Tag: badart

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Painting Cliche Things

Even though most of my portfolio is acrylic and oil paintings, I actually haven’t painted in a few years. It’s kind of ironic, especially since I’d really really would like that someone commissioned some portraits from me *cough*, but I can understand why not if my portfolio is a bit out of date in that field and the few I have painted are with either myself or really impatient models. I’ve yet to paint a portrait that really flatters someone, please someone give me the chance! I know I could just do it on my own, but I am so poor right now I can’t “waste” materials like a canvas and paint. Sigh.

harbour_sunset_wallpaper[1]What I really wanted to say is that it’s been so long since I’ve painted that I somewhat feel like I am starting over, if that makes sense. I think when anyone pursues art as a profession or hobby, they go through a “phase”. It doesn’t matter what art form it is. Photography: you’ll want to take the perfect sunset, the perfect flower close up, a bird close up, an insect, a cool cityscape, meaningful portrait. Film: Depending on your tastes, you’ll want to make that mafia film, zombie movie, coming-of-age film. Painting: You want to paint a landscape, a cityscape, a portrait, and something in the spotlight (that’s the one I’m doing now).

 

The most iconic images, you’ll want to recreate…and if you’re starting out, you’ll be disillusioned that you’re being original even though what you’re really doing is practicing forming ideas. That’s actually perfectly okay, and I encourage it! If you talked to me bird[1]maybe 5 years ago, I would’ve chewed you out for being generic, but I’ve long since realized there is no such thing as an original idea.We’re all inspired by something around us, and being in a society where you can easily access art lets us absorb lots of previously done ideas. It’s impossible one of those ideas won’t show up in your art. Likewise, when something feels really original, it’s more because it’s culturally relevant and probably something that hasn’t been seen in a long time*. Going through this “phase” lets you get those really generic things out of your head and it’s like baby steps for learning how to develop an idea so that it will be more your own. It’s the training wheels of concept.

Making something your own, IFlower+Wallpaper[1]‘d argue, is more important in art than pursuing being original. But I’m a pretty traditional painter and don’t really care for reinventing the painting medium. I’m not gonna start using my foot or house pant, or painting with gunpowder and fire. It’s not my thing. I appreciate academic painting.

So right now, I am recreating an image I painted very long ago of a ballerina in the spotlight. I’ll explain more later. I anticipate I will probably want to do a pretty cliche landscape next, because I really feel like going through baby steps and seeing how much my painting technique has improved and how I can make really cliche images into my own thing.

* There are things that are truly original, like art depicting new technology, a huge change in culture and society. You can’t say that before the 2000s, pro-LGBT+ art was readily present and sci-fi art definitely was non-existant in something like the 1500s. But you know what I really mean… painting yet another Bob Ross mountainscape is not original, even if you have a different composition and style.

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Credit: Bob Ross.
Photos: No idea, but googled sunset, flower, and bird close up.


Oh yeah, why do photographers obsess over photographing the moon? It pretty much ALWAYS looks the same, maybe slightly rotated.
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Craig’s List Comic WIP 2

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No one says you can’t repurpose your art as dumb Facebook profile pictures.
I think this face is absolutely hilarious..
Here is the WIP. I am insane and decided I will definitely ink all the straight lines… I use one of those rulers with cork backing, and I am extremely careful. I feel like I am preforming surgery and it is a tense time. Don’t you just hate it when you dip your ruler into your freshly inked line and drag it…? It’s ok now with some white gauche and Photoshop, but I am a perfectionist.
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Weird…comic

So I posted a little screen shot of this a while back… Let this demonstrate the learning curve I went through the past 6 months in terms of digital art with this image. This is before I took any classes and I was generally really frustrated with digital painting because I had no clue how to approach it.

When I made this, I shaded it in gray and separated absolutely everything. I planned on applying an overlaying colour, but I soon discovered how difficult it is to get that to mix right. I thought it would be a quick solution… but the values are very light, and the shirt there has some patterning….ended up being a bad idea. I should’ve just straight up tried to colour this instead of being scared, because trying to overlay colours after proved to be as much guesswork as I would’ve done if I had just coloured it. Back then, I had no idea how to read the colour picker and make a smart choice on colour.

