Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Finished (?) figure painting

Yesterday was the last day we had to work on our current figure painting. We only had 3 hours, so I picked up my brushes and went to work and tried to get as much finished as possible.

I immediately hit the feet, hands, vase, carpets, and mirror. The foot was super-tricky; if you go back and look at how the painting's changed, you will see that the foot's position changed about 20 times. In the end, I sorta fudged it and made the orange pillow cover up part of it. The mostest trickiest part was probably figuring out how to render the carpets. I ended up just mixing more intense colors and doing random highlights...I'm not sure if there are enough, but I'm overall happy with how the painting came out.

This area is one of my professor's favorite sections. This photo is pretty bad...point-and-shoot cameras aren't very good at taking pictures of paintings. I might have to pick up a DSLR sometime soon!

And here's the face again. The only thing I did was add highlights to the eyes and maybe a little bit to the hair. It's still my favorite part of the painting, but every time I look at it and compare it to the model, I notice a dozen things that are wrong. Oh, the problems of an artist.

Here are a few pictures of the critique setup we had going on. It's really cool to see the range of styles within the class.

Hope you enjoyed seeing the progress of this painting, probably the best figure painting I've done so far. Our next project in class is a still life with reflective surfaces...should be interesting to say the least.

Steady, as she goes

Monday, October 19, 2009

Metal and Me

Some quick shots of my sculpture. It has come along quite a way since last time, mostly because it's a very quick process.

The leg section is way out of proportion, so I'll be cutting that down and adding another leg next week.

I also added a three-piece shoulder section that I really love because of its layered armor look.
But the thing is, it's starting to look a little too much like armor, so I'm going to rough up a few edges with hand shears next week as well. I've got quite a bit of work left to do.

And here is the finished version of the self-portrait from two weeks ago. It's hanging in the hallway! Go me! ^o^

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Metal + Me = ?

Finally, a chance to blog about my sculpture! I remembered to bring my camera in to class on Monday and took a few shots of what I've done so far. Unfortunately, the tech in charge of the tool room wasn't in class so I didn't have access to some electric metal shears and I couldn't work on the sculpture more. The shears give the edges a very clean cut, which is why I couldn't work on Monday despite owning a pair of hand shears.

Let's start from the beginning!
Our first project in Sculpture II is really broad and general: Abstraction from the human form. With that as our prompt, the professor had a model come in and do some poses for us while we did sketches and made small mock-ups. Here's what I tossed together with cardboard and tape:

I really liked the form of this torso and so did the professor. Once I had this made, I had to decide what my material would be. Almost everyone else in class is using chicken wire and some kind of surface filling, whether it be plaster or paper pulp or something crazy like that. After sitting around and staring at it, I decided to use sheet metal! Nobody else was doing it and METAL IS HARDCORE!

So I went over to Queens and picked up some metal from the friendly folks at B&B Sheet Metal. I had to decide how I was going to bond the metal, so the Professor suggested using a riveter.

Here's what I have so far:

It doesn't look like much, but it's actually quite large. The process for making this thing is really quick- I made all of this in two 3-hour sessions a few weeks ago. I'll probably have the legs done by next week and then I'll have to plan how I want the surface to look.

I'd like to maybe document the process some more, so keep an eye out for a step-by-step walkthrough!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Progress is good!

PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE in various studies of mine. Today's blog post will focus on Painting, which I had yesterday. I've been updating you guys on the progress of this painting for weeks, so I hope it hasn't gotten old. Here's what the painting looked like at the start of yesterday's session:

Six hours of work later, she turned out like this:
As you can see, a lot of progress was made. We only have one three-hour session left to work on it, so I guess it's good that I did a lot. I believe I'll try to focus more on the surroundings next session. I tried to model out the hands and feet this time around, but I'm not sure how successful I am. That foot looks tiny, but some of it is supposed to be covered by the orange pillow. The carpets on the floor are also a lot more intricate and I need to flesh out that mirror some looks terribly awkward right now.

After completely avoiding the face last week, I decided to flesh it out. Here's what it looked like before:

And now:
The model came into class with her hair done up slightly differently. I thought she had really pretty hair and was disappointed when she tied it back for the first several sessions, so when more hair was visible this week, I jumped on it. I also painted in her left side so now it doesn't look like she's a ghost. Just looking at her face, it's interesting to note how different it looks when removed from the rest of the body. I'm proud to say that the majority of the class feels like I captured the look of the model very well.

That's pretty much it for now. I finally remembered to take pictures of my sculpture, so you can probably look forward to that in my next update.

Rockin' n' rollin' with art all night,

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Despite the poor quality...

...I feel obligated to post a picture of my first abstract painting. It has a coat of varnish now, so the colors probably look a bit deeper now.

I'll talk about this one more after I can take a better photo.

We've started a new painting. The focus is on the process, rather than the subject matter. Jackson Pollock is a good example of a process painter. Right now, I don't really have any idea where I want to take this painting, so I'm pretty lost. Whoo, abstract nonobjective paintings!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tuesdays are the Devil...

...but I love them anyway. I have class from 9 AM to 9 PM with a few breaks in between. It's a long day, but Tuesdays always leave me feeling super-productive. Here's some of what I accomplished in the past 24 hours!

First, from 9-12, I have Figurative Painting. Then, after a two hour break, we have another session from 2-5. Today, however, we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the afternoon session. I really wanted to work on my painting more because we're running out of time, but the museum trip was worth it! My class saw this amazing rooftop sculpture by Roxy Paine, followed by The Milkmaid, a very famous painting by Johannes Vermeer. I really like Vermeer's work and work from that period in general.

Anyway, about my painting: I didn't touch the face and instead moved on to the torso and the still life set up around the model. Still haven't gotten very far on that and I think the painting looks pretty bad aside from the model. But I'll work it out!

After Figurative Painting, I have Printmaking from 6:30-9. I haven't posted a lot of work from that, but here are a few pictures from my workspace from tonight:

The first two are lithographs made from Pronto-Plates. The middle pic is a print made from photo from my brother's wedding this past summer.
The last image are some test prints I made using acetate cut into an ukulele stencil. First, the color was rolled on through a stencil. Then, I made stencil of the neck and sound hole, inked it up, and scraped away lines for the strings. It might be kind of hard to see. Some other prints were offsets from prints already made.

And now, I'm going to work on that drawing from my last blog post!

Working hard to get my fill,

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Three Hour Self-Portrait...

...30 minutes in. I changed the angle. No, I haven't shaved, I'm just saving facial hair for later!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Further reinforcing my love for faces, we're focusing on the head in Life Drawing right now. Here are three classmates, followed by a quick practice self-portrait for homework. All were done in about 20 minutes, give or take a few.

These don't look a whole lot like my classmates, especially the last one, but I think I captured most of their look. The one on top is friend and roommate Marcel, the fellow I sculpted last semester.

I just noticed that my head looks like it's floating...I may or may not fix that. I'm working from a really small, round mirror, so getting anything below my chin is tricky. We have to make a face for this homework assignment and I rather like this one, though I might do a few more practice sketches before I commit to a 3-hour pose. I'm using compressed charcoal for these. Although we can use graphite or charcoal, I think I'm going to stick with charcoal because of the wide area of coverage and really, really wide range of value you can get from a single stick. I have long forgotten the joys of using a stick of compressed charcoal...

Happy thoughts,