For the past two weeks, I have given myself some much needed off time from my freelance work and spent that time working on projects that I’ve been wanting to work on. I’ve been wanting to flesh out my painting skills… but I don’t want to go the traditional route with my paintings. Traditional paintings are awesome, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just not for me. I like texture and contrast and bright colors. So I sat in my room, took out all of my art supplies and started looking at everything I had. I found a piece of fabric that triggered an idea and went for it. I won’t go much into the process work… simply because well, I adjusted the approach depending on what the situation called for. That, and I needed the supplies to be as cheap as possible. Ever heard of MacGyver? Yeah. That was me while working on this project.
I will say this, however, this project is by far one of my favorite pieces that I’ve created. The end result? Well it looks awesome. But that’s not it. I’ve spoken with people that say graphic design is basically a visual solution to a problem. And I fully agree, except usually, I don’t view it in that way. However, when working with this project, I saw in my head a basic idea of what I wanted this to turn out like. I actually had the background applied and done before I started on anything else. However, moving on to the next step created a problem. It’s very textured. I want the main focus to be smooth and shiny, a contrast, so it stands out… so, the solution? Paint on a thick piece of large paper and attach it to the background. I however, could not find a piece of paper large enough, so there was a blank space between her and the edge of the canvas, which was not good. So I had to create a border to finish off the piece and frame it right… so, another problem. That problem actually almost destroyed the painting, but after working around some ideas and turning a catastrophe into well, awesome, it turned out perfectly. Another problem, the thick piece of paper stood out to far from the board. I wanted that, however, I also wanted it to sort of transition smoothly so I had to come up with yet another solution to that problem.
Another note. A lot of things I do involve symbolism and I can promise you that everything in this painting down to even the minor details were put there for a reason or to symbolize something. I won’t give those away, but I can promise that everything down to the way I attached her to the board was done with a purpose.
Over all, this is by far the most rewarding piece of art I have ever done. I plan on doing more like this in the future and whenever working on ‘paintings’ again, will ALWAYS use mixed media simply for the challenge of coming up with solutions to the problems that arise. I plan on focusing a lot more on this type of stuff this year simply because of how relaxing and healing these type of projects are for me. Expect more soon! All of these will be posted under ‘Melted Zipper Designs’ as once I get my chops up, I plan on selling this and other bits and pieces of my crafts. I won’t be selling this one however, but if anyone is in fact interested, I can make a framed print for you. (For a slight fee )
A thank you is in order for those of you who follow my work. Although this site is partially a portfolio, it is a place I use more-so than not to post my art happenings and a place that I can use to help me reflect on my progress as a person and as an artist/graphic designer.
Below are the photos of the project this blog entry is referring to (ps. sorry for the bad quality, not a photographer in the least bit!). There are also close shots of various parts for detail.
Above :: Bride of Frankenstein
Below :: Photographs of Detail — Face, Heart, Bondage, Background, Border [click to enlarge]
[A Product of Melted Zipper Designs, 2012.]
Every year for Christmas, I try and make my Grandmother something for Christmas as she HATES people buying her things. This year, I made her a Jewelry Box with a CROSS on it. I’m going to post photos of the process.
To begin, I found a wooden box with hinges and locks. (much less work than trying to make this yourself.) I found this particular one at Hobby Lobby for around $8.00. I also decided on a cross to decorate the outside and got some mosaic tiles to weight down the bottom since the cross I chose was rather heavy. I got a mirror for the inside, but ended up not using it.
To begin the actual process, I started on the outside. I painted the box a pale yellow as a bass. Then took a dark brown and rubbed it over the dried yellow paint with a painting sponge. I put it on pretty thick, then took an old towel and rubbed all the excess until it looked good. I tried to make it look like the edges were a little bit more weathered so I left those darker. If parts were to dark where I didn’t want them to be, I used the yellow on a different sponge to lighten it up being sure to wipe off the excess with an old towel. I repeated this process until the box looked like this. I used regular acrylic paint to paint the box.
After this, I took the cross and hot glued it to the center of the box making sure to seal the edges where the cross met with the top of the box. I did minor touch ups on the hinges, the latches, and the handle with dark brown paint. I then used a brush on clear coat to seal the paint and the cross. I used spray clear coat to make some minor touch ups.
Once the outside was sealed and the clear coat was dry. (I rushed this with a hair dryer) I began on the inside. I used dark brown paint to coat the wood. In the bottom of the box, I super-glued the mosaic tiles. I didn’t make them look pretty or give them a pattern, I needed them simply for weight so that the box stayed down when it opened because the cross was so heavy it toppled the box over when it was opened. Once the tiles were in place, I cut out a rectangle of card board to place over the tiles to give it a smooth surface. I then cut out rectangular pieces of furry black fabric to line the inside of the box. To attach the material, I super glued it on.
I’ve been attempting as of late to learn the art of sketching/drawing people. Well, more particularly, females. My problem with this is I’m not classically trained in this art and know none of the little tricks to get the human anatomy correct. I also prefer to take a surreal approach to a lot of my ‘human’ pieces as well, which also brings up more issues in my attempts in this. So, in this particular attempt I tried a different approach than I normally do. I went online, found a sketch that I liked and with no tracing involved, re-sketched the original piece. I foresee a few problems with me learning this way however, if I learn by imitation, I will never be able to get my own style or be able to draw without having something to go by. I suppose once I master this a bit better, I can attack that problem when I get to it. But at any rate, below you will see the original piece as well as my sketched rendition.
After this step, I then traced a cleaner sketch with a Sharpie and scanned it into my computer making some minor edits in Photoshop. Here is the end product of that step.
I then took it into Illustrator and did a ‘Live Trace’ and did some more tinkering with the line-work to make it smoother and more shapely, and to end this project, gave her some color. I’m hoping one of these days, I’ll be able to master this! Until then, here is the final product as well as how I got to it.
I plan to do some more process work like this in future to keep my chops up, and hopefully, each one will improve until I reach my end goal, which is to draw the female figure with my own style as well as drawing it without having to use something to start from. Enjoy.