Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Who killed George? Part 3.

My friends at Crack Your Nuts have asked me to join them in a writing challenge where we write an article, short story, essay, or whatever we can think of everyday.  Challenge accepted.


Writing Challenge Day 42 - post 6.
From a random plot generator I got this:

A woman in her early forties, who can be quite spontaneous.A man in his late thirties, who can be quite overbearing.The story begins by a river.A relationship breaks up.It's a story about terror.Your character attempts to keep a low profile


___________________________________



Part 3.

Sunday flipped his notebook open, clicked his pen, and began probing for information, "I'm Detective Sunday, I would like to ask you a few questions, Heather."  Sunday was calm and sincere.
"Yes, please ask anything you want, Detective."
"Around what time did you find the victim?
"I would say it was 11:30 or so.  I was eating lunch at the picnic table over there, when I heard a terrible scream... I went over to see what was going on.  That's when I saw the body."
"Did you see anybody else when you approached the body?"
"No, nobody."
"Was the scream male or female?"
"It was male.  I assume it was coming from the man lying there... the victim.  I mean... it sounded so painful."
"How about that strange smell?  Was it present before you heard the scream?"
"No, as soon as I saw the body, the smell was there."
"So you didn't see anything out of the ordinary... nothing suspicious?"
"No, Detective.  I'm sorry I'm not that helpful."
"It's OK, Heather."

Additionally, Sunday wrote down her contact information and concluded the interview.  Sunday flipped his note book closed and frowned.  No leads means a lot of waiting.  However, the victims past might provide some clues.  

"Detective, wait..."  Heather ran back up to Sunday, "There is something else.  I forgot to mention it."
"Go on."
"Just before I heard the scream I felt really weird.  And then there was this strange heat all around me.  It must have only been a couple seconds, but it was pretty powerful.  I hope I don't sound nuts, but I'm very spiritual... and that surge of heat felt unnatural."
"Thank you, Heather, It's very helpful.  I'll be in touch."

Sunday looked worried - strange heat, gross smells, what the hell was going on?





Saturday, January 20, 2018

Who killed George? Part 2.

My friends at Crack Your Nuts have asked me to join them in a writing challenge where we write an article, short story, essay, or whatever we can think of everyday.  Challenge accepted.


Writing Challenge Day 11 - post 5.
From a random plot generator I got this:

A woman in her early forties, who can be quite spontaneous.A man in his late thirties, who can be quite overbearing.The story begins by a river.A relationship breaks up.It's a story about terror.Your character attempts to keep a low profile


___________________________________


Part 2.

Detective Sunday, of the Orlando Police Department, arrived at the front entrance to the park, which was closed off to police only.  Nobody was getting in without proper clearance.  Sunday parked his car, caught the eye of a police man, flashed his badge, and tried to get more of the story from him.  "What do we got?"
"One body, mangled beyond belief.  Three witnesses so far, but they didn't actually see how the person died - they were playing by the river and found the body."
"How wide of an area do we have?"
"We put up tape for a good hundred yards from the body, but I suspect we'll find evidence through out the whole park."
"OK, thank you... What the hell is that smell?"
"We don't know, it's awful isn't it?"

Sunday entered the crime scene and was more than taken a back.  He has never seen a more gruesome dead body in all his years of police work.  The victim's limbs were ripped from the body, the head was decapitated, and the organs were strewn about the area.  It can't be ruled out that this was an animal attack.  A wild boar could certainly do this.  An alligator perhaps.  Either way the autopsy will show up any animal traces.

The first thing that he wanted to investigate was the strange smell that permeated the area.  It was extremely unpleasant.  Could it be coming from the body?  How could the smell of a corpse be sensed all the way to the parking lot and the entrance of the park?  It was a sour, vulgar smell.  

Another detective, named Jackson, a veteran officer, was looking at the body.  Sunday walked over to him, "What do you think of that smell?"
"It's definitely unique.  Not coming from the body."
"Could be useful to analyze it."
"Go for it.  Be quick though, it might be gone soon.  Jenifer has a kit with her I believe."

Detective Sunday walked over to the forensic officer, Jenifer Morgan, and grabbed the kit off her.  Police stations have scent kits that can collect smells, primarily used for K-9's to help find missing persons, drugs, or objects.  Except Sunday wanted to analyze the smell.  Perhaps there was a clue in it's properties that could lead the investigation somewhere.

Sunday took out a pad from the kit and swabbed a tree, the ground, the body, and a nearby bench, then put the pad in a tube and sealed it.  He didn't want to stay any longer than he had to.  He would go through the forensic reports later.  The whole scene was nauseating.  Dead bodies are for the forensic team and larvae.  Instead, he wanted to focus on the eye-witnesses.  

