Thursday, June 24, 2010

i challenge you holly!

Dear Holly,

i think you know whats coming. i've threatened to make you draw sumo wrestlers in pastel since we first thought of starting this blog. HOWEVER! since you gave me a very interesting challenge last week, i feel the need to make my challenge more fun.
So, this week, i challenge you to create an art piece that communicates 'weight.' you can use any subject matter, and medium, so long as the viewer who sees your piece has one thing on his mind: wow that thing feels heavy.

the purpose for this challenge is to push your visual communication skills in an area you avoid. you excel in all things light and delicate, but i've never seen you tackle the opposite, and am excited to see how you will go about this.

this challenge was inspired by a book i've been reading 'the art spirit' by painter robert henri. one of the pieces of advice he gave was: when painting winter, dont paint what it looks like, paint how it feels. therefore, aim to make the viewer feel cold when looking at the painting. infact feeling cold while doing the painting might help. this blows my mind conceptually, and i hope you enjoy the challenge!

ps: weight can be interpreted physically, emotionally, mentally... as long as it is HEAVY and not light. the medium you chose should be one that promotes this.

no other restrictions! any size any colour!
can't wait!! :D

jen's reveal!

here it is! my finished piece! materials: pen, ink, acrylic, gouache.

as per holly's comments below, i definitely agree that working outside comfort zones helps to show you your strengths. in general i think i've come to realize that i do well with minimal compositions. i love designing the page, and find i can really focus on this the less i have to cram in.

thanks for the fun challenge holly!

Monday, June 21, 2010

artist discovery!

side note, i stumbled across the artist Octavio Ocampo and am in love! isn't this gorgeous? this is the feeling i wanted in my bees project. i wonder what technique he used.

Jen's process

This challenge screams research me, and luckily its such an interesting topic! go holly :)
I'll be using the blog wall as a brainstorming center. So far i'm still looking into different animal mating rituals.
Did you know? (lol i feel like a kids tv host)
-the western grebe bird does a snake dance to win its mates? possibly this could be compared to the oh so sexy body wave dance move lol.
-the blue heron brings sticks to the female heron's, to prove they'll be useful in helping build a nest. how practical.
-the satin bower bird decorates his stick house with stolen goods. the females chose a male based on his decorating skills!
-many species use songs and/ or fighting. apparently the loud songs require alot of energy and is a signal to the female that the male is healthy. sounds very dramatic, like a musical. hmm a musical scene could be an interesting setting for the image!

i find it interesting how each animal species has its own way of attracting the females based on their lifestyle, temperament and needs. however, within the humans species there are a variety of techniques that are used to lure women. its almost as if the human species has a variety of types of humans. for ex: not all women go for the guy with the stable job and house. and not all women go for the musician.

ok, now to find a way to integrate a male attraction technique with animal references!


i stumbled across this picture of a crane doing a mating dance around a female crane. Look at all the effort he's putting in! And she's standing there looking thoroughly unimpressed. This reminded me of dance clubs. I love dancing, but yeesh is it ever annoying when you just want to have fun and dance but guys are prowling for pickups. I really like the sequential narrative of this image, and i think i'll use a similar style in my piece to show the beginning, middle, and end of the 'love story.' stay tuned for more!


i drew up the sequence that i had in my head. its still in the bw stage, i'm planning to add colour... any thoughts holly? Too Marcel Dzama? i love doodling like this, especially when people watching because working small and high contrast makes for the best likeness. but i usually avoid this style when doing finished pieces because i'm worried it looks too mainstream. its so hard to tell with my own work whether or not its being influenced or if its me. perhaps i can jennifer-ize it with something crazy. medium suggestions? i'm open to an experiment!

for colours i was inspired by a particularly beautiful ttc transfer i got the other day. check out the gorgeous orange! it looks so lovely with the charcoal black and beige!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Animal instincts - Challenge # 2 By: Holly

Animal instincts - Challenge # 2 By: Holly Long

Hello Everyone,

This is extremely exciting as we come to our second challenge! I'm supper thrilled to come up with a concept for Jen and I know she'll do great on this one :) This next project is regarding something that I had noticed and in result have been pondering the last couple weeks. It's about the odd behavior of humans and how at times our nature isn't much different from animals. Now this is strictly opinion and before you make judgment I wish to tell the story that had inspired me for this weeks challenge.

