Friday, November 13, 2015

Poster Parody

This week my students have been learning more techniques in Photoshop using Shepard Fairey's "Hope" poster from 2009. To help them get the idea of how this was done (and also teach them a bit about parody, I created a few demos)

And if I could use characters from one of the best shows created recently, so much the better!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Inktober: Why It Didn't Happen...and Why I'm Posting About It Anyway

I was very eager to participate in Inktober this year. For those of you who don't know, Inktober is a chance for artists to do 31 days of ink drawings in October. I was able to partcipate in it last year, all 31 days (which if you understand how difficult it can be for me to make time to sketch, was a great accomplishment), and couldn't wait to work on it this year.

The plan was to pick a theme, which would make it easier for me to focus each day on what to draw. Since I love location sketching, my theme was 31 Day, 31 Places. I was off to a good start...and then life happened. The reality is that I have a very busy life outside of my art. It was perhaps easier (or more convenient at least) for me to participate in Inktober last year.

One of my mentors has mentioned to me that there are seasons of life that we go through. Right now, I am going through the season of teaching, which does not always allow for time for my own art. It reminds me of one of my favorite lines from Rise of the Guardians:

"We are very busy bringing joy to children, we don't have time....for children"

I've often modified that when it comes to my own work:
"I am very busy working on making art, I don't have time...for art"

As odd as it may seem (after all, my occupation is to be an art teacher), I don't make a ton of time for my own work. Which is not necessarily something to feel guilty over because it just may not be the focus of this season of life; this brings me to why I'm still posting on this.

I want my students (and everyone else reading this blog) to know the importance of working on your own art, if that is something you are passionate about. School project take a LOT of your time, but if you don't have your own work, it can be very draining. So, I'm posting my limited participation in Inktober because I am proud that I made some effort to work on my own work and did what I could. I hope that I will be able to make more opportunities to do my own work as soon as possible!


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Bit of Portraiture...

This week, my Computer Graphics students are working on making typography portraits in Photoshop. As I was creating demos for them, I remembered how enjoyable it is to work on these projects, so in whatever spare time I could get, I continued working on the demos that I had started and turned them into some new pieces.

As my students probably know by now, I'm quite and Old Hollywood fan. So, naturally, I wanted to select photos from that era. What resulted were portraits of three of the greats: Claude Rains (who I can't help but always return to as a subject), Katherine Hepburn, and Bette Davis.

Monday, September 28, 2015

A Mountain Retreat

This weekend, my church took it's annual trip to the mountains for a retreat. For the ten years I have been going, I've always brought work with me. This year, though, I decided to take a gamble and not bring any work with me. No grading, no homework, no cell phone (gasp!); just a couple of books, my Bible, and my painting supplies.

Ever since I got this new job, I have struggled to find time to make my own art. That's one of the things I want to make sure I make time for, so throughout the weekend I carved out time to work on two paintings (one below my original goal...)

Have a good week!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Waterolor Wednesday - By the Sea, By the Sea, By the Beautiful Sea... attempt to do a watercolor painting each week sort of fizzled out, but for good reason. Shortly after I started Watercolor Wednesdays, I got hired as a high school art teacher! So the last few weeks have been spent prepping the classroom and lessons, though I'd love to get back to posting on a regular basis.

Over the last few weeks, I've spent a lot of time at the beach, and used those opportunities to work on landscape painting, something I love.

Friday, July 17, 2015

A Celebration of Disney Concept Art

Although I normally use my blog to showcase my own work, I thought I would take some time to show one of the biggest inspirations in my artistic life. As most people who know me know, I have a great love for all things Disney (some might say obsession).

July 17, 2015 is a big day for Disneyland; it's the 60th anniversary! On this date, Walt Disney opened up one of the first modern theme parks, changing the way millions of people were entertained. Behind all of the rides and attractions, there has been an army of artists and engineers, called Imagineers, who have come up with the ideas. So this post is a celebration of those artists, who in turn have given me and many others, a lot of inspiration.

On his television show, appropriately named Disneyland, Walt introduced the country to his dream

Concept art for the original Snow White's Scary Adventures

Pirates of the Caribbean concept art is some of the most imaginative of the old concept art

Original designs by Herb Ryman of Sleeping Beauty's Castle

The Haunted Mansion is a wonderful mix of the macabre and the absurd. This example, done by Rolly Crump, is an example of the absurd.

A lesser known piece of concept art (because the attraction never materialized). Rock Candy Mountain (artist me) was supposed be made out of actual candy. Can't imagine why this never materialized.

I have a love-hate relationship with Pirates. I love the concept art, regardless. Marc Davis did some of the best work, including the designs for the bride auction. Say it with me "We wants the redhead!"

John Hench was (is) an amazing designer for Disney. 

