Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A writing inspired by Kesha's song: "Take It Off"

"There's a place downtown, Where the freaks all come around.  It's a hole in the wall.  It's a dirty free for all."  Kesha -Take It Off.  This story in no way portrays people that actually exist.  Any likenesses are completely coincidental, not intentional.

Drake was 18 when it happened.  Suddenly he was alone in the world, and there was nothing to live for anymore.  He would sleep all day, and at night he would drink until he would throw up, and pass out.  He would wake up in strange places with intense headaches, and a foul odor of cologne, bile, and liquor wafted from him for all who dared to get too close to experience.  Flowers withered hopelessly away..And dogs howled and barked at him.  It was during this dark time of his life that he heard about a place from a demon disguised as a friend where there were no rules, and people just did as they liked until the sun rose.

Drake was falling fast down a hole to his eventual demise.  There was no turning back.  The gravity of his depression had too strong of a grip on him now.  It was only a matter of time until the end.  After a cup of Top Romin Noodles, and some Spam that he stole from a local grocery store, he began his nightly ritual of drinking a few shots of Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum.  That was his beverage of choice.  That, and half a pack of Marlbro Red Cigarettes.  The smell of the smoke made him feel awesome, and combined with the booze he could do no wrong.  On the bus downtown he saw his accomplices, Jajhul, Randy, Desire, and Leah.  Desire was going out with Randy, and Jajhul was going out with Leah, but the ladies were bisexual, so they would go down on each other from time to time too.  There were no rules.  It was a secret society for the lawless, living without any reservations for tomorrow.  On the bus they smoked a little weed.  Nobody dared to do anything about it, because they were either scared of them, apathetic or too high to care.  When they got to the Avenues, Drake was the first to pull the wire.  The bus stopped at the next block and they exited through the back exit without paying.
It was dark except for a few street lights, and the few cars that were there had smashed windshields.  One car was completely engulfed in flames.  People stood around the car with bottles in their hands shouting out cuss words, and hollering out at one another in celebration of what had created.  They walked past the burning car to a place surrounded by a weather beaten wooden fence.  It was so weak, you could kick it down, and there was all sorts of tags and graffiti sprayed on in vibrant colors on there too.  A big man stood in front of the gateway past the fence.  He grinned a shiny gold tooth grin and shook their hands with his ring covered fingers.  They all walked past him except for Drake.  He got pushed back.
"Why you not let me in bruddah?"
"Cuz you a punk!"
"Fuck you! I ain't no punk.  Who be say'in dat?"
"Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit....Tell you what...Come back here with some pussy, and I'll let you in."
"Oh, so that's how it is?"
"Straight."
Drake shrugged up his shoulders tight, and threw himself away from the man as though to contain his desire to slug his fist through the bouncer's sternum.  "Drake muttered obscenities as he bee-bopped his way past the line of pimps and hookers waiting to get in.  He turned up the next street, and lit up a cigarette.  Smoking helped him think with what little brain cells he had left.  Then he saw a little bar lit up with neon signs.  There were pool tables inside, and half way decent women accompanied by some well to do college kids.  He flicked his half smoked cigarette away to the street where it bounced and sparked in a dance of orange light.  He wore a New York Yankees baseball cap on backwards, a black hooded sweatshirt, big baggie jeans, and All Stars Sneakers.  The room was filled with noise, and laughter.  Everyone seemed to be having a good time, but when he made his way to the bartender people gave way as his obnoxious smell forced them to scuffle to one side.  The bartender was a young lady in her late twenties wearing something that revealed her perfectly tanned cleavage.  Drake made eye contact with her, and said "What up?"
"You gunna buy something?"
"Why you gotta be like that?"
"Buy something or I'll have Jimmy over there throw you out."
Drake attempted a flirtatious smile.
"Damn girl.  You cold!"
She could see that he was having a difficult time by the  sadness in his eyes.  There was even a tear that rolled down his cheek.
"Ooooookay...Uh, One drink"
"Thank you.." He uttered with intense emotional pain in his voice.
