Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Art 2: The first two weeks

So this month, we started off with some figure drawing. Surprisingly, the majority of students in the class had never really worked with gesture drawing before, myself included! Above are some of my gestures from the first project's exercises. Here are some cat gestures that I did for another exercise:

But the real project was to deconstruct, repose, and reconstruct some characters based on our new knowledge of gesture work and the use of construction shapes. The shapes are extremely useful for posing because they help you to maintain the proportions and volumes of the different parts of the body. This is very important in making your character more dynamic and believable.

First we started off simple. It was a good place to start because it really gave me a feel for the use of construction shapes and how to pose. I didn't get it quite accurate yet, but it was a start.

Here are the others.

I spent a lot of time improving and refining the super hero woman, as my instructor advised, and here was the final result:

So that was that project. The way the projects are graded in Art 2 is sort of like a game to me. It's graded in tiers. There is the "base line" level, the "novice" level, the "proficient" level, and finally the "advanced" level. So the exercises and simple character re-pose were base-line for this project. Then the little guy I did was my novice level. The hero was proficient, and the sculpture was advanced. (I personally thought the superhero was harder but that's just me.) The thing is, you are only graded up to 70 points for base line, up to 79 for novice, 89 for proficient, and if you can finish the advanced level, you have a shot at getting your 100%.

Of course I will treat it as a game! A challenge! Well, I did it and I got a 99% baby!


Week 2's project was a nightmare for me! First of all, I didn't leave myself enough time to really work on it. I should have started early since it was a texture based project, and I am horrible at textures. But I guess I was too busy eating turkey and mashed potatoes or something.

The object this week was to analyze different animals and their anatomy and then mesh them together into a believable "creature."

I chose a black-necked stork, a squid and a green sea turtle. Firstly, we were instructed to do some studies on our chosen animals. Here are mine:

Next, we had to do some texture swatches to practice for our final drawings. Here are my tentacles and turtle flippers:

We also had to do some texture studies for our proposed creature's environment:

We also did a few different concept drawings for our creature, but I will just show you my final. So if you ever wanted to know what it would look like if a stork and a turtle made babies and it somehow mutated and merged with a squid then.....drum roll please...!

And there you have it! A Squea Torkle! And for this one I got a 97! Not bad, considering I was really floundering over this one. (Semi-pun was semi-intended...)

Now this week we are doing character creation. Want a sneak preview? Here are the character concepts I've got going on so far:

She's a wild druid woman, living amongst the trees and searching for someone very dear to her. I think I'm going to go with a final version most like the middle concept. I'm having a lot more fun with this project than the last! Can't wait to show off the end results! (I am so going to try modeling my character in Maya during winter break if I have a chance!)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Low Down on 3DF

So the week is coming to a close and 3D Foundations will be a thing of the past. I am sad. I really loved this class! At the same time, it was pretty stressful. But still, I learned so much and made many new friends.

So the busy month is the reason I haven't posted at all. But now that I'm done, I can sum up what happened.

Well, first of all, we started off with some rough story boarding.

We were able to chose from three actions and three props. (Jump, heavy lift, shooting a gun along with a fire hydrant, a chair, or a shotgun.) I obviously chose a heavy lifting action and my prop was the chair. We could choose any of the three props just so long as whatever prop we chose, it was visible somewhere in our final project.

Our next project was to model our prop. We had a specific structure to follow with given reference images and then we could add whatever details we wanted with our remaining poly count. The poly limit on the prop was 500. My final poly count was 492.

Not bad, eh?!

Then came the character...

Of the 800 poly count limit, I hit 740. I obviously opted for the female character reference. It seemed like the greater challenge.

Next, we textured our character's head just for experience. We weren't actually allowed to use textures for our final movie, but we did at least have to learn about the process of texturing, including UV mapping and texture painting.

This was my textured head, and if you want to know what the flat texture looked like before I slapped it on:

Next, we had to rig our character for animation. That means we add a sort of digital skeleton of bones and joints to the character and then attach them to the character's body parts, or the geometry (as everything you model is made up of bits of geometry).

