Art Blast 4/18/2011

I know. Technically, I should have posted this blog yesterday, since it’s the artwork from last week. But weekends are an insanely busy time for us, so I’ve decided to move the art blasts to Mondays instead. That way I can go through all the art I’ve done for the week, decide which ones to post, and still get to bed before midnight on Sundays.

I’m doing pretty good with the goals. I met all my weekly goals, but there were a few days I missed some of my daily ones. Not the writing. I did that every day, even if it was just a paragraph or two. But I skipped sketching and penmanship two days each. I’m going to stick with the goals as they are now for the rest of the month, but starting in May I might change sketching and penmanship to five days a week instead. Like I said, my weekends are so busy it’s hard to set aside an hour for sketching or twenty minutes for penmanship practice. At least, not without feeling like I need to rush so I can get to the next thing on my to-do list.

Okay, enough of that and on to the art!

The stop motion film we did this week was test footage for a longer film about a plane. I’m still working on both it and the first one, learning my way around Photoshop Premiere Elements (and looking into upgrading to a newer version), but I’ll do a separate post with those when they’re done.

an origami that is either a warthog or a walrus

Chad thinks this is a walrus. I think it's a warthog, or possibly a boar.

Chad and I had a bit of a debate about what this week’s origami was. I thought it was a warthog, or possibly a boar. He thought it was a walrus. Unfortunately, the iPhone app I’m using for origami diagrams doesn’t say. If you know, feel free to post in the comments. Either way, I think it turned out pretty nice.

a painted miniature of a man in a suit, bowler hat, and trench coat

The inspector looks like he got into a bit of a tussle.

We finally got some good paints for miniatures, so I got to break out my brushes again for the first time in years. I still had to custom mix the paints for his coat, suit and hat, though, because the paint set didn’t have grays or blues dark enough for the look I wanted. But that’s the cool thing about painting; you can always mix your own colors. After the mini dried, we dipped it in Quickshade, which adds shading in the creases and varnishes the mini so the paint is less likely to scratch. The Quickshade made the paint job look fantastic, except for his face around the eyes, which look like somebody took a crowbar to him. This was my first time using Quickshade, though, and I’m sure with enough practice I’ll be able to prevent things like that.

a white mushroom made of Sculpey

I added texture to the cap and stem...

the underside of a white Sculpey mushroom showing the gills

... and cut gills into the underside of the cap while sculpting the mushroom.

For a sculpture this week, I did a mushroom. I admit that I stole the idea from a guy at Hobbytown USA in Greensboro who made an incredible sculpture of Alice in Wonderland standing on a mushroom holding the Cheshire cat. His detail work was amazing. I wish I’d gotten his name so I could see if he has a website I could link to for you. My mushroom isn’t anywhere near as good as his, but I tried to add texture to the stalk and the top of the cap, and even put in gills under the cap.

a sketch of a small bird in flight

Bird in flight, from a photo I took of goldfinches outside our front window

I had a hard time picking a sketch again this week. I did a lot of things like proportion practice that don’t really result in sketches I’d want to show the world. In the end I picked this one, even though I scaled it wrong from the beginning so the bird’s face goes a bit off the page. But I like the lines of the drawing and how the wing turned out. I picked up a new sketchbook with white paper, too, so I might try re-doing this sketch in that.

I’m still digging into my archives for photos and 3D artwork. The 3D work is tough to fit into my schedule because I have to use my computer for that, and I know as soon as I turn my computer on I’ll lose half a day dealing with other stuff (and mouse-potating). So I drag my feet at it. Not to mention that just doing a 3D image can take days. With all the other goals I’m trying to meet, I haven’t figured out how to fit that in yet. In the meantime, this is an image called “Ozymandias, King of Kings” that I did for a contest one time:

a worn, eroded statue of a man, on its side in a sandy desert with broken columns behind it

Inspired by one of my favorite poems, "Ozymandias", by Percy Bysshe Shelley

It’s one of my favorites, and it really shows what a difference getting good constructive feedback can make. One of the folks over there gave me some tips on how to make the sand look more realistic, more dynamic, and it really took the image to a new level.

a grainy black and white photo of a freight train

Yes, I like trains. My favorite way to travel. I just wish they had more routes.

This photograph is currently my desktop wallpaper. I took the picture on the autumn leaf viewing train ride last year. No, this isn’t the train we rode on. Our train passed this one in Virginia, I think. I did some postwork in Photoshop to make the picture look like it was taken back in the 30s or 40s. One thing I learned about photography on that trip: the key to taking pictures on a moving train is to click the button fast and hope for serendipity. I’m used to photography being an exercise in patience, lining up a shot and holding still until everything’s just right. Photography from a moving train is the complete opposite. If you wait until everything’s just right, by the time you press the button the subject’s gone.

That’s it for this week’s art blast. I hope you enjoyed it!

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