Within the second week of this course, we started with a similar exercise that I had done in the beginning of my Interactive Design course. I was actually a little prepared for this, unlike the rest of my classmates when starting this. Every time, we would get a new sheet of paper and object for each required exercise. The great thing about this was that I was a lot more confident about this then the last time. I also had a horrible sense of Deja vu as a result as well. Surprisingly, the rest of the class enjoyed these drawing exercises. I got a chance to take a look at the differences for each sheet too and see the effects. Some of them were easier to complete too. This was good for experimenting with just a piece of paper and a pencil. It’s nice to know that this would only be a one-time thing just for us to warm up I suppose.
Our first exercise was to draw our object from observation. It seemed simple enough, at least it would be if I was able to look at my paper once in a while. I made sure to focus on getting the shapes right (or as accurate as I could). I could definitely sympathise with other students who had to do this. The Tutor would tell us to make it enlarged and my object was fairly small, making it difficult (since I couldn’t look at my paper). What hasn’t changed is that it’s still painful to look at to this day. What made it so challenging for me was that I couldn’t keep my eye on the pencil, so my hand coordination wasn’t top notch.
This wasn’t as bad for me. At least I was able to look at my paper and navigate my pencil properly. I know that it wasn’t perfect and that’s not surprising. This involved taking a look at your object and memorising the appearance for a limited amount of time. We begun drawing after hiding our selected objects. I really enjoyed this out of all of them. I could sketch and have the rough image in my head which wasn’t so bad for me to do in the end. I even wanted to add in detail and a shadow too. It didn’t even take a long time for me to complete. Soon, I looked at our objects again and noticed some differences in curves and texture. I will say that it was an improvement from my last attempt.
The best thing about practicing drawing and writing with my non-dominant hand is that I could improve when it came down to this exercise. I messed up horribly on proportions for this. I struggled with getting a good grip on the pencil I used. I was honestly worried about the results at first when I made this drawing, but I’m really happy with the improvement in comparison to the last picture I made with my right hand. I guess that drawing from observation made it easier. The images reminds me of a croissant (in a good way). I should get into using my right hand more for sketching.
I didn’t really have problems with completing this drawing. I got to draw a dead leaf without taking my pencil off the paper. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take the pencil off the paper to measure the proportions. The great thing was that I didn’t scale it too small this time. I never really got much feedback regarding this sketch. I mainly talked to my peers whilst completing this continuous line drawing. The visuals reminded me of stain glass windows due to the constant lines made back and forth. I find it pleasing to look at, but I don’t think I would draw this way without some type of style/theme for a project sometime.
This drawing looks quite messy with jagged line. This was mainly the result of holding the pencil in our fists and pressing hard and creating strokes that look as if we were angry. That was the main purpose of this exercise. I really hate how scruffy-looking the visuals are, but I guess I’m too much of a perfectionist. It seemed so child-like to me, but my Tutor encouraged me to keep going with these strokes to represent anger/rage. I couldn’t have cringed more every second from looking at what I had produced. At least, it’s good for me to have some variety with doodling and sketching.
Graphite and Textures
Since we were done with the other exercises, the Tutor wanted us to move on to other tasks. We had to use a piece of graphite and two sheets of paper. He showed us a demonstration of what we had to do with the materials that we had in front of us. We used a sheet of A2 paper and graphite to shade over different surfaces in order to collect different textures and eventually draw our own textures based on what’s in front of us. This was a new and refreshing activity for me to do for a change. I never really focused so much on the details of backgrounds and objects. It was pretty useful for me to observe and record different textures and use them for my own work.
We all went around college and outside to collect different textures from different surfaces (from the image shown above). This was simple enough as all we had to do was lay the sheet of paper onto a surface and shade on an area. The process continued until the rest of the sheet was filled. It was interesting to look at how unique textures are on buildings or objects and I never really paid attention to that before. This reminded me of a similar technique with an A4 paper, HB pencil and some coins. They both had the same outcome, which had me satisfied. I can say that this technique would be useful for detail and precision in my future artworks.