Anyway….the colour I did on this originally was so hideous I deleted it, and just threw on this stylized gradient map to apply colour. It looks pretty funky…the “idea” is that the desert is so scorching hot, it has bleached out all visible colour. Whatever…

I wouldn’t put this in my portfolio for a large array of reasons.

1. It’s not my style. How do I know that? It’s a complete fluke and looks awkward. When I throw it into my artwork folder, it stands out because it’s weird, not because it’s unique or a step up from what I’ve been doing.

2. This colouring is a sad excuse for colouring. I mean, some of the values are gross…you don’t exactly have a lot of control with a gradient map unless you want to drive yourself totally insane.

3. The scale is wonky – it looks like a tiny comic strip because of the font and proportions of the picture elements, but the details are very small. If this was printed on a page as a spot, it would look off because the details would become hard to read. In comparison to some of my recent comic work (the SFX collab I am doing), this looks very poorly thought out, even though I was more fighting with my inexperience with digital art.

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My biggest hurdle with digital art has been dealing with the layering and the whole…mathematical side to it. Gradients are math, all the layer blending modes are math, colour picking is a math. The process is very inorganic. There’s just something about doing it with your hands and watching the pigment of whatever medium you’re using react, and learning what it’s doing… it’s probably the same for making music on a real instrument versus a digital instrument. Something real gives you the whole process from A to Z, digital is like straight from A to Z without anything in between. You apply a blending mode and BAM! there it is – no way to observe how it happened.

Anyway, this was to let off some steam on job searching.

WIP Drowning Panel EP1 – Using Black and Details with Image Composition

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More layering. At this stage, I have removed the masking… you can tell by the weird white shape in the mouth :S If anyone out there can recommend a better way to apply masking latex to drawings, that’d be GREAT. I might try rubber cement instead because the latex gets stuck in my brushes and dries chunky.

Not much to say here…I guess I’d like to point out the gray tone I used in the hair – his hair is black, but I will be inking most of that black in and this adds some depth and variation. It would actually be bad for the composition of this image to just throw a giant black shape in like that because the contrast and mass would overwhelm the other subtler values and the desaturated colours. Imagine it as putting a giant black circle in the corner of a blank page with some pencil sketches. Black and black shapes are something to be used carefully in images. Same goes for small detailing, which becomes a visual ‘buzz’ and a distraction when used poorly.

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On Scene: Failure

I’ve been using the liquid latex mask like a junkie for almost everything. It seems like the perfect, brilliant solution to every masking problem…Just throw it on there! No problem!

I used this splatter ink effect for shading on this heavily stylized eye reflecting the aftermath of a crash in my comic, while giving a sense of the onlooking character’s shock. If I used regular ink shading, I feel this image would’ve been far too clean, and wouldn’t fit with the current style of my comic. I’ve always been aware of splatter effects, but I didn’t think of using them till I saw Shannon Wheeler use splatter to shade everything in a full-page comic panel in Too Much Coffee Man. (The hand-drawn version of the comic, not the digital…Mr. Wheeler, stop using digital, please.)

I have all the action shots of this because I anticipated it working, but let’s just sum up the failure in a few. This is an example of where using a latex mask, which is rubbery, is a horrible idea. I created a mask over the green/yellow iris with latex, splattered ink, and removed the mask with an eraser – typical process.

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For one, I didn’t tilt up my drafting table, which is why most of the ink ended up on my white curtains. Don’t feel bad for me. Those were left-overs from the last tenant. This was situation of pure genius where I decided to wear my favourite white skirt, and yeah – that’s ruined.

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Bad Self-Portrait

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I spent a Saturday afternoon photographing some artwork I did about a year ago. Yeah, I am that behind in my digital upkeeping… the pile of artwork I documented is from a Drawing Anatomy class and had safely lived underneath my couch for about a year.

This is one piece that won’t make it to my website portfolio. It just came out looking like a ‘sketch’ more than a finished piece, and many, many things had failed in it that I’m not proud of: the hair that looks like a bulky wig, the massive misshapen shoulder, the background – WTF is going on there?, the face….yes it’s supposed to be me, but it looks more like a caveman.

Initially, I started this piece with the intent of using a blue pen that I know runs like crazy when it meets up with water. That part sort of work… then I just killed it with the black ink.