Friday, January 30, 2009

End of January Comments

I must say, that even though it is just the end of January I am sick of snow. I had only 3 days of classes this week because we had another snow storm come through that canceled one day of classes. It was Wednesday for me here in the Northeast, though I do know from reading elsewhere that a lot of the country got hit by this storm which included sleet and rain causing very slick roads and many power outages. We had snow then rain, but because I didn't have to go anywhere I didn't have any issues. Well I did go out, I needed some paint for a project we are doing in my Color and Design class. Last week we did the color wheel, it was due Monday morning. Our new project it is make a color star that was developed by Johannes Itten. If you follow this link you will read a bit about him and lower down on the page is an image of his Color Star that I am trying to reproduce. The star just expands the basic color wheel showing tints and tones for each color. It is an exercise designed to get us familiar with mixing colors.

My Color Wheel is below, we are working with Gouache, an opaque watercolor paint. I used just the red, blue, yellow primaries for this wheel, though for the star I have added a purple and green paint. Impurities in the paint make it very hard to mix a good purple (violet).

One additional comment on color, while searching for an image of Itten's color star for here I came across this web site that has all sorts of interesting tools and information about color and the use of color, though I would share it and hope you find it as interesting as I do.

I missed my 2nd Typography and Computer Graphic classes, but will show you some images from Mondays homework assignments. In Typography we used various materials to "create" a library of strokes, from those marks we picked three and are going to create 9 "letters" from those three strokes. I have an image of the three strokes I selected, but the "letters" are just on tracing paper and don't photograph well so you will have to wait. Not to mention that I need to have my "letters" critiqued which would have happened Wed if we had had class.

For my Computer Graphics class we had to create 10 lego designs then using our imagination think what they looked like to us and draw that object. I have only one photo here for you, since the drawings are on tracing paper they are hard to photograph but I think you can get the idea of what I have been doing from this image. My 10 items are: key, cat, pyramid, bridge, saw horse, plane (pictured), sword, chair, shoe and railroad crossing sign.

Left is the Lego plane, and right is my drawing of a real plane

This is the 2nd class I missed Wednesday, again we were supposed to have critiqued our drawings, and would probably have selected the image we will use to finish the project on the computer. This will probably now be done in Monday's class.

In drawing this week we first looked at some slides then went into the studio and drew from the instructors Studies CD. I am posting 5 of the studies I did, there were a few more, but I think these are the best. For homework I have to do 7 studies from the photos he handed out with the homework assignment. The good part is that we are only supposed to spend 15 to 20 minutes on each one so it should only take a couple of hours to do. The bad is that I do have to do seven drawings. We are supposed to have a live model next Tuesday. Wish me luck. Drawing from life is harder then drawing from a photo or projected image.

On the quilting front, I have been working on my bed quilt, tucking threads away, almost done with that thank heavens, then I get to trim and sew on the binding (which is made). Next step will be to sew the binding down, put a label on the quilt and it will be done. Wish it was as fast to do as it is to write about.

I have also been working on my January FFFC challenge piece. I got the background pieced last weekend and just need to get the images that are supposed to be on the front cut out, and machine appliqued. Hmm that just is a bit misleading as it will take a few hours to manage all that. Not sure I will make tomorrow's deadline and get this one finished on time, but I should be able to finish it before we get our next challenge next month. Since I haven't done much more with the December Challenge then a few sketches I think that is doing good.

Hope everyone is staying warm and busy at this chilly dark time of year.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Back to School

After taking about a month off I am happy to report that I am now back in school. The month off was the schools scheduling not mine. But I was happy to spend 2 weeks with my Sister in Chicago over the Holidays though the weather could have been a bit nicer. The last two weeks I have been home working on various projects and visiting with friends. I haven't been doing a lot of drawing at home (though I did a lot in Chicago) instead my main project has been to try and finish quilting a twin size bed quilt. This quilt has been in the need to finish quilting stage for longer then I care to admit so it was good to be working on it. I have two borders left to quilt, binding to put on, and threads to tuck away. Hopefully even though I am now back in school I will still be able to find the time to get this finished soon. My other sewing included finishing the piecing of the blocks for a Batik nine patch. I managed to get those blocks laid out and am now sewing rows together.

