So, this post is late. Not just a day late-two whole days late. How could I do such a thing? Well, on Monday I was very, very sick. I don’t think I even touched my computer that day--that sick. I didn’t do much of anything that day, actually. Then Tuesday was a recovery and catch-up day. So that brings us to Wednesday.
But I AM here, and I’m getting this post up. Better late than never, right?
And this is going to have to be another 2-week-er. Because that is how my life is going around now.
Envelope drawings were fun this last week. I did mine in ball point pen, which is really a comfort sketching medium for me--yes, I’m more comfortable sketching in pen than in pencil. My highschool teacher had us always sketch in pen and I got used to it. The nice thing about ball point pen is that you can push soft for a light line, and push hard for a dark line. In some of these my “envelope” lines are more visible than others, but you’ll just have to trust me on this one--I drew an envelope for these.
This week I want to start transitioning into skills that will help you (and me!) draw from imagination. Most of the exercises we’ve done so far really depend on having your subject right in front of you. But I’m an illustrator, and I can’t always find a real live three dimensional example of what I am drawing. I have to use my knowledge built up from drawing from life (As we’ve been doing for the last few weeks, right?) to imagine how something might look.
So this week I’ve decided to try an exercise I’ve actually never done before, but seen recommended elsewhere. I’m hoping that it will be as helpful as I’ve heard it is. If not, well, I’ll keep looking for something to teach these principles.
Everything we see can be simplified into combinations of certain basic 3-dimensional forms. Legs can be simplified to cylinders, an apple is basically a sphere, a book is a box shape, etc. Understanding these basic types of forms and how they occupy space can help us to simplify the things we imagine into manageable forms we can understand and draw. So this week, we’re going to get to know those forms.
Find or make each of these, all in one color: a cone, a cylinder, a sphere, a box or cube, and a pyramid. I will make some paper patterns (except I can’t really do a sphere), but you may have things around the house that will work--just wrap a can of soup in paper and you have a white cylinder. A white ping pong ball needs no alteration, there is your sphere. They don’t even need to be white, but I would prefer that they are all one solid color, so that the form differences are the important thing, rather than color or value or pattern.
Each day, draw three or more of your forms at different angles and arrangements. Pay attention to what happens to each face when they are above your eye level versus below, How they look when stacked on top of each other, in different lighting situations, etc. Be creative. Since we are mostly worried about the forms, don’t get too caught up in the shading--you can make an indication of where the shadows are, but don’t spend forever on this. Like previous weeks, we’re looking at spending about 20 minutes on these, but not more.
If it takes you less than 20 minutes to make your sketch and you’ve double checked it, go ahead and sketch something else--but as you do, look for these basic forms in the things you sketch.
Exercise: Form Drawings
Goal/Focus: Understanding basic forms and how they occupy space
Materials: Sketchbook, pen or pencil
Assignment: Each day, do a drawing of three or more of the basic forms in different arrangments. Arrange them in front of each other, stacked, lined up, or whatever way you can think of. Try different viewing levels--look down on them from above, or place them at eye level, or above your eye level. Spend about 20 minutes on each drawing.
If you have extra time or want to do more sketching, look for these forms in everyday object. Draw the object as these basic forms before breaking it down further into specific details--draw a book first as a box/ rectangular prism, draw a vase first as a cylinder, etc.
Its been a couple months since I used my Cricut. The poor thing has just been sitting on its shelf, waiting for the day when I would get it out again. So, since we're coming up on the nation's birthday, I decided to get out one of my star-themed crafts and post it here!
Normally I try to take my pictures with light from the windows so that they look nice. Well, its very cloudy and rainy today, so you get the nice fluorescent lighting for these photos. Meh.
This is loosely based on a paper ornament that has been floating around Pinterest for awhile. Here is one example. The ornament is based on a pentagon, with a half circle attached to each side. Then slits are made that enable 12 of these flower shapes to be linked together.
Cool, I said. But I could do so many more cool things with this rather than just attaching a half circle to my pentagon. This is one of them. A pentagon has five sides, so instead of flowers I could use...
Stars. You need 12 to make one of these. I used three different colors for my patriotic star ball--5 red, 5 grey, and 2 blue. (Pattern at the bottom of the post.)
I started with 1 of my blues and my 5 greys. To start, just find the slit in one grey start and the blue star and slide them together. (Yes, the slits are hard to see. Sorry. I'm blaming the fluorescent lighting)
Add another grey one....
Keep going around the blue star, linking each grey one, until you have a kind of star dome.
I bet you can guess what you're going to do with your 6 other stars BUT before you do, make sure you have the slits in your blue star facing the same direction as you did with the first dome you put together. Here my slits are facing counter-clockwise, so I'm going to make sure to keep them going that same direction when I link up my red ones. If you get it wrong its no big deal since we aren't using any glue, its just annoying to have to do it all over again.
Now just link up the red stars around the blue one like you did before with the grey ones.
And then you have two star dome things!
The next part is the trickiest. You have to link your two domes together. Make sure when you start out that you aren't trying to just link one red star with one grey star--each of the two open points needs to link to a different star. See?
It's helpful at this step to remember, BEND, don't rip! Paper is flexible and you can use that to help you.
Get them all linked up and then.... voila! A ball made of stars!
Here are the patterns. I would suggest using cardstock to make these, as regular printer paper isn't as strong.
Awhile back I made a fold and cut ornament... which I never posted or gave instructions for. Eventually I might.
And then I thought, thats a simple thing to paint. It would be good to start up again with something simple.
So, I painted it.
It was a good reminder of how much I love painting, and how much I miss it. And how terribly, horribly, completely rusty I am at it.
I started it one night in November and never got back to it until last night, when I decided to be done with it. Not because its the best it can be and completely finished, but because it served its purpose--it was a reason to get the paints out, and to remember how fun painting is, and how hard.
Here is how it looked, at various points in its life. I noticed too late that when I held the iphone too close to the painting it made the whole picture look cold, with a sort of grey-blue cast over the whole thing. Something to watch for next time.
A couple weeks ago, I invented this ornament by accident. I was looking at two different pins on pinterest when I created it, this one, and this one. One makes a dodecahedron (12 sided 3D shape) out of hexagons which interlock, the other is a octahedron (8 sided 3D shape) of folded paper, based on a diamond shape. I wanted to try making an octahedron out of pieces that interlocked like the first one did.
But I didn't think it all through before diving in. I discovered that, with the pieces the way I had configured them, it didn't make an octahedron as I'd planned. I quickly realized, however, that I could make my shape work to make a different type of 12 sided ornament. (I did later figure out the right way to make the octahedron :-)
I decided to give my accident ornament away to anyone who wants it for Christmas. I tried to make the instructions clear, but after sending them out to friends and family, it seems that some of them could understand them and some couldn't. I'm not sure how to make them clearer--I invented this by accident, remember, I just did what worked and it happened. I don't really know how to explain that. So if you want, print these out and give it a try. If you print it on cardstock your final ornament will be more sturdy, but it will be more flexible and easier to assemble if you use regular paper--your choice.
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