If you have no hope, invent.

April 5, 2010

Cut paper shapes/words

Filed under: Uncategorized — by mrottersman @ 6:20 pm

Right before spring break, we did an activity where we were given a word and had to create that word visually using pieces of paper.

My word was ‘aloof’.  Unfortunately I do not have a photograph (my camera has mysteriously stopped working), but the finished product came out nicely.

We were given a black piece of paper as our base, and I chose to use both white and gray paper to cut and paste onto it in order to make contrast without it being the bold black/white combo.  In order to ‘make’ the word, I cut out curved strips of the white and gray paper and two pieces of each color to put in the corners as a ‘frame’.

Once everything was cut out, I pasted them all on the black paper in a large, swirled shape.  What is interesting, though, is that none of the pieces are touching.  Rather, they are dancing around each other, giving the impression of avoidance and inattention as each piece ignores the others.

After the break, we all came back and got into small groups.  Each group chose two of the finished projects and discussed the technical aspects of each, and the guessed what the word the artist was given.

Overall, it was a very fun project.  It helped me expand my mind and think about art in a new way.


April 1, 2010

Little Animals

Filed under: Uncategorized — by mrottersman @ 2:40 pm

Angel Fish

First, the photos of the finished work.




Fins, again:

Formal qualities of the “little animal”:

The first thing one might notice about the fish is the color – or lack thereof.  The body is white, as are the beads used to decorate the fins.  The fins themselves are plain wire.  The whiteness (and naturalness) makes the fish angelic and ‘pure’; adding color would have detracted from that, adding an element that an “angel fish” might not have, thus turning it into something completely new.

The fins are made of florist wire, wound tightly around a thin dowel rod, then pulled out to make the long pieces for the fins.  The curly wire adds a delicate feeling to the figure, though it is strong enough to support the entire fish.  The beads add to the delicacy, especially since they, too, are an opalescent white.

There are beads on the top fin that are loose, able to move around the outer rim and add a feeling of movement.

February 28, 2010

Trip to a museum

Filed under: Uncategorized — by mrottersman @ 7:51 pm

Today my mom and I went to the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art on Marietta Square.   (http://www.mariettacobbartmuseum.org/)

I used to take art classes there when I was really little (like, in elementary school), but I haven’t been back in years.  Recently, though, I heard about a show going on there all about Georgia Women Artists, hosted by the National League of American Pen Women.  Quite fitting, I’d say.

My mom and I got there around 3pm, just enough time to see not only the exhibition, but also selected permanent collection they had on display.

This is the only other picture I was able to take:

The exhibit was amazing.  There was all sorts of art, from tapestries to sculptures to paintings and a lot of things in-between.  One of my favorite pieces was a watercolor of orchids, accented with oil pastel to give it depth.  Everything we saw, though, was exquisite.  I wish I had been able to take photographs to share.

Another piece that really stuck with me was a graphite drawing.  It was hard to tell what it was at first, but after a closer look, my mom and I saw that it was a drawing of a tea kettle reflecting a caricatured woman who had obviously just woken up and was pouring a cup of coffee.  The mix of humor and realism was stunning, not to mention the skill in the art itself.

I had a wonderful time.  If the museum were closer to Agnes, I would recommend that everyone go just for this exhibit.

February 27, 2010

Value – Fabric

Filed under: Uncategorized — by mrottersman @ 4:00 pm

This was my favorite project so far.  I’ve enjoyed drawing fabric since I ‘learned’ how way back when (it must have been early in high school), and so I started this drawing with enthusiasm.

The section of the still life I chose was a draped ballet skirt with a ball of paper sitting on it.

And here is how the project looked after about a week and a half:

At this point, the class had a critique on our work so far.  During this critique, we all came up with ideas on how to ‘finish’ our pieces.  For mine, I decided to finish the fabric and leave it at that.  I also needed to lighten and darken certain places to emphasize that some of the fabric is transparent while some is opaque.

So here is the finished product:

While I may not have gotten all the darks and lights perfect when it comes to the layers, here is what I think is the best section:

Overall, I really enjoyed this project.  Not only did I like the subject, I loved using pencil as my media.  Unlike with the conté crayon, as I mentioned in my last post, pencil is very forgiving.  I was able to be unafraid with my marks because I know I could change something if I did not like it.

February 25, 2010

Wooden Frames

Filed under: Uncategorized — by mrottersman @ 7:41 pm

This still life was made of blocks and strips of wood, and we were given an orange  conté crayon to sketch with.

