Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Directed Study: Group Study: Children's Book

Module 12 and 13:

Both these weeks I have been the same for me. I have been wrapping up everything, making sure I have all my printed material, promotional material, matted all my work, and then some! Been so busy I have almost forgot to post here! but, having been able to have my thesis book in hand and everything submitted, I have calmed down a bit.

One big thing that has happened to me is the fact that I received and email stating that my director wants me to display my WHOLE portfolio at the school's SPRING SHOW!!!!! This is a huge honor and I can't even believe I would be considered one of the top illustrators of my class. When I saw that I put all work aside to just take in the feeling. It has been a very very long road to get to this point. The many ramen nights, self doubt moments, and the very hard/back breaking work put into this degree seemed to have paid off in that moment. I am still in awe that I am considered to have work at such a professional level.

Next week is my final review. I feel that, seeing how I received this email, I have already passed it. Let's hope no surprises come about and I pass with ease.

Module 11:

It was really awesome of my professor to bring in promotional materials to look at. I needed o gear myself as to how my styles would fit on these formats and how others have done theirs. But, I did get feedback on my designs and they are good to go to the printers! I feel so professional! My work looks beautiful on my bookmark designs. Super happy about that. I can't wait to see them and finalize them. I'm even going to put sting on my bookmarks! They are going to look so cute!

Module 8, 9 10:
These past few weeks I have been working on my promotional material. It has been pretty crazy. AS I feel behind with my own deadline to finish up my last piece, I feel that everything is behind. My final review date is May 10th, so I have time, but I rather have my work all finished. I feel that I have a lot to do from now until then. I made my business cards and sent them to be printed. not much though as I plan to get rid of them while I'm here since I am sure I will redesigning them again.

Front and Back

Right now I am in the process of finishing my final piece (as I stated before). But it is causing me a lot of stress because I feel that it has a lot of problems with it, which then requires more attention to fix, adjust, and figure out. Personally, I am at a point where I am ready to move on from all of this.

I was talking to my roommate about how I feel now as compared to the beginning of this schooling. At First I had a lot of issues: watercolor skills, basic understanding of elements of art and how to apply, no consistent style, problems with perspective, being afraid of backgrounds, value understanding, color understanding etc etc. And now I feel that none of those are problems anymore, or at least not so much. I still find that I am painting with a lot of saturation. I need to dull things down a bit more. And, my next biggest challenge, I need to draw children perfectly. I plan on going head on to face this problem after school ends. I am touching on it in my Fantasy Art class, but for the first time in a serious matter.

Hopefully I don't overwhelm myself these next couple of weeks, as I took the weekends off of work. I hope I am able to use the time wisely to get myself ready to go for my panel. I really need to move on to even better things!

Module 7:

I am feeling pretty confident about this upcoming Spring break. I have a plan of what I need to get done before I start up school again. Class today was quite calm. I received pointers on how to improve my work, but, the big thing is, I am planning on making launching my official website! It seems so unreal that I am becoming so professional. I look back at myself in my undergrad days I didn't ever think I would be bale to get myself to this point. My school has really shaped me to become a better artist. Hopefully I can get it all set and ready to go so I can start officially designing everything else like my business card and promotional materials.

Module 6:

 Another class where I surprised them with another piece completely finished! Or at least 99%. I am super surprised at myself at how fast I am painting these. I literally spend a full day on a piece and I am able to bring it up to 95%. My only issue right now is thinking about my layout for my book cover design for Black Beauty. Everyone loved my portrait of Beauty and my idea but I have to play around with it. Text can be tricky and I want to be sure I get this right and be able to bring a different spin to a cover design for the book. It needs to be more serious than what has been previously done. . I am not worried about it though. With Spring Break coming up next week, I feel I will be able to have Meelo's last piece done before the week is over, giving me more than enough time to get everything together.

Module 4/ Module 5:

Had a few great classes this past couple of weeks. I have been able to bust through my work with no issues. I am on schedule and happy to be that. I am still hoping I will be able to get ahead of myself soon, just so I can feel better about what I have to do!

