Sunday, December 20, 2009

Illustration - Last Project

Above is my last/final Illustration project. For this sign/label we moved to Adobe Illustrator, so this is a file not a drawing done with pen and paint. Below is the sketch I did for this assignment. I scanned this sketch then placed it on a layer in Illustrator, adding more layers and using the pen tool I traced the butterfly and added color. The text was added using the text tool in Illustrator and you can see I ended up leaving out a lot of text. Also the torn corner of a wing didn't work all that well so I ended up detaching one of the wing segments. The assignment was to create a new label for fragile items, but we couldn't use the traditional wine glass it had to be something different.  I know that some students were using eggs, but we didn't do a class critique so I didn't see anyone elses work. Our other restriction was that it could only be one color with black, so it is a 2 color job for a printer.

I have also finished my Dreamweaver class, and now need to find a Hosting service and get it uploaded. I will let everyone know when it is on-line, but probably not until after Christmas at this point.

One class left, that is if I can dig the car out from our blizzard, not sure how much snow we have out there it is still snowing so I haven't been out to look, but it is cold and windy and I think there is more snow then I would prefer. The good news is that I should be able to dig out by Tuesday for class, I have basically finished my shopping, my flight to Chicago is on Wed and there is no more snow in the forecast between now and then. Also no snow in the Chicago forecast so the flight should go OK. I think I have the Graphic Design Final project finished - well the computer part, I still need to print it and assemble the booklet. Not sure how I am going to do that, I prefer to spray the glue outside, but it is snowing and cold so I have to think of another way to do this, maybe wait until tomorrow.

Hope everyone's holiday preparations are going well at this point. That's it for this post. Comments per usual are welcome - except from spammers, had one of those yesterday and deleted it as soon as I realized it was there. Though why they would pick my blog I have no clue, I am not exactly a highly trafficked site, not even sure how they stumbled across it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Final 3-D Projects

My 3-D Design classes are done, over, fini.  I have mixed feelings about this, the class was more fun then I expected, but it was also a lot of work with, lets face it, strange materials.

Our last material was essentially plaster, very messy stuff to work with no question. Above are my last two forms for this class. The top one is my rectilinear form that you saw the in process photos for. This photo shows the blocks cleaned up and assembled on a piece of wood using pins and some glue to stabilize the structure. I won't bore you with pictures of a 360 view. I think this one image gives you a fair idea of what it looks like.  I find it interesting that I was the only class member (out of those who have finished assembling their form) that used a gap between elements. Not sure what this says about me or them, so this is just a comment.

The next photo is my curvilinear form. I don't know if this is the best angle to view this form from but I sort of liked the picture so this is what you get. The plaster for this structure was different from the rectilinear from, harder and to be honest I think it was easier to work with as far as clean up went. At least it was easier to sand. On review of the finished piece I am not sure that the masses of the disk and rod shapes are different enough for the assignment. We were supposed to have a dominate mass, then a secondary mass, then a 3rd mass smaller then either of the other two. The small sphere is OK, but I think my disk should have been thicker, though it was made from the volume of clay that I used for the large rectangular block. Well the whole disk was before I took out the triangular section to set the rod into. The rod was made from the clay unit that I used for the upright rectangular form from, but I did take a lot of material off of that shape when I was cleaning it up. So I don't know if the curvilinear form meets the requirements or not, this translates into not knowing what my final grade on that project will be.

Will just have to wait and see. Oh, I am not worried about passing the course, I attended all the classes, turned in all the homework on time, did pretty well on the tests and for the most part I think I got good marks on my projects, so the question is, do I get an A or a B?

As a total aside does anyone want an aluminum imaginary protozoa? I have one that I will willingly give away if anyone wants it. It doesn't really fit the decor in my Apt, and I have no desire to hang onto it.

That's it for this post. I have two final projects that I can post, my Graphic Design final and my Illustration final. The Illustration final drawing is done I just need to print it for the Instructor. Graphic Design I am still working on. Per usual comments are welcome.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Air Brush Balloon

I finished my final air brush project, image above. This assignment was to use a hot air balloon or a blimp as our image. We had to search out reference pictures then do some small sketches. The instructor selected the sketch he liked the best to work up as final drawing that we could transfer down to Illustration board.

