Monday, May 28, 2012

Self portrait! In clay!

Self portrait!!!

No, not really. I was just kidding. If this were a self portrait, I would be hopelessly hideous. Its a sculpture I made in school. The idea was for us to design miniature birdhouses, and as im completely obsessed with including heads and faces in my art, I came up with this. The basic thought was that the birds may nest in the mouth. Doesnt that mouth just scream NEST IN ME to you??! Or maybe thats just me.

This may be the first piece of art that I upload here that im not actually satisfied with myself. You see, I suck at sculpturing. Its my least favourite form of art. Well, not really, but its the one im definitely worst at. Things just dont turn out nice. Although I cant say ive had much practise, maybe ill get better down the line. Ive done some 3d modeling too, and my spatial sense is not bad either, so maybe one day I could be great at this.

Did you notice the lips and nose are glossier? Yeah, im full of surprises, arent i.
I basically cut out a rectangular lump of crap, cut out everything except for what is from above seen as a circle, used the cutout material to make another rectangular lump, and cut that into another circular layer, which i placed above the previous. Then, i placed a hole-less circle plate on top of all those, and so I had a hollow box. I felt quite ingenius. Then I hit it left and right to create this kind of head-ish resembling thing. 

Because my teacher asked me to, I coated it with some bullshit which was then partly scrubbed off, and so all the creases became dark. Not sure whether that improved or ruined it completely. Baked it in the oven, splashed his lips, eyes, head, and nose with this glossy liquid, and put it in for another, final round in the oven. Voila, head.

 By golly, I believe 12 days have passed since I last updated. Truly such a shame. Test week and stuff. Not a lot of time to post in blogs. Ive even grown a beard to symbolize our difficult strife and hard work, reading day and night for tests, pausing only to shit, eat and occasionally sleep.

PS. Actually I havent read for a single test yet, test week is just a nice excuse to do be retardedly lazy undercover, adopt a lifestyle of general lack of hygiene, and eat candy every night.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

More watercolours and stuff -

Yes! 2 watercolour entries in a row! Come at me bro! 

The process of painting actually didnt differ that heavily from the last one I did, so I wont explain it that much this time. Basically, i filled in all the areas with their respective colours and tones using water soluble watercolour pencils, then used a wet brush to smear it all out. I also used the very same markers I talked about last time. 

So, its abstract again, isnt it? Yes it is. Heavily influenced by the youtube channel agnescecile, whose work i adore. Her style is really growing on me! Drawing stuff like this is great fun and it looks awesome, too. She draws with liquid watercolours, which I have no access to, truly a shame. But I make do with my own watercolour pencils, after all, its not about what tools you have, its about how you use them. Remind me to rant about photoshop brushes later, okay?

So yeah, I think that wraps up this entry. Next time I make a watercolour painting, I hope to be able to record it step by step, and walk you through the process even better.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


So I was back home at my parents house last weekend. Theyre out traveling for a week, so I had the place all for myself. Sad thing was, it rained, so I really had nothing at all to do that day. Woke up at about 2, after having watched movies all night after that sweet victory against the belarussians in the IIHF. Ate macaroni and omelettes (?), got dressed at about 8 in the evening. We all have those days.

Anyway, so I felt kind of ashamed I had not used those neat watercolour-pencils at all since I got them, which is a few years back now. So I decided to give them another go. After rummaging through about every cabinet in the house, I finally found a single brush. Woop woop.

Yes, this means you are, at last, getting a piece of traditional, non-digital art. Not a walkthrough like my other paintings, per se, but ill try to comment on what I did.

Heres what happened

First step was obviously sketching it out with a rough graphite pen, and after that is was all pretty straightforward. Filling out the areas with their respective colours and hues, I used about 5 or 6 different pens/colours. Then i used a fine pen with lots of water to liquify the powdery paint, and then its all a game of manipulating the different densities of colour around, until you get the right look. This can be quite tricky, as the water dries up rather quickly, depending on what kind of paper you use.

What you really should focus on here is nailing the different kinds of edges. There are mainly 2 kinds of edges you need to think about. Soft ones, kind of gradient-ish ones, and hard ones. This is rather obvious, is it not, but nailing the use of soft and hard edges will define the subject. Soft edge on the back of the character to make him fade into the envoirement, but bring him out with the hard edge on the other side.

Many a great artist has said, that the key to being a good painter, is the ability of being able to use soft and hard edges to bring out and level out areas of the painting in order to bring definition and contrast to them, exactly where and how you want it. Just like we do with colours, using saturation, lightness, values etc., which Ive already touched on in an earlier entry (Should be easy enough to find without me linking to it, after all, there arent that many entries to be found.) , we can use edges to create the very same effect. I hope to further demonstrate this in some other post, this painting wasnt exactly created with that in mind.

After I had sorted all that out, I found some old markers. They were all different shades of grey, but i figured thats only because the ink or whatever in them have been mixed out with different amounts of water, not because they actually give out a grey colour, which is disappointing. Anyway, I used these markers to further accentuate the contrasts between light and dark. The edges of the gown-thing, for example, have been sharpened with the markers. Another, quite amusing, thing was that I found that the brightest shaded marker could also be used to water out and mix the watercolour, just like a regular brush, which i found quite interesting, and handy.

Anyway, there we go. I found this amazingly addictive space rocket simulator, named Kerbal Space Program, or something like that, which Ive decided to spend the rest of my evening with. At long last, some time to relax from an agonizingly stressful weekend.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


 As promised in the last entry, here I have a direct comparison picture between a photo edited using normal bitmap tools and one that I used RAW tools in editing. All I did here was darkened an overexposed photo.
As you can see, there was a horrible loss of detail in the JPEG. Overbright areas are not a problem when editing in RAW, though. All the detail is preserved, and so I can edit freely. Same goes for too dark photos, even if its completely black, youll be able to pull out lots of invisible detail when brightening a raw, whereas brightening such a JPEG would produce horrible, horrible artifacts. 

Below is the original overexposed photo. Its simply flowing water beneath a bridge, shot with long shuttertime, about half a sec I wager (RAW also saves all this info automatically, I just cant be arsed checking the exact value.), rest of the settings as dark as the camera could go. Taking a photo like this with the gear I have and getting the result above would not be possible if not for the RAW editing tools, the camera simply cant interpret such bright values on its own. Of course, you can save it as a JPEG, and darken it that way, but as we see above, RAW offers way better options. Originally I had intended to take the photo with an even longer shuttertime, to really accentuate the movement, and to better show the patterns formed by the flowing water. 
Now now, dont be fooled by my simple examples, the plugin, Camera RAW, can do much more than this. It offers a complete suite for photoediting, its quick, its simple, its intuitive. It takes about 2 minutes, tops, to figure out the GUI. Most of the tools work using sliders, and all the options are neatly grouped into tabs, which makes it really easy and fun to use.

I Camera RAW was first introduced in Photoshop CS2, and is one of the preinstalled plugins for CS3 and above. All you have to do is, go out, take a photo, set camera to save as RAW, and open it in PS. The plugin will open automatically. Its just that easy. It may not be necessary for your party photos, but when were talking about real photographing, RAW can make all the difference in the world.