One big idea that popped up was the fact that I had to re-do one of my Black Beauty pieces. I brought the subject up to my peers and professor, asking if I can just scrap it entirely and move on to make a book cover for the novel. She was all for it, as she was for the idea I had too (I won't say anything about it yet, but I am going to give it a more serious layout than that of all previous Black Beauty pieces. I am super happy and excited for this! I started working on it right after class and it is coming along just fine. I wills ay I was concerned at first. Not that I wouldn't re-do that piece, I am to a point where I have too much on my plate to go and adjust so much to something that I look at as a failure. And who wants to linger in failure? Especially if you are staring at it! I do understand in the working world, that may just happen, but photoshop does wonders, so it is not a huge problem to deal with. It is just, for the final review, they would prefer to see the final works.

Module 3:

Nothing much to report for this class today. I am slowly and consistently working on my art, and it is taking a good chunk of time. But it is going. This week was a bit on the crazy side with other outside influences, but I'm not behind. At the moment, my Meelo #2 is scheduled to be done this Sunday. I only have basic thrown down colors. Seeing how I am not scheduled to work tomorrow, I will dedicate the whole day to the piece. I am hoping to bring it to 90%, so I have the weekend to adjust and add. We will see how that goes.

Module 2:

This past class we filled it up talking about everything we are trying to work on. My professor was very surprised about how much work I was able to get done in a week ( I was also surprised at myself). Nonetheless, I still feel quite behind. It is only the first/second week and I wish I was ahead by 2-3 full pieces. But that is me. I will ALWAYS feel behind until a piece of work is done. I might push myself too much, but I can't help it. More now than even I have been wanting to do more and more work. I want to get better. I need to get better, but I am sacrificing my well-being too much lately.

But, back on the subject. I asked a question that has been on my mind as I work through my thesis work: What is the illustrators job when creating a book? Yes, they hold power where text is placed or where a picture might be, but what about the design of the book, or the font etc. I felt that, as the illustrator, you don't have too much power outside of developing the pieces. But I was wrong. She told us that we as illustrators hold the most power. It is up to us that determines everything about the book, even text. Yes you will get art directors to ask for a change or two, but nothing really much. Even the authors, if you work with one, usually don't get involved with the layout (unless they are higher up in the publication world).

As I work through my pieces I find that I now understand that. My only issue is that I have trouble with text placement. I am no graphic designer and I don;t know how to effective manipulate text for it to work an be visually/professionally appealing. But I hope, when I am done with all the final pieces I can be able to put together a dumby of sorts so that I can understand the process.

We will see. Otherwise, progress of my thesis is going good. I unfortunately got some coconut oil on my current Meelo piece, right when I finished it, and therefore, I have a stain that is quite visible. I am hoping that, with next class I can bring it up and hopefully not be told to re do the whole thing. Reason being, professionally speaking, where it is placed it is very easy to just paint the sky section on a separate piece of paper, scan both that and the final piece and put them together, making a cohesive piece for the final execution of the work. I really don't have time to re do another work, I already have one on my mind, on top of tweeking each piece.

Module 1:

I am so excited to have a class fully dedicated to my thesis work. Not only that but I will be able to pick my professor's brain about the industry. She just published her 48th book I believe she said. It is a small class, but we all have different styles which will keep our classes so very interesting.

Our first class was to have an understanding of some sort of plan we would have for our thesis and when we need to finish. They all told me I am on the right track and are in a good place. Though, I don't think so, but that is only because I will always feel behind in my work. I will always feel behind until it is finished, such is the life of me.

So I will feverishly be working on my thesis. I got a critique from my director and form the class so I will begin one by one, painting Meelo and finishing up Black Beauty. Though I have to re-do one piece, I am hoping to figure out the issues soon so I can just move on!

Directed Study: Color Theory

Module 13:

We started our Mandala designs today. I am happy to know that we have class time to do this! I really want to do a good job of this. Create a clean presentation, as I have issues with my craftsmanship when it comes to edge control. The last assignment I feel was a failure. My classmates and professor really liked it. But, the colors, to me are still too saturated. I took this class to understand how much more you can do without being so saturated everywhere. Yet, I was very overworked and tired this week, so my mind was not in the best state of concentration for this piece.

