I love being a student. And it really bothers me to be in a situation where I am not learning anything. Unfortunately, BYU-I runs on a wierd three-track system which gives me a nice long gap without any school. If I had enough money, I’d be going all three semesters instead of the two I was assigned to. But fear not, I found a place with a bunch of free-online courses from top universities, where they have lectures on youtube or podcasts and stuff like that. So yeterday I spent a couple of hours learning about ancient Greece all over again. It was kinda fun, except that it numbed my brain after a while (but I kept saying ‘just until the end of this podcast’). It’s really much easier to stay engaged when you’re actually in the room looking at the teacher than when you’re not.
As for any updates as to further images, I will say that I’m going to try something- but I’m not sure how well it’s going to work.
Well, it seems the cookies turned out alright after all!
Oh yeah, so did my last image.
However, in an interesting turn of events, I recieved no comments on it on Facebook. This is okay, because people don’t usually have much to say (except my last image, where one of my friends from University actually showed interest and made a comment worth reading). But of course that doesn’t stop me from feeling a little indignant. I happen to like the image, and I think it deserves a fair chance at having a comment as well. So I’m going to stand up for the little thing, and comment on it myself.
I like it much better than my last year’s depiction of Wisp. It’s much more smooth and flowing. And I love the colors! (Although I have to admit, I still think purple, as a cooler color, is more appropriate for the wind). There’s a delicious contrast between her skin and the reds, and the golds and the brown. There are still a few things about this oen that I’m not completely satisfied with, but the fact is that I’m rarely ever completely satisfied. As it is, the image was well worth the time and it is lovely.
Well, now that that’s taken care of, I suppose I should move on to the next image. Including this latest one, I’ve done five calander images since I got back a bit over a month ago. Last year I did about eighteen images. The idea was to have a lot, so that there would be a few options for the calandars. So naturally, it was only after I got my calander that I created my favorite image of all my 2011 images:
Still, it would be great if I could find other options besides calanders. I mentioned prints before, but I haven’t gotten a response since I posted the pricing information. I’m not surprised. Seems like an inefficient way to go about it anyway. I mean, all that for one image? No, better find a way to get multiple images at once- like the calanders or a book or something, and probably spend less money in the process.
This was just a quick one I managed to complete in, what? Two, three days? As I said, this sort of concept is easy for me to work with- although I don’t think the leaves accomplished quite what I wanted them to. I just really liked the idea of the wind getting leaves caught in her hair as she blew through the trees. She’s a wild one. But hopefully she looks like she maintains a certain amount of dignity. I like the strong colors in this image, I think it makes a nice visual impact. It’s also a bit nice after the softer images I’ve done.
Oh I love autumn. I love wind. And a bunch of other things, but those would be irrelevant to this post.
Anyway, this is what I was busy with this morning. Along with fullfilling my dad’s request that I make puffy molassas cookies, my grandpa’s recipe. I love them. They’re more like little cakes than cookies. Hopefully they turned out okay. But even if they didn’t, at least the kitchen smells like cookies, with just a hint of that molassas smell. Dad used to make cookies and cakes from scratch with us when we were kids, and he’d hand the spices to us and say ‘Smell this, that’s cloves,’ and that sort of thing. They were good times.
Well yesterday I was looking at the images I had in the ‘scrap’ pile, the projects I can’t convince myself to get rid of, even though I don’t think I’ll be finishing them. And I thought ‘Well this is pleasent, I can’t seem to finish my projects.’ Then all at once I remembered a trick I have up my sleeve, a certain character who I like to depict, and who would not easily fail. Her name is Wisp. Think of her as a wind sprite. But the reason why she makes such a good subject for art is because most of the visual impact is created by blending colors, and that’s easy enough to do. It doesn’t mean that the image is going to be a masterpeice, but there’s a pretty good chance it will be a half decent picture. This is the image of Wisp that I did last year:
This image is going to be different, because I decided I wanted to go for an autumn picture. I’m a succer for autumn pictures, because Fall is my favorite season. And it looks good visually, with all of the bright and warm colors like gold and red. And those will be the color scheme used on Wisp- she’ll be an Autumn Wind.
But then I started coloring and realized that autumn winds are cool, but I was giving Wisp the warm colors of autumn leaves. Oh well. In my mind, Wisp is still depicting the essence of Fall, the sunset of the year.
I started a new image today, but I was having a hard time with it. Then I started coloring and I’m still having a hard time of it. And that’s with the foreground, I don’t have a clue what I’m going to do with the background. I may end up scraping it. I like the idea, and the emotions in it, but I figure that’s all the more reason to start over and make sure I get it right. The other problem is the color scheme is starting to look suspiciously like my last project. I like to have a different sort of pallette from project to project. It keeps things interesting.
So much for the idea of staring a new project. Give me a bit of time, and maybe I’ll come up with something. This is the risk we take, investing a lot of time an energy to a project that may not give back what you would have liked. One of the hard parts about this project was the hands. I have a difficult time with the hands, and yet hands can be really expressive, especailly in the sort of ‘reaching out’ and ‘giving’ aspect that I was trying to convey. We’ll see if I have better luck next time I guess.
I didn’t get much done yesterday by the way of getting more artwork started or anything. I worked a little bit on the movie Lori and I are making. It’s shaping up so that we have a fairly good idea what the first two minutes will be like! We just need a bit more Lissa footage. I’m betting Lori will be part of the music, for the most part. I’m going to be doing a fair amount of putting the different bits of footage together, and we both come up with ideas and do the filming and such.
Anyway, so I worked a little bit on that, discussed Lori’s story a little bit, and supposedly watched The Princess Bride with Lissa. She wanted to watch a movie because she wasn’t feeling welll and had spent most of the day napping. So we started watching it, and I think Lissa left partway through. Afterwards, my visiting aunt talked about her story ideas. I’m surrounded by them! All these people with story ideas.
But the part of yesterday that I really liked was after a few minutes of laying down in bed, I heard Dad listening to music in the living room that sounded like it was music by The Piano Guys (if you don’t know them, check out their music videos on YouTube, they are AMAZING). But it wasn’t one I had heard before, so I went to the living room and asked if they had made a new music video. Apparently, it was an old one- but I missed it because it wasn’t on The Piano Guys’s channel. So for the next… hour, maybe? I hung out in the living roomwhile Dad pulled up all these other Piano Guys videos. So I went to bed really late, but I don’t think Dad’s going to complain 🙂 It reminded me of the times Dad would sit me down and pull up different Trans Siberian Orchestra music, or the time I needed 80’s music for a History project I did in high school.
Well, I didn’t have much planned for yesterday except giving feedback to my friend’s story. But then I got one of those… drives? cravings? Anyway, the fact is that I had been staring at the computer for a while and felt I should stop. Then I some reason I felt I wanted to do a bit of movie making. For those of you who didn’t read the earlier post, Lori and I like to make little moives. It all started on Thanksgiving break 2009 when we were bored. I suggested we make a movie. I don’t think Lori gave it a second of thought before she agreed to it. So pretty soon we were making a movie. We’ve been doing about a movie a year since then. Usually we’ll just try to put together some quick skits or musical numbers, but it became really hard to come up with things that were entertaining and that we could do with our limited resources. This year we’re going at it from a different angle- it’s going to be more of a documentary. We’ve found it’s easier to be funny that way.
A couple of weeks ago we filmed a bunch of things, and yesterday I got them all on my computer and started putting things together. What amazes me is that we can film a whole bunch, and I’ll only let a few things get on to the actual movie. The problem I’ve discovered is most of our stuff is Lori and me. I mean, it makes sense. We are the founders of the Chocolote Facotry productions after all, and the ones running around with the cameras. Still, we’re going to have to do something to fix that.
So that’s how I spent my afternoon. I don’t think I would consider it a waste of time. When I’m older and have kids, it might be fun to put together these kinds of videos.
Well, I didn’t write yesterday. The fact is that my siblings started school, and I was left pretty much alone. It was irritating. I didn’t have another art project to work on, and I spent the day getting nothing done. I was pretty much going crazy. But I calmed down when they got back, and I did a bit of online research about getting jobs or volunteer work. I can’t say I was wholly sucessful in finding out much, but just doing something about it calmed me down quite a bit. I’ve never had a job, and I’m not sure I want one. It’s not urgent that I have one either, I’ve been doing pretty well with scholarships and grants and stuff. But I do need something to keep me occupied.
And then I started reading my friend Sarah’s story, so that I could give her feedback. I don’t think I’m all that good at giving feedback. I’m no writer, as I’ve said before. I’m not the most knowledgable as to how to write a good story, or how to improve things. But maybe I’ll be of some help, right? Certainly more than I would be if I did nothing. The only thing is, it’s on the computer, and I can’t stare at a computer screen too long if I have any care for my sanity. At least this time I’m reading on a laptop. I read one of my Mom’s stories on a desktop computer once and that was annoying.
There are a few other projects I suppose I could involve myself in. But if I found work of some kind, since it would probably be part time anyway, I could fit in my other projects around it. Looking for work is not the sort of thing I’m used to doing, but the sheer boredom not having school or any other outstanding responsibilities might be enough to push me out of my comfort zone. As for my art… I love doing it and all, but I’m still having a hard time figuring out what I’m doing it all for. What exactly am I going to do with all these artworks that I am accumulating?
I was SO close to finishing last night, I only had the sleeves and some hair touch-ups left. But I decided to wait until this morning to finish, and now I have. So here it is!
Little bit of trivia, her dress was originally going to be pink. I had meant for the whole image to be a vision of pink, with purple, gold, and blue. See, part of what inspired this image was the thought that last year, when I had a craving for a ‘pink’ image, I did something really quick that I look at now and think is a little sloppy.
But I started in on this one and I thought, “Maybe I should do the background before deciding what to color her dress.” This is a bit unusual, since I usually color the subject first. And I did a little bit with her, I did the skin, a base layer of hair, and the pink in her dress. Then I did everything else and decided blue would work better.
My little sister Lissa had two comments: “It’s pink and golden and reminds me of a sunset!” My reponse: “Good, it’s supposed to.”
Her second comment was “Are those waterfalls or pillars?” They were meant to be waterfalls, but I had already noticed they could look like pillars. Oh well.
Note how the eyes are drawn to the castle by use of complimentary colors (yellow and purple).
What really makes me happy is that I was able to do this four days from my last image, because I already had the idea in mind as I was coloring the last one. I don’t quite have another image in mind right now, though there is a concept I’ve been playing with. I will have to do a few doodles before I get anything definative. Though I have to admit, I’m a bit distracted by the visiters we have over right now.
My parents gave me opaque watercolors yesterday for my birthday, so I can branch out to more than just colored pencils. What do you think guys? Would you like to see some watercolor works? I’ve done a little bit of work with watercolors. In high school, watercolors were my worst nightmare (right after pastels and chalk and… well, actually a lot of things). Then in University when I took a class, what would it cover but shading, perspective, chalk, and watercolor. Nightmares I tell you. But as it turned out, I had something of a better time with the watercolors and I created this wolf.
I was fairly well pleased with it. I hadn’t done anything that accomplished with watercolor. Then when I got home, I tried to recreate the image on my wolf T-shirt. But it was difficult, particularly with the dark wolf, and I decided that fur textures were hard to do with watercolor. So the incomplete image was shoved onto the backburner for months. Then I took it out and wondered what would happen if I finished it up with colored pencils. Detail was easier to accomplish with colored pencil, and it would be opaque. This was the result. Or at least, kind of what the result was- I’ve experimented with some editing on this image.
With that image, I considered the watercolor- colored pencil experiement a sucess. The watercolor was nice, because I could do bigger images. Paint covers more ground quicker than colored pencil. So this last year I created this image- one of the few bits of artwork I was able to do during the school year. I had a craving to do a fox. Sometimes artists experience strange cravings. It turns out that it was a good thing I did it, because one day Dad called me and asked for some artwork that we could have made into a T-shirt for my brother Ben (who is in California, serving a mission). Not a lot of my other images are particularly masculine, but I thought this could work.
Yes, my brother has a smile that looks more like a grimice. I shouldn’t be surprised if he scares people. But he’s really a nice guy.