Sunday walked back to Jackson, "Who is the first responder?"
Jackson pointed over to a police man far behind them, near the tape, "That would be Barry Friedman."

Sunday walked over to him.
"I was told there's a couple potential eye witnesses?"
"Yeah, though two of them have left the scene, but were thoroughly questioned.  The other, a one Heather Donney, is standing over there, behind the tape."
"What do you have on her?"
"Not much.  She found the body.  No real important points."
"Hey, you never know, right?"

Sunday walked up to Heather and put his critical thinking cap on.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Who Killed George? Part 1.

My friends at Crack Your Nuts have asked me to join them in a writing challenge where we write an article, short story, essay, or whatever we can think of everyday.  Challenge accepted.


Writing Challenge Day 9 - post 4.
From a random plot generator I got this:

A woman in her early forties, who can be quite spontaneous.A man in his late thirties, who can be quite overbearing.The story begins by a river.A relationship breaks up.It's a story about terror.Your character attempts to keep a low profile



Part 1.

Standing by the banks of the St. Johns river at a state park in DeLand, Florida, George and Vicky, a four year couple, are finally saying there goodbyes.  George, an idiot by all accounts, is only good at playing x-box and not showering, while Vicky, good at many things, doesn't want to waste anymore of her life with someone with no ambition. 

"I'm sorry, I really am," Vicky said with her hand on his shoulder. "You will find someone, I'm sure of it."
"Shit, Vicky, we've been dating for four years."
"I know, and I treasure each one.  I just have to move on.  It's not working for me."
"So just like that.  After four years, up and run?"
"I'm sorry.  Please don't be angry."

George turned his back to Vicky, looked at the flowing waters of the St. John, and exclaimed, "You can't leave!  I won't allow it"!
"You do not control me!  You have to let me go."
George turned, looked her in her eyes, and was about to hit her, "You little bitch."
Vicky brought her hands up to defend herself.  George never hit her before.  He was overbearing and a complete jerk, but never abusive.  "Don't you dare!"

George withdrew his raised hand.

Vicky walked away to the parking lot, "It's over."  

George was still staring at the river, lost in thought.  His anger trumped his grief at the moment.  What a bitch, he thought to himself.  Who does she think she is?

While staring at the water, George felt a presence behind him.  He turned quickly to see the most horrible thing he's ever seen.  And with that came the most horrible cry of anguish ever heard.  And the river ran red with George's blood.











Sunday, January 14, 2018

Would you like to swing on a star - part 2.

My friends at Crack Your Nuts have asked me to join them in a writing challenge where we write an article, short story, essay, or whatever we can think of everyday.  Challenge accepted.


Writing Challenge Day 5 - post 3.
From a random plot generator I got this:

A man in his late twenties, who is very secretive.

A woman in her early forties, who can be quite sensitive.
The story begins in a hovel.
A close friend has a terminal illness.
It's a story about a life or death decision.
Your character investigates with the help of a good friend



Would you like to swing on a star - Bob Smeets


Sarah was astonished, "That is the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me."
"I truly meant it." Lenoir smiled.

"Where have you been all my life?"

Lenoir laughed mightily - A long laugh that reverberated through the little hovel, "You can only imagine."

"So, are you here to prevent... you know, prevent what I came here to do?"

"You can do whatever you want, Sarah, I just hope you choose to keep fighting."

"I'm a wreck - a train wreck!"

"That is true!" Lenoir laughed again, in all honesty.


Sarah moved past Lenoir, feeling his presence as she walked by him, and went outside. It was getting dark. The pinks and oranges were starting to show in the sky. She turned her back against the wind, which was sweeping down off the mountains. She still planned on killing herself. Hopefully this strange boy leaves, she thought. Perhaps after, later when he is gone.


Lenoir walked outside and stood next to Sarah, "I actually need your help. Since you were going to kill yourself anyway."

"What do you want?"

"Like I said, I need balance. There is a man in a place that I can't reach to. I keep getting lost trying to find him. I need you to stabilize the situation so that I can grab him."

"OK, sounds weird..."

"It is weird, you would be perfect at it, though, that's for sure."

"I'm not perfect at anything."

"I disagree. In any case, it is very dangerous and you may die. Which is what you want isn't it?"


Sarah could only think of death, it was true. Sure she might be able to elbow out all her personal demons, but that would take time, extreme effort, and a lot of meditating. Her sorrow would come back again and again. Her mood would fluctuate so much that she would contemplate killing herself in a week. And there was something sweet about this boy, something she knew she couldn't pass up. Whoever, or whatever, he is, he sure is inspiring.