Module 12:

This next one is going to be fun. I can't wait to just jump right into the final. But I look at my studies and they are very separate. I still have trouble when understanding color as value and value as color. They are still very separate beings to me. Looking at both of these I can see the idea and direction I will go in, but I just don't like how separate they are. I really need to practice my understanding of the two concepts and how they work together.

Module 11:

Happy to say that I loved this assignment. Finally I was able to use gouache and actually paint, not make swatches. I love my pattern. I want it as a wall paper. Nothing much to say otherwise BUT I am finding I am more accurate when it comes to understanding how much of a different small or large amounts of paint change the color. I am becoming more aware of that, and I am seeing it in my other painting outside of this class.

Module 10:

We presented our pattern ideas today and was able to work on them during class. I will say I am glad to finally work on something not so swatch-y and more painting based. Gouache is a weird medium for me and I learn better when I apply new things to serious pieces (not so much practicing loosely). It was a nice change and it is coming out really well. I enjoy my feather pattern. Feathers always make me happy and always seem to calm me down when I draw them. My colors really make me happy too. I love the warms as they remind me of a long golden field of grass. Wish I can be there right now riding a horse!

Module 9:

This was a really great class. We are going into pattern and the idea of harmonizing color in terms of group relationships. What I mean is tertiary split compliments! I have always known about theses but never really focused on the concept. I am finding that I am more aware of color relationships and color influences on surfaces, objects and the like.

Anyways, I created a pattern that involves simple motifs of feathers with some circles. I'm pretty happy with it and I'm sure the final portion of it will come out great. But that's not due yet. Future deadlines!

Module 7 and 8:

These past two classes have been about understanding toning and how light affects surfaces. As basic as they were, I needed to really re-visit those ideas. I am finding more and more that I am still trying to understand how colored surfaces are affected by light. For example, a cool rock surface that can be mainly blue-ish in local color is warmer in a sunlight and cooler in the low light. My problem is how much warmer or cooler does an objects surface becomes, and still have it's local color be shown?

Though I am not painting an actual piece for this class, I am in another, and i am finding that I am trying to understand this idea intensely. I still feel that I am pretty saturated (at least the beauty of watercolor lets you layer over that to dull things down if you need to), but I still like it. I need to find that good balance between both color and muted/toned/tinted color when influenced by it's surroundings.


Module 6:

I will say, no real big progress. We revisited the portraits, but nothing more than that. I am sure I will be more attuned to color eventually. I just feel that, with everything else, I have been a bit over-worked. This class will show for that lack of time and energy, but what can you do. Thesis comes first, then fantasy art class for extra portfolio work.

Module 5:

So, another day, another color! I won't post much here as I wasn't able to finish what I had to do for the homework assignment. It is not like me to not be able to finish an assignment, but seeing how this class is a foundations re-practice for me, I rather dedicate more time to that which is important (thesis, portfolio, promotional material etc). I have a lot on my plate right now. Trying my best!

Module 4:

Color and value are super tough! I am trying my hardest to work with the numerous swatches I have already made, but it really is difficult if your swatches are just off in comparison to your 9 value scale. I don't have tim to make more, so I am working with what I made. Also, this is my weakness, color as value. When I was doing it, I was making the connection between the two, but still, it isn't easy.

Module 3:

Color wheel time! I am so happy to have had time in our class to do the homework for the week. What a huge help to have that time! I was able to do all my swatches, over 100 or so, during class. All I need to do is decide my color accurately and put them together in a color wheel.

I am happy to start jumping into color. Value yes, is important, but color and value work together, and my understanding of color in relationship to their value is fuzzy. So excited to begin color!

Module 2:

Can I say how much I hate abstract art? I mean I don't hate it. Others how can do it and can do it well, that is great. I do not have the mind or patience for it. This week's assignment gave me mini anger burst and frustrations. My heart even went crazy. I was really not having it. Nothing was working and I just winged it. Sorry to say, but with everything else on my plate, it is hard to dedicate time to something you want to burn and throw out the window. I finished it, because that is what students should do no matter what, but it is not good and not clean.