The reallyyyy lengthy part was the animation. We had to animate 144 frames. Luckily, Maya does a lot of the in between work, but you still have to do all of the main poses. Then you go back and add in some more frame keys to make the motions look more natural.

Then we colored all of the objects and added in lights. Lastly, you render, which is a lengthy process in which the computer calculates all the different elements you put in your scene and translate it into tons of individual images (all of your frames). Finally you can put those images together into a movie and you haveeeee:

So there you have it. A whole month of ridiculous labor translated into 6 seconds of glory that only the creator can appreciate!

Aaaand...I GOT ANOTHER 100% =D

Monday, October 29, 2012

Art 1 Conclusion

Final grade for Art 1: 100%!!!!!

Yay! My first perfect score! And many more to come. I am so glad I decided to go to Full Sail online. I am totally in my element here. It leaves me with an unknown future, as there are no game companies around here, but I am going with the flow. Who knows, since I'm doing so awesome, maybe I'll make a totally hit indie game and rocket launch my career in the middle of my schooling and not have to go anywhere. It could happen. I won't prevent it, that's for sure.

To further my boasting, not only did I get a perfect score this month, but I also got the Course Director's Award for my class in Art 1! Not entirely sure what that means, but I am overly proud of it. I tried really hard in my art class, okay?!?!

Anyways, the above image is my final project in all of it's glory...Haha, just kidding...about the glory part. It is my final project, though. I like the way it turned out a lot! My least favorite one is the busy Times Square one. But oh well. It's good. I got a 100%. So it is good.

Okay, back to work for me! Got some 3D modeling to learn!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Decisions, Decisions...

So I am having a hard time deciding what to do for my final project in Art 1. It's a perspective project, so I need to create depth through either linear perspective or atmospheric perspective, or both.

Originally I wanted to do a sort of fun, whimsical cartoon-ish digital painting. It turned out something like this:

I mean, I like it, but I don't... I want to finish it...but I don't. I don't know. I just don't feel like it's great for this week's project. I like it, but not for class, I guess is what I mean.

So I decided to go more for realistic. I have started trying my hand at digital "speedpainting." It's not quite that speedy yet. Took me about 3 hours. But it looks pretty darn awesome, in my opinion.

Unfortunately for my sense of having a life, this is meant to be a part of a four-piece set. I have to go out with a bang, right?!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Latest Project

Here is my finished texture project. It is closely based off of a screen shot from Skyrim. I had fun doing the trees in the distance and the rocks as well. The bigger trees were more annoying though. There's just so many of them! But the goal here was to create the illusion of depth through texture. How did I do?!

Loki helped, I'll admit it.

Well, I just got some feedback from my instructor that I should try and push the details in the foreground to help the illusion of depth. Hmm...I bet he means in the water. Maybe I could add some floating leaves on the surface of the water. I had a lot of trouble getting the water to look...watery. I don't know if I could get the details any better there after all I've done to it. I'll see what I can do. I'm really short on time. 

In other news...I got a 100% on my last project, the silhouettes! Yay! Still got straight 100's in this class. Working hard.

Guess I better keep working on this drawing if I wanna keep it that way...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Week 3 Exercises

This week we are learning about textures, patterns and lighting. So of course we had to do a basic value drawing. There were five exercises this week, which took me by surprise because there has usually been three.

This exercise was way more fun than I thought it would be. No lines allowed here, it had to be all value surfaces. I'm pleased with how it turned out, except for maybe the top left area.

This one is pretty self explanatory. I think I did pretty good here. We had to do it first with an H pencil and then again with a B pencil. The H drawing did not turn out so well, I just don't do well with H pencils. I don't like them.

Here is the H. It's a lighter pencil obviously but it's too hard to shade.

This one was fun! We had to pick from a list of adjectives and then a list of nouns and draw it. I picked "rusty" and "toilet." I guess you could say I've had some influence from Silent Hill in my day.

All in all, I'm impressed with myself for getting all of this done in one day. I was determined, especially after I accidentally had to hand in my work late last week. I am definitely going to hand my work in extra early this week. 

