Sunday, December 22, 2013

Pastel Practice

Well I have been living in Korea for 8 months now and I have to say, I love it! (Minus food, food is a problem -.-) Unfortunately adjusting to life here and my new somewhat grueling work schedule, my art has suffered a bit. On a plus note I'm getting really good at coloring with crayons! ;)

There aren't really art stores; at least none that I have found. So I have been buying my art supplies at the surprisingly well stocked Kyobo book stores. They have an art section that is about as good as what I would find at Hobby Lobby, minus sculpey. The number one art medium I find here that is affordable and apartment appropriate is soft pastel. So here's a look at me trying to learn pastels!
My Nephew Kashe

Lucifer from Supernatural. My first pastel fanart!

Joker, Oil Pastels/Ink/Soft Pastel

Rango: Hhhhola

Will Graham from Hannibal, my most recent piece.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


A promo paper I'm working on for my 'Junk to Funk' entry
It will be edited with more pictures soon, they'll include the bustle, hat and face makeup.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

From Junk to Fun

        I never predicted there would be a day I would be creating a piece for a fashion show, and I certainly never thought I'd see my sister walking down the catwalk wearing something of my design, but it's happening! On may 3rd at 6pm at the Tecumseh Center for the Arts they're having a fashion show called 'From Junk to Funk.' The idea is to take throw away items and create a wearable piece of art. I love found object and hodgepodge styled art, so I immediately decided I would work up an entry. I'm sure they meant a ladies dress, or a sassy purse, but since I'm entering it, we're gonna have a little piece of meaningful costuming!

        I've been working a lot with newsprint and maché lately so I thought I'd pull that into my design. Of course I need an idea, a concept to base the entire piece on. I decided to address the control media has on our lives, our mind and our bodies. There is a very strict image presented for us by the media on how we should act and think, and I wanted that to tie into my materials.  I drug out my manikin, set it's measurements, and went to work. I made the bodice out of very stiff maché, representing the rigid, almost claustrophobic demands on our bodies. If that wasn't enough I added buckles and a 'collar' to heighten that effect. The sleeves are long and reminiscent of both a hero's shirt, and a straight-jacket.

Front w/ just maché
Back without lacing

Added curls in paper
and shoulder pieces

 Lacing up the back (Shoelace)

I found out about this event a week before the application was due in and two weeks before the date of the actual show. So I had to move quickly with this one, but I am very pleased with the results!

I wanted to put a more positive spin on my piece so I called it 'Unbound.' To show that the model, and society to some small amount, is escaping the bonds placed on her by the media I curled several of the lower pieces of maché. The layers of her confinement are peeling away, it also represents the way she's stripping back the cover and seeing what's really behind what is printed on the page.

This project is still in progress, however, if it had to walk the way it is, I would still be proud to show it!

The final, we added little details like Bottlecaps, shoes (not pictures), and a lot of the fluff to the hat! I also spent some time trimming up the bustle.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Mantids are coming! The Mantids are coming!

My Preying Mantis Oothecas finally hatched yesterday!

I'm convinced they came, in droves of several hundred to a thousand, to check out the immense Mantis that has been poised near their tank in my living room.

Pretty tiny!
This is all from one Ooth, I have 6! (2 unhatched)
I have been constructing a Pseudocreobotra Wahlbergii (Spiny Flower Mantis) sculpture for a couple weeks on and off. (He's sharing his time with a project I'm doing for 'Junk to Funk', that's for another blog) He's a bit further along then what you will see so far. I want to show the creation in pieces so I could talk a little about the construction and maybe give a tip or two.

 I immediately regret not taking pictures of the construction of the actual body. However, I have included a diagram to help. 

There's a variety of mixtures you can use for paper mache. I really like the recipe I've been using though, so I wanted to share it.

Paper mache recipe:
                       1       Part  Woodglue
                       1.5    Parts Water

The woodglue dries into a plastic-like substance and therefore adds a little bit of waterproofing, but mostly solidity. The recipe I used (And a good deal of my method) came from the book 'Papier Mache Design with advanced techniques' by Monique Robert. She gives you wonderful instruction on making structures that are solid utilizing basic shapes. It's nice to have a paper mache book that isn't geared towards middle school art classes.

I looked up a lot of images, and decided on the sub adult version. They have a lovely curled up abdomen that just adds for a lot of cute, and a really good balance for the piece. (Also since the structure is going to be large, saving any space I can is a plus)

Work up a doodle of your pose!

I then began the process of creating the basic shops. I made many spheres, tubes and flats. Spheres were made by taking globes and wrapping them with cellophane. This allows you to remove the mache from the globe so that you can use it again. I used a little masking tape to hold it in place. You mache in strips over the entire structure. Tubes and other strange shapes (like the egg shaped styrofoam pieces i used for the eyes) are done the same way. For flats I took a piece of plywood and taped cellofane down smoothly over the top. I used a paintbrush to cover the cellophane in paper mache glue, then I laid a sheet of newspaper down (a sheet, not strips), then I painted on top of that newsprnt. I added as many layers as I needed (depending on how flexible I want it, and how sturdy it needs to be.

