Friday, February 27, 2009

February, Last Call

February is almost over. As I write this tomorrow is the 28th and the last day of the month. Of course February is the shortest month of the year, but I think it always feels like the longest, probably because of the weather. Though I have to say this year the weather hasn't been too bad. We haven't had any major snow storms, at least where I live, up north they are buried in snow, we have even had some rain. Still it hasn't gotten warm enough to confuse the plants, even though we have had some warmish days, the nights are staying cold. All that said I am not sorry to see February leave us.

School has been busy not leaving me any time to play with my stamps on fabric, though I did ask for and receive lots of good tips on how to use the stamps and Lumiere from the Art Quilt List members. It is no fair that now that I know what I want to try and do I have no time to play. Oh well school work must come first.

Lets see what images do I have for you this week. In Typography I have a huge project due on Monday, but so far nothing that I can show you. In Graphic Design we are heading into the final stages on our 2nd project using two words and an image, I have selected my words and image, now have to work on the layout. Should be done for next week, but we will see.

I have a couple of images for you from Color and Design, more color studies. The first pair are an image of a felt suit that belonged to an artist. We colored it in based on the study requirements.

This study was done with a Tetradic Harmony, 4 colors
that form a square on the color wheel.
Blue Green, Red Orange, yellow and violet

This study was done with a color triad
Red Orange, yellow green, and violet

The next image is one half of our next study, where we had to paint rectilinear forms with the colors that represent a season to us. We were supposed to imagine that we worked for a card company and had to create color pallets for other designers one study for each of the 4 seasons. I have only finished half of this, the last 2 seasons I am working on but they aren't finished.

The card above represents 2 seasons, winter on top and spring on the bottom

Our final color study project is to paint 10 colors that we love/like the best. They are our personal colors. Obviously no rights or wrongs with this study. I have created my list of colors based on my clothing. Mixing them to paint should be interesting, wish me luck.

In drawing this week we worked from projected images, though the images were photo's that our instructor had taken instead of the CD's. The poses are a bit less, oh I don't know what word I am looking for here, dramatic maybe, or perhaps twee. Anyway I will show you my 3 homework drawings first. These are from 2 weeks ago, last week I had to draw a skeleton.

Doesn't her pose remind you of the old Vargus Playboy drawings.
Actually she was kind of fun to draw.

Below are some of my class drawings, we did fewer then we do with a live model but still too many to bore you with here, so this is just a selection.

Poses here are a bit trickier, lots of foreshortening but I think on the whole I didn't do badly.

That's it for this week. We received our FFFC challenge for February this morning, a fun one, using a design concept of the S curve with split complementary colors. I really want to get started on this, but have to work on my Typography homework instead. No fair, working with color is far more fun then inking something in black and white. Oh well, I can think about designs as I ink I suppose. As always comments are welcome.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mid February and Presidents Day

Mid February and we are finally getting a bit of a break with the weather. Besides it warming up a bit over the weekend, the snow we had this week turned to rain and melted even more of the snow we had on the ground. Can almost see the sidewalk that was totally buried the beginning of the month. YEAH. Then there was the Presidents day Holiday on Monday. I didn't celebrate it in a very exciting way, not unless you consider doing homework exciting. Still I was able to temporarily get caught up with my assignments. A good thing I think.

Classes are keeping me busy, all of them have homework projects, though I think I am spending more time with the Color and Design painting projects then anything else. We had 2 due last Tuesday and 2 more Thursday, and another due next Tuesday. I have images of the 4 we have been working on this past week for you today.

First pair was done by making a design using squares, ovals and circles. They needed to touch the edges so we wouldn't have a background to paint. We use colors to go with the assignment, and can use tints and shades of our chosen colors.

This is an Analogous color group
I used Blue, blue violet, and violet
To be analogous all colors have to share a color, all of my colors share blue

Same image as above Complimentary Colors this time

Our next pair used the same basic sketch, but we enlarged the width by an inch and we added a 2 inch grid to the image. I took out a couple of shapes to keep my paint areas from getting too small.

This is a Warm/Cool Study
My Colors were, red orange, orange, blue, and blue green
The requirement for this study was 2 cool and 2 warm colors.

Same template as above this is a Split Complimentary Study
Colors are Red Orange, Green and Blue

In Typography I inked in my 27th letter project as shown below. I really need to redo it because I did not use a ruler to do some of my outline inking and it shows. Also she would have like the letters in the top row to be a bit closer together and to have the curves at the bottom of the letters go a bit further under the base line. We also had a test in Typography, I won't say much about it except that she isn't giving multiple choice tests, and she wants us to remember details. I think I passed it, but certainly didn't get an A on it. I can tell you that her tests are going to be totally not fun.

