Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Portrait Commission Drawing for Nancy

This last summer I had the fun opportunity of teaching bookbinding to my mother-in-law Susan and her friend Nancy (see this post). During the summer Nancy also asked me to draw a picture for her of daughters. I was excited to be given this opportunity and sell my first work of art! I did not get a chance to finish the drawing over the summer due to young twins and moving, but I did finish it right before the Holidays, right after I finished my classwork.

The day we headed down to my in-laws for Christmas, I finished the drawing, and it came out beautifully. Seriously, it looked good. I cleaned up the border, signed it, and laid it outside on the dry patch of our patio and sprayed it with fixative. I left it outside for five minutes to set and deodorize outside.

However, shortly after leaving it there, Josh, my husband, screamed "There's a dog in our backyard!!!" And sure enough, an ugly collar-less dog was in our backyard/patio, stepping on my completed (15+ hours) and beautiful drawing. We shewed him away as fast as we could, grabbed the drawing and I immediately began cleaning up what I could.... but, there is a permanent paw print/scratch on the right side of the drawing. We were angry, we were sad. What are the chances of this happening? I should have listened to Josh when he suggested that I spray the fixative while he held it outside. He was worried some snow would drop off the roof onto it or something, but I was sure it would be fine. It wasn't snow that happened upon it, but a dog, a dog we've never seen before and never will see again. Why he had to enter into our fenced-in patio area and came up to our glass sliding door and stepped on my drawing, we don't know, other than God has a sense of humor and wants to ensure that we are sufficiently humble...
But, in all honesty, it's pretty funny. Of course a dog came and stepped on my drawing in the five minutes it was outside the day it was "due." Of course there was like no chance of that happening but it did. But, Nancy was generous and willing to overlook the mark, thankfully. I told her I could redraw it for her, or another picture for the price she paid. Fortunately if she mats the drawing where I have the border, most of the mark will be unseen. Nancy loved the drawing of her daughters and was SO excited to see it and be able to give it to her husband for Christmas.

Nancy gave me a 4"x6" colored photograph, and then I scanned it, made it black and white, and began my drawing. I lightly made a grid on my paper and a grid over a printed version of the photo. The final piece is drawn on an 11"x15"sheet of Pescia white paper, with the image being approx. 10"x6 3/4."

Here's the scanned B&W version, and a scanned copy of the drawing:
What do you think? Is it any good? What could I have done better? Any questions/comments?

Friday, December 24, 2010


I forgot to mention that my last semester at BYU I also took a bookbinding class. It was very fun and not too terribly time consuming. The best part was that my teacher was super awesome and gave me an A even though I didn't get stuff turned in by the final, or get all the projects done since I had babies instead. Well, I finished 3 books in the class, a coptic binding (the one with no spine, just sewing), a flat back book or modern book, and a paper case book. All are different and implement different sewing and gluing, etc.
Well, the fun thing is that now I am the one teaching other people how to do bookbinding! Since we've come to Indiana, I have been teaching Susan (Josh's mom), and her friend Nancy how to make books. They both have made two coptic bound books so far, and we just began our flat back book two weeks ago. I am very proud of their books, and glad that Brent could cut the binder's board square for us. Not having the bookbinding lab with all its nice paper cutters, hole punchers, presses, and other tools, sure does make bookbinding a little more difficult. Nancy even took one of the books she made with her to Nicaragua this past week and used it as a group journal for her volunteer group.

Also, I am working on a commission for Nancy, a drawing of her two daughters. I am trying to finish it before we leave, but time is limited when we're trying to get things organized before the move and deal with babies every day, but I've been working during their naps and after their bedtimes. I just might have to pull an all-nighter like I used to in college to finish it. But, if worst come to worst I will finish it after we move.

If you are interested in bookbinding, or making your own books, let me know, and I can get you some more information.

Figure Drawing

I really love drawing figures... so here's some highlights from in-class work, and then I'll show you my final project!
And here's what I did Fall Semester for the final, a drawing of Josh and our friend Mark.
And here's my figure drawing final I did last semester, based on pregnancy pictures taken by my friend Lisa Jastal. She did a great job.

Oil Painting

So, here's the art I did Winter Semester in my oil painting class. I really don't know how to oil paint, so don't judge me too hard. We began with a jar series, painting the same jar over and over again, basically so we could learn how to paint. Thank goodness.
Then it was midterm time and we had to do two paintings; The first one had to have two or more of the same object repeated, and the second one had to have multiple similar objects that created a depth of field.
The final project we did is a three foot by three foot painting that is based on an image but abstracted. So I chose a nebula, and then abstracted it... It's still not really done, because I don't like it. Maybe I'll finish it after we move again. But, I'm not much for abstraction anyways.My favorite painting was the crayons. It turned out so well, and I hung it up in our girls room in Provo and it looked great on the wall, along with the watercolors paintings I did for them. I enjoyed the class because I learned a lot, but man do I still have a lot to learn about oil painting.

Sculpture Class

In my sculpture class I learned how to cast bronze. . .

carve a stone (alabaster) by hand. . .

and how to use sculpt with steel. . . But since I'm pregnant all I could do with my steel was spot welding. . .

So, that was what I did in my sculpture class. Last semester I "made" another sculpture that is pretty cool. It's based off of Josiah McElheny's glass works. Here it is . . .


So, I took a watercolor class this semester as well. The last time I did watercolor I believe was my junior year of high school, so it has been a long time, and I didn't like watercolor much then. But, after taking this class I like it much more. So, in the very beginning of the class we were told to just experiment with our supplies. So here's how bad I was at the start of the class:

Then we learned about washes. We had to do a flat wash, a gradated wash (light to dark), and vari-gradated wash (two or more colors), and a textured wash. Two of the washes had to go behind the still-life object, the other two around it. And then we had to do one on our own.

Then we learned a bunch of wet-on-wet techniques and had to do two still-lifes, and another at home.
Then we learned about dry brush and layering with watercolors and had to do still-life again, one in the classroom and one set up at home.
Then we learned how to make a white object still look white even though we added value. We had to do one in class and could use a photo or other white object at home. We also learned how to stretch our paper and did these on them.

Then we had to do abstract paintings. So I did a Jackson Pollock like one, a Mondrian like one, and a Katelyn one.

We then learned how to stretch our paper using stretcher bars and had to do two portraits, one self-portrait and one of someone else. So, don't laugh at me and Josh. I didn't spend enough time drawing them out first.

And for the final project we had to do a series of our choice. I really liked the simple flat washes with an object in the middle that we did in the beginning of the class. I decided I would make paintings that I could actually hang up and use, so I used baby toys and objects to hang up in the girls' room. So I made a special gift just for my daughters.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...