Homework homework homework, but also a show!

Since I arrived back to school in January, things have been extremely hectic! I’ve had a ton more homework to sift through than I did last semester, and hardly any time to catch a break in between projects.

One of the reasons I’ve been so busy is that on top of school work, shortly after I submitted those pieces to the Pre-Shrunk show, I was asked to submit a work for an upcoming art show in February about cats. How could I say no to that?! I spent some time researching my subjects beforehand since I don’t draw or paint a lot of wildlife. Thankfully, I have two little fur balls I was able to use for reference (and there are now a copious number of cat pictures on my new phone, oh no!). After several quick preliminary sketches, I got to work immediately. I took roughly three weeks to complete the painting in between school work, and got to show it off at the opening for Cat Person last night.

Mocha & Java: A Modern Portrait by Jess Lingley

Mocha & Java: A Modern Portrait by Jess Lingley, 16″ x 20″ acrylics on gesso’d cradleboard

I’m quite happy with it! Painting the fur was quite challenging, but I looked at a book from the local library for help. It’s a great book for painting wildlife in acrylics and gives great tips on palette set up and acrylic techniques. Silvers’ paintings are stunning. I’m so thankful for another opportuniy to show work at Argyle Fine Art, especially beside so much other beautiful work from the Cat Person show: check it out on their Flickr site!

It was very challenging to balance everything, but I’ve made it through to winter break in one piece. Though all of my classes are pretty intensive, Design has been the most challenging so far with multiple assignments due each week.

Design homework with Gouache on Mylar.

Design homework with Gouache on Mylar.

I’ve enjoyed the graphic design element of it the most, though I don’t think I’ll be studying it in degree form. Fine Art gives me a lot more expressive room than I would ever get with design. Besides graphic design, I got to dabble a bit in product design with a group project. I’ve never done anything like that before and it was an eye-opening experience. It’s very rewarding to take a project from a simple sketch to a full three dimensional working model.

Product design group project results.

Product design group project results.

The most rewarding class (aside from my favourite: Drawing II) has been metal shop. I went from not knowing the first thing about steel to cutting, bending, twisting, forging and manipulating it to make a final project.

Fun in metal shop.

Fun in metal shop.

It's all coming together...

It’s all coming together…

The shot directly above is blurry because my hands were shaking when I took it. Shop has been pretty physically exhausting, but coming home after working hard all day is a great feeling. I’m working on something practical for the apartment; given the shapes above, can you guess what it is? I think my favourite part of shop is welding. It’s really similar to soldering, but the filler is part of the welding torch so you can hold onto what you’re doing instead of trying to criss-cross materials with both hands. It’s a great feeling to weld stuff together! Just don’t weld it to the table you’re working on… :: cough cough ::

And then there’s Drawing II. Aaaah drawing, let me count the ways that I love thee.

Cavernous pepper by Jess Lingley.

Cavernous pepper by Jess Lingley, 22″ x 30″ graphite on mayfair.

This study ended up being a really relaxing one, despite the amount of detail I put into it. It was really rewarding to be able to chip away at it an hour or so at a time, and have a really interesting finished product. I chose this pepper to draw in a macro fashion, because it you look closely enough at it, it becomes abstracted and looks like something else. I thought of alien eggs in some kind of cavern.

Ink wash landscape by Jess Lingley.

Ink wash landscape by Jess Lingley, ~11″ x 15″ inkwash on stonehenge.

This class introduced me to ink as a way of drawing. At first, I found it pretty unforgiving, but if you work in washes it becomes beautiful. For this assignment we studied atmospheric perspective (how things get lighter as they get further away). I wish I’d had more time with this, because I found myself having a ton of fun with it. When separating a landscape into soft layers (and working with a decent sketch of course), it becomes a lot less daunting. Starting with light washes and slowly going darker, the drawing really comes to life.

Skeleton Study of Adam & Eve by Albrecht Durer.

Skeleton Study of Adam & Eve by Albrecht Durer, 22″ x 30″ charcoal and ink wash on stonehenge.

