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Toxic Drums images

Here is a collection of toxic drums related images used on the home page of, in the newsletter or just interesting variations on the theme of toxic drums.  Art produced by Sam Spruce is in the Toxic Drums Art Gallery where you can find links to purchase his stuff.

Toxic Drums first rendering

Toxic Drums modeled and rendered using Newtek Lightwave.

In October 2010 I made the radical decision to buy Newtek Lightwave.  Several reasons why but the instigating one being that there was an offer to purchase version 9 with a free upgrade to Lightwave 10 all for half price.  Given that this software is seriously powerful and versatile and that it is extremely expensive and I love it I couldn't resist.  Now all I have to do is learn how to use it again and make it pay for itself.  Simples!

This is the first serious rendering of the drums and thank you to Stephen James Culley for the oil drum object.  It saved me a lot of time learning.  He had a few objects and surfaces freely available at which now seems to be a dead link. He does have a blog at

Toxic Drums towering

Toxic Drums in a rather threatening pose on a rock with an almost surreal sky.

Sometime in the summer of 2009 I bought three old oil drums.  One was red and two were blue.  I bought a couple of cans of yellow spray paint and set about a blue one.  The end result being the real life Toxic Drums.  This image is a composite of a picture of the drums on a rock and another image of a sunset I had taken years before.  This picture was used as the front page image for Toxic Drums from around September 2009 to November 2010.

This image has been sought after by a few people and the copyright remains entirely mine.  But if you want to use it in a magazine or newsletter feel free to ask.  All I normally want is a credit and link if appropriate.

Toxic Drums on ice

Toxic Drums on Ice

Using my really nice Aiptek MediaTablet 14000uAiptek MediaTablet 14000u and Art Rage to fake a painted version of the photo of the drums on the rock I then put the image through various filters and effects in Paint Shop ProPaint Shop Pro.  This one I love.  It looks like they are in the ice age after global warming.  The 'effect' in Paint Shop Pro is Artistic Effects/Colored Foil with Blur set at about 7 and Detail 32.  The light angle is 45.

This picture was used in Newsletter 2 dated 29 January 2010.

Toxic Drums old newspaper style

Chocolate Drums or a bleak picture of tar polution?

When it comes to toxic drums these look particularly toxic.  They have a look of tar, petroleum and pollution about them.  There is an overwhelming feel of desolation and death.  But we are funny things us humans.  Looking at this a different way and thinking of them as made of chocolate and suddenly they have a different feel about them.  The effect used here is the Aged Newspaper look in Paint Shop ProPaint Shop Pro.  I guess the effect can make some things look like aged newspaper but this looks more like chocolate or tar to me.

Toxic Drums painted

Portrait of Toxic Drums

This picture was one of my first experiments with Art Rage.  ArtRage is a graphics painting package which comes in various versions.  It specialises in simulating real world artistic effects like oil paint, spray paint, pastels, water colour, crayons etc.  It is far more than this and is an excellent tool in ones art armoury.

Having got this photograph of the toxic drums on the rock, using an Aiptek MediaTablet 14000uAiptek MediaTablet 14000u, I 'painted' it by using it as a tracing image with automatic colour selection turned on.  I used a watercolour wash for the sky and oil paint for the drums and rocks.  Having created the painted version I couldn't resist putting it in a frame.

Toxic Drums hot wax look

Toxic Hot Wax?

This image started as a photograph of the drums on a rock, was 'painted' in ArtRage and finally a 'Polished Stone' effect was applied in Paint Shop ProPaint Shop ProThe values, for anyone interested, are Blur=34, Detail=186, Polishing=16 and Lighting Angle=353.  It looks like a hot wax coating but although that feature exists in Paint Shop it is not how this was achieved.  There is something quite surreal and toxic about this image and I love it's slightly otherworldly look.

Toxic Drums posterized with outlines

"Toxic Drums in Cornfield" poster.

This originates from a picture of the drums in a corn field. Using a contour filter and colour enhancement the effect is a stylised poster image worthy of a place on a calendar. Did I say that out loud? Somehow the style reminds me of the work of Gustav Klimt (famous for The Kiss).

This image has been used for the home page.

Toxic Drums orange screen print

Solarised Toxic Drums

Thrown casually in a ditch the drums were performing well and suffering suitably for their art.  From left to right in the picture are the red, yellow and blue drums.  First the Hue, Saturation and Lightness were altered in Paint Shop Pro to -37, 20 and 0 respectively.  This caused the colour change and a slightly unreal saturation and brightness of the colours.  Then the resulting image was posterized down to level 3 which resulted in 21 unique colours in the image and providing the slightly "looking through aliens eyes" appearance.  This is not actually solarisation but it does have that characteristic look about it.

Toxic Drums purple grain effect


I thought about it for ages and finally decided this piece was untitled.  The following effects were applied: Hue=-125, Saturation=10, Lightness=0,  followed by the Art Media Effect/Colored Pencil with Detail=100 and Opacity=24.  The rather flat appearance of the picture gives it an almost theatrical feel.  It is as if the foreground and background are part of a stage set with the drums as props in the middle.  The affect of the effect is to give the background a stippled embossed appearance.  A delightful texture but one which can be too easily missed.  But still an image worth preserving.