She went over to the bottles and quickly assembled a Hurricane with twice the recommended shots in it.  Something about his plight reach out to her, and so she played the roll of pharmacologist and administered some medication; medication being the alcohol.
He knew he was walking on eggshells in this civilized little place, and as the booze numbed away his sorrows, an idea occurred to him.  If he was going to get past the bouncer, he had to win over a lady here.  He eased his way back from the bar with his drink in hand.  He spotted a dyed bleach blond headed Asian waiting for her turn at the pool table.  He put his harm up against the wall there beside her head and said, "Try some of this honey, I think it's spiked with a little something-something..."  She laughed a nervous laugh and turned away back to her friends by the window.  He knocked back what was left of his drink. It slipped out of his fingers and broke on the ground. He strolled calmly outside.  Then he watched her from the window.  She saw that he was watching, and she nervously chewed on her lower lip.  He saw that she was into him, and waited for her by a parked car.  When she came out for a smoke, he was just by the door, standing by the wall, and whispered to her ear, "I know where the real fun is.."
She took a Marlboro Light out from her little black leather purse, which had chrome metal studs adorned around the edges.  There was the ring of his zippo lighter giving birth to a flame that ignited the dry tobacco of her cigarette into an animated cherry, dancing with the life of orange embers.  There was the sound of the wind transporting the nicotine through her capillaries from her lungs, and her eyes lit up with intrigue.
"Where is this fun place...Excactly?"
"It's not far..."  He walked past her with his hand outstretched.  Her hand reached forward as though against her will.  Something within her...Something animal compelled her.  He took hold of her hand, and they walked silently to the fun place.  The bouncer gleamed at them, as they were aloud to walk through.  Jajhul spotted him first, "There he at! I was going to come looking for you!"  He was full of shit.  They all were.  Drake kept walking and ignored them.  They were all dancing now on the floor covered with glitter, just like in Kesha's song, and that song was playing.  Pelvises were grinding against asses, and hip hoppers where hipping and hopping.  Couples made out in the shadows, and junkies sniffed their lines off pub tables.  The base pounded so intensely he could feel the beat rattle his bones.  It was awesome.  In the distance people broke bottles and lit things on fire, and in the bathroom there were orgies and overdosed half dead junkies, on the way out of this world...Never to return.  Drake and the Asian lady made their way over to a table full of drugs and booze.  Her eyes widened, and narrowed as she looked at Drake flirtatiously and motioned for Drake to come closer. "My name's Yuko," she said.
"Cool..Cool.."
They had to speak directly into each others ears to be heard.
"This is the part where you tell me your name"  Yuko said with a smile.
When she spoke, he could feel her warm breath against his ear.
"Drake."
She poured herself a Gin and Tonic.  "You're so quiet!" She exclaimed.
"Not quiet.. Just soft spoken.  So...What do you think?"
She looked around.  Leah and Desire where tongue kissing on the dance floor as Jajhul and Randy watched.  Around them, people had their hands in air, jumping up and down to the beat.
"It's nice..But I know someplace better."
He looked at her, and he could tell by the spark in her eye what she meant by what she said.
"Lead the way."
She grinned with excitement and lust, and took his hand.  They walked to her car.  She was about to get in, when he stopped her.
"I'd better drive tonight."
She smiled and let him have his way.
She got on all fours, and crawled over the stick shift to the passenger side seat.  When he fired up the ignition, the seat belts automatically swung back over their bodies.  She put her hand on him.  He was hard.  They made out, and he started unlocking her bra.  She pushed him back slowly, and said "Wait until we get there.."
They got on the highway, and headed south.  Drake had to focus in order to keep the car on the road in his inebriated state.  It was 4am.  Nobody else was there except the two of them.  She pointed out the way, and he took her there. They pulled into the parking lot of a cheap motel.  They stopped at the front door, and made out as she turned the key.
Just as they were about to enter the room, several police cars stormed in the parking lot with screeching tires. Doors swung open, guns pointed out.  Drake was shocked.  He was totally caught off guard.  She set him up from the beginning.  She had been working undercover with her friends.  She kneed him in the crotch, and pushed him down against the ice cold concrete, where she cuffed him so tight it broke the skin.

