Thursday, August 30, 2012

vector art, stuff, and water

Whats up, Tom, Dick and Harry!?

I do look charming, dont I? Yes, its another self portrait, but a much older one, not quite like the last one. Entirely different style, too. The inital idea was to fade in the background orange colour into a sort of base hue for the skin, and then add some darker shadows and bright highligths. Kinda added lots of other shit along the way though. I always kind of liked how it turned out, so ive been using it for a profile picture for different websites ever since I made it, which was a little bit more than a year ago.

I actually used a pretty fucked up reference photo, which I hope is disappeared from cyberspace for all future. It wasnt nice. My face was kind of like spazzing out of control. Any finders or witnesses of this photo will be dealt with, it is of utmost importance that this bedazzling photo does not resurface.

Hm, something I notice now in retrospect (Retro meaning backwards-ish-kinda, spect meaning to look, eyes, some foszhille like that depending on context. Anyway, looking back is the meaning of "in retrospect".), the strength of the highlight sorta makes my skin look wet ._. Thats not nice. Its usually something I strive to achieve while painting, because it looks very professional, but in this case the specular area is simply too damn big. You know something interesting about water and wetness? Its about why water feels so cold on your skin. Its not simply because water releases and absorbs heat energy better than air, or because the water may be colder than your skin when it hits it, but also because of chemical bonds forming between water molecules, H2O, and oxygen, causing it to evaporize. A precondition for these bonds to form is energy, and heat, in essence, is energy, and will be used as such. That means that in the forming of the bond, energy is encapsulated into this bond, converted from heat. THIS MEANS NET HEAT ENERGY LOSS. It also means that when these bonds release, heat is also released. Theres heat in the top of the rainy clouds, bro.

The forming of these bonds also partly explains why you feel so much colder if its windy and youre wet. Since there are more oxygen particles to be bound, bonds are created faster. VERY MUCH COLD. But we all know that no water can be absorbed if the air is too humid, yeah? That means we dont feel that part of the cold at all, standing in the wind, if its raining, and the air is very humid. Lots of interesting chemistry here. I actually have no sources or factual texts to recite on the matter, just my own weird theories.

You might scoff and think that this whole phenomenon is rather peripheral, and while I admit it may not at all be the reason water is so damn cold, I can tell you that so called swamp coolers actually work entirely by this principle. They blow hot air through watery spongy material, evaporating it, converting heat into chemical bonds, cooling the air down. Thats how that big air-space-cooler-fan-box-thing you might have standing around works.

Anyhow, heres the same picture, greyscaled, and with less layers, just so that you may be able to picture the creation process more clearly. Basically what I did was use the curve (Line) select-tool, selected for example all my hair, and filled a layer mask with full opacity white. This is easier than using real transparency, which would be really unsmooth, layer masks are a must when doing this kind of thing. Then I filled the actual layer with a gradient, and moved on to the next area, for example the highligts on my face. Rinse and repeat, until the whole picture is finished. Easy shit, really. Anyone with just the slightest hint of familiarity with GIMP or Photoshop can do it, doesnt really matter which one you want to use.

Oh, and for those of you who are wondering what I meant by "Tom, Dick, and Harry", thats an english idiom. For those of you who have never been interested in learning about idioms, its short for idiomatic expression, which are, well, expressions. Dont interpret these phrases literally, theyre mostly metaphors (Metaphor being another kind of expressions. Very confusing.), or just common sayings. Tom, Dick, and Harry, is an old way of refering to everyone, all the average joes of the world, and in my case, all my dear readers, of course. Tom, Dick, and Harry have in history been some pretty common names, so someone sorta figured thatd cover all of us. In essence, I couldve just said HI EVERYONE, but then we wouldnt have learned anything new or interesting, would we?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

boredom, shaggy and whining

If boredom was a disease, I would be terminally ill. Theres simply nothing to do. Even worse, ive fallen into a pit of uninsipration, and the little sliver of creativity I have left (Stored in my left pinky) is mercilessly blasted onto notebooks in school, during outrageously boring classes. In all desperation, I might even scan some of the notebook pages for the blog, just because I cant seem to accomplish anything drawing here at home. 

