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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Shadow Box

Friday, May 8th, 2009:
This was the first day of our shadow box final summative. I had made two initial drawings, one a crossroad with some hills, and a scenic view of a waterfall from a helicopter. Ideas for this came from pictures in magazines. Putting the designs aside, as I could not seem to find a good one, I chose to do the physical labour part of the project, cutting out the rectangles for the shadow box, and cut out 24 cardboard squares and glued things together to make the shadow box.
Then, as I was listening to Stairway to Heaven, I used this song as an inspiration to design my shadowbox. It would incorporate my previous projects such as perspective, renaissance-inspired designs, painting landscapes, taping, and many painting techniques. I had completed about half of it, making a small gate, some clouds, and a curving staircase; it looked very good, however it appeared to me that it was a stereotypical view of a stairway to heaven. It was literally a stairway that goes into the stereotypical view of heaven, being clouds and some bright colours. I liked it, however it did not seem to have something special in it that stood out.
This was a challenging first step. I have never made a shadow box before, and I don’t really know what it may look like. To put a staircase into such a small space (cutouts) may prove to be very difficult. The design of this project is not as easy as I thought because we have to put pictures out in 3D, and I am somewhat doubting how it may turn out. I am also considering drawing up a bridge over troubled water, should a stairway not work.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

For this class, I had redesigned the gate and spent some parts of it trying to think about how to add to the picture of “heaven”. I could not think of things to add, as it may be good enough to just keep it simple. I made extra cut outs of the stairway, the gate, as well as the clouds and glued it on top of a Mayfair cut out.
I plan to use collage to create the clouds, paint for the gate and the sky, and parallel lines for the staircase, and taping (painting) for the staircase, as it will probably be very difficult to paint such small areas. Also, not appearing on the picture, is the wind. I intend to create stencils of that and put copies of it across the top left corner of the picture plane.
This part of the process was somewhat difficult as I wasn’t sure of how and where to place certain objects that I have in mind and I am not sure if I should add it or not. Currently, the picture is relatively plain. I hope to try to add more into the picture, but by the way I set it up, it seems difficult to add much onto “heaven”.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

For this class, I had finished putting the black Mayfair paper underneath the white paper to give it some weight and thickness. I have also attached it to the frames of my shadow box. I have begun to collage the clouds, and they are nearly finished.
This class has been relatively easy, as the work I have done is mostly manual labour. The collage of the clouds is the toughest part of this class, as it is difficult to find a nice colour that would match the colour of the clouds. Another difficult part is visualizing the whole picture. It seems that the clouds at the moment may not look good, however it may change when it is contrasted beside the sky. For the next class, I hope to finish up my collage, and perhaps start parallel lines on the staircase. I have also cut out the stencil for wind.
That may be the hardest part of the picture, because the source of light is not precise yet. As it is already in the sky, drawing parallel lines for shadows may prove to be quite difficult.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

On this day, I had spent a long duration of time painting the background. This was one of my more productive classes. I had started by making it all the pale blue, then adding white to the still-wet blue on the top. After that, I added more light colours onto the top half of the picture plane, signalling a perspective of heaven. The whole painting was done wet on wet, so I tried to apply plenty of paint, while adding some water to prevent it from drying too quickly. Then, I had added some light green and yellow onto the top. With these two additions, came violet, orange, and other shades of these colours with hints of white across the sky. At the bottom of the picture plane, I had added some lighter colours, but little in comparison to the top, these including violet, light blue and some white.
After partially completing the painting, I shaded in the staircase. Shading (with use of parallel lines) in the staircase was easier than I had expected, however due to the small area the shading didn’t work out too well as the pencil tended to dull quickly and I couldn’t get the desired neat parallel lines that I had wanted. I did not use a ruler to make it seem more natural.
Finishing the rest of this, I had then added changed around where the cardboard would position itself. Instead of going 3-2-1 (bottom to top), I changed the cardboard pieces to a 5-1, where it would actually work. The 3-2-1 had an extra depth so I had to change around the pieces to get the look I wanted.

