Friday, August 4, 2017

Southern Cypress of Cross Lake & Aeris Takes a Watercolor Selfie

Traveling and journeying through the great outdoors, there’s nothing better than that feeling. While yes movies are great enjoyment and playing video games can be exciting nothing beats the outdoors. My family and I travel quite often and with ZAK Entertainment I wish to bring that feeling to you guys through short films, which brings us to today. My family and I recently took a trip to a local lake by the name of Cross Lake, we’ve come here quite often and this blog was the center topic of my “They’re not Ducks They’re Coots” video and my Dardanelle & Russellville train article on which both were featured in this blog right here: Today I’m bringing you guys a video I’ve been eagerly editing and compositing of some great shots from Cross Lake and my recent trip there a week ago. You might think this is a repeat blog but actually last time it was during winter time so now in the thick of summer a lot of the greenery has surfaced making this lake look quite different and much more vibrant. So without further ado here is “Southern Cypress of Cross Lake”.

I actually did say before I was eager to get some summer shots in comparison with what I got in winter so this short film was great. As well as this video I actually took some photographs in between filming and an actual Watercolor piece related to this lake. Yeah I found some great shots that worked great as one of the backgrounds of a watercolor piece I’ve been secretly working on for a week now. I was hoping to get it finished before World Watercolor Month ended but my piece “Vintage Scarlett Rose” was good enough as a finale I think. Anyway as a little prologue to this watercolor piece I wanted to do a watercolor piece using my Schmincke sample paints that I received and demoed for you guys last week and so I figured as character art is my usual kind of art I do I figured to do a character piece using these paints. Now if you’ve noticed most of my watercolor character art pieces and art in general is of a certain young lady named Aeris Eclipse from Dream Eclipse a novel series I’m currently writing. You’re probably sick and tired of me drawing her, right? Yeah I said I was taking a break from drawing her but whoops my hand slipped, here’s “Aeris On The Lakefront“!
In Dream Eclipse Aeris doesn’t actually live near an ocean and instead lives near a river that connects to a lake. This lake I decided to base similarly off Cross Lake because of the photos I took, I like using my own references. I know I illustrate Aeris pretty much 90% of the time but she seemed like the perfect fit for this illustration which oddly resembles a selfie, which wasn’t intentional but let’s roll with it. Her arm placement really does look like she’s the one taking this photo… Watercolor selfies anyone? Anyway I’ve made a few changes to her character, that are actually just reversions to previous ideas such as Aeris being 16 and attending High School. I know I already changed her to 18 once but I just couldn’t work in the story ideas I wanted her to with her being in college. There’s a character that really is not certain about what she wants to do with the future and if you’re in college, well you pretty much know what you’re working towards. Plus this is supposed to be aimed at Young Adults and on up so it makes more sense. I can just do more character development in general this way and I’m not quite sure why I ever changed it to 18 in the first place. So with that said yeah I actually prefer it 16, makes this story work a lot smoother. Not sure why those changes were ever made in the first place and you guys are probably not even aware of that. Other than that, nothing’s changed much.

This was my first time using artist grade paints on a watercolor piece so it was a bit of a different experience. I never quite realized HOW different it would be getting used to an artist grade paint vs student grade but the results are good. Oh yeah if you noticed my actual uncolored drawing was not inked in this time, I just left the pencil drawing. It pencil seems to blend in with the watercolor a lot better not leaving such a harsh black edging. I love the ink and wash method but I don’t think I do enough crosshatching for it to work properly and I just love the wash over pencil look anyway so I might use this method more often. I’m still learning and I’m not sure if I’m even up to a good level yet but I’ll be continuing my watercolorist journey into the near future. This was done using the Schmincke Horadam Aquarell Watercolor samples I was given  by Schmincke to review and demo them which you can read about and watch here:

Here’s the photograph I used for reference on the background, it’s not super copy and paste from the reference but that wasn’t the idea. I took this photo from the same trip that this video was birthed from. This photograph was taken using my Nikon Coolpix S3300 which never ceases to amaze me. This really is a beautiful lake and this specific part of the lake might by my favorite view.

This is a pretty good shot of the giant dead tree from the video, back in Winter I wasn’t sure if it was dead or not but that’s not really questionable now. This tree adds a eerie but kind of awesome look to the area for some reason.

Here’s another photo from the same view but zoomed into the houses built up on the edge of the water and below a photo of the Marina on the other side.

This lake is quite large so you can see even more land in the far distance. It was pretty nice day and actually felt much cooler than the majority that this summer has been so far so I was shocked to not see any boaters out on the waters.

This is the part of the lake that’s covered with Cypress Trees. Always love Cypress Trees and how they thrive by living fully in the water, this part of the lake Is a branch off of sorts I’m not sure if it would have been this far out a few years ago, it’s definitely raised a lot over the years.

This shot here might be my favorite from the trip; it showcases the picnic bench area in the back while featuring some of the lake’s beauty.

Finally here’s a photo of a secret boat house sitting out on the lake, I was shocked to see this boat house here I had never spotted it before. Even cooler are the little friends my camera picked up, do you see them? Yeah apparently there are some turtle guys just hanging out here, four to be exact. Wish I had spotted them while I was filming I could of got these guys on my short film.

Anyway I really enjoy traveling out to this lake and this probably won’t be the last time, though perhaps I can get some recording done via the other side of the lake, there’s probably not many shots I can take of this lake that I haven’t already got in both of my Cross Lake videos. My sister who runs a blog by the name of Lady AnnaVintage is currently working on her blog featuring photos she took on this trip, knowing her the photos will be incredible so be sure to keep checking up on her blog for when it’s released!

Be sure to check out my previous cross lake video and the one from today! Okay if you’re reading this when I’m posting it it’s actually tonight. If you’re wondering why this blog is posting at such a early time I can answer that simply. Google’s scheduling system isn’t perfect and I’ve had constant issues getting the blogs to actually release on time so I’ve decided to remove the schedule and go manual with the posting. I don’t think this will cause any issues for you the reader; actually you’ll get to read it earlier. I am not changing my Monday, Wednesday and Friday schedule so no fret there but as far as time posted? It’s going to be manual for now on. Keep an eye out between 12:00 AM Central American time and 1:00 AM Central American time for the blog to be posted!

To wrap up the blog for today it’s time for the free knitting pattern feature! Today’s pattern is another toy you can make in time for Christmas. This pattern is called “Crawley Knitted Caterpillar” by Ann Franklin.

[Photo Credits Ann Franklin]

Look at this adorable fella, he’ll make a great present for your kids and can be quite educational at the same time for teaching your kids colors. (It’ll turn them into painters one day, trust me, even if it took me over 20 years to start, haha.) As always I’ll list the material you need which is of the following:

DK Yarn either with scrap yarn or just any multiple colors of your choice (Full measurements are in the pattern!), this pattern recommends Acrylic Yarn.
US Size 3 / 3.25 mm knitting needles
And 200g of toy stuffing
The finished product will be about 50-53 cms long

The actual pattern is easy enough, just a lot of multiple pieces and increases so be sure to have a sewing needle in hand! I’m actually looking around for presents to knit my little brother this year so I might be picking this as his present this year… I actually have to knit more. Someone teach me how to balance the blog, art, knitting and writing my book into one day. You can check out this pattern at:

Be sure to check out more of Ann Franklin's patterns she has some wonderful ones such as Shula the Sheep.

Anyway I’ll leave you guys for today.

This was ZAK Entertainment

See you on Monday!

Photos with the ZAK Entertainment watermark are ©2017 Zachary Kuhn.
Do not use without permission.

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