Moving a little bit past early Disney art - Sam McKim's concept art for Splash Mountain
Main Street Station

Mary Blair deviated from the traditional way of doing concept art and instead embraced her own wonderfully unique style for "it's a small world".
World of Color is one of the most beautiful shows ever produced by Disneyland, and its concept art is also some of the most beautiful

Finally, we come to the most recent piece of my favorite concept art. When California Adventures got remodeled, the entrance plaza was remodeled to look like 1920s Hollywood. The Cathay Circle Theater was where Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Why do I love Disneyland's concept art? I guess because it inspires me to push my work to this level. In one sketch, people like Marc Davis, John Hench, Rolly Crump, and others took an idea and said, this is what it would look like. Having seen some pieces of concept art up close and in person, I can say they absolutely take my breath away.

So, congratulations to Disneyland on 60 great years. Here's to Walt Disney for making his dreams a reality, and here's to the wonderful artistians, engineers, craftsman, the Imagineers, who are the real heart and soul of WED and Walt Disney Imagineering.

What are some of your favorite pieces of Disneyland (or DisneyWorld) concept art?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Watercolor Wednesday - A Small Landscape

This time, we spent time out in the backyard doing some landscape painting. It's something I consider to be one of my personal best.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Watercolor Wednesday - Finding an Ally

Hopefully next week I'll start being able to post these on a Wednesday!

I've been wanting to get together with one of my close friends here in town to work together on this whole Watercolor Wednesday project. We've finally been able to get together after a couple of weeks of trying to. 

First off, her house is chocked full of some of the most awesome stuff for painting. We decided to set up a still life. Hers looks amazing and I can't wait for her to post it to her blog when she's finished. Mine, well, I've been really trying to work smaller lately, so I stuck with my watercolor sketchbook. Normally, I either stick with a small still life or a complex one; I've never tried a complex still life on a small canvas. Still, I'm pretty impressed. 

So, we've entered the third week of Watercolor Wednesday. Actually, it'd be really cool if others joined us, even just by sharing watercolor pieces once a week!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Watercolor Wednesday...Posted on Friday

(Ok, so this week has been hectic, but I really want to try getting this weekly watercolor series off the ground...or at least past the first post)

Enjoy and keep sharing my blog with others!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Watercolor Wednesday - A Simple Start

Since I'm no longer taking art classes as part of my education, I'm trying to use this blog to help me keep improving my skills and most importantly, to keep drawing.

Over the last year, I've discovered that watercolor is one of my favorite mediums to work with  (probably second only to charcoal), so I decided to start filling the pages of my watercolor sketchbook and simultaneously keep improving my skills. I was partly inspired by my participation in last year's Inktober to try to find a theme to work with to accomplish this. Hence the "Watercolor Wednesday" idea.

For now, it just means that I'll devote a little time each Wednesday to working in watercolors. Who knows where I'll end up taking it though!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Some On Location Sketching

This last weekend, my church had our annual Lake Day; basically it's our church service, well, at the lake. Over the last couple of years, I've started to use the time before the service to get some quick sketching in. Usually that means some location sketching (meaning the landscape around me), but this years, I wanted to get some work in on my gestures as well.

There's not a huge amount of gestures here; gesture drawing (heck, probably figure drawing in general) is still one of my biggest, if not my biggest insecurity in my art. But, I wanted to post some gestures partly because it makes me feel uncomfortable to do so. Are they perfect? Probably not, yet not every piece of art I make has to be perfect the moment it moves from my pen to the paper. Gestures are still something that I need to work on, so I will continue to do so (hopefully...)

 And actually, given how pressed for time I was, these drawings are more loose than I might have orginially wanted to do...

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Painting on the Other Side of the Universe (or at least California...)

Every summer, my dad and I take a day trip to somewhere in California; I sketch, he reads. It's been our way of carving out some time to spend together. For a couple of years, dad's been wanting to show me Mono Lake. Now, being a Central California girl, I've gone to Yosemite at least once a year for as long as I can remember, but I don't really remember going as far as the Eastern side of the Sierras (though the family has traveled that way).

I have never seen a stranger place; Mono Lake seems almost completely unspoiled, save for a handful of tourists (numbers no where near as large as the ones we passed on our way through Yosemite). The lake is huge, surrounded by volcanic mountains, and contains more salt than the Pacific Ocean. That wasn't the weirdest sight, however. The coolest thing about Mono Lake are the tufa towers. on the south side of the lake. It seems weird that we are still in California.

These things remind me of coral, and the ones that we were near were huge. Apparently, these were once underwater, but as the water level of the lake goes down, they become more visible.

I used to love using chalk pastels, but during college I sort of fell out of practice with them, so I decided to bring them along. I wanted to warm up with a quick charcoal drawing.

Afterwards, I broke out the chalk pastels, which was challenging. It took a lot of false starts to get to this point and I'm happy I got a chance to go out and do some plein air work in such an unusual setting.