"Alright, tell me everything."

"I'm going to go to another realm. The realm of faerie. There is someone I need to find there and bring him back here. Who and why doesn't really pertain to you. But your fluctuations of mood can be very useful to this task. You can draw people to you. There's something about how your mood works - heightened and raw - that draws certain energies to you. And you don't even have to do anything special. Just stay here and hold this rope." Lenoir pulled a 3 inch yellow rope out of his satchel and handed it to Sarah, "Can you do that?"

"Sure... I thought you said it would be dangerous... that sounds easy."

"You are my connection, once I enter the faerie realm. You are a bridge, essentially. There's no telling what might also attach it self to the rope. There are many things in the faerie realm and some of them are certainly not pleasant. With your hidden power, some unwelcome things may be drawn to you, and we do not want that. It is a risk. On one hand I will be able to find the one I'm looking for but on the other we may attract things we don't want."

Sarah took a deep breath, "OK, let's do this."


The air was breezy and blowing wildly for a summer night. Was the rush of wind an omen? Lenoir wraps one end of the rope around his body and ties a knot in it. He nodded to her, "You ready?" She nodded back and then watched Lenoir walk a couple feet forward and then jump - rather dive - straight into the earth. He was gone, with only the rope sticking out of the earth, that she held tightly.

To be continued...

Bob Smeets





  









Thursday, January 11, 2018

Leaving for Good

My friends at Crack Your Nuts have asked me to join them in a writing challenge where we write an article, short story, essay, or whatever we can think of everyday.  Challenge accepted.

The prompt for the plot generator gave me this:

Your main character is a young woman in her late teens, who can be quite selfish. The story begins in a hair salon. Someone is leaving for good. It's a story about a journey. Your character realizes no-one will listen to what s/he's saying.

Writing Challenge Day 2 - post 2.

Leaving for Good - Bob Smeets

"I'm leaving for good this time," Daryn said, sitting down in the barber chair, "I can't keep hiding from them."

Tess draped the nylon robe over Daryn's body, spritzed her hair with water, and grabbed the scissors, "Sure you are... same style as always?"
"Yeah, keep the front long and the back short, kind of like a bob-cut."
"You got it."
"I'm telling you Tess, if I don't leave they will take me."
"I know, the aliens right."
"Yes, I've told you a hundred times.  You don't believe me do you?"
"Sure I believe you... and you know what, I stole The Kiss, by Gustav Klimt, it's hanging above my bed."
"Come on, I'm telling you the truth."

Tess looked long and hard at Daryn, observing her soft face, with those beautiful eyes, wondering why such a girl would lie like that.  Was she an attention seeker?  Was she mentally ill?  Who makes up stories like that?

"Tess, can I give you the key to my apartment?  I have to go away for a while... a long journey."
"Me, ugh, sure... Do you not have anyone else to give it to?"
"Just you, all my family are in Chicago.  It's just in case of emergency.  I may need you to get me some things from my apartment while I'm gone."
"What kind of things?"
"Ugh, you'll see."

to be continued...




Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Would you like to swing on a star - part 1.

My friends at Crack Your Nuts have asked me to join them in a writing challenge where we write an article, short story, essay, or whatever we can think of everyday.  Challenge accepted.


Writing Challenge Day 1 - post 1.
From a random plot generator I got this:

A man in his late twenties, who is very secretive.

A woman in her early forties, who can be quite sensitive.
The story begins in a hovel.
A close friend has a terminal illness.
It's a story about a life or death decision.
Your character investigates with the help of a good friend



Would you like to swing on a star - Bob Smeets


Sarah, a sensitive, lonely girl, from the Scottish Highlands, sits in a wobbly chair, that wants to break, with her face buried in her hands, sobbing, laughing, and then sobbing again. Her emotions, too much to control this time, echoed through the small, disgusting hovel out in the middle of nowhere. The chair, like the rest of the stuff in the small hut, are all in ruin, with dirt and dust everywhere. A fitting end, she thought, to a life in constant ruin anyway.


This is not a passing low for Sarah that just comes and goes. Sarah is having one of those dire moments, again. A passionate person to begin with, she can become lost in the complex duality of life, at the mercy of everything and yet none of it at all. Her mood can be off the charts. Her heart can bleed with ferocity.


"Nothing is ever ours because we don't control anything; this is why we cry," Sarah shouted. "Except everything is given to us from the compassion of God and this is why we cry too!"