The basic shapes

A: Oval  made with a Styrofoam egg
B: A flat that I wrapped to be a cylinder, then taped the edges and paper mached over the joints and the seam to keep it strong.
C: Boxboard strips that I used to create a soft curve and then placed paper mache strips on top.
D: more boxboard strips, this time to make a straight connection, I could have used a flat like (B) only cut shorter, it doesn't really matter either way.
E: I need a little point so I cut a couple pie slices out of the sphere to make it end in a point. 



The face was a sphere with a lot of cuts to and modifications. The mandibles are pieces of fish tank tubing I had laying around. It's rather stiff, and it was coiled, so it has a nice cruve to it. I plan to wrap them in mache as well. The tubes for the antennae and the base of the mandibles were just pvc pipes I had that I covered in plastic wrap.

Coming up next: Leg Costruction!

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Water Prince: PG-13

I found nothing inside. I turned the cave inside out. All I saw were simple chairs, silverware, a chest of clothing... nothing beyond the basics that survival required. There was nothing to suggest the fervor with which he had defended this place. The slightest clank echoed from the chambers entrance, an unnatural sound and I wheeled about ready to strike down the invader. Which I did. However, this was the same old man whose life I had ended only moments ago. There was no plausible explanation for his re-emergence. I had removed his head, yet here he was. All parts in tact, but for the gaping hole where my scabbard had pierced his lung. He dropped to his knees, his eyes were locked on mine. I kicked him back to the ground and placed my sword upon his chest just beside his heart and at a slight angle so as to avoid the sternum. I forced it downwards, I felt it slide through the ribs, I did not stop, I pressed through the heart and on until I felt my scabbard hit the dirt beneath. He groaned pitiably, but still he stared at me. There was still life in him. Anger welled up within me, how dare he defy death. How dare he defy me! I placed my boot upon his unarmored chest and harvested my sword from where I had planted it so deep within him. 

I stepped back, the mans eyes followed me. I was unnerved, I was sickened and I was furious at this unholiness. I stepped forward determined to make an end of the man. He attempted to speak, it was too much, I removed my dagger from it's sheath and drug it across the mans neck. His head lolled back a little and he attempted to speak no more. As I looked to his chest I notice bands of skin snaking across the wound, fresh skin... My disgust waned for a moment as I watched with amazement the wound healing itself, the skin stretching, expanding... I realized my attempts to kill this man were futile. He could not die. I knew what he was hiding. He had fought me so valiantly at the beginning... he was hiding the secret. His secret. The secret of life. I stood up. It would be mine. 

         The Water Prince is a story I've been working on for a few months. Up until this morning I had done no writing for it. It was merely concept and design. I began working on it hesitantly because it has been on the shelf for a little while, and it wasn't a complete concept. What started as a painting exercise (as seen above) turned into the renewal of my passion for The Water Prince. The above paragraphs are just a rough first draft, a little teaser.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sand Sculpture: Elephant at Green Key

Tuesday at Green Key Beach

One of the number one things I wanted to do on my Florida vacation was to create a piece of Sand Art. I found myself at Green Key Beach and couldn't pass up how perfect it was. The weathers great, there's so many wonderful little crabs EVERYWHERE, and a lot of sand. It was also kind of quiet so there wouldn't be a lot of distraction or crowding. So Alisa (My sister) and I went to work. This is my first sand sculpture.

Step 1

Spread water all over the sand you plan to use. Dig it up and pile it up. We used a dollar tree sand bucket. I do NOT recommend this. It took forever. Bring a shovel. Seriously.

Pat it into a mound, compression seems to be the key! Make sure you have wet sand! (you see that pool of water by the base of our mound? Don't do that.. seriously. you don't want your sand to be mud at the 

Step 2

Build your mound into a slightly bigger shape then you're actual sculpture is going to be. You want to create your sculpture by subtraction, not addition.








Step 3

Details can be created with anything really. We used a spork and a knife from Taco Bell. :) They were very effective. We will do a lot more detail on future versions, but I'm very very pleased with the results. Especially on our first try!

There were a lot of smiles by the passerby's. It's really awesome to see how happy art can make a person :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My second installment for My Childs Adventure (.com) is finished!!!

          Finally the three of us at (And Groovie) can all sigh in relief. Our sophmore effort 'Missing in the Museum' has been completed and is available for customization and purchase! We've all worked hard and are proud to present you with 'Missing in the Museum.'(MitM)

         This one is a simple tale of a young boy or girl heading with his mom or dad to the Big City Museum. Upon arriving they discover that a model pteradon has been misplaced. The curator, Dr. Art. E Fact, has requested that your child help locate the missing dinosaur. They follow the clue through several exhibits and the employee lounge until they discover the truth behind the missing Pteradon!

The opening scene, your childs house is on the right!
The museum foyer. Your childs first peek inside!
Curator Art E. Fact and your child find the missing Pteradon.

             As with Monster Under My Bed MitM
is fully customizable with your childs picture, name, favorite color, and street address. (No city or state, just enough to help them remember it!) It is also available for only 20$ through paypal. Please check out it's page to see what it's all about!

Thank you, and we are eager to hear your feedback!