Toxic Drums poster embossed look

Toxic Drums in a mountain stream.

At first glance this looks very like the drums under water.  Clear unpolluted water in a mountain stream.  Almost picturesque.  With closer examination the image has a brilliant layered effect.  As if built out of layered painted plywood or something.  It a really nice texture that makes an attractive image.

I guess it's worth noting the details of how the image was produced for other people who are looking for effects like this.  In Paint Shop Pro first the Art Media Effects/Brush Strokes was applied.  I can't exactly reproduce the effect but it is very close at Softness=0, Brush[Bristles=256, Width=8, Opacity=100], Strokes[Length=10, Density=21] and Lighting[Angle=45, Color=white].  Then the Artistic Effects/Topography filter was applied with Width=27, Density=10, Angle=45 and Color=white.

Toxic Drums with Zyra with camera

Synthetic Zyra

During the "Zyra meets Toxic Drums" co-branding photo-shoot on Thursday 20 August 2009 this shot of Zyra checking lighting levels on the drums was taken.  Put through a Soft Plastic filter with Blur=12, Detail=13 and Density=40 I think this makes a portrait to be proud of.

Zyra is a particularly interesting person and features on the List of Interesting people page with the likes of Bill Gates, Pat Condell, Dave Godin, Julian Assange and Egils Straume.  Zyra is an eccentric eclectic modern independent autonomous thinking genius.  Zyra has developed a philosophy called Direct Drive with the objective of making life successful and getting closer to or even manifesting a Real Reality which is both sustainable and creative.

Toxic Drums with Zyra as wading

Toxic Drums tossing about on the waves.

During a co-branding exercise which we did with Zyra several miscellaneous photos were obtained.  This picture is based on a photo of Zyra and the toxic drums in a corn field.  Putting the photo through a Topography filter in Paint Shop Pro, with Width=40 and Density=6, produced this now very colourful scene.  It is abstract and vibrant and looks like someone wading out to the drums in turbulent water.

Toxic Drums with Cameron Clegg and Brown

Highly Toxic Waste!

This was irresistible.  Approaching the UK General Election of 6 May 2010 the utter garbage being spoken by these three heads and being written in the newspapers was almost inspiring.  I couldn't resist chucking my two-penneth worth into the fray.  The page on the Election Fever in Britain including the Random Voting method was written and Newsletter 3 dated 30 April 2010 was issued with this image.

Toxic Drums by the roadside

Toxic Drums Found Having A Leak By The Roadside!

Well it makes a headline I suppose.  How journalists come up with the stuff they do I don't know.  But in this case I suspect it was the driver who stopped for a leak and happened to take an opportunistic photo.

Toxic Drums at jazz concert

Toxic Drums at private Jazz concert.

For some time Egils Straume frequented the secret outpost of Toxic Drums.  This photo is of a private jazz recital performed by the famous Latvian Jazz musician for the Toxic Drums.

Toxic Drum with friends

Who Framed Red Drum

Get it!  Two films and a famous race horse all in one short title!  "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" is the primary film reference and refers to the cartoon drum in a real life setting.  Then The Shining, which stars Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance, famously uses the REDRUM (Red Drum) device which sinisterly spells MURDER when viewed in a mirror.  Red Rum is, of course, also the name of perhaps the most famous race horse ever who uniquely won the Grand National 3 times.

I came across this scene in a film I was viewing online.  Unfortunately I cannot recall the film title or I would credit it here.  But Given that there was a blue and a yellow drum in the picture I couldn't resist adding the red drum.  The red drum is placed where it is for good reason.  It is the only part of the red drum which exists in the logo.  Not only does it have to be in that position but it is coincidental that it is half behind the real life yellow drum.  The same drum it is behind in the logo.  This image is also used on the List of Toxic Things page.

Toxic Drums mug

Toxic Drums Mug

Yes it's true!  You can now buy a Toxic Drums mug to adorn your office desk or use it for a nice bed time Horlicks!

Toxic Drums large logo

Toxic Drums Icon

This is the Official Toxic Drums icon, avatar, logo and trademark.  It was produced from the original drawn image of the drums for the front page of the web site when it started.  It was put together using Paint Shop ProPaint Shop Pro and the favicon for this web site is derived from it.  You are welcome to download it and use it wherever you like provided it links back to this site or at least due credit is given.

toxic drums original art work

The Original Toxic Drums Logo

This was the first image ever used on the Toxic Drums web site home page.  The web site was launched on 20 March 2008 and living in an attic with very little money or resources I scribbled a picture of the drums on paper, scanned it into the computer and coloured it and added some text using Paint Shop ProPaint Shop Pro.  This image lasted for over a year until it was superseded (around September 2009) by the image of the Toxic Drums on the rock with the purple and pink sky.  This image was the template for the icon associated with Toxic Drums and various other 'logo' things.

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