Oh! And there was one more exercise. We had to take pictures of five eggs in different lighting to create different moods. Here they are.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Art 1: Project 2

This is my second project for Art 1! I am pretty pleased with it, and it was a lot of fun to make. We were instructed to portray a scene with drama and emotion without the use of value or anything like that. Only line and shape in black or white.

I don't know why I chose this particular scene. It just sort of popped into my head when I was trying to come up with an idea for the project. So I just went with it. Creating the actual figures in the image was pretty easy and didn't take very long. The part that I spent the most time on was in rearranging everything and adjusting the size and shape of things to create a well balanced composition.

I most wanted to capture the feeling of fast movement in this piece. So I hope it travels your eye around and about the picture quite quickly. I know it does mine but maybe that's just because I've been staring at it for days and I'm constantly looking for things to change or improve.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Project 1...Finished!

Whew! I was working on this damn still life for about four days straight. Glad to be done with it...

The fabric was fun to do on the left, frustrating to do on the right. The camera also gave me a bit of trouble, but the detailing was actually pretty fun to do. I think the hardest part was the texture on the little statue. But all in all, I'm pretty pleased with this.

I just realized I haven't signed this. I need to come up with a nifty artist signature...

Inspirer: Kara Walker

Kara Walker is my newest inspiration. At first glance, her work would seem simple, or perhaps even playful. But with close examination, the viewer can find that her work really is complex, emotional and deeply disturbing.

Sex and violence and racism are all portrayed shamelessly in her massive cut paper murals, through nothing more than silhouettes.

Her eye for shapes is admirable and I hope to convey as much feeling as she does in my next project. In the project I have to do a black and white scene using only silhouettes just as Walker creates. Her inspiration was really something to me, so I thought I would share.

Here is an interesting interview:

Watch Stories on PBS. See more from ART:21.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Project 1 Progress

I am getting so tired of this painting...Hahaha..

It's going well though. I am glad I chose digital painting for my medium for this project. I've been wanting to learn how to paint in Photoshop for quite some time now and this project has been teaching me very fast how to blend properly, how to get colors, how to use hotkeys...

I am enjoying the composition of this image at the very least. Good movement, good contrast, everything I've been learning in class this week I have employed well I think.

Man, oh, man my hands are cramping though. And it may have too much contrast because my eyes are bugging out after staring at those bright green leaves all night.

Dreading the camera because it's pretty complicated, but hopefully I'll have that started tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

First Assignments in Art 1

This week, our exercises for Art 1 have been a written assignment on the Elements and Principles of Design, five thumbnail sketches using a viewfinder, and five photo manipulations to improve an image's composition.

I went to the park to get some lovely fresh air and get some interesting sketches done. I don't particularly like drawing with a viewfinder but it was a good exercise. I find I can only accomplish anything with the viewfinder if I look through it with only one eye. It makes sense because the thing is to help you visualize your subject on a 2D surface. Using only one eye makes you see in 2D.

Here is what I came up with, in the end:

I also did some photo cropping, but I'm not going to upload those because it would take forever and I also don't want to offend any copyrights since I took all the photos right off the internet.

The actual project for the week though is also started. Out of the three project options, I chose a still life project. We have to choose some objects that have some meaning to us and arrange them in a pleasing composition to sketch them in whatever way we see fit. Here are the compositions I'm messing with:

So far I like #6 the most, but both Michael and one of my instructors have said they like #5 better. I'm torn. What do you think? It's due Monday but I wanna get started on it.

Final grade for Art History...

My final grade for Art History is.......

97% !!!

Woo! I rocked that course! And I am happy to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I actually learned a lot about art, and really studied a lot of different artists on my own outside of the class just due to the fact that the course work really got me interested in some of the artists.

It feels so good to actually be passionate about school that for once in my life I am actually taking the time to go above and beyond. I used to just do what I had to do to pass. But now I am actually engaged. You get what you pay for, I guess. I think it has to do with that fact that I'm finally reaching for my actual dreams for once, as well.

