Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cover art created for a novel by father-son writing team Jefferson Dane titled, Phlogiston.

In the age of Beowulf, a damsel and dragon detective team wind their way through clues as to who scorched the body of a murdered noblewoman found alone at a crossroads. Did the dragons break their own treaty?
Not only do our heroes face many fierce species of dragons, but sorcerers, goblins, trolls, and unearthly creatures from the chaotic outer realms beyond our own dimension.

A swashbuckling whodunnit!

The cover image was originally commissioned by the now defunct Tiger Publications and was never published.

The image was created using Poser 6, Autodesk ADT 2006 and 3DS Max 9 with a little post in Photoshop CS2.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Cover art created for a novel by author Michael Bret Hood titled, Jericho's Walls.

The story focuses on a writer kidnapped by a fledgling serial killer named Jericho Sampson and held captive in a dungeon-like basement to chronicle his murderous exploits. To complicate her situation even more, the main character is experiencing writer's block and must hide that fact from her captor to avoid becoming his next victim.

The cover was originally commissioned by the now defunct Tiger Publications and was never published.

The image was created using Poser 6, 3DS Max and Photoshop.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Ah, yes--my pet passion when it comes to design. I would sit and sketch lamppost designs all day if I could get away with it.

Why the fascination? Even I don't know for sure, but I love 'em. Take me to Disney World and I'll photograph every lamppost and themed light fixture in all the parks--twice! Can't get enough of them.

This one was created for an intro page in a portfolio flip book that was part of my display for the Senior Interior Design show at Ringling in the fall of '06.

Granted, the image doesn't have much at all to do with interior design, but--then again--neither do I (he said with a smug grin).

Sunday, July 01, 2007

A character lighting study for the Macbeth production concept.

Not a great deal of personal creativity entered this image. The character figure was modeled, costumed, lit and rendered using Poser 6.
Part of my own "unfinished symphony," as it were.

In the last semester of art school I had begun a senior thesis project which included the concept design of a theatrical stage set for Act IV, Scene I of a production of Macbeth.

Here is a concept image of the cauldron used by the three witches to conjure the prophetic apparitions of the scene.

The cauldron was designed and rendered in 3D Studio Max and composited with lighting effects in Photoshop.
Another image based on the early work of Collin Campbell for the Haunted Mansion attraction at Disney.

This particular crypt with its self-interring occupant can be found in the graveyard scene toward the end of the ride.

The image was created using 3D Studio Max and Photoshop.
A digital reconstruction of the conservatory scene in Disney's Haunted Mansion attraction at WDW.

More than a literal recreation of the attraction scene, this image is largely based on an early illustration by Disney artist Collin Campbell.

The image was created using Autodesk VIZ and Photoshop.
This is a layered image using two daytime photo plates (one of the Mansion at Disney World and one of the clouds) composited with brush effects in Photoshop.

The idea was to create an original appearance of the Mansion exterior unlike the attraction's actual nighttime show lighting, but just as eerie.
Welcome to Seven Percent Solution: The Darker Art of Dale Ankrum!

Since childhood, I've been fascinated by the dark and scary--ghosts, haunted houses, stormy nights, essentially all things Halloween. Later that affinity grew to include the fantastic and the historic--particularly the more sinister aesthetic of the Victorian era (readers of Doyle will readily understand the Holmsian allusion in the name of this blog).

Where and why we (particularly in the U.S.) crossed over to an egregious surplus of gore in our movies and so-called "haunted" attractions, I really have no understanding, but we did. Personally, I think it's an affront to the spirit and original intent of constructing a haunted experience.

I think the inclusion of the occasional stray eyeball, bloody handprint, or dismembered appendage is appropriate, but violently immersing audience members into how the eye was extracted or the hand sliced off robs each of them of their unique mechanism for experiencing a benign horror. All imagination with its inherent psychological safety features is gone.

The monster no longer reaches out from the shadows and simply grabs you. Now it slices your Achilles tendon with a scalpel, shoves an ice pick up your nose and into your brain, and then proceeds to cut through your neck with a dull hacksaw so it can do unspeakable things to your severed head.

That's not haunting. In fact, I don't really know what to call it, but you won't find it here.

I have discovered in my work that tendency from childhood toward the dark and witchy is very much alive. I actually prefer to create an image which is dark or low-lit rather than one portraying day lighting. None too good for diversity.

I guess it's my graphic junk food.

So, I've created this blog as a sort of repository or reliquary for those kinds of images arising from my workstream.

Hope you enjoy!