When you hit a tuning fork against something it vibrates, giving a specific musical note.
We learned that a digital clock is regulated by measuring how many times a quartz crystal oscillates per second—32,768 times. How does it count all those vibrations so quickly? Here’s how: the crystal is purposely cut with a laser to exactly the size and shape (the shape of a tuning fork) that will produce 32,768 oscillations in a second, then stop.* The electric circuit zaps the crystal with electricity, which makes the crystal vibrate until it returns to its original shape. When the vibrating stops, exactly one second has passed. The stopped vibrations trigger the circuit to move the second hand and give the crystal another zap.
The same principle applies in animated entertainment for children. The mouse hits the cat, who oscillates for a second, then resumes his former shape.
Here’s how a tuning fork works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hW-igtIn3A8
Basics of LC oscillators and their measurement
* “Because 32768Hz can be so conveniently divided to give a 1 second pulse, it is a very popular size for it to be cut to. Manufacturers can bang them out and be sure they will sell.” https://www.quora.com/Why-does-Quartz-vibrate-exactly-32768-2-15-times-per-second
Back to the beginning of The Western Civ User’s Guide to Time & Space
Posted in book promotion, Western Civilization
Tagged animation, cartoon, digital, history, homeschool, illustration, music, quartz crystal, science, sketch, technology, time, toon
Here is the second in a series of three images for the Pittsburgh Public Theater‘s season brochure—specifically for the world premiere of L’Hôtel, a new comedy by Ed Dixon. The cast is stars from the recent and distant past. Yesterday I showed you Sarah Bernhardt. Here is Jim Morrison—sketches and final painting. I can’t seem to find work-in-progress photos for this one. I must have forgotten to take them. You’ll notice that instead of thumbnail sketches I’ve done gesture sketches of these characters. I was trying to capture their attitude as well as likeness.
By the way, this painting and the two others will be on display at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh Alumni Show which opens this Friday evening.
UPDATE! The final color painting is up for auction on eBay this week (November 17-23, 2014). It’s beautifully framed and ready to hang.
I don’t think I ever posted this—it’s a poster I designed for an exhibit of music-related art at the Graffiti Gallery here in the National Transit Building in early 2013. I was without a camera at the time and took these in-progress photos with my cell phone. I finally uploaded them to my computer. Enjoy!
Here’s a fun little spot illustration I did for the Renaissance & Baroque Society of Pittsburgh, this time to promote a concert of ancient Scottish and Irish music—both sacred (church liturgy) and profane (drinking songs). The costume is from a painting of a highland aristocrat wearing his hunting clothes.
Posted in illustration process, self promotion
Tagged art, baroque, highland, illustration, irish, music, postcard, promotion, renaissance, sacred. profane, Scot, Scottish, sketch
Awhile back, Ann Mason—then-exec-director of the Renaissance & Baroque Society of Pittsburgh—and I thought it would be screamingly funny to create a promotional bobblehead of the august Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach. And, by George, we were right—it is funny!
Here’s what I envisioned:
One of the rbsp board members, Joy Troetschel, has some expertise in getting merchandise manufactured, and knew of a bobblehead factory in China who could produce our little statuette. What follows are some images from the correspondence I shared with the talented sculptors who created a brilliant little 3D clay caricature of Bach from the sketches I sent.
And here’s the prototype. They even airbrushed a nice 5 o’clock shadow onto JSB’s cheeks!
If you’d like one of these timeless treasures, visit the rbsp website—they’re modestly priced and benefit the Society.
UPDATE! If you live in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area and like to hear really old classical music, mark your calendar Oct 24 to attend The Medieval Beasts concert. I’m told it’s a costume event, but didn’t see any info about that on the R&B website. Go—you’ll have an enjoyable evening and meet some fun people.
Here’s a little spot illustration I did a couple of years ago for the Renaissance & Baroque Society of Pittsburgh. For October that year they’d booked a group called Artec who did a concert of Graveyard Music. So, we promoted it with a postcard. A couple of sketch ideas—
Ann Mason—the exec director—liked sketch A.
I like to listen to really old classical music, and have attended the wonderful concerts organized by the Renaissance & Baroque Society of Pittsburgh. I do illustrations for their season brochures.
A couple of years ago they booked the group Hesperus, who had the clever idea to perform a renaissance/medieval soundtrack to Douglas Fairbanks’ silent movie Robin Hood. My buddy Ann Mason, who was executive director at the time, asked me to do a poster illustration for this special concert. How could I resist?
I wanted to show the musicians superimposed on a larger-than-life Douglas Fairbanks, and somehow interacting with him. I remembered a scene from the movie My Favorite Year, in which Peter O’Toole (essentially playing Errol Flynn) drunkenly walks into a screening of one of his old movies and begins sword-fighting his own projected image.
To separate the musicians from Fairbanks, I chose to paint them in color and him black & white—that’s a no-brainer. Also, they will be lighted from below (as they turned out to be during the performance) while Fairbanks would be lighted from the left. They will cast hard shadows onto the b&w image to keep up the illusion of a projected movie. The perspective for Fairbanks is different and far more dramatic than for the musicians—we’re looking at him from a bug’s-eye view; the musicians are level with our own horizon. As usual with my perspective exercises, if you take a ruler to it and try to find a vanishing point you’ll be doomed to disappointment. The vanishing points are there, somewhere, but I don’t strictly adhere to them.
I did a burnt sienna underpainting even for the black and white portion. I think it warms it up a bit.
Posted in illustration process
Tagged art, baroque, color, hesperus, illustration, music, palette, perspective, renaissance, robin hood, silent film, underpainting