My final drawing is below:

Once it was transferred we were given a piece of frisket that we applied to the board and cut the masking shapes. I had done a color overlay using tracing paper so I had it for reference colors when I was doing the painting. A good thing because as you get closer to the finished air brush painting the less you can tell what has been done because of all the over spraying from the other colors on the frisket. When all the painting is done you take the frisket off and do a reveal of what the painting looks like. I should have taken a picture of the painting at that stage for you to see. Lots of little white areas where the masking overlays didn't get put back down correctly. Those are covered up and details are added by using colored pencils. In the above image the ribs for the middle green section are all done with colored pencil, white for the highlights and dark green or blue for the shadows and rib lines. Details were added for the ground in pencil, and the figure in the basket was mostly done with colored pencil. I am rather pleased with the final result.  I don't particularly like the process, it takes way too long to do as I have said before, you have 5 to 10 minutes of prep time and maybe actually use the air brush for painting for less then a minute. But I have to admit that the final results can be impressive and hard to duplicate using other media. 

What else am I working on, well I am sanding my plaster pieces so that Tuesday I can construct my final sculptures. I think they gave me a different type of plaster when I purchased it at the Clay shop because it mixed differently took much longer to set and seems harder then what I used for the first forms. I have about 6 pounds left, anyone need any plaster forms made?  I also created a slide show of images for my web site. I did it in Flash the hard way, but now I know how it is done and wouldn't mind cheating (buying a program that would do it for me) if I ever had to do it for another site. I am also working on my Graphic Design final project. We have finally moved to the computer for our next class. I have everything in a In-Design file and will let it sit for a day or two then go back in and play with arrangements. At least I have all my photo's and quotes which is more then a lot of my fellow classmates have done.

I hope to do some sewing today on my challenge piece and maybe a bag or two. Hope everyone else is doing well. Per usual comments are welcome.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Some Sewing

After weeks and weeks with no sewing at all, I finally manged to do some fabric cutting and sewing over the weekend. My poor sewing machine was feeling neglected I am sure. I have a Janome 6500 machine and it is really a nice machine that I should use more often. However while I am working on one of the Fast Friday challenges I don't have pictures of that just yet, what I did manage to actually finish is a "grocery bag." Instructions can be found here at Course I have to do things differently, esp as I don't have yardages of fabrics so I had to piece my fabrics. I am using batiks on the outside and some standard fabrics on the inside.  What do you think?

I have several more fabrics picked out and at least another 3 pretty much cut out and even started sewing them together. They are supposed to be Christmas gifts but... 

No School pictures to show today. I have finished the air brush work on my most recent Illustration homework, but I need to add color pencil accents and haven't done that yet. In 3-D design I spent yesterday sanding the rectilinear blocks we molded last week. They still need to be mounting on a base, but will do that next Tuesday. Today I am building molds for my curved shapes. One for a sphere I made Monday night by putting paper mache over a Styrofoam ball, I need a small sphere, like 1.5 inches in Dia. To make the paper mache I used Elmer's white school glue, added a bit of water then tore up some of my newsprint paper. Put on several layers and let dry over night on the radiator. I had coated the Styrofoam with wax and then vegetable oil so when I cut it apart on Tuesday the Styrofoam ball just fell out and didn't stick to the mold. YEAH. So after I post this I need to go mix my plaster and pour it into my molds. I need them to start drying so I can start sanding Monday or maybe Sunday if I am lucky. I won't bore you with pictures of molds this week. Graphic Design final project is at the boring (for the viewer) stage, we are picking pictures, and trying to decide on layouts for the pictures and text. Not exciting to watch but no so easy to actually do.

Hope everyone else is managing their Christmas shopping. I have managed just a bit and am not sure how I will get it done this year. Till next time, per usual comments are always welcome. 