My letter is in the center above between the F & G it represents the TH sound
Call it Fred, the word below is There using my letter.
Font is Bodoni MT

In drawing this week we had another live model. I am feeling a bit frustrated with my drawings from this class, because I feel I am not seeing any improvement from week to week. I know nit picking here on my part, esp as most of you probably feel that I am pretty good already. But that is how I am feeling. I should be doing more figure studies outside of class, but finding the time is something of an issue. Oh well, the first images for you are from my homework assignment 2 weeks ago. We actually did 4 drawings, but on one my instructor added some lines so I have left it out. I had caught him before class and told him that I had had problems drawing that particular model/view so he was evaluating it with me and marked it up.

I sort of like the one on the left, don't get me wrong the instructor doesn't dislike them, he gave me an A- on these.

The rest of the images are from Tuesday's drawing class. One from our warm up session, where poses were held for only a couple of minutes, and then three more images where she held the pose for a longer time frame. We did about 25 poses/drawings so this is just to give you an idea of what I was doing.

For graphic design we are working a project with Onomatopoeia words. I found 10 words and created images, now it turns out we need to pick a second onomatopoeia word to go with the image that is also described by the image. ACK , wish me luck with this one, I need it. Since nothing I did the first go round is going to work with another word.

On the quilting front, I have actually been working on sewing down the binding on the large quilt, and I pretty much have my stroke stamps made. One stamp I may have to redo, but I want to try it first. Will let you know what my results are from this experiment.

Friday, February 13, 2009

February, Friday the 13th

It has been a busy week for me at school. We started a new assignment in Typography. Where we have to create a 27th letter for the alphabet. First we picked a sound, I have picked TH, then a font, I am using Bodoni MT then we had to design a new letter for our sound. I have done that and am at the stage when it has to be transferred to hot press board and inked. It is due at my next class. I also completed a couple of assignments in Color and Design, finished the Lego project for my Graphic Design course and had another session of "Life" drawing in my drawing class.

First I will show you the Color and Design images, the first is my Color Star. I am pleased with some of it and not so pleased with other parts. I mixed all the colors using 5 tubes of paint, blue, yellow, red, a violet and a blue green. Color wheels seem to take way more yellow then they should. I don't want to tell you how much yellow paint I have been using.

Our next project was to do two studies, one with monochrome tints and shades, and the other was to mix various grays using complementary colors on the color wheel. I think the monochrome is rather nice, I used my blue green paint for that one. On the grays, well.. all I can say is I was getting a bit tired of mixing, so a couple of my colors aren't as grayed as they should be. The writing on the bottom of the gray tones is the percent of colors I used to get the tone.

In Graphic Design we finished our Lego project by combining the photo of the lego with the grayed image of what we imagined the lego to be. I picked a nice chair, so if you look closely you can see that my lego is casting the shadow of that chair. I am fairly pleased with how this came out.

In drawing my first images for you are my 2nd homework assignment. There are 4 photos here, they were fairly quick sketches so don't have a lot of detail, mainly gesture and form. You may recognize some of these poses as I have done them before, in class I think, but these are my homework assignment, and not the same drawings.

Next I have just 3 of my classroom drawings for you. We did about 15, but that is way more then I want to either take pictures of or upload here. First is one of the fairly quick studies that we did, where the model held the pose for about 5 minutes, the last two were longer poses so I was able to include more shadows and details.

That's it for this week. I am still working on my stamps for playing around with my letter forms on fabric. But otherwise didn't manage any quilting this week at all after I finished the challenge piece last Saturday. I hope to find some time to work on my bed quilt binding, or machine quilting on a smaller piece that I have sitting around waiting to be quilted this coming weekend. As always feel free to comment.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

FFFC Challenge # 29

Houses, View #1

Well I am a week late with this, but considering all my school work I think I have done fairly well. Of course it isn't very big, only 12.5 x 9.75 inches. The FFFC challenge for January was to use Analogous Colors, with a composition concept of Rhythm/Movement or Tension/Energy. Working with my theme of Structures for these challenge series I went back to my first challenge images and created houses. I drew a rough sketch of what I wanted to do then went to work. These houses are tall and narrow, and because I did them free form not quite straight. Going through my stash of hand dyed fabrics I decided on a color scheme of green, blue green, blue. I pulled fabrics from light to dark with those colors, cut strips of various widths and strip pieced them together from light to dark. Then I cut the strips apart and pieced them back together to create the background. Once I had the background pieced I realized that one of the light fabrics was in a bad place, it was more or less in the middle of the work and much too light for the surrounding fabrics. If it had been at the edge it would have worked just fine, but not in the middle. It just didn't fit in. So I pulled out the shiva paint sticks and using green I darken the strip. I created templates for the houses from my sketch out of freezer paper, then cut out the house shapes and machine appliqued them down to the background. Sandwiching the top I then machine quilted in a random way the entire background with no quilting on the houses.

