Friday, December 9, 2011

Home-Stretch and a Pony

The painting is almost finished! Right now the plan is to add something to the sky to make it obvious that it's supposed to be s sky, add more shadowing to the face, and somehow put window-light into the buildings because what they are still isn't obvious enough. Thankfully she finally has hair. The bright red under-sketch was really throwing things off:


Also, while some may consider it shameful for a twenty-four-year-old woman to be into My Little Pony again fifteen years later, I am anyway. Lauren Faust's "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" is amazing, but no less can be expected for one of the major minds behind "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends". It's a great show; witty and fun but still a good influence on kids, plus doesn't look like it was animated within an hour using Flash. Also, this show has a huge internet following of people around my age.

That being said, I recently bought a figure of my favorite pony, Rarity, and messed with her hair a bit to try and give it the curl her character actually has. I didn't cut it at all because scissors + hair + me = disaster. But the curling worked nicely. Here's before and after:



I think she's cute. And I have every intention of buying and styling other characters as well. Hey, we all have hobbies. Some of mine just happens to include things I should have outgrown by now.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Towards the Finale

The bottom portion of the painting has become about what I wanted and also taken a direction of it's own that surprises and pleases me. The upper half is proving challenging but I believe the end result will be something great. We have a progress critique in class today, so we'll see where it goes after that. It's hard to believe that this is the last painting of the semester.

It's also hard to believe that Christmas and even 2012 are just a few weeks away. I have every intention of starting over again on my Weekly Art despite having two art studios next semester. But maybe that'll help more than hurt?

Also, here's my humble apartment Christmas tree with Barbie ornaments that my late grandmother gave me every year for quite a while. When I got up this morning my cat had knocked it on its side on the floor. Good thing all my ornaments are plastic.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Diving In

The time has come to begin the final project for my Painting I studio class. This painting is free-subject, but must reflect everything we've learned. Since I'm sick of still life and don't want to do another portrait, I'm going the surrealist route with it.


The starting sketch is rather confusing, but the idea is that of a woman in white dress that is draped over buildings in such a way that they are quite pronounced. She looks to the heavens, arms outstretched, with the night sky behind her. I didn't realize when the idea first struck, but it does have a lot of undertones of my Christian faith. And that's just fine.

The surrealist nature, however, does not mean that I get to make it all up. This piece still needs believable elements, so a still life does, in fact have to be used, as seen below:

The fabric isn't the right color, but it is the right heaviness. One of our lessons was that color is arbitrary however, so painting it as while should work out just fine.

This is it as of today. The "blue" of the dress will be white eventually, but the trick with oils is to start dark and work up to the brighter and lighter tones. A fellow art major has been giving me a lot of feedback and several ideas, all of which I think can take this idea from "neat" to "amazing". Also, the buildings will be exaggerated so they have more definition.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Finishing and Re-Visiting


While the self-portrait is finished, the photo quality leaves something to be desired. The outcome of the actual painting, however, is satisfactory. Or, dare I even say, something to be proud of. The instructor and class were very fond of it during critique. It isn't perfect, but it's much better than before.

Also, since I had my paints out early this week, I went back to this painting and covered over the obnoxious lemon in the front that was disrupting the desired vocal point. It's much better now and still my favorite of the paintings done this semester.

The next painting is our choice as long as we demonstrate what we've learned over the semester. I have a concept, but it wouldn't translate to words very well. Hopefully a sketch will be ready to show soon.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Evolution of a Painting


This was the first time in several years where I reached a point at which a piece of my art made me want to cry every time I looked at it. What you see above is where my confidence began to detirorate. More was done, further efforts were made, but I hated it even more. At last I covered what I'd done of my face in white and flipped it on its side to start anew.

The lighting in this photo is awful, but the paint was still wet so the flash just caused a glare. Also, since there were no pupils yet, the entire thing is a bit creepy to look at.


This photo was taken a couple of hours ago. Obviously it's not finished yet, though a lot of progress has been made since this shot. My glasses will be added, but not until last, as per my teacher's suggestion.

While working on this I noticed that my brother and I have very similar mouths. And while yes, the mouth is too small, it's an error I'm going to live with. I feel tat fixing it at this point would ruin the whole thing.