They told him that they were arresting him for theft, drug and people trafficking, and assault with a deadly weapon.  When he got to prison Jajhul, Randy, Desire, and Leah were there too.  They had 10 years to do with no parole.  During the prison time Drake received rehabilitation for his drug additions.  He even learned a trade in construction.  A therapist helped him work through his problems.  It wasn't like any prison anyone has ever seen before.  It was a special place funded by some very wealthy politicians with ambitions to drastically lower crime rates by the beginning of 2013.  Finally...There was hope.

The End

Written by Stan Levine on Ocotber 13, 2010
www.stanimation-productions.com


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Creating Things

Click on Creating Things to be redirected to my blog about how I create things on my website at www.stanimation-productions.com

Creating Things

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Dragon Story: A Hero's Test




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You take a torch from the wall and proceed down the corridor that narrows after a larch archway. The Archway has statues of serpentine figures on each side, and there is something carved into the archway above you in a language you do not understand. A locked gate in front of the archway opens with Elinane's key. The further you walk, the colder it gets. The air is damp and it smells like sweat and rotting flesh. Then you get to a large wooden door. It's also locked, but Elane's key opens the lock. You try to open the door, but it won't open, because it's too heavy. It has to be heavy to keep whatever is on the other side from breaking in. You have to push with all of your strength just to open the door wide enough for you to squeeze through. A gust of wind rushes past you. It howls through the corridor and pushes the door shut. It slams back behind you fast, and it makes a banging noise that echos through the darkness below you. You hold your torch out in front of you to see as much as its light will allow. All you can see is a stone stairway going down into the darkness below. You draw your sword in your right hand while your torch is held in the other. The stairway is steep and it curves to the left. You have to watch your footing, because one false step could be your last. At the same time, you have to stay aware of your surroundings. You have to be ready for whatever hellish creatures might be preying on you at this very moment. You hear the flapping of wings around you, and then they fade back into silence and darkness. Then you hear a scream. You kneel down to protect yourself. Then your torch allows you to see very dimly at the edge of its capacity to illuminate, a grayish brown gargoyle-like monstrosity blocking your path, ready to pounce on you with its sharp claws and fanged teeth.
Come, and get your throat cut you fowl creature!” You shout at the monster who stands in front of you with malicious intent. It hisses at you and pulls back into a defensive stance. One arm is held forward over its face, while the other is held back, ready to strike. This is the first test of your abilities. Do you have what it takes to defeat the evil wizard Zihair? There was a time when you were a child. You were riding a pony around the country side, when it slipped on a rock, and broke its leg. Your father told you that the pony was useless now; that it is doomed to live the rest of its life in pain. He said “It would be better that the pony die today, than be disgraced by a life of agony.” Then he gave you a mace, and told you to put an end to the poor ponies miserable existence. You took the mace. Its spiked steel ball felt heavy on its wooden handle in your little hand. The pony lay on the ground looking at you with big innocent eyes as if it didn't understand what was happening to it. You knelt by the pony, and stroked back its main. It's eyes flinching in pain, and looking to you now for hope. You looked one last time to your father, looking for an answer, but he just noded back at you. There were no more options left for this poor soul. Without realizing it, somehow you found your arm lifting up the mace up to strike. Against all better judgment, you swung that mace down that day. An innocent life was extinguished like a birthday candle blown out when the borrowed mace crushed that pony's skull. Now the beast's teeth and claws reach out to destroy you. It's gray veiny hand reaches out to claw at your ankles in an attempt to knock you off balance, but you jump up land on the creature driving your sword through the back of its neck, into its brain. Black blood spills from its head, flowing over and down the stairs below. Its hand reaches back to claw your ankle still, but with a twist of the blade, it drops lifelessly to the steps it rests on.
You pull your sword and wipe it clean, while watching the beast for any sign of life. You have heard  stories of creatures like this from your grandpa as a child. They are tricky, and have no respect for life other than how good it tastes in their bellies. You back away cautiously, before continuing on your way deeper into this chasm of chaos. Giant poisonous spiders are easy to push past by burning them with your torch, but every now and then you have to slay a snake or two. The snakes are everywhere. They slither out of the stone dungeon walls along side of you, but that's not half as bad as when they drop down from the darkness above you. You pass by the bones and rotting flesh of all the fallen heroes who came before you, before you reach the depth of the staircase. A red light illuminates a path before you. It is a narrow stone path that turns to the right getting brighter until you see its source. It looks like a red star burning bright on a wizards staff. A hooded figure holds the staff with its hard bonny hand.
Who are you?” You ask this mysterious encounter.
“I am Nathaniel the Conjurer.”
"I am.."
"I know who you are. You are the son of Rasurfaut. If it were up to me you would be dead, but the dragon has other plans for you."
"How do you know about my dealings with the dragon?”
"That is for me to know. You need to come with me now if you wish to stay alive.”
Nathaniel turns and walks down the corridor. The red light from his staff shines all around you. The passageway ends near an underground stream, and continues on the other side. Nathaniel mutters some strange words and some of the water in front of you turns into a path made of ice. You walk across the ice path, being careful not to slip. The path continues up a long flight of stairs headed north to a wall. The wizard puts his hand on the wall, and walks through to the other side, and you follow after him. The wall appears to be an optical illusion, but when you reach back to touch the wall after you're through it feels hard like stone.  Nathaniel the Conjurer laughs silently to himself as your jaw gapes at his awesome display of power.  Now you are back in the dragon's lair.
“Congratulations hero. You passed the test. You are ready,” says the dragon before you.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Art of Igor Lukanov

The Art of Igor Lukyanov is something you won't want to miss.
As an artist I am always observing other artists to see what techniques they use.
I learn from them, and they influence me in my own work.
Igor does a variety of styles. In this video, I have seen photo realistic portrait studies of animals and people, as well as caricatures and graphic design. Igor demonstrates in this video that he has worked for people as a commercial artist, while continuing to refine his talent as a sketch artist.
If you are an artist, or if you love art, you won't want to miss what Igor does next in his career and journey as an artist.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Time Travel

Have you ever been late for a meeting, and wished there was some way you could have more time?
Have you ever noticed that when you are really busy, it seems like there is never enough time, and when nothing exciting is going on, or if you're stuck at the red light time seems to slow down?
Time is experienced by the minds perception of internal and external movements.  The sound of your heart beats, and your eyes see the sun changing position in the sky as people walk past you like a swarm of bees rushing against the clock as if their lives depended on it.
Time is a confining prison that we mortals are all bound to from the day we are born.  Every moment of our existence depends on time for survival...Or so it would seem.
Space is something that is difficult to describe.  It's like a man standing behind a curtain.  You can't see the man, no matter how hard you try, and as far as we know the man can't see us.  We humans are all blinded by the curtain of space-time, but if we were able to see the space between space, without time, we would perceive a place of consciousness where every event that has ever happened, ever could have happened, ever will happen, and ever could happen would be knowable by a stream of eternal consciousness.  Thought is not something you can see with your eyes, smell with your nose,  hear with your ears, or touch with your skin.  It is sensed through your mind.  When you think about an experience or an idea in your mind, it is processed and understood in a place outside of time, and from behind the curtain that we will never see.
Now imagine that there are beings that exist without time and behind space that can travel to any place instantly through consciousness....Any place, but the place on the other side of space where we exist, unless they exist by taking possession of the living through the mind. 
Time travel would then be possible by the act of tele-projection through mind. 
Mind for all purposes of this blog article does not pertain to having a brain that is dependent on a body in world that is dependent on time.  Mind is the existence of consciousness.  Consciousness can exist in many forms.  There is animal consciousness, human consciousness, and eternal consciousness.  When we are at peace, in our sleep, or in a meditative state, we can experience glimpses of eternal consciousness, but it is difficult if not impossible to ever possess eternal consciousness.  Eternal consciousness is a continuum of all consciousness with out time, where as other forms of consciousness are confounded to limits of perception in a living body, existing in time.
Like I said before....It is very difficult to explain, and perhaps it is impossible to explain because of the fact that my mind is currently confounded by the limits of time. 

