Monday, 30 January 2012

Assignment 2 Update

Okay I looked at my assignment - I was supposed to do a contour drawing and simplify my work. (Neither of which I did, SO..... off to the drawing board again, literally!!) Here's what I did today. Ink first:
Then I added charcoal. Not so minimal anymore, but I like it a bit better.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Assignment Two: City of Bottles

Hmm, well my first sketch received some pretty harsh criticism especially in the area I thought I had succeeded best in! (Of course!!) I thought my composition was pretty good, but it was considered one of the weakest aspects of my first sketch. (I of course was not so fond of the palcement of the main figure, but evidently my focal point wasn't too clear and if you divide my image up into quarters, some are pretty boring.

Okay, yeah, I can see that. Here they are upside down for a little distance:

The one above is pretty boring! I definitely need some kind of horizontals in this section to break the strong vertical lines.

This one is a little better, but could still use some more verticals especially in the bottom left corner.
This one is pretty static! And the one below once again has strong verticals without much horizontal interest.
Our new assignment was to do a better job. We had to do two different formats (one horizontal and one vertical). We also were required to use charcoal for one and graphite for the other. (Yikes - I am SO bad with charcoal - it is so messy and I never know where the point of the charcoal is, so I am real inaccurate with it. We could choose regular charcoal or vine charcoal - so I went for the vine charcoal.)

So here is the vine charcoal version.

Well, I think I did better, but I did more drawing than I expected (I was planning to leave more unrendered space on the paper.) Here is the image divided into quarters.
The above two look pretty good and I like the one below too although it is pretty repetitive and could use a little more variety.

The one below obviously needs some help.

The bottom half of the image is pretty boring - I guess I need to add a shadow or a label somewhere.

I was pretty tired, but thought I'd better start the graphite version. I did it much more quickly (one of my goals, but I can see I will need to do some work on it too.) The top

I think I did better compositionally here. There is definitely more movement in this quarter and a good variety of values.

I like this one (below) too, although it is less active.

This one may be a bit too static, but it is still an improvement over the previous ones.

This is the part of the picture I did last. I was getting tired. Can you tell? I guess I'll be working on it some more before class!

It is interesting that the right side of both images is weaker than the left side!

Saturday, 28 January 2012

A Little Compassion

Okay, yeah, ... so I'm doing this funky thing - I had a colleague complain about my attitude and so with a little soul searching and the Guide to Modern Self Help Fads, I decided I needed to work on my compassion. Evidently scathing looks and eye-rolling doesn't go over well in response to workplace improvement brainstorming sessions where colleagues suggest wearing cute little nametags with frogs on them or that everyone could wear a funny hat on Tuesdays or maybe projecting Everybody Loves Raymond on the ceilings during business meetings and lunch and coffee breaks.

Anyway, it seemed like maybe I could try to dig up a tiny iota or so more compassion for my co-sufferers at work, so I did what any mis-atuned person of my generation does when she needs help - I cruised the internet for advice. Why did I feel like I was at that same brainstorming meeting above? Since I can't google anymore without them storing my data, I web-searched the topic and learned oh so much! I found links to how to sponsor a Christian child, self-hypnosis and Gaddafi. (Okay, so he did wear some cool funny hats that would be great for Top-hat Tuesdays, but I won't, won't, won't roll my eyes! Well, okay, maybe just a little!)

There was stuff on finding compassion in 40 days, but I'm kind of in a hurry, so even the site that promised it in 37 days didn't really appeal to me. Whatever happened to Instant Karma?

I finally settled on morning affirmations in which I awaken in the morning being thankful that I wasn't born an earthworm and trying to affirm that I will open my heart to the most sadistic of buzzards around me and feel their suffering. Somehow the idea of trying to feel others pain doesn't strike me as the way to behaving more nicely, though. So this morning I settled in to meditate and FEEL the suffering of my arthritic Aunt Minnie. Then I ended up cussing out the mailman for ringing the bell and making me have to walk to the door cause my knees hurt so bad. Okay, so I admit, I have a long way to go (and believe me, it ain't easy with arthritic joints!)

