Graphics and Paint

My forays into two dimensional art have led me in a number of different, yet satisfying directions. In school, I studied etching, lithography, black & white photography, oil and acrylic painting, airbrush, figure drawing, and silk screen, as well as fabric design, besides the sculptural disciplines. On my own, I've explored colored pencil, conte crayon, ink, and scratchboard. I've recently picked up my oil brushes again, after 20 years. The medium has a rich texture for blending, and can have a wonderful quality of light. The other medium that has taken over, as it were, is digital art. I work with the computer, creating original images for various graphic uses, and for production of games, and also re-working original photographs or a combination of both. Michael Jhon is an excellent photographer, and I work with him as an assistant on photo sessions, and working with clients to compose final art that incorporates Michael's photos and original art.

Here are a few recent projects...

Theresa composed the final work with the Barbie shadow and type.

This is the CD cover for Holly Tannen's most recent recordings. In this album she combines her humorous take on many current cultural experiences with all her expertise and talent in the traditional folk music field. Definately worth hearing.

The concept and graphics were designed by Theresa Whitehill and Holly, and Michael Jhon did all the photography.

My job was to create the renderings and manipulate the photos to work within the concepts. On this front cover, I created the fruit label style sunset and then gave our photo of the Venus of Willendorf a bikini tan line.




The 1998 World Fantasy Convention was held in Monterey, California, an historic sailing port known, among other things, for the annual migration of Monarch butterflies that stops over.

I was requested to create a design that would be used on a tee shirt and canvas carrybag. This is the 4-color version. For the carry bag, I reduced it to an orange screen and black.


Margaret is a marvelous performer, one of the founding members of Avalon Rising. This solo CD highlights her studies of medieval European music. She wanted an image of her coming out of one of the garden tapestries, so we combined photos of her with a partial scan of one of the famous unicorn tapestries. But that's only the beginning....

Margaret came to the photo session with a beautiful green velvet medieval gown, hand embroidered at the neck. I believe she made the dress herself. It was perfect for the CD. It also was so dark that it absorbed all light. She looked like a disembodied head and hands. So I convinced her to let Michael shoot a series of nudes in the poses that interested her, and created this dress in Photoshop - belt, embroidery, wrinkles and all.

This is a quick Photoshop sketch I created as a planning tool for an oil painting currently in progress. The canvas is round, and the birds at the bottom of this image are for reference.

I love using Photoshop to plan out an image. I can work in layers, and experiment with balance of color and shape. As an example, the swallows were moved around quite a bit, and the shelf with Rapunzel's hairbrush was originally grey stone. I'm still thinking about the size of the bird cage and the color of her dress... If I worked the shapes and detail further, it could be printed and sold, but I'm more interested, for now, in a final piece in oils.

Fantail Goldfish studies in pencil...
I'm working on paintings with fish, too.  

To the left is a reduced scan of the central part of an oil painting; "Dusk to Dawn". The surrounding canvas border includes a gold- trimmed pattern of leaves.

The theme of portals and doorways has shown up sporatically in my work since the 70's, and I know I am not alone... I think many of us are intrigued with the concept of transition or travel between planes, between times, between worlds. I've got a cat portal theme going, too. (see Painting Reproductions.)

But this piece especially speaks to me because I address the quality of light at two of my favorite times of the day. The dusk and dawn always hold a magical feel for me. It is very compelling. (I've been known to call friends and tell them to stop what they're doing and go outside....)

The original painting is 18" by 24". It is the foundation piece for my first series of limited edition prints. I'm especially happy with the way these have turned out, and they are available for purchase as of June, 2001. (see the link with limited edition prints.)


Just to balance things out a bit, I thought I'd show a little panel I created digitally for Captivation Digital Labs. They were contracted to create Quake: Da Bomb, a new Quake mod to run on the Heat network.

This piece is extremely simple, but I liked the "lighting" effect on the different areas. We save alot of computing time and memory when we create flat art that represents multiple planes, instead of creating the 3D model. It's also more enjoyable to the eye than "flat" spaces. Shown to the left is an enlarged image...
      This is the actual size of the art.

And now for something completely different...

here is the composite I created as a cover for my 1999 portfolio video combines a sunset I shot about a mile from home, a photo Michael Jhon took of one of my sculptures, and some additional rendering.



Although I mostly create two dimensional works as an end in themselves, the different 2D skills are invaluable tools for my sculptural work as well. All my work builds from a clear understanding of the use of color, form, texture, rhythm, anatomy and many other aspects of art.

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All images © 1983 -1999 Arlin Robins Designs. Portions copyright by Captivation Digital Laboratories, Inc. All rights reserved.