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This is more or less my less-than-it-should-be blog.  I hope to have something more interactive soon, but for now, here are a few notes and rambles with a time index:

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April 30, 2008

My apologies to all, I have had to let other projects supersede this one, many of them, including an album cover, are paying gigs.  And I am just back from a wonderful "jousting all the time" trip to Southern California.  Never fear, Cloak will get back on track, though probably not until the end of May.  In the meantime, I have expanded my flickr account, if you like to see photos from my various other hobbies, including Reenactments, Renaissance and Medieval Faires, and Science Fiction Conventions; then check it out: www.flickr.com/photos/douglasherring/sets/

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January 16, 2008

Today I posted a work in progress, the first drawing of the USS Ajax.  Right now, I am having fun doing starships and I am having minor fits over characters.  Recent touch-ups to Spock and the Romulan Commander still have me torn.  I need to find a style that I really think works and that I will continue to enjoy illustrating and eventually animating over the long haul.  The first piece of art I did for this project, which turned into an acceptable Captain Kirk, was a good first try.  The question I have had with the characters is, do I need to simplify and stylize more?  Or is a more realistic look okay?  I realize now I simply need to play with other styles, keep experimenting, all the while getting a feel for doing portraiture of our heroes on a daily basis.  

Backgrounds and other non-figure elements are another issue.  Originally I was going to hand paint all of that, leave computer color to just the figures.  I certainly have deviated from that with my first art tests, even my second Klingon Battle Cruiser, which has more of a simple animation style,  is not as successful as the others before and after it.  Part of the problem is that darn Hubble.   Such beautiful high resolution star maps are available, why paint them?  Well, because it would look more like an animated project, which was the original plan.  I do feel the classic animated conventions, painted backgrounds and simple clean line characters, is the way to go.  So, note to self - you have not found the right style for most of this yet.  More experimentation is needed.   

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January 11, 2008

"We don't do tests...".  Well, we do.  This week, it has been Spock, McCoy, the Romulan Commander, and the Klingon Battle Cruiser (KBC).  I am still having problems with Spock, happier with a second iteration on McCoy, and I have two versions of the KBC up in the Gallery-Ships section, not sure which I like best nor which is more appropriate.  I need to do more backgrounds and, well, do more testing.  I am still very much in the art design phase, things could change radically.  Maybe.  This weekend: First Enterprise.  Wish me luck. 

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January 5, 2008

Interesting talk on the boards today.  Some interesting discussions with Leonard Nimoy about the "three" Spock's in ST:XI.  Apparently there is a childhood flashback, which would explain the younger Amanda, played by Winona Ryder.

Also of interest, John Byrne is doing two Star Trek comic projects for IDW Publishing, a one shot on the Romulans and a series based on the TOS episode "Assignment Earth".  The Romulan story is apparently the prequel to "Balance of Terror".  A first few pages have been posted here.

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January 3, 2008

I have been going through a ton of reference in the last month, gathering information and artistic scrap for the creation of the look and feel of classic Star Trek.  I realize that the core of all of this will be a graphic style that really stands out, and that the foundation of that will be good renditions of Kirk, Spock, and of course, the Enterprise.  I am still testing the exact style I want to use, but my experiments so far are going well, the first true animation look being of my Star Fleet dolphin character, renditions of which are on the gallery and FAQ pages.  It is a start, from an old piece of art, but I like the direction, and the coloring process is pretty easy to do.  My comic background is coming in handy for this project.

I am also happy to say that a number of plot points for the story have gelled into place of late.  So may ideas over the years, it has taken a lot of weeding and re-planting, but that is going well. 
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January 1, 2008

I went to Borders Books yesterday and discovered what might be an interesting coincidence.  The Book "Star Trek Star Charts" by Geoffrey Mandel.  Okay, it was published in 2002, but I had not noticed it before, honest.  The interesting coincidence is his map of the Milky Way Galaxy very much matches the update to my original 1974 map that I just did last week.  It is the timing that is coincidence, not the similarities, because our solar system, Sol, is in the same place in the Orion Arm of the galaxy, so naturally, anyone depicting that would match what both of us did.  Interesting (to me, anyway) is the recently theorized "bar" aspect at the center of our galaxy, it is apparently not a classic spiral galaxy.  My update actually represents the latest theories, who would have thought I would jump ahead of the game?  Check out this link!

At Borders I also picked up the Ninth issue of Star Trek Magazine.  There I found an article discussing D.C. Fontana's upcoming comic book sequel to "The Enterprise Incident" to be called "The Enterprise Experiment" for IDW Publishing, the folks doing the current Star Trek comics.  My reaction is pretty laid back, I actually look forward to seeing what Dorothy does, it's her story, to be sure.  The storyline to ST:Cloak may or may not match hers in some ways, and frankly, as mine has been set in stone, at least the core plot, for thirty years, it will be fascinating (to coin a phrase) to see what she does.  If anything, this encourages me to get moving on presenting my story.  2008 will end as the year of Star Trek and I hope in my own minor way to be a part of that.

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A 70's Romulan Logo design of mine, will probably not be part of the final Cloak Universe
Matt Jefferies original Klingon Emblem, with the second AMT master model's variant on the third Klingoni character