14 February 2010

The concept sketch for the next painting...

Aww, crap.

Whoops. I made a picture of this last week, and didn't realize I hadn't posted it. Until now, when I just posted the update to it, only I was updating something I hadn't posted. Anyway, this one is older than the other one. And, yes, it is in some ways better.

You know there is an expression, it takes two people to finish a painting.... one to paint it, and another to shoot the sumbitch before he f's it up...

Just sayin'.

A Painting

Another picture of this thing. I learned a lot about how I should have done this, if I wanted it to look cooler. Enough that it has become difficult for me to be excited about finishing it.

The lighting is weird in this (there is a fluorescent tube above it, so the top really pops and the bottom seems dull), but the color actually is funky in the middle (the sections that seem too-blue actually ARE too blue).

However, in the interest of science, and having a better painting next time, I'm going to finish this one. The knot is monochrome, but it's going to get some highlights and low lights. The background will probably get some of the same. But... different.

"It's Art, you wouldn't understand...." (ha!)

And, I'm on the fence about outlining the knot with black. That was the original plan and I probably will do it because of that. But I figured out how to make it super cool without that. Next canvas, I guess. I picked up 6 of these 50cmX50cm squares on Very Discount last week, they were €3/each. I had been thinking of doing a set of 4 related paintings (Diptych, Triptych... Quadratych?) But I can decide about that after I've done the next one in this flavor, but will all the learning experiences applied. One of the things I'm learning about is effective use of low relief with acrylic paint. Most of my other paintings have been very flat (no relief) which robs them of depth, even if I painted some shading/depth modeling into the composition. This one has much more texture – I'm still getting the hang of that – and is a better painting for it.

Finished that Box!

There is not much to say about this, except... here are the pictures of the finished box. I took one from each corner, so you could see how the pattern lines up. This is the size box for storing an adult male Maine Coon cat, apparently.
I probably won't do another box with exactly this design, but I did learn lots of useful stuff I can apply to my next box (there are 3 more to paint, so lessons learned are good things).
I probably would have preferred to paint the corner hardware black, for instance, but I wasn't sure what to paint galvanized metal with, and the handle hardware was pre-attached, so it seemed like a lot of hassle. And I got to a point where I really just wanted to get it FINISHED instead of having it hanging around my workspace any more. But maybe next time I will think it is worth the hassle.
I have not yet put any little roller wheels on this, and I haven't worked out a lid for it. Heck, I don't even know what I want to store in it yet! I did put a bunch of couch cushions in it when I vacuumed last, and the giant ridiculous cat has been pretty conscientious about moving all of his toys from where they are stored, into this box. So I think it will be pretty functional around here. And I like it! I probably will wish I'd put another coat of a sturdier sealer on it, and I might do that later, including the inside. Or I might leave this one alone and subject my next project to all that hard earned wisdom...

01 February 2010

Someday this picture frame will be mine, oh yes!

The calendar I am working on framing is a lovely limited edition hand-printed card calendar from Wondermark creator David Malki !. I ordered it a couple of months ago, and passed on the stand he'd chosen for it, because international shipping and shortages of horizontal surfaces around here, not to mention the risk of cats eating all the corners off seemed like clues to let it go.

However, now that it is here, and even on the 2nd month, I find that simply matting it and putting the matted month on the wall doesn't really cut it. I want a fancy frame. One might even say... a ridiculous frame.

So I've been goofing around with some ideas.

I waffled about whether to carve the frame (from what substance?) or simply paint it on a flat surface, with high and low lights to imply depths, or... what?

Still really don't know. I *think* this would look pretty bitchin' in a dark wood carved and polished way, but I am not a wood carver and might be very much mistaken. (The first time I tried a complete stained glass composition, I basically came up with something that had all the hardest cuts, irritating joins, and a ridiculous number of individual pieces. I may have a talent for biting off too much.)

Anyway, these are what I have so far. All sketches and all the wrong size and proportion for this particular object.

Again, some things are easy in theory and more complicated in execution. If you are or know a bored wood carver, please be in touch!

It doesn't help that I could probably keep drawing this over and over without being absolutely sure that I have arrived at The One True Design.
Here you can see why I was playing with the white balance... I'm getting yellow paper in the pics, but it's mostly-white in reality. Anyway, this is a pattern I designed a while back when I was playing with ideas for the storage crates. Wanted to see if I could work up a nice knot-repeater. And I have! But then I got distracted by the other thing (the one I've already posted a few pictures of in-progress). I got REALLY distracted trying to work out how to line this up so several crates with the same design could be placed next to each other and having the design's lines meet up no matter which way you turned the crates. I'm not sure I'm that cool, though.

Fear not. I have 3 more crates! 4.5 if you count the one that is already built, and its lid.
Sometimes when I do a design, I struggle and thrash to get a line Just So, and eventually either concede defeat, or erase the mofo out of spite.

In this case, I *thought* I had the lines right where I wanted them, and then as soon as I put my pencil down and hung the thing on the wall, I immediately saw where I'd gone wrong.

Maybe I'll re-do this with the lines in the right places. Maybe I'll actually DO SOMETHING with this design. But since I have no concrete plans for doing a project with this, my incentive to re-draw it with the lines right is also somewhat reduced.

Sorry about the color scheme. I was playing with white balance correct in my photo editing process, and sometimes it glitches and tells me one thing while actually doing another. This was supposed to be red, and it looked awesome. Oh well.

OK, so I lied.

Weeks ago, I made a noise about uploading some pictures of my recent design projects. And then I didn't do it. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has been keeping up with this blog...

Anyway, I took a bunch of pictures today, and as it always does, that made me want to work on some projects I'd done designs for and not actually made an object with.

The picture here is a sheet of embossing foil that I've drawing a bit of knotwork on/into. It's far too flimsy to do anything with, and also I've poked a bunch of holes it in with my embossing stylus. (Not to be confused with an out-of-ink ballpoint!)

Anyway, while I was playing with that, I figured it might be fun to make some kind of low relief thing like this, and then fill it with wax or plaster, making a small shiny object. I did some trials, to test the level of detail and so on, and even poured wax in, and got some small shiny objects out. So there is definitely more coming on that front. However--there are no pictures of that trial run, because I tossed all the 'evidence' in the trash. Scented votive candles are not the right source of wax for this kind of thing.

This was sort of meant to be a bookmark or something, but I'm not satisfied with it, so, it's probably going on the vast heap of Projects Which Taught Me Valuable Lessons About Something.