Friday, December 4, 2009

CD Case & some Plaster forms

Only one project got finished this past week, my Graphic Design CD case. At left is the cover of my design. I was redesigning the case for a Loreena McKennitt CD called the Mask and Mirror. I love Loreena's music so it seemed like a good choice, and this title with its links to medieval Spain seemed to me to office some scope with images I could use. Course the mask I chose is from Venice not Spain, but I do think it is from about the right time period. The round object is a medieval Celtic mirror. I did change the the inside "reflection" to show pilgrims on their way to Santiago. Again I have taken some liberties, these are English pilgrims and are probably on the way to Canterbury. Still the pilgrimage to Santiago was done by all nationalities so I wasn't stretching it too much.  The music on the CD reflects the medieval period, Spain, pilgrimages etc as indicated by the title.

Next two photos are of the case opened up, sorry the 2nd photo isn't very good, but I have turned in the case so don't know when I will be able to get a better image.


It was a pia to put this together and I have to say that I really hate spray glue, such a mess to use, course I probably don't have the best set up at home to use it so that may be part of my problem. The case was made out of tag board and it took me about 3 hours to cut, glue and fold all the sides. All design work for this project was done in Photoshop. I printed the cover images on my home printer and then glued them down onto the tag board. Other than some issues with the actual construction of the case I am fairly pleased with how the design work came out.

Our focus has now moved onto our final project, a booklet design with five two page spreads, two pictures for each spread, one phrase from a supplied list and a quote from our final project paper.

Can I cancel Christmas? I am so not into Christmas shopping right now, and my last class of the term is the 18th a week before Christmas.

Oh yes I have one more image for you, Tuesday in 3-D design I poured my plaster for my rectilinear  design project.  Here is a photo of the plaster in the molds, right now I have the bottom cardboard off so they can dry out,  I will remove the side cardboard later today.  I was pleased that my molds didn't leak at all.

It took just over 5 pounds of plaster to fill these molds, the forms still have to be sanded before I can assemble the final design. My weekend assignment is to create a clay space sketch, drawings and measurements for our final curvilinear project.

That is it for this week. Hope everyone else is making progress with their Holiday shopping tasks. Per usual comments are always welcome.  

Monday, November 30, 2009

Post Thanksgiving Air Brush and 3-D Images

Hope everyone in the States had a great Thanksgiving. Mine was good, I spent the morning working on my web site design then went to visit friends in the afternoon for food and conversation. The rest of the weekend I spent mostly doing homework. Though I am happy to say I managed to fit in some fabric cutting. I am trying to make bags as Christmas gifts. Wish me luck, I had to play with the pattern I found so this should be interesting.

At left is my 2nd try at air brush. The paint areas that are spotty are because I left the frisket on too long (over the long Thanksgiving weekend) I should have taken it off and then put it back on this morning to spray the body. Not too bad, but not great either. I think my air brush skills need a lot of work.  The instructor provided the drawing that we used so everyone was doing the same illustration for this class study. Our next project is to do hot air balloons, those we are sketching from reference materials so everyone will have something different.

My only other pictures today are from my 3-D design class where we are building rectilinear cast plaster sculptures. I had to take what I designed in class last Tuesday, make a larger clay model, sketch the model, measure it, use the proportion wheel to get sizes for a larger piece and then build mold forms out of cardboard and glue gun.  Below is a picture of my clay model, one of the 2 sketches I did, then pictures of my work area and the finished mold forms.

We are supposed to be mixing and pouring plaster in class tomorrow so I should have a finished piece to show next week. Then we do spherical shapes as a space study. I have no clue how we are supposed to create mold forms for those pieces, it should be interesting.

