For this project, I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to portray, especially since it had to include movement. The sketch that I used for my final project was actually compositional sketch three out of six of the champagne sequence. Initially I just drew the bottle with the cork and the champagne shooting out, then added all the bubbles because I wanted the design to be more whimsical and graphic so it would fit my style. This project is all about fun and excitement to me, and I guess that's the meaning I've assigned to something so simple. My use of texture in the piece enhances the image by making the foil, cork, and bubbles all look different. Though they are all drawn on the same plane, the texture I added gives the piece depth and dimension. It helps the viewer distinguish between materials and imagine what the original image would have looked like. I balanced my artwork by adding the larger bubbles on the left side to outweigh the champagne spray on the right. Had I left just the champagne, the piece would have felt more empty and one-sided. The key part of the composition of the piece is the strong diagonal line of the bottle (you know, diagonal lines add excitement). The piece basically shatters the rule of thirds. The main movement shown in the piece is the champagne exploding out of the bottom. When I think about it more, I think the large bubbles floating is another implied movement in the piece. I could definitely improve my artwork by, you know, getting better at drawing circles. They are all so lopsided and weird looking. Also, I could try to make the foil wrapper look less comical and give it some more crinkles. I demonstrated a wide range of values by starting everything out on the same light level, then picking things to lighten to varying degrees depending on the light source and personal preference. I also forced myself to push my whites, even though that's not something I'm used to.
When this project was presented, we were given the option of making a mechanical, zombie, or expressive self-portrait. When I thought zombie, I thought of a more ghoul-like figure, something that would disturb me more than the typical gore and decomposing zombie. This figure was haunting, supernatural, stealthy, and had just enough human features to really get under someone's skin. I followed that vision with this drawing as opposed to my other concepts because I was instantly intrigued by the idea. The concept is very surreal and Occult, which are two styles that have always fascinated me. In general, the lines I used follow the natural contour of the face, but the lines in the skin pulled over the eyes were draw in a way that would really imply tension. For the values in this piece, I just shaded a basic outline of the shadows and highlights, then went back and pushed the values until I was happy with the darkness. I think the most important aesthetic quality in the piece is how the darkness of the drawing and the subject matter present a stark contrast to the white paper. For some reason having so much blank white space surrounding something so nightmarish adds to the impact of the piece and makes it far more pleasing. I think choosing graphite for my piece gave the viewer a unique experience because it had just enough definition to make the piece seem solid, but just enough blend-ability to allow all the lines to fade together into a believable piece. Everyone who looked at my piece said that it disturbed them, that the creature depicted was unsettling. I think the key to this effect was to highlight an instinctual fear of the unknown. The audience has no clue what this creature is and can't identify it as a human who has been damaged because the eyes are blocked from view. Eyes are the windows to the soul, and without those windows, we aren't sure how to react.
I know I probably should have done better compositional sketches and written less about my concepts, but unfortunately I think best in words as opposed to pictures. Though I feel like my mechanical concept would have been more of a challenge, I was drawn to the idea of the unorthodox zombie concept because it scared me and intrigued me. The key feature of the piece is the skin that is pulled taught over the eyes, which is semi-transparent. In my full scale compositional sketch, I tried to explore how the skin would pull across the face and how I could draw it to make it read as stretched skin.
This exercise was all about learning where to place facial features on the head. I never knew that the eyes were that far down on the head, so I always placed them way too high. Even though I know now that they belong in the middle of the head, I still have to fight the urge to draw them higher! Learning how to use the eye as a unit of measure for placement is one of the most useful drawing tricks I've ever learned. Using it forces me to draw the features where they belong as opposed to where I think they should go, which usually doesn't allow enough space for the forehead and the temples.
Before these practice features, I had never seriously attempted to draw facial features with full shading. The most important things I learned from these practices were the shading around the eyes and the fact that YOU DON'T ACTUALLY HAVE TO DRAW THE BRIDGE OF THE NOSE!!!!! That knowledge alone changed my perspective on noses entirely. I think I also learned to observe the light source even closer than I did before to make the highlights and shadows more naturally placed and less formulaic.