Bring it on, Fundamentals of Art 1!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Art History Work

My second class at Full Sail, Art History, had two digital painting projects. The first was a digital cave painting from scratch. The second was a digital pop art painting from a photo of yourself.

So it may not look like much but I actually learned a lot from this painting. I learned how to create a textured background by adding a texture to the light rendering. Photoshop has nice lighting effects, actually. I also experimented a little bit with creating brushes, which I am getting pretty good at now.

This painting was actually completely invented by me. I went out on a limb and didn't follow the instructions for the actual assignment, which was just a basic photomanipulation to look like Andy Warhol's screen print works. Instead, I did a vector painting with the pen tool and then manipulated the colors and stuff. I also halftoned the skin color to sort of mimic Lichtenstein's comic book art.

So anyways, I finally got the OK to share my work online from Full Sail. So I will be putting up all of my art for school on here from now on. Yay!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Doodle Journal Prompts

This is my doodle journal! It's an empty sketchbook just waiting to be filled with all sorts of nonsense. My goal is to do at least one page per day. I can maybe do some collages and some poetry in there too. Whatever tickles my fancy.

You should do one too! It's good for the soul.

In case you do decide to join me, I am making a list of journal prompts--doodling, writing, all sorts of things--to give some inspiration in case you can't think of something to doodle. I'll shoot for a HUNDRED! I know I will be referring back to this post often.

Try to keep an open mind with these prompts. Think outside the box. Be flexible. Many of these prompts will have you thinking about yourself in ways you never have before. That's a good thing! Go with it! Most importantly, have fun with it! Don't try too hard, don't try to make it perfect. The object of the game is to let the creativity happen without having to think about it.