The Tutor wanted us to grab different materials and objects to sketch the textures in as much detail as we could. I was confused for a moment at the time, since we had our sheet with texture patterns. I thought that we had to use that so I ended mimicking one of the texture patterns for tinfoil, but when I realised my mistake, I ended up stopping it midway and moved onto other drawing other textures. I’m well aware of how odd they appear to be due to the techniques of cross-hatching. I didn’t really enjoy this so much, but it serves as a good reference for intricate detail as well.
More Drawing Tasks
In the Afternoon, we had to grab ourselves a drawing board, a couple sheets of paper and some sharpened pencils. For some I had to use other senses (that didn’t involve my eyes) and use two pencils with both hands. The tactile drawings were the worst for me for the lack of coordination. I would honestly believe this to be the worst of my sketches. Everything was out of place with no structure or any understanding of what I was doing on some parts of the exercises we did. Results had varied depending on the task that we did. I felt neutral towards it all in the end.
I remember how awkward drawing this was, especially with my eyes closed. I would feel around my face, hair and clothes to visually describe what I had felt. The end result wasn’t really anything special, but other peers and my Tutor had described it as ‘Picasso-like’ and made other suggestions such as drawing my teeth as well. I eventually gave up half-way through and looked at what I made. I knew that it wouldn’t be (visually) to my liking based on the description of the image. There were some curves and lines that were shaped as facial features that I managed to get from feeling my own face. It’s a shame that I couldn’t have them closer together. Picasso would be proud.
We had the same objective, but this time we had to feel the object in our hands. Once again, I focused more on describing what I felt onto the sheet. I really gave up on this one and I definitely wasn’t pleased with how it turned out at all. Other people around me managed to try and capture the image and I felt absolutely lazy at the time. If I had to pick between the first and second tactile drawing, I would pick the first. This was reduced to lines and no shape. A part of me wanted to cheat and draw an image, but I knew that wouldn’t be allowed as our Tutor would be walking around to see what we were doing. I couldn’t really risk it. There wasn’t anything to say regarding feedback, but I know that I’m glad that I’m not blind.
This time we used two hands to draw an object at the time. I did struggle to get the grip for my right hand, but eventually got the hang of it. What made it easier for some of us was that a few of us would select symmetrical objects. I spent most of the time, fiddling around with the pencil in my right hand which would shake from holding and sketching.
We had to attach a pencil to the end and draw our chosen object while standing up. I didn’t put a lot pressure (fearing that I could break the stick that was required). I wish that I had held the pencil instead of relying on a stick for a visible stroke. I would definitely have to work on applying more pressure for something like this.
Measuring and Scaling
This was a task where we would take a look at some objects in front of us and sketch from observation. Only this time, we would try to scale and get the proportions as accurate as possible. I had an easier time with using a HB pencil rather than using charcoal. I guess that comes from a lack of experience with charcoal. My Tutor did like the accuracy of the shape and sizes, but I knew that adding more detail would have been better.
This wasn’t really too bad for me, but the only thing I wasn’t so thrilled about was having to hold the piece of charcoal by the side and press against the paper. I knew I couldn’t erase my mistakes and instead only have the ability to smudge as a result. I couldn’t really detail any of the objects being drawn. I started working from the middle and worked my way to the edges. This did result in having the images take up too much space. I made sure to keep note of this mistake so that the next time I try something like this, I can mark my positions before sketching them in place.
The great news for me was that I could use my pencil again. The bad news was that we would have to draw the same thing again and try to be more accurate with proportions. I was tempted to rub out mistakes made on the sheet. It does show progress from the sketching shown.
This was a task that made time fly by for me. I was pretty use to cross-hatching with doodling in class or at home. I did rush with drawing from observation and so my Tutor wanted me to draw more detail from certain areas of the object we drew.
We went to explore Harbourside to record our surroundings. Examples would include textures, photos, sketches, typography etc. We use fine line pens instead of pencils to sketch and record what we saw along the way around. I got to explore around new areas.
These were all that I managed to get with a sketchpad and fine line pen. It wasn’t as bad as I thought. I originally dreaded the idea of having to draw landscapes, fonts and textures. I really enjoyed the walk around to new areas and taking a look at buildings.