I think my piece is fairly neat. The edges aren't super crisp, but the colors are fairly well contained in their respective areas. I kept the chalk really close to the lines I sketched with the pencil, so I maintained the original image fairly well. The color choices I made for the wall in the background and for the table help unify the art by making the whole image as vibrant as the headphones are. Originally, the wall was a lighter green and the table was yellow, which was also the color I chose for my paper. The new colors add just a little more interest and pop to the piece. All the colors in the piece have a cool undertone, even the brown and green. I think the green for the table made sense with the color of the headphones because they are compliments. I created contrast in my piece by making the shadows very distinct and bold. This makes the transitions between the colors more dramatic and noticeable. The highlights in the piece are equally distinct, and I think they make the light source of the picture easy to locate. Almost everything in the scene had a smooth texture, so the only real texture was the Saran Wrap. I think the wrinkles in the wrap at the bottom of the page enhance the piece because they are the one part where it is most obvious that the headphones are covered with something. If I had made this texture a little more regular and smooth, the effect would not have been as strong. I chose yellow paper for this project because I figured it would give the colors a little bit of a brightness boost and would also add to their vibrancy. I don't think the colors would have been as rich and full had I drawn this on white paper. Understanding chalk pastels and how to use them to achieve the effect I wanted was absolutely crucial to this piece. Thanks to the practice piece we did with it, I was able to play around with the best ways to blend the colors without them getting muddy. Accepting the fact that, in reality, I don't have a ton of control over the pastels was very important to me because it allowed me to embrace the irregularities in the color throughout the piece. The hardest parts of this piece were getting the perspective of the manga book correct and keeping the chalk somewhat under control without smudging it a ton with my hands accidentally. I could definitely improve the Saran Wrap if I did the piece again. I think I would just have to focus more on the minute reflections in the plastic to make it more realistic.
This mini project was focused more on getting us familiar with chalk pastels and how to blend them together. The idea was to use an arrangement of eggs on a table and shade them according to the dramatic lighting we created. Instead of doing the typical arrangement, I decided to draw two eggs cracked and nested inside of each other because I liked that composition better. Capturing the perspective and details was hard to do, but the end result looks solid to me. I wish I had taken a step back from the piece while it was in progress so I could have seen how oddly the bottom pink section is shaped, as I would have rounded it out more. I'm incredibly proud of the blending, especially in the bottom half of the blue egg. If I were to do this again, I would try to find a way to make the table look more convincing.
This mini project was geared towards helping us figure out how to convey opacity and transparency using chalk pastel. Though again my style went more graphic than realistic, I think I succeeded in making the candies look as though they were wrapped in plastic. I have to say, now that I have the piece on a computer screen, I really love how vibrant it is. I hadn't noticed before just how much white I used. If i were to do this again, I would have made sure that the line of candies was straight and I might have put them at an angle to make them more interesting. I also would have tried to make the folds in the wrapper more angular and distinctive to make the piece more realistic.
For the Dum-Dum project, I decided to invert the colors of the piece to see what it what look like. In the end, I wish I had kept the original colors because I worked with my least favorite color primarily. Because I dodged the wrapper in the progression drawing, I had no clue how to approach making the folds look real for this project. As a result, I feel the piece came across as more graphic than realistic. We were told to add colors to the piece that don't actually exist in order to make the piece more interesting, and I will say that I am very grateful for that advice. The hints of blue and purple make the piece just a little bit less earthy and pay homage more to the original coloration of the wrapper, which I think looks good. Overall, if I could do this project again, well, I would just do it again.
This piece was the first time I really experimented with value and placement of value. The outline of the pear is simple and the surfaces were smooth, so without the value changes there would have been absolutely no texture or interest in the piece. I also feel that the values I used made the piece realistic. My biggest challenge for this piece was drawing the shadows and highlights exactly as they appeared in front of me. Because the pear was so simple a form to draw, I wanted to get every nuance of the shading perfectly captured. Lots of times I had to erase value I had laid on too dark and try again. Sometimes the value changes were so subtle that they were nearly impossible to detect. I overcame this challenge by staying relaxed and focusing as hard as I could to notice every detail. My piece didn't include a wrapper, but I think the lines in the bite marks would have been a lot less striking and definitive had I not made them so crisp and darker than the rest of the fruit. For this piece, I wanted to blend out the values and make them smooth, like the pear itself. Had I not blended them as well and let the pencil strokes show more, the texture would have read as more rough than reality. If I could redo three things about this project, I would entirely redraw the first pear, the left bite mark on the third, and the shadow on the fourth. I learned how to capture shadows and highlights accurately through shape shading with this project, which was a concept I applied to my still life drawing. I also learned to more closely observe objects.