AS a color Theory class, I know everything should be executed cleanly and professionally, but I have just about had it with this one. I am here to make swatches and color wheels, but so much finished artwork. Nothing against the assignment, just not my thing. Felt too foundations like, and I am SO done with that!

Module 1:

Let swatch hell begin! First class we started with a simple gray scale. A 9 step gray scale out of about 40 swatches painted. I will say super informative. I am hoping this class will really help me understand the power of color. I have always felt that I do paint more on the saturated side, not that I feel it is a problem, but I can vary my intensity. And that starts with understand intensity of color. I have never took a formal color class before, so I am very excited to dig deep in the tubes!

Also, using gouache for the first time will be good. I have been told gouache is a really good medium to work with. I have a set of acrylica gouache that I have been wanting to use, but never had to chance to play with them yet.

Directed Study: Fantasy Illustration (Spring 2016)

Module 13:

Next and final assignment. With my final review creeping up and time has been in rush mode. But I wanted to do a good narrative for this last piece. I am doing the scene in the end where Susan, Edmund, Peter, and Lucy chase the white stag into the forest where they see the lamppost; the first symbol of Narnia.
I did recieve some really good feedback with this sketch. So many of my peers and my professor kept going back and forth with suggestions and the like. I will be adding more detail and stretching the narravite out to create a more double page spread feeling. I hope I'm not taking too much on for the last one. Just hope I can dedicate enough time and energy in this to make it great.

Module 12:

Final Illustration was due. Not my best piece, but it was a good experiment to try and draw children. I feel that I am not horrible at them, but I need a lot of work. Of course, Aslan looks just dapper and handsome

Module 11:

Mid point, not the best. I adjusted what I could, and did better on the children, but I have a long way to go. I feel that I am getting better at children. I look at the piece and I can see my ideal style emerging, just not my full understanding of children. Like I said, this piece is a great practice run. I want to re-do the idea after this schooling is over. Yet I am sure by that time I would be ready to move on to other ideas!

Module 10:

Rough week. I am going to be facing a weakness of mine for this assignment: children. I know, I should be pretty confident about drawing children when going into children's book illustration, but I have major problems with them. I am strong with my animals and have no problem personifying them as children, but human children I haven;t practiced nearly enough on those.

I made sure to tell my professor that this piece is more of a practice for me. It won't be perfect as I will be trying to face my issues, but nonetheless, I hope to get something out of it. It will get done and be a finished piece, but not my strongest.

I have been given suggestions to make them more child-like, so I will go back to adjust them. Hopefully they become a bit more successful.

Module 9:

Number 3 done! I didn't receive much feedback for the final since it was quite finished. What I did get was little things like outlining the hill as well to show that my character's are related as part of the foreground. All in all, I am happy with it. I will have to re-scan it though since the scanner I usually use wasn't working and I had to piece a lot of small scans together (which still were not good).

Module 8:

And it begins again! I had a really informal class this week. I had to stop painting my current assignment because I was so afraid of jumping into the rest of the piece. Seeing how this class is challenging me to paint so much more than my normal forests and animals, that I had to ask my professor how to go about doing the rest of my piece. Seeing how it is a sun set scene, containing colors and understanding of how light influences surfaces, I didn't know how to begin with the rest of my figures. He suggested to go into it firstly with a payne's grey, to almost outline where your darks are going to be, and then go from there.
This is the stage before I did that, but I will say,, the piece is progressing so well!I feel that, with every piece I do in this class I really am able to gain so much more than I thought I would.

Module 7:

Next! I am very excited to move on to the next assignment. This class is really allowing me to produce some really great portfolio worthy work. My next piece I have decided to focus on something that is a bit low key, or, more so, character driven. I have chosen the moment in the book where Aslan takes Peter aside after his 'First Battle,' to show him Cair Paraveil and all of Narnia. I feel this is a pivotal moment in the book where Peter is told, you have to be a man now, you are the eldest and you are the High King. As I researched this scene, I found that a lot of art was very environment driven. IN the book, Lewis gave a pretty thorough description of the surroundings and how the castle was shining far in the distance. Personally I wanted to show, not the back of Peter and Aslan looking onto the horizon, but I wanted to show the interaction between them; an adolescent boy having that moment that he must become a man.