I used a range of materials such as ink wash, fine line, graphite, candle wax, magazine paper etc. It was pretty refreshing from my daily sketching and doodling what I would do. There are still a few things that I would change about this image. The font that I wrote could be remade again to suit the grungy atmosphere. I wanted to fit some more typography that I found around our journey, but there wasn’t a place where fitting it in would work (for me at least).
Where do I begin? This was another activity that I was familiar with doing before and in my free time. I wasn’t really looking forward to drawing a lot of detail from the environment. I was pretty fickle about the area to sketch and add detail to, so I selected a area where there were people along with the background.
These photos were taken as a reference for drawing perspective. I would try to capture a perspective that required one vanishing point. I wasn’t really bothered with drawing so much detail so I had taken a few simple photos.
I probably should have taken a photo of the roof to show off as a reference (suggested by my Tutor), but at the time I didn’t really care so much about taking a photo as I was too busy sketching the top of the roof. The sketch was simplified for me to get the basic shapes of the background correct.
I wanted to use a mixed range of media for this image. I grab what I grabbed some inks, fine line pens, felt tip pens, candle wax and used most of them and smeared them with water to create a light to dark effect on the page.
This was where we started focusing on primary and secondary colours. We were getting to the understanding of how to use colours for compositions. I couldn’t really ask for anything else when it came down to completing the tasks.
Making the colour wheel was simple, but creating the colour palettes was a little bit of a hassle. I couldn’t really place blocks of colour outside as it wouldn’t look right presentation-wise. So I ended up combining them all together and blending them in by mixing other colours altogether.
We had done a painting from observation, so I could kiss my pencils goodbye temporarily. I did start in colour, but was caught out on it. So I ended up painting over it. Since I found out about monochrome, I tried to focus on getting black and white in there first and add more depth as I go along. We only had to use acrylic paints and a few selections at that.
I got a little carried away with this one. We had the same task only this time it had to be in colour. I kept on getting fickle about the colour scheme I wanted throughout the whole session.
Now was the time for us to experiment and mess around with new materials. We had a brief where we could make any composition of what ever we wanted to make. The catch was that it needed to be made from a range of mixed materials. I was struggling to find out how I could work around this as I never really explored mixed media that much. Hell, I had spent some time in class pacing and thinking to myself. Eventually, I got around to making some sketches for ideas of what I could make in class.
I wanted to try to bring the illuminati
cunt-firmed to life. I never really bothered with sketching the layout. I wanted to add more as I go along the way. I would keep track of any changes I have added onto my composition every time (or try to) by taking photos of my progress.
For the grass, I would use a sponge type of brush and dab acrylic paint of different shades green and brown on to the surface. It got annoying to do, but after a while I got the hang of it. I would run out of paint fast and have to get more frequently.
I started placing the triangular-shaped piece of wallpaper for the base of my focal point. I used some masking tape to tape it in place at first, but then looking at the visuals I ended up covering most of the page with tape. Painting over it (with a normal-sized paintbrush) had a nice effect and I wanted to add more to that. So I put on layers and layers of paint. This is apparently called the dry-painting technique.
With some chalk I managed to add and highlight a piece of wallpaper used as a moon. The sky just seemed empty to me. I added in some more colours to the sky and used some chalk (along with white acrylic paint) to lighten up the picture. I did the best that I could to blend it in with the rest of the sky.
I noticed that my grass was lacking in detail. I focused on making the grass look as detailed as I could. I thought about adding a direction of light with some chalk to show off the luminance of the illuminati triangle. I used a biro pen to add in grass strokes (which probably aren’t noticeable in the images shown above).
When my Tutor took a look at this, he was impressed with the use I’ve made with the limited materials I had. He did suggest that I could have added rays of light to the illuminati triangle. I have now considered putting that into my final piece of mixed media.
I wanted to put a phrase and represent it in a way that convey the emotion of that pun. I have heard some people say ‘Pokémon Go fuck yourself’ in anger/rage. So I thought that would be an opportunity for me to make this to test the typography out.
