Monday, January 12, 2015

Project 11: Houses in Hungary Progress

Project 8: Child on Bike

Project 8 was a choice project and with it I chose to begin my concentration. The concentration of my portfolio will explore the concept of home, what it means to me as well as to others, and how the concept of home changes and evolves during a person's life. 

I was browsing through old photos when I came across this one. In this picture, my young neighbor is tottering on her bicycle back towards her house. To me the photo spoke not just of home, but of neighbors and friendship, those other than family that make a house a home. 

I decided to do this piece in watercolor for a couple reasons. For starters, I had really enjoyed doing my landscape piece in watercolor. I liked the loose and vibrant appearance of the colors and I thought watercolor would really help me portray the mood I desired.

I began with the background by blocking in the houses and the trees. I began to work on the figure. To start, I put in light washes of skin tone to define the figure from the dress. I then added the darker shades to her hair using a dry brush and put the details in the helmet. I was hesitant to start the dress because I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to capture the pattern in the material of the dress.  I practices several techniques in my sketchbook and decided I would do a pink wash and then blot out small spots with a paper towel to represent the white flowers. I then went back in with an orange to do the centers of the daisies. I put details into the bike and the child's shoes and then I did a gray wash over the whole road. The gray ended up splitting into an uneven mix of blues and yellows after I had laid it on the paper, but I kind of like the texture this provides.

I did most of this piece in one day over break. I really enjoyed the continuity that painting this way provided. The most challenging part of this piece was figuring out how to create the pattern in the child's dress. I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to match the hues, especially for the skin tone which I thought would be very challenging. I used an Archer's pad of paper for this piece, and I really liked the bigger tooth of the paper, as well as the fact that the paper didn't warp.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Project 6: Mechanization of Nature

 Initially I was very excited and inspired by the idea of doing an insect collection board and mechanizing the insects. I had decided on this idea after toying with various compositions of other mechanized creatures, namely octopus and fish, before finally settling on this idea. For this piece we had to choose some sort of drawing medium. When I started I had intended to use pencil, but soon after starting I decided to switch to pen. Pen, I believed, would allow me to better capture the fine details and intricacies better than pencil and also wouldn't run the risk of smearing. I collected references for both the beetles and their interiors. The first beetle I based off of a combination of a suit of armor and a gear system. The second beetle's interior was made up of a belt track and for the final beetle I relied largely on a car engine for my inspiration. 

I ended up working this project in many layers - I started off with the outline of the beetles first. The second step or layer consisted of outlining the interior components of each bug. For the third step I stippled and hatched and cross-hatched various different sections to put in value. I then put in the wooden frame around the outside. I wasn't sure how I was going to do this after I had switched from pencil to pen, but I found some examples of wood grain drawn in pen and practiced emulating the lines in my sketchbook several times before tackling the actual border. The final step I took was shading in some sections of the bugs so that there was a contrast between the bugs themselves and the frame. 
Easily the most time-consuming part of this project was designing the interiors of the bugs and deciding which pieces I wanted to go where. Also, creating the symmetry and line precision required with the pen was a little difficult at times. On the other hand, I think my favorite aspect of this project is the sharpness of the lines and I really enjoyed adding the value to the beetles.