So I’ve made it to the end. I went from drawing inanimate objects to still life. The whole point of doing so was to learn about proportions, form, and space relationships to one another. I learned about the importance of paying attention to the shadows of objects to help with the value shifts. Before college, I probably never would have considered or even thought about these ways. When I look back at it, I call it a narrow sense of looking at art. Taking this foundations: form/space relationships and figure& motion have really opened my mind up to the grand scheme of things in the art world.
I remember during the first weeks of college my class went to the Llewellyn art gallery. We were looking at the self portraits of the freshmen from the previous year. I thought to myself, “I would never be able to do something like this!” But now, I see why the self portrait was assigned at the very end. We are supposed to bring everything we learned to the forefront. The self portrait is supposed to be the one of the best works of art we do in college.
Original Black & White Photograph
Finished Charcoal Self Portrait
I compared this project to the two other charcoal projects. The chair and skeleton within. When comparing this project to them, I realized I had a much smoother time making them. The chair was physically in front of me and the skeleton was just playing around with different charocal values. This one had me looking at a picture in black and white. I had to keep paying attention to it to keep it consistent to the original. It is not 100% accurate, but I tried and I feel it paid off in many respects. I really wanted to put my skills to the test.
The values are what really create the form and the shape of the portrait. I did this particularly well near the nose lips and chin. It does not look flat. You can see how the values shift as you look more to the right of my face. It creates the 3-dimensional form.
I love how the whiskers came out. Taking the charcoal and adding individual dabs all over was time consuming, but it really paid off. I went back and blended it a bit, but not too much. When you look at if from afar, it does look like what I want it to be.
The hair was the most challenging part. I didn’t know how to approach it and it left me at a standstill. What I ended up doing was making it dark with subtle hair strands you can see inside it. On the left, I applied a value shift that gradually became darker as it went in.
The shirt and neck were pretty straight forward. I started from the bottom up. When the shirt was done, I pulled some of the charcoal up from it to help with the neck.
The closed eye was challenging at first. I noticed how the value was similar to the nose in the picture. So i mimicked it.
What I took away from this project is what I call direction. This doesn’t just apply to this class. It applies to all of my others and everyday life. When I have clear goal to reach I work at it until I’ve done it perfectly. If don’t see an end in sight, I struggle and/or give up. What I mean by this is how I struggled on this project. Getting the whiskers, nose, lips, etc. right was driving me crazy. It wasn’t what I wanted to see. It brought down my spirits and gave a me a gloomy sight. However, after receiving feedback and getting help from my classmates I was pointed in the right direction. I was taught new ways to help with values and how to handle the medium. It raised my spirits and got me to finish this project satisfied with the result. In the end, it took about 10 hours to complete this.
Old meets new with this retro looking car. It was inspired by the Model T and a modern day BMW. I used the Model T’s engine and wheels. I combined them with the modern day look of the BMW. Today’s cars lack the feeling and look of the ones from the past. They dominated the roads with their roaring engines. Feeling this way, I was inspired to make this design. Using balsa wood, clay, and paint I did so. The car presented is a near perfect image of what I had in my head.
A work in progress of my self portrait.
When I started, it was a mess. I didn’t like how it looked and where I was going with it. The first thing I did was apply charcoal to the hair. Then I went to the shirt. It was more of a rough looking black texture before the image above. After Started slapping charcoal on places where shadows were. It didn’t feel right. I was worried I would not enjoy this other project. I am comparing it the the Skeleton and Chair projects we did. Those were fun, relaxing, and gained new skills.
However, things changed when I had help from a classmate. He taught me how some new ways to apply charcoal to the paper. With his advice, I started from the bottom and worked my way up. I completely made the shirt black like in my picture. The neckline isn’t finished, but it is a start. I mimic that shadow line and others. The lips drew most of my attention. To my surprise, the in progress results are satisfying to say the least. The different values creates form. I can say the same for my nose too. While writing this I realized that the nose is developing the form like in the picture. The darkness becomes less saturated as it goes from right to left.
I still have ways to go, but after the weekend I’m glad I was able to get feedback from my classmates. They pointed me in the right direction to make this into something great.
So far, I have put a little over three hours into this piece.
The Images are list from the beginning to the end of the project.
Graphite on Bristol Board
Inked Bristol Board
Inked Computer Version (Done in Illustrator)
Colored & Inked (Done in Photoshop)
Panel 1: In the beginning, there was emptiness. Just empty space from one side to another. Stars are scattered about through out the universe.
Panel 2: Thus God(Jehovah/Yaweh) created the Earth and the Heavens. He filled it with his perfect creations to live. He created plants, dirt, water, landscapes, and even rainbows.
Panel 3: Then he created light and the sun to shine on the earth.
Panel 4: The waters of the earth kept spilling out of its sides. Thus, God created a dome that would separate them.
Panel 5: Behold Earth, but it is not just any place on it. No, it is the Garden of Eden.
In the end, I’m glad we got to do a project like this. I’m interested in making comics of my own one day. This was a good start on how to wrap my head around it. I always had these ideas in my head, but I cannot just slap them down together in some sort of sequential order and expect it to work. Time and preparation needs to go into making it. Constantly drawing character designs and refining them will make it work.
When I took it into the computer, I wanted to use different shaped lines, as well as weights to make it look better. For example, on the first panel the line weights on the Bristol board version are very heavy. Since all the lines look the same, but are just different weights I wanted to play around with them on the computer. In illustrator, I found these different shapes lines that went perfectly with what I wanted to show. It helps with that whole outer space stained glass atmosphere I was going for.
In the last panel, the Garden of Eden, I left out the dialogue box. I am under that assumption that most people that will be looking at this is familiar Christianity in some form. I am hoping that they will know automatically that this is the Garden of Eden. There is the Tree of Knowledge with a red snake wrapped around it. This the sign that should communicate that it is so.
The black lines that separate the panels I chose to keep together. In normal comics, they are usually kept apart but are close together. In Christian stained glass everything is kept close together. It felt it necessary to do so with this project as well.