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Dragon Story Continued By Stan Levine

Your heart pounds like a rabbit hopping inside your chest as the dragon studies you with his large snake like eyes. It almost looks like it's smiling as it smells your fear.
You concentrate on deep breathing, and after a while your heart returns to a normal resting rate, but your body still shivers.
Then the beast speaks. His voice is low and resounding.
A bit nervous are you? And where you should be little man. Look around you. What do you see young traveler?”
You look around, and see large rock walls, gothic arches that expand so high the ceilings hide behind a layer of darkness. Torches light up the space around you for about a hundred feet in all directions. The torches rest in holders that have been mounted on the rock walls. A wide open corridor about 20 feet wide expands away from a room. A pile of  bones, weapons, armor and gold rests 30 feet away from the dragon of who's hand still rests underneath you. You try to get up, but the hand pins you to the cold hard floor, bruising your butt.
OOOW!”
You don't move unless I say so in this place. What do you see?”
I can't see much with your hand pinning me down.”
You little fool! I could swallow you whole!” The dragon snarls.
Normally I would have killed you by now, but because I can see that you have never killed anyone in your life, I have decided to wait and see if you can be of any use to me first.”
Please don't kill me!”
QUIET!”
You shudder in your leather armor. Cold sweat drips down your brow. The dragon tells you about this dreadful place to which you have fallen. 
"It is all that remains of what was once a great kingdom, ruled by a just king that was well respected and liked by his majesty.
Being respected and liked was unheard of now days. People used to think of the common good in their speech and in their actions, but over the years invaders grew stronger and eventually over powered and killed off most of the good people of this land. 
The invaders were highly organized. Once a land was seized, the invaders would tax the towns people until they became bitter and poor. The tax money was said to be necessary in order for the king to provide security and he promised to provide a comfortable lifestyle for all who lived among his ruling hand. They never saw the day King Rasurfaght lived up to his creed.
The separation in classes become so distinct that before long everyone was either dirt poor or obscenely wealthy. The nobility would flaunt their gold knitted garments, and drink the finest of imported wines and ales in front of the poor who dressed in clothes that were two sizes too long, or torn around the knees and cuffs, and hand woven from rags. Contempt grew stronger every season among the peasant class, and a revolution seemed inevitable. The Nobels were advised not to leave their homes without protection, but all of there hired armed guards were not enough, because they lived a comfy life. The peasants had to fight among each other for survival everyday, while the highly paid guards spent most of their time drinking ale and eating freshly killed wild boar. If it wasn't for King Rasurfaght's powerful sorcerer, his kingdom would surely have fallen to a heap of rubble. Zihair was a sorcerer of dark magic who was loyal to King Rasurfaut
and his father before him. Zihair wasn't always a practitioner of the dark magic. He used to be loyal to the same ruler I served under many years ago. Several hundred years ago, before Adam, and his father Ben, we were loyal to King Joseph Rasurfaut, and he was the last of the just rulers of this land. Zihair was passionate about his craft, and only used it for good. Then his family was murdered before his very eyes by the invaders. His inner light grew dim, and his heart morned his losses. Out of that grief grew something ugly. He started studying dark magic from a spell book he took from a duel long ago.  When he was ready he had his revenge with an army of ghouls he conjured from the dead. The dark magic consumed him, and an insatiable lust for power and influence took hold of Zihair. It was him that organized his own secret army, who assassinated King Joseph by giving him a cursed magic potion to quicken his aging process. Ben was still a child on the brink of manhood. Zihair was able to use his dark magic to influence King Ben to turn the entire Nobility against the Peasant Class, but there is still hope. Before King Joseph died, he sensed a great evil among his kingdom. He sent a messenger to a land far beyond the forrest, across the great sea to deliver a dragon egg to a woman named Eilana. Eilana was his sister who was kidnaped by invaders when he was a child, but a falcon delivered a letter one day to inform King Joseph that she had broken free of her bonds. Eilana raised this dragon who stands before you now."
 
The dragon's tale is long and difficult to follow. You are not sure if you can trust this one, but if you show any sign of trickery it will be sure to put an end to you. You have to go along with the dragon's game for now.
A white flickering light shines from the corridor as Eilana approaches.
I see we have guests.”
Yes, he just dropped in, so to speak.”
I didn't realize dragons were capable of humor,” you dare to say.
The dragon gives you a sideways look and says “Call me Joe.”
It isn't long before the three of you have become close friends.
It is sad and immoral, what Zihair has done to the kingdom.” Eilana says looking to you for an answer.
Can't you just break into the castle and eat him?”
It's not that simple. Zihair is a powerful dark sorcerer. He hides during the day in his cave several levels below the castle's thrown room. He only comes out at night to feed and walk about with his invisibility spell.”
We could still track his foot prints”
Yes, but if he caught you in the act, he would pull you in with his attraction spell and slit your throat with his silver dagger.”
That's a risk we're going to have to take. Someone is going to have to take it to restore sanity to this land.”
You are far too inexperienced to handle such a mission, but I admire your ambition. Tell you what,” the dragon speaks on. “Down that corridor, there is a door.” Eilana hands you a key from around her neck and says “take this key to open the door. There will be hundreds of stairs that will take you deep underground to a place in this dungeon where monsters of unspeakable peril await you. If you can slay these monsters, and bring back to us their bounty you will have proven yourself worthy as a soldier fit for such a battle against the evil sorcerer Zihair.”
Fine,” you say confidently. “I'll do it!”
Good luck my friend,” The dragon says.
Here,” Eilana motions. “Take this potion of healing. It will help you on your way. I hope to see you again,” Eilana says and kisses you on the cheek.
Your eyes sparkle as you find Eilana very attractive in her white gown, and full figured shapely body. More than her body, something about her personality; a loving warmth draws you in. You vow to defeat any opponent you meet down that hell hole, for you now you have two motivations: To prove that you are a worthy fighter to Joe, the dragon, and to woo the heart of the fair princess Eilane.
You wave good bye to your friends just before you set on your adventure down the corridor, past the door, to the perilious dungeons below!