That's it for this post. Not a lot, I am working on a couple of pieces for Graphic Design, a CD case (almost done) and my final project. Not sure how I will photograph either of those but I will give it a try when I have them done. Per usual comments are welcome.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Illustration Emergency Vehicle Emergency

Above is my version of our only colored pencil study, we did emergency vehicles, mine is in its' own emergency, which sadly happens all too often in some cities. I don't have a lot to say about this except I actually had to draw in my perspective lines to get the ambulance lines correct. Goes to show that the kids in class that though learning perspective was useless information were wrong (at least for me).  I enjoy using colored pencil so I am sorry that we only did the one drawing but such is the way things go. Usually we do 3 studies in each medium, but we are getting close to the end of term and still have two mediums to cover. I suppose that colored pencil is probably the best one to miss, it is the medium that most people have already used to some degree, and there isn't a lot to mastering the use.  Well... maybe I shouldn't say that, but pencils just seem less intimidating then other media, so I think the other students will be more like to explore colored pencils on their own. I know I did. Our last two mediums are Air brush which we have started, and then working on the computer with Adobe Illustrator. 

My first air brush study is to the left. We were doing a cube, a pyramid, and a sphere. I think I rushed the sphere a bit so it isn't shaded quite the way it should be, and I had masking paper over one corner of the cube when I was painting it so...  I will say now that I have a lot of respect for air brush artists, you need to develop a lot of control to master the use of the brush and there are a lot of details to take care of. Some artists don't use masks on their work but they are usually working larger then what we are. All of the above was masked, by a transparent film called frisket. I have used that term before, but the frisket I was using with my watercolor wash was a liquid latex that I applied with a brush, this frisket is more like saran wrap, or transparent contact paper. It has a temporary glue applied to one side and is on a coated release paper. You cut it to the size of your board (we use Illustration board) then take the backing off and lay it over the board that has your transferred drawing already on it. Then you take an exacto knife and cut the frisket using your drawing as guidelines. When you are ready to paint an area you lift the frisket covering that area off of the work and go paint. When you finish painting you put the piece of frisket back down in its original place and lift off another piece. It probably takes longer to do then it does for me to write about. So the process of air brush painting something is not quick, not to mention set up times and clean up times. The brushes have to be kept clean or they will clog, the paint is usually acrylic so drys quickly and sets hard. Still for even coverage of large areas an air brush is the fastest way to go, and you don't have to worry about brush streaks. Currently I am working on my 2nd airbrush study, a nude reclining. I have painted the background but still have to do her body. So I should have a picture for you next week of that finished work. Then we will be doing a study of a hot air balloon, that should be fun.

That is it for this week. Everyone in America have a Happy Thanksgiving on Thursday. Try to not eat too much, though I know that is half the fun of Thanksgiving. As always comments are welcome.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Aluminum Protozoa Finished

I know sounds weird doesn't it. Well it is an aluminum protozoa so the title is accurate. Course it is not a real protozoa, it is something out of my imagination mostly. I did take parts of the design from real protozoa so I suppose it is a possible animal, but somehow I doubt that real life would combine all these features in one animal.

It took almost one sheet of .020 aluminum plus I don't know how many rivets, lots of sweat (my hands inside rubberized gloves) and effort to put this together during about 10 hours of work. Still I think the instructor will be pleased. I will be turning it in during my 3-D class next Tuesday morning. The theory was that we would spend one class cutting aluminum and one class assembling (the instructor brought in drill guns, hammers, anvils and other tools) The one class cutting worked out OK, at least for me, I had my design done. But 4 hours of assembly just wasn't enough for me to get this together. I spent a couple of hours at home Thursday night with an ice pick doing some final put together, then another 1 hour at school yesterday morning putting in the finishing rivets and a last piece or two. Pattern on the aluminum was done with a ball peen hammer before assembly. I think it is sort of cute, if an aluminum sculpture can be said to be cute. More photos below. From tip to tip is is about 26 inches long, and at the wides 13.5 inches, so it isn't small.

Per usual comments are welcome. My next images should be more Illustration work, I am in the middle of a colored pencil drawing of an emergency vehicle in an emergency of it's own.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Illustration - three friends

Our final assignment with pen, ink and watercolor wash was to draw 3 animals under a tree, and to give two arrangements of the grouping. Our instructor had brought into class a box of mounted photo's that he had salvaged in Cambridge one day. They were probably being dumped because most people find their reference photo's on the internet now a days. I know I used to have a box of reference photos that I tossed as not needing any more a while ago.  Anyway he though he could make use of them so he grabbed the boxes and as it turned out he was right, he could use them as a teaching aid. There were a lot of animal pictures and some people shots in the mix, we didn't use any of the people photos but most of us selected at least one of the animal reference photo's to use in our illustration. I picked a fawn. Then when I got home I had to add two animals to make the three I needed. I decided to use a kitten and a dog. Reference dog photos I have from last summer when I was practicing drawing animals the kitten I had to go look for, but I found a few possible images without much trouble.