Standing upright out of the chair and looking off at some invisible accuser, she laughed, as if figuring out the nature of crying was an epic game that she won, "In relation to pressure, we cry because we lose control, and if that pressure were of a more happy form, we laugh because we lose control!"


Sarah wondered, with tear stained cheeks, what it was about control that made her weep so ferociously, and why she couldn't grasp it, hold on to it, and use it. How can she be so naked and vulnerable to so many overwhelming forces? Is control an illusion - her life an illusion? Life goes away in a flash, right before our eyes. "Does anything even matter? Am I "just" a human or am I "especially" human?"


Sarah came to this isolated area in the Scottish wilderness to be alone and get some much needed healing. The doctors in Aberdeen signed the release forms, having done all they could do. They gave her some prescriptions, a hefty bill, and a lot of fake smiles. So the small, rundown hovel west of Inverness, where she used to camp, was her last chance at "peace".


With her grief now at a frenzy, reaching out with her hands, Sarah clasped tightly onto the bone-handle knife. She held it close to her neck, shaking and hesitant, "We are damned if we do and damned if we..."


But before she could even finish her sentence, and finish the job, "You always have a friend in me Sarah." A raspy voice, from the small open door to the disgusting hovel, boomed loudly and surprised her.


Sarah turned and stared at a boyish young man with long, straight hair, covering much of his face. He seemed to be about 20 or so. There was an adorable toughness to him, she thought. He was wearing dirty, casual clothing - a rolling stones t-shirt and some blue jeans.


"Who the Hell are you?" Sarah quickly hid the knife behind her hip, but couldn't hide her shock.

"My name is Lenoir."

"And... how do you know me?"

"I have been watching you for some time. I have come to calm you down, because I need your help."


Sarah knew there was nobody around for miles. The Scottish Highlands is sparsely populated with mountains all over the place. Who could this boy be and how does he know my name, she thought? She tried to figure him out, quickly, "Did someone send you here? Are you with the hospital?"

"No, I'm here for you."

"OK, what does that mean?"

"I know what you are going to do here," he said, while making a fast slicing gesture with his finger across his neck.

"How could you possibly know that?" She looked him over again and timidly took a step closer, "Are you... God?"


The boy relaxed his stance and came inside the hovel, "Oh no, not at all. In some respects I am an Angel, yes, though at times I can be a Demon. Sometimes I am just an Owl. Sometimes I am the air. But to the matter at hand. I understand what you are going through. I can help you."

"You're an Angel? Holy Sh... I mean, wow..."

"Not an Angel, the way you think... technically I'm classified as a Non-Human. Will you let me help you?"


Sarah purposefully says nothing...


The boy shifts his stance for a more confident and secure posture, "You suffer from a heightened sense of emotion, do you not?"

"Yes..."

"Bi-Polar, right?"

"That's what the doctors say."

"Do you think killing yourself will make your emotions go away? Do you think your mood will instantly get better? Death doesn't make you perfect or miraculously give you all that you lack. You have this affliction of yours forever. Everybody has there own things - forever!"

"I don't care! I want all my emotions gone... I mean they are useless. I don't want them to control me and I don't want to control them. I'm sick of managing life, with all it's ups and downs."


Suddenly, but slowly, the boy gets up, looks far away and reaches deep inside his own soul and begins to sing, "Would you like to swing on a star? Carry moon-beams home in a jar? And be better off than you are? Or would you rather be a mule? A mule is an animal with long, floppy ears. He kicks up at everything he hears. His back is brawny and his brain is weak. He's just plain stupid with a stubborn streak. And by the way if you hate to go to school, you may grow up to be a mule." The boy looks and smiles at Sarah, "Come on you know this song."


Together, Sarah and this mysterious, self confessed Angel/Demon, begin to sing together, "Or would you like to swing on a star? Carry moon-beams home in a jar? And be better off than you are? Or would you rather be a pig? A pig is an animal with dirt on his face. His shoes are a terrible disgrace. He's got no manners when he eats his food. He's fat and lazy and extremely rude. But if you don't care a feather or a fig, you may grow up to be a pig."


The boy takes Sarah's hand and swings her around in his arms. For a moment she feels genuinely happy. She realizes she can't dance with him properly, the knife, still clutched in her left hand. She stops and they both look at the knife...


Sarah quietly understands now, "I am at the mercy of two different spectrum's at all times."

"Yes, unfortunately."

"Swinging on a star, or degrading into an animal."

"That is the human condition, but especially true in your case."

"I want to be normal. I want to be OK with not having it all, but not get so low that I become a stupid animal. How do I do that?"