Stay tuned for the finished product, which should be up in the next few days.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Reflective Beginning

I realize that he last update was a while ago, and I apologize. However, I can somewhat excuse myself with the fact that as of November 1st it is now National Novel Writer's Month, a madness that I have participated in for the last three years. More information can be found here.

The next assignment has started in painting studio, one that the psychology majors in the school would have a field day with. It's a self portrait using a mirror. I'm including photos of the "sketch" that I did with thin red and progress of the actual painting. Also, thank God I've taken a figure drawing class - it's making the facial anatomy easier to tackle.

I realize that parts need fixed, namely the chin in forehead, and I hope to address those today during studio. I also want to add in the dark colors that will be the background so that the flesh tones stop looking overly dark by themselves.

And, since this is National Novel Writing Month and all, here's is the introduction to my novel. I'd like feedback for it from people with a fresh set of eyes who don't know the rest of the story.

"From the Journal of Doctor Joseph Meyer:

April 4th, 2254

Each time that I write down the date, I am amazed that even decades after calendars have ceased to be printed, I am still aware of the month, day and year. While this practice does make holidays and anniversaries more painful, it also provides me with another means to remain human; to remember that life outside of prison of irony is not just a far away dream.

Today I told the young men about cars; motor vehicles. None of them have ever seen one before, but I have done my best to provide sketches in my journal to demonstrate their shape, structure, and sound. It is doubtful that any of them ever will see a car, or that anyone ever will again, but at least it gives them something besides their fate to think about.

Andreas was disinterested as usual, but his cellmates were fascinated. I described ever detail and answered every question that I could until my throat was dry ad my voice went out. I will now record what I have told them and hopefully a few more details will come to mind. Whatever happens, I cannot bring myself to hinder curiosity in a place like this..."

Monday, October 24, 2011

Carrying On

It's true there were minimal updates with the progress of this painting, but at long last it's finished and ready to show to the world in completed glory. Accompanying it is a photo of the set-up, though keep in mind that it had to be taken down at the end of each class and re-assembled at the beginning of the next. That's why the backdrop fabric was more or less totally filled in on day one.

Also joining us again is the outcome of art-therapy. There was no counseling session last which, which was why none have been uploaded in a bit. This one's far less representational than the others, but still satisfying. It's called "Instrumental A Capella".


Next up is the first of a set of commission sketches that being done for a friend, as payback for her helping me out so much. They'll all be Hetalia related, but not all will be posted. This one is of "Denmark" and "Australia", whom she considers good drinking buddies. They were fun to draw and hey, Denmark gave Australia the Sydney Opera House.
Last up is something more for myself, and again, Hetalia-related. It's "Germany", but for an alternate setting Role Play with a friend where the character is female and the body guard for a Mafia Don's son. She normally tries to appear male, however, for a variety of reasons. One of those is that more people take her seriously on the job.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

That's a Lot of Purple...

Believe it or not, this picture almost has me sick of mixingg my favorite color ever. Thankfully the drapery is almost done and I shouldn't need to mix much more save for adjusting shadows and highlights.

Everything has taken shape quite nicely, too. Unlike the last two painting assignments, I'm really enjoying this one. Our next assignment is a self-portrait, which I'm not exactly looking forward to.

That's all I have to say, really. Must be the lack of daily caffeine in my system so far.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Oh, Hi There Midterms

That's right, it's midterm week at my school, but compared to many students my load isn't that horrible. I only have two classes with the traditional sort of "exam", though I did have to have a frame for my last painting constructed by yesterday. I would gladly trade that process for a written test any day. I am not eager to do it three more times by the semester's end.

Now that the complaining is out of the way, here's the start of my next painting assignment. It's actually had a good deal done to it since this photo was taken, but I was side-tracked yesterday after class and forgot to take one.
This time the assignment was to bring items from home, which had to include some form of background fabric, one reflective object, some perishable good (fruit, vegetable, plant, etc.), and one small, one medium, and one large object. The still life has to be removed at the end of each class and then re-positioned at the start of the next. Yes, that's as big a pain as it sounds like, and also the reason I don't have a photo of the set-up; it's not allowed.