I realized that the painted fabric was still too bright so I pulled out the fabric inks and inked in a pattern on the fabric. I then decided that I needed to do a bit of embellishing so I added the embrioderied trees in the background and the bushes in the foreground. I also added beaded rooftops to the houses.

I am not sure how well I like this piece. I think it fullfills the design elements and works as an over all design. But I think if I had to do it over I would have pieced the background with a bit more care. Comments are welcome.

Friday, February 6, 2009

February brings Ground Hog Day

Well, we had ground hog day this past week, Monday February 2nd. and depending on which ground hog you believe in we will have 6 more weeks of winter weather to live through. Since here in New England we had more snow during the week and the temperature has fallen into the deep freeze, I think it is obvious that we are going to have at least six more weeks of winter weather - maybe more. That said we are supposed to have some warming this weekend, so we should have some snow melting. Which believe me will be much appreciated.

The good news is that despite the snow I had all my classes this week. Though I only have images of my artwork from two of them. In Typography we critiqued our letter forms and then transferred them to hot press board and inked them in. My results are below. The instructor though my forms would make nice stamps and I agree so during my recent trip to the art supply store I purchased a carving block and some Lumiere paint. Not sure when I will find the time to do this experiment but I do think it will be fun to play with my letter forms on fabric. I will make a stamp for each stroke that way I can combine them various ways. I will post pictures when I manage to have some results so you can see how they look on fabric.

Our next project is to design another letter (the 27th) for our Alphabet, including a sound for the letter. Homework for Monday is to pick a couple of fonts that we like. So far I have 4 and need to narrow it down a bit, we are only supposed to have two.

In Color and Design I am still working on my Star. The good news is I only have 2 points left to do, the bad news is we have more homework. Making 2 different gridded panels. On one we will paint, black, white, gray along with tints and shades of one color. This is our Monochromatic study. The other we need to mix grays using complementary colors and white. My one comment here is that if I don't know color and how to use it by the end of this course I never will.

In my Graphic design class I have selected my project image, it will be a chair. I found a great picture of an arm chair that I will use as the shadow. That project is due on Wednesday so I should have an image for you when I post next week. In the meantime you can see what the lego chair looks like. I have been busy this morning taking pictures. Most students were told to take their pictures against a white background so it would be easy to select just the image in Photo shop. Since my lego pieces are white I went for a black background. Good think I had some black construction paper around. Oh yes this is the first time I have used the light box that I created to take pictures of my jewery in. It is made out of foam board with tissue paper covering openings. That way I can shine lamps in through the tissue paper windows and not get shadows or glare. With additional sunlight this morning I didn't need to use the flash on the camera.

Since we had snow most of Tuesday I was concerned that we wouldn't have our drawing class. I really didn't want to miss it because we were having our first live model. Fortunately we did have class. The instructor shortened the class a bit so we could leave early and miss a bit of traffic but it was still a good class. I was totally exhausted by the time I got home that night, and not from driving in the snow. The Instructor really pushed us and we did a lot of drawings, maybe around 15 to 20. I am NOT going to show you all of them, not even close to all of them. Most were sketchy since the beginning poses were only about 5 minutes long. Example below:

The idea was to get the gesture, you can see that I started out with the torso not quite long enough so had to move his legs down a bit, still I rather like this one, it has an energy to it that my Instructor is trying to get me to put into my figure drawings. The lighting was set up so that the model was mostly in shadow so we could see the silhouette easier. Toward the end of the class the model was holding longer poses so I have three more images for you where I had time to do a bit more then create an outline.

My last images are my first homework assignment for Drawing II. We were drawing from photos from his poses CD. Some of these should look familiar as I have drawn them before in class. Since I took more time with the homework assignment these are a bit better I think.

Instructor liked this one.

I am still working on my FFFC challenge quilt, but hope to have it done this weekend. If I get it done I will update the blog with an image and a bit of information about how I went about creating it. I did manage to get the binding sewn onto the bed quilt last weekend and am in the process of sewing that down. Sort of put that aside while I am focusing on the challenge piece and will get back to it when the challenge is done.