Classes for this term are Color and Design II, Drawing II, Typography, and Intro to Graphic Design and Production. I had at least one class in all my courses this past week. Two meetings of Color and Design II, and one of each of the others. Drawing only meets one day a week.

We are going to be doing a color wheel for Color and Design II, not terribly exciting, but something that all students need to do. We are using only the 3 primary paint colors - red, blue and yellow in Gouache paint. I need to try and find a better blue, the shop where I was purchasing my supplies was running low on the brand I wanted, and they didn't have the correct blue left in stock, I purchased a blue, but it isn't the right one. So later today I have to go see if I can find something better. I will post a picture of this when done, even though it isn't terribly exciting.

Our first project for Typography (the study of fonts) will be to create our own strokes and then create 9 "letters" using those strokes, I think that is going to be kind of fun but we will see.

For the Computer course we had to purchase Lego's, and we will be building something out of 3 to 5 Lego's that we will then imagine as something, lots of drawings and thumbnail sketches are required for this one, then it will be done on the computer for our completed project. My first issue was finding Lego's, they didn't have them when I was young so I never played with them. Meaning I don't have any old ones laying around. I finally found a small box but I think I have to ignore one of the instructors requests, use only one color, as the blocks I have to use are several different colors. Oh well, guess I could paint them if he really complains.

Drawing is going to be studying the figure, mainly nude, but we will also be doing some study's with bones. For the first class we had lecture, some slides and then did 4 drawings from his CD of models. We will have live models at some point but not just yet. So my images for you this week are my 4 sketches/studies, I hesitate to call them drawings, that we did in class. Sorry about the photo quality, I should have moved the paper out of the sun, but you can get the general idea of what I was doing.

These two are really the same pose, first seen from the side then rotated to show the back view, and yes I do mean rotated, it is really cool how he can just rotate the image on the computer screen until we see a different view of the pose.

We didn't have very long with this pose, he decided that it was a bit harder to draw then he initially though, and changed it out for the following. I think sometimes he picks poses that he would like to draw.

Oh yes, one last comment for this week, on the FFFC yahoo group we received our January Challenge, the challenge this month is to use Analogous Colors - those are 3 colors next to each other on the color wheel, such as Red, orange red and red violet. The design element is using Rhythm/Movement or Tension/Energy. The last two are design concepts I read about in Color and Design I and basically involve using repetition. Hmm have to think about this for a bit. Think I will be going back to my houses (or something similar) that I used for the first Challenge. But am still thinking on this.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Year Greetings

Happy 2009 to everyone.

OK I know it is a bit late to be wishing New Year greetings, but this is about the earliest I could manage to get to it. I just spent 2 weeks in Chicago, which included Christmas and New Years, with my sister. The Holidays were good, and I lucked out with my travel plans. I left prior to a big storm here in the Northeast and I arrived in Chicago after a smallish snow storm there. The bad weather in Chicago the week of Christmas calmed down by New Years and I had no problems getting home on the 3rd of January.

No classes of course for the past couple of weeks, but I did take my sketch book with me to Chicago and tried to do one drawing everyday. I am not going to bore you with images of all the drawings I did but I am uploading a few that you can check out. I tried to vary the subjects as you will see.

The boy on the left is from a photo in National Geographic, one of a group of young Monks running, the woman on the right is from a photo from Discover Magazine, she was being featured in an article.

The image on the left is from National Geographic and is a Maya God Incense burner, the cat on the right is a Maine Coon featured in Cat Fancy

This little girl was from an Ad in Newsweek Magazine

Since I have been home I have been catching up with my groups and their messages. I am behind on the FFFC group challenge for December. It is a bit tricky for me this time as the challenge is to convey a mood or emotion and to add a zinger to the design. The zinger I can handle, it is the mood or emotion bit that I am finding tricky, remember my series theme is structures. I am playing with a design idea so we will see. If it doesn't work out I may skip the Dec. Challenge all together though I would rather not do that.