Having just finished the Cat Person painting, I wanted to put a little extra effort into my drawing homework, since I’d not been able to do my best for the past few weeks. Drawing is a class I really want to bring my A Game to, because I’m going to go on studying it and painting at a higher level. I love drawing dearly and want to do my best with it! For this assignment, we had to use a master drawing as a study. I cheated a bit and chose an etching by the amazing Albrecht Durer, entitled Adam & Eve (NSFW nudity). I was absolutely taken with the etching when I saw it, and couldn’t find another drawing that compared.

I’ll admit that I was perhaps a little over-ambitious, but I’m really happy with the results! By this point I’d fallen in love with ink. I used it to simplify the background a bit and discovered that it blends really nicely with charcoal. I could have easily doubled the amount of time spent on this, but I’d already put way over the homework requirement  of time on it, and had other homework left to do. I will definitely be using ink wash and charcoal more in upcoming projects, but also look for more color work of mine during the second half of the semester.

I can’t believe I’m already halfway through this semester! It’s been quite a blur with the amount of work I’ve had to do, but I feel like I’ve already accomplished so much this year! I look forward to Modeled Forms and Wood Shop, coming up after the break. Until then though, I’ve got some final projects to get through and maybe even some personal ones. I’m going to a few figure drawing work shops that are offered next week as well, so I’ll have lots to keep me busy. We’ve been doing a lot of figure studies in Drawing which is awesome, since I’m trying to get as good as possible at drawing the figure from my imagination.

Cheers, all!

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The Cool & Sexy Illustrations of Babs Tarr

Babs Tarr’s style is a funky mix of fashion and cartoons, with lots of sharp lines and curves to bring her subjects to life. I love how animated her figures are and all the bright color she uses, along with line-work and splotches of texture that look traditional, even though most of her work is digital.

toothpick by Babs Tarr

toothpick by Babs Tarr

The limited color palette in this image helps draw attention to the figure, grey/green among the pink and blue. Tarr’s grasp of anatomy is excellent, allowing her figures to almost strut across the frame. I love how many little details she includes, like the girl above chewing away on a toothpick, the script tattoo on her arm and the tooth through her ear lobe.

RAD Girl by Babs Tarr

RAD Girl by Babs Tarr

This screams 80’s and rather than being cheesy, it really pops! Unlike the first drawing, this one doesn’t any thick black outlines, allowing the neon colors to really show through and sort of burn your eyes the way neons did back then. The pink cheetah-skin skateboard with bright green wheels is just hilarious! She uses white in subtle ways to brighten the area around the subject, through the cheetah pattern and finger prints.

July 4th 2012 Outfit by Babs Tarr

July 4th 2012 Outfit by Babs Tarr

The chunky brush textures here remind me of a pastel or pencil crayon drawing, though this is digital. It becomes obvious pretty quickly that Tarr puts a lot of effort into the fashion aspect of her work. In fact, in the above drawing of her very own outfit from the 4th of July, she lists off each piece of clothing and and where you can buy them, on her deviantart page! I thought this a really nice touch and love that she shares her style with everyone.

Spy Girl by Babs Tarr

Spy Girl by Babs Tarr

This gets me excited for the new James Bond movie coming in November! Tarr’s subjects are beautiful and flowing but she’s also able to create breath-taking and narrative backgrounds. I struggle with making my subjects really fit into the background, but here the flow is effortless. I love the way the bright pink explosion lays a pink light on everything. I’ll be honest, I just love that there’s a bright pink explosion.

At the Moma by Babs Tarr

At the Moma by Babs Tarr

Though she does a lot of illustration and more cartoon-y work, she has a background in oil painting techniques as well. The above is an oil self-portrait, from a photograph her sister took of her at the MoMa in NYC. I particularly like the way she painted the windows in the buildings across the street. Her shapes are well blended and shaded in a very life-like manner.

The Noise by Babs Tarr

The Noise by Babs Tarr

The symmetry of the subjects here is really cool. This work is another one of her oil paintings. The clouds are vibrant and flow in such a way to draw your focus around the two subjects. The girls’ black clothing really stands out against the richness of the colors in the sky and clouds. It’s impressive that she painted the individual bits of zipper in the jackets, and links in the chains they’re wearing. The texture in the jeans is very nice as well. Her deviantart page for this drawing mentions that the shoes are inspired by Alexander McQueen.