  1. Doodle your home from the outside.
  2. Doodle your name in fancy doodle letters.
  3. Write a poem about your earliest childhood memory. Illustrate on the side.
  4. Get your colored pencils and doodle in three different shades of your favorite color.
  5. Trace your hand and doodle inside it.
  6. Doodle a paisley pattern.
  7. Practice doodling different celtic knots.
  8. Doodle a garden.
  9. Free doodle with your non-dominant hand.
  10. Free doodle with your eyes closed.
  11. Doodle a self-portrait, using only a mirror for reference.
  12. Make a random scribbled shape and doodle inside it. Color it in!
  13. Doodle about something that happened today.
  14. Draw a postcard and write a letter to your imaginary friend.
  15. Doodle your favorite food.
  16. Doodle your spirit animal. (If you could be any animal, what would it be?)
  17. Draw any object that you like in the middle of the page and doodle out from it.
  18. Doodle someone you love. Draw in things that define that person, like their favorite gadget or favorite activity. Remember to mention who it is!
  19. Write a poem about a moment that has inspired you.
  20. Doodle about the weather today.
  21. Write out a quote that you love and make a doodle to match.
  22. Doodle about what makes you the most mad.
  23. Draw a circle in the middle of the page. Write about what made you happy today by wrapping your words around and around the circle.
  24. Doodle about something that has made you sad.
  25. Make a list of things you are grateful for.
  26. Make a doodle inspired by one of your favorite movies.
  27. Doodle about the craziest dream you ever had.
  28. Write a letter to a friend you've parted ways with.
  29. Doodle about a place you wish to travel to.
  30. Write a poem about going to bed.
  31. Recreate your favorite album cover in doodle form.
  32. Doodle about something small that made you smile today.
  33. Make a list of things people compliment you on.
  34. Doodle about a beautiful sight you've seen.
  35. Write a poem about your favorite season. Always doodle on the side!
  36. Doodle what you wanted to be when you grew up as a kid.
  37. Doodle your favorite plant.
  38. Doodle your most prized possession.
  39. Doodle-write all of the names and nicknames you have ever been called.
  40. Write a poem about the day you were born.
  41. Doodle a map of your neighborhood.
  42. Doodle the appearance of your first school as you remember it.
  43. Write a poem about your Mom.
  44. Write a poem about your Dad.
  45. Doodle copy your favorite photograph.
  46. Doodle the essence of your hometown.
  47. Write a letter to your favorite teacher from grade school.
  48. Doodle the essence of your faith.
  49. Doodle about what makes you feel invincible.
  50. Doodle/write about something you are afraid of.
  51. Doodle/write about something you feel guilty for.
  52. Doodle/write about something you are ashamed of.
  53. Doodle/write about something you are still sad about.
  54. Doodle/write about something you're lying to others about.
  55. Doodle/write about something that isn't what you had expected.
  56. Doodle/write about something you're very attached to.
  57. Doodle the floor plan of your home.
  58. List as many little things that make you happy as you can fit on the page.
  59. Doodle about what you wanted to be when you grew up as a teenager.
  60. List all the specific places you want to travel to.
  61. Write in doodle letters/numbers your exact birth date and time of birth, how much you weighed, how long you were (if you know).
  62. Doodle about a vice you have (like smoking, or Facebook...)
  63. Doodle your favorite toy when you were young.
  64. List all the things you hope to accomplish within a year.
  65. Write a poem about waking up in the morning.
  66. Doodle a whole page in a single theme (ie. flowers, trees, cars, or houses, etc.)
  67. List the items you would try to save if your house was on fire.
  68. Doodle something that calms you down when you are upset.
  69. Write a poem about your favorite pair of shoes.
  70. Doodle a whole page of circles.
  71. Doodle an animal you hope to never meet. Remember to doodle their environment around them.
  72. Doodle with only warm colors.
  73. Doodle with only cool colors.
  74. Doodle with every color of the rainbow (R.O.Y.G.B.V.!)
  75. Write a poem about your favorite type of weather.
  76. Doodle your pet (or what pet you would have if you could).
  77. List all of your pet peeves.
  78. Doodle the setting you want to be in on your last day of life.
  79. Doodle a red circle with a slash through it (like a no smoking sign). What will you put in the circle?
  80. Doodle about the first foreign country you would move to if you were exiled from your homeland.
  81. Doodle about your most favorite hobby.
  82. Write out your wish list.
  83. Doodle your favorite holiday.
  84. Doodle your perfect night out.
  85. Write a poem about the scariest moment of your life so far.
  86. Doodle a made up animal.
  87. Doodle your dream home.
  88. List all the people that have changed your life.
  89. Doodle about love.
  90. Doodle the food pyramid if it could look the way you wanted it to.
  91. Doodle all over an entire page without lifting your pen once.
  92. Write out all the dates that have been significant to you and why. Write each in a different hand writing.
  93. Doodle all over an entire page with your favorite word, and only that word.
  94. Write a poem about breakfast.
  95. Trace your toes/feet and doodle inside.
  96. Doodle your silhouette.
  97. Doodle the things that are most symbolic for your life. 
  98. Write a poem about your age.
  99. Doodle about what you want to look like.
  100. Doodle about the ocean.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


I have a new found love of doodling. I created a journal for the sole purpose of daily doodling and creative exercise. Here I was doing a super speedy doodle on my tablet in Photoshop as an experiment and for practice. I find that doodling really loosens up the creativity in me. When anything goes, it is so easy to just let the art come to you.

The trick is to go as fast as possible and without really thinking about it too much. Once you get the hang of it, it really opens something up. I am glad that I have found the art of doodling, and I recommend anyone with a desire to be more creative give it a try. It's just an exercise. Just like your muscles, your creativity needs very regular exercise. It teaches you to take risks, to trust yourself, and to think in new ways other than your old and concrete way of thinking.

Looking forward to sharing more doodles with you all for inspiration!

Monday, September 10, 2012


That portrait I was painting last night of Evelyn got painted over...Matisse style! (No I didn't actually save over it.) But here is my fauv version of Evelyn. I was learning about expressionism in my Art History class and was so overwhelmed with inspiration that this happened. :)

It was really interesting to experiment with colors in a way I never had before. I really challenged myself to not use black or white and the result was pretty fun. I know the hair looks pretty lame but I was mostly concerned with depicting the face and skin tones in new ways. I also challenged myself to use as many colors as possible. I know that doesn't necessarily mean fauvism, but I was just having fun. :P