Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ron Perlman--- A Facial Deconstruction

I'll start by prefacing this with how difficult this assignment was. This week, we were asked to find a photograph of a celebrity and start by deconstructing his or her face into basic planes. Then, with only our original photograph and planar analysis for reference, we had to recreate that celebrity's head in 12 different angles, each with its own if he or she was our own character.

And like a dummy, I selected Ron Perlman as my model. You might remember him as Hellboy.

Let's just say this actor's face is a little too interesting.

So here is the photograph I selected as reference. I laid tracing paper over top of the image and located the planes of the face.
From here on out, these lines and this one photograph would be my only reference for reconstructing a 12-face expression sheet.


During today's critique, I felt a little frustrated. My drawings didn't quite resemble Ron Perlman as much as I'd have liked. I thought the facial deconstruction exercise was supposed to make my drawings more accurate, more recognizable. Instead they just looked plain weird. I wished I had drawn in my own style---I wanted the pictures to be pretty. I wanted to show the class I was a better artist than this.

My professor told everyone he was excited to see the awkwardness of some of our drawings. He told us "if they look ugly because you really struggled with this exercise, that's terrific. If they look like it's the first time you've tried this, I know that you're learning. And that's what matters." That made me feel so much better.
 I know if I constantly resort back to the way I like to draw, the way that is most comfortable for me, I won't learn anything. It's better to plunge into something and not worry about coming out clean.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Creature Feature

This week in Advanced Survey of Computer Arts, our class was experimenting with Adobe Illustrator. Our two Illustrator assignments for the weekend were to create a creature in an environment, and to design a logo for ourselves. Click the two examples for more student work!

I was super excited to create my own monster in Adobe Illustrator. It just so happens that designing creepy critters is right up my alley. Some of my favorite pieces I've made have been of strange beasts. So I began to scribble out some ideas for a monster, but I wasn't having much luck. Nothing I made was coming out quite right. I looked back at the watercolor monsters I had made this summer to get some inspiration. Instead, I ended up adapting the design of a previous creature I had made. You guys might remember this little fella:

I loved his design too much to let it go. I spent the majority of my night doodling 'Vulp' in silly poses.
Satisfied with his design, I had to make some decisions on his color palette. A group majority voted for the swampy green colors (see number 6 below), so those are the swatches I chose. Lucky for you, I did a pin up of all the color options I had in mind.

I am lucky to have had Illustrator classes when I was in high school. Stitching Vulp together was not a hassle at all--- I really enjoyed myself. It took several hours of fussing with his environment, but I ended up satisfied with the result.

The logo assignment was a little more challenging. Rather than make a business card for myself, I decided to just make a friendly icon for my blog here, Paperstack 5. I didn't have a strong vision of the final product as I was going into the project. All I knew was that simplicity was probably my greatest ally.

I thought the icons for ipod apps always looked appealing, so I started with a square base. Originally, I had wanted to use the text from my blog banner, but the writing did not rest well along the border of the square.

I found a font (as you can see in some of the previous examples) that was similar to the blog banner script, but more legible. I was satisfied with some of the previous icons until my friends misread the title as 'Five Paper Stack.'  I decided to switch the '5' (which was still in the original script) and the 'paperstack' text. A simple adjustment made the logo read correctly.

I tested some other effects here and there, but my favorite and probably final decision is the top right in red.

There you have it!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Advanced Survey of Computer Arts

I'm starting this school year off by taking a course in computer arts. The class will definitely be challenging for me when we experiment with Maya and After Effects, but for now, I'm getting a nice review of the Adobe suite. During my high school years, I was lucky enough to take several media arts classes in the Tech Zone. There, I had four years worth of Photoshop projects, Illustrator assignments, and some video editing in Finalcut Pro.One of my favorite assignments in the Tech Zone was a multi-layer Photoshop composition based on personal narratives. I made this little beauty my senior year:

This composition was a fun way to experiment with construction, unity, and story. My experience with this project definitely prepared me for my first assignment for Advanced Survey of Computer Arts (CMPA 110).

My professor, Dave Kaul, asked the class to create two photoshop compositions: a multi-layer underwater scene and a self-insert into a movie still of our choosing. Here are two examples. Click the photos for more!


 For my undersea composition, I started with stock image of a church hallway. From there, I added creepy sharks and ugly fish. No real reason. I just think they're interesting. Most of my photoshop work was based off this helpful 'underwater scene' tutorial.

For the "Put yourself in movie history" assignment, I chose a scene from one of my favorite movies, Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World.

For Bluray-quality screenshots, I highly recommend Cinema Squid!

This seemed like a pretty manageable movie still to work with. It seemed like all I had to do was get my picture taken in a dingy little cafe. Unfortunately, the lighting turned out to be more of a hassle than I had intended. The final photograph was taken inside my friend's dorm room with all her room mates holding up lamps and breathing down my neck. Special thanks to all those lovely ladies!

Photographed by Gabrielle Manni
with help from Jordyn Moss and Sara Wasserboehr

From here was a lot of trial and error with photoshop. I mostly dulled the contrast, desaturated the color, and adjusted the curves and levels. Here is the eerie end result:

Pretty creepy, huh?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Drawing For Sequential Art

It's great to be back in school! I feel so excited for this year's classes---especially Drawing for Sequential Art. Below I've posted my drawings from our first assignment. Be sure to check out my professor, Dove McHargue's blog HERE. He's got some crazy awesome stuff to share.

Assignment #1:
18 figure drawings based on Andrew Loomis style


My drawings: