August 6, 2014
In an effort to boost creativity and explore some media I often deem ill-suited for a project (or, honestly, just too demanding), I've created a challenge for myself. I've written down fifteen different media on thirty pieces of paper (twice, if you do the math). Using a random word generator, the world wide web will assign a single word on which my daily illustration will be based. I will then execute the project in the chosen medium, posting preliminary sketches and experiments along with the finished product. (please scroll down)
August 7, 2014
So, day 1.
Bananas & stamps.
Well, we're all familiar with Warhol's banana and I figured I'd try and step away from this imagery. And, seeing as I set the rules myself, I suppose I'm allowed to modify and break them. I decided instead to work with the leaf of the banana tree.
I spent a bit of time researching and collecting photos and then sketching with markers and colored pencils. After having a pretty clear idea of the style I wanted to achieve, I carved a rubber stamp into a banana tree leaf.
I started experimenting with stamps and watercolor washes.
I decided to get away from color and create a black and white print with repeated elements. I rolled out a very simple black on white background onto a sheet of watercolor paper using a brayer . I didn't worry about an even black as texture, in my opinion, is the soul of stamping. I cut out the leaf unit and laid it out onto the black ink background.
And, day 1 complete. Just 29 more to go.
This is harder than I expected.
day 2: spider photoshop
August 8, 2014
And, day 2.
Spiders & Photoshop.
Today I started, as always, with some sketches. I used a pencil and plastic triangle to create a system of connecting webs. The linking areas between the webs reminded me of gems. I decided to develop this concept.
I then created a vector image of these linking systems in Illustrator and placed it into Photoshop and made a kaleidoscopic print. I used the colors of a Peocilotheria Metallica, or Peacock Parachute Spider, a very rare blue tarantula.
The repeating elements are coincidentally similar to the markings on the Peocilotheria Metallica.
day 3: ice cream collage
August 9, 2014
Phew, day 3.
Ice Cream & Collage.
Cut, cut, paste. Not much to say apart from the fact that I'm clearly print and pattern driven. Every "illustration" I've done so far immediately falls into a repetition. I suppose it's my secret desire to become a textile designer finally rearing its gorgeous, halo-crowned head.
Anyway, I cut a lot of old magazines up to finally start feeling out a direction. After that, it was all pretty simple. The ice cream cone really is just a triangle and a circle, after all.
No progress photos necessary so, here she is.
I really enjoyed this process. I have done a couple pieces like this before with my own watercolor washes. Might have to revisit those ideas.
day 4: acrylic fish
August 10, 2014
Oh man, day 4.
Fish & Acrylic.
Well, acrylic paints are probably my least favorite medium and its likely because I don't understand them at all. Tonight I tried something new: attacking the project head on with zero preparation (no sketching, image referencing, etc). And, suffice it to say, it was a challenge.
A few things for me to remember in the future:
1. Don't treat acrylics like watercolors or like oils. Although versatile, they are their own beast.
2. Always prepare. Arrogance can be your worst enemy in painting.
3. Step away. There's a fine line between underworked and overworked.
4. If you want to understand a medium, practice more than once every five years.
And, signing off.
day 5: watercolor kitchen
August 11, 2014
Kitchen & Watercolor.
Well, you couldn't have paired them better. I have done quite a bit of recipe, produce, food and farming illustrations recently and I find them so enjoyable. This was no exception.
My family is one of tea drinkers. We've burnt more kettles than toast and through the years we've had a beautiful collection. I decided to represent an object of versatile design and personal importance.
Taking a break to wish you a Happy Elephant Day
Elephants have become a big part of my life in the last decade. From a beautiful trip to Tanzania to my sister's participation in an elephant conservation project (and my graphic design work for the organization), I've learned about their endangerment and population decline. But, I have also learned how important they are to the environment as natural migratory path creators (and up-keepers!) and essential seed dispersers. They are giant and beautiful creatures that exhibit compassion and play.
To learn more about the Southern Tanzania Elephant Project, please visit the link ---->
side note: check out the logo on their website designed by yours truly!
day 6: linocut glasses
August 15, 2014
That break lasted longer than I intended, but: school, work, life.
Glasses & Linocut.
Printmaking is one of my favorite artistic processes. Having only recently begun my explorations with monotype and etchings, I had neglected reductive processes such as woodblock printing and linocut.
Printing at home without a press is very challenging and it's hard to achieve any sort of depth with the water based inks I am using. After some experimenting and manipulating, I was able to achieve a desired look: one much closer to my style.
day 7: collage seeds
August 16, 2014
Seeds & Collage.
After considering the many ways in which "seeds" could be interpreted, I decided to again revisit my familial kitchen and remember the entertainment (and annoyance) of getting strawberry seeds stuck in your baby molars.
Naturally, I resorted to watercolor and repetition.
I don't like to use my nicer watercolors for washes.
Cut, cut, cut.
day 8: watercolor sparrow
August 17, 2014
Sparrow & Watercolor.
I think this may have been my first time actually sitting down and illustrating a bird. So it's no surprise I learned that I need a lot more practice. Its likely that my next challenge will be several days dedicated solely to bird studies.
I don't particularly like taking these assignments so literally but I needed the practice. Perhaps I could have explored some of the sparrow's beautiful details such as their extended wings or flock flight patterns. Next time.