Rolling Bulls by Babs Tarr

Rolling Bulls by Babs Tarr

Drawings on their own are one thing, but making the illustrations appropriately spaced for text and information is another skill all together. The figures above flow in such a way to draw your eyes to the text at the bottom. I love the sketchy-feel of this piece.

To be a successful illustrator, I think you have to have the fundamentals of art down: be awesome with a pencil, know your lighting, be comfortable with anatomy and know how to make a great composition. She has all of these skills in spades and it really shows. Great work, Babs!

For My Home 29-02-12

Last weekend was a bit of a dud. I did get a chance to test some colors out on a sketch and begin coloring the life owl. As well, I did a bit more on the abstract, but I didn’t get as far as I’d planned. I was overly tired and needed a few days of of rest, so I let the art go for awhile since I didn’t want to push myself. I’m feeling better today, though, and I’m ready to dive back into it. Since I don’t have much for progress shots I’ll show you what I’ve been drooling over to have in my home.

Paula Mills' family room

Paula Mills' family room (via Design Sponge)

Having an old-fashioned travel trunk has been on my “want” list for a long time now. Currently, in our bedroom we have a large armoire to hold some odds and ends including my make-up, medicine and not much else. It’s gaudy and a huge waste of space; I look forward to getting rid of it. After looking at some train-style travel cases for make-up, I got the idea to find an old trunk to have at the foot of the bed to organise the content of the armoire. It would free up a ton of space in the room and I could custom paint it myself! Though I haven’t gotten any closer to my goal I fully intend on doing this, hopefully sometime this year.

Industrial Chandelier with Vintage Bulbs

Industrial Chandelier with Vintage Bulbs (via Etsy)

I really love this “industrial chandelier”. It’s simple and was a warm inviting aesthetic. It would work well in a studio-space, an upgraded garage, a basement or even a neutral dining room or den. Since it’s not overly-detailed it would work in a multitude of spaces.

Design by Joy Triboult

Design by Joy Triboult (via The Zhush)

I talked about print and pattern in my fashion post last week and I feel it works in interior design as well, but it needs to be treated carefully. With the mirror in this space there’s a zebra-print border that looks quite nice without being overwhelming. If the entire dresser was covered in it, it risks looking a bit gaudy. Here though, it looks quite nice.

Pop Art Dresser

Pop Art Dresser (via 79ideas)

Want to keep a minimalistic look in your room, or don’t want to clutter up your walls, but you still want to display art? Paint your dresser! I love how this simple dresser was jazzed up using pop art. Keeping it black and white is a great way to keep the feel modern and fun without overwhelming the space. This is something I would absolutely consider doing myself, if I can convince my husband our furniture needs sprucing up. 🙂

Fashion!

There’s been a lot going on in the fashion world lately, between all the award shows, and especially since we just finished New York Fashion Week (possibly London as well). Cutting-edge designs have been floating around the internet fresh off the runways and have woven their way into my heart. I love that my inspiration isn’t limited to art or interior but includes textiles and fabrics as well. I’m a beginner to the world of fashion but I’m excited to learn more about it! I’ve even toyed with the idea of grabbing a sewing machine and getting right on into it.

I have become familiar with one name recently: Alexander McQueen. His fantastic designs are captivating and so lovely, straight out of another world. The thin black fabric in the dress below drifts over the model exquisitely and sets of the details of the rose corset beautifully. One thing I find consistent in McQueen’s work is that it’s striking. There are no pale palettes or half-hearted attempts with him. His inspirations are bold and brilliant.

pre-fall 2012, via Haute Design

pre-fall 2012, via Haute Design

Here’s another look I love from McQueen, a goth/schoolgirl/rockstar combo. I immediately thought of Ai Yazawa with this piece. Perhaps this designer is an inspiration for her kick-ass girl manga characters? I would wear a lot of this myself, though I’d skip the black lipstick (my lips are huge anyway) and maybe the skirt since it’s humungous, but I am totally on board with those boots! The hair is lovely as well since I’ve got essentially the same cut as the model. That being said, I love fashion that I wouldn’t necessarily wear myself. It can be an art form all its own.