I was finally able to sit down with this assignment yesterday afternoon, I finished the main sketch (picture on the left above) then did a separate sketch of a larger kitten that I used just the head of on the 2nd version. When I went to transfer everything to the watercolor paper for the second view I just transferred down the fawn and the tree from the first drawing then added in the dog (reversed), and the new kitten sketch instead of the previous animals. I painted both drawings together, going back and forth between them as I used different colors.  I didn't want to have to mix the colors for the fawn twice. White spots on the fawn were done using the frisket that I purchased for my first watercolor wash illustration.

I really, really need to take a watercolor class, I am not thrilled with my colors or my technique. But overall I think they aren't too bad for a beginner.

We are now moving on to colored pencils, which is going to make me much happier, I love using colored pencils, so stay tuned for my next Illustration.  An emergency vehicle in trouble, or a fire truck at a fire, right now I am not sure which it will be but have to decide soon as we will be starting the final drawing in the next class.

Per usual comments are welcome.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Poem Illustration

This past week I finished my latest Graphic Design project. We had to illustrate a poem with images/silhouettes from photographs. The Instructor had two poems we could pick from, I chose Dib Dab by Paul Beatty. I understand that the internet presentations of the poem leave off the last line, smooth as f***.  Our version was from the internet so that phrase isn't in my work.  I didn't take/have the time to chase down a print version of the poem to verify the last line so I left it out.  At the left is the cover of the folded presentation piece. The final piece is 8 inches square when folded and there are 6 panels. Next image is the presentation piece partially unfolded.

next is the completely unfolded work: 
I don't think I need to tell you that this project took hours to complete. For the curious the programs used were Photoshop then Indesign (Adobe's desktop publishing program). The prints were spray mounted on cut illustration board. I chose this fairly simple layout for my final presentation and was able to arrange the sections for printing in pairs. I am going to include images of the the pages as they look in my final file versions.

For some sections of the poem it was hard to find images, for instance I am not thrilled with the center section. I ended up taking my own photo of a two dollar bill, as internet photos of drifting money tend to show 100 dollar bills or larger denominations, and I needed/wanted a 2 dollar bill. I have been saving one for years and as you can see it finally came in handy.

That is it for today the next images I should have for you will be from my Illustration class, animals under a tree. In the meantime comments are always welcome.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fall Mandala Finished

Above is a picture of the fall Mandala that I finished this weekend. I really like the colors in this one. Red, yellow, orange, that blue the sky turns in the fall and some green as a memory of summer.  I used leaves of various trees. the inner yellow leaf is a Linden, next are Hickory leaves with acorns and maple seeds, next ring out has maple and oak leaves in their fall colors. The leaves in the next partial circle are beech, but I have elongated them a bit, just to have them fit. The last circle has horse chestnut leaves, and seeds with a section of the prickly seed cover.

Now I have to decide if I want to continue this series or play with something else. Actually I am probably going to be too busy with school to do any work like this for a bit but we will see.  I like having a personal project of some kind to work on, something that has a mindless aspect to it.  The design phase of each circle isn't mindless, but once I get the round actually drawn and start on the coloring that gets fairly mindless and is good to do in the evening while watching TV.

I have one more picture for you, this is my latest Illustration drawing, done with crow quill pen, ink and watercolor. I am much happier with this piece. I like the goose and the flowers.  It is a good technique for illustration and hopefully I will be able to do some more flower studies in the future.

That is it for today. I may post my graphic design project when I get it finished, probably Wednesday if I can find the time between writing a paper.