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Dragon Story by Stan Levine


You have spent your youth in the protection of these castle walls. Everything has been provided for you until now. Today, you are faced with a challenge. Where will you go, and what will you do with the rest of your life as a man? Your cat watches you with worry in her pretty blue eyes as you head for the huge iron gates with only enough water for a days travel, a light weight shield and a short sword. As you walk through town people brush past you without acknowledging your existence. The people of this town hold you in contempt, for inside your body flows the royal blood of those who have oppressed them into submission. Sweat flies off the brow of an iron worker as his powerful arm wields a hammer down over an anvil. A boy not that much younger than yourself struggles to haul his master in a chariot full of food that he will never taste. His back gives out, and he collapses in the street, and a bearded man in robes steps off, and kicks the boy in the rib cage. The boy recoils in pain and screams to the gods for help, but they do not answer. An archer is given the signal, and death is delivered to the poor soul from the sky by arrow.
For the first time in your life, you are seeing the real world, outside your sheltered home. You want to return to safety, but if you run now, you will never know what great adventures await before you. If you run now, you will die an old inexperienced man with a sea of regrets. You push on with your leather boots, and an old gypsy eyes you with an evil grin, as if plotting your demise in order to get her brittle old hands on your boots and your gold.
Soon you reach the outskirts of the town and you see large redwood trees all around you. It is said by travelers who have visited the castle over the years that strange creatures live in the darkness of these woods. The horizon is a light orange color indicating that there is only two more hours of daylight at best. It looks like you're going to have to find a cave, or some sort of shelter for the night, or risk being murdered by the thieves that rome about the road at night.
The shadows grow longer each minute, and you can't seem to shake off the feeling that eyes are studying you from every shadow of every rock and tree. Now the sky is dark blue and the first of the stars reveal themselves upon the curtain of night that steadily sweeps overhead. The road becomes hard to see. As your eyes become accustom to the moon light, you gather enough information you see the shadow of a strange looking man in the distance. You stop and double take with a reaction of terror in your body as you realize that you just saw the shiny yellow eyes of an orc before you just twenty odd feet away. It stands there waiting to see what you will do. You can't think. Terror fills your blood, and you are now running as fast as your legs will carry you into the darkness of the woods. The orc screams out a war cry that bounces off the trees, causing several flocks of sparrows to flee to the sky.
Twigs scrape against your body, but your leather armor saves your skin from spilling a trail of blood behind you. The orc is a skilled hunter with an insatiable thirst for royal blood. It can smell your leather as the razor sharp twigs of foliage shave off bread sized crumbs from your armor. The orc is on your trail. Other creatures of the night can be heard stirring from the darkness of the tree tops as you run closer to your destiny. Suddenly the ground gives way from under your foot, and you feel yourself falling. A hot wind rushes past your ears as you continue to fall deep into the earth. You can't tell where the ground is, and you kick and flail your arm about, hoping to find something that can save you from being crushed by whatever awaits below. A soft fleshy surface rushes up from underneath you, and a bright hot light of flame blazes above your head. Slowly unfolding yourself from your fetal position, your head raises, and your eyes meet face to face with a yellowish green dragon!

TBC

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Jenisipicellah By Stan Levine

Friday 19th March Your character doesn’t make impulse purchases, but one day at the market they felt compelled to buy… what?