What I have is a purple cloak as the background, a glass red, shiny tub as my reflective, and though it's not in the picture yet, my perishable item is a lemon. Also in the painting are a stuffed Care Bear sheep that I've had since I was little, a candle, an upside-down flashlight, and a wall-hanging cameo of a girl (which I set in the tub).

Last Friday was also another art therapy session with another unplanned outcome. I like the previous one better, but this one definitely has its strengths. I am, however, making a mental note to put my canvas paper under a stack of books next time to get the crinkles out.

And lastly, a smattering of sketches that have been accumulating:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Colorful + Design Blog

I am pleased to present you all with an entry in which everything is finished and in color! Yes, as you can see above, this includes that obnoxious painting assignment. Overall, however, it could have turned out worse. I didn't really "get" it until the last couple days, which is why I think the teddy bear is the best part. The critique for it is on Tuesday.

This one had nothing to do with school, but was an art therapy painting I did while my counselor was over on Friday. It was relaxing (which was the idea), and I did absolutely no planning before I put the brush to the canvas. I just let it happen, and as a result I'm not really sure what's happening on the bottom half there.Lastly is the commission I finally finished for my friend. He actually didn't pay for it to be in color, I just chose to do that because it took me so long and I appreciated his patience.

Also, as mentioned in the title, I started another art blog of sorts on Tumblr. I started it in my Digital Tools class for my chosen project, and the idea behind it is character and costume design, and also a sort of portfolio for myself. A lot of the images are "re-blogged" from others, but some of my past assignments and recent projects are there as well:
http://echeinigisfashionablynerdy.tumblr.com/

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Yep, Still Tough + Sketches!

The painting is coming along. According to my instructor it's turning out great, while I'm half-way between loathing and being okay with it. Thankfully as I look at it from the photo right now it's tilting more towards "okay".

And finally got around to scanning a few sketches! The first was a quick birthday sketch for my cousin because I fail and won't be able to mail her gifts to her until Friday and her birthday was earlier this week. It's her character Denver from a role-play that we're doing together.

I also tried to draw my half of the role-play, Corvus. However, I don't think I like it enough to be bothered with finishing it. Alas.
Finally just something I sketched during my lecture classes this week. Yes, more Hetalia fan art. Also some... thing I just started doodling. It starts with a random shape and I just build on it. they're kinda fun.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

This is Gonna Be Tough



This week marked the start of the next assignment in my painting studio, and also my first time working on a real canvas. Let me say, that stuff sure is greedy when it comes to trying to spread pigment, or maybe it's the gesso on top of it? Granted, the point with oil is to lay it on thick anyway.

The real tricky part of this assignment is that it's meant to be "arbitrary color", and based purely on the color value rather than representing anything with color. Yes, that's as complicated as it sounds. The most simple way for me to describe it is that every thing has to more or less be made of a quilt of various colors as long as they have the same value.

The drapery up top is being done correctly, but my teacher wants me to separate the colors out more on the bottom so they're not simply blended, but each color needs to have its own place.

I've been doing sketching here and there, but haven't gotten around to scanning anything.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Contains Nudity

Well, now that I have everyone's attention, let's start things with my finished painting for my studio class.

It's... not something I'm particularly fond of, but I knew it wouldn't be from the start. I never expect that of my first time trying something. It's main issue is that it's incredibly dark, even where it should be bright. I've noticed that I have that problem a lot, however. Hopefully this semester will help correct that. Hopefully I'll also stop comparing my work to the other students and convincing myself that I'm not as good as they are.

This may be shameless and may be resulting in the rolling of several sets of eyes, but I did it strictly to enjoy myself. In my defense, however, it was also good anatomy practice. It's been a while since I really sat and studied a reference, so this was helpful (the reference was a hard-bound book called Anatomy for the Artist for those wondering.) And hey, drawing Ivan (Hetalia) as a sexy vampire was therapeutic. A real vampire, mind you. None of that Twilight nonsense.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Working on It

I've been plugging along slowly since the last entry. Today my intention is to relax and finally do a little art for myself, and hopefully work on this commission, as it still needs colored.
I also need to look up the exact quote, because I have a feeling that's not totally accurate.