Per usual comments are always welcome.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Illustration and Protozoa

Above is my latest Illustration work. This was done with pen and ink then a watercolor wash was applied. With this work, I am not terribly satisfied, though the instructor seemed pleased. Well semi pleased, I used a color for the frame out of the tube and he wants us to do more mixing, and he would have been happier if I had used a different blue for the wall paper then I used for the background behind the image. By the way as a total aside I based this portrait on a photograph of my grandmother when she was 18. Since I believe she was born around 1880, that means the photo is over 100 years old. I did a much better job on her face in the pencil study then I did with the  ink version. Got some ink marks where I didn't want them, and working as small as we were all it takes is one or two marks out of place to make major changes to how a face looks.  Below is my pencil study, sorry it is so hard to see, lighting for the photography wasn't the best, and even though I have upped the contrast and brightness the quality of the photo isn't very good. It probably doesn't help that I added extra pencil lines when I was tracing the drawing down onto the water color paper.
A couple more comments about this work, I used hot pressed water color paper for the final work. What lovely paper that it, it has a lovely smooth finish so it takes the pen extremly well, I would say as well as bristol board does. I love britol board so you should realize that I really liked the hot pressed water color paper, except for the price. I didn't want to spend the money on a paper tablet so I purchased large sheets and cut the paper into quarters. The sheet was approximately 7.00, so each piece is worth over 1.50 don't want to make many mistakes with this paper. Still I think it was worth the cost. Also the yellow dots in the wall paper are done by painting on a resist to the background then painting the background color, when it dries you remove the resist (call frisket) and then paint in the small area color. If I were a better watercolorist  who could paint the background without streaks it would be hard to tell how I had painted the yellow dots.

My next two pictures are from my 3D design class. These are photos of my space sketch of my protozoa design. The instructor approved so I started cutting aluminum which is our building material for this project. I was almost the only student in the class to start doing so however. Many students didn't have their space sketch done, and even those who did have them done had issues that cause them to do some reworking. The cut aluminum is due for the next class so we can spend class time assembling the structure. It won't be this coming Tuesday as that is Veterans day and we don't have classes so I have till the following week to get my metal cut and made ready for assembly.  Had to buy lots of tool type things for this project, the hardest to find was a rivet gun, which we will be using to rivet the pieces together. I eventually found one, but I think I visited half dozen stores before I did.

I think it looks a bit strange but it was approved by the instructor so that is what counts in this class.

That's it for this week. I am still working on my poem design for Graphic Design, though that is probably due next week so I may have pictures of that for you then. In Illustration I have to do a bird/flower composition and that is due Monday. I am almost done with the 2nd mandala, and am beginning to feel the need to sew so who knows what my next personal project will be.

Per usual comments are welcome.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Scratchboard final and 3D sketches

Scratch-board Final Illustration

Above is my 3rd and final scratch-board study for my Illustration class.

I am not sorry to see the last of it, though I think my technique has improved over the first landscape we did. Still scratch-board does require some pre-thinking prior to starting so that you have an ideal where the lights need to go. Since it is the reverse of most pre-drawing thinking it can be a challenge. For this Illustration we re-visited the still life drawing that we did for our final Pen and Ink project. So here it is done on black scratch-board instead of white paper. I am relatively pleased with how it came out. The skull was tricky to do, but I think it works. In case you are wondering I would say it took me about 5 hours to do this drawing. Scratch-board is not quick.

We are now moving on and back with our next project. Moving on because we will be adding color to our Illustrations, but moving back because we are going back to pen and ink. Many illustrations you see in books esp. children books are done with waterproof ink and watercolor washes to add color. This is the technique we will be using for our first assignment with color. Since only a "tight" drawing is due for our next class on Monday I am not sure when I will have another illustration image for you. In case you were wondering a tight drawing is a finished drawing that is ready to be copied onto the media that will be used for the final illustration. Usually the transfer is done with a black/grey "carbon" paper, though for the scratch-board projects we used a white chalked paper.  As a total aside here, it just occurred to me that the white chalked paper could be used to transfer quilting patterns to quilt tops.  White chalk should wash off easily, in fact probably too easily, the quilter who uses it should probably remark immediately with something that won't be so easily rubbed off, but it is that initial transfer that can be a pia so this might be a good tool.