So yah. I forced myself into finishing this amazingly dull picture of this shaggy old dude, just because. I really seem to have nothing else to show you guys at this time. This dude actually looks alot like my old physics teacher... He had hair just like this. Greasy, thick and weirdly shaped. Anyhow, below are a few snapshots from the painting process, just like in my earliest blog entries. 

What a brilliantly attractive smile. Eyes are wildly unproportionate, though. Another thing I need to practise (It feels like the words "need" and "practise" have been worryingly abundant in the last few entries ._.)  is drawing expressions. I have no idea how to draw a person who genuinely looks happy, sad, angry, whatever. Even though it is a big part of drawing portraits, as I often do, I seem to have quite overlooked it in the past, and just drawn weirdly super-neutral faces. Bad, bad me. 

Ive been promising myself for some time now that I will read up on facial anatomy and musculature, but it hasnt just happened, even though it is vitally important! The face is made up of hundreds small muscle-groups, and I think learning where they are and which ones contract in for example smiling would be a relatively easy way to learn how to draw realistic expressions. It would also be really useful when drawing caricuatures, which I havent really done much in the past, but would like to start practising. It would be important because caricatures are all about playing with proportions, and this includes exaggerating for example human facial musculature, which I cant actually do properly without knowing where which muscles go.

Its just another thing I wish they taught us in school. Man, the art program has actually been a little bit of a disappointment. We dont learn anything about composition, lighting effects, anatomy, structuring, etc, all those classic artistic fundamentals you read about in books, which are all vital to becoming a successful artist. I think the past year ive learnt far more watching youtube videos about people talking about drawing, than ive learnt in this year in the art programme, in which ive accomplished nothing. All we do, day out and day in, is draw stuff. Just mindless drawing. We are expected to get better, but we would improve at the same rate just sitting at home drawing by ourselves. 

This whole thing just becomes nothing else than a huge waste of time. Im not saying I will quite the art programme, im just warning future generations, if youre interested in art, dont go för Vasa Övningsskola art programme. What do we get here? We get an art dimploma. Wtf do i do with that? It has nothing to do with how good an artist I am, all I need to do to get it is to finish one piece of art, as my art exam. Mneh, not going to whine anymore about that, I knew that was going to be useless at the moment I applied for the programme.

I was going to write a short text about the brushes I use, but as my rant grew so long, I think ill just spare that for some other time. Good night, fellow imagineers. Next time, I promise to write about something less whiny and more awesome.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Tortillas, an eye thing and nothing else.

Above you can see the very essence of culinary orgasm. Every ounce of the greatest pleasure of man, in a completely edible form. But is it art? I think not, as the food was created for the sole purpose of survival and my own personal gluttony, its not created with any sort of creative outletting in mind. How so art, if its not even the fruit of any creativity? The very definition of art demands, that it is the product of human creativity. Some would argue it may be beautiful, but that doesnt make it art. ANYHOW Here we see more traditional, visual art.

As my dear friend so graciously described it, it is an eye with a coral-reefish eye-thingy. Spent like 3 hours, sitting here in only my boxers, listening to Finnish 90:s pop music, drawing this kind of thing. The idea from the beginning was to draw something weird, obscure and abstract, and at first I was drawing a female head with a bite-mark in her forehead, but then I kinda drew this instead..?

I dont really know what its meant to be, the eyelashes were meant to look like tree trunks or something like that, but after a while they just became these weird fiddly stick thingies. Mweh, It still looks kinda cool. Not particularly proud of it, especially the iris is a very difficult thing to draw, and didnt turn out so nice ._.

