Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Tucker's Attention - Animal Portrait - Project 9


I haven't had any experience before with watercolor prismas so I decided to do something different from my usual projects and gave them a shot by drawing and painting a picture of my dog Tucker.  I had a lot of trouble with littler details when it came to darker colors but I was surprised by how much I liked this medium.  I didn't have much guidance in how to blend colors and still make it so my dog's picture still had a furry texture, but after practicing a few times on another paper, I gave it my best shot and I'm proud of how it turned out.  I wanted to make him brighter than the picture so I kept the original orange from the pencil and just mixed reds and yellows with it, rather than making him more brown.  He looked a bit creepy however when he was all orange then had these big beady yellow eyes, so I went ahead and made them darker so he looked less demonic and more like the adorable puppy with sweet, attentive eyes I look at every day.  He's a big part of my life so I'm glad I had the chance to do a portrait of him; all the bright colors really show off his personality and making this project helped me gain a lot of skill with a medium I'm usually so hesitant to use.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Merry Christmas - Prisma Bows - Project 11

The original picture we were supposed to draw was completely covered in bows, but because I'm not that experienced with prismas, I decided to draw three very detailed ones but instead one was stuck to a gift bag while two more were sitting next to the bag. I didn't want the bows to be the same colors so I actually changed the original color of the green bow from yellow to green.  It was confusing to try and follow how one bow looked when it was a completely different color, but it was nice to challenge myself and figure out what highlights needed to go where.  Usually my prisma drawings look muddy or unrecognizable, but I kept pushing through and got a lot better at blending and highlighting.  

Whenever I work with colored pieces I prefer to stick with pastels, but because this project required us to work with prismas I had to practice a whole lot and challenge myself as an artist to work with new mediums. I'm excited with how the piece turned out and I might consider using prismas again for another project at some point.

Doorway to Creativity - Free Choice - Project 10

More often than not we get carried away going through life looking at everything in black and white and forget to let our creative sides out every once in awhile.  I loved taking this picture because all my surroundings were bland and covered in boring colors, but right in the center of it all was this bright blue doorway with the word "create" welcoming you inside.  I wanted to rely on my photography for this piece because I didn't think I could do it justice by recreating it with paint or pastels.  The only change I made to it was that I painted over the words on the ground to make them a little more legible, but other than that, the photo has been left completely untouched and unedited.  I haven't done a piece before that was only photography so I was excited to just use my skills behind a camera for this project.  I got to experiment and use my mom's new 50 mm lens while walking around Downtown Apex one afternoon, and found this door at just the right time so the light wasn't casting any shadows and the blue looked extra bright.  I'm hoping I can do more with photography in the future since I had a lot of fun exploring with my camera and practicing photographing in different lights.

Working My Way Up - Free Choice - Project 8

If you looked at this picture before I transferred the photo you'd just think it was a staircase on the side of a building, but there's actually a reason I took the photo.  In my youth group a couple weeks ago, we talked about how our path through life isn't an easy trek and isn't straightforward like we think it should be. We go through three stages of life, being a kid, becoming an adult, and finally we reach old age; that is what the three doors represent.  We work our way up in life and we'll always have to face different turns and keep making our way up the steps until we reach the top.  The reason I used photo transfer is because I knew it would give the picture a distressed look, which in a way represented how our path isn't always clear and easy to recognize.  I had a lot of trouble with the ink coming up when I was peeling back the paper, but that ended up adding to what I wanted the piece to convey.  The paths we follow may get a little worn or become hard to recognize, but we have to keep moving along until we reach our goals.  I am starting to leave the stage of my life where I am still considered a kid and am transitioning into adulthood; it has been a difficult journey to make at times, but I know it'll be worth it when I make it up the stairs into the next stage of my life.