A few weeks past I was out with people for food and drinks. After I had enjoyed my splendor of food I started to look around and entertain myself with people watching, as I often do. I stumbled across couples that were probably on their first date. The guy looked awkward… something about his body suggests he was trying to impress her. At first I didn't catch on, until it dawned on me. This is no different from a typical national geographic cover. By puffing out his chest the guy was trying to show her how dominate/ beautiful he was. I automatically thought about seals, birds, elephants, monkeys... and how creature of both sexes have their own way of impressing one another. Beautiful isn't it!!

Now for the second assignment:

Jen- I challenge you to come up with a ‘beautiful’ illustration regarding this specific interesting display of human nature. Have fun with the figure!

- Portrait 4''x7''

-Medium of choice

-two colours only (this doesn’t include black and white)

- Rough work- if you have it!!

Good luck Jen,

Holly :)

Holly reveals first challenge

Yay! The reveal of the first challenge... how exciting!!

I'm going to start off by saying, this banner was very difficult for me, as one thing personally conflicted the idea of challenge, the use of bright primary colours. In my opinion red,yellow and blue suggested the complete opposite. These colours blocked my imagination to beautiful butterflies and birds. Unfortunately I couldn't get this out of my head and I soon became very annoyed with myself. I wish now I would have known that Jen didn't listen to her own instructions with colour lol, because I learned I dislike being forced to specific colour- (Hence revenge for the next project) :P

The Dragon Masked girls, represent both Jen and I. Throughout this project I was determined to find a key link to something we both struggled with- this wasn't easy. I with long thought eventually decided to illustrate that we both are driven to do great things and everyone should look passed the blonde hair and see the fierce side of us!!! As for the type- shame on me, I didn't illustrate it. The entire piece was done in three parts. The final is an acrylic and watercolour drawing that was cutout and scanned into Illustrator where I placed the type.

Thanks for this challenge Jen, It definitely was one :)


Jen's first challenge results

its the big day!!! the results of our very first challenge. i see that neither of us got around to posting progress lol. next time :D For now i'll just describe the adventure that led to my banner:

So i was quite stumped on how to illustrate the idea of a 'challenge.' When you think about it, there arn't many non-cheesy visual metaphors for 'challenge.' After giving up on that angle, i decided to change gears and focus on how our blog is about entertainment and showcasing of work to hopefully our future many fans. that led me thinking about theatre, which led to curtains. which led to hair... something we sort of have in common being blondish. because we have this in common, and because we're often on the same brainwave, i thought it worked having one curtain running across our heads and doubling as hair.
Holly is the one on the right looking up at the words: i challenge you. This is because my banner will be the blog banner when it is my week to challenge her.

For materials i used graphite, yellow ink, white gouache, markers, letter stamps, and drawing pens, all on wood.

i completely forgot that this was supossed to be a complementary palette. so when i finished i had a white face done with gouache with red hair, and decided that somehow the faces were going to have to go green. gouache can go a little funny with media on top, so i decided marker would probably be safest being the dryest and smoothest of the materials i had on hand. it worked great! i was even able to do subtle colour shifts on the rosy parts of the cheeks and the shadows under the eyes with a combination of markers. i definetly recommend trying this out on your own!

Can't wait to see yours Holly! And your new challenge!
Ps: Feel free to replace the temporary banner with yours when you're ready.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

the first challenge

Dear Holly, and our one fan so far which is myself,

i challenge you and i to make a banner for our blog! We'll alternate the banners depending on who is presenting the challenge that week!

- must be 8.333 x 2.375 inches, 72 dpi
- illustrate the words: i challenge you
- colour palette: complimentary (going with the theme of two people making the other shine brighter hehe!)
- medium: as many as possible, like everything on your art shelf

deadline: Friday June 18th

lets get cooking!
ps: document/ post your process and research! but make sure to keep the grand finale for a surprise at the end.