What I think I should do is to create new brushes for myself. Theres simply no way of creating all the crevices and details in a real iris with the clunky brush I use. Ive never really been a fan of different digital brushes, so I really only use one, dont really know why i dont like brushes though.

Weird shit, really. But thats half the beauty of abstract art.

Gosh, modern society has no time for creative losers like me. I feel a dire lack of free time! The sun has already set, ive still got to prepare for a test, beyond that im supposed to do about an hours work of schoolwork, too. I feel flustered for not being able to handle my time correctly. How can I possibly pursue my creative goals, go to school, spend time with mates, do homework, cook for myself, and excerise all in the same day? Simply not possible without sacrificing sleep, which will only make me more flustered in the long run. Life is tough, man.

Nope, no scientific facts, no 1000-word random gibberish, no interesting stuff to read about today. Sorry.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sketchdumps, school and symbolics

Well hello there, you. Today, I really have nothing to show you, but I kinda felt I needed to write something anyway. So, lo and behold, random sketches, starring an apple, stuff and a weirdo, and also a WIP design for a school project.

We are doing these wall-sized paintings in school, which according to the current plans will occupy the walls of the schools new attic spaces. All students of the art class will be doing their own painting, and I was tasked with the making of the largest of said paintings, the one which will be in the end of the room or whatever, I dont even know. Im not even so sure I want to do it, id much rather just settle for the smaller frames. Feeling the pressure, and shit. Id rather not think of the shame ill be forced to endure if it turns out crap.

Anyhow, the motive is very abstract. Since the walls will be whiteish, I figured id leave the corners of the painting quite bright or white, and so I went for this splotchy trippy design. Its a female head, I hope you can deduce as much from the picture... Not quite done yet, I think ill be adding more stuff to fill in the blank space, perhaps a few extra layers of splotchy shit, round out the edges of the face to make it more womanly, and probably crop it so it fills out the whole thing.

 When the painting itself is finished, which may take some time, I guess I will upload a photo showing it. Until then, SKETCHES.

A classic red apple, really feeling the dire lack of inspiration here. Did you know that the apple is the symbol of wisdom and intellect, by the way? Yeah, it is. Symbolics are most commonly objects that mean something, tell you something about a situation or a person, without directly saying it. This is useful when you want to portray characters in e.g. movies, novels, pictures, etc.. If you want to give the reader a subtle hint, telling him the character you just introduced into your text is a smart one, youd give him an apple to munch. Yeah, symbolics are weird. Another thing that the apple may symbolize is sin, along with the snake. This obviously relates to Adam and Eve, the story of the snake and the Tree of Eden, the fruit of which is often portrayed as an apple.

Other popular symbolic objects often used in litterature and art may be keys, for example. Keys symbolize power and freedom. It kinda makes sense, a man with lots of keys is kind of powerful, and also free to go wherever he likes. Perhaps the most widely acknowledged symbol may be the sea. Everything is born out of the sea, was a litany common in almost all cultures of the earth. It may also represent motherhood, healing, serenity, and eternity, for reasons unbeknownst. Fire is yet another symbol, which serves as a contrast to water. Its often seen conferring with evil, destruction, aggression, hate, and violence.

Yep, enough of that stuff already. The other images, though, are far less interesting. Its a man with an eyepatch (another great, oft used symbol.), and some character with a large mouth. Not much to tell about that, really. I guess that pretty much wraps up todays entry, see you around!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

faux-macro perspective and stuff

Faux. I far prefer faux to pseudo, because, well, faux is French, and french is a beautiful language. While I do find many of the Greek prefixes very appealing to the ear, I think this one, "pseudo", is rather distasteful. I mean, it just doesnt sound nice, does it?

And faux is full of fancy letters, like F, and X. I may be the only person in the world that thinks like that, but what would I know? Quasi is another word I potentially could use, but that doesnt quite mean the same thing.

Fun fact, the name Quasimodo can be derived into "Almost like", "Almost Standard measure", or "Almost norm", which is, of course, a pun to Quasimodo of Notre Dame, who in the stories, and potentially in reality, was a hunchback.