After affirming right and left this morning that (Ommmmm) I would not get angry, (Ommmmm) I would not be critical and (Ommmm) I would open my heart to the suffering of others, I checked my email and found this!

Okay, now I know I am supposed to open my fourth Chakra to these people that can't find anything better to spend a normal person's yearly income on than a canvas handbag from France, but help me out here, I'm having just a little trouble with this. (Ommmm) Must have compassion for Lindsay Lohan and Lady Gaga. I had to ask myself, why would they be suffering? Well, in all fairness, I couldn't find a Birkin Handbag on the web for $50,000. Clearly I was over-reacting! I did find this ostrich bag that actually sold for $27,500. (Ommmmm)!

So I suppose I should probably feel their pain for having paid retail! So it was back to the meditation pillow! Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

You know, I think I'm getting it. I meditated on this for a while and realized, how can I NOT have compassion for someone stuck with such an ugly, bright orange handbag made from bumpy bird skin or for someone stupid enough to spend that much for a purse! Wouldn't the Dalai Lama be proud of me! Oh wait, I forgot we are supposed to eschew pride. I guess he wouldn't.

So, hey, except for that last part, this compassion stuff is really working! Now I've turned my attention to politicians! Do you realize the pain felt by Newt Gingrich from all that negative campaigning produced by Mitt Romney and from not getting to hear debate applause!? Or how awful it must feel for Mr. Romney to not get to pay his fair share of taxes!? Oh gosh, and the reduced salaries of all those Wallstreet bankers since the financial crisis! I never realized how much suffering there was in the world! And here I was worried about the low brain wattage of my co-employees! So, bring on the frog name tags and those funny hats! Everybody loves Raymond! My meditation techniques are bringing me to new talents - Do you think one can learn how to roll the mind's eye! Don't you think the cosmos does?

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Finished New Sketch

Assignment: A Black and white sketch create a sense of depth using foreground background and and middle ground, have an overall focus area and incorporate effective use of negative and positive space. (Completed versions below)

Here is the unfinished version. I want to leave at least one of the remaining bottles unrendered, but am not sure which one. Originally I thought it would be the one in the back, but now I'm leaning toward one of the other two. It's getting late and I had hoped to have finished tonight, but now I know I need to stop. I guess I'll continue tomorrow.

I'm not fond of the centrality of the primary figure. Maybe this cropping is a bit better:

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Redecorating in My Head

Someone on my social networking site posted some rooms with the question about what was Good, bad or otherwise. One room really bothered me - it was cluttered and had a variety of furniture styles and so many colors that my head hurt.

I just couldn't resist rethinking it. So I set to work on photoshop. First I had to get rid of some of the clutter - remove a few pictures and reduce the size of the corner table. And what's with the combination of zen, barock and rustic country elements? How many colors can you have in one room, red, blue, green, lilac, gold and black (and let's add a yellow coffee table ornament while we are at it!) So my next step was to try to unify the color scheme a bit. I live in a cold climate, so I wanted some brighter colors, but maybe not quite that many. Here is what I came up with.

After looking at both of them for awhile for some reason the original seemed cheerier. Here is a side by side comparison:

It made me wonder if it was the colors I didn't like or if there was something else going on, so I tried a different set of colors:

What do you think? I almost wonder if I don't like the original version better. The continuation of the white table and seating actually looked cleaner and in our winter drabs maybe all those colors aren't so bad after all. (Especially if you take out some of the clutter.) I guess it's good that I'm not an interior designer! Still it is fun to dream!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Circular Sweater Update

Well, I ripped out about 4-5 inches that had ruffled because I increased too much and so I am slowly adding the rows back on. I don't like the pattern as much, but I have a better sense of how the increases affect the circumference

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

New Tribal Fringe belt

Okay, so I had a lot of things to get done today and well, I didn't do any of those things, but here is what I did do.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Various and Sundry

It's a lazy afternoon. Most everyone in the house is up to this:

I on the otherhand decided to find something to do with those plastic things that come around a six-pack of cans.

Maybe a doormat?

Friday, 6 January 2012

Recent Completion

I think the edging gives it a nice finished look.