"Support, friends, having an outlet... and you should always give yourself a million breaks. Because in your case, you deserve every one of them."


The boy looked away, out to the open door, taking in the grassy hills and large mountains, then back to Sarah, "You know that feeling when you're driving, listening to the sound of your car wheels on the highway, suspended by the sound of motion... or when a summer breeze blows in through an open window and relinquishes its natural beauty for the house to feel... those moments of pure, whimsical fancy followed by an accompanying nothingness or bliss... that's what you remind me of."

To be continued....


Bob Smeets



















Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tutorial 02 - Homemade Photoshop Screen Tones

I found this link years ago and I've tried it on some of my art with excellent results. Very good tutorial and easy to follow and understand. I quickly made a couple sets of screen tones at different resolutions for my own needs.

http://tentopet.deviantart.com/art/Photoshop-Toning-Tutorial-13587562?q=sort%3Atime+favby%3Arally-ae&qo=3&offset=20

Tutorial 01 - Virtual Blueline

This is a method for coloring black and white line art in photoshop. It's similar to the layer/multiply method. Very cool and fun method.

http://www.elfwood.com/farp/theart/blueline/blueline.html

Taking a Bite out of - Design

Every other Tuesday I have a mini-lesson and pick an art related topic to examine and sink my teeth into. This week I take a bite out of design.

The basic elements of design are Line, Form, Color, Value, Space, and Texture. You can use any or all of these elements in your art. Let's take a quick look at these elements.




  • Line - Line is the continuous movement created by your pencil or brush. It can be jagged, smooth, bold, or loose. The edges of shapes and forms also create lines.




  • Form - Form is any three dimensional object or an area that stands out from another area due to a difference of value, texture, color, or subject. There are two types of form, geometric (man-made) and natural (organic form).




  • Color - Color has three attributes; hue, saturation, and brightness. The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. The secondary colors are orange, green, and purple. Tertiary colors are one primary and one secondary color mixed together.




  • Value - Value can be looked at as another way of saying shading. It is the spectrum of light to dark. It gives objects depth and perception.




  • Space - Space refers to the areas around, between, or within components of a piece. There are two types of space: positive and negative. Positive space refers to the space of a shape representing the subject matter. Negative space refers to the space around and between the subject matter.




  • Texture - Texture is percieved surface quality. Texture can be rough like sandpaper or smooth like a piece of glass. Every object has some kind of texture.



Now that we know the basic elements of design we can begin to use these elements in our illustration. Lets take a look at some examples.








Here is an image I did for a comic book. In the story the character was captured by some thugs and beaten pretty severly. To highten the drama I used the element of design - texture. Everything is gritty and nasty. The texture of the piece helps show the characters suffering. I think the only smooth part of this piece is the blood on his forehead, which contrasts well with the grittyness of everything else. I also used value to give the character depth. For instance, the shading on the face and background.








Here is a piece I did for a commission. The character is called Rose. They wanted the piece to be very loose so I used the element of line, form, and space. I wanted to show movement and have the character positioned in a pleasing way. There's the organic form of the character contrasting with the geometric form of the structure behind her. There is also a lot of negative space, implying an openess or even cleanliness to the image.




For this example on color I used bright, saturated, and warm colors to emphasize the feeling of the piece. The dog is happy and playful so obviously yellow, light green, and orange would be good choices to compliment the dogs emotions.






When designing a picture remember to keep these elements in the back of your head. They are mainly used as a starting point. Try to explore the elements. What kind of textures can you paint or draw? What kind of colors are you going to use to bring out a feeling to a painting? The options are limitless. There is no wrong way of doing it. Everybody's taste is different. When I go to art shows around Florida I always get surprised by what people buy from my table. It's usually the piece that I disslike or the piece that took me five minutes to create. People are unpredictable. So just paint and draw what feels right for you and keep practicing and you'll be successful.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Watermellon Dream


Acrylic painting 14 by 11
SOLD

Monday, October 18, 2010

United


If we stand together we cast one shadow of ourselves.

Goldie


This was my Grandma's dog when I was little. Her name was Goldie. I always loved going to see her. I still remember her even though I was very little. She was a good dog.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Abandoned


I really wanted to have a lot of movement in this illustration. I sketched it then photoshoped it. When I was happy with the colors I went in and layed down some fast sketchy black outlines. I was really happy how it turned out. I wanted it to be messy.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Boy and Dog

Acrylic Painting - 14 by 11 inches


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sweet Wind, Sweet Butterfly

Acrylic Painting - 20 by 18 inches