      Harold was a man in his late twenties.  He was very good at fixing things, and had always wanted to run his own business as an engineer.  He dreamed of making rocket ships that would fly to outer space,so ordinary people could live extraordinary lives.  They would buy their rocket ships and fly from space station to space station, and moon port to moon port all over the solar system.  Yes. Harold was full of ideas, but he didn't think like ordinary people thought.  He was labeled lots of things, but nobody could accurately diagnose what was exactly wrong with him.  Harold worked as a mechanic during the day, and as a roadie at night.  He new just about everything related to technology.  He could create video games and programs on his computer at a coffee bar, or tune his Honda Civic so tight it would jump up in the air with the slightest tap of the gas pedal.  Harold was a genius, but he had no friends.  Everything had to be a certain way, and he always had a schedule to keep.  If things didn't go the way he planned, he would get very violent and throw things at people.
It had been a week since Harold was released from the county jail for starting a fight at the DMV with one of the clerks there.  Now he was at the local pharmacy enjoying his first moments of freedom.  He had just earned $2,000 for a video game he single created and sold online.  It was a Massive Online Role Playing game called Kinork, where players choose from a list of adventurous characters and embark on an epic journey through the treacherous make believe land known as Kinork.  The players would interact with each other and encounter dangerous monsters that guard hordes of treasure.  His game was a big success, and every week subscribers all across the globe would pay for their game time on his website.  Some might thing Harold was living the dream, but to Harold he considered himself a failure, and a very lonely man with no friends and no family.  As he walked through the drug store he browsed at magazines, books, toys, candy, and gift cards.  He just wanted to find something intriguing to take his mind off the depression.  It was a hot sunny day.  Just then, Harold got the idea to lie naked on the hot sidewalk, in an attempt to burn his body to death.  He was on his way to execute his plan when he saw the Jenisipicellah.  That's what it said on the dark blue packaging.  It was a square box, with a glowing red sphere bulging out of it, encased in plastic.  Harold pick up the box, and he heard a low pitch ring tone, and there was a vibrating sensation that ran through his arms and in his head.  It was the most amazing feeling.  He read the back of the packaging to find out more about the Jenisipicellah.  It read, "The Jenisipicellah is a product guaranteed to change your life.  It's use of zero-point energy allow you for the first time in history to grant any which you want, and as many wishes as you want."  Harold was never a religious man, but now he began to wonder.  In all his life, he had never thought it would be possible to create something so advanced as this, and he beat himself over the head for not thinking of it first.  He turned the box around and around in his hands looking for the price, but there was no sticker, not even a bar code.  Harold took the Jenisipiceelah to the check out counter and asked the customer sales clerk how much it was.
"Excuse me sir, can you tell me how much this is?"
"Hmm...Let me see here...Hey, where did you find this?"
"It was right near the exit on that shelf right over there." He pointed, and he wondered what would happen next.
"Hold on a sec," The sales clerk picked up the phone and asked the store manager for help.  A moment later Mr.Norvinast, Store Manager for Rupiton Pharmacy appeared.  He was a short white man in his late fifties.  He had piercing blue eyes that peered at you from his fat head.  Somewhere from under a giant barbell mustache lips began to move.
"What's this?"
"I don't know, he said it came from that shelve over by electronic appliances, but I can't find a price sticker or a bar code on it."
"Interesting..." Mr. Norvinast turned the box over and over in his hands, looking at the packaging.
"Well sir, it appears that this item can not be sold."
"What!?" Harold exclaimed in outrage.  "That's ridiculous! If you can't tell me how much it is, then I get it for free.  That's how it's supposed to work!"
"Well," Mr. Norvinast said, "It Ain't work-in that way today buddy."
Harold reach out in a fit of rage with is hands.  He grasped onto the glowing red orb, and wished with all his will that the manager would die at that moment.
"Let go!" The manager yelled.  Harold managed to pry the box free of the store manager's hands.
"Stay away from me man!  I got the Jenisipicellah, and nobody, not even you can stop me now!"
Harold ran out of the store as the manager yelled for security.  Mr. Norvinast tried to chase after him, but clenched his chest a block later and collapsed to the ground.
"It works...." Harold thought.  "Fascinating."  He marveled at his most victorious find, until a bus hit him.  The Jenisipicellah was thrown out of its box from the impact, and it bounced down the road where it continued to roll.  It rolled down a hill and into the hands of a child.

The End


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Samson Rebirth


Samson Rebirth
14" X 18"
Acrylic on Canvas Board (unframed)
By Stan Levine
$475

Samson was my brother's dog who recently passed. I used a photo reference I found on Facebook to paint this pet portrait. As I was painting Samson, I felt his presence around me. It was almost as if my painting somehow invoked the spirit of the dog around me. I could even smell his distinct canine smell in the room. Samson is a very loyal dog who protects the innocent with his strong canine powers.
I began this painting by mixing a cool gray color with Mars Black, Titanium White and Cerulean Blue. Since the dog has warm colors, using a cool gray for the background colors created a sense of depth in the painting. Samson's head rests over a car seat that has pattern woven in it. If I wanted to I could have spent several days carefully carving in each weave of the seat with a tiny brush, but if I did, the level of detail would compete with the dog. In a painting it's important not to make each detail crisp and clear or it will end up being boring or too busy. It's important to have resting space and a focal point in a painting. Just a dash of dark cool gray with light cool gray right next to it creates just the right effect of hinting at the weave in the seat rather than spelling out every detail. The next step was to blog in the shape of Samson with a light reddish orange color mixed with Cadmium Yellow, Quinacridone Red, and Titanium White. Then going over that with Red Oxide mixed with the white and gray to create the warm grayish browns of Samson's beautiful fur coat. When you paint it's important to have fun, and to be in the spirit of what you're painting. When I explain how I paint it may sound technical but I don't really have a definitive process for painting. I use my instincts which is something I've developed over time through years of training and experience. A painting is an inward journey. Each stroke of the brush is a choice, and with each decision a step forward is taken on that journey to wherever the painting leads. I always start with the big shapes, and gradually add in detail from general to specific. The last thing I painted to complete the painting was Samson's eyes. Eyes are the window to the soul. If you mess up the eyes, the whole painting will be off. I studied my photo reference, and thought about the shape and the color. Then I started the eyes with a reddish brown of his iris, added the pupil, and surrounded the iris with the lines that shape the eye lids. Then I added a light touch of Titanium White to create the shiny part. It's important to notice details, but it's also important not to get lost in them. When something looks good in a painting, I move on to the next area. If I focus too much on one area, it gets all over worked. I got to keep the brush moving to different areas, and after I've touched up other areas I'll stand back about nine feet and see if I need to revisit any areas. As the painting nears completion, it become more important to know exactly what I want to do before I do it. Playing around on a painting that is near completion can mess areas up that were working well. When it's hard to know what to do next, I just do the first thing that comes to mind and react. After a few hundred tubes of paint I'll figure it out, and if I don't I just got to keep painting and remember to feel the spirit of what I'm painting and enjoy the creative process.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Funny Faces by Stan Levine





These are custom made emoticons for you to use as avatars to express your mood on your social networking sites.

To get your "Funny Faces," contact StanLevine@stanimation-productions.com for details.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New Orleans Railroad 36" X 36" Acrylic on Canvas


New Orleans Railroad
By Stan Levine
36" X 36"
Acrylic on Canvas
$700

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Portrait of Wes


To begin this acrylic portrait painting I first gathered all of my colors to decide which colors to mix in order to get all the colors I need on my pallet. I use Liquitex Professional Acrylic Artist Colors.

