Buck Rogers comics from the 1920s. The early comics have gorgeous line work, and still have that Victorian influence. On one hand, Wilma is way cooler than in later versions, and on the other the premise was ragingly racist. The pre-Atomic Age spacecraft designs were wild. They were all wood paneled and seemingly inspired by antique scuba gear. The ship in this illustration is an exact copy from one of many in the comic, while the rest is something I made up in the original style.

Capricorn One, illustration by Ciana Pullen
I haven't seen Capricorn One, and I probably won't, but the plot as described on Wikipedia is long and winding and involves O.J. Simpson. This scene shows shady government operatives forcing unwilling astronauts to film a fake moon landing in an airplane hangar in the desert. I regret not outfitting one of the mystery men in silhouette with a cigarette, as a nod to The X-Files.

Destination Moon (film), illustration by Ciana Pullen

Fahrenheit 451, illustration by Ciana Pullen
A character from Fahrenheit 451 who chooses to die with her books when the firemen come for her. Fire, as it is captured in daylight on film, just doesn't look right in a black & white line drawing, so I completely made up the flames and smoke, and had a lot of fun with the line work.

The Forbidden Planet, illustration by Ciana Pullen
The space-babe from Forbidden Planet and Robbie the Robot. I gave the "garden" studio set a much-needed visual upgrade. Unfortunately none of the interior architecture was iconic enough to make a recognizable illustration, but the Professor and his daughter live in what is basically a ranch style house in outer space with really awesome interior decor.

Frankenstein, illustration by Ciana Pullen
An interpretation of the original Mary Shelly Frankenstein novel. Glancing back over the original plot (which had been completely replaced in my mind by the über-melodramatic Kenneth Branagh version), I was surprised how much the famous android's monologue at the end of Blade Runner had in common with Frankenstein's creature's confrontation with his creator. 

The Factory Floor from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, illustration by Ciana Pullen
Actually drawing this made me appreciate how short Zapp Branigan's tunic (?) really is.

The Factory Floor from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, illustration by Ciana Pullen

The Impossible Voyage, illustration by Ciana Pullen

Jurassic Park, illustration by Ciana Pullen

Rossum's Universal Robots, illustration by Ciana Pullen

Sleeper, illustration by Ciana Pullen

Solaris, 1972 Tarkovsky film, illustration by Ciana Pullen
This exact scene doesn't exist in Solaris (the 1972 version), but I love the way Andrei Tarkovsky had people move through his scenes, so I added the female character gliding off the edge. I have yet to watch Solaris (it's on my list!), but I admired the decision to clothe the requisite Space Hottie in a macrame cardigan and comfortable ponytail. I guess that might have been a Soviet thing.

Future London from Star Trek, 2009, illustration by Ciana Pullen

The Day The Earth Caught Fire illustration by Ciana Pullen

THX 1138 illustration by Ciana Pullen

Tintin - Destination Moon illustration by Ciana Pullen

Tintin - Explorers on the Moon illustration by Ciana Pullen
The original cover illustration showed their backs from above, and the rocket they see before them. I changed this illustration to show their faces but, mostly, to better showcase this amazing dog space suit.

War of the Worlds illustration by Ciana Pullen
I made this composition up, but it was cobbled together and done in the style of the first illustrations for the 1898 novel War of the Worlds. They're absolutely beautiful, strangely terrifying, disarmingly inventive, and well worth the image search.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Friday, August 5, 2016

Thursday, August 4, 2016

FKK in the Tiergarten

A field in the Berlin Tiergarten (rather like NY's Central Park, but calmer) unofficially dedicated to gay male nudists. There are other fields in the Tiergarten where any nudists may congregate when the weather is nice enough, as well as various lakes and parks around Berlin. FKK stands for Freikörperkultur ("free body culture") and is a holdover from former East Germany, where frequent casual nudism was the norm before reunification. Signed St. Rhinocéros

In the cafe at the Literaturhaus, Berlin

Sketch of the Literaturhaus by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinoceros
Sketch of my husband sitting in front of a giant painting in the very fancy interior of the Literaturhaus, Berlin. Signed St. Rhinocéros

Website relaunch

My main site is back up! It's been a long time coming-- I learned a lot of html and css, and my husband spent many hours working with my design to make it functional. In addition to the site I have a new Instagram handle to share illustration work: @St.Rhinoceros