Here is how mine came out:


I really like the way the three pieces (though it looks like four here) intersect.  It was difficult to do, but I think it came out well.


This bit, I think, is the best part.  I really like the way the second ‘door’ section looks, especially where it connects to the far beam going down.  I put a lot of effort into making it look exactly how I saw it.

Although the media was certainly not my favorite to use, I did enjoy the  still life itself.  The lines on the physical subject were clean and well-defined, which really made it interesting to draw.  It was fun to see all the ‘real’ lines and translate them onto the paper.

Unfortunately, though, I did not like the media.  I found it to be too rough, and very unforgiving.  The color itself was nice, but I was not fond of the marks it made.  Given the choice, I would not use the crayon again.  It was, however, a good experience.

February 16, 2010

Blind Contour

Filed under: Uncategorized — by mrottersman @ 12:37 pm

I really enjoyed the class we had with Mikaela on blind contour.  To be honest, I can’t remember if I have done blind contour before (high school art was such a long time ago!) so I definitely learned something new.

First we drew our hands (both the left and right).  I think that was the most challenging part for me; I’ve always had trouble drawing hands, so having to draw one without looking at the paper was very difficult.  But the point of blind contour is to actually see what you’re drawing, which I did.  It was really interesting to actually take the time to stare at the shape of the hand and what it looked like.  Unfortunately I do not have a picture of the hands I drew.

The second blind contour exercise we did was a portrait of the person next to us.  I really liked this exercise.  I was paired with Megan Williams for this, and though the portrait I did looked absolutely nothing like her, I am proud of how it came out.  As with the hands, it was helpful not having to look at the paper in order to focus completely on the lines and shapes of the other person’s face.

This is how my “portrait” of Megan came out:

I enjoyed this class a lot.  Blind contour is definitely something that I will keep practicing with.

January 25, 2010

Our first assignment: The Chair

Filed under: Uncategorized — by mrottersman @ 3:47 pm

The first part of our first assignment was, of course, to sketch a chair outside of class.
Here is my first chair:

I was really excited about this assignment.  I enjoy drawing for ‘fun’, but having this kind of structure is something I always appreciate; I find I produce better works when given a specific topic as compared to when I just come up with something on my own.  Hopefully that will change in the future, but for now I will enjoy the class to the fullest.

As for how I went about starting this project, I started it just like I start every other still life:  I found a good angle that inspired me to actually start.  I’ve found that I’m very specific about where I sit/stand in order to get the best view, and I spent a good amount of time doing just that.  Unfortunately the room was quite full, so I did the best I could.  I chose this angle because it had very interesting negative space

At first I had wanted to do a fully shaded piece (especially since I tend to smudge my lines without noticing), but the further I went, the more I liked this simple line drawing.  So after I had finished basic outline, rather than adding the shading as I had planned, I just went back and darkened the lines, leaving me with this.  I tried to erase most of the smudges (they’re much easier to see on the original), and then left it as it was.

I’m not too pleased with the way the seat of the chair meets with the back (the figure just seems off), but the negative space I ended with looks exactly as it was meant to, which I am quite proud of.

And now, for the second chair we worked on in class.

Charcoal is my favorite media to use, and I like to think I do good work with it.  As some people said in our critique session on Thursday, a lot of effort went into finding the perfect angle, which I did.  As you can see,  it is almost the exact opposite of the first chair drawing (which I actually did not do on purpose), and I think that helps the two of them look interesting when compared side by side.

All in all, I do like my second chair more than the first – whether that’s because of the charcoal is up for debate.  I really like the way the back of the chair (the section facing the viewer) came out; the negative space there is exactly what I wanted.  The “string technique” is a big reason for that, to be sure.  It helped me get the spaces right, which was a big factor in how well that section came out.

There were, unfortunately, two parts of the second chair that did not work out the way I had planned.

First is the negative space near the front legs of the chair.

Since the physical chair is not in front of you, it’s difficult to tell that the space if just a little off.  With Dr. Ruby’s input, though, I was able to figure out that this space is off because the seat of the chair is off.

It simply needed to be at a different angle.  Unfortunately I did not have time to adjust it, but if I had, the negative space in the legs would have fixed itself.  If I have time later on, I’d love to go back and make those changes.

Even without them, though, I am please with how both the first and second chair came out.

January 19, 2010

Hello world!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by mrottersman @ 7:15 pm

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