Here is a picture of my pallet with the colors I will need for this portrait painting. Portrait paintings can be very complex because skin changes color as it rolls over underlying forms of tissue. In some places skin may be rosy pink, or blush red, while in others pale peach or light brown. To get the skin colors in my portrait painting I used cadmium yellow deep hue, red oxide, quinacridone red in small amounts mixed with titanium white. Wes wore a blue plaid shirt in my photo reference, so to get the colors for that I mixed cerulean blue and some bright aqua green with titanium white. A little transparent burnt umber, prism violet and some mars black helped render hair and shadow areas. I mixed my colored together with a up and down dabbing motion of a pallet knife. To test out the color, or to thin the paint out a little, I smear the paint across the pallet a little. Then spray a little water on it to thin it out.
I began the portrait painting by painting the background a light yellowish peach color. Then I started blocking in the general shape of Wes's plaid shirt using the light blueish green color because if you squint your eyes you can see that the shirt is predominantly a bluish green color. Then I used my light flesh tones to block in the shape of the arms and head. Gradually working in the big shapes, I began to build in detail from general shapes of color to more specific subtleties.


Then I took a break to let all of the color completely dry. When I returned, I began adding another layer of details. To get the seams of the jeans I used a small flat end brush to apply bluish white, then right next to those seam shapes, I applied a shade of blue slightly darker than the local color of jeans. Once I got the figure to the level of detail I wanted, I added in the plunger in his hands. The portrait of Wes holds a plunger to reenact a humorous moment in his childhood, so it was important to suggest humor using light happy colors in this painting. I used the dark grayish, bluish purple color to create a drop shadow against the yellowish peach background. The plunger handle is cylindrical, so I used the appropriate colors to build in a half tone and a highlight to give the plunger a dimensional look in the painting. The actual plunger is bowl shaped, so to render that I thought about how I would render a sphere, then modified it to create the plane shifts where the light would curve towards and away from the light source.
Here (above) you see the finished piece. A Portrait of Wes by Stan Levine 18" X 14" on acrylic canvas board.
My link to buy Liquitex paint is my associate account's link to www.amazon.com. That means that if you buy acrylic paints for your paintings from that link, I will make a small percentage for promoting the product on Amazon.
Thank you for viewing my blog.

Happy painting and peace be with you,

Stan Levine
www.stanimation-productions.com


Monday, February 1, 2010

My Favorite Comics

My Favorite Comics
By Stan Levine
Stanimation Productions

I was drinking Jamaican Me Crazy Coffee With a little International Delight French Vanilla Coffee Creamer in it, while reading the Sunday comics out of the Contra Costa Times. The links listed above are my Amazon affiliate links, which means that if you buy the products advertised in my blog, I will make a percentage. One of the comics that I really enjoyed was the "For Better Or For Worse" comic by Lynn Johnston.

This image above is from www.gocomics.com . What I like about this comic is the rhythm in the pose of the father who is running with the shovel in the second box. You can see how enthusiastic he is about playing in the snow by the action line. I also like the way he enters the house at the end to find his family on the couch. I like the level of detail in that frame. you can see all the books on the shelves, and the dog sleeping on the lower right corner. I like the overall composition of that frame, and I think it tells the story well.
Another one I really enjoyed is "Non Sequitur," by Wiley Miller.


From www.gocomics.com . If you like this comic, you can buy a "Non Sequitur: 2010 Day-to-Day Calendar," from Amazon by clicking on my affliliate link. What I like about this comic is how the comic tells a good story in just 9 sequential images. It's like a storyboard, and the punch line at the end is witty and funny! I also like the way Wiley Miller drew the airport limo. It looks like it's in motion by the way the wheels are all wonky and in the air with the exhaust fumes putting out that back. It's reminiscent of Bill Waterson's work in his "Calvin and Hobs," comic book. I also like the overall layout of "Non Sequitur." They're were a lot of really funny and well composed comics on Sunday, January 17, 2010.
I love starting out my day with a good cup of coffee and some true funny and well composed comics from the local newspaper.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Drawing Tutorials



Have you ever wanted to learn to draw, but never thought you had the patience?
Well, now you can learn to draw the easy way for free!
On my new website at www.stanimation-productions.com I have a blog all on creating things by Stan Levine. My first drawing tutorial will show you how to draw this spider!
I plan on developing my drawing tutorials further. In my next tutorial I will be showing my step by step process for how to draw in perspective. I will start with the fundamentals of drawing, and gradually build your confidence and your skill up to being able to draw anything you want.
Remember, drawing takes patience, time and focus. You may not be able to draw what you want over night, no matter how many tutorials you read on the internet. It takes experience and dedication to develop the artistic skills needed to draw what you want. In my drawing tutorials, I explain the psychology of drawing. It is very difficult in not impossible to draw specific things the way you want them to look when you are upset. You have to have a clear and focused mind to draw something accurately. When you are upset, the best thing to do is to take a break, and do something that gives you pleasure. maybe put on your favorite song and dance, go for a walk around town, or a drive to the hills. Give yourself time to clear your mind of any negative thoughts. Once you find your happy place, you can begin to draw again. If you are beginner at drawing, I recommend drawing circles. Try drawing circles of different variations. Draw ovals, ellipses, and peanut shapes. Then draw spheres, cones, cylinders, pipes and cubes. From those basic shapes you can sketch just about anything. Once you have mastered drawing the basic shapes and can visualize them from any point of perspective I think you will find that the confidence in your drawing will increase.
I've been working on my drawing since I was a child. When I was about ten years old, I attending drawing classes around the community. One of my classes was taught by the famous cartoonist Ben Edlund, creator of The Tick. I also took a life drawing class at the Lyndsey Wild life museum, where the children gathered around live animals to draw them. Later on in my career as an artist, I attended the California College of the Arts in Oakland. It was there that I studied drawing under Eleanor Dickinson. After I graduated from CCAC, I attended the Academy of Art University where I studied under Ruben DeAnza, and studied animation from Jason Patnode, Linda Bell and Misha Klein.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Kiss Unfinished By Stan Levine

Kiss Unfinished By Stan Levine
36" X 36"
Acrylic on Canvas
not for sale

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Concept Art

Here are some new illustrations I've been working on for a fundraiser. They are design concept drawings for a sign that will say "Hurricane Bar."