My professor likes the idea, but did offer some good insight on what to change to make gestures more obvious and better use of directional forces. I will say, the comment of making gestures more apparent is something I thought of but it was more in the back of my mind, and now I know how important it is to push gesture to be super clear to the audience so they understand what is going on.

Module 6:

 Another pretty successful piece and a happy class/professor (more or less). I will say I want to re-do this piece someday. I feel that I can bring it up to a much more solid idea than it is. What I am saying is that it is almost there. There are some things I hope to tweek to make it stronger, fix some shadow shapes, make sure things don't look weird, like how some light falls on places and not on others etc etc.

Module 4/Module 5:

So super excited for this one! I was surprised from the reaction I received from both my professor and classmates. There was no huge changes that they wanted to see. There were suggestions and cautions for the process, but nothing outside of that. I was so happy to know I am doing well for this class.

I also was surprised at the reaction for my mid-pt for the piece. I personally thought I didn't do enough. I probably dedicated a good 12 solid hours to the painting portion, but it was more than enough! My professor loved where it was going, he suggested some things like using photoshop to adjust lights when I get to the final point. But the thing that surprised me was, he said to, "TAKE MY TIME! Don't try to finish this if you can't. This piece needs time." I was so happy for him to say that. I was about to say that this piece was taking me to places I've never been before (haha). I have NEVER done a pretty monochromatic painting with a yellow light source. As well as the fact that All these creature are rocks, and rocks have different reactions on their surfaces to light, and my light is yellow!! haha.

I did dedicate a good amount of time to paint it today, and it looks really good! I am surprised at myself, since I felt this was going to be a pretty good practice piece, but it is getting to a point where I can say it's a very strong portfolio piece.

Module 3:
I am loving this class! I feel that I have brought my work up to the level I want to be in. I was told to do a few little touch ups for my first piece but, I will say, being able to do this piece in a solid 2 weeks, I am surprised I was able to do it!

As you can see I am now going to be putting my watermark on my work. I feel that my images are up to par with current professional standards, as as well it reflects me. Happy to say I am on the right track for my work.

I have looked into websites but I have not made a solid decision yet. I feel that I haven't been able to generate enough work to fill it up to start with, but I know in the next 2 weeks or so I will be making one up.

Module 2:

I was able to get it started! I am very happy where it is at the moment, and so does everyone else. My professor had a few critiques about it, but, personally, they were more to make it better, yes, but the piece does fine without. Seeing how we had to do both the final sketch and the middle point of the project done in a week, I say I am on the right track. But I am hoping I will be able to finish this so I don't fall behind. I know once the regular 3 week period begins I will be able to make those deadlines with no issues (more than enough time).

But one thing my professor said today I have to share is this: This class is a critique class but, unless you clearly need to work on something, critiques can vary and you don't have to use them (in those word more or less). I was very happy to hear this since I had him for perspective and, if something was wrong, you had to fix it.

Especially since I am doing traditional, I can't very well change huge portions about my works after the being transferred.

Looking at this I will say my drawing skills and painting skills have improved a lot! Even my speed! I am way faster and much more accurate than I use to be.

Module 1:

I am VERY excited for this class. Even though it is a pretty big class, everyone is very much engaged and excited about the fantasy realm! Seeing how, technically, we are a week behind, this first assignment will seemed rushed.
Generally, we have 3 weeks to do an assignment:
- first week you would've already established a final sketch to be critiqued
- second week would be the mid point of your assignment
- and last, you would have the final illustration

Seeing how W1 was to be the start, we spent class coming up with the idea. As this is a directed study for me I get to choose what I want to do, and, seeing how I don't have any children in my portfolio, I am doing C.S. Lewis's Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I am so excited for this. Therefore my first illustration will be when Lucy is going into the wardrobe. I have decided to 're-do' a piece I did for my Character Design for Children's Book class, where I did a wrap-around cover for the novel. I am doing only a segment of it of course because I have always loved that composition I made and felt it needed to be better!