I have some additional images for you today, these are the sketches I did for my 3D class on Tuesday. The assignment was to sketch 20 protozoa concepts. So here are the 20 I did. Our assignment for next Tuesday is to do a space sketch, I had trouble with what I started in class so I have to go back and start over with the design idea that I want to produce. What surprised me in class was that I was almost the only student who actually followed instruction, with not only 20 sketches but done with charcoal and largish. Several students had 20 sketches, but they had done them with pencil and the drawings were quite small, made it hard for the rest of us to see what they had done so we could comment and offer suggestions. Oh well, their loss, as I am sure he marked down their homework grade. These sketches are based on actual protozoa, but I have combined elements that I am fairly sure would never actually be combined in real life.

Well that's it for today. I am very tired and plan on going to have a nap shortly after I finish this update, was up way too late last night getting the Illustration work done. Till my next update, Happy Halloween,  and I hope everyone stateside remembers to change their clocks come Saturday night as we go back to Standard time here in the US this coming weekend.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Package Design Finished

Above is my packaging project finished. We were supposed to be creating a series so instead of making a larger box (which would have been a royal pia) I used my 2nd label design for green tea. Course I have taken some liberties doing that as Red Rose doesn't manufacture a green tea.   Out of the two label designs I believe the label with the tea cup and the rose petals works the best. A fellow student suggested having rose petals floating in the tea. I realized that the red gets a bit lost against the color of the tea so to make them more apparent I scattered 3 across the label outside the cup.  The tea cup is from my Grandmothers China set, and it is actually filled with Red Rose tea.

I think the hardest part of this project was getting the boxes made, six sided boxes are not easy to make, and of course I made mistakes and had to throw one box out because I made the sides the wrong height. I would consider these gift boxes, not something that a supplier would use for regular packaging. Much too hard to put together. I also had an issue with the label that goes around the outside of the box, I didn't originally make it long enough so had to increase the size a bit (about a 1/4 of an inch), not to mention that I had to print it on 2 sheets of paper and then glue it together. The overall length of the label was approx 15 inches so even if I had purchased legal sized paper I would have still had a problem, and my printer doesn't print ledger which is 17 inches long. I totally understand why modern packaging is printed directly on the package stock instead of separate labels. Here are two more images of my final designs:

My other image for you today is a scan of my most recent scratch board illustration. This was a nature illustration, we were supposed to illustrate one animal from a set of pictures the Instructor handed out. I picked a chipmunk. As I was sketching it the Instructor stopped by my desk and suggested that I should add a bird of some sort. I picked a chickadee, sitting on a tree. I am not as pleased with this illustration as I was with the first one. I know I could have done a better job on the foreground, and am not sure about the rocks and the trees the chickadee is on, though I did do a bit of touching up on the rocks (adding in black ink to hide some of the white) so they are a bit better then they were.

That is it for today's post. The rest of what I have been working on doesn't photograph. I have been busy collecting images for my next Graphic Design project, and also doing some image work for my Dreamweaver final web site project. I re-took some photo's of last years art work and then processed the photo's in Photoshop for use on the web and created thumbnail images.

As usual comments are welcome.  

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Shoe Revealed

It's done. I finally finished the shoe yesterday afternoon and presented it this morning in class for critique. The instructor seemed to like it, and it is one of the ones that he kept for display. Though that isn't really a huge honor, I think he kept most of the ones that were finished today to put on display in the classroom. I am not totally pleased with it. I got the back section a bit too long so didn't have enough space for the front slope area between the toe and the rise for the shoelaces. Ah well, by the time I realized the problem there was no way I was going to take the existing construction apart. So I will just have to live with it. Here are a couple more views of the finished shoe.

Side View

rear side view.

