Sunday, April 20, 2014

Creating a Paradise Travel Map - Part 2



This is the second in a series of posts describing the steps that I follow in creating a Paradise Travel Map. This promises to be one of my favorite maps, because it will feature one of the most unique places in the world, the island of Tristan da Cunha. Located in the South Atlantic Ocean, Tristan da Cunha is the most remote inhabited island on earth. It has been a fascinating place to study.

You can get a closer look at the island and its inhabitants by way of  these YouTube clips. Here's one from Where's Andrew? Then, Andrew's return to Tristan da Cunha. I would venture to say that very few people have visited Tristan da Cunha twice...it's just too hard to get to. You can't fly there because there's no airstrip. It requires a seven-day boat ride from South Aftrica or England, and the scheduled ship only sails about once every month or two. So once you arrive on Tristan, you must be prepared to stay a while.

In my first Tristan da Cunha post you got a glimpse of the research that creates the foundation for the map. From that research I begin to put the map together in pieces. The first section that I completed was the title and subtitle. I went ahead and inked that, knowing that there would not likely be any modifications needed on the title. So it is now ready for the color phase.

Next came the map frame and corner panels. If you enlarge the above image you can get a closer look at the contents of the panels. I chose two unique creatures that are part of the island fauna for the top panels: on the left, the Tristan thrush, endemic to the island. And on the top right, the Northern Rock Hopper penquin. I learned that these comedic creatures do actually hop from rock to rock along the coastline of the island, as opposed to the Jackass penguins 1500 miles to the east in South Africa that sort of stroll around.

I chose two endemic species of flora for the bottom two panels: on the left, the Nertura depressa, a type of bead plant. On the right: Epymenia flabellata, a species of seaweed that flourishes in the waters surrounding the island.

After inking the frame and corner panels, I began to pencil in the island map itself, which will include the island's volcanic cone. It erupted in 1961, sending the island's inhabitants fleeing to England. After penciling in the land mass, I lettered all the names that define the coastline around the island. That's as far as I've come at this point.

The only town on the island, called "the Settlement" by locals, is Edinburgh of the Seven Seas. I'm considering  drawing an inset map of Edinburgh below and to the right of the island. This might possibly be the only map ever drawn and published of this most remote village. Then, directly to the right of the island I  plan to create a parchment-style document page on which I will scribe some of the most interesting factoids regarding the island.

Another decision that I will soon have to make is whether or not to create a back side to the map. There is so much to say about Tristan da Cunha that more art and text could easily spill over to the back side. Stay tuned for an update on my progress soon.

Have you seen my other blog, The Trowbridge Chronicles?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Creating a Paradise Travel Map



 The first step in creating a Paradise Travel Map is the research phase. This map will feature Tristan da Cunha, the most remote inhabited island in the world. On the left is a page from my sketchbook. If you enlarge the image you will see thumbnail sketches of some of the flora and fauna of the island, which will be featured in the corner panels of the map. On the right are notations of people, places and historical events regarding the island.

Here's my Paradise Travel Map of the exotic South Pacific island of Rarotonga: http://funmapsusa.net/maps/view/rarotonga-cook-islands

Check back soon for the next step in completing my Paradise Travel Map of Tristan da Cunha.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Just Another Day at the Office

Yesterday the weather was good so I decided to use my motorcycle to "get to work". My office yesterday: Starbucks in Orting, a small town in the foothills of the Washington Cascade Mountains (USA). There I got my comic panels penciled and inked and ready for the syndicate. Plus some revisions on my Turtle Farm Theme Park cartoon map in the Cayman Islands.


My work finished, I decided to ride up through the South Prairie Valley, then stop along the way to get my daily exercise. I walked along the Carbon River, with its headwaters on the slopes of Mount Rainier in Washington State.


I found this beautiful fern glade along the bank of the river...


...and this beautiful spray of sword ferns growing up against a mossy boulder nearby.


Then I exited Hwy 162 and followed South Prairie Carbon River Road, which is where I found this pastoral scene with the sun low on the western horizon. This late afternoon ride helped make it an exceptionally good workday yesterday.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Good Times at Carson Elementary


Isaiah won my Squiggle Game, so he got to come up front and make a squiggle on my drawing pad. The squiggle he made is the outline of the insect creature in the lower right corner of the pad. The object of the game is for me to turn the student's squiggle into something recognizable, then create a scene around it.


Thanks to Debbie Bair, AKA "Mama Bear", for sending this picture of me with her daughter.


One of my favorite parts of the program: autographing my books and posters.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Toad Warrior poster

Skagway is a toad character that I have used in my school programs for many years. The students have always enjoyed my quick-draw Skagway drawings. I finally decided to introduce Skagway to my blog audience in poster form. Actually, this Skagway image was one of the first images that I posted on this blog. I thought I would reintroduce him to those who weren't around when I first started the blog. You can see in the side panel to the right that Skagway is available on Zazzle as a t-shirt, as well as other Skagway products.

Have you seen my other blog, The Trowbridge Chronicles

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Last Week's Read Across America Program


Last Thursday I was honored to be the featured guest for the Read Across America Program at Fruitland Elementary School in Puyallup, Washington. The students just finished their monster drawing that I demonstrated for them from my Monster Safari How-to-Draw Book. They wanted to hold their drawings up to show me... so I grabbed my camera, just in the nick of time. It was a fun and memorable day. I will have more Monster Safari Programs through the Spring semester and next school year. 

I would be happy to answer your questions regarding bringing my Monster Safari and/or Read Across America Program to your school: http://bronsmith.com/schoolprograms.htm

Monday, March 3, 2014

Bumble Bee Pollinating Discovery Bay Rhododendron



I've been working on this painting on and off since November 27, 2013. The biggest challenge in  painting in a realistic style is the time commitment. Realistic paintings progress very slowly. 

I used Prisma Color pencils with a colored pencil blender pen to give the painting a "wet" look. I saved the best for last...yesterday I painted in the bumble bee in the middle of the rhodie bloom. That was the cherry on top of the whip cream. 

I draw and paint so much for public consumption and almost not at all for decorating the walls of our house. So this will be framed and will hang in our family room. The actual purpose of the painting is to enhance my Painting in Paradise web site. 

My Painting in Paradise workshops allow people the opportunity to travel to an exotic South Pacific destination, the island of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. There I teach participants how to paint exotic tropical flowers in a realistic style. It is truly a painter's paradise holiday. You can get more details in the link in the above paragraph.

Have you seen my other blog, The Trowbridge Chronicles