The fundraiser is Mardi Gras Night. The sign will be made from a light weight, sturdy material like foam core, and suspended over a table where drinks will be served to participants of the fundraiser. Here is a 3D view of the sign that shows its dimensions:


The proposed dimensions are 6 feet long by 3 feet wide and 1 foot high. It is estimated to weigh about 4 lbs. I'm thinking a strand of 8 Gage wire (thin) woven through the base should be sturdy enough to hang the sign from against a small finishing nail in the wall.
Here is a sketch that shows how I propose to build this sign in steps:

The first drawing on the upper left shows the base of the structure. The upper right shows how a 1 foot foam core wall will be built to be glued around the base. The lower left shows how an artist's blade or craft knife can cut through the first layer of foam in the foam core which will allow the board to bend. The closer the cuts are to one another the more flexibility the foam core will have to bend around the rounded edges of the base. The lower right illustration shows the wall glued to the base. Then internal wall are build inside to create negative shapes that reveal the letters of the words "Hurricane Bar." Then a small battery operated light is used to illuminate the sign; giving it a neon look. Blue tissue paper will then be carefully glued on top, over the walls. When the light shines against the paper, it will glow blue from the outside of the sign. I may want to paste the tissue paper over a foam core frame; giving the sign a service door so that the light can be turned off and on again without having to rip and repair the sign.
I have really enjoyed the creation process for this sign, so if you would like me to make a sign like this for you please let me know.
I am also interested in doing concept deigns for things like tree fortresses, Japanese Gardens, time machines and space crafts for movies. So if you are a movie producer and have a need for that sort of illustration work please let me know.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

This Weeks Accomplishments


A Still Life
Acrylic on Canvas Board
16" X 20"
By Stan Levine

A political caricature commenting on the Tiger Woods Scandal.
9" X 12"
ink markers and color pencils on white paper
By Stan Levine

A caricature of Roseanne Barr and John Goodman from the Roseanne Show in the setting of American Gothic by Grant Wood.
9" X 12"
ink markers and color pencils on white paper
illustrated by Stan Levine

Last week I was hired by Kevin Birtchnell in San Francisco to draw caricatures for his birthday party. It was a good turn out, and my caricatures entertained the party guests. Yesterday I donated 10% of my profits from the caricature gig to CARE.ORG
I have decided to donate 10% of all the profits I make form doing caricatures or other art related jobs to charity.

I provide caricatures, illustration and of course custom commissioned art work. If you're looking to hire a freelance artist, why not e-mail me explaining what you need? My prices are reasonable, and because 10% goes to charity you can feel good about using my services because they help people in the world.

Peace,

Stan Levine

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What I'm Working On This Week


I started this week out by copying an illustration from "The Art of Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones," written by Mark Cotta Vaz using prismacolor pencils. This graphite illustration depicts a scene from the planet Kamino: Tipoca City. The original illustration I copied from was created by Erik Tiemens. The book specifies the scene number as "scene/s: 061/062", and it is on page 60 and 61 of the book. I have always been a Star Wars fan. I have collected all of the main character action figures. At one time, I had them glued to the dashboard of my car. I guess I was that much of a geek! When Star Wars Episode I the Phantom Menace was released back in 1999, I was one of those idiots ( and I use the term idiot endearingly here :-) ) standing there in the sun in a line half way around the block, waiting to get tickets for myself and my family. One thing about Star Wars I've learned that not everyone knows about is that the scream of the storm trooper who gets shot by Hans Solo on Endor, in Return of the Jedi, was used again and again in a large variety of feature films. That scream has become an inside joke at ILM among the sound designers. I like to occasionally copy Star Wars art as a way of studying that genre of art. Who knows...Maybe someday I'll have a job drawing for Lucas. One thing you should definitely know is that I don't sell my Star Wars art. It is strictly displayed on the internet as a way of keeping potential employers up to date with my progress as an artist. I'm just trying to show that I can draw in a variety of styles, so basically this is just fan art.
Ok, the next thing I want to share with you all is some caricatures I've done this week.


This is a caricature of Tim Allen. You know the guy from that TV show, Home Improvement. The hand holding the wrench looks a little crazy, but isn't that what caricatures are all about?
Finally, I have one last project to show you. This is a work in progress.
Wow! Cool huh? This graphite value study took three hours, and I rendered it from life! I usually just use photographs that my wife takes on our vacations to do my landscape paintings, or stuff from magazines or concept art books to do my sketches. I really enjoy drawing from life, because I think it captures something that I would not otherwise be able to notice about the subject. I plan on developing this further into an acrylic painting, using my value study and a photo reference. While I like to draw from life, I prefer to paint from photo references, because the subject never stays completely still, and the lighting can sometimes change.
Once I complete the painting, I'll upload it so you can see.