What he liked about it, it has mass, it is very solidly constructed, I used lots of glue. There is a variation in color and in the direction of the planes (cardboard pieces) He felt that it is a bit architectural. I think because if you look between the layers you can see the pieces I used as separators. Many of the other students just used cardboard layers, stacking them up one on top (or against) the other. It works very well for some of the designs, but I didn't want to cut that much cardboard so used separators.  But I think I spent 12 to 14 hours building this shoe, so even with the separators it wasn't a quick project. A couple of students did heeled strappy type sandals very successfully. The guys tended toward sneakers, or boots. My shoe boot is a bit of a combination, heeled but still a boot/shoe.  We are now moving onto a new project, this one will use sheet metal (Aluminum) and we are supposed to be designing our own Protozoa. The set up for this project is that a new protozoa has been found and we have been commissioned by a museum to create a wall sculpture that depicts it. I should have sketches to show next week.

In Illustration I finished my first scratchboard project. This is a landscape done from a photograph provided by our instructor.

Structure in NE field.

I probably should have scanned the photo I used so you could compare it to the finished image, but I didn't and it is too late now as I have turned it back to the instructor. Not much to say about this, it is what it is. Though I will say that this is not a technique that I think I will fall in love with. It takes a long time to do, I think I spent about 4 hours on this one.

For graphic design, my packaging project is due on Thursday, and for my Dreamweaver class we have to create a flow chart for our web site. That's it for now, I may add a post with images of my packaging Thursday or Friday. Wish me luck getting that done for Thursday class. As always comments are welcomed.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Still life and shoes

It has been a quiet week... oops wrong blog, and actually I have been very busy, just not a lot of finished work to show for it. Things are mainly in-progress, I am working on our 2nd Graphic Design project (package design), the 3D large shoe (but I  have pictures) and I am still working on the mandalla. My one finished piece is below:

This is my final project with pen and ink work for Illustration. We had to do a still life based on a setup the instructor assembled for us in class. He had quite a collection of objects, a couple of skulls, stuffed birds, plastic flowers, a wooden owl, you get the picture.  We had to draw 4 or 5 objects that were part of the still life and render them in pen and ink. We used 2 classes to get the drawing in a final form plus some work at home. Then we transferred the drawing to Bristol Board and did the inking. I used a fine crow quill pen, and a fine technical pen. The technical pen was used for stippling the skull and the flowers and the rest of the inking was done with the crow quilt. I downloaded some pictures of live quails to use as a reference for feathering on the stuffed quail. Probably a good thing as his stuffed quail have seen better days and are quite faded and dull. Live quail have a lovely subtle coloration. I have to say that out of all the illustration projects we have had so far this is the one I enjoyed the most. Next would be the shell illustration. Guess that means I prefer to draw natural objects.

We are now moving on to a different medium for illustration, scratch board believe it or not. But this isn't the scratch board you used in grade school, crayon on paper with india ink painted over it, no this is clay board which has been covered in ink. Believe me when I say that the work can be amazing when done by someone who knows what they are doing. I don't expect amazing results on my part, but hopefully the work will look OK. Our first assignment on the clay board is to do a landscape. Our instructor brought in photo's he has taken and we had to pick one to use for our drawing. Mine has a structure (sort of a storage shed/barn) with trees. This has to be done for next Monday's class so wish me luck.

We are still working on our shoe design, this time the large version, in my case the shoe will be 20 inches long. Here are some in-progress photo's for you to enjoy. It is actually a bit further along but I will save that for next week when I should have finished pictures for you, as it is due at the beginning of next Tuesday's class.

Here is the sole with the finished heel section.

Shoe with the beginning of the front section built, note the real shoe and the small model in the background.

This is where I was with it before Tuesday's class. I have now started on the back section of the shoe and tonight finished (I hope) cutting out the cardboard pieces I need to do the back to middle of the shoe. This is the part that has the opening for the foot. 

That is it for this week. As I noted there is a fair amount of work in progress. Next week we are supposed to turn in our product packaging for Graphic Design so I will have photo's there, along with the finished shoe and my first efforts at scratch board. As an aside, I was terrible at scratch board as a kid, so I am not expecting great things.

As always comments are welcome.