McQueen's Look 22 (via TookLookBook)

McQueen's Look 22 (via TookLookBook)

I couldn’t find the source for this next outfit but liked it enough to include it anyway. There are a lot of different patterns going on here: cheetah, chevron and stripes. Normally I think these would clash but she’s worn them in small amounts and tastefully, with a clean black palette in the middle to tie it all together. I love the matching shoe/bag combo with studs, very rock star.

(via WeHeartIt)

(via WeHeartIt)

Versace is a name I hear a lot but hasn’t really had much meaning until recently. I’m starting to see why so many women pine over this brand. The pattern is nice, but the cut is really the best feature of this dress. A conservative style with this pattern would’ve fallen flat, but because it bears a little skin and adds small appreciated touches (the bordering, the x’s around the center) it feels very fresh and chic. Rather than go for the in-your-face style of McQueen, Versace takes something laid back and spices it up.

2012 Spring Ready-To-Wear (via Style.com)

2012 Spring Ready-To-Wear (via Style.com)

This one is straight out of NYFW. The leather and fur combination really works for me; it feels very warm and organic, very suitable for fall. I also really dig fashion I feel I can pull off and this looks great and practical. I just want to curl up on that collar and read.

Norisol Ferrari Fall 2012 (via The Looks For Less)

Norisol Ferrari Fall 2012 (via The Looks For Less)

 

I’ve been doing a lot of online window shopping (the kind where you don’t buy anything, SIGH) lately so expect to see more of this! As I re-discover what fashion means to me I want to look into all sorts of styles, cuts and colors, and decide what works for me, what doesn’t, and why. Hopefully this’ll be inspiration for me outside of the closet as well!

Inspiration 02/02/12

All I want to do is hibernate until all of this snow has melted away, but I must continue to push forward. Another month or so and it’ll start to warm up a bit. At the very least, staying inside so much has given me lots of opportunities to work on art. I finished inking the first drawing in my owl series last night and will show you after the weekend, hopefully accompanied by some more.

by Helen Dardik

by Helen Dardik (via LagomDesign)

Over the past few months I’ve begun to take more notice of patterns in art and design. It’s not as simple as repeating a subject over and over again, there must be more to it. It’s still a mystery to me, though, and something I’d love to learn more about. Making beautiful and effective patterns must take planning and skill. I like this one because it’s not overwhelming despite the many subjects. (Oh, and the artist is a Canadian illustrator so that’s a plus!)

"Vicious Vangogh" by Dave MacDowell

"Vicious Vangogh" by Dave MacDowell (via Flickr)

Love the combination of Fine Arts and Punk! He’s very skilfully used different color palettes between the background and foreground to make the subject really pop. Upon further examination of the face you can see that he’s used a sort of hatching technique to shade and give the skin texture. Excellent use of acrylics, makes me want to start another painting right now!

Kevin Dart’s Looks that Kill

Kevin Dart’s Looks that Kill (via Grainedit)

Black & pink look fantastic together so this was a no-brainer for me. I love what he’s been able to do with such limited color use. Very chic, very cool.

Check Mate by Alex Young

Check Mate by Alex Young

The spray paint and running of the paint seems to unify this piece yet not obscure any of the details. Again, there’s use of a limited color palette here and it adds to the painting, keeping it simple. I think too many other colors would jumble things up and make it too busy.

Books, Spoons and Barbies

Assess Your Personality by Jess Naish Lingley

Assess Your Personality by Jess Naish Lingley

I wanted to get a better photo of this to post but since Tim’s got dibs on the camera for the weekend, this will have to do for now. I’m just glad it’s finally finished! I was finally able to dismantle the still life setup and put all the books away; my studio feels so much larger now. This still life was a great study in perspective and text, especially on drawing things as they are and not how you expect them to be.

