Gargantua Overlay

I’ve been playing with overlays again. This time I’ve overlayed the Gargantua black hole from Interstellar.

What do ya think? I might try getting more daring with these… See what I can find.

© Simon Farnell 2020

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Drawing Sci-Fi and finding Imagination

I’ve been very much in a creative lull lately. Since pretty much the beginning of the year I’ve hardly written, drawn, sketched or done any digital art… I needed to rejuvenate my creativeness. So I looked about a bit and I found myself a book on creating Sci-Fi concepts!

Mechanika from Doug Chiang is packed tips methods, tips, examples of how to create weird and wonderful Sci-Fi things, robots and spaceships and creatures are all ni here. The guys has created art works for many a great film like Star Wars and Terminator 2 so I’ve started to delve into it’s pages and use the examples to help me along a bit and maybe inspire my imagination too.

The thing is that I need to go and buy some art supplies, grey markers, triangle, rulers all that kinda jazz. I might have a to wait a little but I’ll get what I need – not that it’s stopping me.

So I’ve stared as one should at the beginning and learning why I need to tools, especially the triangle, so I can get the perspective lines that I need.

Thi is my first attempt at the first example, I’m glad I did it in pencil as I messed up pretty big and realised why I need the triangle. It’s ok though and I’m going to work things out and have another lash at it and the other things.

What I’m hoping to get from this is not just the examples to draw but also what’s needed to create concepts like this, there a few things to bear in mind. It needs to be believable, quick to identify / work out and have personality. I’m hoping I can find a bit of personality for my own work.

Watch this space…

© Simon Farnell 2020

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Image Overlays – Neptune Triton with Sunset

I’ve been having a play, merging my pictures with images from others to overlay them and create something kinda cool.

This one is of Neptune and Triton taken from Voyager 2 overlayed onto a sunset picture that I took. What do you think?

Neptune and Triton from Voyager 2 (Credit NASA / JPL) overlayed onto a sunset picture

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Icy Moonlit Wolf Scene

Hello everyone, I was going to share this ages ago – I have no idea what got in the way but it did. Anyway I created a howling wolf scene that had been stuck in my head.

You know like sometimes you have something in your mind and you have to create it? Like scratching an itch, that’s what this was like. This wolk was howling to me.

I’m going to see what sketch work I can do while it’s quiet (haha). Is anyone taking on anything new like sketching? If you feel like it give it a go!

© Simon Farnell 2020

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Digital Art with InkScape – The Spooky Scene

As it’s Halloween month I thought I would create some seasonal drawings. This pumpkin drawing is a simple and quick little sketch that quite cool.


Use the layer tool to create different layers for all the different drawing elements, this will help greatly in putting everything in the right order. Find it under Layer > Layers and layers can be added moved and the like. To work on a layer click on it. + to add – to remove. and the move layers up down order.

But this shows how I did it.


Create two layers for the background at the very bottom on the layer order. I made the very back layer black. The next background layer up I made grey and then added Filters > Textures > Watercolour

I then the the opacity of the layer to 60% to make the black show through a bit.


If you’ve been keeping up with my posts you will have seen how I created the Grass. If not the Link is Here. Add a rectangle below and fill to fill in the area below the grass.
I set the grass as one layer from the top.

Draw the Tree Branches

There’s no easy way to draw the tree branches. Using the pen tool to create branches, starting from large sizes and getting smaller. Where there’s white gaps use the bucket fill tool to fill them in and make them the size and shape that’s wanted.

I have cheated a bit and done some copying and modification. That’s cuts down a bit on the time to make them.

Add Bats and Pumpkins

From the .PNG files that have been made of the bats and pumpkins, import them into the picture and place them about as desired.

Add the Moon

The moon is simply a circle in white, I set the opacity to 70% and a blur of 5. Put it on it’s own layer and set the order behind the trees and bats.


I used three layers for these so I could give the picture and impression of depth. I created them from rectangles in different shapes and the crosses are two rectangles merged together. I add a little blur (about 1) to the gravestones at the front, the back ones are grayer with a blur of about 4.

Rotate them using the Object ? Transform tool and adjust the rotation. This give your graveyard the very unkempt look and feel.


The hand was a bit tricky, but it’s drawn from the pen tool and then the shape filled in. It wasn’t right first time bu the node tool helped make it about right.

There it is! I won’t say it’s simple but nothing too hard. I like this spooky scene I’ve wanted to make it for ages but I’ve not done it – until now.

Any ideas for something that you’re struggling with? Let me know.

© Simon Farnell 2020

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Digital Art with InkScape – Drawing a Bat

As it’s Halloween month I thought I would create some seasonal drawings. I’m building up a spooky Halloween scene to go with my Ghost Called Bob stories. I’ve written one every year for a few years now and I’ve had to use an image that wasn’t my own… until now.