Last weekend was quite a fiasco with my art computer. I installed a Windows 7 upgrade to help the problem with my graphics card. While this worked, it meant hours of trying to make the Sims 2 install correctly and that I also tore my apartment apart looking for the installation discs for everything else. I found all that I need except the Photoshop disk, so I downloaded GIMP and have been trudging through learning to use it as Photoshop's replacement. It's not so bad once you adapt to its quirks and different "language" as it were.

That said, I've been working on my book cover in GIMP and also goofing around with Illustrator as well. Andreas is slowly coming together, but I'm finally looking at it with enough distance to realize that his head is far too small. Thankfully that won't take too long to fix.

The painting for my Painting I class is as finished as it will be, but I currently lack a photo. Perhaps after doing some relaxing art today I'll snap a quick one of it.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Happy Long Weekend!

Hello Friday of Labor Day weekend. A few stresses going on to start my three days of chilling, but I'm not letting them bother me much. And hey, I've got some art to upload!

Maybe I've been vague about it, but since Kessie asked, allow me to explain. The painting and the digital project art two totally separate classes and not connected in any way. Speaking of, here's an update on the painting:
I've grown braver about laying the paint on thick, but having trouble blending the colors on the canvas (well, gesso-covered paper in this case).

Also! My first model car. It was easy to put together, though I ended up gluing bits into place because they'd fall off while I was doing something else. I also painted the interior black. It was white by default, which was totally unsuited to the rest of the car, I thought. I had a lot of fun, though! I think eventually I'll invest in another one.
Here's the commission, scanned better.
And last, the other commission that I need to work on. This will be the last for quite a while. Work, school, and homework mean that any non-curricular drawing I do will be for myself.
So here's to a long weekend! Hope everyone enjoys it!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Getting Classy

Sorry, it's just a play on the fact that I've started actually doing art for my classes, not that my art is suddenly more high-end.

As I expected, oil paint (yes, water-soluble since Kessie asked) is going to take some getting used to. Last class I was trying to use it like extra-thick watercolors, which of course it isn't. For today's studio I'm going to try laying the pigment on more thickly.
Also, for my digital tools class, my professor has approve my chosen project of creating a cover for the novel I wrote for National Novel Writer's Month back in 2009 (I'll be going back to it this November to write the second draft). I'll be drawing the individual images for characters in Photoshop Elements 5, then using Adobe Illustrator CS5 (which I bought at student discount) to put them together and add the desired effects and text. Here's the front-most image of the main character (so far):
For non-curricular art, I finished my friend's commission. Please excuse the poor quality; I'm at school and don't have my scanner in my backpack, so my camera had to do:
After finishing the other commission on my plate, I'm going to stop taking them for a while. Full-time class, working 25 hours a week plus homework means that any free-time drawing I do will be for myself.

Also, my model car is completed, I just happened to not have the photo I took of it on the camera card that's with me. Next entry, though!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Impact

Six days have come and gone since the last update, and what a busy six days they have been. I started a job at the school that earns me 25 hours a week and graciously works around my class schedule. My co-workers are pretty awesome as well.

I did start painting class, but it's one of things that starts slowly. We started an exercise on Thursday, but I didn't take a photo. Instead behold the new toys I bought for the class:
Brushes thankfully were not necessary as I already owned all the required sizes. I realize any old hand soap would have done, but I forgot it last time and was in the book store already, so just picked that bar up. Also, palette knives baffle me. It's been too long since my days of watching Bob Ross obsessively as a kid. And yes, we have to stretch our own canvases for this course. What a pain.

While I didn't take a photo of the horror that I started in class, I did experiment with the left-over pigment from that session so as not to waste paint.
It's not especially exciting or well-done, but again I was just playing around. I think I'm having issues mentally transitioning from knowing how to use watercolors or acrylics to figuring out oils, which are a whole new battleground.

Also, I have two commissions that need completed, but thankfully I know both the clients well and they are patient. Being at the school either in class or working from 9 - 5 every day does cut into my creative time a bit.

This one's Hetalia, Australia and Wy, having a father and daughter moment (or they will once they have bodies):
Lastly, on something of a whim I bought a car model kit. Well, not exactly a whim, but explaining would take too long. No photos yet, however, as I'm not allowing myself to open it until after I've done some homework.