Monday, July 30, 2007

HW #2: Still-Life

After a string of stinging defeats, I can finally claim one small victory over the charcoal. This still-life was our second big assignment. Our job was to create a focal point and a sense of depth. In my setup the sunflower is the focal point because it is highest on the page at the apex of a triangle formed by it, the apples, and the grapes. It is the brightest object, and also the most intricate. I actually don't have a lot of depth since the apples and the grapes are sort of at the same level. But the overlapping helps.

I was really happy with how the rendering turned out. Actually my favorite object is the foreground apple. I did that first, and it turned out really well and gave me confidence to finish the rest of the drawing. So that apple saved my life. And then I ate it. It's weird to stare at something for a week, then you eat it and poof it's gone.

I got two tips from a classmate, Joseph, that really helped. One was to use paper stumps for blending instead of my finger or Q-Tips. The other was to use charcoal pencils more for the darks, instead of trying to use the thicker Char-Kole sticks. For some reason I have trouble blending the Char-Kole with the willow charcoal, and also the pencils are much more accurate.

One thing I could work on is the darkest darks. I focused on pushing the darks, but when I saw my classmates work, they had REALLY dark darks. So that is something to work on. But still I am very happy with this. At the beginning of the class I would not have believe that I could draw something of this complexity.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I See Naked People

Analysis of Form is sort of a survey class, and this week we did figure drawing from live models. It was pretty stressful, not because of the unclothed people, but because I really suck at it. It doesn't help that I sit next to 2 of the best artists in the class and have to keep staring at their awesome drawings. Hopefully things will improve when I take Figure Drawing in the fall.

The models did 5 minute, 10 minute, and 20 minute poses. All the models are really good, both in the poses they come up with, and in their ability to hold them for a specific length of time. One of the guys was kind of lazy and kept doing sitting poses, sleeping poses, etc. :)

Monday, July 16, 2007

HW #1 - Drapery

My first big homework assignment at the Academy of Art! We were supposed to spend 20-30 hours on this drapery, and I ended up spending a little over 20. I thought my hanging turned out very well, and it created a lot of nice folds and details that kept things interesting. The whole project went very smoothly, with no need to do any major changes. The blending turned out well, and I did this one entirely with Q-Tips. I still have the same bugaboo though of not having a big enough range of values across the drapery itself. I tried to go dark, but I was a little afraid to mix the compressed charcoal with the willow charcoal. I'll work on that in the next assignment. The background also is not very good, because I got a little sick the day before it was due, and only spent about 30 minutes on it. I feel happy about how the whole thing turned out though.

During break today we looked at the sketchbook of Ji, one of our classmates from China. His drapery didn't turn out super well, but his drawings are sensational. They are characters that he is designing just from his imagination. So I see that I still have a long ways to go, but if I can eventually create stuff like that I'll be happy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Female Torso

Another step up in complexity. Instead of straight lines we are dealing with a lot of curves. This was another 2 session work, so about 7 hours total. Yes it was difficult staring at a nude female torso for 7 hours, but these are the sacrifices I make for art! Haha. :)

I think my drawing skills are pretty decent, and I'm happy with the way the overall shape turned out. And in spite of how it looks, I'm feeling a lot better about my blending after getting a few tips from the girl who sits next to me, Cheon-Whee, who is probably the best blender in the class. Still having a big problem with the value range across the form. It's difficult because the torso is totally white, and my mind keeps telling me to keep it lighter than the background. But this causes it to look washed out.

Monday, July 2, 2007

It's Curtains for You All

This was quite a step up in complexity from the simple objects we used before. But as Prof. Boxley pointed out, we use the same measuring skills we learned before. In this case we start with the points around the drapery (the top 2 pin locations, the furthest side points, and the bottoms of the longest folds), then connect them with lines. Then we choose a few internal points like the bottom of the big 'V' and connect those. It made things a lot easier to break it up like that. We spent quite a while on this 'drawing' phase - about 2 hours.

My blending is still a bit of a struggle, although it seemed to turn out okay in this piece. One thing though is that the range of values across the form is too small, so it looks sort of grayed out. Rendering took about 3-4 hours.