Modo however can be translated into many different meanings. For those of you who may know of the story, Quasimodo was actually named after the day on which he was adopted by Frollo, namely, Quasimodo sunday. Which was of course the second sunday of easter, back in the day.

I take it most of you figured out the meaning of quasi already, and some of you may know faux and pseudo, too. Well, in most contexts, faux means fake, or false, and so does pseudo. Well, then how so faux-macro? Ah, another beautiful word. Macro is French for large. Im sure you bright little fellers can put one and two together, and so, what I mean by faux-macro perspective is of course, a photograph taken with a fake macro perspective. That phrasing may or may not stand to logic, reason or grammar, but I shall explain what I mean.

Since, sadly, I do not own a macroscopic photographic lens, and I wanted to take really sweet macro style pictures, I had to come up with an idea. I scoured the web, and found this little lad on this forum, who claimed I could flip my regular photographic lens over completely, and use it as a macro lens. Im sure some of you may already have tried this, its not exactly magic, but it is pretty cool anyway.

So I tried it, and ended up lying half naked on the bathroom floor in the middle of the morning, photographing this little silverfish that had crossed my way when I was on the loo. Unfortunately, after lying there, on the floor, for about half an hour, squirming about trying to catch a great photo of this camera shy as shit, devilishly evasive silverfish, in the poor lighting conditions and all, I realized ill just have to photograph something else. Heres a few semicreative (Semi means HALF, and so does hemi, as in hemisphere or whatever. It can also be synonymous with quasi.) sample shots for my faux-macro lens.

These pictures have barely been edited at all, just a little bit of colour correction and contrast, and vignette for the picture in the middle. The first one is a seam of my jeans, second one is the LCD screen of my Nokia, and the last shot is the Nokia. Nokia 8210 to be precise. Some real hardcore shit, im telling you. It has Snake, and it has ringtones like Hurdy-Gurdy, Jingle bells, Samba, and of course, the original Nokia tune. About 13 years old, released back in 1999. Back then, I was 4 years old, and my dad had the coolest phone in the whole world. It had a battery change in -04, but thats all. Still working like a dream. These flimsy touch screen toys dont even get close.

So anyway, what are the pros of this flipped over lens vs. regular use lens? Well, I can get really damn close. REALLY close. The aperture is really fucking wide, which gives that nice small focal lenght we want. But its tough love, Im telling you. I do not stand accountable for any damage to any cameras. Its hard to set the focus, its hard to zoom, you have to hold it in place lined up with the camera and shit like that. Tough love. But you can get some pretty sweet pictures like this! So all you need to do is get your DSLR, remove the photographic lens, or objective if you will, and flip it over, front side back. Make sure not to poke your finger into the camera sensors or scratch the lens or something.

Myees, I think this quite satisfies my writing ambitions for today. Have a good one.

Friday, August 3, 2012

portrait, education och facebook

MYEP, This is a portrait portraying myself posing for the portrait.

Youll have to forgive the dreary looking face, the messy unwashed hair, and the strikingly bland looking composition. The reference photo was taken in the middle of the night, and I finished drawing just as the sun rose. I feel that theres something quite sensational to drawing in the middle of the night. I mean, it just sort of works, and I believe it is under these circumstances I do my art best. 

Henceforth, social science.
Scientifically proven, humans have different cycles, reoccurring daily, weekly, or even by the cycle of the moon, if youre that kind of person. These cycles dictate hormonal balances, psychological states of mind, etc., and these biological states are what define you, in that moment. Not saying you change from one person into another. Well, not entirely at least. Ill give you an example; One thing that is a quite important question within education today is, that some people are not simply meant to learn things in the morning, and have stronger learning potential in the evening. This is an important question because it is one of the major faults that are found within the educational model we have today, which is highly collective. Its an old system, a bad system. Its bad because it tells you to be creative, interested, enthusiastic and effective, from 8 in the morning until 2-3 o clock in the evening, be hungry at 11, cool down with 15 minutes of recess at one hour intervals. Im sorry, but thats not how humans work. The "modern" school system is in fact more like an industrial facility that pumps out schooled children annually, rather than the educational springboard its supposed to be. 

