Day #146

cubed1

Technically I did this yesterday, but forgot to post. Oops.

I had no plan here… Or reference images. I just knew I wanted to draw on my wacom tablet.

In my gaming course, I need to come up with a design for a box texture. I guess I was thinking about it while I was drawing, because this cube turned up. I think it became green because my partner has been talking about getting parts for his computer to make it black and green a lot lately. I set my keyboard to green because he can’t, so it might have been subliminal. I was going to focus on the character more, but I thought I do that most times and wanted to try something different. I kept cropping bits off, so it eventually became a nice size for my cover photo on Facebook. I still need a lot of practice with lighting and being more painterly (looser brush strokes). It was nice only having a limited palette, as skin tones and shadows were simple. I’m not good at seeing anything but brown and pink in skin. Something I am really looking to improve.

Apparently, when digitally painting, it’s good practice not to zoom in, so apart from the figure, I painted mostly in a fit-to-screen size. I think this helped fitting things into the composition and not getting into details.

I watched a video the other day where the artist recommended four hours a day of fundamentals to improve your art skills. I don’t believe you need to be that drastic – you may get RSI in three years :P. I’d say an hour, or a sketch a day. I’d draw at least once a day through high school and improved at a nice rate. Always have paper and pencils on hand. I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t just sit and watch TV without something in my hands to do.

Another piece of information I gained from YouTube this week is from Will Terrell. He said that it isn’t the person with talent to succeed, it’s the one that stuck to it and practices or ‘stucktoitiveness’ as he said. Here’s that video: http://youtu.be/oeY8lWprqkM?list=UUHu2KNu6TtJ0p4hpSW7Yv7Q

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Day #145

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Playing around with an idea I had of children connecting games straight into their heads. It wasn’t meant to have too much meaning behind it, but it developed as I went. ‘Play me’ is kind of a take on Alice in Wonderland- eat me/drink me. The boy with the plug connected is looking mindless like a zombie clambering for gratification, where as the unplugged girl is lifeless like a doll as though the game sucked out her life, leaving a shell, lacking nutrients and stimulus.
I used grey midtone paper, with pencil, copic markers, a white pen and a black pen.
I was also looking up videos about being a concept artist versus being an illustrator. I think my skills suit concept art better, which is good because that’s what has always appealed to me.

Day #144

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So, I’ve been growing some flowers, getting a Winnie the Pooh head in life and getting plaster of paris-ed.
So, Winnie was taken from a mould I have where you stuff toilet paper and water into the mould and it makes super lightweight, super cheap embellishments with no difficulty added. It does take a little while to do, but it doesn’t need your undivided attention… Might be why mine took a while :P. But what you do is get a roll of toilet paper, rip off squares, then rip them into pieces. Depending on the size and detail determines how big the pieces you need are. I used a spray bottle to spritz whenever the paper got too dry. The reason you use toilet paper for this, and you don’t need glue is that toilet paper is designed to dissolve into pieces in water, so the fibres interlock and dry into their new shape. I learnt this off a you tube video (I can’t remember which one, sorry.) But if you search there, you’ll find video instructions.
As for the flowers, I saw an idea making the nail polish flowers into a head-wreath. I’m not sure why, but the past load of these flowers I made got holes in the petals. Perhaps the polish was too old, or I didn’t let them dry properly before sticking then in a container and they poked each other. I’m thinking of putting another coat of polish once they are dried to make them stronger. I bought some floral tape, so that I don’t get stuck with all the wire in the head and hopefully it’ll keep it looking nice.
Lastly, I’m getting around to painting my plaster pieces. It took a few days to dry, due to being the middle of winter. You can tell they’re dry when they are about room temperature. Cold = moisture = not dry yet… Unless you have a really cold room.

Day #143

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Plaster of Paris.
This material is kept close to my heart. Whether it’s painting cookie monster as a kid, casting and painting cats with my brother or being the only one the teacher entrusted to mix the plaster properly in sculpture class in college.
I’ve been looking for months for plaster of Paris, which suddenly disappeared from the store I used to buy it. Today I walked down to the hardware store, and brought a kilo bag of it.
I have a couple of tips, that I’ve learned, to share. First off, mixing. If you’re mixing a big batch, the best way to mix is in a giant bowl with your hand. It’s useful to have two people, as you do not want any moisture getting near the plaster bag. Fill the bowl with about a third to half of cold water. Moving very gently back and forth with your hand, add a small amount of plaster at a time. Wait for it to dissolve before adding more. Move slowly, so you avoid making bubbles. The mixture will be ready when you lift your hand out of the mixture and it will be covered with a slightly thick milky film. Once the mix is ready, you’re ready to create. You can either create a mould for clay, take a cast of a mould or pour into a disposable container for carving. When taking or creating moulds, the best way to get details is to use an old paintbrush to coat the area where the plaster will be going while it’s still runny. Once coated, get a plastic spoon and spoon it gently onto your project. If you time it right, it’ll probably be getting thick towards the end of the process. Try to make more than you’ll need, I’m not sure that adding layers of varying degrees of set plaster would be as strong. Plaster can be sanded and carved with ease. It is quite heavy, so unless your pieces are tiny, they may not be suitable for cards or paper crafting. I’m planing on gluing mine to a wooden box to decorate it for a friend. Plaster of paris is porous, so doesn’t need any preparation before painting. It’s an all round excellent medium to work with for all ages and skill levels.

10/10 would recommend.