Tuesday, May 20, 2009

This was my extra class after school. On this day, I may have

gotten the most amount of work done in one class. I had continued to paint some of the background, and add some touch ups of ultramarine blue into the bottom, to create a larger contrast with the light background. I had also continued painting the background, adding some light violet into the top and some white mixed in water. Playing around with the background, I had also added a small subliminal message in the clouds. With my wind shaped stencil, I had applied it 3 times into the upper left hand corner, each being a different colour.
When I had finished painting the sky, I had spent some time painting the gate. The end result of the gate does not look exactly how I wanted it to look, as it seems to look too colourful. This was a tough part of the project, as I had been doing very tedious work, using a tiny brush to paint very slim lines into the gate. I hate painted it a multitude of colours, making the bars on it a combination of roughly 6 different coloured lines. At the end, I had added extra lines with a black sharpie, vertically and horizontally. The vertical lines were for the sides, which I liked, however my horizontal lines for the “opening” part of the gate did not look too good with all of the light colours on the gate.
With the staircase, it was re-shaded and then re-shaded again except this time I used a sharpie. Using the sharpie gave it much more definitive parallel lines, which made the shadows look much more real. In addition to parallel lines, I had also painted the staircase, making it mainly white, with hints of yellow, orange, and yellow-orange. Here, I used taping to keep the paint contained within each step, as it was very difficult to paint straight lines in such a small space. The clouds were also shifted down to allow the gate to stand on-top of the clouds, rather than inside them.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

For this class, I felt like it was mostly completed, so I tried to play around with the picture that I already had. I had changed up the gate, turning it from a bar-like gate to one that was more of something you would see as an entrance to a garden. I drew one up from scratch, drawing inspiration from an advertisement, it seemed to me that a “garden-like” gate would be more suitable than a barred gate. I have made the gate lighter than the previous one, showing a happier side to heaven. This took some time to draw up, cut out (two, one regular paper, and one Mayfair), and paint. By next class, I hope to outline some of the gate to be able to define it more, as it is difficult to with the paintbrush as the surface area is very small. On the gate, there are also two sets of flowers and a ring of flowers on the top.
Also, I have added an extra 3 squares for depth on the first layer. Now, from the first layer to the second layer, there are 4 squares, and then 5 squares for the third layer. These extra squares help add depth to the staircase.
Due to the first layer being 4 squares above the second layer, the staircase along with the gate continued to fall down as it was too heavy. Beneath the staircase, I put in a small spring-folded paper to keep it standing where it should be. I also added dark colours to the bottom of clouds to show shadows and depth.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Unit 3: Interior or Exterior Perspective Painting

In my perspective painting, I have made a house with renaissance inspired architecture. It is made with acrylic paint.
The overall project was difficult. At first, I had to sketch out the picture using techniques involving vanishing points, horizon lines, and special methods to measure distances (such as pillars). This was relatively difficult at first, however it became easier as the project wore on, starting with boxes to chairs. Sketching my building was tough, as there were two vanishing points, this confused me sometimes on where to point certain lines. The shape of many individual parts of the building were difficult to sketch. Arches were difficult to draw, as the curvature of it never seemed correct for me and the landscape (lawn) was not easy to draw to match the shape of the building (as the vanishing points were moved up).
Painting the picture seemed even more difficult. I had never painted buildings before, and this was totally new to me. The light of the building seemed a little tricky, some areas green-blue, and some a pale orange. To make it more complicated, the light of my sketch was reversed when put onto the canvas, so I had to try to imagine things. Painting the building was quite difficult for me as I have never been able to draw moderately straight lines, and tihs was a critical part of the step. A problem in this involved the openings in the buildings with shadows. They appear to be black from the original picture, however when I applied the black onto the canvas, it showed up very poorly and contrasted the picture too greatly. I tried to adjust by adding some light green and light yellow to the black to make it stand out less.
Something that really helped out was the suggestion given to me to use a larger brush than the tiny one I was using. When I used the tiny brush, it turned out to be to flimsy, not allowing me to draw straight lines, however the thicker brush allowed me to improve this. Also drawing straight lines for me was difficult, and it was suggested that I paint keeping my wrist steady, going up and down to draw a straight line. This helped me a lot to draw straight.

However, I still feel that the painting can still be improved upon on many different areas. First, patience would be much more needed, as I lacked that, forcing me to redo many things over again to maintain a straight line or to stay in boundaries. My sketch was a lot neater than my painting, and painting it was difficult to stay inbetween boundaries as I had used a tiny brush, believing that it would be easier, it turned out to be more difficult.