Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Finally, a figure painting!

So last week, we spent the second Figurative Painting session working on a painting of a model. The professor set up a pretty cool still-life arrangement to go with the model. From my angle, I can see a glass vase, multiple pieces of fabric, and a mirror. Last week, I painted this 'sketch' of the model:

I spent way too much time on getting things exact, especially with the body and face. I paid for this today because the model changed positions significantly. I actually liked her new pose a bit more because the supporting arm on the left side of the canvas looked awkward. After about an hour or so, the painting ended up like this:
Maybe the change wasn't that significant, but it was enough to cause a minor headache. I slapped on a few other undercoats, reflecting the color of the fabric and the background I wanted to give it. I don't want to have easels and students in the background, so I'm thinking I'll just leave it dark.

By the end of the two three-hour sessions, this was the end result:
I ended up spending way too much time getting facial details correct. At least it bears a fairly striking resemblance to the model, but the rest of the painting isn't quite up to par.

Since I spent so much time on the face, I'll probably not touch it for a week or two as I bring the rest of the painting together. I say that I probably won't, but chances are...I won't be able to resist. Faces are my favorite subject matter to draw and paint, so the next few weeks will be difficult. I believe we have three more weeks to work on it, so check by often for updates!


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Drapes and Corners

Here are some quick shots of my first projects in Figurative Painting.

The first is a painting of drapes we have set up in the class room. It's done with a limited oil palette of reds (Cadmium and Alizarin Crimson), blues (Ultramarine, Cobalt, and Cerulean Hue), and yellows (Hansa and Lemon), as well as white. We also were limited to a palette knife for the majority of the project. Some people used brushes to help apply the paint, but I decided not to cuz I'm hardcore like that (not!).

And here's a pic of the section of drapes. A lot of stuff shifted around.

This is our first homework project for Figurative Painting. Here's the basic prompt:
Paint a corner of the room with a viewfinder. Focus on color and lighting effects of the angles and stuff.

It needs another hour or two of work, which I'll knock out tomorrow. The painting is noticeably darker than the photo, but I kinda like the atmosphere. I also shifted stuff around, like making the lamp bigger and cutting down on the ceiling space.

I've got sculpture tomorrow, so expect an update on what's happening in that class sometime soon, as well as some more pics of these paintings whenever they're finished!

On a totally unrelated note, I saw Ingrid Michaelson at Webster Hall on Wednesday. It was my first actual concert and was a pretty awesome experience. The venue was really cool and reminded me of The Killers' "Mr.Brightside" video. Actually, they have very little in common...Maybe it reminded me of The White Stripes' "My Doorbell" video.

Woo, tangent!

Anyway, it was a really, really awesome show. I feel like Ingrid's lyrics speak to me, with themes of love, hope, and fantasy with a touch of bitter angry person. This personal songwriting style, coupled with the fact that she plays ukulele makes her one of my favorite artists I've learned about recently. I highly recommend her latest album, "Everybody." Also thanks to homie Julie, who brought Ingrid to my attention!

Here is Ingrid's Youtube channel. Also look into the songs "Soldier," "Far Away," "Die Alone," and "The Chain."

And so it goes, this soldier knows,
the battle with the heart isn't easily won.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


A quick blog update for my peeps!
Here are some cell phone pics I took earlier this evening during printmaking class. These were made on Rives BFK 230 GSM paper.

For this first one, I slapped some watercolor onto a piece of acetate and ran that through the press with a piece of soaked printing paper. After letting it dry a little, I took some printing ink and traced a drawing I did of my friend onto a piece of acetate and ran it through the press again. I'm hoping to do something a little more advanced next week, maybe with some stencils and stuff like that. I do think I'll stick with the figure motif though, because I really like the image.

This second print was inspired by this post on DudeCraft. I really wanted to have one to hang on my wall or on my room's door, so I tossed one together in class by rolling some ink onto a piece of acetate and scraping off the ink for the letters. I did have to write backwards, which is why the "a" is facing the wrong direction. I made another one without the "OR ELSE!"

I did a number of other prints, but I only took a few pics because I forgot my camera =_=. Expect a few more down the line, along with some painting pictures!

Learning to be like water,

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Welcome (Back) to the Jungle!

*insert obligatory apology for a long silent period here*

Well, I'm back at school! After the first week of settling in, we really hit the ground running once classes started. I haven't become overwhelmed yet, and I don't intend on allowing that to happen! This semester, I'm signed up for Sculpture II, Figurative Painting, Printmaking II, Life Drawing, Abstract Painting, and my one liberal arts class: Film Art/Critique.

At this point in the semester, I'm most excited about Printmaking. Last class, I did a number of quick and easy monoprints of a sketch from my sketchbook using a sheet of acetate and ink. The volume of work somebody can produce in that class is amazing. I'll have pictures of the monoprints, which I'll use as a springboard for more complicated prints, in another blog post.

Overall this semester, we seem to be pushing toward an open, abstract body of work. I'm not a particularly big fan of abstract art, but I'll take this opportunity to really let myself go before things tighten up next year. The amount of freedom we have this semester compared to last is almost overwhelming. Expect some posts with cool artwork in the future!

I've gotten a lot of requests for pictures of my massive three-person dorm room, so for all those wanting to see...

This is taken from the dooway. My roommates' wardrobes stand in a fairly long hall.
Turn the corner and you see the path to the living area. Bathroom door to the right, eating area to the left, and kitchen is a little further down.
Peek inside the bathroom! Toilet has a stall door type thing, which is great, and the shower is huge!
The kitchen. Typically cleaner, but our sink is leaking like crazy, keeping us occupied. We have lots of cabinets, too.
Dining Room!
Big, open living area. My nook isn't pictured.
Home entertainment system! 22-inch TV, PS3, and lots of Rock Band! If you do a 180, then directly behind you...Is my corner! My desk is crammed in there, but it's really nice and cozy. I'll take more pics later.

We're planning on adding more stuff, like a functioning lamp and some wall decorations. In about 3 weeks, we'll probably have the coolest pad in the dorm.

Finally, some artwork! This past week, the Fine Arts students started up a free Life Drawing session from 6-9 on Friday nights. It's awesome because it's totally student-run and we're free to do whatever we want, which is liberating to say the least. Because I love to draw portraits, I spent most of my 40-minute stay drawing the model's face. Here are two I did with a charcoal pencil:

Both were done in about 10 minutes. I'm trying to speed up that drawing hand a bit by cutting out the under-drawing phase (circles, proportion lines, etc.). The likeness may not be the greatest, but I'm hoping to iron that out along the way.

That about sums it up! I've also taken up crocheting as a side hobby, but I haven't touched my crochet hook in a week or so. I plan on posting pics of work as I get stuff done, so keep an eye out on my Twitter for updates! Or just check back every few days!

-Wishing Helvetica was a selectable font for Blogspot,