Anyway, for this image I need some bats. Here’s how you make it:

1st Half of the bat Body

Create one half of the bat shape, similar to this:

2nd Half of the Bat Body

Copy the shape and then use:
Object > Flip Horizontal
I’ve done it this way so that the bat is symmetrical.

Merge and Fill

Place the 2 halves together, select both and then use:
Path > Merge

In the fill settings choose to fill the bat shape in black.

Copy and Modify the Bat

Using the node tool I copied and modified the bat shape to give a slightly different bat for variety.

With each image set the background to Checkerboard in the document properties and then export as a .PNG file.

Later this week I’ll reveal my spooky Halloween scene and you’ll see it later in this years ‘A Ghost Called Bob’ story.

Any ideas for something that you’re struggling with? Let me know.

© Simon Farnell 2020

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Digital Art with InkScape – Drawing a Pumpkin

As it’s Halloween month I thought I would create some seasonal drawings. This pumpkin drawing is a simple and quick little sketch that quite cool.

Pumpkin Body

Create a shape like this from a rectangle.

Pumpkin Body 2

Create another rectangle shape like this.

Merge the Body

Lay one over the other.

The Stalk

The stalk is made from the pen tool, using a triangular shape.

I make it straight, thickness 5.

I rotated it (selection tool).

Then bended it with the node tool

Marge the Body / Stalk Parts

I Put the stalk in position and merged the shaped with the Path > Union tool.

Make the Face

Create the face using the pen tool with curves turned off and the shape set to None.

I copied and flipped the eye to make it the same. Select all the objects Path > Union

Add it to a layer above the pumpkin.

Cut Out the Face

Move the face over the pumpkin (I make the pumpkin slightly transparent to see this).

The cut the face out with the Difference Tool.

Path > Difference.

Create a Glowing Inside

To give the a nice illumination effect create two circles on a layer under the pumpkin. One larger than the other both must easily fit into the pumpkin.

Make the smaller yellow and in Fileter > Blur > Feather added a blur of 8

The Larger Circle is made Orange and added Dark and Glow Filter under Filters . Shadows and Glows.

I like this pumpkin and I’m adding it to my spooky scene which will be revealed soon.

Any ideas for something that you’re struggling with? Let me know.

© Simon Farnell 2020

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Digital Art with InkScape – Drawing Grass the Easy Way

Ever thought about drawing some grass? Me neither until recently but I’ve found a cool way to do it in Inkscape. Have a look:

Create the Blade

With the pen tool draw a line with the line shape set to Triangle Out.

Bend the Brass

Using the Nodes tool click on the grass in the middle and pull it out to give it a realistic bend.

Move the Origin

Now using the selection tool, click on the blade twice. A cross will appear. This is the origin – drag it to the bottom.

I needed to use black as a colour, click on another colour or gradient to set the blade to how it needs to look.

Clone the Grass

Go to Edit > Clone > Create Tiled Clones.
Click reset Before starting.


Set Shift X – Per Column to -85%
Set Shift Y – Randomize to 25%


Scale Y – Randomize – 10%


Angle – Randomize – 10%


Rows, Columns 1 & 500

Click Create and wait for the magic.

A patch of grass created with Inkscape

There it is – a patch of grass, this can be copied or new clones duplicated as required. But I loved how this was a nice, effective easy way to create grass in Inkscape.

Any ideas for something that you’re struggling with? Let me know.

© Simon Farnell 2020

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Digital Art with InkScape – Drawing Shapes

When I first looked at InkScape as a graphical design tool I was bit disappointed with the shapes I thought were on offer. But as it turns out I was a bit hasty. After having a little play I’ve found they have a few shape tools with a lot of power.

Rectangles and Squares

A rectangle or square is just that – not here. Place a rectangle onto the drawing space, it doesn’t matter what size or shape really.

Now click and drag the circular corner handle either down or along.

Keep going…

Then back and bit of the other one… neat.

Circles and Ellipses

Circles are pretty as the norm, circles and ellipses

Stars and Polygons

This was the big surprise for me though.

Place a star, any size and look for the square handle on it. Then play. I was getting all sorts like this:

There’s lots of fun could be had with this. So there it is – shapes in Inkscape. I’m hoping to create more posts on using Inkscape and creating my own work with it – is there anything you readers would like to see?

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I’ve Been Doing a Bit of Doodling

Hello everyone, as you might have guessed from the title I’ve been doing some doodling. I’ve not been able to dedicate much time to big designs so I’ve been having a play with what I can do in about an hour or less.

These are what I’ve come up with:

This came straight out of my mind, the kind of small spacecraft that might be in my Blog Battle story Blue Siren.

I need to work on this kind of doodle a bit, it didn’t quite turn out how I wanted it.

I quite liked this idea, I might try again at it and see how much better it can be.

I find eyes are hard to draw, so I’ve been learning close up and this was the result. Not bad eh?

What about you guys? Any doodles or little sketches you’ve done recently? Why not show them off?

© Simon Farnell 2020

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