This analogy brings me to another, even bigger fundamental fault within our educational system, namely the fact that it expects all children at age 7, 5, or even younger, depending on what country they reside in, to be ready to partake in efficient learning. From the day they start first grade, theyre supposed to be ready to learn how to read, write, calculate, socialize in a group, whatever we do in school. Well jesus, do I have to explain why thats simply fucking retarded? Sure, we will still learn, but some children are simply not meant to be learning about multiplication at the tender age of 8, and will experience extreme difficulties. The system is fundamentally flawed because it puts us in school based on our age, which is a diffuse concept, irrelevant to maturity, simply a numeric value, most often written on paper. What the school should do, is put us in school based on when we are actually ready to go to school. 

If youre not mature enough to go to school when youre 7, then youre simply wasting your own and your teachers' precious time, because what may take you a year to learn when youre 7, might take 2 days when youre 9, and finally ready to go to learn these things, and that is why he should enter school when hes 9, not 7. A group of other children, 5 years old, may have no problem in learning the same thing, just as efficiently as the 9 year old. And thats not because the struggling older child is stupid, it simply stems in the fact of everyone being unique, and that we all grow at different rates. Who knows, the 9 year old late bloomer might turn out to be doubly as successful as the 5 year olds, whose only advantage was academically maturing at an earlier age. 

Bad grades? It might not mean youre a bad student, it might simply mean you are ill fit to learn at the time of the day that the school expects you to learn. Only you can be the judge of that, im sure we all recognize these cycles im talking about. They might be however mundane, maybe you simply have to eat dinner at no later than 6, or youll be starvingly hungry, completely regardless of if you had a big, fat snack at 4 or not. Or, as in my case, you simply feel more creative in the middle of the night. 

I believe I first heard about this watching some videos on the youtube channel named theRSAorg. For those of you who consider yourselves avid listeners to good science, I suggest you tune in. Moving on.


Above, you see the aforementioned dreary face of the reference photo. Yes, I take my reference photos posing in front of the mirror in my bathroom, come at me, bro.

Ill admit I traced the outlines, using an overlaying layer over the photo in OpenCanvas, so I didnt exactly just accidentally happen to get the proportions just precisely right, just because awesome, or something. But after I had the outlines finished, the photo was only used as an approximate guide as to where the highlights go. Some might say tracing defeats the point of being a creative artist, but doesnt not tracing defeat the point of photorealism, as it renders the art not realistic?

Anyhow- Swedish.
Ja, ja har en blogg, och har skrivit längre än ett halvår nu, kanske helt utan eran vetskap ;) Nu ses länken i inlägget jag skapat på facebook, för första gången. Eller nästan, iaf. Bara en person hittade smyglänken som fanns i en av mina bilder som lades upp på facebook i mitten av mars. Ja höll bloggen undangömd helt enkelt för att se hur många som skulle hitta bloggen utan att jag delat den, av er mina vänner, men även av övriga internetanvändare. Lite småmysigt att ha nästan helt anonym blogg, kan ja säga, men härmed är bloggen alltså offentlig. Ja kommer däremot inte dela mitt varje inlägg på facebook, och jag kommer inte heller skriva nytt inlägg varje dag, ty det är en helt annan sorts blogg. Här skriver jag när de faller mig in, inte regelbundet, men förhoppningsvis oftare än 1 inlägg per vecka, och ja skriver mest om konst, och ofta om annat som jag tycker är intressant. Och ja, många av mina inlägg är över 500, till och med 1000 ord långa, på engelska. Alltid på engelska. Läs om ni vill. Ingen tvång för någon.