I wanted to use the materials I had left aside. Grabbing an A4 sheet of paper, I went on ahead with my next experimental concept. I had the main idea figured out, but I didn’t really plan out how the layout of the background would be. So I just used PVA glue, plastic bandage and wallpaper textures to randomly generate this layout instead. Of course, I had to cut it down, but the scaling went wrong, resulting in the white blanks you see from the top right and bottom left.
I decided to fix that with some acrylic paint. I would keep using black and white as my main colours. I continued to mix and blend them both together to compensate for what I’ve left out earlier.
Immediately after getting that out of the way, I took a look at the bottom and I thought it was too plain-looking so I messed around with the netting and painted over it to get some tile pattern. I ended up getting blotches of paint in some places so I ended up working around with the precious black and white acrylic paints from before. I started cutting and using magazine letters to spell out one part of the pun for my work.
At this point, I started to focus on scaling and laying out the end of the pun. Every time I wrote it out, the letters would be squished together, too big or too small. I would start out with chalk so that I could rub out any mistakes I would make and once I was satisfied with my results I could go over it in charcoal.
The main criticism I have for this is the choice of font for the top. The great thing about this is that it’s only an experimental piece of work and my final piece can look better. Some people giggled in response to the context of my work. I have received positive feedback regarding how subtle, but well done it had been.
This was a piece I really liked making. It had the dark, macabre mood that I love about Horror art in the first place. I didn’t even intend to create it like this. I just went with the flow. I only wanted to try some new ideas and materials that haven’t been used at all yet.
I had done a photo transfer where I apply and spread white acrylic paint (Professional Quality) all over the picture (that I printed out). I stuck the painted side to the piece of card and made sure to press down hard to avoid crinkles. So I would start by smoothen the sheet out in circles and going outwards. It had to stay for at least twenty four hours before applying water and removing the sheet with a rubber.
After drawing my mysterious character, I wanted to change the background to make the character blend in as if their belonged there. This was helpful for blending in and changing the shadows and mid tones in my background for this piece.
I continued with painting using candle wax, ink and acrylic paints. I wanted to go for a monochrome scheme. I didn’t like the effect for what the candle wax and ink has created so I went on ahead with using the white, black and brown acrylic paints to go over it and cover the spaces left behind.
Out of all the final outcomes, this one satisfies me the most. I’ve enjoyed creating a more dark, gothic themed art piece. I even impressed with how I made the character blend in with the rest of the background. I was worried about getting the picture looking odd, but I’m happy. The Tutor commented on the macabre theme of the piece which I took as a personal compliment.
Inspiration for Mixed Media pieces
Aunia Kahn is a mixed media artist that has combined the use of photography, digital painting and collage techniques to depict young women in an aesthetic manner. Her source of inspiration stems from her childhood experiences of abuse which fuels her creativity towards her artwork. What I really appreciate is the fact that she can use her experiences to make creative content. Taking experiences and expressing them can be a good source of inspiration. It’s interesting to see the contrast between the artists’ bright colour palette and my darker colour palette for my mixed media pieces.
Since we had already been finished with mixed media experimentation. We moved onto printmaking. I have been familiar with this in my GCSE Art course. We got to do different techniques and look at the different results. I found some of these techniques for printing simple enough and may include this in my final piece.
Mono, Colour and Base-printing
For this technique, we would use found objects, roll over them with ink paints, lay them onto a piece of cardboard with an A3 sheet on top and put it through the press for results. I went on ahead with using a pile of leaves for my found objects.
These were some concepts for finding a design for my colla-graph template. I didn’t really have a clue on how to get started with making the template to begin with. I doodled away with ideas of what I could do with a regular HB pencil. I was far too lazy to bother with colouring in any of it.
Some of it was inspired from pop culture, YouTube and video games. I also wanted to incorporate some surrealistic themes in there.
This is my colla-graph template which I made using cardboard paper, wall paper, crystal salt and tissue paper. I used acrylic paint and PVA glue to put the pieces together. I’m anxious about how the template will hold together after the varnishing. My Tutor did show us a video demonstrating the process with the varnishing, applying ink and rubbing it off. I hope that mine is stable enough to handle what it’ll go through.
