Monday, December 5, 2011

Spray Paint: Origins

I got to try my hand at illustrating an article. I had no idea what article I was going to pick because there were no guidelines. It both overwhelmed me and excited me.

Once I found my article (which took me probably an hour to find and then hmm and haw over whether or not to do it) I had to decide how I was going to design the illustrations. I created a matrix and with the help of my professor we came up with several ideas. Then the rest was up to me.

I am super happy with how it turned out, for sure.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Family Fotos

After I took pictures of my sister and myself, it was time to take pictures of everybody else. TheKeeper opted not to have his photo snapped, so I have to use one of his senior portraits on our Christmas card instead. But here are some of the other pictures I took:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Some Thanksgiving Portraits

Enjoy some photos of my sister I took today for our Christmas card. She's a real beauty, huh?

And one of me too, for good measure.

Friday, November 18, 2011

some graphic design for you

I originally wanted to post all of my artwork to this blog in an attempt to show off what I can do and potentially sell some of my items. I haven't got the selling part down yet and lately I've only been showing off what I've painted, so I thought I would take this opportunity to display a little bit of my graphic design work.

Graphic design is somewhat foreign to me, being that I'm highly unfamiliar with the software that we are using in class. However, in a recent discussion I had with my professor, she believes that I am producing strong work. She also said I'm really quiet and that she doesn't know how far she can push me. Hmm.

Anyway, our third project was to design a poster, post card, and email that would potentially be sent out to announce an upcoming fictitious lecture by a designer of our choosing. Lately I have been obsessed with typography, so I picked Zuzana Licko and Rudy Vanderlans who are two designers out of California famous for starting Emigre - a typography website.

This is the poster I designed that would be something you might see plastered around hallways to get people's attention. I chose to use bold types and bright colors to imitate their website and visually support the ideas that they are all about. I don't know if they would like it or not, but I do.

Then I took the layout I had been using for the poster and I applied it to a 4 by 6 post card that would be sent out in the mail. I think the post card layout is my favorite from this project.

After I finished with the post card and poster I worked on the email design. I didn't really understand what exactly the email should look like because the description was suuuuuper vague. It turns out that everyone in my class was confused about the email, so I was in good company during the critique. Nonetheless, my professor did like my email design and said she would probably pay attention to it if it was in her inbox because it's so huge and bright.

It looks really similar to my poster design, but I changed the background from vertical to horizontal. I actually ended up liking this a lot better and I think if I had to do it over again I would make the poster horizontal as well.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Space. So much space.

This is our second to last painting for the semester, so we got to pick our own subject matter. I had trouble coming up with what exactly I wanted to paint. We had no limitations, no parameters and usually I'm not very good with that. Too many options just overwhelms me and makes my brain want to shut down.

And to make matters worse, Monday morning our crazy purple croc clad professor, complete with matching purple scarf, tells us that our mid-crit is on Wednesday. As in the next class period. As in two days from then. And I'm not going to lie to you, I panicked a little bit. I looked at the girls on either side of me, who returned the exact same expression of shock. After we picked our jaws up off of the floor, I decided right quick what I was going to paint.

I mixed a lot of black and went to town painting the background. I left some white space for the planets and then I painted in flat blocks of color just to get an idea of what it would look like.

And then I got all seriously excited about space and planets and stars and before I knew it I splattered white paint all over the place! Not only was it all over my canvas, but it was on my shirt, my hands and my face. What can I say, I really get into my work. Plus, I'm one of the messiest artists I know, so there's that. 

Those stars! Man, I tell you what. I was super impressed with myself, but also I thought they weren't quite finished. Space needs to have some depth to it, and this was just too flat still. So I pulled in some color from the surrounding planets. Then I added in some colored gasses around the planets for mysterious effect! 

As it was starting to look more like the cosmos, the TA asked me what I was going to do with it. I blushed and confided to her that I was going to do something totally and completely nerdy with my intergalactic painting. And then she got all excited about it right along with me. I've slowly discovered that professors love when you do nerdy things in your artwork. I feel like this is because it makes it more personal to myself? Maybe? Question mark?

So I did it. I added in my favorite space core from one of my favorite video games. Get arrested in space, go to space jail.

SPAAACCCEEEEEE!!!!! So much space! Gotta see it all! Space!

And for your viewing pleasure I included a detail shot of my little yellow eyed orb creation. In the big picture, because he's so white, he gets blown out and overexposed because of the lighting in the studio. But he's pretty cute, I'm not gonna lie.

I know right? Amazing.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

under painting as an original composition

I had to find a pre 19th century painting and turn it into my own painting by taking a portion of that painting, the under painting, and make it look like it is its own composition. I always get grand ideas about painting landscapes. I always think I can do it and it will be fun and awesome and all these things and then I start in on this painting and freak out a little when things don't look how I think they will. However, this one pleasantly surprised me.

This is just the under painting of my own composition. The sky is my favorite part.

Then I started adding in the textures of the leaves on the trees.

The stumps came next. It was difficult to make them look like they were part of the painting. They looked a little disconnected from the painting until I went back over them with more green to tuck the tops underneath the foliage.

I added a bunch more detail into the stumps and I re-did the tree on the right side of the painting.

After that I moved on to the cows and the reflection on the pond. The cows I am not happy with. I think they look kind of stubby legged, but oh well.

The red leaves on the top right corner had me super nervous. I was worried that they would take over the painting or not match the rest of the composition, but I was really happy with the way they turned out.

After I brought the whole painting up to the same level, the green leaves needed to be reworked, so I added some more high lights above a couple different tree trunks and added some more texture.

After our final critique it was decided that I needed to bring some red and orange into the other trees to make it look more like the leaves are turning colors and then that red in the top corner won't look so out of place. Also, I'm gonna darken the branches in the tops of the trees to make them stick out less like sore thumbs and look more like they belong in the tree tops.

Monday, September 26, 2011


I just finished what I think is maybe my favorite painting so far. We had to base our painting around the idea of abstract expressionism. I have been wanting to do something abstract for a long time, but the opportunity never really presented itself before this project came along.

I struggled in the beginning with deciding what to paint. Making decisions was never my strong suite, but I did it. I looked up some abstract expressionist art online. There were some things that I liked, so I wanted to take elements of those paintings and apply those techniques to my own painting. As far as subject matter goes, I tried to think about what exactly abstract means. I went with fire. While we were camping I took a really great flame photo that I thought would be perfect for this project.

So, using the camp fire flame as inspiration for my abstraction, I painted the entire canvas black in order to paint the flame over top. I started with the brightest part of the flame, and then I started adding in more of the darker reds and oranges.

I got a little carried away, and decided that the bottom left corner was too empty. So in an attempt to balance it out, I applied the color I was using in the flame portion to create a sort of "glowing" look around the corners.

By this point in the painting, we had a mid-critique. My professor asked me to flip my painting upside down from the way I had been going about it. The elements in my painting worked better as a composition from this angle, so I ended up keeping it this way.

I wanted to be done at this point. The flames are abstracted pretty decently, but I just felt like it wasn't quite finished yet. I wasn't nuts about the brightness of the corners. It felt like the corners were competing for attention with the abstracted flames. I figured that I would have to extend the corner colors all the way around the painting or knock the colors down.

I decided to mix more black and paint over the top of the corners to give it more of an ember glow feeling. And actually, I think it turned out great.

This is what I ended up showing at our final critique. I went home Saturday and Dad helped me frame it. The frame isn't quite dark enough, so I'm going to try and get a darker stain so the wood is more black - but it looks awesome.