Lei-ing Around Diamond Head - Landscape - Project 7

I have had a lot of trouble in the past with using acrylic paints and making my paintings "too cartoony" or just not adding enough details so the piece looks bland and doesn't have any depth.  It's still not fantastic but I am very proud of how much I improved my skills during this project.  I've gotten a lot better at blending and I am usually horrible at painting clouds, but I managed to make them look like actual clouds and not weird abstract white things floating in the sky.  I took the original photo this past summer on a trip to Hawaii and I fell in love with how colorful the landscape was and how laid back the lifestyle was there.  I am one of those people who loves summer and absolutely despises the cold, so by doing this painting I created my own little bit of summer when it was really about ten degrees outside.  I surprised myself and did most of the painting relatively fast but saved painting the lei for the very end.  I cranked most of it out but had a LOT of trouble with adding shadows and making sure the whole thing still looked light and flowery, instead of a muddy unrecognizable mess.  I took a step back and figured out where I needed to push some values and where I needed to define the flowers so they didn't look muddy and misshapen.

Bionic Elk - Mechanical Animal - Project 6

For my mechanical project I decided to draw a bionic elk using black and white charcoal pencils.  I got the idea from looking at the light up reindeer decorations people were putting up around christmas time.  I didn't have any ideas for what I was going to do on the body minus using goggles for his eyes and the lights wrapped around his antlers, but I knew if I got everything down on paper I would get inspired and figure out what I wanted to do.  I watched transformers recently and got the idea for the design of the ribs from one of the decepticon's that looked like a scorpion. The spine and the tail looked similar to the ribs in my animal, and I decided to have half the ribs be natural and the other half were mechanical.  For the rest of the bits on the inside of my elk, I looked at different tattoos people had that looked like parts of machines, as well as photos of gears and springs from motorcycles.  It was tricky trying to make the parts of the elk look different because it incorporated all different materials, but I asked for a lot of ideas from friends and they helped me come up with ways to blend the black and white pencils to make different shades of greys, as well as how to make the whites brighter and the blacks darker.  Charcoal is probably my favorite medium so learning new tricks for using the pencils and blending the colors was a lot of fun for me and I was thrilled with how my piece turned out.

Pieces of Me - Portrait - Project 4

For this piece I decided to photoshop a picture and use photo transfer, but I took it a step further. Instead of just putting the picture on a regular canvas, I made the piece even more abstract than it already was and put it on a collection of mini canvases that were all different shapes.  I wasn't sure about how I would arrange the canvases or if the finished product would even look like me still, but I took the risk and put them together like a puzzle that doesn't exactly fit.  The canvases aren't arranged to be a usual square or rectangle, but I managed to make the picture itself line up and I am very happy with how the whole thing turned out.

It was difficult to make out certain parts of my face, mainly my eye, after I transferred the photo, so I asked some of my friends how I could make it stand out more and they gave me the idea of painting over my eye.  Instead of making the eye look exactly as it did originally with all different colors, I stuck with the monochromatic theme and painted it in different shades of blues.  I was excited with how it turned out and the eye turned out to be my favorite part of the piece.

Stuck in the Clouds - Free Choice - Project 5

This project is a chalk pastel drawing of a building I saw on the way to a stargazing tour on the Big Island of Hawaii.  I have made projects in the past using pastels, but I have never used them on something so detailed.  I wasn't sure when I started the project if I wanted to follow through with the pastels or if I wanted to restart and make the piece black and white, but I realized if it wasn't in color, nothing about the piece would stand out.  I am more comfortable with drawing in black and white, but the lack of color would have taken away from the piece, so I chose to step out of my comfort zone and continue with the color version.  I had a lot of trouble getting the smaller details to look realistic using regular chalk pastels, so I had to get smaller pastels that were designed for detailed drawings.  The smaller pastels were a bit tricky at first but I finally figured out how I could utilize them and ended up being pretty successful in drawing clean lines and adding the grass.  I still prefer the regular pastels because they are definitely softer and easier to blend, but I had a lot of fun making the piece and practicing my skills with the small pastels. I actually had a lot of trouble doing this piece because I didn't have much inspiration or motivation to do this project, so instead of torturing myself, I went ahead and worked on some other projects and eventually came back to this when I was ready to get it done.  I obsessed over getting everything exact in the picture but when I stepped away for a bit and came back to the piece, I was able to look at it with fresh eyes and a clear head on what I needed and wanted to do next.