I moved on to make a template for relief printing where we use tracing paper to create a design and transfer it onto the material used to carve with the knife pen tool. Carving was the most irritating part of making the print. I would either have the pressure too soft or too hard. At least I can learn from this mistake in the future.
I made this simply by carving the design onto a piece of glass using my sketched design as a guideline. I decided to do a scratchy-styled drawing which is the style I have worked a lot with only biro. This time, I needed to use his scratching tool which was a bit time consuming, but I was able to get it down. The Tutor had commented that it would be better to take my time if I wanted it to look neat and presentable. I thought about it at first, but thinking about it got me into the scratchy approach due to my lack of patience at the time.
I had gotten started with creating design sheets for visually presenting my ideas for what I would like my 3D model to look like. These are rough ideas and can change as I develop them. I had two ideas regarding corruption and extinction. It’s easier to explain my ideas than to write them down.
My ideas did involve negative topics such as murder, rape, suicide etc. I originally wasn’t so sure on how I could represent that from the theme of Anthropocene. I showed these sheets to my Tutor and explained the concepts to him as well. The main issue was to look at the connection to how these concepts even have a ‘human’ effect on the environment.
I selected my second idea and went around to making detailed design sheets after my Tutor approved of the rough concept previously. I needed to make sure that it was more detailed than the first rough concept that was made. My second idea involved the personification of different animal species being killed/extinct due to human nature when it comes to hunting for sport/sadistic entertainment.
After finishing the model for the first idea, I went on ahead with making paper maches for my plushie doll before the final product is made. I originally went along with the idea of using a visual personification for this 3D piece.
I eventually got onto the process to where I started constructing the doll. I honestly had more difficulty with stitching and turning it inside out. I’m glad that I went on with using my own bare hands rather than the machine or it would have been worse. Using a template for cutting and sewing was a useful guideline for me (I’m not an expert in textiles). I made the mistake of painting with acrylic rather than fabric paint for my cloak. I was so focused on making colours mix and blend that ended up ruining it by accident. The good news was that I was able to go and get some spare materials from the scraps area from the fashion course. I immediately went on sewing the hooded cloak together from google images (for reference) and constructed it together. The hardest part was sewing on the hood after the cloak.
I moved onto getting the tablet finished as well. This was a another concept I had thought of after finishing my plushie doll. I was focusing on where to scale the tablet, designing carvings for symbolism and looking at different animals that have gone extinct at our hands.
After making the plushie, I got around to making the tablet. I grabbed some foam and carved a circle and sanded it around the edges (with sanding paper, of course). I applied some plaster bandage around the entire object so that it would be easier to paint with emulsion paint combined with acrylic paint. I wanted to get the main colour scheme to resemble stone tablets, but sadly failed with that. I continued on with crafting on the symbols to represent extinct animals (it probably isn’t obvious though).
I should admit that I’m glad to have completed my outcome for the project. I know that the presentation could have been better if the tablet had been scaled to a slightly larger size, but at the time I was convinced that making the tablet and the plushie the same size would do just fine when I was at the planning stage. However, I’m satisfied with how the carvings of the tablet turned out, even without the plushie or scythe on top. It could easily be presented as its’ own piece if it wasn’t for the Anthropocene theme being a necessity. I really enjoyed decorating my scythe with fake blood the most. I used the few blobs of different coloured paints to create that and managed to make it somewhat decent. If I could make any improvements for this project, I would have redesigned the cloak for the plushie or changed the colour. The main concerns with the whole process was to make sure I didn’t prick my self with the needle. I would snap the thread by getting it tangled up by accident. It irritated me a lot in the process of creating the plushie and stuffing it was difficult as well due to the plushie size. When it came down to presenting it, my Tutor thought that the tablet’s designs were too subtle in showing the theme of animal extinction. He mentioned that it would have been more effective if ‘it was in your face’ in terms of visuals and presentation. I could have changed the visuals in order to get the symbolism across. When it comes to the pros and cons, I’m happy with my outcome overall.