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.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Musings on a Shoe

Shoe?, your going to yourself, what shoe and why musings. For my 3D design class our next assignment is to create a 20 inch (or larger) cardboard shoe. One that could sit in the window of a shoe store. It is suppose to replicate an existing shoe, but be both large and eye catching. From the examples we have in the classroom of previous students work I can tell you that indeed giant shoes can be eye catching. My first problem in achieving this goal is that I think I have the most boring shoes. I have mostly gotten rid of all my heels, and the rest of my shoes tend to be simple loafer lookalikes.  Not that I ever really went in for fancy footware, I value comfort too much. However circumstances could be worse, I could own only a couple pairs of shoes, as I did back in the late 1970's, so I guess I must not complain.

Last year I was drawing shoes for Color and Design I, this year it is reproducing them, obviously Art Instructors love to use shoes. Anyway to make a long story short I still own a pair of shoe boots, see image below, and this is my subject piece.

Our first challenge was to draw the shoe from various angles straight on, sideways, top down, and to trace and outline of the sole of the shoe. I won't bore you with my drawings. Then we had to take measurements of the actual shoe and using a proportion wheel convert the measurements to what they would be if the shoe was 7 inches or 20 inches long instead of its true length. Using the smaller measurements we were then to construct a space sketch out of planes. Below are images of what my shoe space sketch looks like.

Then we had to do charcoal drawings of the finished space sketch (model). Below is one of mine, not wonderful, but as I was almost the only student in the class that had both the model and the sketches I am hoping I got an OK on them. Other students seem to be a bit confused about these sketches and why we do them of the built piece when we have already done drawings of the shoe. I think it is to verify that our models look like the shoe, you sometimes don't really look at something until you have to draw it.

So that is where I am, space sketch done, drawings of space sketch done, and today in class we started building the final 20 inch version of our shoes. Well, I started building, a lot of my fellow students were catching up, either doing their charcoal sketches or their space sketches since they hadn't finished one or both.

I have 3 more images for you today. These are from my Illustration I class. Our last assignment was to use a natural object for an illustration. The instructor brought in a box of objects and allowed us to choose one to illustrate. I chose a shell, see picture to the right, not a great one I know, but the ones without the flash were too blurry, and at least this way you can get an idea of what the shell looks like.

Then we had to draw it on drawing paper. Mine was a bit smaller then he wanted me to use for the finished illustration so I had to copy it and increase the size about 12%.

Next I transferred this image to Bristol board and inked in the lines using mainly stippling. There are a few lines but not many on this Illustration. Instructors comment was that it should be a bit darker in areas. I may go back and do that. Originally I was going to use Micron pens to do the stippling, but I ended up purchasing a set of Mechanical Pens. I probably shouldn't have, but I do love mechanical pens. I have owned sets in the past, and will try to take good care of this one so I don't have to toss any pens do to ink clogging the tips.

One last image for you, between my classwork projects I have been working on another Mandala, this one with a theme of trees, I am using leaves and seeds so far from various tree types. Colors are what I would consider fall colors, sky blue, reds, oranges and yellows with some greens.

That is it for this post, as always comments are welcome. 

Friday, October 2, 2009

Graphic Design Posters Done

Tuesday I finished my designs for my first Graphic Design project, and took a thumb drive over to Staples to have them printed. The size is 18 x 24 inches, so they were expensive to print, add into that the charges for having them mount the prints it all added up to a bit more then I would preferred.  As for the results, I was pleased with the posters when I first picked them up, but after our class critique on Thursday, I am not so happy. The instructor was generally not pleased with how the class did. I know I messed up with the position of the text on the 2nd poster, and in hindsight I should have lightened the table and the floor color.  Ah well, I really don't want to spend the money to reprint but.... will see what I get for a grade on this and then maybe decide. Because of the dark floor on the 2nd poster you can't see the lost button which is down in the lower left of the image. One reason why I am not happy with the dark floor. I am pleased with the graphic designs, I like the drawing of the doll, and I am happy with the family "photo".  I think if I had had a bit more time, but then isn't that the usual complaint with art projects.

I do have some other images for the blog. These next two are from my Illustration class. This time the instructor brought tools from his home and we each had to pick one to draw and then ink, using lines only. The tool I chose is some type of shears, not sure if they are for pruning or for metal. They aren't huge, but not small either. Anyway first image is my drawing. I think I drew this object at least 3 times with all the erasures and redrawing I did. But I feel the resulting image is fairly accurate. The last image is my pen and ink rendering of the tool. I feel the lines on the tool body and head work fairly well, I am not totally pleased with the line work for the handles or the shadows. I think the shadow work would have been better if I had used a finer pen nib. Oh well we are learning and part of learning is making mistakes. Homework for my next Illustration class is to use stippling on a natural object, in my case a shell.  So come back next week some time and I will hopefully have that image posted for you to see.

Pencil drawing

Final inked image.

I have also been doing some work on a new mandala. This one has a tree theme, I am using images of leaves and some seeds so far. I may have an in-progress photo for you next week. That's it for now, as always comments are welcome.