I showed my uncle a progress photo while I was visiting last weekend and he asked me if I turned the canvas upside down to draw the text on the bottom (501 cocktails). The only reason I would do this would be to avoid pushing my palm up against a wet section of the painting. Our eyes and brain tend to auto-complete things for us. Most of the time, we can read text that’s upside down or sideways and even when it’s faded out because we know what it’s supposed to look like. I tried as much as possible to paint the text exactly as I saw it, as if it were symbols or something that I didn’t have to read, rather than trying to re-create what I thought it should look like.

Ice Cream Scoop Warhol Style

Ice Cream Scoop Warhol Style

Messing around in Photoshop is fun! After doing his photo of the day a few nights ago, Tim asked me to rearrange a few different colored versions in a Warhol-style frame. Since he supplied me with the photos, all I had to do was line them up on a new canvas. Not very difficult, but a good exercise in Photoshop layer/ruler skills.

Barbie as Famous Works of Art by Jocelyne Grivaud

Barbie as Famous Works of Art by Jocelyne Grivaud (via Beautiful Decay)

Something fun for Friday; Jocelyne Grivaud has remade several works of art using Barbie, whether through photography or painting. The result is a nice contrast between styles. Some works are very similiar but in others the tone is completely different. For example, with the Mona Lisa version the barbied-image is a stark contrast to the original in several ways. Mona Lisa is beautiful, but she’s not a model and she’s not smiling with teeth, things that that the Barbie version makes very obvious. I especially like the Picasso-Barbie painting, in a world all its own.

If you’re in the Maritimes braving the snow, keep safe! Hope everyone has a great weekend, snow or not. 🙂

For My Home 25-01-12

Sometimes when I see something I want for my home, it’s not the object itself that attracts me, but they way it’s presented in a space.

Pink Paper Lamps (via Design Sponge)

Pink Paper Lamps (via Design Sponge)

These paper lanterns, for instance. The color palette here is lovely; bright pink with shades of cream and brown to calm it down. I’ve always loved the look of paper lanterns and think they can avoid being tacky if placed properly. The only space I’d be able to get away with having them in, in my home, would be my studio. In this case, I’d likely want to try and paint them and customize them with my illustrations.

Backless Chair, Fur Throws (via Haute Design)

Backless Chair, Fur Throws (via Haute Design)

The chair in this photo immediately caught my eye. I’m sure there’s a name for it but since I’m unaware, I’ll refer to it as the “backless chair” (classy, eh?). I’m always looking for a place to drop my purse when I get in the door and a chair like this would be perfect for that, as well as sitting down to unlace my boots instead of leaning over and getting a horrible head rush… but I digress. The chair itself is quite simple and is easy to make work with any space by use of pillows and throws. Maybe it’s my love of fantasy coming through (Game of Thrones in particular) but I love those fur throws as well. Of course, it wouldn’t have to be real, I’m perfectly happy with synthetic! I just love wrapping up in something when reading, lounging on the couch or browsing the web and fur is super comfy and stylish, especially in this richly colored space.

Betty Boop Glasses (via Tim Lingley)

Betty Boop Glasses (via Tim Lingley)

This one’s a bit of a cheat since I actually have these! Tim was looking for something to photograph for his 365 project last night and dug out my glasses. After fussing over them last fall in front of my MIL she kindly put them in my stocking for xmas. ❤ I love love love them! From the little I understand about art/design terms, I'd call them Kitsch. The vintage cartoon style with carefully chosen colors caught my eye as soon as I'd entered the store and I knew I had to have them. To be honest, I don't quite have a home for them yet; they're sitting on the bookshelf in my studio at the moment, but I'd like to have a shelf that suits them better.

Espresso Field Guide (via Design You Trust)

Espresso Field Guide (via Design You Trust)

A must-have print for espresso lovers. I recently obtained a new espresso machine to help fuel my creativity and now I’m excited to make all kinds of different espresso drinks. This is on the wall beside my machine. I’ve been meaning to make a coffee-related artwork of my own so this will do until I make my way down the list to this project. Even for those who don’t have anything fancy for espresso, it makes a nice addition to just about any kitchen or coffee-corner.